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Thank you for having the courage to start this post.
It was something I thought only my adopted parents had done. They let me struggle, nothing I did was really good enough but they had no expectations that I could be helped – just managed. Who knows maybe someone told them I might grow out of it.
Instead they took me out of public school in 3rd grade and away from all my neighborhood friends and banished me to a highly structured church school with a bunch of other misfits. All this because Johnny spent too much time drawing and looking out the window. There was something wrong with me that was unspoken. If I “misbehaved” or got angry they threatened to send me off to military school, some place with a little more structure. I just need to behave and try harder.
I eventually found my way into a successful career for many years only to end up being made redundant at 50, struggling with so much self doubt. I couldn’t adapt to the new management that came in and shook everything up. A couple of failed high pressure jobs later, I found my self in deep depression. After two years of drugs and therapy a physiologist suggested a few assessment tests to see if maybe I might have some other issues that accounted for the way in which I react to various situations, like standing in long lines, taking timed tests, dealing with stressful situations, an occasional improper emotional response when a situation just didn’t seem fair. With the diagnosis came that moment when you say ah ha that explains a lot! And then the realization that it could have been different – My adopted parents have been dead for years, but what they hid from me, how little they thought of my potential, still makes me angry.