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Re: In a spin.

Re: In a spin.2010-11-23T02:44:14+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace Struggling In a spin. Re: In a spin.


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I’m going to be 56 in January and I still don’t know what I’m going to be when I grow up. I joke about it with others, sometimes, however, I’m just as baffled as I always was. I keep looking ahead thinking there’s going to be a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end of it, and my name on it so I don’t have to worry about finances or my poor spending skills.

To give you some background, my teenage son was diagnosed with ADHD three years ago and from that I wondered if I might be ADHD too. It was about a year ago that I asked my G.P. to refer me to a phsychiatrist so I could be tested. The specialist that diagnosed me said that it often runs in families (genetics, I guess), and I he put me on some medication to help me focus as well as to control my up and down mood swings.

My son struggles with focusing on academics at school and has an Individual Education Plan that supports his needs. He has more time to take tests, can have someone take notes for him as he has trouble writing fast enough to keep up to the teacher, and his marks are based on his ability rather than the standard norms.

Oppositely, when I was in public school it seemed simple to me and I actually skipped Grade 3. I took piano lessons up to Grade 8 Conservatory of Music and got my Grade 2 Theory in music at the same time. I was also very artistic and when I was in Grade 1, I competed in a drawing contest of Grades 1 to 5 with much larger schools participating. I came in first and received a Silver Dollar which I thought was really something. I also used to write poems up until high school when I seemed to fall apart.

By the time I got to high school, I guess my hormones kicked in and I couldn’t be bothered with school as I didn’t have much interest in it anyway. I joined every sport I could think of to get rid of my pent-up energy – volleyball, basketball, badminton, gymnastics, curling, golfing, track and field, you name it. Also, I joined the cheerleading squad so I could go with the boys’ teams to their tournaments. All in all, I was probably only in school a total of 3 days a week and my marks were barely a pass.

My father is a professional, his father was, and his grandfather as well so, needless to say, he wasn’t very impressed with me when I wasn’t living up to those high standards. Also, I was the oldest in the family so I had a double dose of his expectations for me to prove myself. He was always criticizing me negatively to push me to excel as this was how he was raised. I remember one time in particular, when I got 80% on a Math test which I actually studied for, Dad’s response was, if you got 80, why didn’t you get 100. It was at that time I decided that I would do exactly the opposite of what he wanted me to do so I felt like I was the one making the decisions for me, not him. My self-esteem was at an all-time low but I was determined not to let anyone see that.

It was also at that time that I realized that I had somewhat of a short-term photographic memory which I could use to study for tests. Whenever I had to write an exam, I would look over the work the night before, or a couple of hours before, highlight different sentences or paragraphs with markers so I would remember what the page looked like. (There was no sense studying for weeks like my peers because I couldn’t retain anything that long – especially if I wasn’t interested in it.) Then I would go into the examination room, shut my eyes and pray that I would remcall something while I quietly panicked over the questions I’d just read.

After the exam, all of my friends would ask me what I answered for this question or that and I honestly couldn’t remember either the questions or the answers I gave. I figured I’d gotten over the hurdle and it was on to the next. I used to have one repeated nightmare, up until a few years ago, that if high school had gone to Grade 15 that I surely would have failed because I didn’t learn or retain anything along the way.

Sorry for being long-winded. Do you know how long it took me to figure out what I should write? I hope it helps someone.