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Bad Day

Bad Day2013-06-17T08:39:36+00:00

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    Post count: 24

    On days like today I have that constant struggle with guilt. I feel selfish that I would allow myself to get into serious relationships with people knowing that I really cant be relied upon.

    How do you tell someone that your in a relationship with that you cannot do certain things that may be important and neccesary ( paying bills on time, etc.) Even if they come to grips with that it still feels like they are merely putting up with your faults and making changes that make their life harder.

    It seems so incredibly hard somedays. The decisions that you make in regards to love and friendship make you happy but often require you to do things that are so difficult with ADHD or ADD.
    Does this make me selfish?


    Post count: 445

    Oh TBT, you’ve hit on one of my favorite ADD themes. In fact I think it was the topic of my very first post on this forum several yeas ago: ADD and love. (Caution: you’ve lit the fuse on a spectacular online fireworks display.)

    There are of course two types of love: Eros/Dionysian love (emotional passion; often being more in love with love itself, or the relationship and how it makes us feel, than the beloved) and Agape (an act of the will; the ability to continue to “love” somebody when the passion fades——when you wake up in the morning and wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into.) People have written about this since people started writing. Sometimes other words have been used to describe it, but the distinction remains. Swiss philosopher Denis de Rougement examined it via the legend of Tristan and Iseult in his Love in the Western World. Rougement said that, certainly in the minds of our ancestors, “the Tristan myth operates whenever passion is dreamed of as an ideal instead of being feared as a malignant fever, whenever its fatal character is welcomed, invoked, or imagined as a magnificent and desirable disaster instead of simply a disaster.[…] It swoops upon powerless and ravished men and women to consume them in a pure flame. … [People] think it is stronger and more real than happiness, society, or morality.”

    Well, suffice it to say, most people don’t buy that anymore. Eros is celebrated; passion reigns. We are told to be passionate about our work. Passionate about love. Passionate about our hobbies. Passionate about everything. Still, people who have lived life know that whatever passion is, it is not something we can control. We can’t help whom we fall in love with nor deny the indisputable fact that we often fall out of (erotic) love. We just know it happens. So what about agape?

    This is where ADD poses the challenge. ADDers, because of their impulsive, Dionysian spirits, find our wills disabled to the extent that is almost impossible to undertake consistently the hard moral labor that love (agape) requires after the Beatrician moment evaporates. We simply cannot be steadfast in following the long road that committed relationship requires. The overwhelming power of impulses and charged emotions cast such a spell on us that our ability to fulfill love’s duties—including to love somebody for who they are, not for how they make us feel—is often compromised.

    So, there it is. Is this universally true? Of course not. There are almost always exceptions to rules of the heart. But ADD poses an enormous danger for those who aspire to lifelong relationships. And I think it should be said that ADD impacts our ability to love ourselves as much as it impacts our ability to love others.

    Frankly, I think anybody who knows—or suspects—his/her moral will is damaged should think twice about making promises to another that s/he most likely will not be able to keep. I think anybody who knows—or suspects—s/he has “issues” that will likely sabotage a healthy relationship should think seriously about inflicting those issues on another. At the very least, proceed cautiously. We should all take our ADD seriously. We should see if it can GENUINELY be gotten under control. We need to understand that a relationship is not just about “our passion.” It’s about “the other,” as well——our partners and potentially our children. We owe it to our spouses/partners to be the best partners we can be. We owe it to our children to be the best parents we can be. Ultimately, it’s a choice each of us has to make for him/herself. But it’s a choice that really needs to be made with agape.

    I know the pat response is, “Nobody’s perfect, so get off your soapbox.” And that’s true. Nobody’s perfect. But the all-important questions still remain: Can I keep a lifelong commitment? Can I even hope to uphold my end of the bargain? Am I capable of taking on important responsibilities? Would I be more of a burden than a partner? If the answer to those questions is generally or probably “no,” then what to do? Say, “Screw it, I don’t care”? Too, let’s be careful not to exploit somebody else’s passion for us. Just because they may be willing to overlook our serious shortcomings now, what about seven tumultuous years from now?

    That’s my one line and seven paragraphs’ worth.


    Post count: 363

    Well, that’s a bit depressing.

    I’ve been married for something like 22 years to someone who seems to like me (and is still here) despite my peculiarities and shortcomings. I’m completely baffled by it, but I like it.

    I feel like a lousy life-partner and a bad parent. Knowing what I know now, despite the fact that I love my kids and think they are amazing, I don’t think becoming a mother was a great idea, because I’m just bad at it. There are a number of ways that I might be a crummy partner. But my spouse is an adult who’s been making the decision to stay with me for half our adult lives.

    I am not much of a friend. It takes work to keep in touch with people, and to remember to do it, and to listen and really hear them. It’s a lot of work. It can be exhausting to just be in the presence of someone for a couple of hours. I do better with people when we communicate by correspondence, where I have time to understand and reflect. Face to face, in “real time” doesn’t usually work well, because I’m going to miss things, or just be overwhelmed by the interaction.

    It is what it is. But it becomes a moral issue on the level of perception – that I didn’t show up, or I wasn’t listening, or I forgot something important, etc.

    I hide who I really am from everyone – in social and professional situations, I just fake it until I can leave and relax. It’s all about concealment.

    So much of what people say just sounds like noise.

    It’s hard to have a relationship with ANYONE when the truth of who you are at your most basic level is wrong. A secret that has to be kept, because it if were known, there would be no room for you in the world.

    It’s easier to just be alone. Except for all the ways that it isn’t.


    Post count: 363

    But anyway, TBT, not to be a total downer – I’m just going to suggest here that maybe who you are can be enough for someone, can even be good for someone, even if you yourself can’t see how that works.


    Post count: 1096

    I haven’t read the threads properly – but I will do when I’m in a better mood to concentrate.

    But a couple of points jumped out at me sdwa- you say you are a bad parent…..but you love your kids and think they’re amazing. In my book loving your kids is the key to being a good parent. Kids need love and someone to think they are amazing. So by default that makes you a brilliant parent.




    Post count: 363

    And I don’t think it’s “selfish” to want to be with someone. I think it’s natural and healthy.

    Sometimes we don’t have the most reliable views of ourselves.

    I think having a loving heart counts for a lot. I might be a flake as a parent, but at least my kids know I love them, that they’re wanted and valued.

    As for telling anyone what it’s really like for you…what your limitations are, or, to make it more value-neutral – what your subjective experience IS….

    I just say X is hard for me, or I’d rather do Y. I’m married to someone who can handle the truth, you know?

    It’s hard not to get caught up in the idea that whatever failings I have are about being “bad” or being “stupid.”  It’s hard to not make being different or having unique needs mean that I’m “selfish,” “self-absorbed,” “flaky,” “emotional,” “lazy,” “irresponsible,” etc. because a lot of people will see it that way – or would if I ever left my house and took the risk of talking to them. Which I don’t, because I know it will turn out badly, and takes too much effort to begin with.

    I managed to fake my way into my marriage, and after a while, my husband just sort of went with it. Like to him, I’m OK. And when I’m with him, I feel like who I am is OK.

    So that’s definitely possible. But I think some of that comes from my ability to be honest about what I’m experiencing without being defensive, blaming someone else, or trying to pretend something different is going on. Being able to admit what’s hard for me. It’s a safe relationship to be honest in, where I don’t have to justify, explain, defend, or deny.

    I run into problems with people when I try to pretend I’m normal, and try to do things I can’t sustain – because I don’t want anyone to find out I’m “damaged” or “bad” or whatever.

    Sorry this is such a ramble.

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