It sure did, I don’t doubt it one bit. I remember a very beautiful brunette young lady I was dating back in, oh 1989. She was intelligent, funny and absolutely gorgeous. She liked me. I didn’t know it and I blew it.
The worst part of this story, the devastating reality, will be the fact I was oblivious to the fondness this girl had for me. Thinking about it right now, I still feel like an imbecile. I know I shouldn’t, but no matter how much I learn about Attention Deficit Disorder I still feel like I should have recognized the signs. I mean really—it’s just so obvious looking back on those days. It’s no wonder that many people with ADD or ADHD complain of and seem to have post traumatic stress syndrome! We remember and rehash mistakes constantly—it’s painful, it hurts, it is absolutely agonizing, especially those memories which are the most emotional and closest to our hearts.
It was at a café, the first time I noticed her. She was sitting across the room at a table by the window. It was a glorious day and the sun was making her hair shine with tiny sparks of reflection. She was laughing with friends. It was a nice laugh, a real laugh, an honest laugh of someone just being herself. She captured my attention by bedazzling me with her natural charm. She was infectious. Alas, the dilemma started before I met her, the negative belief, the reality I felt that this person would not be interested in someone like me, she could be with anyone.
Sitting there, at the café, so beautiful, she had many friends around her, she was a socializer and I wasn’t. It would be too much effort to get to know her, to be a part of her world, I was only looking at her and I already felt overwhelmed. I left the money for my breakfast on the table and walked for the door. As I went to the door I walked by her table and I could not help but look at her one final time and as I did she looked up at me and stared directly into my eyes. Before I knew it I walked into the door. Hard. The embarrassment overshadowed the pain in my shoulder. Perfect.
I cursed myself for a long time! The humiliation would never subside. 18 years later and I can still feel it.
But that’s not the end of this story. I met her. Indeed, although I rarely frequented that café previous to first seeing her, I soon became a regular, having breakfast there almost daily. You guessed right—I hoped to see her again and I did. Her and her friends had breakfast there regularly and over time I guess we got to know each other just because we became familiar sites to each other. As it happened, a friend of mine joined me for breakfast one morning and I pointed her out. He knew her! Against my will – sort of, he introduced me to her. She was so nice and really seemed to be happy to meet me. She laughed and smiled and was very interested in who I was. She asked so many questions and before I knew it we were saying hello each morning and sharing small talk in passing. Then one morning, as fate would have it, she was having breakfast alone, her friends were not there. And then we started having breakfast together regularly—her friends seemed to have somehow disappeared.
We did that for months, just meeting in the mornings at the café and talking about trivial things. We were becoming friends. Then she invited me over to her house and I met her family. They were so nice and treated me as if I was some kind of prince. More time passed and we seemed to share everything together, we met every day and took very long walks together. It seemed as though time had stopped and the world was ours and then our time did stop, the dream was over and we would never spend time together again.
The reality is I have Attention Deficit Disorder and I attribute ADD and not knowing I had ADD to many of the failures and mistakes I have made in my life. It is not an excuse. It is a reality. One of the reasons ADD and ADHD is a problem is because it can distort actuality by ‘hiding’ the cues people use to communicate. I am not talking about speech – the spoken word. I am talking about recognizing what is going on without being told, without someone spelling it out. Another important thing to understand and realize about either ADD or ADHD, over time, the criticism, the mistakes, the failures, take their toll which can, and most often does, produce low self-esteem.
Tomorrow’s article will have the rest of the story…