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Old 02-15-11, 05:28 AM
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cheli cheli is offline

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Not picking up the beginning of story

I've looked through much ADD material, but not found reference to something that has always driven me crazy that I think has to be an ADD thing. Everyone in my family with ADD rarely catches the beginning of a story or even a sentence. They never admit it, but I can finish a story and have them say something that reveals they have no idea what I've been talking about and want me to start over and tell the whole thing again. I can't even tell you how this has triggers me to anger.

Not knowing about adult ADD until relatively recently, I've tried dealing with it over the years by telling them over and over again to tell me as soon as they don't know what I'm talking about . . . but they don't. I finally got my sister to admit that she doesn't want to admit she doesn't know what's going on. She figures the longer I talk the greater the chances she'll be able to guess correctly. I said, "wouldn't you rather know where to put it in your brain from the start? No wonder you never know what I'm talking about."

She, in turn, now gets why I don't want to tell her an entire story for no reason, just to expect me to repeat it all over again. (And yes, it only took about 20 years to work out that understanding.)

After learning about ADD, all this started to make more sense. She just can't shut her brain down from the last thing to make way for the new thing, so she's always a step behind and she doesn't want to admit she's having trouble. I've started stopping after I start the story to make sure she's clear on what I'm talking about before I continue, which she doesn't like exactly like.

I'm trying to say this in a very non-threatening way so she doesn't think I'm insulting her intelligence. (Reading your stories, I see that she has a lot of defense mechanisms from not being diagnosed when she was younger.) I don't see it as having anything to do with intelligence, just the speed at which she sorts out the material and switches to the new thing, which is why I think this is an ADD symptom.

This guessing always leaves her not knowing what's going on, which doesn't help her self-esteem. She doesn't feel entitled to let someone know that she doesn't know what they're talking about. If I'm in the same situation, I will stop someone and ask for clarification, but I don't have ADD. I take it that's not the ADD way?

Can anyone either with or without ADD relate to this, share their frustrations so I know I'm not alone, or give me some insight or ideas?


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