Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I don't know if "hi" would have helped. But it would have been worth a try.

One person in the room was obviously slipping. I should have said hello after the meeting, in case she needed to talk. Instead, I convinced myself that I was the wrong guy for the job. I was Bozo the Clown in thin blue shoes. I already felt out of place. She had a problem that was chewing her up - and all of us there were useless humans.

I'm trying to meet new people and enter the actual world. To that end, I downloaded the "Meetup" app, and looked at what was on offer. I found a group for ADHD people, and I thought I'd give that a shot. I struggle to open mail and accomplish daily tasks, so I thought it might be novel to see if anybody else was on that boat. The subject of the meeting was "finding happiness," and I took that as a positive sign. I thought that might be time better spent than bashing my brain out with a rock.

The invitational write-up said the meeting was for parents and adults with ADHD. What I should have been able to read between the lines was that this was not for parents necessarily with ADHD, but parents who fear their kids might grow up looking and acting like me. The ultimate irony is that it was close in style to a classroom format. I stuck out like the sorest thumb.

A specific problem is nagging this woman. She couldn't articulate what she wanted to say. She spoke with a whisper of breath, and she was clearly holding back tears. Her question was quiet and her timing was off. She said she couldn't let something go. Nobody knew what to say, so we waved it off like it didn't exist. The subject was changed with a banal suggestion from the moderator. Maybe nobody could see she was crumbling. But I think that was hard to miss. She was falling apart and conveniently ignored. There was no place in the discussion for advanced holy shit.

I was the youngest one there, with the only mohawk. I was the dirtiest one who had the least money, and was headed home to have the most wine. I felt welcomed as a novelty at best. As soon as I walked in, I should have left.

There were more fancy purses and expensive cars than people who I think might have ADD. This was a room full of mostly parents who were annoyed their kids don't do better in school. Except for one lady, who was far worse off than me, though at a glance she appeared to fit in. She talked to exactly nobody, and she was the first to leave.

I walked out the door directly behind her, and stayed back and to the left as I walked to my van. She got into her car with her head hanging down. She sat there in the cold and didn't turn on the engine. She didn't move or look at her phone.

I should have stepped up and said something. Even if it was just "hi."

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