Posted by: 1of10boyz | September 23, 2012

Wiggles, Figety, and other Psychosomatic/Neurobehavioral disorders


Anyone that knows me well, knows that I “sit” still poorly. I guess a story is in order.

I moved to a little town in Wyoming, USA in the late spring or early summer of 1972. I was in HEAVEN, a 9 year old boy sleeping in a canvas tent all summer with his new dog in a sleeping bag on an old Army cot.

We left Salt Lake City, UT in a hurry. I am told that my Dad was driving to a conference/training session in Kentucky. On his way through Kansas City he had a “vision” of what his life would be like if he stayed on the current career path he had with IBM. He realized that a place like Kansas City would be where he raised his family and that was not what he wanted. He stopped for breakfast, called my Mother in Salt Lake City, and told her that we were moving to Wyoming. I am only guessing but school must have been out because shortly thereafter I was living in the tent at my Grandmother’s. My Mom and at the two youngest brother at the time, #3 and #4, were living in a smaller building on the farm that we call a shed today. It sits to the north of the house my Grandparents were living in and the tent sat in the yard just  on the other side of the garden and to the east of the outhouse. Yes, grandma really didn’t have indoor plumbing other than cold water coming into the house.

I spent that summer and the rest of my youth falling in love with that location and its little farm and the waters that flow through it. I became connected to it in a way that is impossible to describe. I am still connected to it in so many ways, the least of which is my home located just about 40 yards from that original little tent.

God bless my saintly Mother. I acknowledge that Star Valley, WY in the 1970s was Mayberry USA. The little town I lived in didn’t even have the equivalent of “Barney Fife” until well into the late 1980s, though we had our fair share of “Otis Campbells” with the two thriving saloons. She let me run freely and do just about anything I wanted all day long, I guess it helped that all I wanted to do was fish. Fortunately I had learned to swim around 1970 so I wasn’t in too much danger for most of year as the water runs clear and during the summer not very deep. I guess I became quite a free spirit.

While I feel that I always did well in school, it was not without it challenges. I think that I was never accused of being attentive in class. I was probably considered to be a nightmare at church. I remember one experience while in Utah where I was asked not to come back to class, not because I was rowdy, because those had to have been many times, but because I would blurt out the answer to the questions in Primary (youth meetings in the LDS Church) before the question was fully asked. You see, at that time the lessons for Primary were taught to an age group that spanned 2 years, I was in the repeat cycle, and apparently knew the question and the answer before it was complete. I was upset that I got in trouble for being “too smart” and “disrupting” the class. Oddly, I only remember one time being upset about getting kicked out for being rowdy too.

While I have never been diagnosed with an attention disorder like ADD or ADHD, I feel pretty certain that if I were a student in elementary school today I would have certainly been recommended for evaluation. I am sure that my little Mayberry elementary school didn’t have all of the resources that other schools might have had, but they did have teachers that cared. They certainly tried in my opinion.

In about the 1974/1975 time frame I became even too much for my saintly Mother. I know because I was asked to meet with one of the new teachers that were hired to work in the school district. It was about the same time that I realized that basketball was something that I really enjoyed and I was able to win playing it. Winning was something that I REALLY enjoyed. This teacher took me aside and in his own gruff way changed my life. I don’t know what he said but over the years of getting instruction and correction from him I am sure that he tried to help me; and he did. It wasn’t some fancy diagnosis or designer drug to lower my energy level to enable me to focus. I am sure it included some threat of discipline or not allowing me to play dodge ball which was probably enough to keep me pointed in the right general direction. The fact is he listened to the concerns of my Mother and did the best job he could with the  tools he had. It really ended up making all the difference in the world to me.

I can remember many times walking or fishing or doing something on the farm by myself where I would feel like my thoughts were going in fast forward. It was like I had the cassette tape player with the play button pushed and the fast forward button pushed at the same time. My thoughts all came so fast that everything became jumbled and indecipherable. I would have to stop and reset my mind and physically think about making everything go in slow motion until I could get my thought track working right again. Weird when I think about it now.

Even today my nervous energy or nervous ticks will creep to the surface. I discover them when my dear wife puts her hand on my knee to tell me to stop bouncing it. Really just resting the weight of my leg on my toe and then it just starts bouncing, not a conscious thing, it just happens. I can’t sit in one spot for nearly as long as others. I actually have to focus in meetings on not moving until someone else in the meeting shifts in their chair or I will be moving and fidgeting for the whole meeting. I wonder if others notice that I can’t sit still.

Does it matter that I can’t sit still in a meeting? Do you think I should get an OFFICIAL diagnosis? Or do you think since I have made it this far in life that what I don’t know won’t hurt me?

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Responses

  1. Medication. Definitely medication. 😉 Jk. Glad my husband isn’t the only Lainhart with the fidgeting issues!

    • Glad to here that it is a genetic issue. Thanks for commenting.


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