imposter

i have never been professionally diagnosed with ADHD, but there is no doubt in my mind that i am diagnosable. since i didn’t discover my neurodivergence until i was well into adulthood, i developed a fortress of coping mechanisms and skills. i really like my chaotic brain and hyperfocus is a superpower. since i don’t feel like i need to be medicated, i’ll likely remain undiagnosed forever. and that’s fine.

i do like to learn about ADHD on social media, though. i love that moment on ADHD tiktok or twitter when someone’s like “here’s a weird thing about ADHD…” and i’m like “holy shit: IT ME!” i don’t need excuses for how i am, but i do enjoy a good explanation. i can be more gentle and understanding with myself when i can justify a behavior that feels completely normal to me, but isn’t necessarily socially acceptable or compatible with my reputation. for example, i was always good at math in school. it was easy, but boring. and so, even though i made it through calculus, i still count on my fingers. my brain rejected math as uninteresting and cleared space for more interesting things. i may count on my fingers, but you want me on your trivia team. i’m a wealth of esoteric information and i’m incredibly good at figuring out things that i don’t know outright using context. somewhere in my capacious brain that dumped math for actually interesting things, i have hints. i’m a champion educated-guesser.

so, there are lots of things about ADHD that i really dig. the more i realize that i really do love myself, the more i start to love my quirks and oddities, even the ones that people generally sneer at, like my dependence on my smart watch to keep me organized from carb to pan or the fact that i get absolutely everywhere at least fifteen minutes early. these are good dopamine hits; sneerers can bite me.

obviously, there are things about ADHD that i really don’t dig, too. rejection sensitive dysphoria is a big one. because i’ve been criticized my whole life for neurodivergent behaviors, i see criticism where there is none and do lots of self-criticism, too. lots of self doubt, lots of need for positive reinforcement. my attention to detail is pathological because i’m so worried that people will find a mistake and tell me that i’m lazy or easily distracted or any of a number of other things that were written in all caps on my report cards all through school. every failure, real or perceived, is an opportunity for rejection, real or perceived.

worse than RSD, though, is imposter syndrome. i’ve been noticing imposter syndrome a lot lately. it seems to be working hard right now to be noticed, jumping up and down and making a big noise. i see it so plainly in myself and i’ve started to see it in other people. it’s in the apologies i make to the people who visit my lavish gardens, because my massive, perpetually growing and changing garden isn’t perfect. it’s in the constant bargaining i do with myself on my morning runs, to do more than my body can manage while my body screams surrender. it’s in my obsessive checking of stats and hits and ratios online. it’s in my not asking for a modest raise after four years of work because i’m so grateful that my contract is being renewed at all. it’s in the sad words of a friend who told me they don’t deserve to be cared for. i see imposters everywhere lately. i am haunted by them.

and then, i had two separate people, in two unsolicited, uncharacteristic, and unrelated ways on the same day, kick my imposter syndrome right in the groin and send it crawling away, for a little while at least. justified violence done unto my enemy made me stop and think and to finally digest some things that my dearest friends have been saying to me for years, things that my imposter syndrome had taken out to the water barrel and drowned over and over again.

here is my point: i have begun to write. not on social media or here on the gumboot gumshoe. i love both, but i’ve been pining to get down a whole, entire book since i was old enough to read one and it’s long past time for me to begin. i started rough outlines last night of thoughts, observations, and rural memoirs very much in the vein of the gumboot gumshoe.

so, if you like it here, i have good news and bad news: the bad news is that i will likely be taking a hiatus from wordpress so that i’m not cannibalizing myself. the good news is that there will be a whole bunch of brand new essays and verse all in one fell swoop at some point in the future.

hopefully. (did you hear that? that was my imposter syndrome. it can go eat a bag of dicks.)

One thought on “imposter

  1. As a fellow-ADHDer, I resonate strongly with your thoughts about RSD, perfectionism & the rest. Keep dealing those body blows to imposter syndrome. Your eloquent observations deserve to be shared with a much wider audience, & I so look forward to reading your finished book!
    Also? Your pics of those resplendent gardens are a true oasis on the bird site-I can only imagine how exquisite they are in person. Natural things are perpetually changing. There are no imperfections to apologize for, only the myriad movements & seasons of living things.

    Like

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