Well, it’s been a tiring week. My summer life- which was waitressing a lot and partying, has ended. My fall life- waitressing in the mornings, school and dance classes in the evenings, has begun. This is a good thing. But it’s the beginning, and I’m tired.
I had to write a short paper about gifted children, and for that paper I had to read a paper about “twice exceptional” children, who are gifted kids with a coexisting disability. One of the categories they talked about were gifted kids with ADHD. This is personally very interesting to me because I have an ADHD diagnosis. I didn’t get that diagnosis as a kid, which probably is an ok thing, not to have been loaded up on uppers as a little kid. But focus is a real, real big problem for me. I bought a supplement online that helped me out a lot today with writing that paper. (I am aware it could just be Chinese speed. Honestly, whatever works.) I had a Concerta prescription for a year, and it was the most effective year of my life. But see, when I got that prescription I was a grad student, then I moved to California and was a server, and wouldn’t you know, doctors like to prescribe drugs to grad students but not to servers.
Anyways, this supplement helped today and I’m glad for it.
Untangling ADHD and anxiety is a toughie. I like Gabor Mate’s theory that ADHD is actually an anxiety disorder that develops prenatally and in the first few months of life, that children are tuned into their mother’s level of anxiety and it messes with their fear reactions on a deep, permanent level when their mom is stressed out. (You should read his book “Scattered Minds,” obviously my summary is sloppy, but I would defend it as to the point.)
I hated going to school when I was little. I could never focus, I could never remember things day to day, I never remembered to do my homework, and I was constantly faking sick to keep from going to school. My parents’ homework strategy was just to send me to my room and tell me not to come out till my homework was done, which- don’t do that. If you have a little kid who can’t focus sit down and do their homework with them. They need a hand to hold. You isolate them you’re just going to ramp up their anxiety levels further. I know distractable little kids are annoying. But it’s like training a puppy to pee on a mat until eventually you have a dog who goes outside to pee- you gotta keep them close at first.
Being distractable, being bad with details, being quick to talk and joke, being sloppy, being a little too creative- these were all things that made me feel like an other in relationship to girls. The other little girls were so responsible. They were neat. They were quiet. I was a sloppy, staring off into space, loud weirdo.
In my twenties, the other young women had nice apartments, with scented candles, and organized drawers, and hair they were interested in straightening every morning. The young men were living in squalor, wearing the same shirt for a week, with career plans of being a standup or a puppeteer. Guess who I related to?
I don’t know, femaleness is weird. We’re supposed to be flakier but we’re also supposed to be good at making homes happen. We’re supposed to be responsible but if we’re struggling in school it’s not a crisis. We’re supposed to be adults very early on. We’re not supposed to need help.
Maybe I’m reaching here. It’s just I got emotional reading about twice exceptional kids. Because I was a really smart little girl, and I always scored crazy high on standardized tests, and indeed I got to go to a rich girl school on scholarship because of my test scores. But then the take my parents and teachers consistently had on me was that I was lazy. Which was a weird take to have- I started holding down jobs at 14, and my commute to school was literally an hour and half, and I always was expected to do chores everyday at home. So they’d send me to my room to do homework after we cooked dinner and did the dishes, and I’d stare off into space for hours (there wasn’t even a computer in my room, this was before wasting half your waking hours on facebook). Then I’d do my homework very sloppily on the train in the morning. So I’d do really well in history, and kinda ok in English, and bad in math and science, except for chemistry and geometry/trigonometry for some reason. And really, really bad in Spanish. The daily practice you need to put in to learn a language was exactly what I couldn’t handle.
I don’t know, I’m poking around at something but I don’t quite know what. Maybe I’m just complaining. It’s just interesting that I had these high test scores but when I got a C in physics no one thought to be like, “Hey you’re underperforming, what’s your study strategy like?” Because I was a good kid, I wasn’t doing drugs or partying, nor was I even hanging out with friends because my friends were all on the other side of town where the rich girl school was.No one was like, “Huh, so you have the ability but school seems really rough for you, let’s do some experiments in what would make it work for you.”
I guess that would be a really lucky kid, to get a teacher or counselor who was that observant and engaged. And I think because I was a scholarship kid, and my high school was very competitive, there were some “poor kids are just fuckups” assumptions happening. Also, sometimes I was just good at covering it up- I’m good at busting out history homework in 20 minutes on a train ride, I just can’t bust out physics homework the same way.
Also my parents were, as they were my whole childhood, really wrapped up in their own stuff. They had their own shit, they were fighting all the damn time, my dad wasn’t bringing in money, my mom was working with jerks, my older sister was partying up a storm and getting kicked out of the house every week. My C in physics was barely a blip on the radar. A kid staring off into space in her room is really not even a thing to notice, unless you have some extra energy to wonder about her.
I was thinking today about how I want a daughter, and I only want one. Just the one kid, the one girl. So she can get focused on for awhile. I know a guy who had a rough childhood, something like mine, and he said he never wants to have kids. I really want a female kid. It’s sick really- it’s “I can make it right if I’m the parent and not the kid this time around.” Or it’s, “What could I have been, let’s make another me and find out.” Obviously those are not healthy reasons to procreate, those are both big burdensome stories for a brand new person to carry around.
But whatever, lots of people’s sole reason to have a kid is just that they like to fuck and have a thing against condoms. Whatever, whatever, amen.