If you have ADD, are you also really interested in performing in some way?

And if you are, what does it add to your life that you enjoy doing it so much?  You may just want to post an answer to the question and ignore the ranting below behind the question.  I just spent a week in ADD purgatory (aka w hubby's ADHD family) and I always have to spend a day or two once out of the insanity to process what just happened to me.

Hubby and I ended up talking at dinner on the way home about how all the AD/HDers in his family seem to have a desire to perform in some way which made me wonder if it was ADD related.  But as we talked through them........most notably he, his sister, and his mom, it seems to be for different reasons. That is why I am putting the question to the group.

Firstly, with no desire to offend anyone, I am going to share my opinion/bias on this issue.  I 'get' doing something you love (though I don't get performing as a worthwhile goal in and of itself I understand that some ppl do). I 'get' educators, and scientists, and religious people, and ppl who want to focus on raising awesome kids, and even activists though I often don't like their methods.  I understand wanting to DO something with your life, and to me it is important that what I personally do with my life is important.  I don't get ppl who want to sing all day especially with the goal of being admired or ppl who think that pretending to be someone else is cause to celebrate them for some reason.

Basic point is that I get doing what you love while also thinking some ppl have some pretty shallow & self centered 'loves'......but the more I see how famous ppl live, I would think being famous is the inevitable negative that goes along with the positive.  For many ppl including one in hubby's family, it seems to be the whole goal. Since both kids have ADD as well as brother and probably mother, we think there is a good chance she has some of it too.  I guess she is really skilled (though I have been in the family over a decade without ever hearing her) and all her life she wanted to use this natural talent and parlay it into performance and hopefully fame.  Her husband was opposed to her getting this type of attention, so it never went anywhere.

Hubby says with her it is mostly about attention.

Now we come to my MIL.  She has a bottomless need for attention, but I am not sure where her skill lies or if she really has one.  To her credit she has looked high and low.  I don't know of anything she hasn't tried.  She seems to think she is a great singer, but I think it sounds forced.  She has many mental health issues (diagnosed with bi polar and we are fairly sure she is ADD too) and because of a poor upbringing also has many insecurity/low self esteem issues.  Therefore she is one of those ppl who regularly toots her own horn about everything good she's ever gone in her life, and then walks it back in some kind of modesty/false modesty where she says she was probably never really that good.  It is extremely painful to hear.

From an outsiders perspective, she is a VERY loyal person.  She is religious and takes that seriously.  In her mind she'd do anything in the world for her kids or family because she loves them, but in reality she is so self involved that she resents doing anything for anyone who isn't herself, so you are forced to listen to a never ending litany of complaint and horn tooting when she does something for anyone.  When someone is in need, she will suck it up and help and then tell anyone who'll listen all about it for YEARS to come.

In a strange kind of irony, she is very grateful to have things done for her and she will express it most sincerely.  But she is one of those ppl who is basically a black hole of need for this type of thing, so the more you do the more she wants and eventually gets to expect, and then she wears you out so completely that you just want to run away.  We both believe her desire to stand in front of a group is to have some kind of acknowledgement that she is good at something/anything. 

Hubby:  My husband is a fabulous singer and enjoys things like karaoke but he seems to get really down if he doesn't do as well as he wanted to.  He played drums in school and now plays them for fun on the car steering wheel or in Guitar Hero.  His performance passion was acting, which I have to admit isn't something I really value.  He really only was involved in drama at school and college, though he has said that if we lived closer to the playhouse (is an hour in either direction) and had less busy lives, he's said he'd like to do a play every now and then.  I wouldn't mind if he could do that and also work and keep our lives up, but we haven't ever found a way to make it work.

Last night as I was trying to process, I asked him about the performing thing and what kind of outlet it is to him.

I do NOT understand the reply.  He says it is a way to get emotions out.  I understand that for ppl who are performing something they have written or even identify really strongly with, but otherwise it isn't YOUR emotions.  Maybe I don't get this because I have no issues understand how I feel and what I need to do about it to change a negative feeling I am having. I am open (perhaps too much to the other side) about my emotions and find them easy to share--I know many ppl are not that way but naturally we understand the way we are the best.  I don't get having emotions well up inside you so much that you have to get them out in some way that looks like not sharing your emotions.......sharing the emotions of your character instead. 

I had the experience of being able to share some ideas I'd really really wanted to share with some ppl who needed to hear them this visit, and that made me feel so good and relieved to be able to share it in a way that wouldn't hurt but still get the point across.  If I shared what I needed to share with someone else (and I have), it doesn't help me deal with the issue with the person who needs to have it dealt with.  I don't get emotions by proxy.

How is pretending emotions you don't have an outlet?  He said maybe I do have them, but I have no outlet for them, so I let them out this way.  I get that the performance is you, but the words and the story and everything else belong to someone else.  How does that liberate you?  If you have for example, anger a wife for some comment she made to you, and you get to show anger some how in a performance, how does that address your issue with your wife?  You get angry at something else and think somehow you've resolved your own anger? If that is it, it sounds VERY unhealthy to me.

The ppl I feel are really good at acting are ppl who dig into things.  Who are students of human nature.  Who identify deeply with the motivation of a character and try to be true to that character's emotions.....I can see that you can try to cause those emotions to well up within yourself through study of the material, but that isn't my husband.

He is good at knowing and understanding the emotions of other ppl. He is empathetic, but he doesn't know his own emotions from a baseball most times.  His coach/therapist is trying to work with him on understanding the feelings underneath his actions, but it has been a long uphill battle.

So can anyone else help me understand and possibly come to value this type of performance? Or really any type of performance.........I mean I really want to ask ppl, isn't there something important you could be doing with yourself instead?