20 thoughts on “ADHD Poster Girl #1: Maria Von Trapp, Part II

  • June 14, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Great observation! I now want to see “Sound of Music” just to see all the parallels. Thank you.
    I did find my “master” (husband) who can interpret my language. He finds me delightful, an adventure. But we got to marriage by becoming best friends first.

    • June 14, 2010 at 8:24 am

      Hi Nan.
      Let me know what you think about the film if you watch it again. I hope you share it with your hubby, I’ll bet he’ll laugh his butt off! (And congratulations for finding your Captain!) lol
      Take care,

  • June 14, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Enjoyed the article, and the first one on this topic, too.

    Did you know that the real Maria Von Trapp wrote an autobiography of the Von Trapp Family Singers on which the musical was based? I don’t remember the book very well, as I read it about 20 years ago – I’m trying to remember if the real Maria was as ADD as the Maria in the movie. If she was, we could read her book to find out how the marriage did turn out. If I remember correctly, they had many happy years together. (But as I said, I read it about 20 years ago.)

    I did find this, though, on a website about the actual book:

    “Though she was a caring and loving person, Maria wasn’t always as sweet as the fictional Maria. She tended to erupt in angry outbursts consisting of yelling, throwing things, and slamming doors. Her feelings would immediately be relieved and good humor restored, while other family members, particularly her husband, found it less easy to recover. In her 2003 interview, the younger Maria confirmed that her stepmother “had a terrible temper. . . . And from one moment to the next, you didn’t know what hit her. We were not used to this. But we took it like a thunderstorm that would pass, because the next minute she could be very nice.”

    It seems like the real Maria at least had the typical ADD “thunderstorm” temper… probably was ADD, after all. 🙂

    Info found at:

    The book written by Maria is called The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, by Maria Augusta Trapp. I just looked on Amazon, and it’s available used if anyone is interested.

    • June 14, 2010 at 8:30 am

      Wow! Thanks for the corroborating evidence, Kate. Perhaps we’re onto something here! This sure reminds me of one of my own most troubling symptoms as an undiagnosed ADHD girl – mood swings. When I told my younger sister about my diagnosis, she remembered my sudden flashes of anger and being frightened and confused by them, and then the mood swing back to happy. My mom used to ask me, “Why can’t you get on an even keel?” (Of course, back then, it never occurred to them to take me to therapy, or get a diagnosis of ADHD. Basically, it was all my fault and somehow, as a six-year-old child, I was expected to “fix it” on my own! Today, I’m angry, but it’s got nothing to do with ADHD!)

      Thanks again for reading my blog and especially for sharing this related information. Man, my readers are the best! 🙂

  • June 14, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Oh, and apparently an impulsive remark from the real Maria to a U.S. Customs official got the whole family held up in an Immigration cell for several days when they were attempting to avoid Nazi-occupied Austria. 🙂 Lots of other interesting tidbits at the link I sent above, too.

    • June 14, 2010 at 8:36 am

      Uh-huh….hmmmmm….Sometimes if we have ADHD, we’re just lucky to be alive, eh? This information reminds me of the piece I wrote called Kiss the World, Revisited – ADHD Around the Globe, about ADHD in other countries, and how dangerous it might be, even today, if you’re a blurtatious woman. Food for thought.

      Thanks again for the excellent information, Kate.

  • June 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Great job, Zoe!

    And Kate, thanks for filling out the facts. Fascinating. Maybe they should make a sequel. 😉

    Gina Pera, author
    Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?

  • June 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Yes, the temper thing was something I could totally relate to, too… lol.

  • June 17, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Wow! That was very good observations, now I’ll look at the movie with ADD eyes on. I’m still trying to figure myself out…and I’m thinking I have ADD as well and it seems to be getting worse as I age. It is funny as I feel I need a Captain in my life to help ground me or steer me. Most everything seems overwhelming to me and the temper on me…Look Out! I’m constantly called airy fairy, gypsy, hippie as I loose track of time, keys, important papers, appointments up to several times a week. All I wanna do it to fit in and I keep doing things that make others stare and wonder.
    I think the whole world needs to be more accepting to ADDers and shift in their perceptions.
    You could learn alot from us ADDers!

    • June 17, 2010 at 8:07 am

      Hi Tracey.
      Thanks for writing, I hope you enjoy watching the film again. Your description of yourself certainly does sound familiar. I forgot to include on today’s post, I’ve Come A Long Way, Baby…ok, maybe not a long way, but some of the way… that hardly ever feel overhwelmed anymore, and that’s HUGE! I used to feel overwhelmed 80% of the time…so there is hope! Hang in there.


  • June 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I can relate to the mood swings. That’s something people in my life have always said about me. Yet, I thought it was a good thing that I got over my anger quickly, without ever realizing the devestation I created with my anger.

    At other times, I’ve had friends tell me I’m “blunt.” Honest, yes, but, blunt. Well, we know how well that works in real life, don’t we? Goes over about as well as a lead baloon! LOL!

    I’ve hurt people without even knowing that I was doing so. And that hurts me to know that I’ve done so. I’ve thought of myself as kind, but, this realization makes me recognize that I’ve not always been so — even when I want to be.

    And today, I still feel overwhelmed. I get overstimulated still, even on medication. And it unnerves me to the point of aggravation.

    I go to counseling – frequently. I take my medication. I’m *trying.* Yet, I don’t seem to be able to “get it right” yet…. *sigh*

    I really like this post on Maria Von Trapp. I enjoyed the movie all of my life – like you, I watched it every year! Still do, when it’s on. Still makes me cry, too! :>)

    I’ll be looking at it anew due to this blog…if I remember. My memory is really shot too…. :>(


    • June 18, 2010 at 12:38 am

      I enjoyed your comments so much. I could have written them myself, word for word. I SO get what you’re saying, especially the part about being “blunt.” I’ve been called that so often too, but I admit, much less in the last four years, so I know it’s possible to learn new ways of expressing the truth. And the truth is very important to me. Only now, I’ve been able, more and more, to integrate my compassion with my truth, and I think it’s having good results. I know you can do this too.

      As for getting it right…let’s consider that: what’s “right”? I think getting it right means, always doing your best, keeping compassion foremost, and being gentle with ourselves when the result is less than perfect, or not quite what we’re going for. At least we’re going for it! Just keep doing your best, keep open, keep listening, keep reflecting…and more and more…life will become peaceful, not frantic; pleasant, not anxiety-ridden, and you will learn to be at peace with yourself no matter what. I honestly am feeling that way in spite of when I don’t get it right.

      All the best to you,
      And peace in your heart, too!

  • March 14, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Rogers & Hammerstein also wrote “The King & I”, also about a powerful, commander male who hires a nanny for his kids. I don’t remember the film, but I heard “Something Wonderful” on Barbra Streisand’s “Broadway Album” and this song seems to describe an ADDer. (It’s about the King the singer is saying he must be accepted as he is, despite his faults). The song starts:

    “This is a man who stumbles and falls,
    But this is a man who tries.

    This is a man you’ll forgive and forgive…”

    ADDers don’t irritate others on purpose. They don’t deliberately come late and forget things.

    But most profoundly, at least to my ears:

    “He has a thousand dreams
    That won’t come true,
    You know that he believes in them
    And that’s enough for you. ”

    The adult ADDer has a thousand dreams that won’t come true. A very touching song.

    Ms Kessler — What do you think?

    • March 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Dear Steve (please, call me Zoë),
      I think this is great stuff, and right on target!
      Thank you so much for sending it in!

      Oh ya, and one more thing – this ADHDer has had quite a few dreams come true. But definitely not the “thousands” I’d like. But it ain’t over yet, eh?! 😉

      Take care,

    • March 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks, Steven!

  • January 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    “How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand”

    ’nuff said!

    • January 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      It’s a lovely expression, isn’t it? I think a lot of us are like quicksilver!

  • January 27, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    OMG, I love this comparison. I had this realization the other day when watching Sound of Music with my 7 year old. I had seen this movies dozens of times since my own childhood, but never with her, and the first scene had me phoning my sister and exclaiming, “Maria has ADHD!!!!!” I found this author by googling Maria and ADHD.

    We often find ourselves wondering how to solve the problem of our child, while feeling conflicted, knowing her “problem” is also her greatest blessing. This child, who I called Bright Eyes as a baby, is always into a new project (like right now), literally darting off to greener pastures as Maria does, or running next door without permission to ask her neighbor friend to join her for some exciting adventure.

    Somehow, the beloved Maria gives us permission to let go of our judgment. I loved that my “Maria” pointed out that Maria is her favorite character in the movie because she feels that she could do anything and is positive about herself.

    Btw, while writing this, my Maria unrolled a five foot Valentine’s Day banner she made and decorated our mantel with red and pink paper chains. Yes, she was supposed to be in the bath.

  • March 12, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    This is hilarious to me, because I’ve only recently been diagnosed as a young adult with ADHD, roughly around the same time I auditioned for, and won, the role of Maria in our local theatre company’s production of Sound of Music!

    It’s been an interesting rehearsal process because I feel like there’s very little “Acting” required on my part. And everyone sings “How do you solve a problem like [Samantha]?” whenever I walk into the room! When reading the script out to my mother, she commented that it sounded like Maria had ADHD, so hence my doing some internet searching.

    The kids are wonderful, and we’re like a family backstage too… although I think that was helped by me bribing them with chocolate hahaha. But the ADHD charm definitely helped!


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