EDIT: I do have my son’s permission to share his part of the story. He said I could share, “because it could help someone else.” ❤️ <- Insert all the heart emoji’s.
As most of you know, last year I went through over a year’s worth of intense trauma therapy. Therapy for adoption separation and sexual abuse (The last one being a surprise to me as well.)
Here’s the thing with trauma.
It’s a mask. It’s a costume. It’s like wearing a second skin.
To protect yourself.
You’ve learned survival mechanisms and have upgraded coping skills you didn’t have to purchase unlock codes for.
You live in hypervigilance and you Amy not even know or understand why.
I was discharged from therapy. I was doing great.
But living without holding unto your trauma is like having a brand new sense of self… but also not.
You take off the mask and you can finally breath…
but you have no idea how to function inside this new self without your second skin.
The way you walk, talk, emote, process and function is different.
While it feels strange, it’s actually more yourself than you’ve ever been… but you have to get used to it.
Here’s the thing.
Often times people with mental illness or trauma come through intense therapy or programs and find things hidden underneath that second skin of protection.
Things like another diagnosis.
Today I went back to therapy. Because since being discharged, I haven’t felt right. I haven’t been able to cope or manage. My heightened hypervigilance has waned down as my brain begins to heal and function more nuerotypically post therapy.
And today I collected a new diagnosis. I have adult ADHD. It’s pretty cut and dry. I’ve probably had it my whole life, but my hypervigilance and coping skills covered up the symptoms.
My therapist, with her strengths-based practitioner ways, says I am supposed to be a public speaker.
I say, “what a relief! I thought I was broken!”
Spoiler alert: My Brain is broken… but well… some of you will know what I mean.”
What a relief for my son.
ADHD can be genetic. Duh.
ADHD can be trauma related. Duh.
This is in my son’s window right now.
I thought it is the perfect photo for us today.
Now it’s me and him. He and I.
Apparently this diagnosis explains my inability to comprehend grammer and details.
He and I. Two out of place and time space persons. Longing to fit in but keep collecting letters that make us different.
His whole life I’ve done the hard work so he can have it better. But now he can have a chance to show me how it’s done.
I know a lot of people will say, “Oh! I never would have guess you have ADHD! You don’t look like it. “
No. I don’t.
Because a lot of pain and suffering has covered it up.
A lot of energy and time has been expended only part trying to hide how chaotic I felt inside.
This is why I share this post today.
Because the stigma has to end.
When you say, “I never would have guess you had…”
That’s the stigma talking.
So, this spaceperson is here to destroy your stigma.
Phasers set to stun.
– Your Mental Health Trauma Momma.