I’m so Mean!
I was in the car on the way home from the grocery store when I suddenly have an epiphany. I am really mean. Not to my family or friends or coworkers. I’m really mean to myself.
I had been getting progressively more and more agitated as the day went on and there was no real identifiable reason.
Was it the girls being crazy in the grocery store (they were actually really well behaved)? Nope.
Was it the dog getting in my way all day? Nope.
Was it the fact that I had been by myself all day while Blue Eyes played golf? Nope.
I finally realized it was a teeny tiny little voice that I have lived with since I was about 7. The voice of self doubt, the voice of too high expectations, the voice of every person who has ever asked “what is wrong with you”?
I had been puttering around all day trying to get the house in order and it seemed like every time I got a room cleaned I turned around and had made a mess elsewhere.
Why can’t you just clean up without making a mess?
What is wrong with you that you can’t do something as simple as clean a room?
I am such a spaz!
If you keep making a mess you’ll never get to play on your blog.
Forget playing with the girls.
Amy is a working mom and a doctor and isn’t a mess like this!
And so on….. (I’m such a bully!)
Without realizing it, I had been beating myself up all day so that by the end of the day I am angry and sad. I don’t think this is anything new. I’ve been doing a lot of work to find the true source of my behaviors. I think any time I’ve gotten angry at Blue Eyes or the girls, most of it stems from berating myself because I am my worst critic.
This is really common in girls/women with ADHD. When you are young and undiagnosed (especially in the 80’s), someone is always looking at you and asking why? (I found a really awesome article the other day to back this statement up but I was half asleep and didn’t save the link. And of course I can’t remember the name of it)
Why can’t you just sit and do your homework?
Why can’t you try harder?
Why didn’t you tell me that my boss called?
Why didn’t you call when you got to your friend’s house?
So many whys. And the shitty part?? There is no answer! When you are 7 and you can’t answer those questions you think something must be wrong with you. That you must be “less than”.
Everyone else can do “it” and if I can’t I must be stupid, bad, unnatural, etc.
I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 16 so I had 9 years of those questions. 9 years of no answers. Once a diagnosis came, it didn’t get much better. I wasn’t given the tools to truly understand what was wrong with me. No one really dug in and asked me what I was feeling as a young child. No one said, Happy, there is nothing wrong with you. No one said, Happy, it’s okay to be you. No one told me that my brain wasn’t inferior, it is just different.
So to this day, I say the same things to myself that was said to me when I was 7, 8, 9…. I’m 39, I know the answer and I still say those things to myself. My expectations of myself are so high that I can almost never meet them.
I am working on giving myself a break. I can’t do it all nor can I do it perfectly. The crazy thing is no one can regardless if they have ADHD or not. That’s a whole other topic. Is it my ADHD or is there just too much going on for any one person to keep their shit together?
So where do I go from here? I will try and catch myself sooner and stop the spiral. I will remember that it’s okay to make a little bit of a mess as long as I put everything back together. I will remember not to try and start 20 little projects all at once. I will remember to unload the dishwasher, not reorganize the cabinets. And most of all, I will remember to be kind to myself, love myself.
I am a work in progress and I am really proud of myself for taking responsibility of my actions and behaviors instead of just throwing in the towel and using ADHD as a reason I can’t get my shit together. I don’t always get it right. But I’m getting better.
What’s distracting me:
OMG have you listened to the Podcast S-Town or Up and Vanished? They are both unsolved mystery cases like Serial from NPR. Actually, S-Town is NPR. S-Town is complete and Up and Vanished has a ton of episodes out. I can’t get enough. Just 5 more minutes, just 5 more minutes!!
What’s distracting you?