Experience with ADD
offered to pass along what I thought might be helpful, about what
it was like to have ADD. In attempting to review my life,
I began to ponder what exactly had to do with ADD and/or
being from a military family and some attendance at Catholic schools.
my father being an officer in the Army and the teachings of the
church, I was expected to be "perfect." I am old enough
(65) to have been physically punished by both. Fortunately I didn't
"act up" in school very often but I was hit on the hand
with a ruler, which I did, even at the age of 10, object to.
times I tried to make suggestions to the Nuns about how to do something
they seemed to be in a quandary about and was thoroughly and loudly,
verbally dressed down in front of everyone and was quite humiliated.
My ideas were good ones and I didn't understand that you don't correct
the teacher or even appear to be doing it.
I know it is part of boundary setting. During WW II my brother
and I had paper routes to help support our family. It was my responsibility
to get up on time, deliver the papers, fold those heavy Sunday ones,
deal with adult customers and collect money. A lot was expected
of us at an early age.
the war and my father came home from Europe, I had to cook, clean
and take care of my younger sister and older (by 14 mos..) brother.
My mother liked having her own paycheck, after having worked through
the war years, and refused to come home permanently.
11 I knew I was being expected to do what amounted to my "mother's
job." My father was determined that I would learn how to be
a homemaker. He made sure I understood that was what a woman was
to be. I was not allowed to have any kind of outside job, including
babysitting. College was just for finding a man, in his thinking.
course I had to make many decisions on my own so I was used to making
them. Most of the time I did well but then I would "goof"
big time. My mother said I was like the little girl in the nursery
rhyme, "There was a little girl who had a little curl, right
in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good, she was very,
very good and when she was bad, she was horrid."
thing that still puzzles me was when I would knock myself out all
day, trying to perfectly clean the house and did the livingroom
last. They came home and I wasn't finished. They had a fit and
yelled at me for the mess and that I wasn't through. I always felt
stupid for not doing that room first since that was where the front
would they have been just as upset if it had been another room?
They told us a lot how we would never amount to anything and couldn't
do anything right. I knew I wasn't stupid but was very confused
and fearful about what to do and how to do it.
school, if things weren't too bad at home, and I could concentrate,
I took in everything and didn't have to even study. I had an excellent
memory and for detail. Unfortunately a lot of the time I was so
upset that I had to memorize a lot, or thought I did. I wasn't
able to "think on my feet" when I was upset. I spent
a lot of time upset and confused. No one understood my inconsistent
mother used to refer to me as "the responsible one."
There were three of us. I realize now that she really depended on
me and it upset her and the whole family when I "goofed."
I'm sure it rattled her and shattered her sense of confidence in
know if my "boundary" lack of skills was due to having
so much expected of me at such a young age, ADD, or both.
I was a very curious child and could get pretty excited at anything
new, especially ideas. Since I was rather inventive, Thomas Edison
and Thomas Jefferson were two of my idols.
we were literally "beaten" at times, it did keep me somewhat
in line. When I was 13 I decided to go to the movies with a girl
down the street without asking my parent's permission since they
were both drunk. Her mother knew where we were. We went to her
house after the movie and it started to snow.
parents had come to by then and started looking for me. They even
called the girl's house, suspecting I might be there. Her mother
told them I wasn't. I DIDN'T know what to do. When I finally got
up enough courage to go home at one a.m., my father who was out
looking for me, rammed my head into every tree and telephone pole
on the way home. He then threw me into bed.
mother got me up and beat me for several hours with his leather
belt trying to get out of me where I had been. I refused to tell
her and she finally gave up. I think now that I was a victim of
a dysfunctional home. We were all victims. Neither of my parents
ever reached their full potential nor did any of the children. After
that incident, I straightened up somewhat but still felt a failure
because I wasn't more perfect.
learn well how to be a homemaker as far as skills, except the emotional.
I have "mothered" so many children and adults over the
years. I actually had such a poor image of myself I used to say
"the worst bum on the street was better than me". Yet
I KNEW deep within I was actually rather unique and a worthwhile
person. I didn't understand why others couldn't see it.
was I doing that I was considered strange and I had practically
no friends? Of course even If I made a friend, I couldn't bring
them home because I never knew what condition my parents were in.
of my parents have passed away and I know they couldn't help themselves.
They had their own issues that they didn't handle too well. I learned
a lot from my childhood and am grateful for what I am able to apply
to my present life. My husband and I are retired and I am a homemaker
and love it. If I had more confidence and could do it over, I would
have had an outside career, and had a very different life.
book that made me realize I had ADD was: TOTAL CONCENTRATION
by Harold N. Levinson, M.D. IT was like he had stepped inside of
me and written my life story. A light bulb went on in my head.
I could identify with and understand so much of what he described.
next that I could relate to is: A.D.D. AND CREATIVITY by
Lynn Weiss (not sure of last name and can't check it right now).
It showed me I really am unique, curious, creative, worthwhile,
etc. But I do have to learn about boundaries. An example is when
I get excited about an idea and try to share it with someone else,
even after they give all indications that they aren't interested.
still trying to sort out what the issues really are and use my new
found knowledge, to have a less confusing life.
know if this is of any help and I realize I need to put a lot more
down on paper, to help sort it all out. I have forgiven my parents
but found it a little harder to forgive the Nuns. I expected them
in their "perfect" state to know I was a troubled child.
Several teachers did see that something was amiss and tried to talk
to me. Of course I had to be loyal to my parents and say everything
was fine. However I did appreciate the teachers interest in helping
my opinion, teaching coping skills to children and adults is critical.
We don't really know what "normal" expectations and behavior
Note: As a retired English teacher with 24 years in the classroom,
I've long been concerned about ADHD and the powerful drugs so often
prescribed to children and teenagers who have been diagnosed with
the condition. Over the years I saw far too many kids turned into
zombies by the popular ADHD drugs. Consequently, after I left teaching
I wrote a special report entitled How to
Get Your ADHD Child Off Mind-Altering Drugs. In this
report, I detail 20 different natural alternatives to using
Ritalin and other prescribed stimulants for attention deficit
problems. Click here for details about
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