In the good old days when I had a career, it mattered what people thought of me. Making a good impression was essential to getting more interesting (rewarding) work. Two of my biggest weaknesses were that I had a habit of not finishing my sentences and forgetting words and the second “weakness” was that I was (am) fat. So naturally, often people thought I was fat and dumb. Being fat and being dumb are seen as significant moral character flaws. One of these flaws on its own is not an insurmountable problem, but combined, the difficulty level for climbing the career ladder increases.

Anyway, they were right about the fat part, although probably not for the reasons they imagined, but they were wrong about me being stupid.

I have Attention Deficit Disorder. Apparently that puts me on the spectrum of whatever. Whatever. I think differently and that’s a good thing (thing being one of the most favourite words of people with ADD). It takes time to organise my thoughts (because I have so many) and I tend to move on to my next idea before finishing my. Now where was I?

If you are a neuro normal person, be patient with the ADD person and their questions. They (the royal “They”) will have many. The good thing about giving a complex job to a person with ADD is that they’ve probably thought about all the potential problems and solutions even before the job officially lands on their desk. Just don’t ask them to explain it when they are eating chocolate or doing something else. Also, the plan will probably change. If they haven’t worked out the problem, then the job must be boring. If you give an ADD person a boring job, they can either do it poorly or they can eventually turn it into a work of art with a solution that you never knew you wanted. I know from experience.

I am not sure whether I am describing a typical ADD person or I am merely describing myself with all my wonderful attributes. ADD people are all different and experience can hone strengths and temper weaknesses. We have different interests and different compensation mechanisms. Some are smarter than others, some are kinder, some act before they think, some are dishonest and some aren’t. I like to start new projects (or think about starting new projects) and I am content with seeing them through to their conclusion, fixing mistakes and adapting quickly. Although I am an introvert, I also like to make connections and work with others because I know that we are stronger if we can share ideas and we can do the boring stuff together. Anyway, I don’t have a career anymore, but boy, do I have opinions!

Now this business of not being able to string a coherent sentence together, does it remind you of anyone? No, don’t tell me. Here’s my point and it is an important one. They’re not dumb.

41 thoughts on “Wrong. Not Right

  1. That’s a witty and revealing piece that’s given me plenty to think about. Though I’ve never for one instant thought you dumb. Clever, thoughtful, opinionated maybe: but your opinions tend to chime with mine, so that’s a plus point too!

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  2. I’ve got two ADHD diagnosed students in my class and I certainly don’t think they are dumb. They may act like 8 year old loons from time to time, but no, pretty sharp.

    It’s interesting getting to know you Tracy. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lani. It must take a lot of energy to keep up with your students and keep them on track. Are your ADHD students boys? Girls can and do have ADHD or ADd but it can be trickier to spot. In primary and what you might call Junior high, I was a top student. It took me three times as long as other students to get through the homework. Also senior high was harder and uni harder again because if you can’t remember what you’ve just read, it can get a bit stressful.

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  3. I have met a few people with ADD; it was a little hard to have a two-way conversation with them, at times, but none of them came across as dumb, quite the opposite, very interesting and clever, really. Knowing you in writing only, gives time to each party to formulate answers, so I would have never guessed you had ADD, just the interesting and clever part.

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    1. Hee hee, that’s why it takes me so long to respond to comments, Irene. It is certainly easier to stick to the point when commenting on blogs. I also like chatting with people in the flesh because conversations can be more free ranging. However if you are not used to conversations bouncing all over the place, I guess it could be disconcerting. 🙂

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  4. ADHD can make life hard for a person. But…it’s always bugged me how the normals get together and make little trivial judgments about others who might be a little different. I don’t think I’m neural diverse, but there is something “wrong” ‘with me according to the normals. No idea what it is, but they can all go fuck themselves. 🙂

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      1. There are none. I think the “normals” are so aware of their difference that they make absurd compromises to be accepted by others who are equally insecure and then they, together, define “normal.” It’s the herd mentality — us v. them.

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    1. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that neuro normals are boring because most people I meet are really interesting and also very tolerant. I’m just envious of those people who are smart, articulate and organised! There will always be the odd few though that can go fuck themselves.

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  5. This is why you and I would get along great–I don’t finish my sentences, either. My supervisor used to laugh about it, ’cause I’d switch, mid-sentence, to another thought. I don’t see it as a weakness, Tracy. We have a lot of ideas and a lot to say, and it needs to get out–one way or another. Pay no mind to those other people. I don’t.

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  6. I also don’t always finish sentences, and stop mid stream in a conversation Tracy. But my reason/problem is I forget a word mid sentence and it can be just a very ordinary, everyday sort of word too and end up constantly saying “you know what I mean!!!” I call it “old age”!!!

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  7. Well I was certainly smiling from ear to ear when I read this post. Why? I too was classified as having ADHD and it has affected my life dramatically when I was younger and the effects are still being felt. The finishing of sentences is a major and being frustrated at not being able to efficiently communicate verbally. Writing now is a pleasure as a kid it was torture! I was going to write about it one day. Perhaps I still will. Thanks for sharing, Tracy as people with ADHD are far from being stupid and are more likely to be creative thinkers.

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    1. Suzanne, thanks for chipping in. I hope you do write about it one day. I for one would be very interested. Everyone has a view about ADHD, particularly regarding the use of medication. You can imagine how surprised I was when I discovered at 40 yo that I could actually do art once my mind was settled enough. Efficient communication was a hugely stressful issue for me because getting it right quickly was my job.

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      1. Tracy, one of the main reasons for smiling was it is so good to read other people’s experiences around my age group. It is not a modern dilemma. To be fair the schooling system in “my era” didn’t have the resources for teachers to deal with out of the square learners, whether that be the overly intelligent or the slower learner. I was diagnosed by a professional in my 30’s and it was like someone turned on a switch and when reading information about ADHD everything fell into place. It’s a hard thing to write about as there’s still much emotion attached to childhood memories many that aren’t so pleasant.
        I so wanted to learn and found the process of reading and retaining information difficult. Many of us never reached our potential due to lack of confidence and the learning support that was needed. Luckily now I am able to enjoy reading and writing. Being creative is a wonderful outlet too.
        Out of curiousity what job did you do?
        Thanks again for sharing and hopefully we can send out more positive news regarding being wired differently 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved my work, Ann, but I found it got more and more difficult to do a good job as we had less and less time to think. This also ate into the time I had to look after myself. The creative industries and being your own boss seem to be a favourite work option for ADD people. Did your friend find her niche, Ann?

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      1. She did! She was a teacher in the Special School district, and she was very good at it. Now she spends her time with her horse and helping walk the shelter dogs….that’s where I met her. I think people with ADD do need a certain amount of freedom in their lives, but that’s actually a good thing. It allows them to be creative!

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  8. I only know you through your blog, Tracy, but it’s clear that while you may be many things, “dumb” is not one of them. If fact, quite the opposite – you come through as a very interesting, smart and creative person.

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  9. I find your writing quite lucid, and it always makes sense to me. I couldn’t possible do a first pass blog – I need days of editing to add, fix, make more clear, and take out the extraneous. Having worked, earlier when I was in the work world (teaching mostly), with young people from various backgrounds and with different situations, it often seems to me that the differences between us all are what make the world go round.

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  10. Never dumb! My son (who I think has some previous life connection with you) is very clever but has difficulty in stringing sentences when he is writing/speaking because his mind works faster than his hands/tongue.
    If you know some people who are smart, articulate as well as organised, they must be a minority.

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