Tons of mixed feelings and questions

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Syracusegrad2012, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Syracusegrad2012

    Syracusegrad2012 New Member

    Hi I posted a topic earlier regarding how I found out I had a learning disability and the ramifications of how I found out on top of the way that it hurt my family and I just have a few questions for the parents here who have raised kids with severe behavioral problems.

    1. I was never diagnosed with conduct disorder or anything, nor did I really get into too much trouble growing up. I will admit that I was kind of selfish growing up but that was mostly a result of having an undiagnosed visual perception disorder/NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD).

    2. I threw tons of temper tantrums growing up, talked about suicide occasionally, would get in a fair amount of trouble at school, had tons of depression growing up. I feel bad about the way this made my parents feel and it appeared really selfish. On the contrary I had a really serious learning disability eating me up no matter how hard I tried I kept failing, it made social situations hard, made school really hard and the worst thing of it all was I tried so hard to become a good athlete but failed miserably because of the visual processing disorder. I would cry all the time and have horrible depression outbursts to my parents and I can tell it really hurt them but it all comes down to my NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and not getting help.

    3. I would always complain to my parents about problem in school, and other things and always got detention but my problems were 90 percent of the time because of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD).

    4. I almost got expelled in High school because I befriended kids who were notorious for cheating, would steal tests, I would pay them to write my papers, they would give me math tests. I only became friends with them because I couldn't really read or write in elementary school and that it was the only way I could get by in the advanced classes that I was forced to take by my parents because my brother did as the NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) made school a living nightmare.

    5.. When I finally found out I have NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), it was under traumatic circumstances, and when I was 20. I worked really hard to overcome it but am still bitter how I found out, that I didn't find out earlier and what part of the blame fell on my parents, the school, myself.

    so here are my questions or concerns. I know this is similar to something I asked before. I feel really bad about what I put my parents through growing up but then again I had a horrible undiagnosed learning disorder eating me up inside making my life hell. I was definitely selfish, appeared lazy, had emotional outbursts and really stressed my parents out but it was 90 percent of the time because of my undiagnosed learning disability. I don't know how to fell right now. I know most of oyu are parents with kids with disabilities but I don't know how I should feel about what I put through my parents through, even though some of the blame ultimately goes to them. I have so many mixed feelings about this situation because I know if you throw most people in my situation would have had the outbursts no confidence, crying all the time, cheating etc. (I know that sounds cynical but no amount of mental toughness can overcome the struggles of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)/visual processing disorder unless someone is helping you. It eats you up inside and will leave you with no self confidence and in a world of hopelessness and confusion. No one escaped an undiagnosed learning disability unscathed.)

    I just want to hear other parents opinions.
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    No one can tell you how you should feel. You are feeling, what you are feeling and there isn't that much you can do to that. You can however choose how you behave and what you do to those feelings. I'm not a great fan of holding the grudge or self-pity and while I occasionally entertain myself with exercising both of those occupations nothing good seems to come out of either. So my advice would be to try to look forward.

    To be honest: I find it unlikely you parents did leave your disability without proper treatment for malice. Neither your teachers. It is much more likely, they simply didn't know better. That of course doesn't make your suffering any less, but it is something you should keep in mind.

    Then again, you had a disability that made your life very hard. That is certainly not your fault. And I applaud how well you have managed.

    You know your parents best and which level you can talk about the matter with them. But instead of accusations it could be beneficial for your relationship and future happiness to own up your part of all of it. NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) made your life hard but it didn't take away your choices. You most likely knew at times you were making wrong choices. The right choice may have felt too difficult to make and I get that, but still you have to own also the bad choices. It doesn't mean you would be minimizing the effects NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) has had on your life. But NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) didn't cheat or threw temper tantrums, you did. You need to own up that - and after that forgive yourself. People make mistakes, your parents do, you do, your teachers do, if you have kids one day, they will too. Forgiving and living on is a key.

    If you feel like it, it could be good for your relationship with your parents to apologize your part on this. Tell them you are sorry you caused them so much stress and that you made some mistakes. Tell them that your new understanding of your disability helps you not to make similar mistakes in future. Tell them that you did really try as a kid, but it was very hard for you. They may take it as they choose to, but important part is, that you learn to forgive for yourself and also others and let go and live on.

    I certainly do sympathise with you. That kind of disability is hard and you have had to overcome a lot. I also have somewhat comparable situation with my son. He was severely bullied as a kid, so severely it caused him PTSD. And he was very difficult kid to parent, and still as a young adult is. I didn't hurt him on purpose but my actions have ended up hurting him. I feel very guilty for that, but there is nothing I can do to change those things or take the hurt away. My kid has also made some very wrong choices. And while now knowing about bullying explains some of them, it doesn't excuse them or mean he doesn't have to own up those mistakes, deal with them, learn from them and live on. I can't do that for him, but for his own life, that is very, very important for him to do.

    I'm sorry if I come off harsh. That is not my meaning and I do really feel for you and admire how hard you have worked with your disability.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think you should allow yourself to validate what you went through and put your parents through as a kid. Maybe apologize to your parents for the things you feel bad about - it might be a really good way to slip in a print out or brochure on NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). People tend to be more receptive when they aren't feeling defensive, which I wonder is the reasons why it is hard to talk to your parents about this (guilt tends to make one defensive). And then I think you should feel very proud of yourself for overcoming this disability on your own and that should be your focus.

    We do have to allow ourselves to recognize and validate past hurts in order to move on from them. But you have so many things to be proud of that are much bigger and longer lasting to dwell for too long.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm going to expand that statement... No one escapes from an undiagnosed disability unscathed.

    For our difficult child, the missed diagnosis wasn't a Learning Disability (LD)... it was Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).
    Same diff, in terms of impact - social, emotional, behavioral, etc. Right down to the "cheating to survive" because there was no other answer.

    In our case, the test that was needed to reveal the particular Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), was not in common use in our area until difficult child was in HS. Which is... 9 years too late. NINE years of being told you're stupid, lazy, and/or got an attitude problem. WE (parents) knew those labels were wrong, but were powerless to do anything UNTIL we fell into the diagnosis.

    So yes, I hear you.

    Have you done any research into NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and how common it is for that to be a missed diagnosis, how long has it been commonly recognized, etc.? Perhaps there wasn't as much they could have done in the early years, as you might expect.
  5. Syracusegrad2012

    Syracusegrad2012 New Member

    Hey, just a few questions. What does difficult child mean I keep hearing that everywhere? NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is probably the hardest learning disability to detect it is actually known as the "invisible disability" but there were clues everywhere that something wasn't right mainly the constant calls form home because of my handwriting.

    NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is an extremely broad definition. My problem was I had severe perceptual and spatial deficits which caused NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). I struggled with hand to eye coordination, motor and gross skills because I couldn't process and coordinate my body correctly. This also caused social deficits because I had a hard time processing one's face and over time I pretty much just tuned out anything visual because I couldn't process it. Whether or not I got diagnosed younger probably not a lot the school could have done to help me probably nothing at all but it would have at least been nice to know why I was struggling and I could have worked with an occupational therapist to address the perceptual and spatial deficits when I was younger, but it doesn't matter what is done is done and I came very close to never finding out anyways and I am sure there are tons of other kids in my shoes who will never find out so the only thing I can do is work really hard on it now and try to get over everything that happened.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    difficult child, Gift from God, is a board acronym for our difficult children. Why they are difficult varies but they are all challenging to parent.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    First of all, welcome to the board :)

    Now, keep in mind this is my opinion based on my experiences. You said:
    My son Travis has a similar issue (along with many others). He wasn't diagnosed for this until age 15 or so. But even with an actual visual disability people could see that he / other people don't get it. It's a rather tough one to understand or even empathize with no experience / education to draw from. To myself and others, it appeared that Travis simply wouldn't apply himself. Now I caught on something was wrong around 3-4th grade because he would cooperate and sit at the table for homework......but 2 hours later nothing would be done, not even filling in his name......unless I had stopped and helped him (read through the question/instructions) and even if I'd helped was only what I helped him with. And when I'd ask him why he'd sat there doing nothing for 2 hours he'd just break down and cry and tell me he was stupid. Well......the kid could take apart and put back together a VCR, I knew he wasn't the least bit stupid. When we found the right Neuro it was explained to us....and it made sense. But the school never did "get it" and he never did get the help he needed for it until we sent him to a technical school at age 16. His self confidence was so low that during his teen years his doctor recommended an IQ test. He scored genius. Now that helped because when we tried to explained to him what much of the issue was he'd always shut us off saying he was just it let us be able to explain to him many of his dxes that he would never listen to before. (and it didn't help that his older sister was a 4.0 student either)

    But frankly.......this learning disorder is not easy to spot because the child learns ways to muck up the waters. Not intentionally.......they're just trying to adapt and cope....but it does muck up the water when you're unsure what or if there is a problem. And I'll say right here, I am medically trained and have had extensive experience with children.....and I totally didn't have a clue what the problem was because to me it didn't make sense. It was the neuro (a new one we saw for a 2nd opinion about something else) that explained it to ME along with some other issues and then I had my A Ha moment.

    Youngest daughter was diagnosed with severe dyslexia at age 14-15, I'd unofficially diagnosed her at age 8 (it was blatantly obvious). She went through school thinking she was dumb no matter what I did to counter it, even after her official diagnosis. It was several years and some maturity later that she began to understand it was the dyslexia, not her intelligence. And as you can see, she was a difficult child as a kid.

    If it were me, I'd offer an apology to your parents and sit down and talk to them about it. Honestly? They may not even have picked up on the fact that there was such a problem going on. It doesn't make them bad parents or uncaring just means they missed it. Parents are just as human as anyone else. And odds are, they already feel bad for not having seen the problem.

    My kids and I talk about this stuff all the time. Their feelings are real and important and it helps them to get them out.

  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have to applaud you for even addressing these issues at your age. You had a disability which severely impacted your young life. Because of your own commitment and strength and resolve you have overcome most of it. Now on the other side, without all the symptoms and trauma, you are able to see reality differently. It appears you have compassion for your parents. There is a lot of water under the bridge and at this point, since it is concerning you, seems like a good place to begin the journey of straight communication, forgiveness, acceptance and letting go.

    Speaking from my own point of view as someone who is from a family of severe mental illnesses which were not diagnosed in my parents nor my siblings for a long time, and having a daughter with mental issues, I completely understand your feelings. There is a lot to work through, there are so many feelings, many conflicting and difficult to verbalize and really get. I'm of the opinion that each of us does the best we can with what we've got. Having said that doesn't mean we always do the best thing for everyone concerned. And, there is always room for making amends. We're flawed, each one of us. We're human, we make mistakes and we don't listen and we believe we're right. It took a lot of therapy for me to uncover my true feelings and then find a way to forgive my parents and forgive myself. You have guilts and angers appropriate to the situation, but which do not serve you. You seem like a person who wants to get to the bottom of this and then let it go. I am that way too. You are already addressing the issues by writing about them here and listening to what we all have to say. You found a good place to vent and learn. You are on the path of self understanding and like many of us here, learning to let go of what we have no control over and do something with the rest. The distinction is often difficult to figure out, but you are making the attempt. Communication is the key, in my opinion. It opens the doors to find out how the other person really felt. Your parents likely have their own guilt which may prevent them, unwittingly, from really hearing you. That doesn't mean what you have to say isn't valuable and important and your truth, it is, but they may have their own experience which you are not privy to.

    Regardless of what your parents can understand, hear, talk about or understand about your experience, you, as an adult now, will have to find your way through and out of this for yourself. If they hear you and the lines of communication open up and you all accept and forgive, that would be wonderful. That isn't always how it goes though. You seem as if you have a strong intention to resolve this for yourself, and that intention will bring the teachers, helpers, information and what it is you need, to bring you the peace and internal acceptance you desire.

    You've been through a lot. You made it through such a difficult childhood. Now you are here, in a different place because of who you are and your willingness to find your own way. Regardless of anything else, that is a huge accomplishment against great odds, I hope you really can overcome your negative feelings and see the remarkable positives, which YOU created.
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Look...nobody is perfect. We all learn as we go. Your parents learned how to parent as they went, just as you learned to cope with your learning disability, or are currently learning.

    You certainly should open up your mind to your parents hearing what you have to say. You do not say how you actually found out (or I missed it). Or really why you found out so late. Was someone hiding it from you? Or were you just tested for it later in life?
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I actually have a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and other ones too and back in the day there was no help for them. You were just "lazy." I barely made it through school and we also difficult. On the other hand, my parents weren't very understanding either and could even be mean. I don't know your situation. I think the best way to deal with your past problems (and current ones) if they are still troubling you is to go see a good therapist who can help you deal with all of it. It took me years and years of counseling to reconcile what I'd been through, but nowadays much more is known about these things. You could probably get good help a lot faster than I did. by the way my NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) was extreme. I have a verbal IQ of 120 and a performance level IQ of 85. That means I sounded very intelligent, but could not perform up to how I sounded. The teachers (as well as my family) thought I was just not trying on purpose. I always had a mood disorder too so I wasn't easy to raise.

    Good luck. I hope you can find the kind of therapy you need :)