Back with the Folks: Adult ADHD Is the Career Culprit

The dad’s lecturing aside, it seems I’m unable to conduct a strategic job search from step one to 10. Having attention deficit disorder, I am skipping around like a broken record, instead.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D. | Thursday July 2nd - 12:27pm
Filed Under: ADHD Career Paths
Jane D.

For an ADHDer, a basic job search is as hard as stopping a freight train moving at high speed. Sure I will shoot out a CV here and there, and I’m still teaching at the swim school, but to be honest I have yet to get my act together.

I’m having difficulties conquering the task of applying for a real job with financial stability and healthcare. At times I want to tear out my hair and burst into tears, and then ultimately I feel unlovable when this happens. Who could love or even like someone like me? I wonder.

My latest complaint is that Gotham is not kind to people with ADHD. There is the constant jarring noise of big city life. At night I fall asleep to sirens and awake to them, the subways are a mess of people, here and there and everywhere. I have spacial issues; I feel like I am tackling a jigsaw puzzle every time I try to squeeze myself into a packed subway car. The apartment I share with my roommates is falling apart. Garbage often litters the entrance, the occasional roach surfaces, and the sink is stacked with dishes encrusted with last week’s meals.

In a bit of rage and, perhaps, depression, I went home yesterday to the father and stepmother. Over breakfast the father said that there are things I must change. I need to move appointments ahead by 15 minutes in my planner, in case I’m running behind, I need to speak slower, and I need to learn to negotiate with people and men, versus taking the "yes" or "no" approach.

I said that I was trying, but it is twice as hard for people with ADHD. He compared my situation to that of a fat person. It is hard to lose weight but people do it. I said I'd rather be fat than live with ADHD. I can’t get rid of the latter—it is chronic and its impact has prevented me from having successful relationships and a career. It is a lifelong albatross.

Once again I felt like I was talking to a rock or speaking a language that no one understands. The father exploded and said, if I have that attitude then I should marry a wealthy man, do very little in my life, and get a maid.

"I won't be around forever," he said, tears of frustration in his eyes. He later apologized and said that tackling ADHD was as frustrating and complex as smoking out bin Laden. The enemy is invisible but always in the backdrop.

He shifted the topic into what he thought was a more constructive one. If there were an issue with my doing the dishes, I should just use disposable utensils and plates. Fine, I said. He didn't even seem to understand that this time I was not the culprit.

And that is what living with ADHD feels like at times, always being the scapegoat and having to say, "You're right, let me try harder next time."

 

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