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Please post your "ADDhoods" here.

You know, how you grew up as an ADD child, went through adolescence, and (for most of us) adulthood and the workplace.

For example, in first grade, my report card repeatedly said that I was "irresponsible" for losing my school supplies on multiple occasions.

In fourth grade, my teacher told my parents that I was a talented student, but that I always daydreamed and had trouble staying on task.

[EDIT - in 5th grade, it was always "careless mistakes".]

[bad/odd/bizarre things that happened during grades 8-12 and through all 4 years of college were due more to MDD and Asperger, not the ADD symptoms]

Once, I got fired, one of the reasons being that my lab bench was disorganized (it was; my new one still is).

My apartment's now a perpetual mess: http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t191/fousmess/

etc. etc. etc.

*praying for success on a Concerta/Adderall/etc. scrip tomorrow*

Oh what can it mean

to a daydream believer

and a homecoming queen...... (love that song, btw)

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The majority of my early childhood is nothing but noise and colour. Even after that, my main problem has still been autism. The ADD has always been secondary. So I don't know how to separate the two for now. Sorry, perhaps it is the late hour or my nitey meds. I still felt as though your post deserved a reply. Sorry that this is the best I can give this for the moment.

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Please post your "ADDhoods" here.

You know, how you grew up as an ADD child, went through adolescence, and (for most of us) adulthood and the workplace.

Um. This is long. Apologies in advance.

Oy. My only memories of elementary school (grades 1-8) are of constant embarrassment. I was always going to the wrong class, doing the wrong assignment, bringing the wrong book, giving the wrong answers. I stopped talking for part of the second grade and my teacher told my parents to have my hearing checked. I just remember that I was too afraid to answer in case I was wrong and too embarrassed to admit that I didn't know.

I don't know what grade this was, but I remember getting called to the chalkboard to write the answer to a question and between my desk and the chalkboard, I completely forgot what the teacher had asked. 'Course I was too timid to ask her to repeat the question, so I copied from the person next to me. Turned out it was an opinion kind of question not a fact kind of question, so then I had to try to explain that.

I remember one year I forgot my spelling book, I swear it had to have been every single week, and I had to call a boy who lived down the street to get the spelling words so I could study for the test. You'd think that hating the telephone as much as I do (and did even back then), I'd've found a way to remember my stupid book.

I remember when we were supposed to get our homework signed by our parents so the teachers would know we did it or something. I got really good at forging mom's initials, not because I wasn't doing the work, but because I'd forget to show it to my parents afterwards. I remember sitting at my desk in my room just staring at a pile of assignments, spending hours fooling around and doodling and making a mess with drops of glue because I just didn't know how to start doing my homework. I always managed to get decent grades, so it probably wasn't as bad as I remember. I've always embarrassed easily so what's mortifying to me is no big deal to everyone else. Overly sensitive and emotional, yeah, that's me.

I did stuff like getting on the bus when my mom was supposed to pick me up, and then being too scared to tell the bus driver that I was in the wrong place. Or missing the bus thinking that mom was going to pick me up.

My room has always been complete chaos, and I spent years feeling horribly guilty because I couldn't keep it clean even though I knew how much my parents wanted me to. It wasn't until high school that the parents finally gave up and realized that it wasn't worth the frustration all around and it was easier just to close the door.

I don't know how or why, but I did better in high school. Or maybe I was just less embarrassed by my careless mistakes. College, though. Ugh. I can't tell you how many times I almost flunked out my first couple of years. Between ADD making the academics harder than they should have been, and depression and anxiety that made it hard for me to even leave my dorm room to get to class, I'm still surprised that I managed to graduate at all. It took me 5 years and my gpa was shamefully low (even though I kicked butt my last two years), but I managed to do it.

Academics aside, there's been so much social awkwardness I can't even think of specific examples. I'm lousy at small talk. I never know when it's my turn to say something, so I either end up interrupting someone or missing my opportunity and getting frustrated, because it's not often that I can actually think of something I want to say. Or I talk about stuff that no one but me is interested in and I can't stop even when I do manage to realize that the person I'm talking to couldn't care less about forensic anthropology.

I lost a job because of it. Or because of the ADD/depression/anxiety combo. A temp job, but one I'd had for almost 3 years. It was a really good job and originally I was good enough at it that they offered me a permanent position, but I was so scared of getting more responsibility and screwing up that I turned them down. I don't know what started me going down hill, but it got to where I couldn't concentrate on anything and had no motivation and it was all I could do to show up for work in the morning. My actual productivity was pretty much a zero and I don't blame them at all for letting me go. They were decent enough to say upper management eliminated my position, but really it was because I wasn't getting any work done. That bumped me into a big time depression that kept me unemployed for the better part of 2 years. I think I'm getting off topic.

My ADD stayed undiagnosed until a couple of years ago when I started noticing the same pattern of lack of motivation, poor productivity, etc at my current job and I got scared and ran to a therapist who nudged me towards a psychiatrist who actually took me seriously when I said I thought I had ADD even though I was almost 30 years old and had never been diagnosed.

Adderall XR has been a lifesaver. Therapy has been a lifesaver. I've had rough patches at work, but I still have my job and my productivity is higher than it's ever been.

Most recent ADD phenomena: I'm off of my Adderall right now and I tried to go shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding over the weekend. You know how when you walk in a store, even one you're not familiar with, and you can kind of scan and see the different departments even if they're not labeled? I couldn't. I kept trying to find formal wear and it took forever because I couldn't make sense of what I was seeing. It's like I had blinders on and I could only see what was directly in front of me. Everything else might as well have been plain white t shirts. It all looked the same. Speaking of blinders, I walked into two racks of clothes, bumped into one person and would have bumped into two others except that they had better reflexes and got out of my way. Decided to order a dress online and take my chances if it doens't fit.

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Most recent ADD phenomena: I'm off of my Adderall right now and I tried to go shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding over the weekend. You know how when you walk in a store, even one you're not familiar with, and you can kind of scan and see the different departments even if they're not labeled? I couldn't. I kept trying to find formal wear and it took forever because I couldn't make sense of what I was seeing. It's like I had blinders on and I could only see what was directly in front of me. Everything else might as well have been plain white t shirts. It all looked the same. Speaking of blinders, I walked into two racks of clothes, bumped into one person and would have bumped into two others except that they had better reflexes and got out of my way. Decided to order a dress online and take my chances if it doens't fit.

It's been hard for me to tell where the men's section is; but perhaps more since they tend to tear chunks out of it and replace it with women's fashion du jour from time to time. Well, providing I actually find the men's section, as long as there are <$10 t-shirts, <$20 button-ups, and <$30 jeans and pants there, I'm not going to complain.

And I'm sorry to hear of your childhood experiences; they seem a good deal worse than mine. Though I have made many of the exact same mistakes that you have. I'm surprised also that I made it through HS and college with good grades.

Also, the ADD+MDD combo bites hard, as you mentioned. We have no motivation to do the work, we're too tired and down to do it, and we can't figure out how to start off doing it anyways!!r

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And I'm sorry to hear of your childhood experiences; they seem a good deal worse than mine.

Nah. Silly childhood stuff. Looking back, I feel ridiculous for getting upset over stuff that's so minor. I mean, most of the time, if I'd just told the teacher I had the wrong book or whatever instead of trying to hide the fact that I screwed up again, it would have been a lot less embarrassing in the long run.

Also, the ADD+MDD combo bites hard, as you mentioned. We have no motivation to do the work, we're too tired and down to do it, and we can't figure out how to start off doing it anyways!!r

So true.

Which brings to mind - have you ever told your boss or coworkers about your ADD? I decided to tell my boss about a week ago. Not as an excuse for anything, but more as a way to open up and let her in a little bit on how my brain works (or doesn't work). I was in a one on one meeting with her, and she admitted that she tends to be a perfectionist and when she was a kid, she used to never do anything because she figured if she couldn't do it perfectly, she might as well not even try. And I decided to open up a little, too, and I told her that when I was a kid, I was the same way, except for me it was because I always assume I'm going to screw everything up. And then I admitted to the ADD which was pretty scary, but she seemed really understanding, so I'm hoping it wasn't a huge mistake.

The next meeting I had with her was to go over projects for the year, and instead of just giving me a bunch of deadlines way far in the future, she had the major projects broken down into smaller tasks with a deadline for each task. That is so hugely helpful it almost brought tears to my eyes. She said she did some research on the internet and even talked to her sister who has a kid with ADHD. It still could turn out to be a big mistake confiding in her, but so far, it feels like it was the right thing to do.

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Nah. Silly childhood stuff. Looking back, I feel ridiculous for getting upset over stuff that's so minor. I mean, most of the time, if I'd just told the teacher I had the wrong book or whatever instead of trying to hide the fact that I screwed up again, it would have been a lot less embarrassing in the long run.

...

Which brings to mind - have you ever told your boss or coworkers about your ADD? I decided to tell my boss about a week ago. Not as an excuse for anything, but more as a way to open up and let her in a little bit on how my brain works (or doesn't work). I was in a one on one meeting with her, and she admitted that she tends to be a perfectionist and when she was a kid, she used to never do anything because she figured if she couldn't do it perfectly, she might as well not even try. And I decided to open up a little, too, and I told her that when I was a kid, I was the same way, except for me it was because I always assume I'm going to screw everything up. And then I admitted to the ADD which was pretty scary, but she seemed really understanding, so I'm hoping it wasn't a huge mistake.

Well, true, it's silly childhood stuff, but it hurts in childhood (but not now when we look back on it).

In any event, I've not had any need to tell my co-workers about my ADD, given that they've entrusted me in managing a lab of 10 researchers, they've figured out rather clearly my attention deficits.

Now the brain rot/dementia is another story. I'm contemplating posting a memo on the shelf above my bench stating "My brain has partially rotted away and is continuing to. Do not ask me to do anything that a Parkinsonian tremor would get in the way of. I will not do it. And yes, this fan is always on, my hypothalamus has forgotten how to tell me when it's hot or cold. Don't get offended if I sound angry... I've lost part of my pseudobulbar area and you can assume that I'm not angry until I start using vulgarities. Also, stop making. fun. of. me. whenever. I. speak. like. William. Shatner."

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I did the usual "Oh, she doesn't work up to her potential" shit in school, and college. It was always from my dad, "yeah, thats OK, but--" so I didn't really try, besides, who cared? I was cute, I had fun, I got married, I had more fun, I had a baby,I was really cute, I had a lot of fun and ran off with a biker and life moved on--

Then I discovered speed. And it didn''t turn me into a blithering, paranoid, floor-scrubbing idiot like many folk I knew, I could actually study. Which was handy since i was now in Nursing School, which is hard as shit. And working. And raising kids, And getting divorced.

The best? When my dad, who obviously did not realize the reason for my new-found academic success (I had about a 3.9999 in nursing school, and made a 100 on my Statistics final exam--) said to me--"I"ve heard of late bloomers, but this is ridiculous." (I was 40 at the time)

NOW I know why speed "worked" for me, because it just made me focused and functional. And finally I have accepted that all the brain illnesses I have been dx'd with and treated for are really due to one thing--

the fucking ADD. Long live Adderall.

china

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chinacat--

I might have said this before in another post, but I'm glad it turned out for you.

Desoxyn (i.e., speed in an Rx pill) is out of my question, as I'm still trying to convince my pdoc to extend my GP's scrip on Focalin.

And my pdoc doesn't even know I used to have a major drinking problem.

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Memories, ah yes, memories (At least the ones I have not repressed, but that is another issue.....)

In elementary school I used to read all the textbooks on the sly, but refuse to do virutally any written work. Long Term projects were simply impossible.

I did the same thing - getting on the bus when my mom was supposed to pick me up, going home when I was supposed to stay for afterschool clubs. It was a constant source of frustration.

On one report card, for the "effort" grade, the teacher gave me the lowest grade, which was "unsatisfactory". I thought this meant I was going to be left back to repeat the grade. I cried inconsolably for the entire bus ride home. I remember my friends were trying to convince me that this did not mean I was left back, nor would my parents punish me for the rest of my life - I remember I was just sobbing and sobbing.

"Not Working to Potential" was the mantra I heard, and hear, even to this day. Now I know I was working to my potential, given the way my brain works. It was so hurtful to have to hear, over and over from everyone who mattered to me, that I was such a smart girl, if I would only settle down and do my work.

I could not sustain my attention for board games or playing quietly using my imagination. I could, however, spend hours reading. When I was supposed to practice my instrument, I used to read the encyclopedias. At other times, I read the dictionary and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

I was outwardly happy, charming, gregarious. On the inside I was destroying myself with anxiety and depression.

I did ok in college and grad school, I had finally learned to take the time I needed to study enough to get at least a B. But the sloppiness, the inability to organize, the inablility to "see the big picture", in both a literal and figural sense, have made my life difficult.

I am on Strattera and Paxil now, but the Strattera is doing nothing but making me have jimmy legs and insomnia, so I think I am going to drop it and just keep the Paxil.

I recently did something relatively stupid that is clearly ADD related and I have really caused the shit to hit the fan. I am sick and tired of trying to learn coping mechanisms. I wish the ADD would just go away.

Pickle

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In elementary school I used to read all the textbooks on the sly, but refuse to do virutally any written work. Long Term projects were simply impossible.

Yes! I'd always read ahead in the text books, but when it came time to actually do the lessons, no motivation. Very frustrating, since I knew I knew the material.

I could not sustain my attention for board games or playing quietly using my imagination. I could, however, spend hours reading.
Hey, maybe that's why I've always hated board games. I know I have no sense of strategy and lousy luck. Never thought to attrubute that to ADD, but it sorta makes sense. The no strategy part anyway. If I see a move, I take it. It doesn't matter if there are 6 better moves. I can't predict how what I do is going to impact future actions. True in checkers. True in real life. I was the kid that wanted to play the pretend imaginary games. Course my best friend hated that and just wanted to play board games. All things being equal, I'd've rather stayed in my room to read or play my imaginary games by myself. ;)

I am sick and tired of trying to learn coping mechanisms. I wish the ADD would just go away.

I hear ya. I'm tired of struggling with stuff that other people don't think twice about, not just with regards to ADD, but everything. I know a person who can pick up the phone and call anyone, even complete strangers, any time, no problem. It's true. I've seen her do it. It boggles my mind. At the same time, I'm still just tickled to death to have an explanation for why I am the way I am. This is real. It's legitimate. It's not an excuse, but it explains so much.

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I don't do any board games at all but Trivial Persuit--and I kick serious ass at that, cause my head is so fuckin full of useless info!!

But I have absolutely no competitive spirit in anything I do--is that just me, or anyone else? I mean except above mentioned game, I really dont' give a rats ass who wins if I am playing. Now watching sports, racing, etc--yeah, I am rabid. But whenI play--nope, I'll quit mid-game, just cause I don't really care if you win or if I do.

I am also married to super competitive guy--great combo--

Is it my turn? Or yours? Oh, lets go have a drink--we can finish later--

what did you say the score was?

china

P.S. CALL SOMEONE?? On the phone?? Without a gun being put to your head??? There are people like that? They must not be "from here", thats all I can say. It just aint' right, I tell you, it ain't right.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Obieland

oh, there are lots of these. (Sometimes it's kind of maddening that Nobody realized that I have every single indicator of ADHD-inattentive type. Didn't get diagnosed until I was nineteen years old.)

just one for today, however, due to it being 4am.

In T-ball, when I was like six years old, I hit the baseball off the little tee and started running. I got somewhere between 2nd and 3rd base, and stopped in my tracks. as the coach screamed "RUUN! RUUN!" I said to the shortstop : "Nice shoes! Where'd you get those *shoes*!"

according to my parents, this is when they knew sports were not for me.

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oh, there are lots of these. (Sometimes it's kind of maddening that Nobody realized that I have every single indicator of ADHD-inattentive type. Didn't get diagnosed until I was nineteen years old.)

We inattentives were always the ones to get skipped over. Back then (being 10-20 years ago), ADD = hyper. In fact, the myth became so pervasive that ADD became ADHD to account for the hyperactivity! Then they found out about us. Which is how we get the diagnosis "Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder -- inattentive type." There's a reason I never use the term "ADHD" unless the person I'm describing is hyper.

In T-ball, when I was like six years old, I hit the baseball off the little tee and started running. I got somewhere between 2nd and 3rd base, and stopped in my tracks. as the coach screamed "RUUN! RUUN!" I said to the shortstop : "Nice shoes! Where'd you get those *shoes*!"

I can't say that's why I wasn't good at sports, my problem was just keeping an eye on the ball.

according to my parents, this is when they knew sports were not for me.

My gym teachers had that figured since I was 8, it took my parents until I was 21 (when I started doing athletics on my own!!!) before they stopped complaining about my lack of athletic ability.

Then again, my parents were (and are) stupid.

Also, good sports recommendations for ADDers, while we're at it... Running doesn't require much attention (relatively). Road cycling doesn't either, but depending on your facilities (paved trail, wide roadway, narrow roadway), you'd have to be on the look out. Oh yes, road bikes are a bitch to steer and control the first few tries.

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i'm sorry i can't read the long posts, and i'm skipping posts in this thread. i haven't had my adderall for a couple of days because i ran out and can't find my script (sound familiar to all you ADD-inattentive types?).

in elementary school i never lived up to my potential, daydreamed, fooled around with my markers and didn't pay attention to the teacher, could never find my homework (when i remembered to do my homework), and usually got the assignment wrong anyway. i was a clear-cut case of ADD and they never caught it. i think it goes along the lines of them expecting ADDers to be hyper, and for boys to have it more than girls.

in high school i didn't have my markers, but i still got my assignments wrong and if i did my homework, could never find it. i'd daydream during class and tests, and usually run out of time during tests due to daydreaming.

in college i functioned better, probably due to the fact that my profs recognized my disorder even when i didn't and gave me proper help. my college had a 15:1 student/prof ratio, so they could give me this personal attention. i zoomed ahead in school and graduated with honors from one of the top liberal arts schools in the midwest.

at work, before i got on ssdi and before i got my DX, i went through jobs like candy. i fit right into tech because it changes all the time and so does my mind. it bounces around like crazy. it is really difficult for me to focus right now to write this. without adderall i'm prettymuch screwed.

i got my DX and adderall this year. i'm 28. things have been a lot better. i can get things done whre i used to abandon projects. i can finish books, finish folding the clothes, finish cooking that meal before it burns or boils over ;)

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GRade schooL:

me chattering whne teacer is talking

Teacher: Mr Stewart, are you able to talk and listen at the same time?

Me (busted): er, well, yes

Teacher: fine then why dont you repeat to the class what I just said

Me: Repeat whe the teacher was saying verbtum.

Teacher: go to the principals office

Teacher: now all of you can read todays reading assignment

Me; Screwing off and chattering

Teacher: Mr stewart why are you not reading your assignment

Me: I already did

Teacher: " then read the next one

Me: i already did

Teacher: you read both?

Me; I read the whole book

Teacher opens randomly ask question aobut a story

Me: answer it correctly

Teacher: Go to principals office

I was often punished for avancing past assignments and my books had to be kept at school so i could not read ahead-everything but math that is-- i still dont do math in public ;)

I refused to ever blow a single note on the recorder and almost was not advnaced out of grade school because I would not toot that whistle-- my dad raised hell with them and they admintted it was not part of written curriculum and could not hold me back because of that-- brilliant, those teachers were in the 60s

I Loathed art and music and I would slip out of line when class was going to those rooms and sneak in library and read book after book after book

And yes every report card said Mark performs far below his ability. Marks grades are not reflective of his actual mastery of the subject, etc.

I ws stupid in high school cause I too discovered speed but blew it off cause it didnt give me a buzzz-- I didnt pick up on the fact that it cleared my head

Got through college with Ds-- though knew I knew the stuff better

Have always muscled through my limitations-- wasnt till 45 YO or so that the stress of my life got to point where the ADD got the better of me and have not gotten things under control

only thing that keeps my spouse with me is the belief that our two sepcial needs kids would be in danger if I was on my own with them-- pretty ugly relationship

But thing is, I feel pretty darn good about myself and am accepting of my attributes and sympathetic to those who must depend on me and every day try to do my best, reinvent myself, master the unmasterable and plug away at things. I've held my own financially albeit at higher number of hours invested than perhaps required by others. Im ok with the idea that I may be alone with repsect to an intimate committed relationship, but also believe that there may be some one out thre I'll meet some day that finds my attributes not only tolerable but in some cases endearing--meantime, I try to help and serve others any way I can ( and I often can in many ways) and therefore have some good frinds who are accpeting of my little glitches because they can see the charming helpful sincere person that I am overall and know that my failings are not reflective of any negatives towards them, its just the way Stew is-- you gotta love him or leave him. (poor spouse can do neither it seems)

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  • 3 months later...

I enjoyed Kindergarten!

it went downhill from there..lol..

1st grade, I got my first D & F...math I believe, possibly reading, this was before I had a firm grasp...now I read like a maniac!

my teacher was unforgiving w/ me..she made me cry once and ridiculed me once..bitch..she is the reason I hated school from then on...my mom used to sign out journal spelling book w/ her initials, well, at the age of 6/7 I forged her initials because I had forgotten to have her sign it that weekend..what an early sign of trouble..lol..

I was always spacey, prone to daydream...never had a firm grasp on math..loved science and creative classes..also social studies..go figure...

I could take 30 minutes worth of basic homework and stretch it into 4 hrs of hell on earth, god bless my mother, she has a will of steel and made sure it was done, and done right..more erasures and mistakes corrected than I can count..

when I got into 7th grade, I had more freedom, and started blowing off my homework..got many an F and barely passed alot of classes..but when it interested me, I was bang zoom on the mark..and grades were good too!

i was always the kid that read the book in reading class in one night, when it was supposed to be a 6 week long assignment..he he...

oh how I wish I had been that way in math..I never got beyond pre-algebra w/a d average...

took latin in 9th grade..great foundation for figuring out word meanings...but I never understood the conjugating until literally about 8 yrs ago..it just all of a sudden CLICKED for some reason,..now I get it..go figure...my teacher passed me w/ d's out of pity..god love Magister! he was awesome...

flunked out of business math when I was in 1oth grade..had to retake it the next year, when I should have had one yr of no math...

got involved in vo-tech. cosmetology, actually excelled at it..LOVE it still, quick paced, always different..creative..

my grades were-all but one quarter, excellent..always a's and b's

I graduated high school w/ my hours for licensing completed months before graduation..one of few that did that...quite the nice feeling to be at the top of a class for once!!

managed to graduate from high school w/ a 3.3 GPA...

what I remember most from y school years is being bored to tears in a lot of classes..not being able to do homework w/o a major struggle and teachers just not getting me..needs to apply herself..could excell..etc.. I did however, end up scoring high on some sort of science testing in 6th grade and my principal noted it to me, saying i could do SO much w/ myself..and this was proof!

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  • 1 month later...

Man, there are so many things, I still keep remembering stuff from school which was obviously a sign of ADD.

I've been chronically late, ever since first grade, it drove my teachers nuts. I had one teacher who was always picking on me who used to say; "If you can be 20 mins late, you can be here on time too". Drove me nuts. He used to make me wait outside the classroom for the equivalent time of my lateness.

In the fourth grade, my teachers had an extraordinary meeting with me and my parents. The point of the meeting was to stop me from putting my hand up in class when I knew the answer to a question (no, really!). They said it hindered the other kids from putting their hand up, because they knew I knew the answer. This was problably the only sign of hyperactivity on my part - ecxessive hand-up-putting ;) . Then I started reading and doing tasks ahead in class, which really bugged the teachers because I was paying more attention to my book than to them. So they send me to special needs classes instead, hoping the teacher there could somehow keep me amused. That's about the time I started skipping school.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I did stuff like getting on the bus when my mom was supposed to pick me up, and then being too scared to tell the bus driver that I was in the wrong place. Or missing the bus thinking that mom was going to pick me up.

This reminds me of the time I forgot to get OFF the bus! First grade...I missed my stop, and I was so embarrassed I didn't say anything, until almost all the other kids were off the bus so I crawled under the seat and rode all the way to the bus garage. Then the driver heard me sniveling after he turned the engine off and drove me all the way back to my house after calling my parents. Nice man.

On my little league soccer team the coach used to call me his "little space cadet." I'd watch airplanes or pick dandelions while the other kids kicked the ball right past me. They hated me.

Every day in 4th grade I forgot all or part of my homework and was humiliated, every day I promised myself I would remember all of my homework the next day, repeat cycle. Copied other people's work. Got in trouble. I got pretty good at lying and making excuses to save myself from embarrassment. It's a bad habit I continue to this day which I am not proud of.

Sitting on the floor in my bedroom crying because I wasn't allowed to play until I cleaned it all up. And I couldn't seem to do it.

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