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What It's Like to Have Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced domestic violence, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline online by selecting “chat now” or calling 1-800-799-7233.

I will not be punished.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is often seen as a childhood disorder but in my case, I’m still defiant at 50 years old. I have been my whole life. I am a rebel spirit. I am an indomitable soul.

I did not steal. I did not want to control people. I was not cruel to animals. I was not out to start fights or hurt people. That’s not to say I wasn’t in them.

As a kid, I was always angry. I was always irritable and argumentative. I have never even as an adult respected authority.

I bow to no man.

As a kid in school, if I was going to get punished, I’d have a fit or a meltdown. If it was a choice between having to do something or getting swats with the school paddle, I took the swats every time.

I would not stay anywhere. I would not stay in my room at home. I would not stay at my desk or in the corner at school. I just didn’t care. If that meant swats, that’s what it meant.

I ran off when I pleased. That was usually when I was overstimulated. I would take off to the woods for the day. I was going to get swat when I got home or back to school, I still didn’t care.

I would just take them. I might cry and bawl. They might really hurt. It wasn’t that long I didn’t bawl about them. Eventually getting swats became what I had to do to do the things I wanted to do.

If a teacher, a student, or anybody got in my face, I got in theirs. I never backed down. Even if the other kid was a better fighter than me. I got beat up a great number of times doing that.

Not only did I get in a lot of fights. I got blamed for so many fights that I didn’t do. There weren’t very many fights at school that weren’t my fault even if I wasn’t on that side of the school.

I was always happy to see the teachers be foolish. I would giggle or smile. They knew what it meant. A lot of times I got slapped.

I continued getting swats throughout 7th and 8th grade but once high school came, the swats were over. I was simply too big for them to give me swats.

In high school they fought with me. I didn’t cause them trouble. They let me come and go as I pleased, I only lived I half a block from the school. So it became all on me, if I was going to pass or fail. They beat me in my own game. Damn it.

After I became a fourth degree Knight of Columbus I went in the seminary. It was September 1992. The seminary was a formation like the army with discipline. They didn’t like me. Other students got picked on equally in other classes. I was the only one got picked on my classes. That showed me that they clearly didn’t want me there.

In the seminary there are vows, poverty, chastity, and obedience. I hadn’t had very much money so that was no big deal. Same with sex. Obedience, that was a problem.

I could not give my word to God that I would do what another man said. Let alone one of them. I was gone in less than a month.

I started getting jobs in restaurants and stores. When I was going to get punished, I’d walk out. I never once got fired from a job in my life. I always told them where to stick it.

The best one was when a boss said, “it’s my way or the highway.”

I said, “it is are nice sunny day outside.”

He couldn’t believe it 1as I walked out the door. He started to follow me. I told him where he could go.

It was a nice sunny day outside too. I went for a drive on down through the national forest. Felt go good.

I went through like 15 jobs in five years and I didn’t have employment necessarily half the of each year. I was not afraid to tell them where to stick those jobs. I don’t care. I could get another one. I was looking for a job when I got those.

I got a job at an internet service provider. I did such good work for them that they let me come back multiple times after telling them where to stick their job.

Finally a television network called me and asked me to be their system administrator because they were tired of having to call me.

I had some major fits there. I think I’m the only person ever got away with having a major fit outside the studio. I told him where they all could go. Then I had a temper tantrum like a little 12-year-old. I made them so much money, wrote so much software, and technical manuals, they let me come back every time.

I got in all kinds of arguments with other employees when they tried to tell me what to do or assert their authority. Some of those were fits. I got a lot of trouble. The other employees had figured out that all they had to do was assert their authority. I’d have a fit or would walk out the door. So I lost every argument and got in trouble every time.

Even during my 12 step program I had some fits. Especially during some training weekends, program team meetings, employee meetings, and more.

Even here this last year at the mighty I’ve had some fits.

I still don’t like authority to this day. I don’t think I ever will. I’m better at handling it then I ever had been but that’s not the say I handle it well. At least I’ve gotten a little smarter. I don’t know that I can say much more than that.

For all being embarrassment I have caused myself by not submitting, by not giving in, by not bowing, I have done some great things for others by sharing my indomitable spirit.

When I have talked to suicidal people not only have I given them a great amount of attention but they also receive my defiance. When they have been wronged by doctors. They know that I truly mean what I say. When they have been wronged by therapist they know that I am not lying.When they have been in the hospital they know that I mean what I say when I say, “Well F…Them!”

They know that I am defying what happened to them. I am not trying to get them to submit and give into the system. I am not trying to make them bow to the doctor. I’m opposed to the wrongs that have been done to them.

I am now more than ever proud to say that I am an Oppositional Defiant.

I will do everything I can to help you do the same.

Originally published: December 13, 2022
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