- This topic has 11 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by Anonymous.
I had been dating this great woman for about 11 months. We clicked very well. We liked the same things. We always enjoyed each others company. We always seemed to resolve issues before things got ugly……that is until the ‘day’ happened. Her birthday. I knew before hand what day her birthday was. A day before the ‘day,’ my car began to self-destruct. Transmission was slipping, gas tank started to leak, and I needed this vehicle for my job. So the next day, I decided to try and buy another. Not an easy feat for somebody with no savings and having just been discharged for bankruptcy, So I spent an entire afternoon at a used car dealership trying to discover if some bank would be gracious (crazy) enough to approve a car loan for me. A couple times during this session, a thought came to me to call her. Each time I came up with reasons not to. She’s still at work. She is probably in the middle of her commute. She just got in the door. By the time I had finally gotten the car deal done, I realized I had not eaten all day, so I went to a fast food place and celebrated my victory with a half-pound of grease. Then I called my mom to let her know. Then I dropped by my ex’s to see my son. Then I remembered that I had to work 8 the next morning, so I went home and went to bed. The next day, I realized I had forgotten to call her on the ‘day.’ So I sent her a quick belated e-mail greeting, as she was at work, and didn’t have a cell phone. Then I got e-dumped. She sliced me and diced me like a raw onion on a cooking show. She said I should have written the ‘day’ down on a sticky note, or I should have put it in my phone.
Ok ,I need to leave the pain of the memory alone for a while. The point is, I let people down. I allow things that seem huge to me at the time to hold priority over the things that mean the most to me. Over and over again. Our first ‘fight’ was our last. This happened late in 2010, and I haven’t ventured back into the dating game since. How do I ever get to a point where I can forgive myself for this, and is there ever a time when things start to get better?kc5jckParticipant
Brace yourself for some probably bad advice from someone, me, who is bad at relationships.
You screwed up. I totally understand, as I have done worse. Pick your butt up, get over it, and move on. It’s an ADD thing, few people understand.
If there is any comfort to be had it is in the thought that if she can’t handle an ADD’s screw up, and I would say that although not minor it could certainly have been worse, then it’s probably better that the relationship ended sooner rather than later.
Now go out and find someone who is willing to learn about ADHD and overlook the inevitable screwups which will surely occur in the future.
And… stay tuned for Toofat. He usually has excellent points to make.
Toofat… Oh, Toofat….are you there?billdMember
yeah, been there, done that. I let folks down a lot. Forgetful? My mother with her depression, add, and other issues is so paranoid that we kids don’t care, never think of her, and forget all about her……. and what happens on mother’s day and her birthday? My wife reminds me all the week before – but on those days, WHIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ it’s gone right over my head, not another thought about it, then I get a call from Dad the next week.
I do this every year!!!
I got lucky, wife #3 puts up with me……….. and i’ve told her – I don’t have a nagging wife, I have an assistant who tries to keep me in line, and keep the reminders coming. Nag if you wish, I’m ready for it.AnonymousInactive
Something very similar happened on my birthday with my ADHD boyfriend, although not quite as bad. We had been seeing each other for about 8 months, and on my birthday, he took me to his mother’s house, where she made us some dinner. He invited his best friend over, and we ate, and that was my birthday celebration. There was a movie I wanted to see, and I’d told him, and that was the plan. But as the time for the movie approached and I gently suggested we may want to get going, he asked if I still wanted to go. When I told him yes, he invited his friend to come along as well. The friend declined, saying “no no…this is date night..it’s her birthday…you two go alone.” But my boyfriend asked him twice more before we finally got out the door 20 minutes late, and when we arrived at the theatre, they had locked the doors. I was very disappointed, feeling like he didn’t want to spend any time alone with me. He didn’t get me a gift (which is totally fine) or a card (which is totally NOT fine), and when I confronted him about it and expressed how hurt I was, he said “but today isn’t your birthday!” We were celebrating it a couple of days early, since my actual birthday fell on a Monday, and he just kept repeating that today wasn’t really my birthday. This made me think maybe he was going to send me flowers or something on the actual day, and I got my hopes up, but when my birthday arrived, I waited all day and no flowers. This just served to further disappoint me, and when I confronted him about it and explained that it made me feel like he didn’t care about me at all, a fight erupted. He was never able to give me an explanation as to why he kept saying “but today isn’t your birthday.” To this day (3 months later), although I’ve basically gotten over it and have definitely let it go and haven’t brought it up ever again, I’m still BURNING to know what in the hell he was thinking when he said “but today isn’t your birthday.” Any insights?kc5jckParticipant
One aspect of ADHD is that people with it are defensive. He screwed up, he knows it, and he feels bad about it. To say that “but today isn’t your birthday” is an attempt (a really lame attempt) to get himself out of the doghouse and feel better about it. He may still feel bad about it, or it may have flown from his mind and be completely forgotten.TiddlerMember
This may not be a popular opinion, but I think all these ‘dates’ are irrelevant. I forget them all the time. My husband forgets them. I dont’ think we’ve ever managed to celebrate our wedding anniversary on the actual day.
What matters is that we are considerate and loving and kind and if we can’t remember ‘dates’ that doesn’t mean we don’t care or don’t show we care. There are thousands of ways to show our appreciation of people. I honestly think the best way forward is to be upfront from the beginning.
How about next time you meet someone you like, saying,
I don’t remember dates that other people think are important. It isn’t a sign that I don’t care, or don’t want to celebrate it with you. It’s a sign that I don’t remember dates and nothing else. If you feel like that is something you can accept about me…etc etc
Maybe my husband and I are unusual in that respect. I’d much rather someone didn’t manage to call me on my birthday than didn’t put the toilet seat back down!AnonymousInactive
In my case, he didn’t forget, he just failed to really recognize how important it was that he make some gesture to spend time alone with me, or give me a card, or something. To be honest, if he said the things that Tiddler is suggesting here, I would be TOTALLY FINE about it! It would be such a relief! But he would never communicate so directly about something like this, or anything else for that matter. Communication is one of my biggest sorrows in this relationship.AnonymousInactive
And by the way, Tiddler, my guy DOES manage to put the toilet seat down, so that’s something to be grateful for!munchkinMember
@goofynewfie – I have totally felt that horror shock so many times – that crushing, soul destroying feeling of having screwed something up that closes a door… it’s so disheartening, and there’s just nothing to say or do about it. Did we choose to have ADD? No. Are we still subjected to the consequences of our actions/inactions? Yes. I feel your pain, and just hope I, myself, can learn and improve to have less experiences like that. Having that happen – it’s like you have to grieve, move on, and hopefully not take it to heart.
@Eagerhelper – It gets so depressing to try to manage things like birthdays/holidays, I think sometimes ADD’ers just shut down and become apathetic about the whole thing. We lose track of our responsibility in the whole thing and just feel kind of cornered and set up – as if these events are a test given for us to fail. That’s not very fair to you – it’s up to him to own what happened and try to do better. Sounds like some of the baggage that comes along with ADD – depression, avoidance, defensiveness… that’s up to him to try to deal with. How can you forgive if… no apology is made? Nice of you to move on from it though…
I agree with kc5jck’s analysis of “but today isn’t your birthday”- weak attempt to avoid responsibility… I doubt there was any intention of doing something on your actual birthday – it was like – trying to defuse the situation right in that moment only….AnonymousInactive
Thank you so much for sharing your experience, munchkin. I had basically determined that this is indeed what happened…trying to diffuse the situation in the moment. Because I have worked really hard to educate myself about ADD, I am definitely able to move past this blunder. Which leads me to another ADD trait: inconsistency! My boyfriend did an EXCELLENT job with my holiday gifts (we celebrated early since I’ll be out of town). He chose things that made it clear to me that he knows who I am, and what I like. It’s amazing how he can mess something up and then turn around and succeed SO effectively in the exact same situation. I love him, and no birthday blunder is going to change that. Keep that in mind next time you feel like you’ve screwed up something big. The people who love you will forgive, and continue to love you for who you are!AnonymousInactive
When we hyper-focus, we usually hit it on the mark. However, hyper-focus doesn’t last long, at least not for me. Thanks to all those who replied; makes me feel better that I am not the only class-1 f-up in the world. ; )
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