Learn to watch your back, ADHDers. You are going to get hurt from time to time.
by Bill Mehlman
Impulse control, or lack thereof, is a primary issue in ADHD.
I'm willing to bet that of all the instances of failure to take measured, as opposed to spontaneous, action, the vast majority would occur in situations where one of us spoke without thinking. The concomitant and abetting dysfunction is that we have difficulties evaluating people, reading their moods, reacting to any changes in body language or diction. Much of what I've read on this aspect of ADHD deals with the damage we do to relationships, professional, social, and familial, by opening our big yaps without considering what's about to come spewing out of them: insults, double entendres, broken confidences, bad advice.
The other side of the coin, which I believe gets less ink, is that our inability to read others leaves us terribly vulnerable to malice. How many of us have found that we've gotten screwed at work by someone we trusted?
And how many of those disasters have been followed by other friends' saying, "You didn't know he was after your job? What do you think he was talking to the boss about all last month? Everyone knew about it." Fine. Why didn't someone tip you off? Maybe, in part, because the treachery seemed so blatant that it never occurred to your buddies that they needed to give you a heads-up.
This is one of my recurring nightmares, by the way. I'm in some kind of business situation, and I'm getting screwed. The boss, or a manager, or a rival is tearing me a new one, and there's NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT. I'm gonna get finessed out of my job/bonus/promotion/self-respect. And whichever creep is doing me in has this pitiless, contemptuous smirk on his puss.
Honestly, this has taken over the bad dream that haunted me for 25 or so years after college: I wake up around 11:00 a.m. and suddenly remember that I have a final exam in... something, and it's going to be given at... sometime, in... some goddamn lecture hall. Guaranteed to have me awaken drenched in sweat, with my sigmoid colon tied in a bowline on a bight.
Forgetfulness. Powerlessness. Victimization. Self-loathing.
Wake up, my brothers and sisters, and learn to watch your backs. You've got ADHD; someone's gonna get his feelings hurt from time to time. Try to be selective — it doesn't always have to be you.