ADHD: The Good and the Bad

By: Dotti 

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.

  1. Reply

    Heather, Thank you! I am A.D.D. ADULT. Never found out untill my early 40s . I took a med for this and it was not a stimulant it worked. I took it while learning behavior modification then 5 yrs I stopped meds and have been doing ok. I now am 58 yrs old and have just realizedabout six months ago, I had been emotionally neglected and emotionally abused by my mom. I know exactly what your speaking of because I have now answers to things that most dont feel like i do in me and my mind. That was not just the A.D.D. causing some things. Just resentaly i got in a group for adult children who share so much of the things as I have and do. I thought i was just a bad kid but never really found me to be the bad kid or in trouble at all. I looked at me for 50 yrs. Thinking i was missing what i was told i was or treated as some girl that didnt see what my mom said i was. I never found it to be my mom that wouldnt tell me what was untrue right? yes it’s true. My A.D.D was only a small peice of the puzzle. Now just to read and share with others who have been emotionally neglected and or abused has now gave me a answer to things that never would have been answered if I only stopped learning with the skills of living life with my A.D.D. I hold no hate or anger with my mom. I just find it confusing 50 plus yrs. Later just as I did when young. The sad thing is I have a mom who I now know has her issues that were tossed to me. Now I only need to do what is healthy for me. I cut off the relationship knowing she probably will b mentally sick but it’s her denial and toxic ways that pray she can only change her and I jyst have to move on now as best as I know how. One thing out of this mom and daughter thing is I will love her but now I love me best finally. Thank you again for your bringing this to the front. Needs to be looked at and known as a real deal that can be disabling if it’s allowed to be ignored. I know. I’m one of many with more than most just see as A.D.D. xoxo

  2. Reply

    Dotti
    The world is full of hurt and bullies mostly it’s their ignorance or fear of anything society stereotypes as “different”. Challenging social attitudes and making change takes years . Despite legislation to address discrimination it exisists everywhere and not only covertly . Find one friend or two – that’s all you need . Maybe they will stay for a long time or maybe just help in your journey for a while . You are amazing woman to have come this far . Keep going and thanks for sharing your story .

      • Dotti
      • February 27, 2019
      Reply

      Hi katry, thank you! Your comment makes me pout LOL much love xoxo

    • Heather
    • January 23, 2019
    Reply

    Dotti,
    At the risk of offering unwanted advice, let me suggest that you look into something called Childhood Emotional Neglect. What you’ve described sounds like a pattern of childhood abuse and neglect that often causes the same symptoms as the ADHD that requires a stimulant for treatment, but which isn’t cured by stimulants. Instead, stimulants worsen the symptoms. You could also be very vulnerable to PTSD, if you don’t already have it. Look into it. I have a feeling you’ll be glad you did.

    • Reply

      There’s not enough information here to arrive at ptsd.

      I was misdiagnosed many years ago with ptsd. A psychologist years ago projected her maternal needs onto me and diagnosed me with ptsd. But did you know women with ADHD are at least twice most likely to be misdiagnosed with PTSD? I was one of them and you just made my point.

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