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.’

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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.

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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.

  1. Chris says:

    Wow I thought you were chatting about me Though I am 46 years old and I was just about 2 hours ago told by my mother is all I have to do is fit in with the family(does that mean I do not fit in?LOL wow after 46 years it is now official! Wow I work with people that have schizophrenia depression bipolar all day long and they get me and treat me well could I hope that one day my own family could do this for me? Ok I will lower my expectations! 🙂 though sad but true it is!
    As far as writting wow do I know the block I just really started back up since November 14th I wrote a tiny bit but not much at all. I think people understand what I am saying when I write. But when I talk people (ok I will use my family for instance since it has been such recent episodes) they seem to not understand what I am saying and when they state something to me it is like they feel the need to repeat it to me or think I do not understand and I truly do get it but If I tell them that I understand then they get defensive and state that I am anxious.
    So your writting came at perfect timing for me and be honest I found my self laughing at how very familiar what you spoke of was so identical to what I have gone through the last 46 years of my life.
    S thanks bunches for your unblocked writtings!

  2. RJ Edwards says:

    I identify with so much of that. I went a bir further in school (waste of time and money?), but only because it seemed preferable to the agony of trying to find anf fit in to a job without a credential that would speak for itself. The credential can’t do that, of course — that seems obvious now.
    Incidentally, what’s your experience been with meds? I use them, and they are effective in the same way coffee was in school, but I think they cause further alienation from people, seemingly amplifying and exacerbating my “spaceman” communication style.

  3. Brandon says:

    Very recognisable and good of you to share it! It is so unfair! Last night I dreamt a “normal” person ending up in a colony of morons and being dubbed abnormal. They fed him drugs so he’d become more normal. That probably won’t happen, but it was a fun thinking it through.

  4. Christina says:

    I used to feel like I was speaking a different language with other people or like I was from a different planet than them. Why couldn’t people understand what I was saying?? I also find it ironic that these other people can get and keep respectable jobs and in general be more ‘successful’ in life and I can’t. I was eventually (at 31) diagnosed with Asperger’s. I wondered if I might have ADD but I was ‘tested’ and they said I probably don’t. I imagine you and I would get along and I think it’s great that you have others like you in your life. I hope to find others like me. It’s a lonely life being surrounded by neurotypicals. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Bobbi says:

    Wow. Thank you for this. I can relate to this! I cannot imagine NOT using metaphors-I learned so much from your essay. Am truly grateful to have read this. This was so key for me “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.” Please write more about this. Why “anonymous”-if you had a web site I would seek you out and read all you had to say: you are very wise. And I can relate to Christina and “neurotypicals”-What people call “friends”-usually don’t “get” it-am shocked by betrayals. We need you, Anonymous!

  6. Danica Surette says:

    Bless you for acknowledging this truth. I will post this on my blog, tourettemama2012.blogspot.ca, as my daughter has tourette syndrome, ADD and OCD.

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