Hello from The Lowlands


Hello all of you!
I am Sietske, a woman of almost 51 years old from The Netherlands. I have only recently been diagnosed with ADHD. I am at the inattentive end of the spectrum.
I have felt depressed and inadequate my whole life. I have always felt like a fraud. I am intelligent and creative but could never accomplish something with this. I have felt shame for not being able to ‘make’ something of my life. I became a stay at home mom because I couldn’t manage work and family and the house all at once. Now I know why, but I felt like a failure. I see now that not knowing that ADHD was under everything was a big part why my marriage broke down. I am at the beginning of a new phase of my life.
I have been treated for my depressive feelings and was told that I had ADD symptoms but that they would probably disappear once my depressive feelings were gone. First treat the depression and if there were ADD symptoms left, only then an official ADHD diagnosis.
I now know that most of my feelings of unworthiness are because of the ADHD. The ADHD should have been the point of departure but what did I know?
I have been living my life bend over backwards to be ‘normal’ but always failing in my head. It took some time to allow myself to recognise myself as being ADHD. It was shocking to realize that it was so much more than being a restless bouncy person. It was like having to rewrite my perspective on my life. Everything made sense all of a sudden. The cost of going through life undiagnosed has been big.
I now understand my Mom so much better. If she isn’t ADHD (more on the hyper end) I’ll eat my shoe. I have had a difficult childhood partly because of how she stood in the world but now I can shed a different light on that as well and can better understand her behaviour now.
I hope to learn to own my ADHD brain and live accordingly. Not in the least to be able to support my 14 year old son who has been recently diagnosed with a combined ADHD.
I hope to learn from you all and to be able to share recognition and to find and perhaps give support.
Love from the Lowlands, Sietske


Hi Sietske, welcome to the tribe, it’s been a long journey for you to get here, but here you are.

I can very much relate to much of what you wrote. And I’m sure you’ll find that many others here will share many of those same experiences.

I’m 50 now, and was only diagnosed last year. also inattentive. We often slip under the radar, when the hyperactive kids are easier to notice.

And when we were kids, ADHD wasn’t getting anywhere near the amount of attention that it’s getting now.

Plus our parents had the “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine” mentallity which we grew up with. “Don’t talk about your problems, just get on with life. Be strong. There are plenty who are worse off than you, so stop complaining”.

So it’s pretty common to have been misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all.

Before my diagnosis I’d seen a full range of various professionals over the years, and not one of them ever even tried to find my underlying problems. There was absolutely no interest at all until I brought it up myself.

I would suspect that the published statistics for adults who have ADHD but have not yet been diagnosed are very short of the real numbers.

And like you, it seems that my Mum also has ADHD, as we found out after I was diagnosed. I also felt a shift from blame and anger towards her, to a more understanding attitude. She still tries to ruin my life though, must be a hard habit to break.


Thank you for your reply. Your last sentence made me laugh.


Thank you for your laughter. :wink:


With my own ‘awakening’ to what ADHD entails, I now see how limited the knowledge and understanding is in society as a whole. There is so little active knowledge. Even in schools.
I have so much to learn about this and to that extent about myself that I find it hard to explain to or share with other people.


And the Netherlands are a great place. I was extremely lazy while I was in Amsterdam… I only learned two words: Kaas and Grasshopper. It sucks when everybody speaks such great English.

I’d only barely heard of Surinam before I went to Amsterdam. I had to go to Brazil, near the border of Surinam before I met more Surinamese people than I had met in Amsterdam. So many! Nice people though. Even the fella that tried to sell me cocaine at 5am in a dark alley was a nice guy.


Ah and there is so much more to this tiny country than Amsterdam!


I didn’t know anything at all about it. I did know that there was plenty of rubbish on TV etc. about ADHD. But as uninformed as I was, I stayed out of any debate. Which is unusual for me… With or without an informed opinion.


Yes. I would have liked to have seen much more of the country. I’ll be back…

Funnily enough, I’m currently researching the former Dutch East Indies during the war, which in turn took me to a lot of stuff about the Netherlands itself. Interesting times… I’ve been to Indonesia many times, and you can still see the Dutch influence in many things.

One of my favorite pieces of Australian history is the story of the ship Batavia, which was wrecked off the coast of Western Australia in the 1600s. It was a gruesome story, with mutiny, murder, cannibalism and sex slavery. But they were rescued, and the ringleaders punished by hanging.

A couple of the crew who pleaded that they had to follow along, or be killed, were marooned on the coast. To this day, many of the local aboriginals (I used to have aboriginal friends from the area) have traces of DNA which can be traced back to Holland. The first Europeans to settle in Australia.

This was around 150 or so years before the British set foot in Australia. But we were taught in school that Britain discovered Australia (but there were a few Dutch people who don’t count).


I don’t know if having Dutch DNA in this respect originated from something good. There is a life size replica of the Batavia in The Netherlands.


I’d say that the two sailors who were marooned were heavily outnumbered by the local aboriginal population, and not in a position to take anything at all by force. I’d suspect that they lived their lives with the locals, got married, raised families and just blended in, happily spreading their DNA.

I did feel sympathy for the two guys, they were forced into a bad situation. But then again, so were the people they raped and killed.

Apparently the Batavia was the height of modern technology at the time. The flagship of the fleet, the equivalent of a flight to Mars, and it was carrying a fortune in gold when it ran aground.

Such a crazy story… If somebody had written it as fiction, nobody would have believed it could happen.

I’ve flown over the Abrolhos islands where they ran aground a number of times. Not a nice place to be without water, shade or food.