I don’t want sympathy. I just want to share my perspective about ADHD. I’m 32 and I have two amazing little girls. They love their wonderful papa and gorgeous grandma, bless their hearts.
I’m currently doing a degree in nursing. I have ADHD combined-type. I hate the city and urban life. I feel overwhelmed from information overload. And I feel the stares and emotional rejection. Needless to say, I find the world exhausting.
From pre-school to the start of high school, I never kept a single friendship for more than a couple weeks. I was considered weird and different. I was ALWAYS teased. Any new kid that chatted with me was quickly warned away. They soon turned against me and joined in the regular mocking.
I hung out with my younger brother and our cousins, mostly boys. I always unknowingly upset my female cousins. I got along fine with the boys, aside from the occasional fist fight!
My older brother and I were notorious for our fights. He was overbearing, arrogant and stubborn. But I never ever gave into his demands. I was more stubborn, hence the fights. My dad used to say, before he’d leave the house “Please don’t start the second Vietnam War!” It still makes me laugh.
My mum often beat me as I was growing up. I still have no clue why. But I learned to brace myself for the painful impact, trying to stifle my involuntary screams. On the other hand, my dad never mistreated me. He never made me uncomfortable. He was my rock. My parents divorced, (THANK GOD – not kidding!) in my primary school years.
My dad met my step-mum when I was 13 years old. The best timing for my dad, right? My step-mum taught me just enough basic social etiquette to maintain friendships at school. These friends were rarely close enough to bring home, though I did occasionally attend church with one of them.
I had no experience with a “normal” a mother-daughter relationship. So, when my dad remarried, I refused to accept her as my “mum.” My dad openly demanded I call her “Mum”, and after protests and fights, I would force the words out. Thankfully, some friends at high school told me I didn’t actually have to call her that, so I stopped. Finally, SOMEONE validated my feelings! My dad questioned me, but instead of justifying myself, I argued right back. Finally, he understood I was taking a stand and defying him, and he chose to remain silent as he looked away.
In high school, I was often bullied. I often cried due to the stress but with the support of my friends, I was very resilient. There wasn’t really much choice. I once reported the bullying and cried when I got home. My dad and step-mum were upset and took me with them to see the principal the next morning. The principal convinced my parents to dismiss the issue! They wouldn’t take me seriously! Me against the principal? Come on. But that’s the story of my life! I’m sure plenty of you can relate.
I’m rarely taken seriously. But we ADHDers only need the support of a few people. I’m lucky one of the people who believes in me is a coordinator at my unit in nursing school.
I’m just like every other ADHDer out there… men women and kids. We’ve all gone through a lot. Most of us STILL go through TONS of struggles in many different areas of our lives. HEAPS more than non-ADHDers. We are no strangers to adversity! But that’s what makes us GREAT leaders when we discover our passion.