Darling’s Story

I am 52 years old. As long as I can remember, I’ve felt ‘different’ and ‘weird’. I can recall over the years wondering how my friends and people I’ve interacted with could take living in stride, not get freaked out suddenly in the middle doing whatever by the absolute gorgeousness of a cloud like I did. And still do.Of course, once I thought that, I’d go on to 50 million other thoughts while the rest of the world was still concentrating on the ‘whatever’. I laughed at things nobody else thought was even remotely funny. For example, I once saw a car door open on the road and a lady fall out. I thought it was hilarious and my mother had a ‘serious’ discussion with me on ‘compassion’. She never actually asked me what I was laughing about,and if she had, I would have said that the open car door looked like my grandfather’s gray work pants when the wind blew them on the clothesline.

So my grandson comes to live with me from the age of 4 to 7…we did okay together as long as we could do what each of us wanted to do. He was a serious Lego builder while I was having a major relationship with my Gameboy, both of us having outbursts of frustration regularly. When one of my friends mentioned the irregularity of my grandson bringing a whole boxy of legos to the table with me sitting there hitting the gameboy screen during dinner, my reaction was,”why, what’s wrong with that? What’s the problem?”

Occasionally I’d try to ‘act like a grandma’ and get interested in organization, but that didn’t last long because I’d forget what I was trying to organize. Picture the bored,frustrated grandma yelling at the bored,frustrated grandson for homework! Not a nice picture. He’d say he wanted to finish his latest lego project,and hey, that made sense to me.

Of course,when he started school, it was pretty much a catastrophe and I was forced to put my gameboy away and pay attention to what the teachers and principal were telling me.And believe me, it wasn’t easy,all their yammering, on and on,blah blah,blah,he wasn’t paing attention, he couldn’t sit still, he couldn’t finish his work. Sometimes it was all I could do to hear what they were telling me…I’d get distracted by the shape of their mouth, or I’d wonder why they became teachers, or where did the school buy that shade of carpet. Many times,they’d finally ask me straight out if I was listening. I THOUGHT i was, and sometimes I could remember some of the things they’d said. No complete thoughts,though.The meeting would end with me saying that I’d take care of it,and yes, I agreed,etc. I’d even leave the building and keep that thought until my grandson would come home from school and give him the ‘you’ve got to buckle down’ speech. We’d go over his ABC’s and how he’d sit still and be quiet the next day, and hey! voila! it was play time!

Well, we got diagnosed at the same time.Put on meds. Ritalin cocktails in the AM.It was like WHOA!SO THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE NORMAL!!! WHO KNEW??? My grandson stopped having detention and daily principal appointments and actually learned how to read,never mind that it was in 3rd grade. I got myself a bona fide college degree. I would have felt guilty about waiting so long seeing about treatment, but memory is only as good as recall which i still struggled with. Eventually the ritalin made me sleep more hours than I was awake and I got switched to Adderall. That lasted a year.

My grandson now is doing great,as long as I can remember to give him his meds,and he’s in 4th grade. Me, I’m back to UN-normal again,but since i KNOW I have ADD,it’s easier, and plus, I’ve leanrned some great tricks at hiding the way I act and that life can be easier as long as there’s a CONTAINER for everything.My house is full of them, and and eventually, I will always come upon what I should have sent in,or was looking for,or needed because I know it’s in one of the containers.

And heaven help me, I can’t stop playing my gameboy.

Relationships? No, let’s NOT get into that!