Monday, January 18, 2010

Now that's a nasty little piece of baggage to carry around...

...but I would bet that a lot of us ADHDers carry it around. That suitcase marked "they're not going to like/love me anymore when they experience the real me".

This is how I know that I really like the gentleman formerly known as ADHD boy who I'm going to have to find a new name for because the old one is ridiculous. For several days I have had this totally unnecessary but very real thought popping up in my those sleepy moments especially, where your brain is running a bit loose and carefree and speaking's a pang of fear, a flash of my less lovely ADHD's a vision of me having a classic rant/monologue about something probably ridiculous, or a weird, sharp reaction to some sensory overstimulation that simply wouldn't bother most people and seeing that look on his face.

That look. If you have ADHD and you're reading this, I'm betting that you might know which look I'm talking about...and it's kind of awful. That look when someone reacts to the fact that your behavior has just barely slipped out of the normal range and suddenly they're realizing something they didn't realize before. Suddenly they're seeing you, and honestly, they're not sure what they think of it...or it's even possible that they are sure what they think of it, and they actually think you're weird. Or disgusting. Or nuts. In any case you're just far enough outside of normal-land that you must be destroyed or rejected.

Because that's what people do with the things they don't understand. They push them away.

I wish I didn't have these feelings, but I recognize that the only way past them is through them. And it hurts, it really does. It makes me sad.

It's not just about ADHD little girls get that reaction a lot too. People who think out of the box get it as well. Young women who speak with articulation rather than giggles are also on this list (and I'm ashamed to say that at some point I acquired a giggle that I can't seem to get rid of, because I got tired of fielding that kind of sexism...every time I catch myself giggling I wish I hadn't, but it's hard to undo that kind of internalized apology).

Things that are different are often not widely loved. Or they learn to adopt a facade that is more palatable, and may in fact be more widely loved...however you then run the risk, that when the facade is removed, you will be pushed away.

As honest and "me" as I have been with this wonderful person that I believe truly does love me, and who I think really DOES see me for me...I still fear that moment. And isn't that a funny change...I have gone from waiting for the other shoe, to BEING the other shoe.

What exact horror do I think he is going to see and run from? Oh you know...just the usual...although if I had to vote I would say that vehement ranting about topics that nobody else gives a shit about might be a likely possibility. If I was less self-aware I could really have some serious ADHD fun with this and actually act out obnoxious behaviors to provoke fights, just to see how he reacts...YES! AWESOME IDEA! (Kidding...not an awesome idea!).

I do recognize it as an interesting sign...I often feel that I have two selves and lately, I have been feeling my two selves in agreement. Usually there is this sort of cloaked character inside of me somewhere, not apologizing for her existence, dressed in black because she likes it, firmly perched and quietly watching what the other, more accommodating and flexible sister is up to. The flexible sister is the one that giggles...the dark one is the one that cries when she does.

But they've been spending more time together these two...and they both like ADHD boy. And they are willing to be seen in the same place with him. And he inspires the dark one's trust.

Which would be exactly why she's causing such a ruckus. Why she's saying things right now like "oh shit...I'm totally going for it because it's what I want, but I'm not going to pretend I'm not afraid anymore, and who knows what comes from that".

I'm not going to pretend I'm not afraid anymore.

And I have no idea what comes after that.


  1. Coming out of the "ADHD closet," willingly or not, is never an easy thing to do. Prior to the point of our self-realization (that is, prior to the time we were diagnosed as ADHD) we usually had the feeling that something was different about us, perhaps radically different. As you so rightly point out, we also harbor a fear of revealing to the outside world what really lies within. Consquently, we are torn between revealing who we really are and keeping some aspect of ourselves a secret. I would recommend that, for self-preservation, you always keep some aspect of yourself a secret. Revealing too much may make you feel too vulnerable especially if the relationship does not last.

  2. That's awfully measured and practical advice for an ADHDer 6p00e008de4f578834 (as I do know your "real" identity and I do know that you are one of "us"!).

    And there is wisdom in your words...I mean, there are aspects of my ADHD self that even I don't enjoy, lol...if there weren't, I wouldn't be in treatment for a "disorder"...

    But I think it's worth delineating the difference between maintaining a private self, and letting fear keep you from every really being present. That's what I need to sort out. Letting the fear go, but still being available to "play ball".