I’ve worked, blogged, played games, watched movies, baked cookies, researched, studied grammer, read books, made valentines, folded laundry, taken temperatures… it’s my twelfth day
trapped, basking inside.
I realize as I sit here that i’ve been doing everything to keep from thinking… which is probably, cosmically, exactly why i’m still here… “trapped inside.”
Trapped inside my head…. the subject that weighs heavily on my mind has been worrying me now, for weeks. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on, and I’ve reached out to the experts. The only way I can really think to cope with it, and process it, is to write about it.
There are parts about what I am about to say that will sound like I am projecting, but there are parts I am very clear about.
Where i am not projecting is, I am seeing all of the signs of ADD in my beautiful, vibrant, creative, amazing, strong- willed and tender-hearted daughter. I see it in her struggles in school, her challenges to adapt in certain social situations, the hardstops and switches from one activity to another- always trying to find something to do and focus on that does not quickly bore her, her difficulty falling asleep at night, and the anxiety and hyper-vigilance that I know all too well, not to mention the countless other signs.
I hope I am wrong. I do. I’ve really wanted to be right about many things in my life, but I don’t care to be right on this one. I’m feeling protective, and I’m wanting to run away from this.
I’m usually so good at seeing all of the positives about things, and yet… this new frontier in parenting is making me feel kind of angry and alone. I know I am not alone… and that my friends will be here for me, and Goodbar, and our close family members, but it’s more this feeling of ….
Ok, here is where I project… (thanks in advance for listening)
There is no way to avoid certain things about the
disorder gift of ADD. There are certain things that I just can’t go through for her, but that I am painfully aware of as inherent to the mis-firing brain. The world is not set up yet for those of us that have a different way of experiencing things- and because of this fact, it can be harsh.
I read this article that kind of put it all into a nutshell for me. The article explains all of the things I myself have experienced, as well as many aspects to the disorder I’ve suspected are vastly different for girls than they are for boys. The implications are far more dreadful for girls (in my opinion) given the way our society is structured for females.
I feel incompetent to handle this new reality, and you might tell me I should hold-my-horses until we get the official testing, but the fact is, sometimes i just know things, and this happens to be one of them.
It’s a complete joke actually… I mean, here I am, a Mother who is supposed to help her daughter with structure, and “systems” that are highly recommended as beneficial for those with ADD, and I can barely get out of my own ADD way to help her. Her forth grade math is way over my head, and my own chaotic way of organizing the world can’t be particularly helpful. You wanna make a pile? then I’m your girl. You wanna move furniture around several times a month just because you need a change of scenery? i’m here for you baby, You wanna learn how to leave every cabinet door open, lose your car keys several times a day and burn every single batch of cookies in the oven? sign up here!
I don’t want her to feel incompetent.
I don’t want her to feel irresponsible.
I don’t want her to feel like an outsider.
I don’t want her to hate herself for years , as she tries desperately to fit into a world that’s not yet fit for her.
I don’t want to watch her blunder through social situations, or learn to sob quietly in her pillow. I don’t want her to be mis-interpreted by people, considered spacey, or to become a pleaser while neglecting her own needs, pushing down her own voice, her own dreams, in an effort to make herself feel lovable, like she belongs, or to watch her dispair- thinking that she’s somehow just not “enough”.
I’m concerned about how misunderstood ADD is, and how many educators, doctors, parents, and professionals are truly oblivious to what it really is, how it really impacts families, marriages, friendships, or how it manifests as all of these different things ( depression, bi-polar, oppositional defiance, anxiety, OCD) before the root cause of ADD is finally discovered… always a day late and a dollar short.
I can’t even get her Father to really look into it seriously because, like so many of us (understandably), he’s been so put off by hearing about it in the media, and on the lips of educators everywhere. ADD, ADD ADD, it’s all we ever hear….and yet we dangerously, and incorrectly make it’s association with distracted and hyper active little boys. Which, aside from it being a *sign* of possible issue, it’s only two aspects of a
disorder gift, that has about fifty aspects! In addition – we push it’s validity away like an annoying culturally created fantasy aversion to learning, vs. a real, biological, neurological disorder gift, that deserves to be treated, and understood, seriously.
At the very top of my IDOWANNA list, is making some kind of decision around the treatments that are available for ADD, most of which are highly controversial, un-effective, or risky. The super effective one, is also the most controversial, and has it’s own risks: medication. The others solutions are clearly designed for capable mothers who know how to follow a recipe, organize a home, and follow a routine, which sure ain’t this cowgirl.
Then there is the complete absurdity of this even happening given my avoidance of all things antibiotic, vaccination, or red dye #9.
WTF? haven’t i dealt with enough? overcome enough? given enough? taken enough? forgiven enough? been enough? Ooooooh… that last one just freudianly slipped right out of my computer keyboard.
*sigh… * I’m totally taking this personally – aren’t I?
I’m making this be about me (shocking).
My fears, my memories, my inadequacies, my failures….. my grief.
Is that what this is about? I’m mourning?
Maybe I just … god, maybe I’m just sad… i feel responsible in some way… as if, I did this to her. That it’s because of me, that she has to face any of this at all.
Part of me thinks I should have kept folding laundry, and “doing” to keep from thinking… and the other part of me is really grateful that we had this talk. I’m not sure if what I just said, is true… but I think i should “try it on…” as my Landmark leadership coach used to say.
“…and see if it fits.”
I’m sure more will be revealed.