Do You Feel Others Don’t Understand You?
“Do I feel others don’t understand me? Yes and no. In this instance, I’ll talk about the workplace because it is where I excel and thrive, so have no issue introducing it into the conversation with someone I’m likely to be working with for a while; puts me in context from the outset and lets them know what they’re dealing with.
Being one of the extremely talkative ADHDer’s (that has a love of verbal and written language, and enjoys playing with both) I’m generally pretty articulate and get feedback from time to time to say as much.
Combined with the very visible excitability factor and I’d like to think I’m convincing too because I certainly believe what I’m saying! The two words most often used by colleges to describe me over the last 20 years have been ‘determined’ and ‘passionate’.
They know I’m high energy, talk lots and fast, am seriously committed to my vocation (human services) and take pride in running a tight ship. So in that regard, I think I’m very well understood.
This is also why, when the ADHD thing comes up with someone that has known me a long time, it always surprises me that mostly they are caught off guard.
Always to my amusement, it’s evident that soon as they start thinking about it, it all comes together pretty quickly and they have a light-bulb moment.
Thing is, we work in the disability sector and are all pretty familiar with conditions like ADHD.
You’d think my colleagues (a number of them therapists) would be a likely group to pick it up, particularly as they are all very good at their job.
The thing I think most people don’t understand is exactly how busy it is on the inside, just being me; it can be simply exhausting.
My head is an extremely noisy place as it holds a multi-faceted, multi-layered global structure of absolutely everything to do with the business (I’m in operations), and I see how each piece fits together and plays a vitally important role to the overall success, in a snapshot.
So to try and whittle out the less important bits (there are less important bits?) and then convey it all neatly to another person in a concise and linear fashion…near impossible! Add to that, whilst I never lose my temper, I often have strong feelings about things (not-for-profit, values based org.), there can sometimes be a full scale riot happening inside my birthday suit that I’m working hard to actively contain. But on the outside, I can be sitting still, saying nothing, looking calm.
Another thing I think people with typical brains don’t realize is that, from where I sit, I am perfectly normal. It’s that lot out there (the majority of the population) that have issues because they can’t pick up on a lot of what I see or keep up with me.
(Downside of having ‘normal’ executive function imposed upon them by their brain; don’t even realize they’re filtering.)
But given my job requires me to speak publically from time to time, colleagues that are fond of me and up for a laugh will generally line up for a front row seat as it’s like a comedy act; watching the super human effort I have to make (nigh on painful) to select my words carefully and slow my speech so that everyone understands me.
For a WHOLE presentation. Excruciating. Inside MY head, it sounds like I’m delivering a pre-recorded speech that’s on slow dub, getting even slower and likely to cark it. Imminently.
The way I would describe it to a typical brainer is that it’s like moving to France and having to speak a language that is not your native tongue.
Imagine talking to someone about something that you’re REALLY enthusiastic about and then all of a sudden, you realize from the look on the other person’s face that they are staring at you blankly because they are confused; you’ve lost them because at some point in the conversation, in your excitement you slipped back into English without realizing.
So you stop, check yourself, reset your brain to speak in French, and start again. Sometimes repeatedly in the one exchange.
But would I change it or me? Not a chance. It’s a part of me and who I am. Took a long, long time to get to a place of peaceful acceptance, but I’m here now and wouldn’t change a thing. 🙂 ”
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