Dear readers, tonight with me is young girl, suffering from ADHD. Like many young girls her age, she always dreamt she was a Fairy Princess.
One day, she found out that was true. Things got complicated from there.
When you grew up, did you have any clues about your family being different?
I thought it was the /regular/ kind of different. I didn’t have any contact with my dad, and not much information about him. It was just me and my mom — and my ADHD, and Mom’s depression and other issues.
What was it like growing up with ADHD?
When I was little, it flew under the radar, because I wasn’t the type that got in trouble in school. I just had an overactive imagination, and you can get away with that when you’re little–and gosh, who knows how much of that now was imagination and how much was seeing actual Faerie things until I hushed because Mom didn’t want to hear about it. Homework still mostly got done, while hanging with Lani, and any time I wasn’t with Lani, I was drawing. And, well, a lot of time with Lani, I was drawing. Even in class, I was drawing, but you can get away with that when you’re little, too. When you’re older, not so much.
And school got harder in general once I hit junior high or so. It wasn’t one-step things I could do really quick, anymore. When there’s stuff you have to organize or follow through, but a few minutes in there’s something in the corner that casts an interesting shadow… yeah, it got hard. So eventually I ended up diagnosed, and boy, once Mom knew what was up, she was Going To Fix It. Even once I was getting some treatment and some explanations on how to cope, Mom’d take one look at a butterfly sketch in the margins of my notebook and take me off to another doctor, determined not to fail me. The dosages ramped up. It got…. bad. The kind of bad where you can’t even tell it’s bad because you’re too busy Being Good and taking medicine and not drawing.
What, exactly, is a fairy princess?
Not /nearly/ as glamorous as it sounds. It turns out my father is the Unseelie King. And it turns out the Faerie Courts can be really stressful. But it’s a …different kind of stress than Mom and algebra. An easier stress, almost. And I’m learning magic.
How does ADHD medication affect your fairy powers?
When I’m overdosed, it means I don’t have any. An overmedicated Faerie princess is just another person who looks at a pixie and sees only a butterfly. It took bringing the dosage back down to become willing to see or hear about any of that at all. The less I take, the better the magic works.
Of course, now I’m worried that if I go off meds entirely, one day I’ll turn into Ashling.
Tell us about your friends Lani and Ashling.
Lani’s great. She’s half menehune — that’s a Hawaiian engineering faerie, basically. Her dad actually looks like some kind of Hawaiian lawn gnome, and for years, I couldn’t see it. Her dad’s around, you see. He always comes back. Her parents were always completely honest with her, which means she gets to be honest with them, and boy, do I envy that, but in general, I wouldn’t have been able to deal with any of this without Lani.
Ashling… it’s a good thing Ashling never had to survive in the American public school system. She’s a pixie, except she hasn’t been able to keep up with the other pixies since what happened to her wings. She can only fly at all with…well, he’s sort of a service crow. His name’s the Count. She rides him. It looks really weird when you don’t know what’s going on. Anyway, Ashling’s great and all, but she never really answers a question the same way twice, and it’s hard to tell what is solid, important information that could have serious consequences and what’s something she just made up off the top of her head. She runs errands for my dad.
What happened with your father?
It’s a long story. Let’s just say Faerie kings can’t always save themselves, and sometimes knights aren’t enough, and a princess has to step in.
What can you tell us about the Seelie and Unseelie courts?
They’re mostly the Irish and British faeries, but there’s plenty of faeries from other cultural backgrounds who have signed up with them. It has to do with alliances and maybe colonialism but whenever Lani explains I tend to get distracted when she makes some analogy with dandelions. Have you ever tried to draw dandelions? I wish I had some watercolor pencils. Anyway, the Seelie are the really organized ones, and usually prettier. The Unseelie…tend to be less pretty, and a lot more chaotic. Lani isn’t sure of everything they do because even some of the Seelie just file it under ‘don’t want to know.’ Did I mention my dad’s the Unseelie King? Go team, huh? Lani was all about rescuing him, but … I think she’s scared.
Next week with us will be a young woman, who following her grandmother’s death uncovered some dark family secrets. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right), via Twitter or like our Facebook page to be notified when the next interview is posted.