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This is my story: the good, the bad, and the ADD

This is my story: the good, the bad, and the ADD2013-09-10T00:44:58+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey My Story This is my story: the good, the bad, and the ADD

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    Post count: 14

    Hello everyone, my name is Lita, I am 20 years old, and I was diagnosed with ADD at age 6 after the teachers at my school were convinced that I was dyslexic. This is my story.

    I am the youngest of five children. There are only four of us surviving, as my brother, Preston, died of SIDS before I was born. Only I have ADD out of the four of us. My siblings have treated me as a lesser being than themselves because of my ‘defect’ and insist that there is nothing really wrong with me and that I am just lazy.

    In school, my mother had considered keeping me home for another year because I was so much smaller than the other children in my class (I was barely a foot tall in kindergarten and everyone was much bigger than me.) I was the perfect target for bullying: I was small, I wore glasses and I was shy around everyone. I was even scared of the teachers, the lunch ladies and the bus drivers. I later learned that it wasn’t just kids that were cruel.
    I was almost held back in first grade because my teacher ‘didn’t believe in ADD’ and thought that I was just stupid and slow. She kept me in from recess, and even lunch sometimes. Whenever a student would bring in a treat for the class, she would keep mine on her desk and give me a sheet of math problems that she knew were beyond my math level and would tell me: ‘If you want to go out and play or eat, you have to finish this sheet of problems.’ I almost always went home hungry. The teacher tried to convince my mother that I was ‘mentally defective’ and that I needed to stay back another year. My mother said no and I was placed in the second grade the next year.
    In second grade, my teacher thought that I was being lazy too and held me back that year. I wasn’t put into the special education system until I was in the second grade, the second time. Third grade was fine, but fourth grade was a slap in the face. The teacher that failed me in second grade the first time ended up becoming my fourth grade teacher. I barely passed because of family struggles. Fifth grade was fine, but sixth grade was a major struggle, my dad left us and we were on the verge of homelessness. Seventh grade was awful: I was bullied worse than elementary school, but at least there was a math class that actually helped me. Eighth and ninth were ok, seeing as it was impossible to hold me back a grade, but I was always couch-surfing for my next meal.
    High school ended badly, I was an easy target for the creepy guys and my math teacher (who was also my case manager) deemed me incompetent and kept me from seeking help with other classes when I was sick (which was often, due to my weak immune system). I ended high school with 14 credits out of the possible 22 credits needed to graduate. The school kicked me out and politely told me not to bother coming back for the next year. I am currently trying to get my General Education Diploma, a job, a storage unit, an apartment, a driver’s license and a car.


    Post count: 62


    Wow you have had a tremendously rough life thus far. Your childhood was very rough. You are so fortunate to be 20. You can make your adult life sooo much better. It is about you.

    First, get proper treatment. Get the medication, get some therapy. etc..With the proper treatment and support you can do it.

    Simplify your life. What do you need a storage unit for..Don’t store a bunch of junk and pay for it. Just get the apartment and keep it organized and simple to tailor your lifestyle (“Keep only what you need” and “There is a place for everything”).

    Next, find out what you love to do. What gives you that “Zest for Life” high. Think carefully: Do you thirst for knowledge? or Do you thrive on being a dare devil? The Drive to compete? or Do you need to create? When you reach success at what you love (you will have a natural talent for it, so you will succeed), it will feel great. If you have to find a job to pay the bills, do something suited to you (eg. If you have to move around, get a physical job). But still work on your main goal.

    “My siblings have treated me as a lesser being than themselves because of my ‘defect’ and insist that there is nothing really wrong with me and that I am just lazy.”

    You need to maybe distance yourself from your family for a while if they make you feel that way. When you are in a better place you can attempt relationship. They need to show love and support. Maybe in the future.

    As far as school. Academia is not structured for people like us. If you need to educate yourself in the thing that you do, you need to find a way that is structured for you. Like I found college was more “hands on” and a lot less “independant” as university. I have the IQ for university, but it was the structure I was bad at. Even worse, online/correspondence courses. I am really good and enjoy researching stuff. I wish there were courses where they give me a syllabus (outlined subject list), and I could just research then they can test my knowledge by an interview. Or if it were an online course, there would have to be a catchy interface or some dynamic multimedia. Just reading text is no good. Aaaanyways….Find what you love and work towards that goal.

    You have a lot of support here. Take it from me, I am 20 years further down the road. Between your age and my age, my life was greatly impaired from my untreated and “unknown” ADHD.  I (3 failed marriages and countless other relationships/friendships, couldn’t complete any post secondary education, couldn’t keep a job, and no career, home always in shambles). Don’t let this happen to you. I am soo excited to get it right.


    Post count: 906

    Hi @sketchesnscribbles. I love your screen name. Very creative. 🙂

    You really have had a rough time. I am so sorry you haven’t found the kind of support you need. But like @jojosephine said, you are only 20, and you have the opportunity to turn your life around. You are fortunate to know that you have ADHD and be able to do something about it.

    I would like to add to what jojosephine already said (excellent advice) that you need to create a support system for yourself. Joining TADD was a great start. Use your friends too, if you have any. I know making friends is a challenge we all struggle with. You could start by looking for an ADHD support group in your area or just trying to find people who either have ADHD or will be understanding and supportive. Surround yourself as much as you can with positive influences.

    My story has some similarities to yours, though my home life was a bit more stable and I did manage to finish school. I started to type it all out but its just too long. Condensed version: I did okay in school, but never great, even though the work was so easy for me (except math). I had some teachers who were good and recognized that I was smart and tried to help me. Most thought I was stupid and lazy. I was bullied non stop by almost everyone, adults included. There were many times when I didn’t have a friend in the world except for my mother. And she wasn’t always much help.

    ADD was a very new concept when I was a child. Mostly at that time the only kids who got diagnosed and put on medication were ones that were really hyperactive, which I wasn’t. It took a long time to identify the different subtypes of ADHD and figure out that it affects everyone differently. My primary problems are intention, memory, and organization. Especially organization. I would lose my head if it wasn’t attached to the rest of me. I have very mild hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

    So….First thing you need to do is figure yourself out. What are your deficits? What are your strengths? What kind of treatment and support do you need?  What would you like to do with the rest of your life? Then go from there. This is a process that I am only just beginning myself, at twice your age! So take it from me, you want to get going on it now. Don’t do like I did and waste half of your life just struggling to get by, working at whatever crap job you can find just to get a pay cheque.

    You are a star, and now is your time to shine. 🙂




    Post count: 14

    Thanks for the advice, everyone.
    To @blackdog: My username was a random combo of what silly names I would give to the imaginary goldfish in my mind. (There are two more named Doodles and George. ^.^)
    I need a storage unit for my stuff because my mother is unstable and she has a tendency of throwing tantrums. She keeps telling me that I am free to leave whenever I want, but whenever I do leave, she blows up my phone with insults as to how ungrateful I am and how horrible I am as a person. I know that I need to get out. I am used to being a ‘backpack runner’, being able to carry all of my worldly possessions in a single bag. But I have acquired a lot of large things that can’t be transported so easily (furniture etc.) I can’t leave it at my mother’s because she will donate my things or throw it all away. I need to leave because of her abusive nature, but I don’t have anywhere to go.

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