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The emotional toll of ADHD is often invisible and impossible to describe, especially if you’re a child with limited vocabulary and perspective on the world. Here are six of the hardest things about living with ADHD that your child may never tell you in words.
“There’s no denying that those of us with ADHD were made different. We tend to be more generous, more loving, more funny, more creative, and more entrepreneurial. The problem, it turns out, is not within our own selves. The problem is with the society we were born into.”
ADHD in women like me can often mean significant emotional struggles and self-esteem issues. But I opened myself fully and vulnerably to a group of women I hardly knew one day, and something truly remarkable happened. Here’s my story of overcoming self-stigma.
In high school, I had no long-term goals. No big dreams. No motivation to strive for something beyond the weekend. And where did it get me? In a string of dead-end jobs that finally, at age 28, pushed me to re-write my destiny. Here’s how I did it.
We were frazzled beyond belief. None of our parenting strategies were working. And our son’s doctor appointment was on the calendar. The server at the diner that morning didn’t know any of this, but she did seem to know our son — and our struggle — in a remarkable way.
“My parents never told me I wasn’t smart enough to attend college, but they also never asked me about my plans for the future. Sometimes it’s not what we say or do; sometimes it’s what we don’t do that speaks volumes. And I heard them loud and clear.”
…Please know that I do, too. When I lose my temper. When I yell. When I blame my kids for their ADHD transgressions. I know better, but I’m human — and sometimes I make mistakes. Then I feel awful, debilitating shame and mom guilt. Here is how I move forward with purpose — and apologies.
I cannot believe it took me this long to find this out about myself. How could I have had the same brain my whole life and yet no major life complications until… every single life complication all at once with the volume cranked up? The first 75% of my life: swell. The next 8%: absolute crap. The most recent 17%: harnessing that crap for good.