December 13, 2017 at 2:35 pm #70399
I don’t know if this message will say what I want it to, since I’m pretty bad at explaining what I’m thinking. I really can’t find any area where my ADHD has helped me in the long run. I suffered the worst panic attack last night after an all-too-common argument with my narcissistic father. It makes me scared because he hasn’t a clue of how to help me and treats me as if I don’t care, or that I’m stupid. And that every single year of school I’ve had I’ve also failed. I can’t remember the last time I got good grades. Next year is high school, and they don’t accept late assignments there. I’ll be screwed, and conveniently on the school year where my grades actually matter. In short, I’ve got half a year to change myself, or else I’ll be living off of a minimum wage hourly pay for the rest of my life. I try to work. I really do, but when I do, it feels almost as if my body is begging me to stop, especially if those assignments are missing. It’s such a strong urge. My father has continually refused to listen to what I have to say, and I’m always punished for being me. If I tell him about my professionally diagnosed ADHD, (the diagnosis in which he was present) he’ll brand it as an excuse and then punish me, no matter what I tell him. It’s not like I can go to the court and state my wish to stay with my mother more, even if I’m old enough. If I do, I’ll lose my dog (which I worked my tail off to earn), half of my christmas presents, half of my birthday presents, and I’ll never see my cousins, one of whom is among my closest friends. I have so few friends in total, the truth is. I can’t do anything about my father, nor my ADHD. I’ve tried dozens of things, and none of them have worked! I’m failing in school and therefore life. The process in which I try new medication takes too long for anything to work. My father will never understand how hard this is, and I have to live with him for the next five years. I don’t even feel human around him anymore. Between battling with my father and juggling missing work, I’m exhausted. ADHD has been such a burden on my life, and my father doesn’t even see it as a burden. I look around and see so many other people with ADHD, yet none of them are struggling as much as I. As it turns out, only 10% of fathers get custody of their children. It’s just my usual luck that my father, my narcissistic, insensitive, hypocritical father, was one of them.
Then there’s my therapist and everyone else. They say that my ADHD is balanced out by my ‘high IQ’ and creativity. The truth is, I’m smart in all the wrong areas. Will my employer really care if I wrote amazing Warriors fanfiction when I was younger? To be honest, writing is the only thing I’m good at, even though I’m supposed to be so freaking smart. Even then, my grade in LA is so terrible that it’s reminiscent of the first three episodes of Star Wars. Sure, my IQ is a high one, but what am I supposed to say when my employer sees my grades? If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that your intelligence doesn’t matter if your grades are bad. I simply won’t be hired.
And don’t get me started on all the posts I’ve read on here about relationships. Once again, if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that, long story short, if you have ADHD, your social life is screwed.
My life is, thus far and onward, a crappy one. And it’s all because of ADHD.
December 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm #70445
Hello, I’m the parent of child who was recently diagnosed with ADD. Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. I won’t pretend to know what you’re going through, because only you truly know. But I thought I’d share my experiences with you from the perspective of a parent.
Although my child’s diagnosis is new, the struggles he’s having in school is not. I find myself crying by myself at times because I don’t know what to do to help him. I’ve created org charts at home, I’ve gotten private tutors, I’ve changed diets and sleep schedules, almost anything I could think of under the sun. This is my first time visiting this forum as I’m a new registrant and I’m really hoping to learn more about other people’s experiences in hopes of finding better ways to help my child. I guess what I’m trying to say is that as a parent, sometimes we wish we had an answer to everything, boy truthfully, sometimes we’re just as lost and unsure of ourselves as our children.
Now, that does not give us the right to belittle our children in any way just because we’re clueless. That is definitely not going to help the situation. I know that you say that you’ll lose things if you move with your mother, but maybe, just maybe you’ll gain so much more than you lose. No child should ever face such tough decisions as these, but sometimes you have to. You have to do what’s best fo yourself. I don’t know if you’ve tried talking to your mother about this, but maybe you should if you haven’t. Or maybe even a school counselor or teacher. Any trusted adult. You deserve to feel safe in your environment. I really hope that you find someone to just listen to you and help you through this. Please don’t let numbers on a piece of paper discourage you. They mean absolutely nothing in the adult world I assure you. Not everyone fits the same mold and that’s okay. I truly believe that that’s what makes life so amazing. We are all special in our own way and we’re all great at something in life. It sounds like for you, that may be writing. A language arts grade can’t tell any different. Always write from the heart. Who knows, maybe you’ll touch someone’s life with your words. I can tell you you’ve certainly touched mine. If it means anything at all, I promise that I’ll never give up on my child through this journey of school. And I’ll never make them feel as your father has made you feel. Thank you for sharing and opening up my eyes to the irrespective of the child.
Just keep trying your best, love yourself, and be the best you. Nobody can be a better you than you. 😉
April 15, 2019 at 8:20 pm #114096
Everything you write in your reply to the young lady and issues with her dad took the word right out of my mouth. I have suffered with anxiety, depression, & ADD since childhood. I see some sign of such in my own son who is now 18 years old. You deserve, support, love and don’t ever think or listen to anyone who belittles you, even if he is your dad. You are allowed accomodations in school, more young people than you know suffer from exactly what your are suffering from. You and your mom should speak with your doctor who can write a note to your guidance counselor asking him or her to call them and your doctor will not go into detail in reference to your diagnosis as that is priveledged information, but having accomodations in school Will help work with you ADHD as they have with my son, and the school must by law not discriminate against any student who is being treated by a doctor and deserves accodations in school to offer that student more options n opportunity to level the playing field with the other students who do not have any type of learning condition. You deserve those options and opportunities. Your mother and your Doctor can advocate for you with your guidance counselor and you also Will have the proper chances to do well in school, get better grades and attend college like every other student scan do, just as my son is deserving of that option you are also. You shouldn’t have to struggle so hard n feel like you just can’t get get ahead or receive the proper advantages YOU are entitled to. ADHD, Depression , anxiety are all medical issues. And you should not feel guilty for having a learning disability to take the accodations and advantages all students deserve! I advocated with the help of his doctor to make sure he receives proper treatment in and out of school, and you deserve and have every right morally, ethically and lawfully the rights of doing well on tests, receiving any extra help necessary from teachers, tho no one has to know as you will not be put into Special Ed classes, your test may be a bit different a your homework assignments may be as that’s all accomodations means and they will do the same for any serving student under Drs care for many different reasons all throughout college as well. You are smart, bright, talented, and hard working I’m sure. You just need some reassurance, kindness from you parents, love and understanding. The school will do their part and you will do well, go onto college, the sky is the limit for you. I want you to take advantages of the help that is available for you and that you are entitled to. You will feel much better and happier about yourself and life in general. God Bless Always!!
December 14, 2017 at 11:28 am #70486
Intelligence is not the sole measure of capability. This is something I’ve been fighting for teachers to understand for my own son, who is 15. I’ve been fighting for that understanding for 9+ years, and still hitting a wall with it. I think it makes having a disability a lot harder when you’re super smart. And intelligence and functioning are two totally separate processes in the brain, one cannot cancel out the other.
I want you to know that not everyone is good at school, but that doesn’t make you a failure now, and it doesn’t cement a struggling future. There are many very successful adults who barely passed or didn’t even graduate high school. I know that doesn’t diminish today’s struggle much, but it does help you not let it cloud all the possibilities of your future.
As for school, meet with your guidance counselor, tell him or her what you’re struggling with, and ask if he or she will help you get some accommodations to even the playing field so you have access to academic success.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
December 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm #70553
In regards to your statement “And don’t get me started on all the posts I’ve read on here about relationships. Once again, if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that, long story short, if you have ADHD, your social life is screwed,” please know that people come on here to vent, so don’t read too much into those posts. I have been with my husband who has ADHD for 26 years and still love him, ADHD and all. No relationship will ever be perfect, and ADHD can add some challenges, but don’t read those posts and project a future of relationship failure for yourself. You are 13 or 14, yes? You have many relationships ahead of you AND, more importantly, you are aware of your ADHD, and can therefore empower yourself with knowledge on how to address your challenges. There are many terrific articles on this site to help you do just that, not to mention all the books out there about ADHD and friendships/relationships.
It sounds like you’re in a tough situation with your Dad. What I’m hearing from you is just a feeling of hopelessness and being overwhelmed. You said “I look around and see so many other people with ADHD, yet none of them are struggling as much as I.” I can tell you that they are (my 14 year old son for example is having a terrible year), but they may have a better support network in place. Unfortunately, we can’t choose our parents, but we can choose people to place in our support network. You’re kind of doing that here by talking with others affected by ADHD. You also mentioned a cousin who is a close friend. Maybe your therapist could be part of that network, and if you don’t feel a rapport with that person, ask to see someone else. If nothing else, your Dad won’t want to pay for someone if they’re not really helping you. You didn’t mention your Mom, but is she more supportive than your Dad? And speaking of your Dad, any chance that he has ADHD too? Tends to run in families. Could that explain some of the difficulty he is having with dealing with your diagnosis? It is hard to see your child struggle as you did. My husband is much less understanding of our son than I am, and tends to get more easily frustrated with him (because HE has low frustration tolerance as a result of ADHD)
At any rate, I hope you can add some people to your support network, really be intentional about it. Maybe some more people could be teachers at school that you get along well with, a school guidance counselor, others who read and appreciate your fan fiction. Honestly, you sound like an amazing and like-able young person to me, and I do not think you need to be fixed. I wish my son was nearly half as articulate as you are! You will find your niche in life. One thing I have learned is that grit, determination, and persistence will get you where you want to go. You just have to keep going and not give up.
December 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm #70856
Hi there! I saw your post and wanted to reach out. I grew up in a very similar situation to you except I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until college. I would love to be able to tell you that I remember feeling the exact same way as you until it was magically fixed by the right combination of meds/moving out of my childhood home/finding the perfect time management app. In all honesty, I’m feeling the same feelings you are now, only about a different set of circumstances. I think that the best advice I can give you is that these feelings-being overwhelmed and feeling inadequate and wanting all the things you hate about yourself to just go away-are feelings that can follow you through life, and if you let them have power over you, they can control your life. There are a lot of things that frustrate me about having ADHD, but there are also things about ADHD that make me (and you) special and worthwhile and different in a good way.
That being said, Adjusting to high school, learning to cope with family members that suck, and learning to thrive with a unique set of challenges are all pretty big deal issues (if I were being annoyingly optimistic I’d call them opportunities). I know you can do this all on your own, but you don’t have to. Find an adult you trust. Maybe it is a teacher, guidance counselor, or therapist. They can help you.
You matter. You are smart and capable and different. You deserve to be happy and healthy and loved for who you are. You can do this. You are not broken.
December 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm #70857
I didn’t get great grades in high school (or even technical college) either, but somehow I managed to do okay out in the work world as an adult. In fact, now and then I even had flashes of extreme competence. I still treasure the email I got from an engineer not long before I retired, complimenting me on the two huge sloping basalt-lined tailings lines that I had to model (in 3D CAD software) through a very messy and crowded old potash mill, out to a tailings pond. It fit together perfectly with no changes needed, which was a huge deal for those expensive specially-ordered fittings, and I kept the slope consistent the whole way.
When my mother cleared out her house prior to moving into care, she sent me a whole bunch of stuff including elementary school report cards. Over and over and over the same comments from different teachers – “R must try harder”, “R doesn’t pay attention”, “R needs to focus more”. It made me angry, because surely even in the early 60s teachers must have known about attention deficit disorder. Did they think it only affected boys? Didn’t they see that I was trying as hard as I could already?
No, school doesn’t actually have that much to do with how well you do out in the world. Focus on what you can learn from your classes, the knowledge you can pick up and how you might be able to use it out in the real world, and relax about the grades. I’m sorry your parents aren’t more supportive, but soon enough you’ll be an independent adult.
Take time out each day to relax and use your body doing something physical. It makes a big difference. I think I’d go nuts without my swimming.
January 8, 2018 at 8:59 am #72582
I am a parent of a daughter with ADHD and I just want to say that my heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry you are not getting the support you need from your dad, but I’m glad you’ve reached out here for support. Continue to do that, and try to find more support in the “real” world as well (not just virtual). One thing that has helped both my daughter and myself feel like her ADHD is not a “curse” is a podcast called Faster Than Normal by Peter Shankman. Check out FasterThanNormal.com Most episodes are interviews with successful people (and by that I mean REALLY successful) who have ADHD. Other episodes provide tips/advice/new research. There’s also a blog and a book. Maybe this would help give you hope. Wishing you the best.
January 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm #72867
StillPlaysMC, a few things:
1) 8th grade is the worst. period. It will get better. I know from experience. Part of the problem is most students that age are struggling. So they aren’t very kind. Eventually they will mature and you’ll find some friends. Maybe not a lot. But it gets better.
2) For an 8th grader your writing is amazingly good. Keep it up! Writing is hard for everyone. You’re doing much better than most. One thing nice about it is you can go over it, jump around, it’s a nice match for a mind that’s also jumping around.
3) Print out this thread and take it to your school counselor and ask for an IEP that accommodates being ADHD. That will help with your grades. Nobody knew about ADHD when I was your age. I got lots of comments along the lines of “if only he’d try.” Yeah, I felt like a complete failure.
4) One thing that eventually helped me was I found something to be passionate about. I had no idea at the time but it was a good thing. You say you like to write. Well, write. You may have to set some limits but take the break. Write stories for the school paper. Maybe there are other groups of writers. You’re young and maybe they’ll help you with your writing.
5) Having split parents is tough. I can’t say I’ve been there. I still argue with my dad and he’s 90. My mom died 3 years ago and I still miss her. Why don’t you write to your mom? It’s an old thing, writing letters. It’s also wonderful getting a real letter from someone.
January 11, 2018 at 12:02 am #73199
I haven’t checked the support forum in awhile, but it’s apparent I was supposed to tonight as soon as I saw you post. I’m here, not to give you a step by step solution, but maybe off some hope…Hope I wish someone gave to me last year at this time.
I have extreme ADHD. I have a hard time spelling words, I lose things unintentionally like keys, devit cards, cell phones, on a daily basis..it’s caused wreckage in my life and others. My hyperactivity unnedixated with stimulants is so intense that sitting still for any length of time causes so much angst in my kicky legs they will explode if I don’t constantly move.
Well, when I had an unplanned pregnancy last year, I thought the best thing would be to go off my medicine. Of course the rebound was brutal, I couldn’t hold my computer programming job I worked hard for, and I’m a 6 time college drop out. Like you, my IQ high, 169 actually. I can’t spell or remember 2 min ago, but I can see any pattern like it’s glowong. But I do not excel with traditional school for dozens of reasons. Yet I discovered programming and data science and everything about it I loved, and I actually was insanely gifted at it!!!
The only other job I could hold was waiting tables bc I always had to move and go from place to place. I couldn’t do my job without meds tho, bc I couldn’t sit still. 6 months went by. Got worse and they promised once out of my system it would be manageable with “cardio 5 x a week”. Yeah, I was running 10-15 miles a day in my third trimester simply to get an hour of relief after from burning off the kicky angst. It seemed so insane, no one believed me. Thought it was an excuse to be lazy. I prayed to God, and he seemed absent, but now see he was there all along I just didn’t know it. I was told by my father that he obviously failed as a parent bc I clearly can’t do life. I was hopeless, and alone. My resting Herat rate was 130 during this time. So even the doc who finally believed me said she would after baby, but was kinda leery bc stimulant (now on 40 mg focalin and resting heart rate 64-72 bc no angst in legs. I’m so backwards lol).
I had my daughter. She is perfect. I felt some hope. The endorphin rush carried me through to my next appointment to resume.
Less than an hour after taking first starting dose 20 mg xr, I felt the leg pain dissolve. My thoughts were normal and I could talk logically (ish). Within a week loved ones told me how amazing I look and I seem at peace, I didn’t tell them I resumed treatment until later. Started targeted ADHD therapy, been diving into exercise routine, and guess what? Started reviewing my programming stuff bc I could finally sit in one spot with no pain. It was like riding a bike and info soaked in even deeper. Just last week, got an email from my old boss head of tech dept that he knew how well I had been doing (he’s family) and I replied with what I’ve learned from auditing a PhD level machine learning class and told him how I thought we could apply it at the company. I was told I have my job if I want it when I’m ready. All this, and I have the most perfect baby girl in the world. She is my reason to continue and take care of myself, whether I want to or not or whether people think my illness is real or “fake”—it’s bigger than me now.
With life so beautiful (still rough times but I’m stable and not as emotionally reactive now), I still question why I had to go through that. At first I just assumed strengthen faith and gratitude. Which it did for sure.
It struck me last week, if I had someone who had been there and came out alive on the other side, I may have had hope. Being bitter that I didn’t have it did no good…but Hod revealed to me “Why don’t you be that source of tangible hope for someone else”—to tell them to keep moving their feet. I don’t know how things will get better for you or when, but maybe my experience can give you enough courage to keep moving. God works in mysterious ways. The way my qualify of life shifted is nothing short of a modern day miracle. People tell me what a wonderful mother I am, when while prgannat family members told me I would be a bad mom bc so irresponsible and negative or moody and unpredictable. I was told by a psych doc I’d never be able to do my dream job again…I’m doing it and doing it better than before.
I know I keep getting religious, but that was all I had to help me. But this verse I’ll leave you with by Paul
“Fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith”
March 20, 2018 at 3:20 pm #79422
Hello, StillplaysMC(I am assuming that means Mine Craft). Just wanted to agree with several of the comments made above about your ability to write very well, I think that is something often overlooked as far as intelligence goes. I am 24 and have only been diagnosed several years ago, when I was 19. I had absolutely terrible grades in High School and college up until the last several semesters I have attended, not even joking my GPA was less than a 1.0. Like you, I have had a difficult time trying to develop meaningful relationships and have also had a father that is quite condemning and unemotional towards my thoughts and opinions. It has taken me a long time to recognize (as is also mentioned above) that it truly does depend on who I want to communicate with and share my feelings, which as of lately has been only my therapist. It can be quite frustrating having someone tell you you’re incapable due to your own lack of willpower, when in your head all you want to do is “focus” and be present in the situation you’re thrust into emotionally, academically, or socially. As redundant as it sounds, it will get better but it does take quite a bit of practice. Although medications worked great for me at first I didn’t want to maintain them as I didn’t like the “zombified” effect that they made me feel, at least with the extended release varieties I was taking. One of the best things I have found to help me focus mentally and articulate emotionally is running. I choose to run several days a week because it does make me feel a lot less overwhelmed or depressed, even if it is for a limited amount of time. Making sure to eat a well balanced diet of fruits and vegetables is essential to maintain a good blood sugar and to prevent even more volatile exacerbated moods, which as an ADHD person come and go like clockwork. Believe me when I say, I’m sure there are going to be many teachers and counselors you will meet who have nothing but your best interest at heart. It can be quite difficult to believe people (especially adult male figures) when you have the situation you are dealing with at home, but if they are competent enough (and I feel like you are definitely competent enough to differentiate) they will want nothing but to lend a helping hand or a guiding mind academically and personally. If you haven’t heard of the concept before, I would look into the concept of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (essentially being subjective about your thoughts in order to alter how they occur the next time a similar situation arises). This way of thinking, although sometimes hard to follow or allowing to happen, is very beneficial to helping you realize much about how your brain is hardwired and how it effects you in day-to-day life. It is okay to fear for your future, that’s a very admirable trait that I unfortunately shaded with pseudo-apathy when I was younger, but know that as you grow older each day and deal with more situations domestically or otherwise you can and will be a successful individual professionally, personally, romantically, or academically so long as you hold onto the desire to better yourself and better your situation. I wish you the best of luck and feel for your situation very intimately as someone who has had similar instances… P.S. I still play Runescape at 24 :3
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