It’s been almost a year since ADHD has become a familiar word in my house. Before then it was a word I heard on the news or from friends mouths about their children, but not something that directly affected me. My oldest began struggling and I thought it was my fault. Was I parenting all wrong? Was I being too strict? No matter what new technique I tried it didn’t matter. His behaviour got worse and worse. Then they start appearing at school. It was getting out of control and I felt you slipping through my fingers. I took steps to get you help, which lead to the diagnosis. I was relieved. We knew what was wrong so we could fix it! Or could we?
It is a year later. I thought I would feel a lot better. I thought once we had a diagnosis I would be able to get the help we needed to make you happy. I thought we would have tools to deal with your frustration and excessive energy. I thought we would be fighting less and bonding more. Instead, we are on 6 month to 2 year wait lists. We have visited many Councillors and doctors to be told you are too smart for most of the ADHD help. You are amazingly smart, but you are struggling too. You aren’t reaching the potential inside of you. I know, I’ve seen it. I just don’t know how to calm you down so you can let your talents shine.
Through this journey, it has been brought to my attention that ADHD is a genetic problem, something passed down from parent to child. After a lot of soul searching, I am sure that it is me that passed this on to you. My need to control and doing things ritualistic are my downfall and it is these characteristics that cause us to bump heads. When I get frustrated and yell, I’m not yelling at you, but myself for causing this.
I’m walking on eggshells. I’m worried that if I say the wrong thing or use the wrong term, it will set you off. I hate repeating ‘pick up your sock (the same sock!)’ for the tenth time, when I know you can’t help getting distracted. I’m worried that ADHD may hurt our relationship or your relationship with your friends. It’s not fair. You are a good kid, you have a big heart and amazing ideas. I don’t want it to hold you back. I’m sad that I feel there is no where to turn for help and you are left to deal with my struggling attempts to mould you in to a man society would be proud of.
ADHD, you will not stop us. It may feel like a mountain standing in our way, but this mama is ready to climb. We may slip, we may fall, but eventually we will make it.
Do you or someone you know have ADHD? How do you handle it? Where did you find help and support?