I asked Jennie to do a guest ADHD post and she really came through:
If Only You Could See in ADHD
I began ADHD Coaching after learning of my sister’s diagnosis. Let me start by explaining that indeed, she and I have not been the closest of siblings, much to our mother’s chagrin.
Until I was 10, she and I had matching outfits and were always given the same presents at Christmas. If I got the red one, Sis got the blue one. Actually, I always got blue and she got red, but I digress.
Mom tried everything she could to keep us close, but I think, as many a big sister, I rebelled and wanted to be my own person. Plus, having to have her always tag along was a drag.
Why? Because she was SO different from me.
She would talk incessantly. In fact, her nick name growing up was “Molly-Motor-Mouth.” It was as if every thought in her head had to come out, even if no one cared to listen.
She also used to kiss my parents’ butt, which drove me insane! To call her a people pleaser is an enormous understatement. Of course, you can imagine her telling on me would drive me nuts, and that happened a lot. Nothing unusual about that. But it was also her trying to please me when all I wanted was to be left alone that was completely annoying.
There was the time she went sledding with me and my friends and not paying attention, as usual, she ended up in the creek. Or the time she didn’t get off the wobble horse at the park when a swarm of bees descended upon us. She was in bad, bad shape with tons of bee stings.
Had she paid attention and kept up with us, I don’t know how many incidences she would’ve been spared. But I was always the one who got blamed for these “mishaps”. So, there you go. I’ve spent my whole life painted the mean big sister, because, I know, this sounds so terrible of me. How could I have been so cold?
Well, I didn’t understand what I was dealing with. And worse, she didn’t understand either. It always seemed like something she could have controlled but just didn’t.
In Middle School she began having panic attacks. My parents never spoke to me about it and so again, it just seemed like more weird behaviors that she just “got away with”. She missed a lot of school!
Fast forward thirty years and here we are. In training to coach this specific population, I’ve learned a lot about the brain through my undergrad studies, earning my Bachelor’s of Science on Psychology.
I went on to graduate from ADDCA, The ADD Coach Academy where I learned specifically about ADHD exclusively from folks that have all been diagnosed with it. I I like to say the former taught me about ADHD from the outside looking in and the latter gave me lessons from the inside view.
And that’s what I want to share with the world. I’ve learned, as someone without ADHD, to get it, to see in ADHD.
My sister’s gabbiness is because she verbally processes information. Her tendency to drop everything in her life in order to help a friend, isn’t people pleasing out of innate insecurity. It’s more that she has challenges with boundaries and impulsivity as well as she doesn’t think ahead to potential consequences. Plus, she’s just the most loyal person you’ll ever meet.
And her anxiety is due to the design of her nervous system, not because she’s lazy or trying to get out of responsibilities.
So, again, how could I have been so cold?
Next time you find yourself feeling misunderstood, maybe share what ADHD is all about. When Doug asked me to write a guest post, I was excited to share a free resource I’ve created. It’s a free app in the app store with direct access to my podcast called See in ADHD.
I want everyone to learn as I did and see what’s really going on. That way we can lose the judgement and get to the business of just loving one another.
I think this ran long, Doug, feel free to edit as you see fit.
Thanks again for the opportunity to share my voice.
I mentioned the app so you don’t need to worry about links.
I liked it so much I decided to just post the whole thing and not do any editing, not that any was really needed. Jennie is a great ADHD resource. My only other comment is, Jennie, if you are still beating up on yourself (“cold”) maybe it’s time to let up on yourself. You were a kid and you had no way to know and now you are providing a service to all of us ADHDers. So how about at least calling it even?
Thank you so much for all you do and for this post.