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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The ADHD clock

My husband has a new job that has really weird hours and keeps him out of town for a couple days at a time. I discovered something very interesting about my perception of time when I'm alone... namely, I have none.

When I'm home alone for any length of time something strange happens. It doesn't matter if the sun in at high noon or there is a lunar eclipse in progress, I have no concept of time. I feel like a ghost floating  around. Because there is no one to mirror life back at me, so I get aimless. Well, more aimless than usual.

There are ups and downs to this. The up side is, I can easily spend 14 hours playing a computer game, the down side is, I can easily spend 14 hours playing a computer game. I wander from room to room wondering what I'm doing. My chores are impossible to do. In fact the only way I can get anything done is by inviting a friend over to watch me do laundry or dishes.

 Isn't that odd?

One afternoon I was sitting on the patio with my friend, or was it morning? hmmmmm
Anyway where was I?
Oh yeah my friend!
She has known me for many years and I was telling her about something thrilling that had happened a couple days earlier. My husband walked outside as I was speaking and said "Tracy, that was like over a month ago!" Without hesitation, my friend said "Thats OK you've always been time challenged, it's no big deal, I'm used to it, go on." 

I was amazed. It's like all the sudden someone solved one of the largest mysteries of my life!

OK stay with me here for a bit.
It never occurred to me before that my concept of time was WAY off the mark prior to this. But instantly all the pieces began falling into place. 

Why I lie when I don't need to? Because I honestly don't remember or know! Years and years of being thought of as rebellious, stupid, and forgetful instantly made sense. I have always had this internal time shield. I have never viewed time as normal people do. Time isn't time to me. Not the way normies see it anyway.

So when my Mom said "Your room is a mess! What have you been doing all this time?" I'd have to come up with something plausible to satisfy her. "Aliens landed in the closet", "My friend came to the window covered in blood and I had to get her to the hospital", "The cat was mewing and I understood exactly what he was saying, HONEST!" (this has actually happened, but I don't take those kinds of drugs anymore), "I was secretly making a gift for you and if you don't get out at once, you will ruin the whole thing!" Anything, anything to make her stop the inquisition. Heck I had NO clue what I'd been doing. For all I could tell, it had only been seconds.

This is still really fresh for me and I don't have it all figured out yet, but I have begun trying to say the words that I've had difficulty saying in the past. Words like, "I'm sorry, I honestly don't remember when..." or, "You know, I have difficulty with time references, you could very well be right, I am probably mistaken." OUCH! Hard to say but freeing! 

Being honest is a nice feeling. But before I could get honest, I had to know I was lying. I had to stop assuming that everyone else was time retarded like I was and that they were all making it up as they went along too.

I had to admit that it's OK to not know.

So I hope this helps someone see inside our heads. Folks the cuckoo bird has taken a vacation from our inner clocks. 

Please don't ask us time related questions and expect any kind of accuracy. And for God sakes, if you want chores done, be sure it's done on the buddy system.

When you leave one of us home alone, were like dogs, we don't do time... but were always so happy when you come home to us.

1 comment:

angel said...

damien is so the same... he has no concept of time whatsoever! if i really want him to do something, i instruct him to do so immediately and i set a kitchen timer that he can hear ticking for 15 minutes. usually even that doesn't help...