View Full Version : tough times being a Non-ADD partner


VeryTired
11-19-13, 02:01 PM
Hi all--

Today my partner and I had a horrible morning.

He was under stress as he had an important paper due at school AND he is running out of time to switch his health insurance to the one his very excellent and much-needed PCP now takes. So that was two deadlines for him to worry about on one day, and both are very high stakes.

Also, both deadlines are for projects where there were previously problems (the paper didn't have the right format the first time, he has procrastinated, gotten paralyzed, changed his mind repeatedly about the insurance.) Because I knew he had a lot on his plate, I offered to take a morning off to go with him to the office to get help about the insurance, since I know this kind of thing is his worst nightmare, and a hard thing for anyone to do. In the past I have been very helpful to him on such matters, so he welcomed my offer.

But--it went very badly. Instead of working as a team to get the job done, he treated me as a nuisance and an outsider. He couldn't talk to me or listen to me or share information with me. He was angry, anxious, making illogical choices. We had talked about a strategy, but he immediately began improvising without sharing with me what the changes in plan were. He went into a remote place inside himself, not answering questions or telling me that was happening. He shouted at me and was dismissive. I made suggestions, asked for his agreement, received it, and then he immediately started to do the opposite of what we had agreed.

Obviously, my support wasn't feeling supportive to him on this day. I don't know why. But he couldn't tell me what he wanted from me and spoke to me contemptuously as if my existence was a burden. My strengths and resources were being wasted, and he was making poor choices. His insurance affects both of us in real, concrete ways--I won't explain all the complicated aspects of the situation, but trust me, it totally is my business too how his health care is managed. And I could see that he was messing up, making mistakes that will be very hard to disentangle.

Info was getting lost, and the insurance transfer wasn't going to be completed. This means he'll end up uncovered when the change-your-plan period was over, and without all-important insurance coverage for the several medications he takes upon which his life depends. (The Vyvanse is but one of these.) He won't recall the details of what happened or who he spoke to. He wasn't taking notes. He didn't recall the name of the plan he wants to change to and he wasn't using the notebook where he had carefully written this down. He pushed me away so I can't offer memory in the future when it's needed.

He was in line to get help from a person but because two people were ahead of him, he suddenly called an 800 # on his cell phone (after previously insisting it was out of the question to do any of this other than as an in-person transaction--hence our visit to the many confusing offices). It was clear this wouldn't work, because he had already agreed with his doctor that he would go to an in-person insurance counselor and ask her to speak to his doctor directly on his phone. Obviously, this couldn't happen if he was already on the phone to the insurance person.

Before we even got to that point, there had been a lot of confusion about what office to go to and how to proceed--he had been up there once before by himself and came home reporting one set of information to me. But as soon as got there together today, he began saying completely different things. We had our hands full and were running late already (because he didn't want to go at the time we had previously agreed we needed to leave the house to start this process), yet he introduced another distractions--another task--on top of this. And instead of working on what we came to do, he kept talking about how he needed to leave in several hours to go to school. He didn't share with me information he had which was necessary to figure out our next steps. The pressure was building. I had no idea what was up, but I stayed calm and tried to offer suggestions.

As we went through the steps trying to find the right place to go, he crossed boundary after boundary regarding how I feel it is acceptable to be treated and spoken to. I won't go into all the details, but I felt flayed and trampled and insulted, even though of course I understand that he was under severe pressure and trying to do hard things. I don't expect it to be a happy process or to reflect my preferences. I do expect basic courtesy, a foundation of respect, and agreement to work together, and clear information flow.

I feel that if we are partners, the bottom line is that he doesn't get to ask me for help, then immediately attack me when I try to give it. In fact, I'd even say he shouldn't attack me ever. I think he has a perfect right to need whatever he needs, and I totally get it that often my good intentions do not actually result in the desire outcome. I don't expect him to be someone who doesn't find what we were trying to do extremely hard. But I cannot be the punching bag simply because he's having a hard time.

Our outing ended with him on the phone to the 800 #, shouting at me to just go away as we stood in the lobby of the neighborhood human services office. And with me turning back as I left, and saying terrible words. It takes a lot to push me all the way beyond control, but this was it. I said "You are bad" and walked away.

I am appalled that I said that. He isn't bad, but the way he treated me all morning was awful. Those two things are very different, of course. I should have said nothing. So now I am wrestling with my guilt about what I said. I know it was wrong and I regret it. Usually when I do something wrong, I can acknowledge it, ask forgiveness, try to indicate my contrition, try to offer comfort or reparation if possible, and so on. And I will do those things.

But I didn't say that terrible thing until after many awful things have been done and said on his end. And I am pretty sure he won't acknowledge it, express contrition, or in any way address my feelings. I don't understand how I can continue being with someone who feels he can ask for my help, then make it impossible for me to give it.

If this is not enough, I just checked in here at the Forums, where I so often have found helpful discussions that reaffirm my belief that NT and ADD people can talk and work together effectively. But today there's a thread on another board about what what people with ADD would say to NTS in an open letter. Some of the comments there are very harsh.

I'm not going to comment there--I don't belong on that thread. But I'll tell you this here, I see no reason at all for ADD partners in relationships to assume that they have to work way harder than NT ones do. I am not saying it is the other way. I am just saying it strikes me as audacious to make that conclusion. To me it feels as though my partner's ADHD places burdens broadly and inclusively.

About that other thread: sure, everyone has a right to blow off steam and express frustration when they need to, but it's kind of shocking for me to see how stark some people's feelings are. Today, it really isn't doing me any good to read that. I'm sad, sore, ashamed of myself and mad at my partner. Nothing seems right. I don't want to live with continual upheaval and crisis. I hate it. I am profoundly discouraged and wondering if there is any point trying any more.

dvdnvwls
11-19-13, 02:55 PM
I can be very specific about my thoughts on that other thread - they were directed toward certain employers. If looked at from the point of view of a personal relationship, the comments I made will sound horrible. If looked at from the point of view of a rigid unthinking employer, they make pretty good sense.

dvdnvwls
11-19-13, 03:04 PM
VeryTired:

:grouphug:

I've been the husband in your scenario. (Different details, but same thing.) It's horrible and painful for you and for him.

An ADHDer in this kind of crisis does not and cannot know what he wants. He is incapable of making or keeping a rational agreement to anything. In fact, I would go so far as to say that an ADHDer in this kind of crisis is not even capable of "cooperation" in the sense in which that word is meant in kindergarten, let alone something more sophisticated.

The only solution I can see, for the NT partner, is to internally recognize "Oh, this again", and to choose either to take over (non-collaboratively) a particular task, or to withdraw (without giving or taking blame) from the situation.

VeryTired
11-19-13, 04:14 PM
Hey dvdnvwls--

Thanks for the input. I think you call it just about right, as so often. You are very smart about these things.

As I recounted, I ended up withdrawing, though in a bad way, not a good one, this time. Even a bad withdrawal was definitely better than staying engaged.

Taking over is just about never an option with us--my partner is the ultimate take-charge guy, and sadly more so when he isn't capable of succeeding at it than when he is. He has a military background and always seems to assume he's the ranking officer. I am a civilian and always assume that rank and hierarchy don't apply. This is not a good mix of assumptions.

It would probably take a tranquilizer gun for me ever to take over a task from him. I am usually pretty good at supporting people in the way they need or want to be supported, but this was one of those scenarios where it just wasn't going to happen no matter how hard I tried. But at some calmer moment, I will try to talk to him about this and maybe there is some emergency protocol we can create for when I need to take responsibility and he doesn't have to cooperate.

I just find myself wondering how many more times either I or he can bear to find ourselves here. Of course no one can answer that for me, and I can't answer it myself. But right now, it is the question.

dvdnvwls
11-19-13, 04:51 PM
Hey dvdnvwls--

Thanks for the input. I think you call it just about right, as so often. You are very smart about these things.

As I recounted, I ended up withdrawing, though in a bad way, not a good one, this time. Even a bad withdrawal was definitely better than staying engaged.

Taking over is just about never an option with us--my partner is the ultimate take-charge guy, and sadly more so when he isn't capable of succeeding at it than when he is. He has a military background and always seems to assume he's the ranking officer. I am a civilian and always assume that rank and hierarchy don't apply. This is not a good mix of assumptions.

It would probably take a tranquilizer gun for me ever to take over a task from him. I am usually pretty good at supporting people in the way they need or want to be supported, but this was one of those scenarios where it just wasn't going to happen no matter how hard I tried. But at some calmer moment, I will try to talk to him about this and maybe there is some emergency protocol we can create for when I need to take responsibility and he doesn't have to cooperate.

I just find myself wondering how many more times either I or he can bear to find ourselves here. Of course no one can answer that for me, and I can't answer it myself. But right now, it is the question.
:goodpost:

You are so absolutely right about that. All of it.

Some kind of "emergency protocol" sounds like an excellent idea - I don't know how that would be best worked out. Maybe there's an example in a book somewhere, but I don't remember seeing it. But I'm reminded of a few episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation when the captain gives a stupid order because he's been mentally incapacitated by an enemy, and his first officer finds some way (despite the chain of command) to prevent that stupid order from being carried out, replacing it with something sane. I think that analogy applies extremely well, including the part about being mentally incapacitated by an enemy. :)

I don't have any military background or training, and I tend to be the opposite of the "take-charge kind of guy" most of the time. However, when I start flailing in an emergency, I try inappropriately to take charge of all kinds of things I can't handle.

VeryTired
11-19-13, 07:17 PM
dvdnvwls--

You made me laugh out loud on one of the worst days I've had in ages. This isn't the first time I have thought that something you said was solid gold. Thanks so much.

A Star Trek analogy is EXACTLY what I need to communicate with my partner about this. (Hmmm idea: Star Trek as the universal language for mediating between people in conflict?!) I am not sure when it will be safe to approach this, but when the time comes, I'll be using your idea.

Big, BIG thanks to you for this!

Fuzzy12
11-19-13, 07:26 PM
:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

Sounds like you had a nightmare of a day. I'm so sorry. In a strange way I can relate to both your partner and you. I can relate to being confused, overwhelmed, disorganized, irritated and frustrated beyond relief with official procedures but I also know how much it hurts to be treated badly, unfairly yelled and snapped at. I've said it before but I think you've got the patience of a saint.

I really don't know what might help. You shouldn't have to put up with being treated badly. He might be acting out because of adhd but that still doesn't make it acceptable and i guess, it doesn't make it easier to bear.

Emergency plan sounds goods.

Another thing, I'm not sure if this helpful or if it might make things just worse. I'm just going to throw it out there. Do you ever lose your temper? Do you ever yell at your partner? Not necessarily hurtful things but just your thoughts and your v opinions. I don't think having a shouting match ever helps a relationship but it might be a bit of relief for you to just get it out there. You know to just let off steam so that it doesn't eat you up inside.

Also and I hate to say this but I wonder if some people sometimes need to be yelled at or they might never hear you.

Fuzzy12
11-19-13, 07:41 PM
I'm sorry about n the other thread v too, like dbvd said most tletters arent directed at absolutely all NT s in general but very specific people or groups in specific h circumstances. Or maybe not. I don't know. I'm pretty sure that they aren't directed at someone like you. Nt or not you seem to be quite an amazing person. I'm glad you are on this forum and I'm sorry that thread hurt you.

VeryTired
11-19-13, 08:37 PM
Hey, Fuzzy--

Thanks for the kind words! I am sorry I was such a complainer today. It was just a very tough day for me. I think so highly of so many people here (including you!), and of course I realize that one of the great things about these forums is that I get to be a fly on the wall watching and listening as people express themselves freely, as though I wasn't here.

I learn from everyone here. If every once in a while what I learn is hard to take, well, that doesn't mean it isn't important. And usually I see admirable, warm, generous expressions of good will from everyone to everyone. If real life were more like these forums, we'd all be better off.

And today is definitely not the day I can claim to be the NT anyone would love, given that I wholly lost control and said something horrible to a guy who was in big trouble himself. Not my finest hour. Here's hoping I can go back to doing better, and here's big thanks to you and everyone here who help me learn more and do better--

VeryTired
11-19-13, 08:42 PM
Oh, and Fuzzy?

I forgot to say thanks so much for your wise words about shouting and all. You are very right. This is my problem. No one sees me nearing breaking points because the exterior remains calm--until it doesn't. This isn't a very good way to be. I should learn to give more earning signs for others' benefit, and I should find ways to vent as steam builds up for my own benefit. And it's definitely true that sometimes my partner can't hear me unless I shout--his attention tends to be very far away from me. But shouting that's loud noise is different from shouting that is horrible and an expression of desperation. All this needs work.

You really helped me on this one.

ana futura
11-20-13, 02:28 AM
About "working harder", to me that means that we work harder to accomplish the same things as others.

I work harder to write a ten page paper than an NT does. I work harder to get places on time than an NT does. I work harder to keep my dishes clean.

You are certainly capable of working as hard as we do on a task- you will simply get much more in exchange for your efforts!

Any task I have to accomplish will take more effort than it will take an NT, unless it's one of the things I'm awesome at. But for most daily tasks, anything takes me a lot more time and effort than it takes most people.

I think that's all that statement has ever meant. Dvd already clarified his thoughts, but you do hear that phrase a lot with ADHD'ers, and I just wanted to say that that's all it means, any time you hear it.

The phrase isn't applicable to human relationships in any way.

And of course because it takes us so much effort to do simple things, our partners often have to pick up the slack, so the reality is often that our partners are essentially working harder than us all the time, because they wind up with some/many of our tasks on their plate.

dvdnvwls
11-20-13, 02:47 AM
(Hmmm idea: Star Trek as the universal language for mediating between people in conflict?!)
One of my jobs includes working with a man who (though he's good at his work) is a bit of a Neanderthal when it comes to leadership, group dynamics, etc. His leadership was (of course) the topic of an after-work discussion some time ago, and I said to a co-worker "He's not exactly Captain Picard, is he?" All laughed, and all knew exactly what I meant. :)

VeryTired
11-20-13, 09:58 AM
Ana--

Yes. Thanks. Heard and understood--and appreciated. Very valuable.


dvdnvwls--

Another big smile from me. I, too, work with some not exactly Picard-quality leaders, and I am going to borrow your line the next time we are up against it with them. You ar every funny.

someothertime
11-20-13, 11:22 AM
Very... I cannot begin to imagine the patience dedication and compassion you have applied to this relationship/individual. To be able to come here... and take a background seat... to share..... and confide..... on a site where 1/3 of the threads speak of the "darstadly NT" ( please know that when and if I talk like this it's not some sweeping assumtion based an non-adders but more the non accepting nature of society and lack of tolerance for all that is different - please accept the sincerest apology from myself if that "tone"/contextual-generalisation has effected you :grouphug: ) .... Your amazing!!! You come here and let it out... seek advice.... insight....... understanding..... comfort.


Obviously, my support wasn't feeling supportive to him on this day. I don't know why. But he couldn't tell me what he wanted from me and spoke to me contemptuously as if my existence was a burden.


This probably won't lessen the immediate damage any..... but i've done this... more times than i'd care to count. It's cause "your" another demand on me. When i'm flustered... everything is a crisis..... and even if you speak of compassion and wisdom it's one more demand on the heap.

Next time... if your not making space / lessening demand your adding to it... ( in the moment ).... To a large extent you gotta let go.... with some things like this..... then when the dust settles look at building systems or tools you guys can use to create space or lesson upcoming conflicting demands.... But realtime...... no chance.....

Next time... you need to see alot of this stuff as different people..... ( "Here comes Mr Menace" ) I mean that in a light way..... in your head...... it's not about judging him..... it's about lessening the fallout to yourself and isolating behavior from intention.


I hope the dust settles... and Mr Bounce re-emerges to show you the side that rewards people like you... then in between things are more steady and yielding symbiotically. Once again........ I think your amazing.

Fuzzy12
11-20-13, 12:14 PM
This probably won't lessen the immediate damage any..... but i've done this... more times than i'd care to count. It's cause "your" another demand on me. When i'm flustered... everything is a crisis..... and even if you speak of compassion and wisdom it's one more demand on the heap.

Next time... if your not making space / lessening demand your adding to it... ( in the moment ).... To a large extent you gotta let go.... with some things like this..... then when the dust settles look at building systems or tools you guys can use to create space or lesson upcoming conflicting demands.... But realtime...... no chance.....

.

That's a very good point. When I'm very stressed, every person around me, irrespective of how helpful they are trying to be, becomes an added source of stress, just because they are an added factor that I am supposed to respond or react to. Over stimulation basically, I guess. When I'm stressed, I lose the ability to discriminate between helpful and unhelpful sources of stimulation (more than usual) and everything joins together to form one boiling explosive mess called STRESS.


I don't think, I'm explaining this very well. For example, when I'm stressed my mother often tries to help me by comforting me, telling me to relax or trying to give me a hug. It doesn't matter what she does because any action of hers is an added input that I need to deal with. Sometimes she just hovers around me, just in case there's anything she can do and even that is an added source of stress. In moments like that I can snap at people for giving me a hug or for just "being in my space". Unless my mom can take complete charge and basically solve my problem (or the primary source of my stress) so that I don't have to do ANYTHING, she just adds to my stress.

I don't know if this is what happened to your husband but it has happened a lot to me and I only just realised it now thanks to someothertime.

I don't deal well with joint responsibility. I either let someone else take complete charge or I need to do it on entirely on my own. I guess, that's why I'm not very good at team work either. I find it confusing and stressful. I can work in a team but only if I can carve a little niche for myself or work independently on a little chunk of the bigger project.

I'm also not sure what you can do in that situation (if your partner has this issue as well). I guess, your partner's presence was required so you couldn't just ask him to take a walk for 20 mins and get the insurance sorted on your own. The only thing I can think of is stepping back and letting him sort it out on his own but then you run the big risk of course that he won't be able to do it and both of you will end up without insurance (or whatever the consequences are).

I think, someothertime's tips are very good actually. I'm not sure what else you could do but to back off, and allowing your partner to potentially mess up a task resulting in bad consequences for both of you. I don't know how that can be avoided at that moment, when he has reached this point beyond reachability.

:scratch:

stef
11-20-13, 12:35 PM
That's a very good point. When I'm very stressed, every person around me, irrespective of how helpful they are trying to be, becomes an added source of stress, just because they are an added factor that I am supposed to respond or react to. Over stimulation basically, I guess. When I'm stressed, I lose the ability to discriminate between helpful and unhelpful sources of stimulation (more than usual) and everything joins together to form one boiling explosive mess called STRESS.


I don't think, I'm explaining this very well. For example, when I'm stressed my mother often tries to help me by comforting me, telling me to relax or trying to give me a hug. It doesn't matter what she does because any action of hers is an added input that I need to deal with. Sometimes she just hovers around me, just in case there's anything she can do and even that is an added source of stress. In moments like that I can snap at people for giving me a hug or for just "being in my space". Unless my mom can take complete charge and basically solve my problem (or the primary source of my stress) so that I don't have to do ANYTHING, she just adds to my stress.

I don't know if this is what happened to your husband but it has happened a lot to me and I only just realised it now thanks to someothertime.

I don't deal well with joint responsibility. I either let someone else take complete charge or I need to do it on entirely on my own. I guess, that's why I'm not very good at team work either. I find it confusing and stressful. I can work in a team but only if I can carve a little niche for myself or work independently on a little chunk of the bigger project.

I'm also not sure what you can do in that situation (if your partner has this issue as well). I guess, your partner's presence was required so you couldn't just ask him to take a walk for 20 mins and get the insurance sorted on your own. The only thing I can think of is stepping back and letting him sort it out on his own but then you run the big risk of course that he won't be able to do it and both of you will end up without insurance (or whatever the consequences are).

I think, someothertime's tips are very good actually. I'm not sure what else you could do but to back off, and allowing your partner to potentially mess up a task resulting in bad consequences for both of you. I don't know how that can be avoided at that moment, when he has reached this point beyond reachability.

:scratch:

wow I can completely relate to everything you just wrote!
it's so hard to explain that another person just BEING there is simply not helpful.
I absolutely cannot work on the same project with other people, I am completely indepndent in my job, (although I have to deal with tons of people all day), this is a huge relief.

dvdnvwls
11-20-13, 01:52 PM
I get where the latest messages from Fuzzy and stef are coming from.

I enjoy working together with others, and succeed at it - when things are going well. When (as they say) the s#t hits the fan, my collaborative ability usually breaks down pretty quickly.

About the trying-to-be-helpful "I'm here for you" person being just another burden when an ADHD crisis (as described in the OP) hits, I totally agree. The message for the person who wants to help is "Take something big off of this pile of disasters, if you want to help; otherwise please get out of the way". (And "No, I can't tell you what I need or what would help the most; you're on your own with deciding what to do.")

VeryTired
11-20-13, 08:00 PM
Someothertime, Fuzzy, Stef--

This is all super-helpful, and I thank you so, so, so much. You are really helping me "see" what happened in a way that I couldn't as it happened. I really get what you are telling me. It all applies, it's all important. You are describing it as if you were right there with us as it happened! Uncanny.

And dvdnvwls, more gems from you as well. That thing about not being able to say what you want taken off your pile is a recurrent motif with us. I've known that for a while, but somehow, hearing something named makes it more real, clear, known. And thus now that you have pointed this out to me, I think I will be better able to respond when a situation like this arises again.

I just read my massive long OP again and am horrified at how much I spilled out and how long I went on. You are all really great to have read your way through it, and responded with such fine insight and real kindness. Everything I ever read here (and even some of what I write as well) teaches me a lot, but this particular thread is enormously valuable to me. Thank you so much for helping me with a very real and painful problem.

I feel blessed to have received such valuable insight and such generous response from so many smart people.

psychokitty
11-22-13, 08:07 AM
I'm also not sure what you can do in that situation (if your partner has this issue as well). I guess, your partner's presence was required so you couldn't just ask him to take a walk for 20 mins and get the insurance sorted on your own. The only thing I can think of is stepping back and letting him sort it out on his own but then you run the big risk of course that he won't be able to do it and both of you will end up without insurance (or whatever the consequences are).



Maybe if he was able to step back even if he was needed.

I also have a language barrier to deal with in paperwork, so if it's paperwork that needs to be done for both of us he takes over and does it .... And just calls me over for the bits I need to be there for.
So the going for a walk would work in that situation if you can call him back to be there when you need him.

Hangingon
11-24-13, 11:50 PM
We had talked about a strategy, but he immediately began improvising without sharing with me what the changes in plan were.

Omg, I can't believe I am saying this, but there are times when an ADHDer has better, more clever, ideas than we non-ADHDers do. They sense more, pick up more, have figured out more that we have. Granted, part of that is because they understand more what is going on but have just not COMMUNICATED that with us, but that is because they a) are in too big of a hurry and don't have time and b) don't feel like they should have to tell us what's up with the immediate crisis.

It is very easy to start looking at your ADHDer as incompetent. He isn't and don't fall into that trap. He processes differently, responds/reacts differently, manipulates differently that us non-ADHDers do. Hard as it may be, have some confidence in your ADHDer. Although he may not have given you every detail of his discussions on this important issue (god forbid that an ADHDer has to give you time-consuming details about ANYTHING, how freaking annoying would that be!), I sense that he knew it was all a big deal and that's why he was wound up and that's why he was focused on the ISSUE and not YOU and not telling you all what was going on, to your dismay. But I think it will all turn out okay because, remember, he is not inept, just handles things differently than you do.

Case in point. My husband has a business and customers are often late in payments. I will get upset, send bill after bill, ready to call in the lawyers. He procrastinates, delays, gives the benefit of the doubt. I FINALLY get him to call the delinquent account. Where I would be stern, threatening, etc., he is amiable, conciliatory, humble. Guess what? Where they likely would never pay if I had called, they quickly pay when he does. Even though it took me months to get him to do it.

He just does things differently than I do. He HANDLES things differently than I do. Not wrong, not right. Just different. It takes all types . . .

stef
11-25-13, 01:36 AM
thank you for seeing this!
he may geniunely feel bad having to call these people, bc he would have not paid if it were him...idk i totally understand this, though!

someothertime
11-25-13, 03:11 AM
...or c) Do not comprehend the relavence or implication of what they see ( it's a thought / feeling...and only gains validity in certain contexts, surprisingly... were happy to get verbose when in a confontation / heated or defend ourselves... but in day to day... finding an incentive or "relavence" to share seems to be absent ).

Your brave... thanks again!

TLCisaQT
01-01-14, 07:21 PM
Hi all--

Today my partner and I had a horrible morning.

He was under stress as he had an important paper due at school AND he is running out of time to switch his health insurance to the one his very excellent and much-needed PCP now takes. So that was two deadlines for him to worry about on one day, and both are very high stakes.

Also, both deadlines are for projects where there were previously problems (the paper didn't have the right format the first time, he has procrastinated, gotten paralyzed, changed his mind repeatedly about the insurance.) Because I knew he had a lot on his plate, I offered to take a morning off to go with him to the office to get help about the insurance, since I know this kind of thing is his worst nightmare, and a hard thing for anyone to do. In the past I have been very helpful to him on such matters, so he welcomed my offer.

But--it went very badly. Instead of working as a team to get the job done, he treated me as a nuisance and an outsider. He couldn't talk to me or listen to me or share information with me. He was angry, anxious, making illogical choices. We had talked about a strategy, but he immediately began improvising without sharing with me what the changes in plan were. He went into a remote place inside himself, not answering questions or telling me that was happening. He shouted at me and was dismissive. I made suggestions, asked for his agreement, received it, and then he immediately started to do the opposite of what we had agreed.

Obviously, my support wasn't feeling supportive to him on this day. I don't know why. But he couldn't tell me what he wanted from me and spoke to me contemptuously as if my existence was a burden. My strengths and resources were being wasted, and he was making poor choices. His insurance affects both of us in real, concrete ways--I won't explain all the complicated aspects of the situation, but trust me, it totally is my business too how his health care is managed. And I could see that he was messing up, making mistakes that will be very hard to disentangle.

Info was getting lost, and the insurance transfer wasn't going to be completed. This means he'll end up uncovered when the change-your-plan period was over, and without all-important insurance coverage for the several medications he takes upon which his life depends. (The Vyvanse is but one of these.) He won't recall the details of what happened or who he spoke to. He wasn't taking notes. He didn't recall the name of the plan he wants to change to and he wasn't using the notebook where he had carefully written this down. He pushed me away so I can't offer memory in the future when it's needed.

He was in line to get help from a person but because two people were ahead of him, he suddenly called an 800 # on his cell phone (after previously insisting it was out of the question to do any of this other than as an in-person transaction--hence our visit to the many confusing offices). It was clear this wouldn't work, because he had already agreed with his doctor that he would go to an in-person insurance counselor and ask her to speak to his doctor directly on his phone. Obviously, this couldn't happen if he was already on the phone to the insurance person.

Before we even got to that point, there had been a lot of confusion about what office to go to and how to proceed--he had been up there once before by himself and came home reporting one set of information to me. But as soon as got there together today, he began saying completely different things. We had our hands full and were running late already (because he didn't want to go at the time we had previously agreed we needed to leave the house to start this process), yet he introduced another distractions--another task--on top of this. And instead of working on what we came to do, he kept talking about how he needed to leave in several hours to go to school. He didn't share with me information he had which was necessary to figure out our next steps. The pressure was building. I had no idea what was up, but I stayed calm and tried to offer suggestions.

As we went through the steps trying to find the right place to go, he crossed boundary after boundary regarding how I feel it is acceptable to be treated and spoken to. I won't go into all the details, but I felt flayed and trampled and insulted, even though of course I understand that he was under severe pressure and trying to do hard things. I don't expect it to be a happy process or to reflect my preferences. I do expect basic courtesy, a foundation of respect, and agreement to work together, and clear information flow.

I feel that if we are partners, the bottom line is that he doesn't get to ask me for help, then immediately attack me when I try to give it. In fact, I'd even say he shouldn't attack me ever. I think he has a perfect right to need whatever he needs, and I totally get it that often my good intentions do not actually result in the desire outcome. I don't expect him to be someone who doesn't find what we were trying to do extremely hard. But I cannot be the punching bag simply because he's having a hard time.

Our outing ended with him on the phone to the 800 #, shouting at me to just go away as we stood in the lobby of the neighborhood human services office. And with me turning back as I left, and saying terrible words. It takes a lot to push me all the way beyond control, but this was it. I said "You are bad" and walked away.

I am appalled that I said that. He isn't bad, but the way he treated me all morning was awful. Those two things are very different, of course. I should have said nothing. So now I am wrestling with my guilt about what I said. I know it was wrong and I regret it. Usually when I do something wrong, I can acknowledge it, ask forgiveness, try to indicate my contrition, try to offer comfort or reparation if possible, and so on. And I will do those things.

But I didn't say that terrible thing until after many awful things have been done and said on his end. And I am pretty sure he won't acknowledge it, express contrition, or in any way address my feelings. I don't understand how I can continue being with someone who feels he can ask for my help, then make it impossible for me to give it.

If this is not enough, I just checked in here at the Forums, where I so often have found helpful discussions that reaffirm my belief that NT and ADD people can talk and work together effectively. But today there's a thread on another board about what what people with ADD would say to NTS in an open letter. Some of the comments there are very harsh.

I'm not going to comment there--I don't belong on that thread. But I'll tell you this here, I see no reason at all for ADD partners in relationships to assume that they have to work way harder than NT ones do. I am not saying it is the other way. I am just saying it strikes me as audacious to make that conclusion. To me it feels as though my partner's ADHD places burdens broadly and inclusively.

About that other thread: sure, everyone has a right to blow off steam and express frustration when they need to, but it's kind of shocking for me to see how stark some people's feelings are. Today, it really isn't doing me any good to read that. I'm sad, sore, ashamed of myself and mad at my partner. Nothing seems right. I don't want to live with continual upheaval and crisis. I hate it. I am profoundly discouraged and wondering if there is any point trying any more.

I know I have been away from the boards for awhile and that this happened ages ago (or I'm sure it feels like it). However, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you had to go through this, and that your response had you feeling guilty and like a mean or not a good person.

I sometimes feel that you and I are ALOT a like. I am a pretty patient person but when I "lose it" I lose it and I say things that aren't nice too. I also tend to feel bad for what I say. While sure, we could have done, or said better, sometimes we can be pushed to limits and do things we are not proud of. It's normal and called being a human being. HUGS

VeryTired
01-01-14, 09:31 PM
TLC--

Thans for the kind words! I really appreciate your taking the time to write now, and I'm glad you're back here reading and posting. I feel a certain kinship to you as well. So I particularly value your support.

It is interesting to see one of the worse days I've had in years replayed after things have moved on and I've mostly stopped thinking about it. That day, I was beside myself but things do get better. In the heat of the moment, everything seems unbearable, but people are shockingly resilient, it seems.

Update: we went back to the insurance-help-office again another day, and although things were tense, we did get his insurance changed. The new plan started today, and it seems as if all will work out OK. There were a whole chain of subsequent problems around prescriptions running out, lab tests needed on holidays, insurance prior-approvals not completed, pharmacy hours being limited, etc etc --but it looks as though the worst is done and smooth sailing now lies ahead. After those several days or panic and melt-down and trauma, my partner accomplished a lot, well. Whew!

TLCisaQT
01-02-14, 01:04 AM
I'm glad it all worked out! Insurance issues are enough to drive ANYONE mad :)