When I was between the ages of 12-16 or so, I loved reading teen magazines, especially if it featured The Beatles and fun facts about them- most likely made up by the writers. By the way, did you know that they got the idea for their name from Buddy Holly and The Crickets?
I also appreciate when experts in my field open up about their own struggles. I can tell you that most of my colleagues, like me, still are challenged with certain aspects of executive functioning. Like, staying on top of filing papers (yick), getting to places on time, etc.
It normalizes our own struggles when you read or hear of theirs.
So today I thought I’d share some things about myself that perhaps you didn’t know:
- When I was seven, I almost died of a burst appendix because my doctor misdiagnosed me with having the flu.
- I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was 41.
- I had to go to summer school after 11th grade because I chronically skipped school due to my intense anxiety issues.
- I met Paul McCartney five years ago when he invited me on stage at his concert in Grand Rapids, MI. Read more about that at HERE.
- I worked as a jeweler for years during high school and college. Yet I don’t wear any jewelry.
- My father died suddenly when I was ten.
- I started seeing a therapist at the tender age of nine, because of school refusal.
- I have broken more bones (MY bones) than I can count. Just this past June, I broke both elbows and a wrist. Nice going!
- I can’t swim.
- I wrote a song for my new grandson and played all the instruments. You can hear it HERE.
- I’m terrified of going into the basement alone at night.I’m also petrified of dentists (bad childhood experience).
- I often feel sick to my stomach when grocery shopping (too much stimuli).
- I’ve been married for over 40 years. To Jerry. Yes, Terry and Jerry. Ha ha ha.
- One of the hardest ADHD related things for me is pulling together a meal every night. So I don’t.
- I’m also an artist and had a painting shown in a prestigious show at a museum.
- I lived in NYC for over a year back in the 1980s.
- While living there, a monkey slapped my dog in the face on Lexington and 86th Street. This is a true story.
- I received a signed Christmas card from Yoko Ono.
- I beat up a classmate when I was 11 for making fun of my best friend.
- I was in love with Richard Chamberlin when he played Dr. Kildare back in the 1960s.
- I had the worst panic attack of my life when boarding a plane for Switzerland back in my early 20s. I actually tried to get off the plane (before it took OFF!) but was calmed down by a fellow passenger.
- I hate oranges but love orange juice.
- I cannot organize my fridge or freezer; it’s like playing Tetris. I make my husband take that one on.
- I have two young adult daughters who, thankfully, live nearby. Kate and Mackenzie. Sounds like a folk duo.
- One of my daughters has special needs + severe ADHD. That’s how I got into the field- by learning how to best help her. She had a severe reaction to a baby vaccine. Note: I am pro-vaccine.
- My mother was a professional dancer in her early years.
- I have two brothers and a stepbrother. The bio brothers are also musicians.
- My high school counselor wrote in my records that I was not “college material.” I have two college degrees.
- I hate conflict.
- Let’s pretend we’re reading 16 Magazine: my favorite color is fire engine red. My favorite food is Chinese food and chocolate. I stand 5’8” and I was born in Detroit.
- Growing up in Detroit, I lived across the street from Marvin Gaye.
- In 11th grade, I walked out of Geometry class after the 3rd day, because I had no idea what the teacher was talking about. I never returned and no one seemed to even know. Or care.
- I broke a number of ribs after flying off my bike from a sudden stop. Not when I was a child- it was 15 years ago. Believe it or not, I have Inattentive ADHD, not Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD.
- I cannot stand being read to. You may as well realize that none of it sank in.
- I developed PTSD about six years ago after too many traumatic events hit me at once. They included losing a close family member and getting into a car accident- which triggered earlier traumatic experiences. I’ve been super interested in trauma and ADHD. Let’s talk.
- Thanks to the above, I learned that streaming nature sounds on one’s computer or phone can help with sleep.
- I was bullied as a child.
What does all this mean? It means these experiences, both good and bad, are what make me who I am today. Some were terribly tragic, but if we don’t learn to work through them (very helpful if you do so with a therapist), they will find you and make you ill, either physically, mentally, or both.
- What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
- What don’t I know about you?
- Did you ever skip school? Did you get caught?
Share your answers/comments in the comment section below.
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You are amazing, going through all the things that you have. You have as the saying goes “ made Lemonade from Lemons”. Thanks for your wisdom.
The scariest thing that ever happened to me was that I was molested over several years in my own home as a child.
What you don’t know about me (besides EVERYTHING! LOL!) is that I love animals, art, gardening, and reading.
I didn’t skip school until my senior year of high school. I didn’t get caught because my mother covered for me the many times the school called her because I was there in the morning, but not in the afternoon! I didn’t know she had covered for me for years and, when she finally told me, her rationale was that I was getting A’s in the classes I was skipping so she didn’t see the harm.
I am terribly terribly sorry that you had that kind of experience. That is just tragic. But it sounds like your mom was a great ally for your school skipping- yay for that! Thanks for sharing and sorry I didn’t see this until now.
Becky, thanks for your kind words. We all have our journeys and it’s important that we look at these experiences and work them out as best we can. 🙂
I have been afraid of the dark (especially the basement) for almost my whole life! Glad to know I’m not alone 🤣 I never skipped classes – my identity was being a straight A student so I hyper focused on the routine of school and homework (to the point where I was chronically underslept throughout high school and my dad had to occasionally tell me to stop doing homework after midnight…. 😳). It didn’t matter much though because I had few friends in high school. Always a bit of a social misfit….. I kept with the familiarity of the school routine even earning a PhD. But now I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost 10 years and I feel like I’m at a complete loss of what to do with my life. Only realized my ADHD about a year ago 🤪 It’s been a good “awakening”, kinda like meeting myself for the first time (oh now it all makes sense!…). But still feel a bit like a misfit in my own skin contemplating the future….. Anywho, loved your list! Resonated with much of it 💖
Karen, what an interesting post. Even with your ADHD, you were able to stay afloat in school- but at what cost? I wonder what life would have been like for you back then had you been treated for it.
You’re still pretty new to “diagnosed” ADHD, so it can take time to get comfortable with this new understanding of yourself. You’re not a misfit! But you do have a whole different kind of life, being home with children. Life becomes fairly UN-structured for us moms and it can be a real challenge with ADHD.
Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment. I am glad you enjoyed this piece. 🙂