A n admittedly strange question. However, there are different me’s (should that be “mees” or should I say multiple “I”s or multiple selves?) and sometimes the correct “me” appears when needed and sometimes not. Or sometimes the correct “me” appears but doesn’t stay around long enough and suddenly disappears (actually, it morphs into a different “me”). During my years of therapy, one therapist described these multiple selves as an adaptation to an unpredictable environment – my mother. One day she was nice mom, another day – and for seemingly no reason – mom from heck. As a result of this environment – I was told – I “adapted” and, therefore, have different selves. Not exactly multiple personalities but different selves with different dimensions (right now, for example, this is the “writer” self). I lived with that definition of myself (myselves?) for quite a number of years and over the past several years it was no longer part of my “narrative of self.” However I’ve come back to (re)examining this in light of my A.D.D.1
Before continuing I must address a problem that I am having with the word “self.” This blog entry began with the use of this term. However, the word implies a whole, coherent unit which for an A.D.D.er is a non-existent entity. In fact it seems that A.D.D. creates only facets of a self and these facets are in continual motion. [Now THAT is really the crux/the CURSE(!!) of A.D.D.] Consequently you feel that you are not a whole person, not “normal” (whatever THAT means). You undermine your own feelings of success (and, in fact, your own eyes may actually show you that you ARE successful but you aren’t going to believe your lying eyes…are you!) because you know that the “self” that others observe is one of your many personality facets which happens to be visible to the world right now and you know that it may not be there – be visible – several months from now. (It might return…but not necessarily when you need it to.)
So “me” is really composed of personality facets that are in flux and the struggle of daily life is to keep a particular facet facing outward for all to see – the “working at my job” facet, the “good Dad” facet, the “handyman” facet. And therefore the question I posed in the title of this entry should be restated as “How Long Will This Facet Be Visible?” And the answer: I don’t know…but I’m working very hard at consistently showing the correct facet at the correct time AND for the correct length of time.
1 – If my exploration of some of the A.D.D. literature has taught me anything it is that being A.D.D. and not having multiple selves is the rare exception. It seems inherent to the definition of A.D.D. that you will have multiple selves.