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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Rivière Offline
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Unhappy Sigh - September 20th 2019, 10:32 PM

I'm feeling really frustrated. No one needs to reply. I just need to type all this out so I can attempt to get on with my work.

I have a problem with inattention. I struggle to focus on practically anything. Either my mind zips around on a million and one things, or it's super focused on one single thing for hours that I end up not realising basic needs... like actually using the bathroom...

After finishing university I've been taking a 2 month course around a subject I really enjoy. I've put a lot of effort into trying to take on board everything I'm learning and work hard. I passed 2 of my exams with flying colours.. but the next lot of exams, I'm having trouble with. I took one of my exams today and I have another tomorrow. The problem is that whenever I try to revise, I struggle to keep my attention on it. This was an issue I had in university and was very difficult to work with.

Alongside my inattention I have dyslexia and dyspraxia, so trying to read anything is quite task. I have to put a lot of energy into reading even for just a short time. Trying to read either has me struggle to read due to my dyslexia, or if I read so slow, my dyspraxia is like, 'sorry can you re-read that...again..and again...maybe again?'. Then if I start reading something and I see a certain word, my mind zips off into fantasy land and I start thinking of something related to it. Then I'll google things around it and before I know it, I've spiralled into various tabs thinking about multiple things and I forgot what I was reading so have to re-read the whole part and risk a repeat of the same thing happening again.

Alongside all of this, I keep having to get up and move around. I can't sit still. I purposely make a hot drink so I can get up and go do something for 5 minutes. Then after 10-15 minutes I need the bathroom so use it as an excuse to leave what I'm doing and go use the facilities. Then I spiral into getting distracted by whatever's around me and then before I realise, a good hour and a half has passed and I've barely got anywhere. It took me an hour to read 4 pages today.

When it came time for my exam, I was struggling because all the revision I crammed in last-minute wasn't even related to what was on the exam, despite being told to revise content that was on one of the previous exams. I wasted from 10 AM until 4:30 PM and a good portion of that revision was 2-3 hours of me being distracted by my own thoughts, surroundings, the inability to sit still. All sorts. I was trying so hard to focus but it just wasn't happening.

I discussed all of this with my other tonight. Note that this isn't the first time I've talked about my inattention to her. Once again her response is, 'You just have an overactive mind'. How is not being able to sit still overactive!? Sometimes I'm actually thinking of nothing at all but I just can't sit still. I'm fidgeting, pacing around, having to be on the go all the time.

Then she starts saying how she and my uncle are 'exactly the same', so I tell her that just because the three of us are 'alike' doesn't mean there isn't a problem. She just started listing all the issues I've had growing up, like the abuse, the fact I was bullied at school etc and how they were all factors that affect my mind. Those things caused my severe depression, they don't cause me to feel like I'm the embodiment of an F1 car every day.

She then started turning things around to tell me a story about how she struggled to read growing up and how she read everything as 'word *blank* word *blank* word', and how she overcame her problem eventually. Dyslexia isn't something you can 'overcome'. It's not like I'm obese and can just lose weight. Dyslexia is something you learn to develop strategies in order to ease the symptoms, just like ADHD or any other learning disability. You learn how to cope with it, not how to make it go away forever.

To have her sit there and tell me her story and say how she 'understands'... I just sat there staring into space and for part of it I started to zone out because she was talking for so long. Plus I was getting frustrated.

Then she tries to make jokes saying I should go work for 10 minutes, take a break, work for another 10 minutes, take a break and 'probably not remember anything'. This whole thing came about all because I said I was trying to push myself to do work when my mind just refuses to want to focus and she was all, 'I don't understand why you're trying to force yourself to work'. Like...have I not just been saying for ages and ages I have an exam tomorrow.

She tells me how she feels there's nothing wrong with me and that I'm doing really well. I had to disagree with her and explain to her that people don't realise how much fighting a person does inside themselves. It's not something people can see. They don't see how hard it is for me to just try and sit and listen to a person ramble for even just 5 minutes and actually focus on what they're saying. Or to try and really push hard to read properly and focus on what I'm reading and actually learn and understand it at the same time, let alone remember it. I really dislike being told to focus, when I really am trying. People just don't realise how good they have it when they're not plagued with inattention or dyslexia.

I want to be able to sit and read silly novels, or play computer games for hours on end. Or be able to switch from task to task and focus on them easily. Or listen to someone talk for a while and not zone out. Or be able to sit still in my university lectures that were 2 hours long. Even 1 hour was a task in itself, I have no idea how I survived. Every day I'm exhausted just trying to fit in and work to the standards of a 'normal' person who doesn't suffer all these problems... but I can't.

I keep trying to talk to my mum about my problems and open up with her, but it's the same thing every time. I told her I have a reading problem, 'You just have word blindness'. When I was 15 and we were in an argument, she said something to me and I said to her that I didn't care and that I'd tried to kill myself 5 times. Her response was, 'Makes no difference to me'. Or a few years later and she literally asked 'why I was like this' and said she wonders if I had something 'pressing against my brain' whilst she proceeded to check for lumps and pressure spots on my head.

No matter what I try and tell her, she never seems to listen. She's always in denial until I force medical help or if I seek it out myself and get an actual diagnosis like with my dyslexia.

I feel so frustrated with her. I've talked to a friend. I've talked to other friends. I've discussed my issues with other family and they don't really pass comment. The only thing I can do is force myself to the doctor and ask for an official ADHD screening which my dyslexia assessor strongly suggested I got back in my first year of university because I came out with a strong positive on the unofficial test. Even then... my brain decides that anything important should be left until the last minute... and since there's no deadline for this important thing I should probably do, I just keep putting it off.


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Re: Sigh - September 26th 2019, 12:03 PM

Sorry to hear how you are struggling with inattention and how this is affecting your life. How did your second exam go?

It seems like your mother has recognised similar things in herself, and this may be why she might want to downplay it as just an 'overactive mind'. Acknowledging and accepting that there might be more to it than that can seem scary. Not only that but previous generations might think that everything these days has a label attached and might not see the benefits of exploring a diagnosis.

It also makes sense that your mother developed coping strategies for herself when she was younger and feels that since she coped, then she 'overcame' the issue. But as you know, with any type of learning difficulty, there are ways to cope but it cannot be 'overcome' in the sense of it doesn't affect you any more.

I'm really sorry to hear that you feel your mother isn't understanding. It may seem to her that since you try hard to get work done, and you appear to be coping (and she too coped when she was younger) she may not realise or want to realise just how much of a struggle it is for you. This can then lead you to feel like you're being invalidated and worse when you try so hard to compensate for the inattention.

It can be really frustrating when you want someone to understand but for whatever reason, they just don't. You could try getting her to come along to appointments with you and let the professional explain or perhaps show her some reliable information about ADHD (e.g. from the NHS) to add weight to what you are saying. Ultimately and unfortunately though, you can't force her to understand. Maybe one day she will, and I really hope for both of your sakes that she does.

Until then, it's good that you have told friends and I hope they can provide some support for you. I can imagine it must be really hard for you having to do this by yourself. But it's definitely worth asking for an official ADHD screening. It's not fair on you to have to struggle so much and it will be worth the effort in finding out and seeing what treatment/support you can get.

If it's any consolation, I'm in a similar position regarding Aspergers/Autism. Take care


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Re: Sigh - October 10th 2019, 01:58 PM

Sorry for taking so long to reply. Thank you for all that you've said, I think you're quite right.

I have tried to push myself to go to the doctor and request a screening, but then my mind does the whole, 'I'll do it later' thing. Since there's no set deadline for me to do so, I just keep putting it off because I have no way of last-minuting something that has no time limit.

My second exam went well, I received a pass which I was extremely happy for. I didn't fancy having to book in for another resit.


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Celyn Offline
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Re: Sigh - October 10th 2019, 04:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivière View Post
Sorry for taking so long to reply. Thank you for all that you've said, I think you're quite right.

I have tried to push myself to go to the doctor and request a screening, but then my mind does the whole, 'I'll do it later' thing. Since there's no set deadline for me to do so, I just keep putting it off because I have no way of last-minuting something that has no time limit.

My second exam went well, I received a pass which I was extremely happy for. I didn't fancy having to book in for another resit.
I was just wondering, is there a way you can set a deadline and tell a friend your deadline? That way it might help you to feel more accountable for your actions, rather than putting it off all the time.

Good to hear you passed your second exam too


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  (#5 (permalink)) Old
Rivière Offline
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Name: Sarah
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Re: Sigh - October 11th 2019, 11:14 AM

Yep I tried that too. He kept reminding me over and over and over. And trying to push me. All sorts. I would be like, 'Oh yeah, I will try and do it after I get back from the gym'. So then I aim to do it and either it flies right out of my mind by the time I come to do it, or by the time I come back from the gym, the surgery is closed and I'm back at 'I'll do it later'. -_-


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