The author of this personal testimony has chosen to remain anonymous
I am a 41-year-old woman who was always very quiet in school – so much so that no one would think I had ADD like my brother.
My life was one of being bullied and having emotionally challenged parents. I was not cuddled much and we never talked about emotions, to the point that, after a 9-month waiting list, a psychologist ended up saying I was emotionally neglected. Yeah, like I didn’t know that myself.
But as I grew older, I slowly gained in confidence and started talking more. And now the trouble was I talked too much, with associations, metaphors and leaps people sometimes could not follow. And I found out each of the few people I did call ‘friends’ were either borderline ADD, full ADD/ADHD or bipolar.
I do not get along with ‘normal’ people: I tell them something five times, and still they do not understand what I am saying – including psychiatrist. I tell my story over and over as well as I can, translating my thoughts to a boxed-in mind. So much effort and so little result. In the meantime, I work and listen all day to other people and I understand them so perfectly, including what they are saying in-between the lines.
My first job was at a university as an interviewer. Then I worked as a journalist, then as a legal assistant, then as a bartender, etc. Always listening to people. And they say I am such a good listener. But they can hardly remember my name. I dated a guy and found out after one year of dating that he did not know my last name correctly. If I attend a meeting, the following day people start to explain to me what was said during that meeting. I say, ‘I was there! Don’t you remember me?’ They say, ‘No. Sorry.’
I have ADD, am very HSP, and maybe a bit dyslexic (but only when I speak; not when I write). Am I highly gifted like someone suggested? No. My IQ is only 123 ( I never did homework, due to lack of concentration, though I still managed a Bachelor’s Degree). I took a course in Photoshop but, after some lessons, could not even find the switch to turn on the computer. After many instances of hyperventilating from crying on the toilet, I would start over and over and over again – without help from the teacher because she gave up on me. Yet who had the exposition at the end of the term? Me. So the teacher said, ‘You walk before you crawl. You’re always either running or standing still. There is nothing in between.’
But whatever. I wish I could talk to other people and have them listen to me for a change. The only people who listen have ADHD. They give me a headache, are blabbermouths. I hate it. But it is me.
ADD is: many months of burnout, and then all of a sudden I’m writing some cover article. Everything or nothing. I am sometimes blocked for months, no movement, I cannot do anything. Then all of a sudden I am in free flow, typing nonstop. My thoughts finally find an outlet. No one I know reads it; it’s online and anonymous people around the world are listening.
And I am a peoples person, yet I cannot get a paid job because they don’t prolong my contract. ‘You do not fit in the team,’ they say. I don’t know why. I only know they don’t understand me when I talk, like I speak another language.
Last week I interviewed a dyslectic person for my site. We talked for an hour on the telephone. He talked like me: leaps, metaphors, jumping thoughts, playful, looking at things from different angles. If I speak with non-dyslexics and non-ADHD people, I feel like I need to speak baby talk, go very slowly and not use any metaphors. I don’t understand why they can hold onto such well paid jobs, because to me, I’m sorry, they are the slow ones, the ‘inside the box’ thinkers.