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Old 03-18-09, 01:17 PM
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Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

This is more of a venting commentary than a question, but you're all welcome to share your frustrations with similar familial experiences.

First, a little background. I am the 3rd child of a four child family. Our line went boy, girl, boy, girl. I have a mother and my father passed a little over 4 years ago from lung cancer. I had good parents and no problems with them growing up. However, I noticed a long time ago that they were polar opposites when it came to matters of lifestyle.

My mother was always on the go. When we were growing up, she was always either cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, redecorating, reading a book, etc. When we were all old enough, she went out and found herself a career. This woman had no college education, no marketable skills, yet through her own hard work and intelligence ascended to the position of "Catalog Administrator" for a major hotel corporation.....quite an accomplishment to say the least.

My father was the complete opposite. He was a truck driver for most of his life until he landed a job as a clerk within the court system. He got this job through connections he made as a member of a local social club. When he would get home from work or the club, it was always the same thing. Plop down with a beer in front of the television. Talking to him was like talking to a wall. In one ear and out the other. He wasn't being rude or ignorant, he just always seemed preoccupied with whatever he was doing, which was usually watching tv. He was a lifelong heavy drinker, but a amicable one. He was never violent when he was drinking, as a matter of fact he was easier to talk to after a few!

My sisters are both very intelligent, successful women. They both graduated with honors from their respective colleges and both have families along with personally and financially rewarding careers. Neither they or my mother have ever had a problem with substance abuse.

My older brother took his own life in 1996. Prior to that, he was a great guy, also very intelligent, but a high school dropout. He always performed jobs that were menial and labor-driven. Most of the time he earned his living doing siding and home repairs. He was self-employed and therefore did not have to stick to schedules and routines. He was like my father in that he was always preoccupied and seemed to be elsewhere whenever you would talk to him. Marijuana was his crutch, so to speak.

I was the first male in my family to graduate high school. I did okay in school, with A's in the classes I enjoyed, and B's and C's in the classes I didn't enjoy. Forever ingrained in my mind are the words "Very smart, Needs to pay attention in class" "Needs to do homework....study....apply himself more", all those things that are so familiar to us all. I worked in various jobs, always getting extremely bored in routine roles and finding myself looking elsewhere. I'm currently running my own home-based business where I don't have to adhere to anyone's schedule but my own. I also have an extensive history of self-medicating.

Okay, so I think I've established that everyone in my family is/was equally intelligent. However, the paths our individual lives took was like night and day. The men all went one way and the women all went in the opposite direction.

Hello? My logical mind always questioned that one. I had NO explanations for what I did or the actions I often took. As a matter of fact, they were maddening to me because I think so logically, yet act so irrationally. There had to be a reason, yet I could never understand it....and I had to know....that's how I am....always searching for the reason in everything. Things have to make sense to me or I cannot let them go.

My youngest sister told me a couple of months ago that my nephew, her only son, was just diagnosed ADHD. I took that opportunity to hint to her that maybe when she does more research on the subject, "some things in our family's past may make more sense to you".

Nothing.....not a reply, not a "lightbulb" moment from this very intelligent and logical woman.

Just the other day, my mother was updating me about one of my other nephews and said "he's doing well in school and passes all his courses, but if he would only study harder, he would be a straight A student". Hello? Another clue in the mystery? Before she sent me that, I "matter-of-factly" told her that I had been diagnosed ADD, just like my nephew, and saying how happy I was to finally have a reason for my (and my brother and father's) past. I was hoping that she would connect the dots and have her own "lightbulb" moment without me pushing it on her as an excuse.

Nothing.....no reply...power's out and not a lightbulb to be found.

I guess I was hoping that someone among all these intelligent people would make that connection. Perhaps someone could see that strange coincidence that only the males in the family tree had these issues....especially since these clues are so obvious and self-evident.

I'm finished with trying to get them to see the light because it is frustrating. The fact that I don't even get a reply to the subject only lends itself to futher doubt myself. You are consumed with the "oh crap...I shouldn't have even said a thing" feeling because of the lack of response.....like you blurted out a no-no in church and everyone is looking at you, silent, waiting for the pin to drop so there's SOME break in the akwardness.

Sorry for the long post....just sharing my frustrations in trying to get people to understand....to provide THEM with reasons to help answer questions THEY have had regarding my family. I will now don a helmet before beating my head against the wall. I won't provide any more clues to the mystery.

I will no longer look for others people's "lightbulb" moments, because it is painfully obvious they forgot to pay the electric bill.

Peace!
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Old 03-18-09, 02:10 PM
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Re: Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

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Originally Posted by FinallyAnswered View Post
I will no longer look for others people's "lightbulb" moments, because it is painfully obvious they forgot to pay the electric bill.

Peace!
Maybe there's a distinct desire to remain in the dark? Look at it from their point of view. Your father's behavior, while benign, was likely not a point of pride. Your mom went out and made something of herself. That's a much more attractive role model. What you're offering seems to them as an excuse for your father's behavior - justification for a life direction they've worked hard to avoid. Your brother's death certainly makes this all the harder to deal with.

They have a lifetime of beliefs to review in a new light. That's hard. Normally they would have little reason to do so. But now there is a nephew/grandson who will need their support and understanding.

Don't be looking for lightbulb moments just yet. Start with a candle. If it goes out, relight it. Give them time. Be gentle, but persistent in your message. They need to lose the preconceptions and get on board the reality train if your nephew is to lead a well-adjusted life. He can get there - but only if his neuro-physiological difference is recognized, accepted and managed.

Maybe their "take charge and make things happen" mentality can be turned to your nephew's advantage. Of course the danger there is a belief that effort conquers all, and the unreasonable expectations that might follow.

It sounds like you might be a very critical player in your nephew's life.

Best of luck,
ZD
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"Normal" refers to a majority view.

If ADHD was more prevalent it would be "normal". It would shape all of society, just as it shapes our individual lives now.

Those with an excessive need for order, consistency and timeliness would face a lifelong struggle. Most of us "normals" would wonder why they don't lighten up and be more open to life's ebb and flow.

"Normal" is a meaningless concept. Reality is what it is. How we choose to deal with it is what defines us.
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Old 03-18-09, 03:38 PM
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Re: Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

So, shake the dust off your shoes. You know what you need to do.
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Old 03-18-09, 03:46 PM
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Re: Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

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So, shake the dust off your shoes. You know what you need to do.
Go for a jog?
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Old 03-18-09, 08:23 PM
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Re: Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

Should have been a light bulb moment? Back in about 1983 I went to the diet pill doctor in my home town to get some help loosing weight. The doctor prescribed for me the fen Phen combination. immediatly my mood lifted, my thinking became clear and i was more focuded thenI had ever been. To top it all off I lost weight quickly too. It did not dawn on me that What i was feeling was the clarity of normalcy! It scared me. This must be what it feels like to be high, I thought. I cant continue to do this cause i will become some sort of speed freak. So after a month or so I discontinued the phen fen combination. Back came the confusion the self doubt the lack of confidence in my self. Back to my job as a careworker in a small group home for developmentally disabled adults. I had had previous experience as a day program director. Was unable to handle all the responsibility of the paperwork etc. luckily they had allowed me to return to the direct care position. I still couldnt figure out why I was not able to do betterin my job. I took another management job as a case worker for developmentally disabled adults and children all at the same ageny again I failed in this endevour.Still the light bulb didnt come on! After five years of this I finally came to the realisation that i couldnt continue this way due to my panic attacks suicidal Ideations and clinical depression. Try to raise my family the best way i could after going through a divorce as well. due to my depression anxiety and fibomyalgia and chronic fatique i qualified for social security benefits around 1994. despite all the psychiatric visits and re evaluation the light still hadnt come On. Fast forward to 1998 my teenage son was having problems with not wanting to go to school tro9uble focusing leg in constant motion so I decided I should have him evaluated. Whilst I was looking over the criteria for adhd the bulb flickered and finally came to light. Not only did my son have add i have add my daughter has add pobably half of my brothers and sisters have it too. Sorry about this long treatise.

the light came on in time to help my kids have a better young life then i had .
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Old 03-18-09, 08:54 PM
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Re: Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

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Go for a jog?
Yeah, that too!
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Old 03-18-09, 09:52 PM
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Re: Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

Okay, so I think I've established that everyone in my family is/was equally intelligent. However, the paths our individual lives took was like night and day. The men all went one way and the women all went in the opposite direction.

Finally,
I wonder if it has not to do with equal intelligence but with different types of intelligence and the tendency of the women in your family of origin to process information in a certain way. Might your mother and sisters be predominantly left-brain thinkers and have difficulty with systemic thinking, with seeing the whole picture?

Sorry if you already know this stuff, I'll just run through in order not to be sketchy. While the left (hemisphere of the) brain is the center for classification-organization-judgement, the right brain is visual-experiential-sexual-pattern seeking. Left-brained dominants tend to be linear thinkers while right brained dominants are well able to connect dots and create a picture, as long as their left-brain abilities are adequately developed.

My unscientific impression of this brain business, from being a watcher and listener of sorts over the years, is that left-brain dominants have a much harder time developing their right brain (creativity/passion for discovery) than vice versa. Nearly every Add/Adhder I've known is right-brain dominant and for many of us, treatment via coaching/counseling, medication, nutrition etc. is exactly what we need to develop and integrate our left brains adequately. Hmmm, in the case of left-brain dominants developing right-brain abilities, it just occurred to me I've never known a hyper-organized, matter-of-fact judgemental adult who developed creativity and learned to think systemically.

In my family of origin, two smart people one a female cousin (math teacher) the other a brother (lawyer) are left brain dominant. Their ability to store data is phenomenal, at least to me who's struggled a lifetime to retain basic info, like the temperature that constitutes freezing. As with your sisters, both are successful, have families, enjoy their lives.

Give either of them a human dilemma that calls for reading between the lines and they're stumped, though neither would ever admit to being stumped. They'd insist the dilemma called for specificity and accuse someone like me of muddling the facts and bringing in too many details. Once, when discussing a family we used to know, where the mom had a terminal cancer that disfigured her face, there were two kids, 8 and 10, and the dad was out of the picture, my brother felt certain the kids should be transferred to the care of a happy-go-lucky aunt because 1) their mother was disfigured and 2) their mother was going to die and they needed to prepare. It was almost as though he was stuck in A+B+C =D mode (dying mom + grieving kids + great sadness = must get kids out of house thus reducing sadness). Again, he is a smart man, kind too, but just can't see anything as being dynamic. Couldn't see that snatching up those kids (very important: kids did not want to leave mom) and shipping them off to a happy relative might cause them crippling guilt in the years to come for abandoning their mom, or any other number of possibilities. My brother needed to fragment the situation to come up with an answer. I may be way off, Finally, sorry if I am, but all this occurred to me because your sisters and mom seem to acknowledge the details one at a time, they just can't put it together.

Enjoyed lightbulb metaphor. One thing I wondered about this site is how its funded. I guess what I really wondered is who's rich enough to pay the electric bill?
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Old 03-19-09, 12:04 AM
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Re: Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

I know you know this, but unfortunately other's lightbulb moments fall under that frustrating category of things we cannot control. The best thing you can do is to shed as much light on the subject as you can, even connecting the dots for them if need be, but the rest is up to them. Then you can be available should they want to discuss anything.

It's difficult when something is so obvious to me and no one seems to get it. It can feel like they're being intentionally obtuse. Sometimes this is the case, but more often it's not.
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Old 03-20-09, 04:37 PM
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Re: Convincing others to also see your "lightbulb" moment.....

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Originally Posted by FinallyAnswered View Post
This is more of a venting commentary than a question, but you're all welcome to share your frustrations with similar familial experiences.

First, a little background. I am the 3rd child of a four child family. Our line went boy, girl, boy, girl. I have a mother and my father passed a little over 4 years ago from lung cancer. I had good parents and no problems with them growing up. However, I noticed a long time ago that they were polar opposites when it came to matters of lifestyle.

My mother was always on the go. When we were growing up, she was always either cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, redecorating, reading a book, etc. When we were all old enough, she went out and found herself a career. This woman had no college education, no marketable skills, yet through her own hard work and intelligence ascended to the position of "Catalog Administrator" for a major hotel corporation.....quite an accomplishment to say the least.

My father was the complete opposite. He was a truck driver for most of his life until he landed a job as a clerk within the court system. He got this job through connections he made as a member of a local social club. When he would get home from work or the club, it was always the same thing. Plop down with a beer in front of the television. Talking to him was like talking to a wall. In one ear and out the other. He wasn't being rude or ignorant, he just always seemed preoccupied with whatever he was doing, which was usually watching tv. He was a lifelong heavy drinker, but a amicable one. He was never violent when he was drinking, as a matter of fact he was easier to talk to after a few!

My sisters are both very intelligent, successful women. They both graduated with honors from their respective colleges and both have families along with personally and financially rewarding careers. Neither they or my mother have ever had a problem with substance abuse.

My older brother took his own life in 1996. Prior to that, he was a great guy, also very intelligent, but a high school dropout. He always performed jobs that were menial and labor-driven. Most of the time he earned his living doing siding and home repairs. He was self-employed and therefore did not have to stick to schedules and routines. He was like my father in that he was always preoccupied and seemed to be elsewhere whenever you would talk to him. Marijuana was his crutch, so to speak.

I was the first male in my family to graduate high school. I did okay in school, with A's in the classes I enjoyed, and B's and C's in the classes I didn't enjoy. Forever ingrained in my mind are the words "Very smart, Needs to pay attention in class" "Needs to do homework....study....apply himself more", all those things that are so familiar to us all. I worked in various jobs, always getting extremely bored in routine roles and finding myself looking elsewhere. I'm currently running my own home-based business where I don't have to adhere to anyone's schedule but my own. I also have an extensive history of self-medicating.

Okay, so I think I've established that everyone in my family is/was equally intelligent. However, the paths our individual lives took was like night and day. The men all went one way and the women all went in the opposite direction.

Hello? My logical mind always questioned that one. I had NO explanations for what I did or the actions I often took. As a matter of fact, they were maddening to me because I think so logically, yet act so irrationally. There had to be a reason, yet I could never understand it....and I had to know....that's how I am....always searching for the reason in everything. Things have to make sense to me or I cannot let them go.

My youngest sister told me a couple of months ago that my nephew, her only son, was just diagnosed ADHD. I took that opportunity to hint to her that maybe when she does more research on the subject, "some things in our family's past may make more sense to you".

Nothing.....not a reply, not a "lightbulb" moment from this very intelligent and logical woman.

Just the other day, my mother was updating me about one of my other nephews and said "he's doing well in school and passes all his courses, but if he would only study harder, he would be a straight A student". Hello? Another clue in the mystery? Before she sent me that, I "matter-of-factly" told her that I had been diagnosed ADD, just like my nephew, and saying how happy I was to finally have a reason for my (and my brother and father's) past. I was hoping that she would connect the dots and have her own "lightbulb" moment without me pushing it on her as an excuse.

Nothing.....no reply...power's out and not a lightbulb to be found.

I guess I was hoping that someone among all these intelligent people would make that connection. Perhaps someone could see that strange coincidence that only the males in the family tree had these issues....especially since these clues are so obvious and self-evident.

I'm finished with trying to get them to see the light because it is frustrating. The fact that I don't even get a reply to the subject only lends itself to futher doubt myself. You are consumed with the "oh crap...I shouldn't have even said a thing" feeling because of the lack of response.....like you blurted out a no-no in church and everyone is looking at you, silent, waiting for the pin to drop so there's SOME break in the akwardness.

Sorry for the long post....just sharing my frustrations in trying to get people to understand....to provide THEM with reasons to help answer questions THEY have had regarding my family. I will now don a helmet before beating my head against the wall. I won't provide any more clues to the mystery.

I will no longer look for others people's "lightbulb" moments, because it is painfully obvious they forgot to pay the electric bill.

Peace!
Wait before you judge so harshly.
You're dropping hints in the hope that they might just pick up and follow your exact line of thinking.
You're also making the jump from a suggested genetic component (the method and magniture re ADD is still unknown) to a definite diagnosis.
You're wanting them to see inside your head and come to the same conclusions as you, even though you don't think alike, may not have access to the same information, and unlike your position, aren't already likely to have a reason to reassess. (They see your brother's/father's idiosyncrasies as part of their personalities rather than as a possible result of ADHD. That has been their perception for a long time. People rarely change such opinions without external prompts (in your case, your diagnosis prompted the thought of them perhaps having the condition, having had similar idiosyncrasies. They haven't had that.)

I'm not saying anything about your family's medical history - I'm just saying be careful and think before jumping to such conclusions. We complain when it's done to us, so try not to return that particular disfavour.

Edit: I don't want to come off as harsh - I just think that problems like this are often better approached with a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer. The world would be a much better place if people took a little time to try and understand each others' internals.
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