Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tonight - Reflections on a Day of Tragedy

Tonight I'm sitting in my living room, firing blazing in the fireplace, kids bickering, watching movies, drawing, telling stories, complaining, laughing, being.

Tonight I am soaking them in.

Tonight I'm praying for the families who's hearts and homes have been torn apart by a truly senseless act of violence. I'm wishing, like the rest of the country and world, that there was some way to make sense of the senseless.  I'm wishing that there was some way to legislate this away so it would never happen again.  Even though I know that there is no sense to be made of it.  Even though I know that legislation may make it better but what is broken here was beyond the reach of laws.

Tonight I am thinking back on the day and my own list of what should have happened before and after, soothing my own sense of wanting to control the aspects of life we have no control over.  Furious that my son's teacher played the news feed in his classroom in high school. I understand her need to know, to be connected to it.  But, I also know she wasn't thinking of the students in her classroom.  How they would feel.  What they would think.  If they were going home to families equipped help them process this terrible event or if she was sending them home where no one will be there to help them. 

Tonight I am reliving my own conversation with my own children when they came home from school - figuring out what information they had been given, what they thought and felt, what they were worried about.  Reassuring them that even if they didn't want to talk then they could come when ever they did want to talk.  Telling them that we would not be watching the news about it on TV but if they wanted more information we would look it up.  I didn't watch long, after my husband called and told me what had happened.  I couldn't, still can't get the pictures of the day out of my head.  Forever the sight of the flag being lowered to half mast will reside next to it being raised at the 9-11 site.  Tragic.  Tragic for the families, tragic for our American family, our world family.

Tonight I'm looking for a way to restore our families sense of safety and control over their world. I was talking to my daughter who did come to me privately, crying, she told me of the thoughts plaguing her.  How she couldn't stop thinking about the Christmas presents those parents had bought for their babies, those precious children. Those presents that would never be opened.  We cried together.  I told her there are so many things in this world that we can't control and when things like this happen sometimes it feels like we have no control.  I reminded her that there are many things we do control, can control.  She told me about a class project they did today making cards for a young man with cystic fibrosis reach a goal to get into the Book of World records. Something we can do, a way we can serve, a great way to exercise the control we do have in this way. Later I will deal with the school and live news feeds in the classroom.  Tonight, I am thinking of opportunities we have to serve tomorrow and the chance my family has to see that they can make a positive difference in peoples' lives, the control they can exercise.

Tonight the importance of spreading mental health awareness is central in my thoughts.  I wonder what signs were missed, what help could have been given, what could have been different for the young man who ripped the lives from these innocent children and adults.  I wonder what if mental illness wasn't such a mystery to the general public. What if there wasn't so much stigma and shame associated with this type of illness.  What if there were easily accessible resource for those suffering from mental health issues and their families.  We want to control the uncontrollable and there is so much we can't control but we can do better.  Certainly awareness, education, help is something we can do better at.

Tonight I will give hugs and kisses, listen to prayers for safety, for comfort for those that are hurting, for love and peace.  Tonight I will say a few myself.

* When the shootings in Aurora took place we did a blog on handling crisis with special needs family members 1156 Miles to Aurora - Dealing with Crisis and ADHD

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