Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Re Writing the Tapes in the Brain

I suffer from terrible intellectual self-esteem for no good reason.

If I had to speculate, I would say it's the effects of years of being the out of the box thinker in the room. I don't know if that kind of thinking is about having ADHD or if it's just unique to my brain...whatever the case, as a kid, I was often told by my totally awesome peers that I was "odd". Oh I had friends, they just all thought I was an oddball.

After a while, when people keep reinforcing for you that you don't think "like them" you start to question yourself.

Doesn't help (and this is where ADHD comes into play) that spontaneous decisions and impulsivity have made my intellectual path less than linear. And I had average grades in high school and terrible grades as an undergrad...that's another story.

But here I am, 34 years old, and in grad school (with a 3.8 thank you very much that I have had to battle every ADHD impulse in my body to achieve) and my department chair wrote to me yesterday and asked me to join a committee to help shape the goals of the department and...she said wanted my "incisive intelligence" on her team.

I cried. Yeah...I did. Was she kissing my ass? I don't know. I don't care. I felt it in my heart and I cried, and the weird little kid in my brain cried too.


  1. "felt it in my heart and I cried, and the weird little kid in my brain cried too."

    Wow, this image really touched me. Thank you.

  2. No doubt, you do have A.D.D.(ADHD). I know... Capt. Obvious again(lol). Anyway, 2 things that caught my attn.(notice I shorten that word)

    Friends noticing you don't think like them, and weird little kid in my's why>>The weird little kid I was, had a weird grownup in his brain. Thats what made me notice way before my peers said they noticed. As early as the 1st grade.

    It's funny(ironic) that I will forget what I did yasterday. But I have vivid memories from that far back. That little kid F***'s with my brain/mind every day.

  3. Thanks Beantown. Truly healing and processing requires setting pride aside, and I had to set aside quite a bit to type that, even thought it's true...I know several of my readers know me in real life, not just as "18 Channels", so I can't hide behind luxurious anonymity. Thus, I'm glad that you found value in that; I genuinely appreciate it.

    Scott: oh yes my attn. (haha!) deficit compatriot, I know what you mean. I was at least 50 at birth. I love your description of your "weird grownup" giving you perspective beyond your years.

    Literally, I was at a college reading level in the 3rd grade...figuratively I just "didn't get" other kids and they "didn't get" me. But my mom summarized it best. One time I said to her "mom, why do other kids tell me I'm weird?". She smiled at me and said "honey, you and your father have the same sense of humor, but he's in his 30s and you're only 10" and then she laughed, and it was a laugh that told me that she thought I was rad. I have seriously always remembered that because it made me feel so good inside. It made me realize that I wasn't bad, I was just different and that in my home, different was appreciated. Awwww.

    Memory: oh yes...I am constantly baffled by the fact that I clearly remember things that happened when I was TWO, but can't remember what I was doing five minutes ago...constant entertainment, the ADHD mind :)

    BTW, do you have your own blog Scott? Love to check it out if so...if not, haha, come back anytime.

  4. Yep,I do, and if you comment, you will be the 2nd person that has. I was almost thinkig about commenting on my blog. But I would confuse me way too much.