Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Childhood Label

When I was young, I never really payed much attention to what was going on around me. I loved to climb things and have fun in everything that I did. I always woke up in the morning expecting to have a busy and adventurous day. That was just me, until I turned 7. This was my second year in school and I never really thought there was anything wrong with me or the things that I did. I did get a few more lashes and scoldings than any of the other kids in school and my dad was prone to discipline me before my sister. But I was a child, you would expect a child to be naughty right?

I remember going to school with my mom one day to sit down and have a meeting with my teacher. My mom and teacher had a lengthy conversation, I still don't know about what exactly but I do know that it changed my life forever.

A week later, my mom and dad were home with me and I was taken to a specialist for some tests. I honestly had no idea what was going on at the time so just took it all in. Later in the day I was lead into a room with big machines and the nurse put this rubber thing on my head. I remember to this day how it felt on my head, and still get the sensation when I am feeling overwhelmed. I was scared as you can imagine, and still nobody had told me what we were doing at this place.

About two weeks later my mom told me that I would be going to a new school in another suburb. I was exited about the move and never really thought anything about it until my first day there. I was taken into the school office to see the Psychologist who asked me many questions and played games with me. Nothing seemed out of place until she gave me a pill to swallow. She said it would help me concentrate in class and I needed to take one every day.

It was only a few months later that I actually found out that I was diagnosed with ADD ( attention deficit disorder ) but I still had no idea what it meant. My mom used to always tell me I was too busy and had too much energy but I had no idea that the two played a roll in my ADD. Things really started to make sense in the year before I was supposed to go to high school. Our aim that year was to do well enough so that the school psychologist could recommend that we attend a 'Main stream' school. Did this mean that we were not normal? The school that we attended was not for normal pupils? What was wrong with us, with me?
This really hit me hard as only then did I understand the reasons for taking my daily Ritalin and why we had to see the psychologist once a week. I was broken and because nobody had explained all this to me, the pieces I put together made me feel like an outcast. I thought I was doing well in school and I was proud of everything I had done up until then. All of a sudden those achievements seemed like nothing because to me, when compared to a 'maistream school student', were not good at all.

Unfortunately nobody really explained what ADD meant until I had to read up on it myself years later and it was what lead me to try and express myself in other areas. I failed horribly in school but was too proud to ask for help because I was afraid to show anyone that I was 'broken'. So I struggled through school, struggled to concentrate on studying and home work. I rather found pleasure in talking to people or being the one people could come and talk to. I pretended to study and pretended to have things under control. It did not help that my parents allowed me to leave things unfinished so the minute I could not focus on one thing anymore, I was on to the next.

ADD was and still is my label. I hate it but have learned to love it. It is part of who I am and had brought me to a point in my life where I realize that I can change so many things about myself, except that. I have pushed myself to be disciplined in some area's, but studying still remains an issue. I am a self taught Photographer and am trying to learn new things every single day. I have given birth to my baby in the way I set out, thanks to my ADD. There are so many things I have done and mostly at once all because I have ADD. I am called a scatter brain and that I don't know how to slow down, but that's just it,  I don't know how to slow down. I have to be researching 3 things at once and man do I love it.

So do I regret having ADD, no, what I do regret is that there are people who always tried to make feel like less of a person because I had it.
My greatest lesson in my experience is to always tell my kids what is going on with and around them. They need to know that they are precious and that nothing they do or have should taint them.
I am still working on the stain in my head that ADD has mad me 'broken', because it has not and it will not.

This Post was inspired my Mama Kat's writers Workshop Prompt no. 1



tanya said...

Labels of any kind, suck! I don't know why we always feel the need to put people into a neat box somewhere. Nobody is one dimensional and shouldn't be made to feel like that. I'm sorry you felt broken. I felt that way because my parents divorced when I was eight. At the time divorce was not as popular and it definitely made me feel different. Thanks for sharing- Stopping by from Mama Kat's

Rhonda said...

I think the biggest sense of empowerment is using our 'labels' to make us a better person and not let it define us as a person!

JustMom420zaks said...

I know what you mean. My mom (ahead of her time) rejected my label as ADD for this very reason. I never went on meds (although this may have helped) I was just a happy, energetic and talkative kid, and thats how she let it stay.

mjrodriguez said...

some people can be so cruel at times when they make you feel like you are a lesser person.

am so glad that you have overcome and accepted your situation and adjusted it to your advantage. i think this in itself shows that you are "more" of a better person.

keep it up girl!

Donna said...

Not knowing can be the hardest part. I admire that you use your traits to your advantage and try to learn something every day. I think that's the true purpose of living. Always be who you are! Visiting via Mama Kat's Writer Workshop.