Silly Grins

Monday, February 20, 2012

ADHD: Hello WTF?

The book would be really helpful in saving the family a lot of grief. Really. You see, it's full of common sense, common sense in the form of sage advice like, "Don't ask your kid loaded questions." And little gems such as, "Mind-fucking your kid because you happen to have a real problem with alcoholic mood swings is, perhaps, not the best way to go about raising a child." 

Glaring at your little bundle of phosphorescent ADHD for extended periods of time, like the other night at the dinner table, really does merit a response from father/husband in order to defend the kid. No amount of shaming, blaming, shouting, and you-will-never-hit-him-across-the-face-like-you-did-when-he-was-four... yes, he will eat his food, just stop glaring 'cause I can feel that static rage crackling through the air... I AM REALLY FUCKING CONCERNED about a lot of shit, especially now. Especially because I don't want the screaming to start again. 

Diffuse and de-escalate.

"Honey," he says, but with a familiar and strained sort of stress, "have you at least looked at the book recently?"
(100% aware that the at least bit is room for arguing... not claiming sainthood here folks, far from that.)

Choice A        Choice B 
Hoping she at least gets the picture

Husband/father/human shield...guess it all comes with the territory. 

Maybe life really is like that proverbial box of chocolates. 

You never know what you are going to get. Especially when you excuse yourself from the table after having successfully defused another jihad, excused yourself just in time to take another arduous walk/stroll/march to anywhere through the unforgivably frigid night air, steeling yourself for the next holy war while actually looking forward to the inevitable marital armageddon, freedom from the current, eternal pressure that seems to be crushing your dysfunctional family jewels.

Give it a decade.

Take a walk. Breathe. Relax. Imagine what's inside that over-priced box of chocolate TLC the mother-in-law gave to you for V-Day.

Mother-in-law is cool. She understands. Just this afternoon we had a chat over the phone. She said she'd been worried a lot recently. Yeah, glad I called, cause she'd been thinking something was 'not right...even worse than before' just recently. Grandson is a good kid, despite the extra energy he's got (his gift). Grandma and Dad talked for almost an hour about how to manage the undeniably obvious helter-skelter rage that needs action or forever hold your grief. This shit ain't going away and ignoring it only makes it stronger. 

And the fuck-up truth about the situation is that it just well may be as good as it's gonna get. Sometimes, no matter what you do, things just ain't getting better. Hey, you can cry if you want to, whatever works. If that helps. But that thing in front of you, that train-wreck, is happening. Nobody knows how they're going to come out of this. 

So... what did he do?

The actual walk entailed a visit to a local tourist shop. It was cold. I went inside. Because it was cold, I stayed inside and looked around. They had a Hello Kitty themed corner that looked sort of normal... sort of... then came the Hello-What-the Fuck?! experience that, yes, distracted me enough from the quagmire of serving as ADHD offspring's human shield against almost bat-shit cray Wifey. 

Say wut? Huh? Is there a camera...has it come to this...holly....testing-testing-is this thing on? Hey, that looks kind of like a bra for mastectomy patien...

Getting a clearer view. Those appear to be 'padded' Hello Kitty Underoos. For whom?!

So, life is kind of like a box of WTF, cause you never know what you're gonna get. And WTF is close to WWF, which, over here, is more or less the KAI... professional wrestling. Maybe.

The cultural ADHD makes escape kind of easy, but in no way painless. Though, despite the fact of living in a social atmosphere that makes as much sense as Eraserhead on speed, the gravity of the situation often requires an ability to focus under duress while everyone is singing the overloaded ADHD version of this song (it's a slide show):

If you laughed, at first, and then were a little disturbed, you are probably okay...probably.
Just like the time that one lady didn't flinch when the youngest vomited the conchas all over the single-young-mother-of-two's * shoulder, arm, and steering wheel that night when she was driving along the dark highway with absolutely nowhere to pull over, one of the deadliest stretches in the state (or close to it). 


Getting the picture. Some people mess their lives up every day without even realizing it. We all got choices. And we can choose to walk away from our responsibilities or embrace them. Or sometimes just hang on for dear life.

Keep your eyes on the road and your hands up on the wheel.

There's no foreseeable 'happy' ending for this mess. At this stage, that doesn't really matter. What matters is that we make the best choices we know how. I've already made mine, I just hope she realized she's got a choice to make. Can't force anyone to do anything they don't want to do. 

Kind of sad, really. But if you look around, you'd be surprised how common it is on this harmonious archipelago of opportunity and despair. Rowing merrily down that stream is simply not an option. Never was and never will be. Not for me. The ocean ain't whiskey, and I'm not a duck, but if she drinks herself to the bottom, she's the one who ain't coming up. 

Just thank god you ain't me. I'm from the B side of life.


*Single-young-mother-of-two not knowing that she was soon to become the single-young-mother-of-one.


  1. Hang in there bro. Can't contribute much more constructive that that, I'm afraid.

    We had a blazing row last night, about a phone-call to my mother, of all things. We've had more fights since the birth of the kid than in the other 8 years of your relationship combined. Can't imagine what it'd be like if he was harder to look after.

    Always being the calm one is tiring. Hang in there bro.

    1. Thanks. Laughed when I read your comment. No need to contribute here. Ain't lookin' for handouts either, just kind of...well... blogging.

      The way I look at it, trying to control kids with energy is futile. Directing, however, is much more realistic and a heck of a lot of fun.

      That calm and steady even-keel kind of wisdom is not so readily available in this longing to be stoic culture. The energy required for parenting is indeed one of those challenging opportunities. Though I know people who have, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  2. I was diagnosed with what was then termed A.D.D but Japan...Twitter...they are so micro attention inducing things that I cannot get into either. I may have been misdiagnosed?

    1. Maybe living in this culture is a lot like dealing with Twitter... there's so much noise out there and finding an effective filter is difficult. The spread-too-thin trance effect can kick in (at least it did for me). Takes a while for some people to snap out of it.

      As for the ADD/ADHD or whatever it is... I'm kind of worried to hear people talk about 50% of student populations being on meds when they need to be engaged in fully interactive projects. When kids have energy, they are condemned for it; when we adults have energy, we are praised. Childish.

      Back to Twitter...I could get into it if every post had meat on it. Instead, I'll let the Tweet-heads go to the trouble of freebasing the noise for me 'cause I got other windmills to tilt at.


  3. That was an interesting post. I kind of by-passed the ADHD and focused on the drinking - my sister went into rehab two years ago, relapsed a couple of times but is since OK, we think. It nearly ruined their marriage completely and I'm sure was the cause of her second daughter's extremely aggressive nature - which seems to have calmed down hundred fold in the last year with a more normal mummy around. I'm sad for your wife. I hope she sees the light, choses the right path and that it does get better than this for you.

    1. G-Wife, thank you for your response. The ADHD isn't really an issue, I think, but dealing with adult reaction to it is. Drunk parents are unable to respond well to their kids needs. As for Wifey seeing the light... people have to make their own choices and not much more can be done than being a decent-to-outstanding model of possibility. Things may be getting worse before they get better... turbulence is on the horizon. Cheers.