When I was a kid, I knew there was something wrong with me. I didn’t know what it was, but I was sure it was my fault. I was convinced I was just lazy, crazy, and stupid. Amazingly, years later, I would find a book with those exact words as the title. It was about having ADHD as an adult.
I first heard of ADHD when I was in college studying Early Childhood Education. Like most things of my childhood, I buried a lot of the trauma, so it didn’t ring any bells for me at the time. When my nephew was diagnosed with a severe case of ADHD, I remembered what I had learned in college. I then realized I had several kids with ADHD in my daycare.
After I closed my daycare and started working for the local school district, I was diagnosed with having ADHD-inattentive. I didn’t have physical hyperactivity, but it did affect me mentally. Since I was a child, I had trouble sleep, which has been a life-long problem. Learning about ADHD helped to make so many things from my childhood make sense.
Looking back, I realized I created coping skills to deal with the learning problems I had. I couldn’t focus or pay attention unless it were a topic that I had a lot of interest in. The rest of the time, my mind wandered, spending a lot of time daydreaming. For instance, I had a hard time learning the name of colors when I was in the first grade, so I put them in a specific order, which I use to this day, more than 60 years later.
I put dots of each color on the flap of the crayon box; black, red, blue, yellow, white, orange, brown, green, and purple. By seeing those dots of color and putting my crayons away in this order each time, I finally learned them. Plus, it gave me a sense of order.
Shortly after learning I might have ADD, I found an e-mail
group, called ADDwomen, that seemed just right for me.
We were discussing why it is so hard for us to send things
by snail-mail. Off the top of my head, I wrote the following:
“Cuz first we have to find paper or a card, and of course
if we need a card, we have to go to the store, but we
get distracted by reading all of the cards, and we forget
why we are there, so we go home, and then
remember we want to mail a letter, so we start
looking for paper again, and we have to find a pen (for
some reason my family hates when I write in crayon), and
by then we have forgotten what we want to say, so we put
the pen and paper away until inspiration hits us again, and
when it does we forget were we put the paper and
pen, so we decide to type it on the computer…not as
personal but at least it’s getting done….
…..ANNNDDD then we get distracted by one of the kids,
so we save the letter, but when we come back we can’t
remember what directory we saved it to, and spend an
hour looking thru all the files on our hard drive trying
to find it, and give up and try to write another one, but the
first one was so witty and you can’t remember exactly what
…..SSSSOOOOOO, ya just write “hi, how are you, things
are great here, the kids were sick….yadda, yadda, yadda”
Then you have to find an envelope and the only one you
can find is the one that has the address to the power
company that you couldn’t find when you had to mail the
bill that was two months late….
But you use White-Out to cover up the address, so you
can write the new one over it, and then you realize that
you can’t remember the whole address, so you have to
look for the address book…. no, not that one, that one was
from 5 years ago….they’ve moved 3 times since then.
You finally find it…write in the address (with crayon cuz
you can’t find the pen again), look for a stamp, and
realize that you don’t have any, so you have to run down
to post office.
But first you have to get the kids, get their shoes on, get
their coats on, pull the bubble gum out of their hair, and
then resort to cutting it out.
Pile the kids into the car, until the oldest yells that he has
to go potty….
So you go back into the house, let “everyone” go potty,
including the dog, except that he decides to use the side
of your couch.
That done, you get back in the car, and the kids are
fighting over who gets to sit in the front seat. You finally
get to the post office, and the line to the counter is out
the door. So you stand there with your kids, and your
one letter. Letter! Where’s the letter?????
It’s back at home sitting on the bathroom counter where
you left it when the kids had to go potty.
Oh, heck with it. If they want to hear from me….they had
just better get an e-mail!
Does that answer your question? 😉
“You know you’re ADD when you look like you’re on speed, but you’re not,
but you should be, and if you were you wouldn’t look like you were…..
~ From the HADD-IT website
One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
~ A.A. Milne