Ok. Yes, I bought my son a subscription to Marvel Unlimited. He can now read all the comics he wants. It was his 19th birthday present. And since it is Unlimited…(you know where this is going).
Recently, I was getting into the story of the ‘Mutant Registration Act’. A story line where regular people required mutants and ‘Super Humans’ to register themselves. It turned out as you’d expect. almost complete mutant extinction. I could go on about details of what I consider a brilliant concept, but I don’t want to shift my reader base from ADHD to Geek. (A comic blog. I could so get into that…)
But it did get me thinking. Throughout the stories, the heroes kept calling themselves mutants and everyone else humans. It struck me because they’re human too. (Do not bring up Superman here. He’s DC and we’re not going there!)
That’s not an original concept. Gay Rights became a huge deal in 1970 when two men were denied a marriage license. It took a decade before they began to make things happen. But it gained ground. It became Gay vs. everyone else. Or Labor rights, common Worker vs. the rich. Civil rights are any race vs. everyone else. Someone feels trodden upon, they look for their inalienable rights as a human being. But then they go about separating themselves from the world in an effort to show their distinctions and what is being discriminated. However, as soon as they gain traction for their issue, they expand. They seek even more ‘rights’. It goes from “treat me like any other” to “Accept my differences as your definition of normal”. In some cases, they try to pass laws to force us to see them that way. And I can empathize with the basic need for respect. But, what’s normal? Someone who isn’t black? Is straight? Is rich? Isn’t disabled? If you grab a handful of people, won’t you get a mixture of all of that? It seems to me that the more the subject is pushed, the more you’ll be seen as separate from the rest of the world. And, sometimes I think that’s the goal. Some movements actually want to be identified as a separate entity, and then want to be considered above the rules and regulations the rest of us are required to follow. It literally becomes a crusade. People telling people not to see them as people. Like they’re mutants vs. humans. I see it happen with a plethora of issues.
I was reading a recent situation in North Carolina regarding some Anti-gay legislation and was shaking my head. basically, the law now states that any corporation that has a religious objection to sexual preference can deny service. Yep. The ignorant vs. the Angry. It would almost be comical if it wasn’t so exasperatingly stupid. And you know the Gay Community is going to march all over that piece of legislation, which will almost immediately change as quickly as Trump on his policy (pick one. The odds are in favor you’ll get my meaning). I sighed and tried to recall exactly when the the Gay Rights movement escalate to the point of insanity. Then I recognized how it seems to happen like that every time, for every crusade. A group is discriminated and seeks to be treated justly. As soon as they get what they want, someone wants more. And it just escalates out of control. Literally every time. That’s when it hit me.
We just got started. It’s ADHD’s turn.
I know, I know. I really rambled on for a while just to get to this point. ‘When the hell are you going to talk about ADHD dude?’ Well, here it is.
There is no doubt we have our work cut out for us. It’s true, we’re discriminated. We need to educate people that what we have going on is real. (The struggle is real, as my kids would say). Then we need to get them to understand we’re not using it ‘As an excuse’. We have to struggle to be heard, understood and accepted as a very small group with a very big issue. Our struggle starts at home and branches out to our schools and workplaces. It is an affect with every single encounter we have. How many times have you been pulled over for speeding because you just didn’t realize you were?
Us: “I’m sorry officer. you see, I have ADHD.”
Cop: “Of course. sir. It must be rough. Please sign the ticket here….”
How often do you find yourself missing your turn going, well, anywhere, simply because you were distracted by a conversation you were having. Or your cell phone. Or a thought. Or a song. Or…SQUIRREL!! (You get my point…)
How many conversations were you in that you suddenly realized you drifted from the conversation and missed a portion of what they said.
“Oh, I’m so sorry. Could you repeat that last part?”
“The part where you started the story but then that kid riding the bike almost got hit by that truck and then there was this cute little dog that walked past the dry cleaners reminding me I need to drop mine off and still need to go shopping for my nieces birthday and why is that dog walking alone man I hope that kid got where he was going safely I’d love to take a bike ride on the beach….. Yeah. Just start over.”
this used to be a personal issue that we tended to keep to ourselves and the few we trusted not to make our lives miserable every time we do what we do. But it’s becoming more of a topic of professional, educational and, dare I say, political means. We’re getting attention. And in doing so, we’re beginning to expect those around us to take notice and accept the fact that we are here and our struggle is indeed real.
And this is a good thing! I mentioned in a previous post that I was having problems with a manager of a job I had being discriminatory. In the old days (Age jokes will be met with some serious sarcasm. As if that were a threat.) I’d just suck it up and move on. But now I don’t have to do so. According to the law, I’m protected from discrimination from my employer due to my condition. And I can make some serious waves that would definitely be noticed. I wouldn’t be very popular, but I’d be standing my ground.
So let’s say I make waves. I go to HR over and over until something is actually done. I show proof after proof of the treatment until it finally stops (or at least is more bearable). Then what? Maybe I spread the word. Get others to stand up for themselves. Maybe I go to my Facebook page The Gifted (Shameless plug!) and rally my members. Perhaps we are seeing that nothing is really being handled properly. So, we want to take some action. Write letters? Picket? Hold a sit-in? Sure! That’ll get their attention. But wait, we could go even farther and go to our local politicians and demand they do something. Labor board! Fair housing! You think you’ll get to ignore us? We’re a group of ADHD! We can do this all week!! Rally everyone around us! March the streets until we’re heard! STRIKE!!!
Thank God we’re not prone to overacting.
And there’s the point. It escalates to the point where we’re literally ready to go to war. And we run down that path before we really think about it. Of course, being ADHD, that’s expected. But if we took a moment to look ahead a bit, we might see that when we go down that road, we don’t get the sympathetic understanding we seek. We get either angry mobsters ready to go into harpy mode at the flip of their hair, or simply annoyed people looking at us like we’re just being self centered jack asses over a cause they don’t want to even think about. Why should they? Look at what it creates.
My point? (Surprisingly, I have one!) Let’s not go there. Having ADHD means we also have a higher than normal thought process. We’re smarter and more creative than that. Instead of going all passive aggressive on my manager, perhaps I’ll just have a meeting and point out the things she doesn’t see. Give her the benefit of the doubt. And if she’s simply unwilling to ease up, I can hand the situation to someone with more authority to enforce the law. I don’t need to go into a flaming rant because she doesn’t respect me the way she should. To be honest, I really should feel bad for her. She’s missing out. I’m actually a pretty great guy and excellent employee.
Let’s get the word out there. Let’s get ADHD known and seen. But let’s not shove ti down anyone’s throat. I think there’s enough suffering of the disorder by us alone. We don’t need to add victims to our body count.