Reply To: Why couldn’t they have just told me?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Women & Girls Why couldn’t they have just told me? Reply To: Why couldn’t they have just told me?


Because you got good grades it sounds like you are smart and were able to make up for deficits in executive functioning with work-arounds and sheer determination and smarts. At least that was my story. I was a “problem” kid until I was diagnosed with ADD (inattentive type) back in the 70’s. Ritalin. Man, that drug changed my life. I could read. I could listen. I could learn. For the first time in my life. … and then I guess they thought I was “fixed” and they took me off. And so the ensuing years all through high school and college and into adult life – huge problems, tens of thousands of dollars in therapy, changes in high schools transfers in colleges, difficulty settling into a job (had 22+ before finally becoming an actor and computer consultant) … I was in my 50’s when I was re-diagnosed, and started taking meds again, and oh my god what a difference.

My parents did yell at me and berate me all the time for not “living up to potential” (I tested so high and performed relatively low). Always I was the “screw-up.”

When I was re-diagnosed I was just so grateful to find out. It was like something external to me was the cause of all my problems, and I no longer felt like a complete flake.
I had a lot of very negative feelings toward my parents most of my teen and young adult life and had only somewhat recently come to the realization they were just doing the best they could and they did care even if they made one profoundly bad mistake after another. Taking me off Ritalin was just another bad, bad mistake on their part.

Who knows how things might have been different for those like us? Maybe our suffering made us better, more compassionate people. Maybe our struggles made us more dynamic and self-sufficient. Maybe we could have achieved things we could have only dreamed of and we were massively ripped off – you only live once. We’ll never know, and I guess that’s just the way life is.

I guess the best thing we can do is just move on and try not to let all those questions screw with us and keep us from taking care of ourselves and our children.

After I took my son to a therapist and he was diagnosed with the same inattentive type ADD I have, we got in the car and he said, “Oh, thank GOD I have ADD!” My eyebrows went way up. “Because,” he said, “now I know I’m not just a big idiot!” This from a kid who tests in the 98th percentile – he felt like a complete idiot. I know I felt that way. Despite being told I have high test scores I was pretty sure I was stupid until my senior year in college. So leaving us in the dark is really cruel, I think.

So you’re not alone. I think YOUR PARENTS REALLY SCREWED THE POOCH! You can tell them some random guy on the web says so!