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Should I love my mother…or hate her?

Should I love my mother…or hate her?2010-12-11T17:42:59+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! No One Believes Me Should I love my mother…or hate her?

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  • #88760

    Post count: 14413

    Recently diagnosed with adult ADD. I’m 47, male, married for the first time 1.5 years ago to a very understanding lady. Taking Ritalin.

    I decided to tell my 82 year old mother of the diagnoses today. i explained the personality traits of someone with Adult ADD. (BTW I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters). I mentioned some of the traits and she told me how my father exibited these as well. I then mentioned how I see some of these traits in my siblings, giving her specific examples. That’s when she became defensive and started saying it was a bunch of bull and refuses to see ADD in anybody but me.

    Maybe it’s that it is easy for her to see it in me since I guess I’ve been a total failure my entire life while most of my siblings have been overachievers. Maybe it is what I always thought that she had her favorites and chooses to defend them.

    I left her house saddened that it couldn’t have been a civil conversation. She never was a affectionate mother or very supportive. I remember being told to ‘buckle down’, to ‘stop being lazy’, that ‘college isn’t for everybody’.With my past I guess I can understand why. If I ever needed money she would lend it to me but I had to endure the loud, mad lecture before it was all done. Other times she flat said no but I still received the loud mad lecture.

    I wish she could be more supportive but at this point I doubt she is capable of being so. i wish I had stayed home this morning.

    Sorry for the rambling post.


    Post count: 140


    I’m so sorry. It’s an incredibly crappy feeling walking away from a discussion that has turned round on you like that. I think it’s clear your mother has a perspective that won’t allow for any information to be introduced that jeopardizes what she regards as her successes. Your having ADD probably helps her feel she’s off the hook where your difficulties (and her lack of moral support) are concerned.

    Look, you tried. Please don’t beat yourself up over this. So many of us have been there, and it’s like being momentarily knocked right back down again after all the progress one has made and all the new hope one has found. Personally, I want to congratulate you for making it to where you are despite having undiagnosed ADD for all that time AND an unsympathetic mom. Your wife sounds more like the kind of person you deserve to have in your corner.


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    @Deucedog, remember too, that your mother comes from a generation in which any sort of mental illness was a HUGE shame for the entire family.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a piece on CBS’ “Sunday Morning”, about a man who finally found his sister, Molly, who had completely disappeared when she was just a toddler. As a child, whenever he’d asked his parents, “What happened to Molly?”, they made it very clear that Molly was gone, and he must forget she ever existed. He blocked her from his mind, until he was reunited with a very close friend from his childhood, who asked him if he’d ever found Molly. That re-kindled the vague memories, and he asked his parents again, “What happened to Molly?” They refused to talk about her, and it wasn’t until they’d died that he was able to search for her, and find the sister he’d lost over 50 years ago.

    He discovered that she had been born with Down’s Syndrome, and has been living in institutions since she was a toddler, because that was what was standard practice back then. He even found a 1950s-era documentary, intended to show the world the lovely, happy conditions (which we now regard as inhumane) which existed in the then-state-of-the-art facility in which Molly lived. And there, in the film, was little Molly.

    There are millions of others like Molly, institutionalized for their entire lives, because, back then, it was believed that you should send them away and forget about them, in order to protect the rest of the family from the shame. All those people, just discarded, when, if they’d had proper care, they could have accomplished so much.

    I’ve even heard of a case of someone spending his life in an institution because he was diagnosed as “retarded” in childhood, only to recently discover that he had a near-genius IQ, but was hampered by ADHD.

    So your mother’s anger and rejection of your theory about your siblings is a product of her time. Having one child who is “crazy” is bad enough. Suddenly discovering that all of them might have a little “crazy” in them is way too much for her to handle at once. She may eventually come around to at least consider it, but that’s up to her. If she doesn’t, well, that’s her problem, not yours.


    Post count: 58

    @Deucedog: You’re not alone. You can give people information; you can make them think. These issues are hard and dealing with parents–especially elderly parents–is even harder. At times like these, I recall a phrase which I’m told is from AA: “Keep what you like and leave the rest.”

    As for whether you should hate or love your mother, can you do both? (And, yes, I do. Sadly, I suspect if my kids are honest, one day they’ll do the same…they’re human.)



    Post count: 913

    forgive her for she knows not what she does………..

    My wife grew up in a “home” where her mother came right out and said she didn’t like her. She was born with “deformed” arms and hands.

    Even her aunts and uncles could not believe what was going on and to this day, remember and talk about it.


    Post count: 14413

    I Love my mother, I just wish she was more open to things. But, I’ve screwed up enough in the past for her to be skeptical.


    Post count: 14413

    I guess I must be very fortunate. I have the most open-minded mother there is. I called her up a couple of weeks ago and I told her all about my ADD, what I learned about it and how it affected my life, and she was thrilled! And a couple of days ago she watched the Totally ADD show on PBS, and she had to call me and discuss it with me. She told me that it brought back a lot of memories of when I was a child, and how ADD affected me back then. We talked until the battery on the cordless phone died!

    I’m lucky to have a mother like her. She’s 79, in good health except for a couple of bum knees, loves to stay active and involved. She was brought up in a family that valued learning and knowledge over ignorance and fear, traits I’ve tried to pass on to my own children. Deucedog, don’t feel too badly about your mother. She was simply a product of her times, like we all are. Just tell yourself how fortunate we are to be living in much more enlightened times, where many of the stigmas and fears that existed back then no longer have any power over us.


    Post count: 62

    I have been battling this one but I am being pulled to the love her side. After all, I believe she has suffered ADD her entire life. My story is a little different, but it is about my mom.

    A red flag went up for me in (’84) grade 6  when I didn’t complete a creative writing assignment (which shocks me because it would be right up my alley now-I will try to understand that later). They looked at my behaviour and my performance at school. The testing began and I was diagnosed with mild ADD. The consensus was to not give me meds and teach me learning strategies and gave me extra time for tests and exams. When I was told I had a learning disability called Attention Deficit Disorder and explained it as being unorganized and easily distracted. I don’t remember being told how important it was to keep a check on it for the rest of my life. I kind of forgot about my ADD. but my life reflects that I was greatly impaired by it in adulthood. I am 40 now waiting for treatment.

    Should I be angry with my mom for

    1. Not putting me on meds?

    2. Not educating me enough over the years until I truly understood the magnitude of this disorder?

    3. Instead of being disappointed in me over and over again after all of my failures, should have recognized that I was drowning in this disorder. After all she should have educated herself after finding out her 11 yr old had this disorder.

    4. Fully excepting it now.

    Or should I understand and forgive and make sure this doesn’t happen to my son.


    Post count: 845

    Consider not only the progress in understanding ADHD that has been made since your were first diagnosed, but the wealth of information and research that is freely available over the internet today.  Not to mention the support that is also available through sites like TADD.  None of this was available to your mother, its relatively recent.  Your mother was alone with a struggling child that was given a diagnosis of a condition which many said didn’t exist, and then told that “speed” might help.  Factor in her own ADD and perceptions of what is “normal” behavior.  What decisions would you have made?

    Should I be angry with my mom for

    1. Not putting me on meds?  No.  She was told you had mild ADD, probably told you would outgrow it, and that strategies for coping with that did not involve meds would be sufficient.  It was something that would just . . . go away.

    2. Not educating me enough over the years until I truly understood the magnitude of this disorder?  She didn’t have resources to understand ADD.  How could she educate you about something she didn’t understand?

    3. Instead of being disappointed in me over and over again after all of my failures, should have recognized that I was drowning in this disorder. After all she should have educated herself after finding out her 11 yr old had this disorder.  Getting the picture?  Could what you perceive as disappointment in you, be disappointment and panic she felt because of her own inability to help?  She probably at some level knew how hard you were trying and that something was going on beyond your control.

    My son was diagnosed three years ago at the age of twenty.  Eventually, I knew something was going on but he seemed to be normal for the most part to me.  In fact, he was in many ways like me.  Just like I was told I was like my dad.  My understanding of ADHD then was totally different from fact.  It was based on all the myths you hear in passing.  I wasn’t sure it was a real condition.  If only I had known twenty years ago.  If only I had known fifty years ago.  I’ve lived it as both parent and child.  The emotional aspects are not pleasant.  All this caused me to reassess my perception of how I believed my parents viewed me.

    4. Fully excepting it now.  Accepting your diagnosis means that she has to acknowledge that ADD exists as a condition as it is now known, and that there were things that could have and should have been done.  This will cause her a lot of guilt and feelings that she failed to do right for you, just as you are feeling anger and regret now.  ADHD?  Who knew?  Get over it and move on.  Regardless of whether she accepts or acknowledges your ADD, don’t hold the past or her current beliefs about ADD against her.



    Post count: 906

    Should you hate your mother? No, because hating someone requires too much energy and doesn’t do you any good in the long run. You also might regret it later.


    I was angry with my mother when I was first diagnosed and found out that Ritalin had been prescribed for me when I was about 7 years old and she refused to give it to me. I blamed her for a lifetime of failure. But at that  time ADD was almost unheard of and my mother didn’t know why it had been prescribed and was scared of the side effects.


    Post count: 1096

    If she is anything like the 82-year olds in my family she will be set in her ways and mindset and unlikely to truly understand the concept and reality of ADHD.  Trying to gain her acknowledgement and understanding will drain you emotionally.

    Hate and love are strong emotions and one can swing between the two, but I am not sure one can choose these emotions …. although we can choose not to hate someone I suppose. I struggle with emotional regulation and I try to just tell myself that people are entitled to their perceptions – it is easier than hating them which is so negative that it then leads to negative self talk and a downhill spiral, especially if it is someone close who is involved. They go about their lives as normal and it’s me (us) who suffers emotionally ….. So I try to accept their ‘failings’ and stay positive…..otherwise I turn into an angry ‘victim’…..not a good place be…..

    I would suggest that even if you don’t love her, please don’t hate her.  I agree with blackdog – it could harm you in the long run. She’s an old lady……no point in trying to get her to understand.  In ‘her day’ ADHD was not understood so I doubt she’ll grasp it now. Not her fault…..just how it is.

    Read kc’s reply…wise words.


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