July 31, 2019 at 10:32 am #123686SageParticipant
So, I’m a teen, going into 9th grade. Throughout my life, in elementary, and middle school, I’ve accidentally offended or hurt or made someone uncomfortable, and even though I apologize, they just never seemed to get it. I mean yeah, I’d be upset too, but why can’t we just get over these things? I only got diagnosed with ADHD in 6th grade, so throughout elementary school I was constantly in trouble and missing recess and doing extra work. I got medicated for ADHD around the beginning of 7th grade, and it has helped some. But now, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve literally typed up a letter apologizing for any event that may have/might happen, along with an explanation of my ADHD.
Hi there. If you’re reading this, that means I may have or might accidentally offend you, hurt you, or make you uncomfortable, either physically, mentally, or emotionally. And for that, I apologize. You see, I have ADHD, and I find it difficult to control my impulses, or think before I speak. I won’t explain what most ADHD is like, instead I’ll explain what MY ADHD is like.
Essentially what happens is that I can’t control myself sometimes. Okay, a LOT of the time. But I can’t help it. My brain is going so fast I can’t hear my thoughts, so I speak before I think, and often end up hurting others because of it. I don’t mean to, it just happens. If I want to hug you, I’ll hug you. If you say stop, I hug tighter. My mind doesn’t register ‘stop’ correctly. Instead of the word ‘stop’ actually meaning stop, my mind just ignores it and hugs tighter. I’ll poke you, play with your hair, annoy you. But I really don’t mean to. I’m too loud, I’m too energetic, I’m too bouncy. I can’t focus for long on one particular thing, so if I start doing something else during a conversation with you, please know that I am really doing it in an effort to pay attention to you. I can’t help any of these things. I have a ‘trigger phrase.’ A trigger phrase, for me at least, is something you can say that takes the place of ‘stop,’ or ‘let go.’ That phrase is ‘no more bunnies.’ I know it sounds kind of stupid, but try it on me sometime, you’ll see that it works. Now, I am medicated for ADHD, but sometimes that medication doesn’t work for me, or it just wears off. A lot of people don’t understand that I really can’t control this, and just think I’m being rude or spiteful or idiotic. I’m trying to control myself, but my attempts are futile most of the time. I also repeat myself a lot until you respond. I annoy you to no end and don’t even realize I’m doing it. I really don’t realize I’m doing any of the things I do until someone points it out or confronts me about it. I do occasionally realize it, and of course I’ll immediately apologize if I do. But please, if you recognize me doing any of the things I just explained to you, point them out, for my sake and everyone else’s.
That’s the letter.
I also have a brain that goes so fast I can’t understand anything, so I’m often slower than everyone else in understanding things. I constantly have to ask a friend for help, or ask the teacher to slow down, and I know this irritates my classmates. I can’t help the fact that I need it repeated or said/done in a different way. I used to be outstanding in my school performances in elementary through 6th grade. Then 7th grade is where it went downhill. I struggle immensely to keep my head above the water, most of the time just barely able to do so. I’m scared that everything I mentioned is just going to get worse throughout high school.
I know this was a long read, but if you read this, thanks.
December 2, 2020 at 8:48 pm #188524JulzParticipant
Hi I’m Maddie I also have ADHD I’m just wondering how do you try to control yourself without taking your medication or do you ever not take your medication. I have been struggling with ADHD since I was in Kindergarten I am now in the 7th grade. I also liked your story because I can relate to it. I am also very hyper, I always blurt things out before even thinking, (its sooo frustrating). I’m pretty I annoy people as well but its never intentional. I can also be very moody. Thanks for sharing your story it’s always nice to know that I am not the only one going through this.
December 5, 2020 at 1:19 pm #188635leftie22Participant
Do your parents know how hard you’re finding school? There might be some more supports or more specialized ways the teacher could approach your assignments or instruction time/style. I have a son in Grade 3 who is struggling much the way you are, and I really empathize with you. It must be very frustrating when the way things are being taught is not a good fit for your learning style. I hope you find some ways to keep up – an ADHD coach might also have some ideas.
For the apology letter – I can understand the desire to explain things to people, however I can also see how your letter could be interpreted as excusing unacceptable behaviour, and I would be very careful to make sure you’re taking responsibility for your behaviours and how they affect others. There’s a social contract (for example with the hugging you mentioned) that we don’t hug people who don’t want to be touched, and that we stop when someone asks us to stop. If you’re breaking that social contract, you need to take responsibility for your actions, instead of asking the other person to accept behaviour that they find unacceptable. If you don’t take responsibility and find a way to manage your behaviours, it could eventually get you in a lot more trouble than just losing friends. Also, an apology should be focused on letting the recipient know that you’re aware that what you did was wrong/uncomfortable, without making an excuse, and it should offer some amends. Otherwise, I fear your letter will come off as offensive as well.
I hope this doesn’t come off as harsh, but I’m a parent of an ADHD child and I would never want him to send people a letter that excuses his hurtful behaviour, or puts responsibility on the victim to change their reaction or learn his “trigger words”. It’s up to every person to manage their own behaviour, and accept the consequences when they’ve crossed someone else’s line. Every person has the right to be respected, and ADHD is not a free pass to disrespect other people’s boundaries.
The great thing is that you’re young enough to learn some new skills, learn what things other people find offensive or what breaks the social rules we’re all trying to live by, and figure out strategies to help you follow those rules. I would put my energy into that, as well as offering a genuine apology if you’ve crossed someone’s line. Remember that to them, it probably doesn’t matter WHY you crossed the line, but it will matter to them if you accept responsibility for how you made them feel, and offer to make amends. That shows you’re a caring person, which I’m sure you are!
December 10, 2020 at 10:14 pm #188975GazettechanParticipant
I ma sorry to hear that you are feeling and undergoing usch pain, get well soon.
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