Monday, May 14, 2012

We Are Family....I Got All My Sisters In Me....

....well, brothers, anyway.

If you don't know me well, you may not know that I am the youngest of five children.  Ah, the joys of practicing Catholics.  How my parents handled five smart, articulate, headstrong hot messes like my brothers and me without drinking....wait, scratch that; nevermind.

One of the things I've learned about ADD is that it is hereditary.  The feeling is, I've found, is that this is more nature than nurture.  Environment certainly comes into play, but from what I understand, it only exacerbates the gene.  Yay me!  It's not ENTIRELY my bad parenting skills...woohoo!  But instead, just another thing I can blame on my parents.  Just kidding, Mom and Dad - this isn't your fault.  This time ;)

So this revelation got me to thinking.  Could I have ADD?  Nah, I'm more OCD and AA than ADD.  However, I have this brother....

My "next sibling up", we'll call him Mark*, was pigeon-holed, err...sorry, diagnosed, as hyperactive when he was around five to seven years old.  Please keep in mind, this was the mid-seventies, and advances in psycho-science weren't as, well, advanced.  Mark* has a brilliant mind.  At four, he was reading encyclopedias for light reading.  He has a photographic memory, and is wicked smaaaht.  By smaaaht, I mean MENSA smart.  Rocket scientist smart.  He coulda been a contender, Stella.  My parents were faced with a dilemma.  Medicate brain-boy, or put him in Special Ed.  In looking back, clearly he was ADHD.  He had all the classic signs.  The only problem is, back then, there were no "classic signs" to speak of.  His teachers couldn't handle him because he was so far advanced, he was bored, but yet acted out so impulsively, he'd disrupt the class.  Given the limited, somewhat dangerous pharmaceutical options of the day, my parents said not no, but "HELL no" to the medication.  My brainiac, uncontrollable brother was unceremoniously dumped into Special Education Purgatory.  I don't mean the "gifted program."  I mean short bus stuff....he was put into a classroom full of mentally and physically challenged children, with the expectation of just quietly coasting him through elementary school until he was someone else's "problem."  He then drifted through adolescence and into adulthood rather lost.  Before I get a whole bunch of comments about my parents' decision, stand down.  There was only one option for them with regards to medication at the time, and I am pretty sure that they now only prescribe that medication to euthanize horses.  As a parent, I would have done exactly what they did.  In fact, it's a huge contributing factor in why I am a little "gun shy" about putting Connor on meds.  They didn't want a zombie child where once a gifted and exuberant boy stood.  I wonder....if they had then what they have now for kids with this, know....knowledge, how much different Mark's* life would be today.  Because now, while he has a decent enough job that enables him to be creative, he struggles with anger management issues, authority issues, accountability issues, addiction issues (no do I) and a myriad of other "issues", including sticking with any one thing for very long.  This is what drives me.  While I love my brother, I don't want my son to be my brother.  He could have been anything.  He could have done everything.  Music, science, art.....anything.  All the stuff I want for Connor.

But whatever....those are just my fears.

On the ironic side, I'm still waiting for the results of the psych eval.  Connor's EEG came back fine.  No seizures.  He has a perfect little brain up in that noggin of his.  The behaviorist apparently misplaced the surveys.  Yeah, I thought the very same thing.  We were promised results today, but.....not.  Sigh.

On the sad side, I apologize for not updating this blog.  A moment of silence for my grandmother, Carmen Hunt.  We miss you already, Grandma.  Carry on.

Peace out, yo.

*Names have not been changed, because we're all grown-ups, and, besides, Mark isn't talking to me anyway.

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