Article by Kimber Nelson, CPC
“What time is it?”
“What time did I say I would be here?”
I had this simple conversation after years of perpetual ‘lateness’ became a source of contention and misperception of what I meant to a man living with ADHD. I felt put on the back burner and couldn’t reconcile his feeling for me with his seeming thoughtlessness in honoring our plans. For years, not much explanation was given other than something along the lines of “It’s not about you.”
A few weeks after these short exchanges started he added, “You know this has to do with my ADHD”……..
Ahhh……. what? The subject of ADHD had come up before in passing and the only thing I understood was that school had been more challenging for him than I had known. This was the first time the impact of living with ADHD, as it affects other areas of life, had even passed through my mind. After spending hours with my friend, Google, I was on the floor- stunned by story after story of other’s experiences that mirrored my own.
Only as I began to understand ADHD did I truly appreciate the effort being made to be on time. My perception of his tardiness had always been more than simple time management – it was a statement of what those actions said about how valued I was to him. We were taught that actions speak louder than words, right? I could feel his intentions, but the actions often did not match which confused and frustrated me. The more I learned about ADHD, the more my perceptions shifted and communication about issues became easier for both of us. There was much truth in his saying “It was not about me.” IT was that confusing undefined factor. IT was ADHD.
I kept researching, and one day the concept of coaching was mentioned. Coaching instantly took hold of me and wouldn’t let go, and I knew I had to explore that path. I discovered JST and talked to Jodi before I even decided on a life coaching school, since it was a given that ADHD Coaching was my path.
Kimber Nelson is a certified Professional Coach with iPEC and a JST ADHD Coach Trainer. You can find out more about Kimber at ADHD Partners.com