Sometimes I wish the filter between my brain and my mouth worked as intended, to quality check thoughts before my lips expel them. Mostly, I hope a filter even exists in there. Something needs to kick in and have veto power over my mouth. I must have won the barebones model brain. The only custom feature my brain arrived all pimped out with was ADHD. Maybe the filters were all on backorder, and I got a generic model as a consolation gift.
Symptoms of adult ADD are similar to those which children experience, one being a tendency to speak before thinking. So when something inappropriate flies out of my mouth, I get just as embarrassed as I would if one of my kids had spouted it. Even though I know I can’t reel the words back in and undo any damage, my mouth still overrides my brain at times. Thus, the need for that censoring filter – a big time need.
Since my ADHD diagnosis came about during adulthood, I’ve had a few decades to master the art of speaking at the wrong times and blurting out inappropriate comments. No exceptions to time and place. Anything goes – weddings, funerals, bridal showers, childbirth, even job interviews. Both unfortunate tendencies accompany my other unfortunate tendency – talking too much. I know, it’s hard to believe. Go ahead and take a moment to try and wrap your mind around it.
As a teenager, I spent some time working for my father, in his office. One day I told a visiting businessman a joke. Sounds harmless, except for the part where I didn’t realize how incredibly dirty the joke was until the moment the punch line escaped my mouth in what felt like s-l-o-w motion. I sent up a silent plea for the ground to open up and swallow me. It’s one thing not to ‘get’ a joke. Repeating it and risking humiliation is another. Do yourself a favor and seek help regarding any joke you may be unclear about. That stupid joke has haunted my dreams ever since.
Not too many years later I sat in an exam room waiting for my doctor. His nurse, who appeared pregnant to my young, untrained eyes, entered the room first. Scrubs are not the most flattering attire, right? I wasted no time asking her when her bundle of joy was due. With fireballs shooting from her eyes, she responded with a simple, “I’m not pregnant.” That’s the kind of mistake you try hard not to make again. Recovery is near impossible and the embarrassment almost unbearable from a situation like that. If I had been her, I would have found any excuse at all to give me a shot in the butt. Several years passed before I fully understood the significance of that exchange. Not fun. Good thing I look like a supermodel now. Yeah.
Perhaps the problem lies in the mechanics. Maybe my high-speed mouth just runs faster than my barebones model brain. A simple explanation which lacks total honesty. Saying I sometimes speak without thinking might be more accurate. Let’s just divide the blame between ADHD and personality. Hell, let’s thrown in genetics, with the heavier weight on the first two culprits, making it more like 80/20. Much better.