ADHD Acceptance Month – Family

ADHD Butterfly Source

Family – A complicated part of life

When I did this last time I said thanks to my late Dad. I want to pay tribute to another person today, I want to focus on the good stuff, because there was a lot of conflict due to circumstances.

To my brother

I know we don’t talk as often as we should but there’s a lot I have to thank you for, life was pretty tough for us growing up and I often felt like I had to compete with you, because you were so much better than me academically – this created a lot of hidden resentment from me, and it helped to know you didn’t feel like we were competing when I talked about this with you.

There’s a lot you did for me without realising it – my life was near constant chaos, at school, at home, with friends. I had people who were always making me doubt myself. You never did that to me. You never thought I was dumb like other people – you also knew what mistakes I would make before I made them and tried to cushion the blow.

We fought a lot as kids – nearly every day. I understand a lot of this was pent up anger from the constant barrage of bullying, and sensory and emotional pain that I endured through a day. It eventually just stopped at a certain point but I am glad you never took it to mean I hated you.

Thanks for standing up to so many adults in my life who abused me. I was too timid to fight back – I unfortunately internalised a lot of what they said to me. You were defiant toward the ones who really tried to hurt me. When all other adults were unreliable, you were there to protect me – I’m sorry you had to be this person too.

There’s a number of key things you did for me that you might not have realised the significance of but they changed the course of my life. When you told me to read Ender’s Game/Speaker for the Dead I was ready to give up on people, those books allowed me to have compassion for people who I assumed were awful, and made me look deeper than the surface level – it allowed me to challenge my world view, and appreciate that most things exist in grey. I was able to grow out of the bitter person I had become in my late teens to someone who thought they could love again.

You introduced me to a lot of your friends when I didn’t have any, especially when I just became an adult. This made me feel included for the first time in a social setting – I went on to make other friends from this experience, but you pushed me out the door to actually try and socialise. I had a lot to work on mentally, but was given the room to grow because of this action.

You’ve introduced me to a lot of music and helped grow my love of music – I have found so many awesome bands thanks to you. The National are still my favourite – and I’d not have discovered them without you (well maybe until much later – no way to prove this). I saw them many times in concert and love all their music – a rare feat to like everything a band has produced. They are just one of many – but when we were younger, you helped me to find all the music I liked.

Anytime I got down and you heard about it you reached out to make sure I was ok, even if you didn’t know what to say, you just made it known you are there. I know it’s hard having a brother who has a lot of issues, and I may have focused on my own life a little too much when we talked, but it’s because I knew you wanted to listen, most other people would just ignore me, I know I should spend more time asking about your life too.

You have an incredible family, and you are an excellent Dad. You want the best for them, and I can see how much you love them by the way you talk about them to me when we talk. I am really glad you found your wife, and I am happy that you have a life together that is different from what we grew up around – everyone should have that.

Thanks for never doubting me – thanks for getting past my many errors in life, and I am sorry if I hurt you last year when I finally decided life was too much. I have answers now – I am truly happy. I want to be the person you always believed I could be – often when no one else did, even me.

I miss you heaps, COVID-19 sucks, as does a 3 hour flight, and an international border to cross. I am glad you share so much of your family’s life with us regularly, though I don’t feel like I can add much to the conversation, I always appreciate seeing it.

Thank you for everything – it felt like often it was just us vs the world, we had the adults in our life constantly fail us (often without meaning to), and having one person I could count on to actually show up meant I survived longer than I could have without this support.

Love from your brother,

Rory

Daily blog challenge

October is here usually known as ‘ADHD Awareness Month’ – but IMO we ADHDers deserve more than that – we deserve acceptance. We need to be listened to, we need realistic accommodations, and help. We need to start moving toward ADHD Pride Month. People should be able to feel proud of being ADHDers, because the alternative is shame.

For 31 days I will be writing every day on being an ADHDer using this list of prompts:

Published by roryreckons

I am an ADHD/Autism Coach as well as ADHD/Autism/OCD/CPTSD advocate and independent ADHD/Autism researcher. I am an ADHD/Autism Coach who trained through the ADD Coaching Academy. I write mainly about ADHD/Autism/OCD/Mental health issues, but will also discuss morality, abolition, and current affairs occasionally.

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