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This is One Act of my Story. It’s real, raw, emotional and gave me a stomachache to press publish. But it’s important to you, my readers that you know me, and understand where I came from so you know that I care. Because it’s written in parts this won’t give you an ending of hope, yet. I hope you’ll read it in its entirety. And share it with anyone you know who needs to see light at the end of their tunnel. -You’re Amazing, Lacy
“I even managed to get on the Homecoming court as a Queen Nominee, but inside I wanted to die.”-Lacy Estelle, Act 1 of My Story
In high school, you think you know who you are. You’re certain of where you are going, and how your life will play out but really, you have no idea.
As I sat down in the third row of chairs in my English 12 class my senior year, I felt ashamed. Here I was, listening to the voice of the same teacher I had the year prior. The same teacher, whose class I had failed last year.
Yes, you read that right.
I, the writer of this blog, failed English 11. If I’m being honest I damn near failed high school altogether.
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The bell rang in the hallway, as I walked forward swinging my backpack over my left shoulder my peripheral vision caught my teacher. She was motioning me to her desk. Turning to look at her she said
I leaned into the edge of her desk, shifting my weight o
“You should be in my Advanced Placement English Class.”
I must’ve had a shocked look on my face because the next words she said were “I’m serious.”
“But why? I failed your Enlgish 11 class, remember?”
“You are such a talented writer. You don’t need grammar and sentence structure. You need literary analysis and college comprehension. Failed last year or not, doesn’t mean you don’t have raw writing talent. You need to take my A.P. Class.”
I told her I’d consider it and she responded that I please do.
Walking from her room, I didn’t know whether to be scared or elated. I loved to write. I wrote poetry at home, I had journals upon journals of written words I had spilled out over the years. Try as I might, I never really excelled at it in school though. I’d definitely never been recognized for it, until now. At this moment. A teacher,
Never the less, she saw my skill and talent and wanted to reward me by putting me in an advanced class.
Later that same day, I sat down across from a middle age woman, with a spunky personality and short brown hair. This was her first year at our high school, as a counselor. She seemed nice enough, and she was personable. The type of person that made you feel confident as a teen, which is important in her profession. Around her room were scattered drawings from students and her own children.
My vision shifted from looking behind her desk to looking down at my shoes. I was a mess. Sure, I had showered, and worn deodorant. But what happened to me? It was the first day of school and I was wearing sweats, and a sweatshirt and a messy bun hairstyle. To anyone looking at me, I would give the impression that I don’t care. “Is that what I was now? Careless?” I wondered to myself.
She looked at me, with a squinting face; “She wants you to do what?!”
“I know, but she said it. Not me.“
“But you failed her English 11 Class?”
Her face must’ve been the same face I had in Mrs. W’s room.
After punching in a few numbers to her computer and pulling up my GPA and overall credits she sighed.
“Lacy, do you realize you’re not on pace to graduate this year?”
My second shocked face of the day. “What?!”
“You’re three credits shy, even after all your classes this year.”
“Well, if I take her Advanced Placement class won’t that give me an extra credit?”
“Yes, but only if you pass.” The realization that my track record of being passionate and excited about something, then failing to complete it made me sit back in my chair.
“Ok, so what do I need to do to graduate?”
Looking back now, I can see I was the poster child for a teenager struggling with ADHD.
I was smart, but couldn’t concentrate long enough to study. I was tired all the time and impulsive. I couldn’t seem to get ready in the morning in a timely fashion or leave to go anywhere on time. Like schoolwork, time is a mystery to me.
The girls in school whose hair was always worn down curled or straightened. They always had makeup done. As well as their homework ready, and a pencil for every class. Oh, how I envied them. I was at a loss as to why I couldn’t seem to get my shit together. Maybe something was wrong with me?
The plan to put me on pace to graduate consisted of the following:
- Attend school, no missed attendance. (I liked to skip class,
- After school, I would walk the block to the Alternative High School. There I would sit in study hall and re-take English 11 via a correspondence booklet. Similar to homeschool but in a facility with a teacher to help.
- After that, I would walk next door to the Child Development Center and work, until close every night.
- I would do this without pay. This would be considered Co-op, and the work hours I accumulated I would exchange for credits to graduate.
Only if I did this, every day my senior year would I be able to graduate.
If you have ADHD you know as well as I do, that once we set our sights on something; Really tunnel vision that goal, we have no problem reaching it.
I set everything else aside that year and hyperfocused on graduating.
Upon the first day of that Advanced Placement English class, Mrs. W would pass out a book. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.
A story, about a girl who desires to escape her small town avoid getting pregnant, and have an adventure.
She manages to get out of dodge
If I had known then, that the book would
foreshadow my life I wonder how I would feel about it.
At that point in my life, I wanted to leave my small hometown. I wanted to go to Los Angeles, or overseas to Paris. I dreamed of moving to New York and living in a big city with lots of people and things to do. That was my dream.
Do you know what the number one cause of ambitious women never getting out of their small town is?
I don’t know either, but I didn’t leave because of a boy. I imagine countless others, don’t leave because of boys and love.
Sitting on my front porch one night, arguing with that boy about something stupid like we always did I experienced what I thought was an asthma attack. Although, I had never been diagnosed with asthma in my life.
It was my first time experiencing a panic attack.
Overcome with emotion, from screaming and feeling trapped. Worrying that I couldn’t leave him, but not understanding why our love and our relationship always felt hard. Difficult. Burdensome.
My heart beating 10,000 miles per hour.
A stethoscope to my chest would’ve heard a hummingbird. Breathing but never catching my breath. Sobbing. And even though the moment is unclear to me, and I don’t remember what was said or what we were arguing about I know that regardless of the state of panic I was in, he didn’t stop yelling.
Did you know that people struggling with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are more likely to
We are the passion-driven subset of humans. The things we love, they are all consuming, all the time.
The weight can become unbearable to some of us though. Those of us without good coping mechanisms can crumble under feeling all-the-things all the time.
That year of school dragged on. I was 17, scared, depressed and struggling in school. My world was crumbling and I needed someone to talk to.
At school, I had a handful of close friends. But I could never really let on to them how bad I was feeling. I didn’t want to be vulnerable.
I remember a day I was home alone. The panic and impending doom set over me. I can’t tell you where it came from or how it started. Just that it was so overwhelming I wanted to end my life.
To keep from doing so, I did the only thing that helped me work through my emotions. I wrote.
I wrote a letter to God and to myself. It came out more like a prayer than anything else.
I only remember one line from it:
God, please help me not to go into the kitchen and grab that knife. Please help me.
I folded it up into a tiny rectangle as I cried myself to sleep that night. I wanted to reread it the next day and remind myself how low I felt. Maybe, once I was in a better mindset I would know what to do about it.
Did I tell anyone? I told one person. My boyfriend.
He got angry.
Years later now I can almost understand why. It’s hard to hear that the person you love wants to end their life. It’s hard not to feel like it’s your fault, or that you caused it. You feel helpless and scared. I handed him this burden that I didn’t know how to deal with. It was my way of asking for encouragement and love. What I received were anger and distrust.
I should’ve seen then how toxic our relationship was but I didn’t.
Despite all of this, the girl my peers saw at school wasn’t this girl.
I must’ve been the straight A student, I was in advanced placement. Remember?
I was pretty, and popular so I must have many reasons to live.
I even managed to get on the Homecoming court as a Queen
Nominee, but inside I wanted to die.
I wasn’t being targeted, but I didn’t feel like I belonged. I was smart but I couldn’t seem to apply myself. My own boyfriend even seemed to find me hard to love.
I thought I was a giant failure.
What a lie that was.
A lie I believed for way too long.
The day I crossed the stage at my high school graduation I told myself I was turning a page in my life. I chose to live and would continue to choose to live.
After graduation, I would decide that Love was worth not pursuing my dreams to travel.
I would make plans to attend the close community college and was encouraged by my amazing athletic sister to move to Ann Arbor (roughly an hour away) and attend school there.
But of course, that lovely addictive toxic love would win and I would stick around long enough for it to change my course completely.
I had plans, and I was still going to do something with my life. I wanted to study special education for children (Oh, the irony!). I enrolled in school, and so did my boyfriend at the time and we started looking into buying a house.
August 24th 2008 my life would forever change.
I was so tired that week and I had never been this tired in my entire life. I was supposed to be watching children, and making lesson plans. I was working as a teacher aid at a local daycare. Yet, I could barely keep my eyes open. As my lunch hour arrived, I was so tired I heavily considered napping for 25 minutes instead of eating.
Just as I was clocking out, it occured to me that my period hadn’t started the week prior.
I was on birth control so I assured myself that I was probably just being anxious per usual.
I purchased a pink strip, early detection test packet. It came with two tests. As I pushed the door open to the public bathroom I started to panic. I realized then, that I didn’t need to take the test. I knew I was pregnant.
Five minutes later after the two pink lines appeared, plain as day, tears would stream heavily down my cheeks.
Running back to my car, I felt hopeless. What will my parents say? What will my boyfriend say? I’m only 18. What am I going to do? Guess I’ll never leave this little hometown now.
What I didn’t realize then, was that little boy. My little J would help me write my story. He’d give me more to live for than I ever realized I embodied. I had hard years ahead of me, but this is just Act 1 folks.