March 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm #89328
AnonymousInactiveMarch 18, 2011 at 3:24 pmPost count: 14413
(Trying to make a long story short… which AIN’T easy!) After seeing “ADD and Loving It!” my world was rocked. FINALLY, here was a program that actually explained some of the things I deal with but could never articulate coherently. Although it’s not something anybody and everybody needs to know, there are people in my life who I felt deserved an explanation I was unable to give. What follows is what I wrote to my family. If you have any feedback on what I wrote, or effective ways YOU have found to communicate would be appreciated!
Since I saw the documentary, “Add & Loving It,” I’ve been a bit “off.” It was difficult to talk to you about it and I got very emotional… again, not because I’m bummed out about “having” it. I always knew “something” was up. When the organizational person I hired back in 2004 first brought it up, part of me thought she was full of it, and another part wondered. After they hooked me up to the machines in February of 2009, did their tests, and said, “Yep!” I wasn’t upset about it… but it was at least a little comforting to know that I wasn’t crazy, lazy, or stupid… (please keep your comments to yourself, sisters!)
One of my biggest frustrations has been communicating with you guys and others who are (or were) close to me. It is virtually impossible to explain my “issues,” how they affect me, (and those around me) and the helplessness I feel sometimes in trying to deal with them… because I ALWAYS think I can or should be able to. I still think that, but it’s becoming clear that I have to find a different WAY. It won’t be easy, but I think I need to do away with my old attitude of “if I work hard enough I can accomplish anything…” at least when it comes to ADD. I’m fairly certain that the state of my marriage over the past few years put my brain in a mine field that I just couldn’t navigate. (Especially with a fellow soldier shooting at me as I tried!) The clutter, the chaos, and the constant drama (along with many other things that were part of (my wife’s) world) put me in a state of mental paralysis many times. Digging out of that state is the most important thing I can do for the kids and me. I don’t want this to sound like I’m blaming (my wife,) but that is how I see it. I know that my “ways” contributed to the breakup as well, and I take responsibility for my part. Now, it’s about moving past that, getting comfortable in my own skin again, and setting myself up for success by getting the help I need.
In case I haven’t told you, my medication makes me “feel” better but doesn’t necessarily make me DO better. That will be the key for me. As you all know, I could ramble on about this and that for many more paragraphs… but I’ll spare you. But I’ll leave you with one final observation. I haven’t told the world I have ADD, but I have told a few people who are close to me. Some agree (based on their limited knowledge of what it actually is) and some think I’m full of crap, think I’m using it as an excuse, or enjoy being a “victim” (based on their limited knowledge of what it actually is as well.) What I need from you is honesty and understanding. If, after really learning what ADD is, how it affects people, (and there are differences) and in particular how it affects me, you think I’m full of crap… don’t be afraid to tell me! (But I’m afraid you will need proof!)
So here’s the thing… I believe I have this disorder and have since childhood. I believe it’s not a big deal and there are certain things I like about the way my brain works. I believe it’s ultimately up to me whether it’s an advantage or an albatross. And I KNOW I can’t do what I need to on my own. I need help. Knowing how you can support me will require YOU to get a little education, so to start, I’ve copied a few links from a web site that is a product of the documentary… which I hope you’ll look for on PBS or watch with me when I come out in April.
Thanks, family! I love you!REPORT ABUSEMarch 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm #102267
Curlymoe115MemberMarch 18, 2011 at 5:05 pmPost count: 206
That is a good message. It takes responsibility, doesn’t blame anyone for the past, looks forward to a better future, invites them to be part of the solution. Hits the high points, invites them to get educated before they rush to judgement, but tells them that you are willing to listen to what they have to say. What more can they ask. As a group of people that spends their life being judged they will think of something but you at least have tried to be positive and offer a message that invites them to be part of the future.REPORT ABUSEMarch 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm #102268
AnonymousInactiveMarch 18, 2011 at 9:01 pmPost count: 14413
(By the way, my Dad’s name was Larry…) Thanks for that! That’s what I was going for. Hopefully it will be received that way.REPORT ABUSEMarch 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm #102269
AnonymousInactiveMarch 24, 2011 at 12:42 pmPost count: 14413
Awesome man. The ‘normal-ness’ of the messages in here overwhelms me some days. Reading the thoughts of another human that is on the same path, facing the same issues, that understands reality the same way I do is very reassuring and provides more insight into me. I’m also sad that things couldn’t be worked out between you and (your wife).
My wife and I are skating this line and I never know from one day to another which way it’ll go. For years there had been things that ‘bugged me’. Clutter, disorganization, not communicating clearly, and making most issues my issue. I’m too picky, cranky, controlling, moody and this is why these things bother me, so relax and get over it. When I finally started connecting the dots about ADD and me, I also got better at understanding the cause/effect for these things that ‘bugged me’. They were key to keeping my life on track and she was undermining me. I’m not an organized person, but I need to be organized and I need help being organized, I figured my wife would want to help, I figured wrong. For her it was/is inconvenient and requires that she change the way she does things, thinks, plans…because she has too. Accepting that you have to change is never easy, when you are doing it for yourself or for someone else if the motivation isn’t there it won’t happen. Denial is still her biggest issue imho but it is getting better. Denial that she has in fact contributed to every issue by ignoring me, dismissing the need for her to change, that her perspective was not as altruistic as she would have liked to believe.
In trying to fix “Us” she asked if seeing a marriage councilor would be something I thought would help. I responded yes, but only after you figure out your issues, as long as this is about fixing me it won’t work. It needs to be about fixing us and while her intentions were good, without understanding why she can’t or won’t make changes herself things will not get better. I finally got through to her and she has been to a couple appointments to explore what makes her tick, why she resents making change, and to learn more about us.
It’s odd how people react, buffer themselves and deny that they have in anyway knowingly done things out of spite to cause hurt and pain because they are so afraid to change. My wife even told me she figured it was manipulation on my part to get her to do things that needed to get done. After 14 years we still don’t have a curtain in the house that didn’t come with the house. It is important to me that we get this done, it is a job she said she would do, it is something I have offered to help with, I’ve had her mom and my sister over at various time so they could help, she just won’t get over what ever it is that has been there for 14 years and get it done. What is in her way you ask? She picked out curtains at a low end department store that were not as suitable to the room as she thought once she got them home, I agreed that they sucked and for 14 yrs this has provided and excuse to stop any and all progress for ANY input, changes, or even ideas from my wife.
She is working on it, my jaded self doesn’t believe anything will change because history doesn’t provide much evidence that she tries at anything important. It’s much easier I think for her to keep saying “I failed because of you.” rather then failing in spite of doing everything she could. I don’t know where we’re going, or if the wounds we both have can heal while we are together or if staying together is the only way to get them to really heal.
Good luckREPORT ABUSEMarch 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm #102270
HansMemberMarch 24, 2011 at 7:07 pmPost count: 51
WOW. Quick observation-
I have ADHD and here is a super-quick response..and sorry for being blunt–also a trait. I am truly trying to help
I get the impression from your message that your wife is very insecure. in-fact so insecure she is completely stagnated…Inferiority-insecurity breeds inaction. -No decision is better than a decision–In this manner she will never never be wrong..there is little risk-and she’s secure in her personal spot…..(Inaction is often associated with depression) Her attacking you appears to be her defense mechanism…
I suspect that this mental stagnation has it’s roots in early childhood…and she might need Profession counceling by a specialist–just to get started on recovery (my thoughts -disclaimer)
On a positive side..
My wife sugested I watch-the program-“Add and Loving it”. We watched it together. After seeing the program we discussed its merits and she asked me if I related to the ADHD traits mentioned in program.
I related–Thats me – I understand..
Formal Diagnosis by a trained DR. IN THIS FIELD yes/no—- for me yes—
After formal diagnosis–I had ADHD—
new options— opened–
Medication– option yes/no . This became an awareness problem..
Was I aware my personality might change–yes–
Was I aware that there could be side effects yes
Was I aware that if I wanted I could stop medication and go back to the OLD ADHD ME YES
So the medication issue became a “No Brainer”
I am on medication-and I thank my God, Wife and DR.
Please don’t give up.. This whole ADHD brain-is complicated-
For me THERE WAS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL AND IT IS BRILLIANT..
Good Luck on your journeyREPORT ABUSEMarch 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm #102271
AnonymousInactiveMarch 24, 2011 at 8:31 pmPost count: 14413
Thank you Hans!
Pro help is in the picture and things are improving.
She is aware and we are making progress. Some days more then others.
I guess I lost my point 😳 it was about making change and the impact one partner’s inability to accept their responsibility prohibits progress and creates frustration. Until both are working together and forget about being right or wrong progress will be slow. Learning about being more patient is one on my list therefor this is a give-give situation, imho. Which is far better then the take-give place we were in.REPORT ABUSEMarch 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm #102272
AnonymousInactiveMarch 24, 2011 at 11:37 pmPost count: 14413
Reading the above….Sounds like the wife has ADD and maybe some depression but thats for the Doctors to decide. Poor motivation, not wanting to change, low self esteem, not following through or finishing a task, playing the blame game, and not taking responsibility, disorganization -all characteristics of Adult ADD. . .I thought I had some depression because when I came home from work all I wanted to do was watch CNN. I got so over whelmed and frustrated I just quit trying. Since I have been on medicine(about a year) I am more outspoken, going out to the movies with friends, working longer hours, and less anxiety… On the other hand I made my husband of 21 years watch the PBS Special and hopefully he has an appointment in April …I have told my husband we have to get organized and I need to have structure and a schedule because I cannot function in Chaos and my son certainly needs the structure. It has become a little better on occasion, but I do not think he is purposefully hurting me …it’s just how that darn brain is wired. He can follow through and focus on anything that is important to him, but if it’s not high priority you can forget it. The key is both of us being on the same page and working as a team. Hans you are exactly right. Call me Crazy, keep us posted and thats a beautiful dog!REPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm #102273
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 9:40 pmPost count: 14413
Things are going well. Still some rough spots but the wheels are moving forward for a change and that’s fantastic. She did go to find out about ADD and the Dr’s confirmed this site, she’s not ADD, just not sure what to do. I’m working on making sure she feels as safe as possible when we talk and we are talking. My ADD had made me pretty rigid so I could maintain a level that I could function at. She didn’t understand that, hell I didn’t understand that until recently, so figuring out how to get back to ‘center’ has been our goal.
Thank you for asking, and sorry for hijacking this thread. 😳REPORT ABUSESeptember 10, 2012 at 2:24 am #102274
HotinFCMemberSeptember 10, 2012 at 2:24 amPost count: 8
Read the part of the posts about spouses with interest and concern. Made me think of how very very VERY easy it is to make someone else an identified patient. The patient part is more often a true and positive label for a spouse or loved one who has put up with our crap – ADHD or otherwise – for any length of time. It really sucked being the scapegoat for whatever was bugging my parents when I was growing up. I refuse to do that to someone else.
The best advice I ever got during a particularly troubled stretch of my working life was to focus on myself and not others. While I certainly don’t overlook the things about my partner’s actions which make my life as an ADHDer so so much harder, AND I am pretty certain he suffers from the same, AND I think I know what he ought to do about it, ultimately I am in control of my own destiny. I laid down my concerns to him based on how it affected ME, not how much I think his actions suck. If we are asking people in our lives to understand and walk alongside us in loving acceptance we better damn well be willing to do the same. This is a case where us ADHDers best learn to go against our wiring and learn to suffer fools gladly.REPORT ABUSE
Communicating about ADD2011-03-18T15:24:32+00:00
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