This is How I am Wired

I read an article recently which described how certain kids are wired and the challenges that they present for their parents.

Back when I was growing up, parents didn’t have the benefit of testing for certain diagnoses and conditions.  So, kids that were different were often shunned and treated like outcasts or outsiders or were disciplined for behaviors over which they had little control.

I think it is so much better for parents to know that their kid is autistic or gifted or has ADD or ADHD or any of the myriad of diagnoses that are better understood today.  It doesn’t make it easier, but it helps them to better parent their children and manage their behaviors.

I was fascinated by part of one list because much of it described me.

Here is the list:

You think differently.
You experience life intensely.
You care about injustice.
You seek meaning.
You appreciate and strive for the exquisite.
You are painfully sensitive.
You are extremely complex.
You cherish integrity.
Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble.

I shared the list with my DSH, and he asked if it was a list that someone wrote to describe me.  What made it even more meaningful to me was that the article discussed that people who fell within this description were wired this way.  Meaning, they weren’t taught to be this way, they just were this way.

I completely get this.  I distinctly remember being a very young child (under 5 years old) and sitting in the back of the car and listening to my parents talk about blacks in racist and bigoted ways and talk about the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements in derogatory fashion.  I do believe that children are taught hate and foul language and bigotry and racism.  But I also think that some people are intrinsically different.  I remember, quite distinctly, at this very young age, thinking that my parents’ comments and opinions just did not seem right or fair.  I had an intrinsic system of what I considered to be right and fair, and it was distinctly different from theirs.  I was wired differently.

I have spent much of my life trying to figure out why other people just don’t get it or just don’t get me.  I have long, rambling conversations with my DSH where I move freely from one topic to the next, and I get frustrated with him for not keeping up with me.  I actually tell him to keep up, keep up.  He has a lot of patience with me and for that I am eternally grateful.

It also means that I am misunderstood.  I think my kids get it because they are a lot like me.  Often we have these long, rambling conversations with each other, and I am the one struggling to keep up, keep up.  But, other, extended family members don’t get me.  Not only do they not get me, they openly attack me.  I understand now that it’s harder for me to let this stuff roll off my back because I am wired this way.

My Irish Twin sister gets me.  She knows that certain injustices, those directed toward women and children, hit me particularly fiercely.  She will actually let me know not to watch certain movies or shows because she knows that I will spend hours and days obsessing over them.

After I read this article, which was really about children, I had an aha moment about myself.  And I decided that I have spent a good portion of my life not only working for others but trying to change for others.

I decided to accept that this is who I am.  I am a good person who does a lot of good things.  This is how I am wired.  I don’t need to change.  I am okay just the way that I am.  If you do not like my passion, the strengths of my beliefs, the way that I think, then it’s too bad.  If I was a bad person who really needed to change, it would be a different story.  But I am not.

I am happy with who I am and what I am doing with my life.  And I’m going to stop apologizing for it, and I’m going to stop trying to change for others.  Because I am really okay just the way that I am.

In fact, now that I understand that I am wired this way, God made me this way, I am very happy with who I am.  Finally.

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