Angela’s Story

Im an 18 year old Korean girl in Toronto. Im not sure what Im going to say in my story…I just know I have to write and submit it, even if only to try and clear my head.

Deep breath…I always thought there was something off about how the way my mind works. My psychiatrist even thought I had OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. But after a few days, it was obvious that was not it. So I thought it was all in my head and my anxiety went away. Only, it returned after my life continued the same, confusing, warped way it always had been.

When I was a little girl, I was very anti-social. I didnt have more than one friend until 6th grade. I would daydream constantly and without self-control. One moment I was there, next moment I wasnt. Last year my best friend Anita told me on the bus to stop fidgeting, that it wasnt attractive. It hurt me but at the same time, what was fidgeting to her was normal for me. I always fidgeted. And as a child, I would hear music in my head or make up a song or story and start dancing, swaying or singing out of nowhere. My sister found it strange and hilarious. I never thought it was weird. I developed this strange habit of staring off into space just to now do anything strange in public. To protect myself, I would almost go into a trance to appear normal. People also told me to talk more quietly when I didnt realise I was speaking too loud.

And Lately, these past 2 years Ive been thinking I have a hearing problem. Its like there is static or a fuzzy screen between me and the person talking to me. Sometimes I have to strain to hear the words and even then, its muffled and I have to pretend and bluff that I heard it so they wont think Im stupid. Or I have to ask them to repeat themselves. But sometimes I can hear clearly. Most often than not, I cannot hear clearly, my mind struggles to focus on what they are saying and I feel slow.

I know Im smart, teachers have praised me for being bright and intelligent…and afterwards to take me aside and ask me why I wasnt completing assignments, where was my project and why I hadnt answered the questions correctly. I used to feel like I had let them down and my self-esteem screamed: Whats wrong with you?! I felt that next year, next semester I would get a new teacher, a second chance to do better and prove myself. And every year…I would fail myself and them. And my parents. I just CANT get things done. Right this minute, I should be studying for my law exam. I need the marks, I think Im failing. But I have only one paragraph written. Well written but off focus…I second guess myself too much. But my textbook is sitting here. It makes sense to my friends but to me, its a jumble of words and ideas that I have to filter and organise first to understand it.

I lose things a lot. Ever since I was a kid, I always always lost things. Umbrellas, books, mittens, papers, money. You name it, I lost it. And most often, I would find them later stashed in someplace I had forgotten I had put it in! I still lose things. My two pairs of gloves are gone, I lost my exam sheets and I have no idea where the scarf my bf gave me is.

Yes, I have a bf. He says I dont listen. I never listen, I drift off into space and dont even look at him sometimes. He gets angry when I ask him the same question over and over again when he says I should know the answer. He also mentions that I can never make decisions. The idea of time frightens me so much. When a teacher assigns a due date, my bf asks me what time I want to meet up, when my mom asks me how long it’ll take me to do my homework, i want to scream: I DONT KNOW!!

Because I dont know…

All I know is that Im moving through life, or rather life is moving on all around me and Im struggling through a pond of tar with bees buzzing all around my head. I see the shore, sometimes it looks so close that only a few steps hinder me from reaching it. But mostly, it looks so far away I shouldnt even try for it.

I get so FRUSTRATED sometimes. Things just dont work for me. When I do complete my assignments, I lost my disk that I saved it on. Or Im all out of ink in my printer. Or something comes up that distracts me and I go off, leaving my stuff on the desk.

I’ve pulled more all-nighters than most people. I sit up at 6 am in the morning, half-heartedly writing my assignments and at regular intervals, daydream or do some activity that pulls me to it.

I love to read, sometimes I just read and become oblivious to everything around me. But put a book I have no interest in infront of my eyes and the words blur, my mind stretches somewhere else and I sit there and stare at it without seeing it.

And Im so angry, hurt, happy and excited to an extreme most of the time. Whatever emotion I experience is usually very emotional. Even now as Im discovering I have this disorder, Im feeling jittery because now I know…its not in my head. And there is another kind of life out there. One where confusion doesnt reign.

I have noticed that my mother and I are very similar. My father used to remark, after a parental fight, that my mother is crazy. Theres something not right about her mind. I notice that she loses or misplaces things chronically, is always always running late like I am, is a horrible driver because she doesnt notice deatils, gets angry so easily as I do, and other things and I think I got it from her.

I just wish I had known sooner… Now I need someone who will help me. Diagnose me and understand me.

Wish me luck 🙂

Thank you for all the information you have on this site. Its really given me hope.