Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This was supposed to be a fairly lighthearted entry about ipods and cell phones, but I'm going to have to hang onto that one for a moment. I think this is worth reading. A reader of my previous weblog entry posted a response I published more thoroughly below. It's pretty closed-minded, for one, but more importantly he told me the same unproductive thing that I told myself for, oh, about fifteen years:

"Secondly, stop blaming everything on ADD, it's insulting to people who have real problems"

Look, were you just waiting for a chance to be aggressive, or what? Did you read what I wrote, or did you just want to rant about all the times since you were fifteen that you have heard "this story"?

"Real" problems. So ADD isn't a REAL problem? It is a FAKE problem? I'm making this up?

What choices are you talking about? Again, am I really blaming "other things?"

I said that I screwed up, and I meant it. I didn't use third-person references like "ADD screwed me up." I said "I." I never shouted "I was wronged," like the people you're spitting so much venom at. Come on. Likewise, I didn't "get my priorities wrong." That was the the most painful part -- I knew what my priorities were, but I didn't know how to act to make the goals that were priorities a reality.

I am sevety-two inches tall. I will never be an NBA center. I will never be a Breeders' Cup jockey. Those seventy-two inches are aspects of me. Some of them are genetically determined, some of them are due to the excellent nutrition I had as a young child, but, at twenty-five, they are simply a part of me.

I am color blind. No matter how hard I TRY, when I look at that little card of dots, everyone else sees the number eight, and I can stare and stare at it and, guess what, an hour later I will STILL only see dots. I will never be allowed to pilot military aircraft.

I have ADHD. I can finish scantron tests in absolutely blinding speed, with two pencils. I start at the bottom AND the top. But, when I read a textbook, I can read the same line sixteen times and still not remember what I've read. I will never be an accountant.

I am not BLAMING ADHD, color blindness, or seventy-two inches for restricting my choices. Square pegs don't fit round holes, and they never will. But all of those things are part of my biology, and accepting them, instead of pretending that they don't exist, is the only way I'm going to learn what the next productive step is. Yes, I believe I could've learned that lesson a little sooner in life than I did.

When I was in first grade, I was actually ashamed of the color blindness. I really did take one of those little cards home, I really did stare at it for an hour, TRYING to see the 8. Nothing. Dots.

Just because the biology of ADHD is not well understood does not render it nonexistent or irrelevant. It is not the cause of my problems. It is not to blame. It is not "IT" at all. It is me. My neural biology works like that of many others, but not like that of most. Humans are all mostly alike, but in some ways they are different.

This is one of them.

Deal with it.

Here's the response I'm referring to:
...For starters, I HIGHLY doubt that if you could go back and talk to yourself it would make a difference in the slightest. If you were honest with yourself I have no doubt that you would agree. When you are young, well THAT young, no one can tell you anything.

Secondly, stop blaming everything on ADD, it's insulting to people who have real problems. You need to man up, and admit you fucked up, yes you did fuck up. You got your priorites all messed up, and then you failed some classes.

Since my mother deals with crap like this all the time, I can tell you I've heard your story atleast once a year since I was 15, the kid with financial aid who was "wronged". Well, get this, I also know how hard it is for someone to lose financial aid, so it isn't going to work on me.

And finally, Boo hoo, you made your choices, now you need to deal with them. But as long as you keep blaming other things, that will never happen.

Finally, I pitty you.


  • At 1:48 PM , Blogger Old as dirt said...

    What's up with that guy???

    Looks like you're doing ok from my view. We can't all be millionaires with a perfect life!

  • At 4:19 PM , Blogger Argentius said...

    I don't know what is up with him. Thanks though, I think things are going pretty well.

    I have realistic goals and ambitions, I pretty much enjoy my life every day.

    But I could be enjoying my life every day AND have a degree right now, and that would be nice.

    Can't bat a thousand I guess.

  • At 9:05 PM , Blogger stokediam said...

    Ah, look, the guy says "I pitty you." Too bad "pitty" isn't a word at all. So even that line is as meaningless as all the rest. Don't be tossing and tortured over this one. We all do the best we can with what we've got; everyone is different, so every life is different. And it's the people in our lives who make us what we are (although I sure didn't know that at 25), not just biology and genetics.

  • At 9:35 PM , Blogger Andrew said...

    We don't all follow the same path. A lot of times I wish I would have taken a year or two off prior to starting college so that I could actually put a value on the $30k a year I was spending on classes that I rarely went to.

    Now that I'm "established" in my career, I've found that I far prefer to work with folks who have a good work ethic than book smarts. You write like you've got a good head on your shoulders and seemingly the desire to be successful so I'm sure you'll end up just fine.

  • At 5:54 AM , Anonymous hobgoblin said...

    Ignore the comment flamers--they almost always seem to be reacting against something wrong with themselves. As for your dilemma, I've learned that having a plan is not all it's cracked up to be. We tend to think too linearly: college, degree, job, marriage, 2 kids, mortgage, etc, etc. There isn't an end goal that you're working towards. Life is not something you eventually get to--it's what's happening right now. If you enjoy your life now, you're close to batting a thousand. Some day you will have the degree, and you'll have enjoyed your life as you got there. That you're thinking about this so intently right now says great things about who you are.

  • At 11:32 PM , Anonymous britt said...

    The idea that anyone could feel pity for my completely absurd to me. I am so baffled by the thought of someone "pittying" YOU(dude needs to learn to spell) of all people! This guy has clearly never met you. He is an ignorant poophead - yes, apparently I am slightly in my 5 year old frame of mind :)

    and on another subject...why is it that you can always express things so clearly and eloquently, and all I can do is babble around the point for forever and not quite get there?

    hmmm, smart and calm vs dumb and loud, how is it that we're related again???...argh, HATE YOU(in a very loving way of course)


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