* Excerpt from René Brooks’ Post on Black Girl, Lost Keys. Find her full post here! *

I make jokes all the time about how being an adult is a scam. It’s funny how we long for the day when we become the masters of our own destinies only to discover that being the master of your own destiny is NOT as fun as it looks from the outside. Being a grownup is the ultimate Ponzi scheme. But growing up a gifted kid with undiagnosed ADHD is a super close second. In the race for which is worse, it is a photo finish with being an adult leading by a hair. 

I make jokes all the time about how being an adult is a scam. It’s funny how we long for the day when we become the masters of our own destinies only to discover that being the master of your own destiny is NOT as fun as it looks from the outside. Being a grownup is the ultimate Ponzi scheme. But growing up a gifted kid with undiagnosed ADHD is a super close second. In the race for which is worse, it is a photo finish with being an adult leading by a hair. 

What’s wrong with being gifted with untreated ADHD?

On the face of it all, nothing. Being gifted would seem to equip you with skills to work around the ADHD whether it was treated or not, right? Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case in my experience. All being gifted ever did was set me up for statements like these to be constantly thrown at me:

  • You’re smarter than this. 
  • If you would just apply yourself.
  • You’re not working up to your full potential.
  • If you would just pay attention.
  • You’re able to do so much more when you want to.
  • If you could just focus. 
  • What do I have to do to make you care?
  • If you would just stop being lazy.
Double Trouble: Navigating Life As A Gifted Kid With ADHD

Needless to say, statements like this not only erode a child’s ego, you also have the fact that they’re being gaslit. If a child is trying as hard as they possibly can and they’re being told they aren’t applying themselves and it isn’t good enough, where does that leave the child? For me, it led to years of feeling that no matter what I did it was never good enough. To needing someone else to tell me I did well instead of feeling that I could accurately gauge my own efforts. It led to me feeling like I had failed no matter how hard I worked. The issues that I had were not rooted in a moral failing, but in a disorder I needed treatment for.

Read the full post on René’s Blog Black Girl, Lost Keys!

Post Highlights:

  • The curse of being gifted
  • Gifted kid, why won’t you try?
  • The impact on your self-esteem
  • Imagine what you could do if you applied yourself
  • What does it mean to be “Twice Exceptional”?
  • What will keep this from happening to more children?
René Brooks

Who is René Brooks Anyway?

René Brooks is a late-life ADHD success story. After being diagnosed 3 times as a child (age 7, 11, and 25), she was finally able to get the treatment she deserved. René decided that her passion for helping others should be put toward people with this disorder who are struggling in silence or shame. She started Black Girl, Lost Keys to empower black women with ADHD and show them how to live well with the condition.

She has contributed to Kaleidoscope Society, ADHD Women’s Palooza, Mindfully ADD, and ADHD Essentials while also writing for Healthline and being a Patient Contributor for TEVA Pharmaceutical’s Life Effects.

Follow René!

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