My Food Sensitive life Age 10 to 13 – Grades 6 to 8 – 1956 to 1959 September 8, 2022 by Joan Breakey Blog Food sensitivity, ADHD and allergy togetherI certainly loved to have my input into any conversation I was involved in but I don’t think I did many impulsive actions. But I am embarrassed to record one impulsive act when I was about thirteen years old. The builder had light bulbs warming the concrete in the new bathroom overnight and one socket had no globe in it. I touched it with my finger to see if it had power to it and got quite a shock! The positive outcome was that it certainly cured me of doing anything as silly again.I come from a very bright family. Most of my brothers and sisters got junior government scholarships at the end of Year Seven. I got into the scholarship class but despite the great effort of the wonderful nun who taught us I did not get one. My limiting area was maths, especially algebra, which I now understand is a common challenge for girls with ADHD.My not-yet-recognised poor sense of direction became a problem when I went into the nearest city, Ballarat, with my Dad. He told me to wait on a corner of two streets I knew. I often ended up on the diagonally opposite corner of the intersection. Dad was understandably annoyed, but no one realised why the problem was arising. I was always anxious when I needed to meet anyone. Many years later when I returned to Ballarat and was given a map. It was only then I realised just how poor the map in my head was compared to the reality.I enjoyed my first year at secondary school. I was given a front desk so the patient Sister D could give me a quick look if I started talking to the next girl. It did help me concentrate on the class content. Our class was often taught by trainee teachers who were trying very hard. My spot was helpful when they were being supervised as I was always interested and keen to answer questions. It wasn’t until I was at diploma level that I realised that I could not be on the same wavelength as the lecturer unless I was in a front row. We have much to learn yet about how our brains function and what strategies can help.I had a very active life: helping on the farm, walking quite a distance to and from school, and I loved housekeeping, especially cooking. I now know that I was fortunate as we had plain home-made food, which also took effort to prepare. I remember taking turns with my sisters to hand-beat up the cake mix as we didn’t have electrical appliances. On our farm we had enough fresh foods with home grown lamb, and we kept up a wonderful variety of home-made biscuits and a different sweet pudding every night after a healthy main meal. We had crusty bread delivered and I remember we children having bread with home-made jam and thick cream for afternoon tea after school. A confession I have to make, that made more sense later, was that I stole a small amount of my family’s housekeeping money to buy coloured lollies when I rode my bike to collect the paper on a Saturday morning. My vivid memory is of going to my hiding spot in the shed and enjoying the look and smell of them, and I would only eat one or two at a time. I remember having vivid nightmares after age thirteen as we were in our newly built house by then. They often involved fires, perhaps because my father was the captain of the local fire brigade and fires were the most dangerous event people in the area had to deal with. While in primary school I had a constantly runny nose. I don’t remember being upset by the discomfort as much as being teased by bigger students. In late primary school I remember riding my bike a long way home to avoid having my bag and books thrown over a fence by them. I still do not know why I did not ask for support from my older siblings, though they were away in secondary school by then. For someone who was teased for being bossy, I was not very self-confident. I still had eczema into my teens. I remember it stinging on the underside of my arms whenever I did the washing up and the area became wet with the soapy water.
Joan Breakey says
Thank you Jan. We all have to find strategies for solving our limitations. You remind us that problems are greater as we try to find our way around a new city. I was lucky in that I was OK when I had a map on my knee and with frequent stops to see where I was yet to drive to and somehow the maps on the main roads gradually became familiar and over time with the street directory I was able to get around. It takes time!
Jan martin says
You certainly overcame the map problem. I remember your expertise with Brisbane when we first came up to Queensland and I was totally befuddled. Your help was so important to help us settle.