A More Well Rounded View of the Truth

Jeremy is an amazing child and I only wish that others could see past some of the outward stuff and really grab a hold of the beauty that’s inside of this precious, gentle, creative, compassionate little man.

So this is how I ended my last post, and while it’s true – I don’t think that it acurrately portrays the reality that is Jeremy.

I love this little boy with an almost desperate fierceness and I want to raise him to be an amazing man with his own unique gifts and talents.  I don’t want to take the “things” that make him special and make him conform and change into what is “normal” or “accepted”. 

He’s been created the way he is for a reason and he has a purpose and a calling on his life and I want to empower him to be ALL that he can be.

I think that in order to talk better about this I have to be able to actually say that I think my son has ADHD.  We have an appointment with our family Dr. who will refer us to a pediatrician who will assess Jeremy and then give us an “official diagnosis”.  Honestly, I really don’t want an official diagnosis….kids with  ADD and ADHD have gotten such a bad rap in the past and while the tides seem to be slowly turing to reognize that this is actually a learning disorder and not just kids behaving badly – there are so many uninformed people who still think that if you just disciplined more that then “these kids” wouldn’t be so much trouble.

I read recently a discription that said that if you imagined a bridge going from one side of our brain to the other…..in a person who doesn’t have ADD or ADHD the bridge is free and clear from clutter and the information can easily travel back and forth between the two sides.  In a person with ADD or ADHD, imagine that there are all sorts of obstacles on the bridge and in places there are pieces of the bridge deck missing….so the information going from one side of the brain to the other is bounced around and in some places even drops through and falls away entirely.

This is not something that a person with ADD or ADHD can just “control”.  As they get older, they might come up with strategy’s to deal with different areas that they struggle with, but another obstacle that they deal with is that most of their life is spent living in the “NOW” and that means that whatever is not happening “NOW” is usually lost or forgotten.  Not that there wasn’t good intention of planning or dealing with things, and they aren’t lying or being deceitful – they really did plan on doing whatever is was at that moment, but then something else came up “NOW” and it took over and replaced whatever was there before.

There is so much more to it than what I’ve just written, but quite literally the sheer volume of information out there is overwhelming especially when you are really not wanting to admit that this “negative” label might (and most probably does) apply to your child.

It’s amazing how you can think one way and then when that “thing” becomes your reality that you have to change your views on it.

I was one of thise people who thought that if you only disciplined you child a bit better that this “behaviour problem” could be “dealt with”.  I was so foolish and naive and uncaring and unconsiderate.

I do discipline Jeremy, and unfortunately because he does live in the “NOW” moments he needs a TON of reminders and honestly, when you’ve reminded someone for the umpteenth million time for years in a row to not bang on the floor when they walk because it make a alot of noise for the people downstairs and they still aren’t “getting”it…..and it’s not that they aren’t getting it because when you remind them they tip toe and go “oh yah” but when it’s the umpteeth million and fourth time it takes a HERCULEAN effort to not flip out and yell.  The problem is that Jeremy has such a sensitive little soul that any yelling and he absolutely shuts down and NOTHING that you are saying gets through.  That is very frustrating…….VERY!

See, the quote at the top is a bit misleading.  I’m not saying that it’s all puppy dogs and roses.   Dealing with Jeremy is a lot of work.  It’s hard.  It’s difficult.  It’s filled with a lot of guilt and shame.  Could I have done something diffent?  Is it my fault?  Should I have disciplined him more?  Do other’s think badly of me beacuse of how he’s acting?  Do other’s think badly of him beause of how he’s acting?   I could go on and on and on and on……

The bottom line is that yes, I could have done somethings different.  Maybe I have added to the situation somehow.  Maybe I could have disciplined him differently or more consistantly or maybe there was some thing that I didn’t know that could have helped both him and us.  Yes, Others (not all but some) do think badly of us and of him for how’s he’s acting…..I can’t change that.  I can only go forward from here.

I think that it is so SO sad that others judge and misjudge Jeremy.  I can’t change that.  I can try to explain, but both he and I have to live with where he’s at and not get caught up in what others think.  I want to be respectful of others and their “comfort” but I can’t change how they see us.

There is a gentle, creative side of Jeremy that I want to grow and preserve, all the while helping him to be all that he can be….helping him to reach his full potential.

This is a tough road…it has been a rough journey at times over the past 7+ years.  A journey filled with love and joy and guilt and heartbreak, of laughter and tears and energy, oh so much energy – both used (by him) and given (by us); but the treasure of who Jeremy is  – in spite of his struggles or maybe as a result of – i don’t know) keeps us moving forward.

There is a whole ‘nuther side of us “dealing” with all this as far as diet and chiropractic and natural medicine and I’ll talk about that later.  Like I said earlier, we are also going to see about getting him labelled and I struggle with that, but there can be some advantages to everyone “knowing” what we are up against and being able to discuss strategies to aid and enable him moving forward.  We will always come up against insensitive people and how we choose to act or re-act is up to us.  I will be my son’s advocate and it’s not my job to make everyone like or understand him, but it is my job to help him grow into the man he will become, and whatever that takes….we will do.

This is hard….oh so hard, but Jeremy is a sweet, special, creative and unbelievably energetic kid and it takes a special kind of grace to see through the struggles to the treasure inside.  I don’t expect that everyone has to do that, but your life will be so much better if you can do that.

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

3 thoughts on “A More Well Rounded View of the Truth”

  1. the next kid after me is my brother, Jeremiah. there is a 3.5 year gap between us. Jeremiah was never diagnosed officially with anything. not much of that took place in the early/mid 80s. he was just “a strong-willed child” as most fans of Dr. Dobson would call him. he was always in trouble at school, at home, at church, everywhere. one of my first memories of him was him throwing a huge fit at the grocery store and my mom dragging me away as we left him freaking out on the floor. many people did not like Jeremiah, including family members, even me most days. he had a rough childhood in many ways, for a variety of reasons.

    then something amazing happened and i’m not exactly sure when it occurred or how it did, but Jeremiah is an awesome adult. truly a man of God and an amazing father. he and I are pretty close now and i really do consider that a miracle.

    i write all this not to compare my brother with Jeremy because they are very, very different. but i just wanted to encourage you when you feel down, when you feel others are judging you, when you feel like throwing Jeremy down the stairs that i think he too will surprise you and will become a kind, loving, successful man who makes you forget all the frustrations of raising him (ok, maybe not forget, but at least be able to laugh and shake your head in amazement). one of the end goals we have as parents is to try to raise competent, God-loving adults. if my wacked out, dysfunctional parents could do it, i KNOW you and Jon can. and Henri and i are right beside you cheering you on.

  2. Patti I am always amazed at how well you do with your children . You seem to be so much more in the know about a lot of things than what we did when mine were little. I think we all wonder if we could have done something better or something different for 0ur children when we see them struggling . Honestly I never even thought J.J. had problems before you started sharing. I guess I had a prety hyper little boy so just thought he had a different personality and needs as his brother was pretty calm and easy to handle . You have great kids we enjoyed having Jelly. Love you all Grandma

  3. I ditto what Cara said… not about the brother part cuz you know I don’t have any…. but I have a child that doesn’t always fit the “norm” and have felt judged… so I totally relate… the only part that matters is that you guys get J and he is taught of the Lord and you are training him up in the love of the Father…that is the best thing we can do for any of our kids..difficult or not and you and Jon are doing an amazing job!
    we love you and all your kids very much!

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