With Good Intentions
Wanting and trying desperately to do the right thing, whatever that is
I’ve always tried to do the right thing.
It’s not easy, especially when your brain seems to work differently than most people around you. It seems I often get in my own way, and then someone tells me I’m getting in my own way, which just making things worse.
I’ll have great plans in my head for doing something brilliant and wonderful and worthy of love. But then I forget to remember to do something important at the time that it matters. Or I miss a small detail that makes the entire effort moot. Even when I think I’ve gotten everything right, sometimes it turns out that I’ve misread a social cue or missed out on another crucial piece of “common sense” that thwarts my efforts.
Honestly, I think I would be okay with this if it wasn’t for the way people interpret the results.
Rather than any sort of charitable level of understanding, I’ve gotten a lifetime of looks that say “what’s wrong with you?” and “what were you thinking?”
My good intentions sabotaged, and I get labelled as difficult and a troublemaker. Names that imply action taken with bad intentions.
I don’t mean to just wallow in negative feelings—I’m just honestly kind of unsure what to do with them. How many more kids have to hear so many negative messages (up to 20,000 more negative messages than their peers by age of ten according to an estimate by Harvard professor Michael S. Jellinek), when none of it is their fault? When they’re trying to do the right thing? When they have good intentions?
One of the greatest gifts you can give someone with ADHD is assuming that their intentions and their motives are pure.
Jesse J. Anderson
P.S. I’m planning to do another reader Q&A in the near future! They’ve been a lot of fun so far. While obviously the primary focus will be about ADHD, feel free to ask me about other topics as well: the book-writing process, parenting, substack, productivity tools, movies, content creation, hobbies, video games, etc. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer, send them to me here.
I’m experimenting with a new section, Shiny Objects, where I’ll share links to a few fun distractions (books, tv shows, articles, music, etc) going on in my world outside of my main writings on ADHD.
This is a feature for paid supporters—thank you for your support!
Things that grabbed my attention this week