My ADHD Story: Maria Von Trapp and Me

I discovered that Maria, of The Sound of Music fame, is a lot like myself and other ADHD women -- flighty, charming, and hyperactive.

ADHD Quirks -- and Charm

In the film, the nuns discuss how they can solve a problem like Maria. They call her “an angel, a flibbertigibbet, a will-o’-the-wisp, a clown.” How many job evaluations have I squeaked through because of my superiors’ conflicting opinions of my erratic behavior? Truth be told, sometimes I didn’t even make it to evaluation time. I got sacked. I understand Maria’s fear when the Mother Abbess sends her to work as a nanny.

Shortly after her arrival at Captain Von Trapp’s home, Maria’s impulsive behavior and spontaneous remarks both repel and attract her new employer. Maria confesses, “I can’t seem to stop saying things, everything and anything I think and feel.” This sounds familiar. Impulsive blurting is a hallmark of my ADHD. I felt like a shoo-in for the part.

Maria’s lack of polish contrasts with the ever-so-controlled (and controlling) Baroness, whom Von Trapp professes to love. Or at least, to understand. Still, Maria’s exuberance tempts him; she’s won his heart.

In Maria’s presence, the captain’s heart was happy, but his head was in disarray. And he’s not the only one she affected this way. A nun laments, “When I’m with her, I’m confused, out of focus, and bemused.” Ha! She thinks she’s confused and out of focus! She should try being Maria. Or me. Or any woman with severe and untreated ADD.

Next: Pre-ADHD Diagnosis Labels

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