Taking back the Misnomers

A lot of people are skeptical of the practice of ‘labeling’ that comes with our current view on deficit-based diagnoses of neurodivergent humans. It’s understandable that one would reject a label that describes one personality type when it is described in relation to another personality type, listing what the former lacks in relation to the latter. Fundamentally, this is not respectful of the beautiful diversity that exists – and always has existed – among humans.

The neurodiversity paradigm is an alternative to the medical model of understanding that has been the dominant thinking and largely still is. This alternative view offers a way to talk about the fact that we as humans do function differently from one another – and therefore we need labels that are accurate descriptions of the reality we experience – including how these can be disabling for us in certain situations, while not in others. What it doesn’t say though, is that neurodivergent humans are therefore flawed, broken or somehow out of order.

We are all created differently by Divine design. God doesn’t make any mistakes. I don’t know what your beliefs are, but this is where I am coming from. As well as being autistic – an invisible disability (sometimes, but not always, also a superpower) – I was also born without a left hand. We may interpret this as a mistake, as an unfortunate malformation, and indeed if we look at it from a purely scientific, biologistic perspective – it certainly is! It’s not something I wished for my own kids (it isn’t a genetic thing though) or anyone else, but I believe this is an experience that my soul chose for me in this life journey, as it would strengthen my ability to overcome difficulty. It was the perfect playground for a path towards life mastery, if you will. Other people on a similar life path may be given other types of hardship to overcome, it doesn’t really matter to the soul, the point is to set us up for growth.

I have been working with new labels for us that aren’t coming from the medical model – hence the title “taking back the misnomers”. These are viewed as a theoretical construct, or as archetypes that one can work with, so please don’t come to me asking for any scientific evidence. This doesn’t work like that, and I am not interested in disputing science in any way. I am simply offering a new lens with which we can look upon the world, should we want to. Also, one person can embody more than one of these at the same time, so they aren’t mutually exclusive categories. Although, you’re not going to be all of them, that wouldn’t make any sense. But please understand that this is a theoretical construct that you can use to identify with if it is helpful to you, not a label that I ascribe you with and that you are obliged to be carrying around with you, as if it were a mandatory primary school uniform – ok?

Here we go. The four types are The Farmer, The Fairy, The Hunter and The Shaman.

The Farmer is the typical, neurotypical person. Most people fall under this category. Because most people do, there is naturally a huge variation within this population. This is the type of person who is able to function relatively well in our current society. Even if it may not be the optimal life style for this category of human, a life that is governed by an imposed schedule to follow and hard work in a top down system, it is still manageable. This personality type is able to notice and conform to most social codes in the particular social system they are finding themselves in, whatever that may be.

The Fairy is the highly sensitive, neurotypical person. This is a person who is highly empathic and is able to sense other people, rendering them vulnerable to social situations. They often struggle with the expectations of our current system as it makes them depleted, but they are able to understand most other people’s thinking and ways of being in the world.

The Hunter is the ADHDer who is on a constant discovery of what is behind the next corner of the horizon. They are looking for change, stimulation and excitement and are very reactive to the environment so as to be able to catch the next object of their current interest. This type of person is struggling with making sense of time and is somewhat more prone to addictions compared to the neurotypicals due to having less access to dopamine – by design.

The Shaman is the autistic or bipolar type of human. The have a different sense of space and time and aren’t entirely in this world, but are visiting others spaces as well. This is often experienced as confusing for the person, who has to compensate for their rich – and sometimes chaotic – inner life by striving for control in the outer world. This type of person typically has some kind of disability or something unusual about them that also makes them access something other. This type of person is wired for autonomy and isn’t therefore designed to conform to the ways of the masses, however a society can be set up in ways that are more accommodating of this type of person as well as having a greater appreciation and understanding for the gifts that they bring.

Again – this is just something to play with. I can personally see myself in both the Shaman, Hunter and the Fairy – but not in the Farmer. Others will see themselves in another combination of the types. Take what resonates, and if nothing does, just forgive it and move on with your life.