About Kat (she/her) – My Story
My name is Kat Sweeney, M.C.L.C. I am a Master Certified ADHD Affirming Personal and Parent Coach who works with teens, adults, and parents of kids with ADHD primarily.
And – I am an adult with ADHD. I’m the mother of two adult children children with vastly differently presenting ADHD types. Let me tell you a little bit about my story.
I was a difficult child, particularly when it came to school. I started attempting to get out of school in about second grade when I can identify my first panic attack. My report cards were full of comments about being distracted, talking too much, fidgeting, and “not living up to her potential.”
School never got easier and I continued to have panic and started skipping school in high school. My mother found out about ADHD and had me tested early in high school. A private psychiatrist diagnosed ADD (now more commonly referred to as ADHD – inattentive type.)
However, the school insisted I be tested by their school district psychiatrist who insisted that I did not have ADHD, but was defiant and lazy. I received no treatment, the school dropped me into remedial classes which made it worse, and I dropped out of high school in my senior year.
The worst part is that I believe that I was broken, that I could not do the things my peers could do, and I must really be defiant and lazy.
Fast forward a few years later – by now I’ve had two babies by the time I was twenty and I could not hold a job. I was diagnosed and treated only for depression and anxiety – but rarely ever actually felt better and ultimately went on disability. I just accepted that this was the way I was, and focused my attention on my kids.
As my kids grew, one clearly had ADHD. Their symptoms were so similar to my own that I knew very early on what it was. I understood this child and what they needed and set about attempting to get it.
On the other hand, my other child had a completely different presentation of ADHD and was complex and challenging. Explosive tantrums, extreme sensitivity, constant battles, and eventually school issues became daily events at our house. The house was stressful, tense, and at times, unsafe.
This child was diagnosed with ADHD – but – at the time I was told they also had a mood disorder and that it was far more urgent to treat the mood disorder and get it under control before looking at the ADHD. The presentation of symptoms were so different than mine and my other child’s that I believed them. So I spent more than a decade trying to treat the mood disorder with little to no improvement, ever.
I felt like a failure as a parent. Lack of support and resources ensured that our house remained a battlefield, that my child did not get the help we needed, and every person in the house was impacted. When I realized my second child’s issues may have been more ADHD related all along, far after they moved out of my house, I felt like I failed them again.
What I know now is that I wasn’t broken, my kids weren’t broken, and I was (and am) not a bad parent. I did every thing I knew to do. And everything I was told to try, even if I didn’t believe in it. We just did not have the information available two decades ago, or not in an accessible way.
And now it’s become my mission to make sure everyone with ADHD knows that they are NOT broken and do not need to be fixed.
I want parents to know that they are not alone. That they are NOT bad parents. And that their kids are amazing, beautiful, smart kids who want to please their parents, even when it doesn’t seem so. I want to wipe out ADHD related shame and guilt when it comes to parenting.
And that is why I have become an ADHD Affirming Master Certified Personal and Parent Coach. I want to be the person I needed when I was a kid. I want to be the person I needed when I felt alone and as if I was the worst parent in the world.
A Few Fun Personal Facts
Here are a few fun facts about me!
First off, I have purple hair. And when I say purple, I mean everything is purple in my life. It’s my favorite color. My next favorite color is rainbow. Yes Rainbow is a color.
I love sunflowers, adore them really. They never fail to bring a smile to my face. Another quirky thing about me is that I collect Hello Kitty. Yes, I know it may sound a bit childish, but it brings me so much joy.
On top of all that, I’m a proud pet parent of seven lovable animals, including two amazing dogs.
Lastly, in addition to ADHD, chronic pain and CPTSD – I have something called Aphantasia, which is a phenomenon where I can’t visualize images in my mind’s eye. No visualizing, no images, no pictures – just the back of my eye lids!
I am not a doctor or a therapist. I am a Coach. Please read my About MY Coaching Style and Coaching FAQs to find out more about what I do as a coach, and how that varies from therapy or counseling. I am a Master Certified Life Coach, certified by the International Coaching Federation accredited Certified Life Coach Institute.
As you can see, finding joy is one of my top priorities nowadays. The world is full of enough UN-joyful stuff, sometimes we have to look a little harder to find the joyful things, and other times they are every where we look. Embrace the things that bring you joy.
I am glad that you are here, friend.
Kat’s Words To Live By
Today I will strive to:
- Say “Yes” to Joy Today
- Live With Intention
- Practice Self Care
- Learn Something New
- Be Unapologetically Authentic
- Assume Goodwill
- Act With Love and Kindness
- Show Compassion
- Practice Forgiveness
- Be Courageous
- Find The Humor
- Love Fully