Friday, June 12, 2015
I never really stopped to think about it too much, but no one in my family has ever suffered from mental illness.....we rather enjoy it. You see I grew up in an environment where normal was a relative term. The Gutshall (Germanic word meaning one mother many fathers) clan has a rich tradition of "peculiar" people and habits. They hail from deep in the heart of the remote Allegheny Mountains (insert your hillbilly joke here). None of them knew they were strange because there were so precious few other folks up in those hollers to compare themselves to. Anyhow, you take a fellow of such rich heritage (my Dad) and allow him to cross bloodlines with a North Florida Parker girl of royal Cracker heritage...and you get me and my sisters. Now, it's clear somebody outta be in jail for allowing that to happen. The introduction of Parker (Note...Parker is a Latin term meaning head full of spiders) blood into the Gutshall line created a toxic spew of "special" people. Complicating the Parker issue is the fact that their bloodlines had been invaded a generation earlier by the introduction of the Grubbs (old Dutch word meaning tall tree with no branches) gene....which all resulting in a wild alphabet soup brew of DNA. I submitted my own DNA sample once just for fun...after six months the reply I got back in the mail was "We give up". If I felt like taking the time to construct four additional pages of text, I'd tell you about my wife's side of the family....but I digress. Well, as informational as all that was....it's not what I'm inspired to write about today. Actually I shared all of that background to prove my unique qualification to opine on the controversial topic of ADD / ADHD. I posted a quick bait on Facebook earlier this week just to test the water and boy were the fish biting. Following PERSONAL observations through 3+ decades of professional interaction with tens of thousands of disturbed children (and three of my own); I have come to the conclusion that ADD (later modified to ADHD) is most often a parental failure rather than some ailment a child is born with. As my bride is fond of saying "You aint A.D.D., you is B.A.D."......We don't get a pass on parenting when we get tired and we shouldn't give our children a pass on their behavior when it's poor. Our entire society has evolved into this gangrenous attitude of total social entitlement and absolutely no sense of responsibility. We have parents denying responsibility raising kids with no accountability. There are more kids growing up without a Dad that with one.....and before you even think it, sperm contribution no more makes you a dad than standing in the airport makes you an airplane. My Dad had his faults, but he was there. My sisters and I all have emotional and mental challenges......but they are just that... CHALLENGES! Something to be overcome, not to be excused. Our inherited limitations forced us to adapt in some other fashion in order to thrive, to survive. Looking back, my Mom and Dad didn't do a very good job of parenting, but they were NOT enablers, and they never quit. My kids too have had their challenges......all three are crazy as a runover dog. Considering the gene pool they waded out of, how could they be any other way? But they thrived. They thrived because there were no excuses....you pay the price for your actions or inactions. You do it, you live it. You say it, you own it....that's your ugly baby and you can't give it back. No medication, no sympathy. And today, NO REGRETS. All three have grown up to take control of themselves, their lives and their circumstances.... There's no blaming Mom, Dad, Chance, God or the environment. All learned to recognize the fact that decisions dictate our circumstances. They get it. They're not victims....they're overcomers and high achievers.....They're ours. There's no way any of this is meant to take away from the fact that a precious few kids do have a genuine case for a condition described as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder...but I guaranteebobtail you it ain't 11% of the population. Big Pharma, Big Money, Big Bull. There's a whole lotta pills being sold to cover up the guilt and kids being unnecessarily drugged for some mindless corporation to make billions...That's the cowards way out. I'll take my wife's opinion here.....ADHD? Not likely.... BAD, yes.