June 9, 2011 at 10:49 pm #89639
AnonymousInactiveJune 9, 2011 at 10:49 pmPost count: 14413
I have been diagnosed with ADD when I was 17. I am now 25 and find that I can handle most of the issues pretty well and embrace my ADD, being myself has become easier as I have grown emotionally and worked through a lot of things with help and by myself. I don’t take medication because I feel it makes me feel worse, also I’m a musician so in a way, it’s okay for me to be chaotic, people expect that and I do what I love so I can be myself, cause I work focused on music, am super organized when it comes to my calendar and replying important emails (not letters, emails) – which uses up all my energy for the rest so my room is a mess and my paperwork, but I get by somehow as I think that going through the whole thing has helped me gained strength dealing with it. Plus my father was older (he died 3 years ago), which I think also helped me develop a sense of dealing with issues. Still there is one major thing i don’t know how to deal with.
It’s that feeling of guilt when you know you made a mistake. I’m not talking about missing your bus stop cause you were daydreaming or getting off one too early because a part of your brain though: “oh, one more stop” which somehow turned into: “oh, I have to get off here”, not talking about losing my key, zoning out, blanking when speaking, forgetting stuff (someone sneezed on table next to ours at dinner in restaurant…. “erm, what was I just talking about? Right!”)
I’m talking about the kind of stuff that affects, hurts or upsets others. Like not telling certain things, forgetting to do stuff, pick up stuff, take care of stuff, little white lies, leaving things behind…..
It makes me feel sooo guilty and bad that even if I apologize or actually even feel that it’s not that bad what I did or there actually wasn’t anything I did really, I still feel like i’m so guilty because I feel that I could have prevented this from happening.
The reason why I beat up myself about my little mistakes and my big mistakes even if being loyal and standing up for them is because I grew up with undiagnosed add. It means I had to deal with a lot of negative input for things I felt weren’t my fault. I have a very high sense of loyalty and wanting to do the right thing. So often I find myself making mistakes without realizing when making them, then having to deal with the consequences and it always makes me feel like I should have known, that the mistake comes from me not paying enough attention and that I could have avoided that mistake.
The mistakes I’m talking about are usually the kind of mistakes that hurt or upset other people. Those are the kind of mistakes I keep dwelling on and beating myself up about for as long as I don’t know the person has forgiven me or if I can still sense their resentment.
It also triggers my weakness of impatience. Because I want to solve the problem right away but sometimes have to wait for the other person to calm down or generally be willing to communicate openly. Also thinking of all the things the person might mistakenly think about me and judge me makes me feel bad, as I keep feeling that it’s not fair and not true how they think about me. And people say I shouldn’t care what others think, hell I say that sometimes, but it comes down to the nitty gritty with moral stuff like when people think I’m irresponsible, lazy, stupid, mean, rude, immature and all those things when I know that it’s not true.
It is very hard not to beat myself up making those kind of mistakes. It stresses me out a lot and I feel it is the one thing in my life that I don’t know how to handle without it having severe impact on my emotional condition.
An example would be today. I was on a date with this great guy, the 5th or 6th date but we haven’t kissed yet because I had a cold sore and it was still healing. Today it was almost gone but there was still a red mark left underneath the new skin where it was still healing. We were so into each other, cuddling, talking and all that, I gave him a peck on the cheek. He knew I had a cold sore, and we didn’t kiss, but we both didn’t think that peck on the cheek would be bad. Later I googled up and found out that I’m actually still contagious.
I texted him about that and he freaked out.
I know that it’s also the way of communication that leaves a lot of space for misunderstanding, but I don’t wanna spell out everything said during text chat.
Let me sum up: he seems really pissed at me, I’m really sorry and feel stupid because I should have kinda known or figured that maybe i should still be very careful. I apologized to him, he didn’t respond very much except being pissed.
And I feel that ok now I have to leave him alone so he can think about it, inform himself, calm down and all that….. because he’s actually a very intelligent and loyal person, he’s interested personal growth and spiritual guidance so he will hopefully come around. But this feeling, beating myself up about it it’s gut wrenching.
I know basically in the particular situation there’s nothing I can do really to fix it but to genuinely apologize and try to be understanding… why can’t I forgive myself though? Cause how can I expect forgiveness from someone if I don’t forgive myself? Even for the tiniest mistakes when I wronged someone? How do I stop beating myself up about it?REPORT ABUSEJune 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm #104435
AnonymousInactiveJune 10, 2011 at 1:56 pmPost count: 14413
First of all, it takes two to tango. So you are not the only person who has feelings or responsibility for the situation.
Second, I’m not a therapist, but I’ve found therapy helpful. For me, it helped me realize that it was my parents’ responsibility to take care of me, to pay attention to me, to see that I was struggling with learning issues, to investigate why I was the wild and crazy child that I was, inattentive, etc. So the fact that I was not diagnosed (still waiting at age 55) is not my fault. I can’t beat myself up about something I didn’t know about. My parents are responsible. My mom’s dead, my dad is really old and there’s no point in approaching him about it now. So I just live with the feelings as they come up but I don’t indulge them or let them overwhelm me. I make lemonade out of my lemons.
About your boyfriend: his response is not your fault. He’s responsible for his own feelings. Maybe this is a clue to something that you need to know about him, that could change your relationship. I don’t think you have anything to lose by letting him know how you feel, that you’re upset, wondering how he’s feeling, having difficulty letting go of the incident for which you are sorry.
This is how I would handle it, but it’s only my two cents worth.REPORT ABUSEJune 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm #104436
Curlymoe115MemberJune 10, 2011 at 4:45 pmPost count: 206
It is good that you accept responsibility for your actions but you are taking on the weight of the world when you don’t need to. As for kissing your new friend on the cheek when you still had a cold sore, yes it is contagious, but the likely hood that it will lead to him getting a cold sore is really low. You informed him that you made an honest mistake and then told him so that he would be aware that although highly unlikely that he would get a cold sore, there was still a chance. Frankly Herpes Simplex is easily contagious, he was more likely to develop it through touching your hand when you first had a break out because we touch our face hundreds of times a day. If he does develop a cold sore so what. They go away. 30-90 percent of the population were exposed as children and they already carry the antibodies. It comes from any contact with infected saliva. But how he reacts could be an indication of a gut reaction and with education he will figure it out, or this could be the end of your relationship. He knew going into this that you had a cold sore, he saw that it was still red, yet you were close and cuddling and he didn’t have a problem with it. If he doesn’t call again you could give him a quick call if you think that there could be something to this relationship. That way you can say you gave it the old college try, but stop beating yourself up about it. You Made A Mistake. Not the first one, won’t be the last. If he can’t handle an innocent mistake like this after 6 dates how is he going to deal with a not so innocent one later.
As for the guilt you carry that is something only you can deal with. Try to ask yourself, when you start feeling guilty, what your intentions were. If you apologize and accept responsibility then you need to start to forgive yourself. But it is harder to forgive ourselves our innocent mistakes then it is to accept egregious mistakes made by others with not so innocent intentions. We forgive others with a thought, but hold ourselves endlessly responsible for thoughtlessness. You may need therapy to help you work through these negative feelings, because they can start to hold you back. But I can guarantee you that you still will make a few thousand mistakes in your life if you live long enough. Mistakes are part of our learning curve. No one ever did everything perfectly. It sounds like you took responsibility for things even if you couldn’t have done anything different. But a great deal of the loyalty you owe yourself is to only take responsibility for things that are your fault. That isn’t the same as evading responsibility, but it does mean that you only own the responsibility for your own actions, you can not be held responsible for my actions even if we are together. This comes into play whenever we are with other people. Whether at work, play or home.REPORT ABUSEJune 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm #104437
WgreenParticipantJune 10, 2011 at 7:00 pmPost count: 445
This is an interesting topic because it has such broad implications.
We (at least most of us) were taught from childhood that we need to take responsibility for our actions/behavior. It doesn’t matter if we grew up in Christian homes, secular homes, Jewish homes, you name it. It doesn’t matter where we went to school. We, as a society, disagree about many things, but taking responsibility for our actions generally isn’t one of them.
THEREFORE—it is a radical notion to suggest that because of a neurological disorder, we may not be in control of all our actions—or our inability to act. People who study ADD/ADHD assert that we suffer from broken wills, that there is a disconnect between our intentions and actions caused by brain chemistry. So, what does this mean? How much “guilt” should we carry for actions (or inactions) that are beyond our willpower to control? This is the loaded question.
Surely, on some level, everybody has to take ownership of his or her own behavior. Otherwise we’d have chaos. But if neurological researchers are right, and ADD wills truly are impaired, much of what generations have believed about personal responsibility has to be called into question. Centuries of theology has to be called into question. My third-grade teacher has a lot to answer for. It’s morally explosive. On the other hand, if those researchers are up the spout, then ADDers also are up the spout. And we don’t need sympathy or help…or websites. Maybe not even medications. What we need is a swift kick in the butt—and no more excuses!
One thing seems certain: it’s either heads or tails. Both sides can’t be right. Can they?REPORT ABUSEJune 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm #104438
Curlymoe115MemberJune 10, 2011 at 7:46 pmPost count: 206
Both sides can always be right in a grey society. Everything we are taught falls in the black and white category. We are either wrong or right. But sometimes what is right or wrong for me is fine by society or vice versa. But you are right, if our brains do not function in “normal” mode how can we be penalized if we fail not because of lack of will, but because of a neurological dysfunction. However in our society they penalize you whether you knew what you were doing. You witness someone breaking into a car, you walk by because you are afraid of being hurt, the police catch them later and they mention that you witnessed them breaking into the car. Technically you did nothing wrong. But you also did nothing right. So you can be right and wrong at the same time. And the new laws more often punish the innocent then the guilty, because you feel guilty. You are in a car accident, you start blabbing all of your information, you start taking responsibility even if it isn’t your fault, you end up paying for the accident, then 6 months down the road you learn that they went through on a red light when you hit them. Then you get mad, you weren’t responsible, you shouldn’t have paid for the accident. But you admitted that it was your fault. They got away scott free because your sense of responsibility was stronger then theirs.
It’s funny looking at my two children. One because of her mental health conditions lies with impunity. How do you know she is lying, she opened her mouth. So can she be held responsible for the consequences of her actions? Yes, but how do you penalize her for something over which she has so little control. When we penalize someone it is for two reasons: 1. Make them learn from their actions; and 2. To protect others from potential harm. The other day she got yet another ticket. When the officer asked her whether she wanted to receive a ticket for smoking or not having a valid transit ticket her answer was simple. Doesn’t matter because I won’t pay them anyway.
The other child takes responsibility but thinks the whole system is out to get her. She has been late 150 times this year. So as a consequence for being late they now send her home from school. Now we aren’t talking 2 hours late we are talking 15 minutes late. She has 1 more thing syndrome. Then before she knows it the bus has gone. But one day she is going to wake up and realize that if she just stayed in bed for another hour or two she will be able to do whatever she wants all day. So why bother. The school knows she has ADHD, they know about her co-morbids, yet they make no accommodations for these. Other kids get to talk in class and she gets sent to the office. So many unfair things that she can’t help yet she gets penalized when others skate through. Now she is getting more vocal in her protests and she is labeled a troublemaker. How many millions of people are being labeled as troublemakers for standing up for their rights.
Main stream schools are made for the sheep of the world. Head down, butt up, just keep moving through the system. Sit quietly in your seat, listen to a teacher drone on from rout, do the work they hand you in the way they want it done. Trains you for the next phase in your life, working for someone else. Pack a few hundred kids into a school with a few teachers with only a little training about any sort of disabilities. Then give them a curriculum that has been put into place to ensure that our kids don’t fall behind. More and more demands, less physical activity, lunch rooms with 15 year olds supervising a couple of hundred kids. They hate the troublemaker and a lot of administrators see it as their job to whip these kids into compliance. In the Edmonton Public school district we are going to lose 229 teachers and 79 special need aids. At the same time we are going to add 6000 new students and if even 5 percent of these are special needs then we are going to have a lot more frustrated students, parents, teachers and administrators. But it all comes down to dollars and cents and we seem to lose sight of the people that are hurt. In some districts there is extra money for “coded” students. So you expect to see a lot of “coded” kids because they get paid for them. And even then they only code the ones that are obvious because someone who is doing fairly well, and gets along fairly well is going to be passed through, while that live wire is going to be flagged. So yes they can be wrong and right at the same time.REPORT ABUSEJune 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm #104439
OutoftuneMemberJune 10, 2011 at 8:37 pmPost count: 53
I have had the guilt feeling my entire life as well! I’m struggling with trying to figure out how to get rid of it and don’t really have an answer for you other than what I’m discovering now at age 27. I think the hardest thing about this is that if a mistake is made with out the intent to harm someone or the knowledge that our action would hurt someone it is undeserving of guilt. However obviously if we purposefully choose to carry out an action that will harm someone then of course that is deserving of guilt. The problem therein lies with the ADD mind we often do things that we might have knowledge could cause someone harm but we aren’t doing it with that intent and in most cases have no control over the action. For example…I know that when I tune out my alarm in the morning and don’t get my s&%^ together in the morning it could result in my husband getting to work late which would intern cause him problems with his boss, impact his reputation at work etc… however if my brain doesn’t respond to the beep beep beep of my alarm never alerting me to the fact that I indeed need to wake up and my body lays there for another 10 minutes like a bag of potatoes and if my brain deletes details such as where I left my car keyes where I put my shoes, phone, etc… and my husband ends up getting to work late is this something I should feel guilty about? This is something I ask myself everyday and I think the answer is that we need to reject that feeling of guilt that creeps up and that track that plays through your mind several times a day intermittantly with all the other messages that are constantly flashing through it. We can only do what we can do and living with guilt (trust me) is only damaging and tends to demotivate you so that you never end up taking action toward resolving the actions that perpetuate this guilt. So for example I’m trying to not allow myself to feel like a bad wife, lazy, inconsiderate, carless, disrepectful, uncaring, heartless and instead to see myself as a loving, caring, warm, good wife who respects and loves her husband who has a big heart and along with it is neurological condition that results in certain actions. And to focus all that guilt energy onto seeking out techniques to alter these actions. So for example leaving notes for myself to centralize my keyes, phone, shoes, etc.. in one location every night before bed and changing my alarm to the most horrifyingly unbearable sound I can find! lol
I know how hard it is to tune out the guilt track running through out brains but maybe if we can’t erase it maybe we can at lease press pause until we have found a way to alter the actions that perputuate the guilt and then maybe we’ll find that when we press play what we will hear will be silenceREPORT ABUSEJune 10, 2011 at 11:48 pm #104440
AnonymousInactiveJune 10, 2011 at 11:48 pmPost count: 14413
I have done a lot of mistakes, just like all of you. But it helps me not feeling guilty if I know that I didn’t intend to do this or that mistake. And if someone is affected by this mistake I hope that this person is good enough to let me try to explain my actions, if not – why are they still in my life? Do I really want anything to do with someone that narrow minded? I think not… May be a little harsh, but life has made me this way!
Family is worse though, can’t live with them – can’t live without them…REPORT ABUSEJune 11, 2011 at 2:57 am #104441
Shadow NexusMemberJune 11, 2011 at 2:57 amPost count: 181
I knew I had ADHD and at some level I didn’t accept it. Went through 9 years of job hunting while going on/off school, searching for work or going to school. After college, I did it again for another 7 years. Nothing, not even a bite. I keep beating myself up for not applying for disability and section 8 much earlier in life. What might have happened? Playing the what if this and that. Not accepting it was impossible for me to get past the interview due my disabilities and personality(ADHD+other things). How much money would I have now? Would I have been happy? I have no savings. I’m in a very noisy building. I’m miserable. However, I have the stubborn as mule hyperfocus in ADHD. Quitting job hunting entirely was the best decision I every did. It lead me out of trap that was holding me back. I’m slowing moving out of that trap. I’m free to focus on small business ideas.
“Forgiveness is knowing the past couldn’t have happened any other way.” OprahREPORT ABUSEJune 11, 2011 at 4:42 am #104442
Shadow NexusMemberJune 11, 2011 at 4:42 amPost count: 181
Adding, social mistakes are part of life. I’v done it. We all have done it many times over. ADHD just makes more you prone to it. Most people take socializing for granted. We have to struggle through it constantly. You’ll hurt people now and then. It just happens. What really matters is you didn’t do it on purpose. ADHD has scrambled your ability to communicate with people. Accept that ADHD is the problem not you. Forgive yourself.REPORT ABUSEJune 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm #104443
WgreenParticipantJune 11, 2011 at 4:13 pmPost count: 445
Filmbuff quotes Oprah Winfrey—”Forgiveness is knowing the past couldn’t have happened any other way.”
Hmmm. I didn’t know Ms Winfrey was a Calvinist. Well, actually I did. She’s been talking about predestination —her own—for years. What I can’t figure out is why she then spends so much time (and resources) trying to convince people they can “change” their lives. (If the past was predetermined—which is what she is saying—why not the future?)
But Oprah is right to conclude that where no choice exists/existed, no culpability does either. And where there is no culpability, it logically follows there would be no need for forgiveness… or guilt.REPORT ABUSEJune 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm #104444
Shadow NexusMemberJune 11, 2011 at 8:28 pmPost count: 181
You misunderstand what she meant. I’v watched it on and off for over 20 years. She meant dwelling on all the “what if” of the past, instead of working on the future in the present. Focusing on changing the events of the past which you can’t do. Accepting that what happened to you can’t be changed. So, you focus on the present not the past.
I’m really trying not to not to think about all the what if’s, but it’s not easy. Learning from past this time. So, I don’t repeat it.REPORT ABUSEJune 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm #104445
WgreenParticipantJune 11, 2011 at 9:30 pmPost count: 445
Now wait a minute. If I misunderstood what she meant, it”s because she didn’t say what she meant. There is NO WAY that aphorism can be construed to mean what you say it means without being linguistically dishonest. No way. If she meant to say ” There’s no need to dwell on the past—it is what it is, it can’t be changed, so you need to accept it, learn from it, and move on,” then that’s what she should have said. But she didn’t. She said something else (unless you misquoted her).
I suspect Oprah heard it someplace, thought it had a nice, profound ring to it, and appropriated it without stopping to think what the implications of it actually are. Or… maybe she really did mean every word of it.REPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm #104446
Shadow NexusMemberJune 13, 2011 at 8:25 pmPost count: 181
That is one of our mistakes. Take the literal/grammatical meaning when people often don’t mean that. I’v encountered it many times. If you don’t know them, you’ll misinterpret the meaning of what they say. Cultural misunderstandings are another example. Her worldwide popularity says different. You have to be big fan before you’ll see the true meaning.REPORT ABUSEJune 14, 2011 at 2:20 am #104447
WgreenParticipantJune 14, 2011 at 2:20 amPost count: 445
Filmbuff–you should be a politician or political spinmeister: “I know she said that, but I’ve known her for years and I assure you she really means this…” You’d be great!
Seriously, not to be too snarky, I think politics (left or right) is a great career choice for many ADDers. I’ve seen Bill Clinton’s name on ADD lists, and he may be the most talented American retail politician of my generation (like him or not): tons of charisma, great salesman, terrific ability to connect with farmers and Wall Street bankers alike, creative thinker… and definitely a risk taker. But he doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who lets guilt or shame over his shortcomings get him down. Maybe that’s been one important key to his success. In fact, one thing many successful ADDers seem to have mastered is overcoming their guilt—and therefore the self-doubt that comes with constant blunders and failures.REPORT ABUSEJune 21, 2011 at 9:44 am #104448
AnonymousInactiveJune 21, 2011 at 9:44 amPost count: 14413
That wasn’t your fault hun. Would you freak out like that if he did that to you? No, I guess you (at least after a few hours) could understand why he did as he didn’t if he didn’t know better.
I play a game called World of Warcraft, an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) which means that I daily have contact with 30+ people in that game, and even more that you always “bump in to”. This is background so you can understand what I’m trying to explain, please read it all through; in the game there are Raid Instances as they are called, it’s where 10 or 25 (a choice you have) people group up together to get bosses down as a group. What you are doing affects everyone else in that Raid (as your band of people is called). I am currently in a guild that does raids as a 10-man group.
Many of the encounters are very unforgiving, a slight mistake means that you can put all other 9 people at risk of dying which will lead to a failed attempt. You do have unlimited attempts at a raid boss, so it’s only time spent and other peoples emotions/reactions that’s a problem here. I have been doing this for 3 years maybe, and here is where I have learned how I could apply this side of my personality to be something positive. I yet have to implement this in to my AFK (away from keyboard) life as well, but here goes:
I am confident that I am one of the best raiders in the guild I’m currently in. Why? Because every time something happens that can be my fault I have gotten emotional and beat myself up for it, doing what I can to improve so I get better. It took it’s while but right now most other people more often than not would have to apologize to me than me to them, because my performance is really that good, and the mistakes I make are quite far between. The positive part is that I always get’s knocked of my high horse once I do one of the mistakes (and you almost always do at least a few minor mistakes, if not a major as well every raid), and that it something people really appreciate, I’m a very good player in raids and yet I have sympathy for everyone else, and people love me for that trait there, they can trust my support and performance and this really fills me with confidence for my own abilities that maybe I’m not all that bad as I make it in my head. I have the confidence enough to say that performance wise I am good enough to be on world first kills (or other very competitive raiding guilds), the main reason why I’m not in one is that I’d in that case have to prioritize playing the game before everything else, something I’m not willing to do. Right now I can take a day of here and there, and that’s how I want it to be. The “funny” thing is that me as a person who really beats myself up for a mistake is saying this, and imo that can say a lot. There can be a positive future if you want it to be like that.
I don’t think you can just use a magic wand and that trait of you will be gone, but you could work to make it a positive trait that you have instead. Replace the situation in my example from playing a video game to work life, I’d be the employee of the month, every month and still be happy for that person who get’s it instead of me because I feel they deserve it and I’m happy for them (as I in secrecy will wonder what I yet again can do better, lol).
Try finding a different approach to the matter, because you (and we all here) deserve to be that good. Another example here to a different approach and what it could be is that I tell my girlfriend “remind me later or write it down/send me a text message” and it works very well to approach my forgetfulness like that.
P.S. Your pig in the avatar is so cute!REPORT ABUSE
Beating yourself up about your mistakes – especially if they affect others2011-06-09T22:49:24+00:00
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