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ADHD Adults

Living with parents as an adult.

I just moved back in with my parents and things aren’t going we’ll at all. My mother and I never got a long and my dad looks at me like I’m a failure. I’ll be 24 on the 31st and I lost my job a few months ago. I’ve never been good with budgeting or being on time. I’m also not very patient so I dropped out of college and started a medical assisting program. That was a bust and a waste of time. I ended up working in a doctors office I hated for $10/ hour. So now here I am a single mom who about to be in her mid 20’s and I have nothing to show for it. A lot of friends have already graduated college and are going back for their masters. My parents have convinced me not to start working, but to go back to school full time in January. While I’m thankful for their support, their comments here and there hurt about how I can never be on time, I’m selfish, I’m lazy, etc. What would you do if you were in my situation.


It sounds like lthey don’t understand much about ADD. Those are common misperceptions people often have.  For a big picture view: you are extremely lucky that they are letting you live with them. They are encouraging and supporting a path that can ultimately put you in a better position - a college degree. They do care about your future and must have some level of confidence in you. It is probably frustrating for them to see you struggle. Perhaps they are feeling that they did “everything right” and yet, here you are with troubles. Perhaps you can find a good article or book that describes the ADD mind for them.  I can’t think of any particular one off the top of my head, but perhaps someone else here can.  Be sure to try not to jump on them when they make their comments. They may not realize how it hurts. perhaps try to talk to them about that specifically when you are in a calm mood. Tell them you appreciate their support and know they care, and then take a very gentle tone to tell them how you feel about your difficulties - you can agree with them on how disruptive the situation is - this can establish that you are all on the same side - this situation stinks - you all can agree. Everybody wants you to be self supporting and happy - you all agree. Find as many thing you can to agree on - then when they’re shaking their heads “yes” you can try to discuss that you feel bad enough already yourself that since they are helping you in so many ways, you are asking them for this one thing - to not use those words.
Be aware that there may be things you are saying or doing that may make you sound or look selfish or lazy.  If you can get to a calm discussion - you can tell them that from their statements, they think you are lazy and selfish - whatever - but you’re certainly not feeling that way and maybe they could tell you some specifics so you will be able to figure out what you are doing to make it look that way.  Tell them you feel bad already so please could they be kind about this - that you are putting yourself out there and opening yourself to criticism so try to be constructive, that when you start to get defensive, you start to lose the message behind what their message is. Sometimes putting things that way can result in other people starting to realize what they are doing - OR you will find that something you do really comes off wrong and you can either change it or (sometimes in my case) tell people ahead of time of your quirk so they don’t misinterpret. I have a relative who keeps a straight face most of the time.  The person’s parents have to tell the school teachers that this is how it is -that the person not smiling doesn’t mean the person is sad.The person also looks up (as if inside the brain) when thinking - so it looks like they are rolling their eyes - once teachers knew that they knew to further ask questions to see if the kid was being rude or just thinking hard about what was just said.

Posted by Juggler on Dec 14, 2013 at 10:46pm

Be sure that you are not falling back into “kid habits” living with your parents. Make sure you are taking care of your child and cleaning up after yourself.  You should be helping with cleaning and cooking (think of it as paying your rent). 

It is a hard situation but remember that your parents obviously want the best for you. When you do start school make sure you are getting the help you need to be successful. 

Are you majoring in a field that has jobs and fits your abilities?  Just getting a college degree does not ensure a job.  You said you hated the office job.  Maybe you should look into technical fields.  (My son started out to get a degree in History then switched into welding. He loves it and there are jobs waiting when he finishes that pay well.)

Best of luck to you.  This is NOT a setback this is a wonderful opportunity for you.

Posted by Lee Anne on Dec 14, 2013 at 11:49pm

I think Lee Anne, above, has the right read on this thing:

“This is NOT a setback this is a wonderful opportunity for you.”

It’s also pretty clear that you should NOT be all happy and honky-dory going home to live with Mom and Dad… If you were… Well… You get the idea

Use the time to develop yourself!  this is a great opportunity.  Try to use it as such.

Posted by LakeLife on Dec 15, 2013 at 2:32pm

Remember that your parents have watched and been frustrated by your behavior for 24 years.  Their remarks may just be a way of venting their frustration and are not meant to hurt you. The love you or you would not be welcomed back in their house.  If they say something hurtful, tell them it hurts your feelings AND then ask what you can do to prove to them to get them to change their mind.  Then DO it. 

It takes a long time to undo 24 years of impressions.  Be patient and develop new habits to show appreciation at the chance you have been given. 

You have a child to support now and need to set a good example.

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 at 9:18pm

I moved back in with my parents when I was 50 for about 8 months.  I was divorced, unable to manage my money, and therefore unable to pay my bills.  It was really hard, but at the same time a blessing.  My Dad wanted to treat me like I was still a child, but then I also realized that my impulsive behavior needed to be controlled and he helped with that.  Whenever he became insulting, I would sit down and talk to him about my ADD and why I behaved as I did.  I let him know it was just as frustrating for me as it was for him since I saw all of my faults and that I was trying as hard as I could.  These conversations helped him understand me better and he became more supporting. 

One book that really helped me understand myself was “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder by Kate Kelly ?” 

Good luck and I hope you take advantage of this chance to go back to college.  One thing to keep in mind when you choose your course of study is to pick something that will not keep you sitting at a desk most of the day.  It’s really hard for someone with ADHD to sit all day long and you will come to hate it like you did your last job!

Posted by rkflowers913 on Dec 17, 2013 at 10:02pm
Posted by baxter81 on Dec 18, 2013 at 2:24am

All your advice is wonderful. As the parent in this story, I wii say to you I am sorry you hurt. But please let me know about your thoughts on this process too. I am trying hard to help you. But I am weary of caregiving. It is a heavy load to keep supporting. I love you and my grandchild. You are as frustrated with ADD as I am. And by the way, I or your dad may have it too. So this is hard for me too. Please take your parents advice. You will feel better about yourself in the end.

Now as that parent , I really do have ADD. I struggled but did get a degree. I found that ADD my favorite job is something that provides structure, is autonomous, and is not routine. We ADD ers get board, we need structure, but we do better when we can do whatever it is we are doing in our own way. Stay away from micro managers. Nursing can be a good field, or social work. Take advantage of aptitude testing. In the right setting and field we ADDers soar. Hang in there.

And I did let my 25 yo w a baby, ADDer come home.

Posted by Mygardenispretty on Dec 18, 2013 at 5:49am

Nice Mom….. Wow… 

May I add that teaching is a good gig as well.  I went from City Manager to Teacher (Chemistry).  I enjoy it, although I earn fully 2/3rds less than I did a year ago. 

I’d do it again.  Hoping you can find a career choice that is equally as satisfying.

Posted by LakeLife on Dec 18, 2013 at 10:02am

Honey, raising a child IS a full time job! Way to go! You’ve realized you need some help & GOTTEN it! smile I’d ask my parents to read a good book or two that I agree with about ADD. Or, I’d meet with them and someone who specializes in diagnosis &/or treatment. Point them at this website; it’s AWESOME!
I’m never on time for anything, either. wink *hugs* And, yes, focus on one thing at a time. That’s GREAT that your parents are helping you so you CAN just focus on school and raising your own baby. But that doesn’t give them license to say hurtful things to you. Perhaps they just don’t realize what they say is so hurtful.
They may well resent that they failed as parents, and perceive your return home as “proof” of that. Focus on all the great things they’re doing and sacrificing for you, call them on the hurtful stuff, and help them understand you more.
God luck!

Posted by Utena42 on Dec 18, 2013 at 10:13am

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