I was never the squirm in the seat, can’t focus kid. Which is one of the reasons ADHD goes undiagnosed in girls, because we had different symptoms. Only lately am I thinking about things from my youth and realizing they were connected to ADHD. Because there were two things I hated: Singing in church and watching the opening to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.
Yeah, my parents attended an Episcopalian church for a bit before we became sleep-in-agnostics. I don’t remember much from those days, except the sermon about how we were all destined for hell but Jesus was coming for us in a helicopter, which scared the shit out of me. All of it: damnation, hellfire, having to do some sort of action movie miracle by running THROUGH FIRE and leaping onto Jesus’s helicopter and holding on as I was lifted out. It sounded scary and dangerous and I wanted nothing to do with it.
I’ve gotten off topic. Back to what I hated. I hate church singing. I don’t care which church (I include my own UU church in this, by the way). the minute the music started and people stood up, it made me want to die inside. We had to flip the hymnal to whatever song and see that it had FIVE verses and by God we were going to sing them all! I did everything I could to keep my sanity: counted the verses down, tried to understand the musical notes, actually tried singing but that was terrible.
The thing is, I still hate it. I still dread standing as I’m able, pretending to sing. I count down the verses, inwardly I say words that are not good to say in church when when I realize they’re not stopping after two verses, they’re committed, they’re doing them ALL.
A strange connection to this is Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. If you don’t remember, he begins the show by singing his little song. Every show has a theme song, and I didn’t hate them all. But he walks in, takes his jacket off, hangs it up, gets a sweater off a hanger, puts it on, zips it up, sits down, UNTIES HIS SHOES WHAT MONSTER DOESN’T JUST STEP ON THE HEELS AND STUMBLE OUT?, – you get the drift. I loved the show. Hated the opening with a passion. And only lately I realized I get so internally itchy because I’m bored to tears. And it’s a special kind of boredom because I get a countdown. And it always moves slowly. I prayed for the day Mr. Rogers would discover Velcro. He never did.
I still have this itchy, awful, bored feeling in church when the music starts. I’m just good at hiding it. But it’s only recently I realized my brain a) wanted more stimulation than church music, or b) wanted to watch ANYTHING OTHER THAN A MAN GET DRESSED HELLO WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS GOOD TELEVISION? It craves the dopamine gotten from good music, Christmas music, or a more dynamic opening.
I don’t like putting on shoes. There. I said it. Pulling on socks, finding the shoes, untying them, tying them. Empires could fall in that time while I was fussing with clothing. Last night I was wearing sandals on a walk and could feel a blister forming, but the idea of going home and putting on socks and tying my shoes was just not worth it. This isn’t obsessive; I am able to wear shoes, and once they’re on, I’m fine. I wear shoes all the time. But I always have that feeling of, “this is going to bore the shit out of me, isn’t it?”
On me, socks and sandals are not bad fashion, they’re not dad clothes, and they’re not missing the point. They’re an easy way to keep my feet warm but have slip-on shoes.
Of COURSE it’s not logical, and no, I can’t tell my brain “you know it will take less than a minute, right?”
What to do about this? I don’t know, I just discovered it myself. It’s neat that I’m figuring out my brain chemistry, but part of me is saying “Ok, Einstein, you’ve identified that the thing in the middle of the stream is a huge boulder. How are you going to move it?”