I haven’t bothered getting diagnosed. I’m 65 and am so relieved to recognise that the cause of my lifetime struggles has been ADHD/ADD. The knowledge has been life changing. Now I know why my mother treated me as she did – because she suffered with ADHD too. It all makes sense now. My grandparents raised me because my mother couldn’t cope with me and so they just told me my mother had bad nerves. I was forgetful, self-absorbed, distracted, hyperactive, over-talkative, excitable, immature, impulsive, confused. The list is endless. These days I’ve learned how to control my behaviour to an extent. I have Tourette’s (twitching and throat noises) which I control. I have scars both physical and mental from impulsive behaviour such as accidentally burning myself as a young girl. I have poor self-esteem. I was bullied at school by pupils but mostly by teachers. I forgot my notebook so the teacher tied it to my body with string. I forgot my school hat so the teacher made me wear a brown paper bag on my head! My hyperactive mind made me read too fast so I received corporal punishment. A few upsetting things happened to me in my early teens. My vulnerability could have ruined my life. But by the age of 22 I was a fully qualified teacher and then gained a 1st class BA (hons) Degree 2:1 in Computer Science. Did I let ADHD ruin my life? No I did not because I didn’t know I had it. I’ve always been a fighter and I went on to teach in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Spain. Why? Probably because I was trying to run away from myself. But here I am now, retired after a successful teaching career. Now I finally have some peace of mind. My son has inherited some aspects of Autism from me and my late partner but we work on solutions together. Understanding and recognising it has been life changing. My son won’t get professional help and he needs it.
As for me, I’ve finally grown to like myself and accept myself. I’m still not brilliant socially but like many people on the spectrum, my love of animals and especially my 4 dogs compensates for the lack of family. I have a few friends but have to work hard at it. I love reading about ADD on this site. I’m British and I haven’t found anything as good as this in the UK.