I’m tired. (NSFW due to language)

And I know others are even more so. Because for all the ways that the conversation on ADHD has moved forward somewhat to put the microphone in the hands of those of us who have it, that’s not true for friends of mine with other neurological differences. And even with ADHD, we’re not where we need to be. So I’m going to say this once, and I am not afraid to delete comments on this post if you show out, because your disagreement is neither wanted nor welcome, unless you’re a neurodiverse person yourself. I do not pretend to speak for my friends who have other conditions, such as autism, except to the extent that they themselves choose to cosign, and to say that if you don’t have the condition yourself, your job is to shut up and listen to those who do.

  • Fuck your cure. I don’t want it. If you want to do research into my condition, use that research to make my life better, or to find a medication that helps with the associated impairments, but don’t act like I should be thankful to you for trying to fix me.
  • Fuck your pity. For every impairment that my condition brings, there is a tradeoff that brings me intense joy. For my lack of focus, I get an intense curiosity and knowledge of a variety of subjects that would fascinate you if you were listening. For my inability to pull the trigger on a decision, I gain an ability to research an idea until I know it backwards and forwards. For my inability to manage my finances on my own, I have developed an uncanny ability to find the best price on any given item. For my impulsivity, I have a sense of adventure that even your prejudice against the core of my worldview cannot dampen. And I wouldn’t give that up for the world.
  • My moments of locked-in hyperfocus look to you like I’m grinding my gears and can’t rejoin the normal world. To me, they’re the happiest moments of my life. Imagine a moment where nothing in the world existed for you except the thing you most loved doing. If I’m busy reading a book or quilting or researching something online and don’t realize you’ve been talking to me for the last five minutes, it’s because I got that lost in the enjoyment of what I’m doing. I seriously doubt that if you ever experienced that kind of single-minded joy, you’d want me to give it up.
  • My impairments don’t disable me. Stripping away my workarounds does. My inability to keep a running total of my spending only hurts me if I don’t have the ability to check my numbers against something. (Online banking ftw!) My inability to start from scratch with organizing only hurts me if I get far enough behind that I have to start over. My distractibility only hurts me if you insist that I focus 100% on something that makes my brain go numb. I am not disabled by my condition. I am disabled by your insistence that I should function in the exact same way as someone without it.
  • Fuck your insistence that you know how my mind works. Whether it’s denying the validity of my condition, insisting that a placebo is as effective as my medication, or lecturing me on what will fix me and whether or not I should want to be fixed, just shut up. You don’t live in my head, and you don’t know how I experience the world. So stop ‘splaining me to me.
  • You hurt me by telling me that I am not my “disability.” My ADHD affects every aspect of how I experience the world. If I did not have it, I would have a radically different world view, and thus be a different person. So yes, in many ways, I am. And I am proud to be me.
  • It’s not up to you to “accept” my condition as valid. You don’t get a choice. I’m already here. The other option, besides accepting me, is to fuck off down the road. I’m good enough for you or I’m not. If I’m not, there are 7 billion other people out there in this world that you could be spending time with.
  • Fuck telling me who I do or don’t speak for. I speak for me. That is enough.
  • Fuck what my parents must have gone through. It doesn’t excuse what they put me through. They chose to have a child. I didn’t choose to have them.
  • Fuck your theories about ADHD kids needing “discipline.” My parents couldn’t beat my nature out of me, and gods know they tried. I’m still me, but now I’m me with complex PTSD. Good fucking job.
  • Fuck your theories about ADHD being overdiagnosed and overmedicated. I spent all of high school without my meds because my parents bought into that shit and thought they’d been wrong to treat me. Remember above when I said I’m only disabled if you take away my workarounds? My meds are one of them. And further, because the diagnostic criteria for many years were weighted in favor of the primarily-hyperactive type that mainly affects boys, girls were dramatically underdiagnosed. I was one of the lucky ones to be born with combined type, so I didn’t fall through the cracks in grade school. Too many did, and still do.
  • Fuck the way you want to center the conversation around children and only children. Children grow up. We don’t outgrow our fundamentally different neurological wiring just because of our age. We might learn to hide it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
  • Fuck the way that parenting a person with ADHD is assumed to be harder than being one. Fuck the way you want their motives to be sacred while ours are eternally questioned.
  • Fuck your judgment about my use of stimulants. If stimulants worked on an ADHD brain the same way they do on a neurotypical brain, you might have a point. But if you had sufficient medical knowledge to know the difference, you wouldn’t have made the remark to begin with. My medications are between me and my doctor, and neither of us gives a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut whether you think I’m a crackhead for needing them.
  • It kills me to fight with people. The part of my brain that ADHD impairs also deals in emotional regulation, so being angry with you hurts me. But I’m not going to sit down and shut up when you want your idea of what my condition looks like to override the reality of who I am.

I Stand with ‘Gods and Radicals’

This is deeply important and worth reading. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken part in any of the controversies within the online pagan community, but the way so many of our pagan organizations have roots in and shared ideas with destructive right-wing ideologies is important to discuss. As a devotee of Brighid, her legacy as Brig Ambue, the defender of the disenfranchised, does not allow me to stay out of this one. Leithin Cluan stands with Gods and Radicals, and I stand with her.

Treasure in Barren Places

The reactions to Rhyd Wildermuth’s post on Paganism and the New Right have been incredible and disturbing.

Essentially, Rhyd wrote about the influences of racist and ethnocentric ideologies on various traditions of Paganism. It was brave and it was necessary. Extremely important stuff. And Paganism/polytheism have exploded at him and his allies.

And not just that, but Rhyd is saying some things that I consider to be *very clearly* a problem in Paganism, and that I have believed for quite some time. So I had no idea people would react quite so negatively. I suppose I should have realised that not everyone in Paganism shares these radical views. But it’s so easy to create Paganism in your own image. To believe that it’s what you want it to be. Only, it’s not. The reactions to Rhyd’s post, and his co-founder Alley Valkyrie’s support of it, make that clear.

I think I am…

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Taking it public

I have concluded that the baby quilt project requires too much time, effort, and energy for one person. There’s a need beyond the hospitals around my front door, and I can’t do it alone. I’ve created a Facebook page for others to join in the project, whether it’s making quilts, knitting or crocheting preemie caps, sewing burial gowns for the babies who don’t make it, or just lending moral support to people who do. My hope is that we’ll be able to make something happen well beyond my own community, as I’m wanting volunteers to make items for their own local hospitals. The Brighid’s Babies Project page is live on Facebook now, and if you’re interested in taking part, I would love to hear from you!