People don’t seem to “get it.”

I – and my kids – didn’t choose to be neurodivergent. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but I won’t deny it makes life more challenging.

It’s why I can’t have a 9-to-5 job. It’s why I can’t stand crowded spaces. It’s why I prefer to be alone.

It’s important to note these are not choices. The discomfort I feel when dealing with these situations is oftentimes debilitating. That’s one reason it took me nine long years to earn my bachelor’s degree.

It wasn’t because I wanted to be in university so long. I mean, I loved school, but not that much. It was because I couldn’t focus, and then I’d feel like a failure, and then I’d have a nervous breakdown.

And repeat.

Until I finally focused and got my degree in English, with an extended minor in psychology. I finally succeeded. I completed something.

That was always my biggest problem: I started lots of things and finished few. But after getting my bachelor’s, I successfully completed two writing courses, a volunteer literacy program, and had three kids come home with us.

Oh, and actually finished writing a freaking novel.

Honestly, for most of my life I’ve felt like a failure in many ways, like I could never live up to my potential. Only after my diagnoses did I feel like I understood myself.

I just hope knowing my kids’ neurodivergence will allow them to reach their full potential, without feeling like failures on the way.

Not being able to do things others find easy doesn’t make me a failure or lazy. I have to remind myself of this often, though, because I fear others simply see me as lazy. And I still have to make sure I don’t think of my kids that way either.

Executive dysfunction is real and misunderstood.

These things aren’t excuses. They’re reasons. And I think it’s so important to understand the difference. I’ve been told to just do things, as if not doing so is a choice.

Just like when I was depressed, saying “oh, just cheer up” or “oh, just get some fresh air,” is really unhelpful.

If my challenges were so easy to overcome, don’t you think I would’ve by now?


One response to “Challenges”

  1. I so feel all of this. Those last two paragraphs really resonate with me, based on a chat I had just a couple of days ago.

    I was chatting over coffee with a homeless friend. She told me about folks who keep pushing her to “just find a shelter.” Her expression soured as she retorted, “If you think they’re so great, you go live in one!” Their advice is unhelpfuland based on lack of actual contact with certain realities.

    And your hope for your kids? I so hear and share that sentiment, for all our kids. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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