Hi! I’ll just join the choir here: yup I completely understand the anger and frustration. When it comes to family, it’s not so easy to let things like that slide and put it down to sheer ignorance and the person not really knowing you.
It’s your brother, presumably he has a significant amount of experience about you, how you are and how you behave. And for him to suggest it’s basically all in your head and you’re just buying into these excuses to feel better about yourself is just really and truly hurtful.
Also, at least for me, the screwed up side of these situations is, every time these thoughtless comments are made, doesn’t it just make you go through the doubting yourself all over again just a little bit? I was diagnosed as an adult, when I was 37, so I had a whole bunch of life that I spent thinking I’m lazy and blah blah, the usual rigmarole. And getting the diagnosis was a relief and also it gave me permission to start liking myself. All this is stuff that we all here in this forum know. But then someone comes and says yeah, you know, that’s a fake reality, fashionable diagnosis, kids being made into zombies because we can’t handle them being kids, grown ups just being lazy and here’s their excuse…
Here’s the thing. Your brother may continue to refuse to understand that when it comes to what it feels like to be YOU and live inside YOUR head, it really is YOU who knows better than him. And as disappointing as that is, and even if he says things in a very assertive way, he is just plain wrong here. And sometimes people who we think are really good people, and who important to us, end up saying the most thoughtless things.
A good friend of mine is a kinder garden teacher, and one time we were having a conversation about my ADHD was the last time I’m talking about that stuff with her. Because what she said was it’s not that she doesn’t believe the condition exists, she knows very well that it exists, but (after twenty years of knowing me and being one of my closest friends all that time) she doesn’t quite see why I need to say I have it. And she even said (because of course she didn’t mean anything bad by any of this) that she didn’t mean to “diss” my experience or anything, BUT…
Dot dot dot.
So… I guess this stuff will happen, on and off. It’s a good thing we have this forum!!