March 4, 2018 at 2:51 pm #77885
Only recently am I discovering Adhd but makes my whole life make sense. I have always felt different and never understood why. I always felt like I was outside looking in. My husband and I move about 3 hours away from my family and I started to see things very different like someone opened the curtain and the truth was revealed. I thought I had the best-supported family but not so true. It was like I did some horrible thing. I tried to write them a letter and tell them how I was feeling but that backed fired they all took it wrong pretty much stopped talking to me. My sister in law called and asked me what my deal was I had no idea they were even mad. Anyway, they made a grand jester to come visit me and somehow that was their way of saying they forgive me lol I still didn’t do anything wrong. This is the family that planned a Family Disney trip even invited my children and never invited me or my husband I was devastated. I realized then they just don’t like me. I know now I was hard to be around but had no idea then or my whole life. Looking back they only really included me out of obligation because I am their sister but never because they enjoy being around me, I had no idea till I stepped back. The hardest part of this is my kids are stuck in the middle they live close to my family and are very close to them. I am glad they have the support but they tend to side with the family. It is kinda like I am the unpopular kid and if you talk to them you will be unpopular too. My middle child hardly speaks to us and it just kills me. They have no I idea how hurt I am nor do I think they really care. I am trying to hang on to my relationship with my daughters but My heart is so broke. I was a stay home mom for years and did everything I could for my kids and family now I some kinda bad guy. I am not sure how to move forward, I am supposed to spend a week at the beach with these people and when I am around them I am always on my guard afraid to say or do anything wrong, for fear of their criticism and judgment. If I dont go then I am the asshole who didn’t want to be with the family. This also might be the last time we all get together with my mom so that factors into it. It is just so hard to “play” the part. The irony is now that I have been learning about ADHD. I see so many signs of it in my family but no one wants to have a real conversation. I guess I am asking how do you handle family, especially adult kids who think you are just crazy.
March 4, 2018 at 7:48 pm #77893
When you say you’ve recently discovered ADHD, does that mean you have a diagnosis or a strong hunch? (I’m in the hunch category but I’ve talked to plenty of people that have been diagnosed, and that sure sound a lot like me.) I ask not to pry but to understand.
Also, have you talked to your kids about this? There are books that might better explain this to them if they don’t believe you. I mentioned to my wife that I thought I was ADHD and she didn’t believe me at first. Then I went to a CHADD meeting and came back and told her I met a lot of people that are just like me. Given that everyone in my family knows I’m just a bit quirky she started paying attention. My point is once they understand what you’re going through, and that is not easy, they might better see, understand, accept you for who you are.
Best of luck.
March 5, 2018 at 8:11 pm #78035
Thanks for the comments I am looking for a doctor, I have been skittish about finding one who really knows about adult ADHD. I have seen a therapist before and they were clueless to ADHD. I do take anti-depression meds but have always felt it wasn’t quite right. Brandikball I do take responsibility for my actions and totally understand what you are saying. At this point, I am trying to just be supported of my kids. I don’t put them in the middle. I basically grin and smile and hope one day they will understand. It is just so hard to maintain that smile and act like everything is great when inside I feel so broke. Mattcolo I have been looking for a good book that might give them a better understanding if they were willing to read it. The irony in all this I see Adhd in all three of my kids. They are all smarter them me and did well in school. My son had some issue in college but is doing well now he is in the air force and I think that environment works well for him. He has a very busy brain, always starting projects and taking on new things not always finishing them lol. My middle one is a teacher so she thinks she knows everything about ADHD and I am just crazy hahaa, looking back she didn’t have a lot of friends and is very introverted. My youngest is wide open she is always bouncing around and she married a man with Adhd so you can imagine. I also see signs in my niece her anxiety levels are above normal she was so stressed out about going to a friends birthday she about had a meltdown. My nephew has been diagnosed with a mood disorder but I see so many signs of ADHD and have read this to be a common miss diagnosis. I guess I want to help so they don’t have to go thru what I have been thru. It is frustrating to see someone struggle and not be able to help. I am still trying to figure things out I appreciate the feedback I am trying to focus on building a life and making connections and I hope they come around. I still need to find a way to spend a week at the beach grinning and smiling!
March 7, 2018 at 9:28 am #78174
I feel that way too sometimes I feel like people
are mad at me and I have no clue why. Like why can’
these people say what they are mad at instead of
Act like babies.
March 5, 2018 at 10:54 am #77936
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Have you received an actual diagnosis and started a treatment plan? If not, that would be my first suggestion. Also, counseling will help work through some of your hurt and anger in a productive way.
As for your children, I would stop trying to get them on a “side” and simply offer them love and acceptance even if they’re not offering that to you. Sometimes we people with ADHD can be insensitive (and sometimes cruel) without realizing it or meaning to. We can also be a lot to handle, particularly if we’re not getting treatment. When we try to talk to our family and friends about our diagnosis, we have to be careful not to make it sound like a scapegoat for all our bad behavior (i.e. I can’t help my behavior, I have ADHD). Make it very clear that you are not using it as an excuse to justify your past/current behavior, but instead a lense for them to see this behavior through. We are still accountable for our bad behavior, even if it’s rooted in ADHD. This is why a treatment plan is so important.
I hope you can find some peace and repair the relationships with your children. Hugs.
March 5, 2018 at 9:16 pm #78036
mbfunkytreasures, after all I read about misdiagnosis I was very hesitant about seeing a doctor. I finally bit the bullet and, it was a disaster. In a nutshell, since I’m 58, know how to use a calendar app and am not addicted, I can’t possibly be ADHD. The problem is they’re using obsolete information about what ADHD is. If your insurance will pay for it I’d keep looking for a doctor. I would but the cost is really high for me. Instead I went to a CHADD meeting. At the end, when the adults with ADHD got together and talked in a circle, it was a huge relief. They all seemed perfectly normal and yet had plenty of stories that I could relate to. I could see how every one of them could get misdiagnosed. But they didn’t. It felt really good knowing it wasn’t just me. Previously I had tried explaining this to my wife and she didn’t believe me. She wondered if I was maybe depressed. After I came back from the CHADD meeting she could see I really had met a group that all had the same stories. It’s an hour drive to the CHADD meeting but I’ll be going back.
Since I’ve been a teenager I’ve known I will get depressed if I don’t exercise regularly. I can feel it coming. Eventually something will set it off. It’s not like it just shows up on it’s own. I just get angrier and then someone says something and I take it personally and crash. The good news is I go for a long hike and the sun comes out. Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as just exercise every other day. Now that I know what’s going on it’s a bit better. I’m never going to be the calm guy sitting on top of the mountain. I do need to find plenty of activities I can get passionate about.
I struggled with dyslexia as a kid. When my daughter showed signs of it I went to bat for her. The response from the schools was useless. I went and found someone that understood it. The teachers are not getting recent information. So my guess is your daughter is using what she’s been taught. I know this is easy for me to say but she’s just saying what she’s heard. I can also add that my daughter is likely ADHD (my son is not) and she’s more on egg shells than I am. If I say the wrong thing to her when she’s stressed out then she can say some hurtful things.
I got a used copy of the book “Is it you, me, or ADD.” Maybe it will help. There does seem to be numerous books on the subject.
I hope my ramblings help as well. One last ramble: I do know that, since I get more emotional than most people, my emotions can also go in a good way and much stronger than most people. There’s a place my emotions can go that is warm, wonderful and full of love. If you have such a place, maybe a memory of holding a sleeping child, try going there once in a while. My point is that there are also some benefits to this thing and you may as well take advantage of them.
March 6, 2018 at 9:14 am #78062
I’m sorry you’re going through this with your family. All you can do is try to educate people about ADHD. Often, they aren’t open to it and no amount of talking will change their minds. Other times, a little education here and there starts to make a difference and they start to come around. I’ve seen several people ask their families to read “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Crazy, or Stupid?!” and it helped a great deal.
Intense sensitivity to perceived criticism and rejection is common with ADHD. I’m wondering if you are perceiving it more intensely than they intend it. You’ve had a lifetime of thinking something was “wrong” with you and feeling judged about your differences. That can create an emotional wall. I’m not offering this information to discount your feelings — only to say that may be a part in how intensely you are feeling their actions.
It takes time to break/change family patterns that have been going on for decades…
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
March 7, 2018 at 1:12 pm #78265
Hi funky, I have a couple bits to offer and I hope something helps and I wish you the best. As for the family, try googling something like “why does family suck” and you will at least find you are not alone and a good many people do not like their family. I definitely agree with the others that you should get a proper diagnosis, the right medicine, and good counseling or coaching. If you have adhd you need it all. I have found it better not to disclose or talk about being adhd unless it is someone that really cares about you. Keep in mind that it is a mental disorder and many people can be quite hurtful about that. It is a tough process to get a prescription for the most effective meds because they are very abusable. Use your energy to learn all you can it is a long process but people often report “life changing” benefits from the meds. The counseling is a must because you need to learn how to do things in your new normal world. You are worth the trouble so go for it.
March 7, 2018 at 1:34 pm #78274
And to matt, hope you see this. I finally got treatment at 60 and glad I did. I could have written your post we are that close in nature. You need to go armed with knowledge and to someone that knows what they are doing because in general they don’t want to write the prescription that has the best chance for you. Specifically your prescriber needs to know what the current percent of people in your age group diagnosed with adhd knew they have adhd before the doctor. For me it was something like 85%. It will definitely occur to your prescriber that you might be trying to get a prescription that you don’t need and will in fact be bad for you if you don’t. They made me try a couple anti depressants first and they were a disaster for me. Good luck.
March 7, 2018 at 1:58 pm #78293
Hi Funky – I get it. You’re not nuts and you’re not imagining things. I’ve been were you’re at and am where you’re at. One thing I can tell you is that some of the other posters are right in recommending counseling. If that’s workable, please look into it. You have all these worries, stressors, relationship issues swirling around and that makes for an even bigger potential powder keg of emotions and reactions. Try to sort it out before you act or react to some of these family issues going on. If your kids want to go on a trip or spend time with the extended family – then let them. You need to focus on you right now and deal with one thing at a time. If you’re concerned about your mother, then spend time or find a way to get together or make a trip to see her “one on one” without the dynamics of all these other people around. If it’s your kids, again focus on one on one time – make small steps and meet or get together individually. You can’t solve everything at once and not everything is going to just be “fine” right away. Get proper diagnosis, counseling, perhaps medications and move forward on your own terms. I know from my own experience, that everything seems really amplified or crisis like, including relationships, and when I am in that cycle it isn’t good… Get diagnosed, get some direction and worry about yourself. The rest will come around, including your kids. Hugs and all good thoughts…
March 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm #78311
Funky; Please know I can be a very sensitive person and have also struggled with this sorta stuff; so I am saying this from a place of personal experience.
Regarding this letter you wrote did you say hurtful things towards them? Did you accuse or blame them of something? If you did, the fact that they came to see you; to a certain extent does show they care, they didn’t have to do that at all especially a 3 hour drive.
**We have to take responsibility for ourselves; not just hold others accountable and recognize our part in the condition of our relationships. Is there a chance you can push the reset button; let your family know that you appreciate them for coming to see you after you wrote them and let them know that you’re working towards healing and improving every day and that you love them and appreciate their support? Can you then leave it at that and focus on you and your well being without it being conditional or dependent on others accepting or liking it or you? You mention that you’ve raised 3 daughters as a stay at home mom; maybe now is the time to explore other opportunities, experiences, interests which will take your focus off some of this stuff? Is it possible that even after dedicating your life to your daughters they choose to side with others or not speak to you; that you may be letting your feelings about your family disrupt your relationship with them? Perhaps try not saying anything negative or unkind about your extended family to them; sometimes people can feel put in the middle because they are hearing you say hurtful things towards someone they care about or they feel like you’re making them choose between them and you; maybe to you it seems their siding with other family but it is just that they don’t agree with your approach, view or attitude about the situation. Seems like you raised them to be their own person so you can’t always expect like mindedness from them always. Accept/Know and Love them your family for who or what they are and I believe they’ll eventually do the same. Everyone has problems, most that we never can imagine let’s not make ours their responsibility too, we have to find the right person, place and time to work out our issues and sometimes it takes going to someone that doesn’t know us from a hole in the wall to give an impartial perspective, see a counselor but also fill your mind and time with positive, constructive pursuits. *Take a vacation with your husband; Disney in my opinion is expensive, boring and tiring.
March 7, 2018 at 3:44 pm #78318
Oh I really relate to your post.you are not alone!! I loved all the comments and agree with it all. So encouraging and insightful. I copied it and will paste it in my journal to read again and again because I forget what I read pretty quick and these comments are so worth remembering. Thanks funky for being so honest and brave. You are unique yet so much like the rest of us adhders.
Today’s best quote “. I’m never going to be the calm guy sitting on top of the mountain. I do need to find plenty of activities I can get passionate about.” I love it but my husband just shuck his head when I read it to him. They just don’t get it.
March 7, 2018 at 4:41 pm #78329
It’s my story as well. I came from a family that passed me over. Didn’t invite me to Christmas or Thanksgiving. Not even to family reunions. They honestly thought I was hopeless and would not amount to anything. And so it was hard. I didn’t have anyone help me find d answers to overcome the barriers to life. Others had the same solution. When people saw something was different about me, the went I to retreat. I had to develop ways to hide the disfunction so my strengths could shine. I thought that having a diagnosis would help. We live in a country that has to have laws to accommodate anyone with a disability. As I began to see the error in my thinking that people would be ok hearing what I needed and be happy to accommodate me, I realized it applied across the board. My family was no different. No one cares enough to get to know what I needed. No one wants to spend the energy on a looser. Everyone avoids. This turned out to be a blessing. I quit saying I have ADD and started finding was to teach people how to treat me with respect. Not a pretty process. But those who have no respect for me and my brilliance have no place in my life. It’s my God given birth right to live. I made up alot of fantastic ideals about family just to be hurt by my unshared values. It gets lonely but I don’t care. I didn’t expect them to reach out or care anymore and they were not reaching out anyway. It was all on me. I dropped a huge burden when I realized I was the deer in the headlights watching and waiting for them to notice me. They were not thinking of me at all. Worst grief of my life. I lost them all. I lost parents, grandparents, 2 daughters and 6 grandkids. I lost being a mother and grandmother. I lost my past and future ideas. Not ok with me. Not what I was hoping or dreaming for in this life. Now my life is getting good. And none of them know it. The grief subsided.
March 7, 2018 at 8:49 pm #78364
Thanks to everyone for their insightful posts. I had a related question, but slightly different than the original post. I am raising a 12 year old daughter with ADD. She has learning disorders in addition to a social skills disorder. She is the youngest of three girls, and her older siblings do not share in any of her struggles. I witness the tension daily between my girls. The one with ADD is frequently misunderstood – her comments often offend, frustrate, etc. Her impulsivity affects all of us in different ways.
I had my older girls research ADHD and build their own knowledge. Although they are teenagers, I expect them to make better choices in the words and tone they use.
I fear that in 10-20 years, we will be facing a similar situation of strained relationships. I don’t want my girls to miss out on the joy of family and I want to have a close relationship with all of them. She is already taking meds for ADD as well as mood disorder. That has helped. We also moved her to a private school that specializes in kids with ADD/ADHD and learning disorders. She is slowly rebuilding her confidence after too many brutal years in public school. We’ve tried therapy (her alone, also with parents) and she is unwilling to participate – too many years already of feeling like she needs to be “fixed”.
So for those of you who are now adults with ADD, what else should I be doing to keep my youngest close, and help her build tight bonds with her family? Or conversely, help my other daughters understand their little sister and love her regardless of her words/actions? Thanks in advance for your responses.
March 7, 2018 at 9:26 pm #78365
I grew up with 5 brothers and I always thought I would be more social if I had sisters, more feelings stuff. One thing to watch for is that they recently eliminated ADD as a valid diagnosis by the people that decide those things. As best I can tell they are implying that there is always a hyperactive component to some extent. Now I am guessing but I think it was because they were missing the way hyperactivity can display in girls. (not always like the boys) Mostly more emotional than physical and can look just like anxiety or something else that may not have been as recognizable as hyperactivity.Tell your daughter I waited until I was 60 to go to therapy to learn what adhd people have to learn to succeed. That whole thing about”needing to be fixed” is true and sometimes you have to forcefully inform her that therapy does not work if you don’t go. And yes, you have to try. I wish you both the best.
March 8, 2018 at 11:39 am #78404
52 with ADD and learning disabilities. Sccarr, I’d love to talk. I was miss diagnosed with bipolar and given horrible meds, diagnosed with depression because I was depressed and given medication for that. It didn’t work. Seperated from every conversation because I had ADD and unable express myself to be part of projects left me to just follow. Always told I needed to “learn” something and trying harder. Not so. Angry and frustrated with a history of abuse I did what I do best , I fought. I didn’t like drugs, but when I was 21 I tried meth. It worked. I became addicted. (27 years clean now) I know that being properly medicated was key for me. The drug wasn’t the problem. It was the solution for me. Properly medicated I began to be able to execute my thoughts and grow in EVERY AREA OF MY BEING. Inside and out. It sickens me to see ritalin toted as being so bad. Zoloft is worse. Being treated with antidepressants because using a methamphetamine is thought of as bad when the methamphetamine ends the problem causing the depression. Insane. I began to achieve goals and feel good. But not until I was in my late 30’s. I am now on Concerta. Time release ritalin. When the dose was too low it left me “almost there”. If a normal person took the dose I take that makes me function they would disfunction badly. I also use alot of nutrition for the brain. Protein, protein, protein. And don’t take the coffee away. We are not like normal people. Add L-THEANINE if feeling jittery, 5-htp at night, Brain Link(Amazon), Dr. Stern’s RELAX at night, LUNA at night. The BEST part is I take medication vacations. I find the awesome super over developed parts of me that I call gifts from having ADD and go with that flow. I pay people to do things I “can’t” do. So much better that way.
It takes me 2 days to wrap my head around new information and schedule changes. Spontaneous is painful. People make up what ADD is and isn’t. It is hyperfocus being interrupted in highly intelegent people. Vipassana 10 day course gave me the biggest clue’s to what I needed. Quiet, peaceful flow uninterrupted, don’t move my things or think interrupting me to ask if you can help me would help me. It takes me out of my flow and messes me up. If I need help, I will ask. I’m capable. Stop watching. Hovering is a distraction and creates people pleasing. Set the goal and talk about how to get the independence in place. Self esteem rather than parent esteem in small solid foundational doses. Morning routine leads to having what’s next and having what’s next leads to more self power. I had to figure this out on my own. I can’t imagine having help. There is so much more to say. I still think talking is better. Hope this much helps. The only drug that I am on now is Concerta and ritalin. My morning ritalin taken with my concerta means I can get ready without setting my mood in the fight to get there before I go. Exhausted before I get started. We call it my download. I don’t engage in conversation before my “download”. It’s just easier on everyone. And we laugh about it. As well as all the other faux pas’s I live with. I don’t allow people who shame or hurt me around anymore. It is literally me they are cutting to ribbons with useless ideas of how to improve on perfect. I’m tapping my gifts, not persing the box they put me in.
March 7, 2018 at 11:51 pm #78372
I have ADD. Even if they decided to change the words, I don’t have the hyperactivity. As a woman it has been my experience that “boys” can’t handle strong woman unless they learn it’s a benefit to be equal. It didn’t take me until I was 52 to know that. I knew when I was 7. And they did whine emotionally. The AD part is consistent with executive disfunction playing a huge part for me. Clue “for me”. Let’s tell the girls like me it’s not only ok but AWESOME to excel at the gifts of AD…. AD whatevers are strong. Resilient and don’t fit in neurotypical’s box of norm. I was a mechanic by the age of 12. Rode motorcycle, operated various heavy equipment, built houses, owned a concrete co. Drove truck and yes, made the boys whine emotionally. Not a gender issue around me. I didn’t know I was just a girl. It never dawned on me I couldn’t do those things and I was confused by the emotional boys behaviour. Let’s treat the girl intelegently and give her a choice. Support her through tough decision. Respect where others have not. 52 with 3 learning disabilities and anxiety, thank you.
- This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by LisaLewisLMT.
March 10, 2018 at 9:28 am #78662
I am grateful for all the response And so glad I am not alone in this battle. I am working on finding a doctor. As for my family, I am trying to adjust my expectation so I don’t set my self up for disappointment. Since they are 3 hours away I am focusing on building my life and not worried about them. As for my kids, I am trying to keep in touch and be supportive. I do a lot of grinning and smiling. I realize no one wants to hear about Adhd. I hold on to the fact that one day my kids will have their own kids and find out it is not so easy to be a parent. I hope to have my own Adhd figured out and when the grandkids come alone I will be an awesome grandma. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
March 22, 2018 at 4:43 pm #79651
I really feel for you, Yes we can say and do things that come out the wrong way. It is often hard to read other peoples emotions . something we have in common with Asberger’s Syndrome. In my own instance floating through life in a fog I found that my family was rife with narcissistic personality defects and I was none the wiser. This gives a double whammy because as well being scapegoated they’re able to place the most negative view imaginable on my gaffs. Not saying that this is what is happening here but it may be some thing other than ADHD that is the issue. I agree with every one else here find a good doctor get the diagnosis and then try and get your kids to meet with your doctor in necessary to . Just keep being there for your kids ,in the mean time, and make sure they know that.
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