So my good friend Liz made some smart comment the other day along the lines of bloggers actually blog and maybe, just maybe I could try it out and update my blog more often. You know, to be a “better blawger.” Bless her heart for caring. Well that and we all know the marketers want you to have content, content, content. Gotta please da man. (If you’re new here, that is s-a-r-c-a-s-m.) Therefore, I am going to share with you a story about ADHD/ADD and how maybe, just maybe, we are the normal ones.
My middle son (the one whose name shall not be typed) was officially diagnosed with inattentive ADHD several years ago. While he was going through his intensive diagnostic tests, I was in there with him and suddenly realized most of my answers were very similar to his. I talked to the doctor and surprise of all surprises after more testing I was diagnosed with adult ADHD. It makes a lot of sense. My son and I respond to things similarly and have about the same attention span. (Shuddup. Just because they call me Dory at home doesn’t mean…ohhhh, lookie.. a blinking cursor.)
One evening my son and I were in the kitchen carrying on about 5 different conversations at the same time while I was cooking dinner. (*snort* I totally wasn’t cooking dinner. Are you new here? My husband was the one cooking.) Somehow the conversation turned to all things ADHD and the topic of how our minds “work” came up. (What? You don’t discuss how your brain works at dinner time?) Suddenly my husband found himself on the hot seat.
Me: So what do you think about during a conversation?
Clint: *blank stare* The conversation.
Z: (the son whose name shall not be typed)- No. No. We mean, like when we are talking about a particular topic like say something from the news. What do you think about?
Clint: Our. Conversation.
Me: Yeah, yeah, but what else do you think about?
Clint: The topic? Suddenly unsure why his answer was going to be wrong but knowing it would be.
Me & Z: That’s IT?!! (We look at each other in both horror and amazement. But really more horror.)
Me: Wait…wait…wait. Okay, so I start to talk about the horrible situation with our public schools and mention at least one teacher’s name, what do you think about? I mean, really.
Clint: Well (starting to feel pressured– and maybe a little ganged up on) I think about the public schools and the teacher you mentioned.
Me & Z (in unison): That is so WEIRD!! As we dissolve into hysterical laughter.
Clint: How is THAT weird?
We volley questions back and forth at him.
Nothing? Not about buses?
Bike riding poodles?
Dogs in clothes and the wrongness of that?
Where did you last see your coat anyway?
Clint’s head now looks like he is watching a ping pong match as we volley these questions back and forth.
Me: Wait. Where did you leave your coat?
Clint: See?! Clearly, that is not a normal train of thought right there. It’s not my brain that is different.
My son and I dissolve into fits of laughter.
Clint is to the point of confusion and possibly a tad frustrated that he seems to be the butt of some joke and doesn’t understand it.
We stare at him blankly. I realize I am going to have to explain this in a way that is easier to understand.
So I begin to explain. “It’s like me and adoption.”
Z (son whose name shall not be typed) nods in agreement. Clint looks like he stepped into some foreign country where he speaks the language but the words are not put together in any way that makes sense to him.
Seeing that I am getting no where in this explanation, I dig in further.
Remember how I told you that when I was growing up, the whole adoption thing made me feel different? That there were times I felt like I wasn’t special but was set apart and labeled as the kid in the family who wasn’t like the other two?
Clint: But you were not adopted!
Me: Exactly! Now do you see?
Me: *sigh* I wasn’t adopted. My brother and sister were. I was different. I was the one who stood out. I wasn’t “chosen” or “special” or any of the words people use when talking to and about kids who were adopted. I was the one my parents got stuck with.
I go on. “I have always had ADD brain. I thought everyone else thought the way I did but it didn’t take long to realize that was not the case. I was back to being the different one but this time it was kind of just me and I couldn’t imagine not having my brain go 800 different directions at one time. And now that Z (the son whose name shall not be typed) has it and understands it, we are the adopted ones. Now does it make sense?”
Clint looked from me to Z (the son whose name shall not be typed) and back.
“So to get from point A to point B, you visit every other letter of the alphabet first on your journey that could’ve been a straight shot? And that comforts you. And you feel sorry for people who don’t do that.” He goes on while we are nodding vigorously. “And you think my brain is broken because it can stay on one train of thought at a time?”
He watches us intently as we nod.
We both look and takes the opportunity to make his escape.
I think he finally got it!
Makes sense to me, LOL! Of course, I have adult ADD and realize I have always had it, so people who can keep on on train of thought are seen as odd to me.
I knew we got along so well for a reason. 😉
Honestly, I cannot imagine a “quiet mind” that “normal” brains have. What do they think about when they are doing things? How drab it must be! How do they get new ideas? To not be distracted by shiny objects would be boring.
Shiny is awesome!
Actually, it was more like “Just shut up and blawg, already!” Some one should really put that on a t-shirt, or something.
Great explanation Jenn! At least from your husband’s perspective because that is the side I know. 🙂
And Liz, yes, that should definitely be on a t-shirt!
Loved this – my son (age 13) has always said his older sister (age 16) has AD “ooohhh shiny” and only our family gets it – nice to see others get it too!