Physically challenged vs mentally challenged
I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between a physical challenge or impairment and a mental challenge or impairment. I think a lot of us nons keep holding onto hope because we are told that ADHD is possibly the most manageable brain disorder or mental challenge whatever you want to call it. I think that is the thing that keeps us in such denial that our spouses will get the help they need because we know they can, we know it works, we know it would help. Does that mean we expect them to be 100% functional like a person who does not have an ADHD brain? No I don’t believe that. I believe that us nons are willing to walk this road as though we were walking with a blind person and we are they’re seeing eye dog or cane. They are taking the steps to get from point A to point B and we’re just coming along side to HELP not actually carry them.
So I was thinking about a person who loses a leg for example they have a choice that only they can make and that choice is to sit in a chair the rest of their life and not try to function even at an 80% capacity or they have a choice to seek medical professionals who can make them a prosthetic leg. They will have to do the hard work of learning how to use it, they will have to do the hard work of the pain that’s involved. The bruising the blistering the soreness the aggravation but they can push through that to the other side. The person with ADHD has many tools, there’s medications there’s cognitive behavioral therapy there’s mindfulness training there’s reminders and sticky notes and lists and deadlines and clocks and timers there’s ADHD life coaches and psychiatrists and counselors BUT only they can choose to go through the painful parts to push through to become a person who can function in this world with Minimal chaos and the only way for them to stop pulling everybody else down into their chaos with them is to either take the steps or lose those closest to them. That is literally THEIR choice and not one of us can make that choice for them. We cannot carry them.
I’m reminded of a story in the Bible when Jesus was telling his disciples to go into all the cities and preach the good news and he told them if you go into a city and you assess it and the people there don’t listen to you shake the dust off your feet and move onto the next. I heard a sermon about this and the pastor was talking about what does that dust represent because in those days every road in every city was dusty. He used the analogy that the dust is like rejection it’s going to get on you and rejection hurts the soul in a way that other things do not. Its a deep deep hurt that turns into hard heartedness anger and bitterness and can make you not want to reach out and help people anymore. So he is saying that bitterness is going to get on you that rejection is going to get on you but don’t let it stay. He’s also saying If they don’t want your help MoveOn it doesn’t say unless of course it’s a spouse interesting! He was saying that some people take your help as trying to hurt them some people take your counsel as controlling them. This is what happens with ADHD spouses who do not take full responsibility for the treatment of their disability. I know it sucks! I know it’s not fair! I know it seems like a crappy hand dealt to you! But lots of things in life aren’t fair!!!
I’m also reminded of the scripture where Jesus says behold I stand at the door and knock and anyone who opens the door and lets me in I will sup with them. To me that is a picture of intimacy I want to come in to your home I want to share a meal and food and sustenance with you that’s a form of intimacy but guess what there is no intimacy if the door is not open and you’re not let in.
So my take away in this is that those of us that continue to carry our spouse take the blame the deflection the emotional rejection pick up all the pieces handle everything we are in just as much denial and we are killing ourselves for someone who doesn’t want the help.