I want to stop and appreciate my son and tell him how much he means to me, but the overbearing ADHD emotion of frantic urgency is still running things...
by Frank South
I hoped to wrap up this moment-by-moment deconstruction of my travel preparations this morning, but I’m late for rehearsal and I meant to write this last night, but I was fried after taking the wrong freeway while coming back to my friend’s house, where I’m staying while in L.A., after a meeting at the theater and laid on my bed going over what I forgot to cover in the meeting and other negative blather – but pulled out of that self-obsessed nose-dive by talking to my friend’s son about his basketball game, but spaced out the blog. So I’m afraid Big Trip might go to a Part 4, but I swear after that installment I’ll move on.
So, here’s where we are. Harry, my twenty-year-old ADHD son has found my scotch-tape tabbed, yellow pad perfect list that I, in a panic-attack fueled frenzy, was ready to tear our house apart down to the foundation to find. Also, he didn’t flinch at my frantic behavior or my flash of impatient temper; he just did his best to help. In that moment when he handed me the list I looked at this big, strong young man my son had become and marveled at his maturity and his ability to empathize with what I’m going through.
See, we’re both ADHD but I’m severe ADHD combined type – with comorbid disorders that accentuate the hyperactive side and Harry is moderate ADHD without hyperactivity; comorbid with auditory processing delay that tends to accentuate the non-hyperactivity. Basically, Harry, when faced with a problem, will stop all movement, get quiet, and stare into space until he sees a solution, while I faced with a similar problem, will run around in circles grabbing at stuff and yelling.
I want to stop and appreciate my son right here and now – tell him how much he means to me. I know that’s the important thing to do. But the overbearing emotion of frantic urgency is still running things, so all I want to do is confirm my rental car right now before all the rental cars in the entire greater L.A. area are rented and there’s not one car left for me anywhere because I was disorganized and forgot until it was too late.
I can see that Harry sees the ADHD-cooked brain look in my eyes.
"It’s stuffy in here, Dad," he says, and opens the sliding door to the back yard before he heads back into the living room and gets back to the Family Guy episode that he and our dog were watching on his iPod on the couch.
The computer isn’t cooperating – the car website keeps crashing halfway through me filling out the form. And now day-biting mosquitoes are attacking my legs through the door Harry opened because I haven’t gotten around to fixing the screen.
I slap at my legs, cursing. I think I'm hyper-ventilating now. Then our dog, Danny-boy, the oversized standard poodle comes in, puts his head on my desk and raises an eyebrow at me (I swear – he does this.) He apparently wants to know what’s going on with me and when I’ll cut it out.
Well, me too, dog, me too.
Next in Part 4 – The rest of the family step in.