Where CRS meets ADD

“Where are my keys?”  “I can’t find my shoes!”  “Why are all the cabinet doors open?”  “Where’s my phone?”  “Have you seen the t.v. remote?” “Why is there a wet towel in the sink?”  “Why do we have six boxes of ________?” “I have an idea…”

Welcome to my home.

Living in a house where it is normal to find your child sitting on his head while watching t.v. is a bit of an adjustment for some. Its just another day in our house.

We are a house of ADHD.

Over the years I’ve become accustomed to various, almost empty containers returned to the fridge, while the entire pot of roast sits languishing on the counter overnight.  I’m used to the linen closet that was full on Monday being devoid of fresh towels by Wednesday.  I’ve also become inured (well, almost inured) to finding the sink that was emptied of dishes that morning filled to the brim with dish ware later that afternoon.

Incomplete conversations are a speciality in our house.

“I was talking to Money Penny the other day and she said that Stavros…did you see that tree?”

“What tree?”

“That tree.  The one shaped like a pirate with the parrot on his shoulder standing next to a treasure chest?”

“No, I did not see that tree.  Where was it?”

“Over there.”

“Can you be a bit more specific?”

OVER THERE, by the green fence with the spikey tips, surrounded by English Ivy, that looks like snakes crawling up a wall.”

“Oh, that tree (insert snarky sarcasm).  No, we passed by too quickly.”

“Never mind. That’s why Stavros can’t make it to the party next week.”

“Excuse me?  Why can’t Stavros make it to the party?”

“I told you just a minute ago why.”

“No, you started to and then we were talking about the tree.”

“Wasn’t that tree great?!  I’m going to have to come back with my camera and takes some photos.”

Becoming accustomed to all this does not mean accepting.  Oh, no, my brain bubbles over.  My patience is sucked dry so that it turns inside out.  I sigh; I scream; I mumble incoherently to myself and Shit Dog. I call my therapist.

I tried joining a couple of support groups on line, but all they did was whine about their “dear husband’s”  or “dear wive’s”.  There never seemed to be any practical advice on how anyone, let alone a same-sex couple, was to stay sane and together and maintain any kind of balance in the roller coaster ride of a life time.

Once I got passed the, “Oh, wow, there are other people like us” effect, it wasn’t much use.  It just added another layer of frustration, so I gave up and I ate cake.

Now, I’m no total innocent in all of this.  For example, there was a time when I adamantly denied ever entering a Schlotzky’s deli.  I could have passed a lie detector test, I was so convinced.  But all it took was for me to take one step inside and lo and behold I had been there before.

Growing up, whenever someone couldn’t find anything around the house, the universal cry was, “Have you checked Halfc’s room?”.  I tend to collect things.  And I can be messy.

I am also horrible remembering people’s names.  I’ve worked with some people almost ten years and if they don’t have their id badges name out, forget it.  Its all-embracing “hey you” time.  This frustrates Bashert, who can remember intimate details about people from  first grade.

Speaking of frustration, they get put out with me, too.  I don’t always get it or I seem to blame all things on their disorder.  Since I can’t see things through their eyes its their prerogative to voice that dissatisfaction.

For me, stress, sleep depravation and age have all amounted to what’s referred to as associative ADHD (a proven phenomenon) or as my family calls it CRS – your basic Can’t Remember Shit.

Where my tendencies and acquired traits leave off and their ADHD picks up can be a fine line at times.

I have added to my resume ‘finder of things lost in obvious places’ and ‘tester of hard hats’, as I can often be found in the corner banging my head in frustration after being asked “what did he say?” during movies and missing the next entire segment of dialogue.

I have also added ‘appreciator of creative thinking’.  Yoda has created the universe many times over in our living room out the most mundane of articles and he has written, illustrated and occasionally performed, imaginative stories about dinosaurs and dreams to entertain Bashert and me. He is an incredible mimic, who can pull off almost any accent he hears.

Bashert creates works of art that decorate our home and other’s.  She invents marvelous and ingenious ways of teaching kids to further their artistic potentials.  She gives people imaginative and workable ideas about how to improve their companies.  Her ‘Sweet Chair-ity’ last year was amazing in how she wrangled all those artistic egos and business people. And she throws one heck of a party!

Just a small sample of Bashert's quilling

Yoda and Bashert can also think very quickly.  Their thoughts are like gazelles to my plodding elephant.  I often get lost in their mazes of synapse firings and leaps, but I hang on and hopefully, end up in the same place or in the close vicinity.

There has been many a time when I’ve flopped down exhausted at the end of a day when I have done practically nothing except try to keep up.

My family’s ADHD may drive us all a bit nuts and lead to exhaustion on many levels, but  it also gives them passion, drive and creativity out the wazoo.

Would they have accomplished what they have, Bashert in particular, if they didn’t have ADHD? Probably.  But it wouldn’t have been the same.

It wouldn’t have been the same at all and that would have been a shame.  So we shall continue on valiantly, losing toothpaste tops, checkbooks and keys, creating beauty out of chaos and building a world with a slightly different view.

Oh, look a baby lizard….

Who Is She Today?

One might think that my daughter suffered from dissociative disorder, with all the personalities that spilled forth when she was a child.

One never knew at any given time who might pop out.

The woman who always checked us out at the grocery store was known to ask who she was that day.

Once it happened, there were generally clues, such as dress or demeanor as to who had appeared, but length of time the other personality made reside was always a guess.

In the morning she may have been Dorothy complete with gingham dress and ruby slippers, but by the afternoon she may have transformed into Laura Ingalls, with bonnet and pre-braces (the polite way of saying bucked toothed Melissa Gilbert).

Her personalities ran the gamut from Shira, Princess of Power to Atreyu, the Warrior of The Neverending Story.

Atreyu was actually pretty impressive. AURYN was an old peace sign on a leather string. Her costume was a one piece jumper that she could unbutton to show AURYN. She used an wide suede watchband of mine from the 70’s as Atreyu’s armband. Falkor, the luckdragon was a stuffed dog with floppy ears.

Once when I had to send her to her room she went in as a rather pissed off NeNé, but when I went to check on her a bit later, I found Sleeping Beauty asleep in her reading chair.

I think by far her best personality was Arielle, the mermaid.  My mom or sister, not sure which anymore, made her a mermaid outfit that she eventually wore slap out.  When she donned the magic costume, she also added her well worn Blankie as her long hair.

I would pin it under her chin and she would toss it back in the manner of Cher.  Arielle would then mount the rock jutting from the ocean and sing the most heartfelt rendition of “Part of Your World” one had ever heard.  I would wait with bated breath for the moment when she would rise up with the music crescendo.  I could see the waves crashing all around her.

She always put on a fabulous show.

NeNé began to integrate around age 6.  The other personalities made less and less appearances until I noticed they came no more.  Being someone different was now regulated to Halloween, theme days at school and costume parties.

I still have the little mermaid and Atreyu’s outfits.  I keep them stored with the last thin remnant of Blankie.  Every now and then I run across them when cleaning out closets.

All the organization gurus say that I should get rid of them, but I wouldn’t trade that closet space for anything.

As soon as I see those costumes, I am transported to the days of NeNé’s multiple personalities and the magic they created.  Sometimes I can even hear Falkor’s hearty laugh or the ocean crashing around me.  Magic indeed.  That was one psychiatric diagnosis I could live with.

Happy birthday, Munchkin.