Grieving the life I didn't have

SaCha1689

New member
I was diagnosed with autism and ADHD about a year ago, and it was massively liberating and validating for me. I'm happy that I now know there's nothing wrong with me, and that I'm just wired differently.

However, with those feelings also came bitterness and grief. Why didn't my parents realize I was neurodivergent? Why didn't my teachers? Why did they abuse me and force me to conform to neurotypical standards? If I had been supported and accommodated when I was growing up, would I still have developed anxiety and depression? Would I be more professionally successful now if I'd had adults in my life who didn't completely fail me? Would I have fallen into toxic friendships with people who bullied and took advantage of me? None of it is fair. I deserved a better life, a better childhood. My younger self deserved better.

Is there really any way to cope with these feelings? Will they ever go away?
 

Wy19

Member
I know exactly what you mean
I'm 22 now and was only finally diagnosed these past few months
When I spoke to my mom about it she said she had her suspicions when I was a child but didn't want me to grow up with a label
I was, and still am, furious because maybe instead of struggling for all these years, developing severe anxiety and depression, I might've learned ways to cope and be thriving instead I barely manage to get out of bed or leave the house

Sorry to say I don't know when these feelings pass or if they will
 

Mariano

New member
I tend to agree with the (I guess) frustration we were not supported from an earlier age. I’ve learned about my conditions aged 41 and felt same way as you do, it is perfectly normal. I guess when I was a kid, the view on adhd and autism was very different as of today, and I am glad that school aged kids are now identified and supported, hence what gives me real purpose to help others not go thru what I had to endure. Anyways, thank you for sharing and hope your journey only strengthens your true self.
 

DaraSix16

New member
Hiya! Not much of a consolation BUT I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4 and all I got was shipped off to a school miles away where I had no friends, medicated in a way which made me not me and now my circulation is messed up from it. I was then diagnosed with ASD (no parents about to fill the team in on my childhood) at the age of 28.

Even with my diagnosis I was shamed for traits of my condition in school which was meant to be specifically for ADHD children - truth is the world hasn't been set up for beings like us and navigating it sucks a fair bit.

You're not the only one to feel this way as I feel massively let down also, if my behaviour was seen as annoying or not what was wanted I spent most of the day on punishment which would entail being locked in my bedroom.

The one thing that makes me feel better about all of this is I will not be repeating the same mistakes for my child, can't go back in time but I can break the cycle of misunderstanding, ignorance and failure!
 

Okad

New member
I was diagnosed with autism and ADHD about a year ago, and it was massively liberating and validating for me. I'm happy that I now know there's nothing wrong with me, and that I'm just wired differently.

However, with those feelings also came bitterness and grief. Why didn't my parents realize I was neurodivergent? Why didn't my teachers? Why did they abuse me and force me to conform to neurotypical standards? If I had been supported and accommodated when I was growing up, would I still have developed anxiety and depression? Would I be more professionally successful now if I'd had adults in my life who didn't completely fail me? Would I have fallen into toxic friendships with people who bullied and took advantage of me? None of it is fair. I deserved a better life, a better childhood. My younger self deserved better.

Is there really any way to cope with these feelings? Will they ever go away?
I have had the same feelings and they do persist to a degree still. if I focus on them, if I consider all the missed chances for a different life that may have been possible, it is again quite raw.
For me a few things have helped, time as in any grieving process for loss, time blunts it somewhat as replaying it hurts too much, so you learn to reign it in bit by bit.
I also accept this side of the diagnosis I know so much more now, things in my past have an explanation as to the cause and the way I handled and managed all that I was doing in life pre awareness of the autistic me.

So, I am kinder to the past me they lived as best they could and made choices armed with the knowledge they had for the best of intentions, when faced with a hostile world in which they existed, with no answer to why they didn’t fit in, me in the past done an epic job given what they knew. I forgive and accept my actions in that time.
I look forward to all that I can do now that I am better aware of myself and at ease with the current me.

So, for me time, forgiveness, acceptance and hope, and that blunts quite heavily all that I missed and makes it easier for me to not focus on the very real loss & move forward.