View Full Version : Apologizing too much...and Adult ADD


chain
03-09-05, 12:50 PM
I am sorry to interrupt the flow of discussions here but do you find yourself apologizing too much. Sorry if this touches a nerve with anybody!

minn306
03-09-05, 01:15 PM
Chain~ That is a very good question. I am always told that I apologize to much..............alot of the stuff was not even my fault, but I am apologizing anyway!!

ditzygirl
03-09-05, 01:44 PM
I am sorry to interrupt the flow of discussions here but do you find yourself apologizing too much. Sorry if this touches a nerve with anybody!OMGosh, I do it ALL the time. I frequently finish other's sentences and interrupt.:eek: And I feel bad but sometimes i can't help it. I'm in the process of getting help so hopefully I'll start to change.:rolleyes:

Nucking_Futs
03-09-05, 01:51 PM
OK heres a question, show of hands. How many of us have actually apologized for apologizing too much? *raises hand*

SB_UK
03-09-05, 02:04 PM
Would a possible reason for us apologizing excessively be our heightened sensitivity?

SB.

free2bme
03-09-05, 02:07 PM
I apologize when I feel it's warranted. If I screw up or do something that was wrong I have no problem admitting it. The biggest part of an apology is a change in behavior, which is what I strive for when I've been wrong. I can't stand profuse apologizing from people who continue in the same patterns without looking inside themselves and doing the work required to change. With time I've come to view that as insincere, and a manipulation to get attention. I can deal with that from children to an extent, but from adults I think it's ridiculous. If a person isn't sorry for what they did, why risk losing track of your own beliefs just to utter a few meaningless words? After awhile it seems to me a person could risk forgetting what the heck they really stand for if they say they're sorry when they really aren't. If I say it, I mean it. And since I mean it, I change. It happens a lot more often than I'd like, but I'm a work in progress...

Nucking_Futs
03-09-05, 02:12 PM
I can see a lot of reasons for apologizing all the time. 1.) When I was dx's my husband held ADHD accountable for all of our problems which a lot of them were but a lot of them were his own struggles with controlling his anger. So I would apologize and apologize and apologize for irritating him with my apologies. We went thru a lot of couples therapy and have really worked on these issue's together..now I apologize when something is my fault but do not apologize for things that I felt I had no control over...i.e. I didn't get the checks in the mail because the baby and oldest are sick...that is not my fault, it's life. I did forget to mail the electric bill last week because I was hyper focused on a wood working project...that is my fault and I'm the one who had to drive it up in person instead of mailing it to rectify my mistake.

We're often teased because we don't think like the majority...my kids are often bullied at school because one is smarter then the norm and the other is a little behind so they apologize all the time just feeling its something they must do to keep friends. We're working on helping them notice the difference between false guilt and real guilt.

Koda wrote a letter of apology with his donation for the Tsunami how sad is that? He had nothing to do with it but has extreme guilt that it happened to someone else and not himself. he's a little high strung like his momma.

Nucking_Futs
03-09-05, 02:13 PM
I apologize when I feel it's warranted. If I screw up or do something that was wrong I have no problem admitting it. The biggest part of an apology is a change in behavior, which is what I strive for when I've been wrong. I can't stand profuse apologizing from people who continue in the same patterns without looking inside themselves and doing the work required to change. With time I've come to view that as insincere, and a manipulation to get attention. I can deal with that from children to an extent, but from adults I think it's ridiculous. If a person isn't sorry for what they did, why risk losing track of your own beliefs just to utter a few meaningless words? After awhile it seems to me a person could risk forgetting what the heck they really stand for if they say they're sorry when they really aren't. If I say it, I mean it. And since I mean it, I change. It happens a lot more often than I'd like, but I'm a work in progress...

You still apologize more then you probably should but everyday you do better at realizing what is yours and what is beyond your control. Your right we are all a work in progress...isn't life an adventure. :D

free2bme
03-09-05, 02:14 PM
Indeed it is....:D

SB_UK
03-09-05, 02:48 PM
Can't 'sorry' be used with varying degrees of depth, quite appropriately, dependent on context?
The 'sorry' that we use when we've zoned out and missed some essential part of an inconsequential conversation is much less powerful than the 'sorry' that we use when we empathise with a friend's loss.
The 'sorry' that we use when we've mistakenly arrived 30 minutes late for an all night party is different from the 'sorry' that we use when we arrive 30 minutes late for the one night only 30 minute play that our child is performing in.

Do we need to ask which 'sorry' we're discussing here :-) ?
Isn't it as though these different sorries are different words ?

SB.

chain
03-09-05, 04:14 PM
Can't 'sorry' be used with varying degrees of depth, quite appropriately, dependent on context?
The 'sorry' that we use when we've zoned out and missed some essential part of an inconsequential conversation is much less powerful than the 'sorry' that we use when we empathise with a friend's loss.
The 'sorry' that we use when we've mistakenly arrived 30 minutes late for an all night party is different from the 'sorry' that we use when we arrive 30 minutes late for the one night only 30 minute play that our child is performing in.

Do we need to ask which 'sorry' we're discussing here :-) ?
Isn't it as though these different sorries are different words ?

SB.
The kind of sorry that I am referring to is like a nervous tic. I feel it stems from our lack of "social understanding". Like repeating the mantra "sorry" is going to make up for possibly being offensive or hurtful with that wonderful ADD honesty. I have really cut down on the "sorrys". The fear of offending is palpable but the sorry delivered has no teeth... Real apologies are followed up with an attempt to change behavior, always. I am constantly evolving and hyperaware of other people's feelings. I feel like a bull in a china shop with all of those fragile linear egos out there ;-)

I do also apologize for what other might see as a lack of intellectual capability (Spelling, grammar...etc.). That stems from a very (almost non-existant now) small insecurity borne of being called stupid, airhead and bubbleboy in my childhood.

Kimalimah
03-09-05, 04:39 PM
I think that the "sorries" that always spill out of us stem way back from our childhoods. I see it developing in my son (ADHD). So many mistakes, misunderstandings, failures, frustrations and he says "sorry" like others say "uh"...
It's like conditioning...he always assumes he's wrong and he knows that society (teachers, parents, friends, neighbors) EXPECT an apologiy. Half of the time I don't think he really understands what happened. He knows the "looks" and "tone" well enough, though, to know they all want to hear him aplogize.

For myself, I have learned to slow down the instant "sorry". I have learned that I don't have to apologize for being ME. Sometimes I have to say I'm sorry when my "negative" behaviours get the upper hand and I agree with the above comments that this should then result in an effort on my part to change.

Kim

pershingd
03-09-05, 05:06 PM
So many mistakes, misunderstandings, failures, frustrations and he says "sorry" like others say "uh"...
It's like conditioning...he always assumes he's wrong and he knows that society (teachers, parents, friends, neighbors) EXPECT an apologiy. Half of the time I don't think he really understands what happened. He knows the "looks" and "tone" well enough, though, to know they all want to hear him aplogize.

Kim
There it is. That's exactly why I (and probably many with ADD) apologize too much.

David Pershing

at_wits_end
03-09-05, 05:24 PM
There it is. That's exactly why I (and probably many with ADD) apologize too much.

David Pershing
The problem is that after a while, the apologies are meaningless and only serve to further anger those who are being apologized to. Whenever I hear "i'm sorry" from my ADDer, I just roll my eyes (sometimes literally, usually figuratively) and chalk it up to "yeah right, heard that before".

As free2bme said, apologies without actions are just lip service. You're only really sorry if you don't do it again, or at least reduce the frequency of whatever it is you are apologizing for. Anything else is just an insult to my intelligence, and only furthers my feelings of hopelessness that there will ever be any real change.

Curious, do you ADDers really think that "i'm sorry" is enough? Or do you all truly realize that it's bunk to say you're sorry without changing behavior? Not trying to attack, this is what my ADDer does and I'm curious if it's ADD related or just her way of getting past the situation of the moment.

At_wits_end

SB_UK
03-09-05, 05:53 PM
Isn't this kind of use of 'sorry' quite unrelated to that kind of use of 'sorry'.

Isn't it more about, 'leave me alone, I don't know what you mean, I really don't' .... rather than 'I realise my mistake and will not make it again'?

SB.

lilthingsADDup
03-09-05, 06:05 PM
I try to say "sorry" as less as possible. Like some said, the more you say "I'm sorry" the less punch it has. Also, I don't believe everything is my fault.

chain
03-09-05, 09:15 PM
The problem is that after a while, the apologies are meaningless and only serve to further anger those who are being apologized to. Whenever I hear "i'm sorry" from my ADDer, I just roll my eyes (sometimes literally, usually figuratively) and chalk it up to "yeah right, heard that before".

As free2bme said, apologies without actions are just lip service. You're only really sorry if you don't do it again, or at least reduce the frequency of whatever it is you are apologizing for. Anything else is just an insult to my intelligence, and only furthers my feelings of hopelessness that there will ever be any real change.

Curious, do you ADDers really think that "i'm sorry" is enough? Or do you all truly realize that it's bunk to say you're sorry without changing behavior? Not trying to attack, this is what my ADDer does and I'm curious if it's ADD related or just her way of getting past the situation of the moment.

At_wits_end
Some of the behaviors that we would need to alter in order for relationships to work with non-ADD people are nearly impossible to change. "Sorry" may be a way to express sorrow for not being what our non-ADD partner wants us to be. This was my case in my marriage.

How would you respond if you were told to be more ADD? What if people told you that you needed to be immediately to the point without reserve and honest so that what you are thinking in your head exactly matches what you were saying out loud. Wouldn't you start feeling upset that you could not do this.

I hate seeing people using ADD as an excuse for their failings in life... but often we simply cannot meet the expectations of the linear partner. I can understand the frustration you have with the "sorrys" but they are part and parcel of a life that has been filled with your partner not meeting expectations from the linear world arround her. There will be no changing her. She might be able to make changes on her own that will mitigate your frustration... She may need to understand and be even more ADD before she reaches that point. Her mind operates VERY differently from yours. She probably does not even understand marriage the way you do. Her mind is not better or worse, just different.

I wish you luck, patience and love for her. Never beat around the bush... Be direct and try not to have expectations. The expectations of today are the resentments of tomorrow.

ADDition
03-09-05, 11:00 PM
My two cents of input is that we the ADDers seem to be the only ones who need to "change". What about non ADD partners who interact in impatient ways that do not help? A relationship is a two way street. I just don't buy that only the ADD partners have to change, especially if they're the ones with a "diagnosis". Being with someone who has traits that conflict with your own is difficult for BOTH sides. What's to say that the ADDer isn't equally frustrated with what may feel like little understanding, or constant nagging, etc,? I'm not saying this as any type of excuse for ADD behavior, and believe me, as an ADDer, I can only imagine how frustrating we must be to deal with. I'm married myself, and I know it's a challenge for my non ADD spouse. But my point is that no relationship is perfect even if neither has ADD. It's easy for the ADD partner to get all the blame because they're the one with the "defined" problem. Well, I just don't think it's that clearcut. ADD is not something we can just snap out of, as much as we'd like. People have no idea how much goes on behind the scenes, and what may not look like an effort just might be. Everyday tasks that non ADD people take for granted can overwhelm an ADDer. It's not easy to understand that unless it's your own brain that has all the channels going at once.
This all being said, any non ADD partner who takes the time to participate in an ADD forum obviously wants to be supportive, and I do recognize that. :)

Draga
03-09-05, 11:11 PM
I am sorry to say I do that alot m'self and it drives ppl nuts....i ALWAYS hear those sweet words "DAMN IT STOP SAYING YOUR SORRY" & my classic responce "Sorry :(." Last person I said that to is due to leave the mental hospital in a week I think :rolleyes: (I am so Joking about that) I in goofyball mode! Hehe

Chris_Grandowsk
03-09-05, 11:26 PM
Hi I am new here and I was just browsing around when this sorry thread caught my eye. I am always doing that.. Even saying sorry about saying sorry. After a while I can see my wife is getting sick of it, so I stop. The thing is, I still FEEL sorry, and I have a compulsion to still say it. At that point I start up a "are you OK"-fest. This goes down like a ton of bricks, so then I just kind of sit there trying to think of something ELSE to say, but I have no idea, really. I think that is why I tend to pick a lot of fights.

I have not been diagnosed with this yet. I asked my doctor about it, and I think he kind of thought I was an idiot. He said he would arrange something, but I have not heard from him in a while now.

Chris_Grandowsk
03-09-05, 11:28 PM
Just realized what I wrote ("this sorry thread")

I should have put "this thread about being sorry".

This is a good thread! Lol!

Nucking_Futs
03-09-05, 11:59 PM
In the past if a friend told me that someone had run over her favorite dog I would immediatly apologize and say the darned word...I'm so sorry, then wonder to myself if she's now thinking I hit her dog and then would be in a panic that my friend thought I hit her dog and then would be so guilty that she felt that way towards me...what did I do to deserve that? awww the sorry cycle

Nowadays I take what is mine and apologize for mistakes and make sure they know what I'm going to do to help ensure I don't make it again. And if I had nothing to do with a situation such a friends dog getting hit by a car I simply say something like "how awful are you all right" cause lets face it I have nothing to be sorry for but have every responsibililty in making sure my friend is all right or I'd be a really crappy friend.

Nucking_Futs
03-10-05, 12:01 AM
I am sorry to say I do that alot m'self and it drives ppl nuts....i ALWAYS hear those sweet words "DAMN IT STOP SAYING YOUR SORRY" & my classic responce "Sorry :(." Last person I said that to is due to leave the mental hospital in a week I think :rolleyes: (I am so Joking about that) I in goofyball mode! Hehe


Sorry Mel...






































they let me out a week early :p

Draga
03-10-05, 12:14 AM
opps "Sorry" :p LOL!

at_wits_end
03-10-05, 12:17 AM
I just don't buy that only the ADD partners have to change, especially if they're the ones with a "diagnosis".
I'm not willing to change certain modest expectations, like: you're an adult and need to be able to function as one which means being somewhat responsible, your word means something, holding a job or at least don't lose it because you can't show up on time. Really not too much to ask IMO.

Having said that, I'm open to changing how I interact with her as a way to help. My problem with this is that whenever I try to talk to her about an issue, she doesn't talk with me. She just listens, gets upset, and walks away. Usually she'll "hide" in the bathroom until she's ready to come back out and not talk about the topic I brought up.

How can I adjust what I do when I never get any feedback?!?

At_wits_end

auntchris
03-10-05, 12:20 AM
you guys are goofy...Draga and Futs...

About saying sorry I am often told to stop it. I am always saying " I am sorry" and then feel bad for saying and with saying that word again. I dont know where the need to say it comes from and why I feel so bad when I do. I guess we are just a sorry bunch hugh? auntchris:D

Nucking_Futs
03-10-05, 12:26 AM
I'm not willing to change certain modest expectations, like: you're an adult and need to be able to function as one which means being somewhat responsible, your word means something, holding a job or at least don't lose it because you can't show up on time. Really not too much to ask IMO.

Having said that, I'm open to changing how I interact with her as a way to help. My problem with this is that whenever I try to talk to her about an issue, she doesn't talk with me. She just listens, gets upset, and walks away. Usually she'll "hide" in the bathroom until she's ready to come back out and not talk about the topic I brought up.

How can I adjust what I do when I never get any feedback?!?

At_wits_end

IMHO the expectations you have posted above are not too high. How to get your wife to communicate is beyond me though, I wish I had something more to offer then what we've already discussed in the past but sadly I'm at a loss.

Big hugs,
Cherity

Draga
03-10-05, 12:29 AM
you guys are goofy...Draga and Futs...

About saying sorry I am often told to stop it. I am always saying " I am sorry" and then feel bad for saying and with saying that word again. I dont know where the need to say it comes from and why I feel so bad when I do. I guess we are just a sorry bunch hugh? auntchris:D

I'm sorry you think that but me after I think about it, I kinda find saying I am sorry alot it's like politeness...other than the "I dont give a **** attitude"

It really not until After I can say "I dont give a ****"

free2bme
03-10-05, 12:29 AM
I see what you're saying ADDition, and as an ADDer I can understand where you're coming from. Can't speak for anyone else but I don't feel an ADDer can change WHO they are anymore than anyone else can. I do think we can work on how we behave. If we don't want people to think of ADD as a negative we need to stop acting in ways that propagate this. I said before that I'm a work in progress so I certainly don't have it all figured out. Still, I've come to the conclusion that sometimes, though many don't want to admit it, ADDers tend to want it both ways. We get all riled up if anyone else judges us for having ADD but then we ourselves turn around and use it as justification for not doing what we ought to at times. Maybe I'm the only one. I'm not proud of it but I know I've done it. I think a true apology is a priceless thing. When I offer one I want people to know it's sincere. If that ever fails to be the case, I'll know I've got another problem....zero credibility. As a human being and a mother, that's just too high a price to pay for something that really can be worked on. Winners all around is a far better outcome than losers all around.:)

Nucking_Futs
03-10-05, 12:31 AM
*wipes tears from eyes and applaudes* beautifully said my dearest freebird

Draga
03-10-05, 12:38 AM
:D Si....Yu definetly not only one, free :)

Digitl
03-10-05, 12:52 AM
When i was a kid to a teen , i was such a smart ***** and a rebel, i would have never said i am sorry. After in my young adulthood , i became a b&&ch, so i did not need to say i am sorry.
Today, in my young , very young forties, i feel to say i am sorry, only if i know what i did, or said hurt someone.
Other then that, if people think i will say i am sorry cause they want me too...well they are in for a long wait. I dont have patience, with people who think , they have some kind of hold on me. I dont know who said that earlier, but they said they give them the look . I have one look too, and it's saying....'' SAy what???'' :eek:

That makes me think of a story...back when i was working at the hospital...

First i have to say , that i was working in an indian reserve so you will understand what i said LOL...Ok , so i am a minority there plus with everything going on here with the Mohawks, and Quebecois...it aint love at first sight. But once they get to know you , they are a great , great people. I was very fortunate to work there...Oups i am losing my story now lol..
One indian ordely at the hospital always , always put me down because i was a quebecoise, and i was french ect. I usually really did not care, i dont play games like that with people. So i did not really pay attention to him. Anyhow that day, he was reallly bad, and kept bugging me all morning. So ,at one point i am washing a patient , with someone else,,, and we are talking about whatever with this patient..this guy comes in, and says '' dont beleive what she says , she is french you cant trust her'' laughing like an idiot, like he was so darn funny.... I turned around and told him he was a ''Bucking Fitch''.....Right away i realize, where i was, and i apologize to the patient, that was not appropriate, and my coworker. And went to see the boss imedialty with this idiot behind me. He was walking his head up, cause he knew that i would not win, cause he was indian..And it's true i did not win,( in a WAY) I got reprimand with some 3 COOL days off LOL..my boss also kinda nicely threated me, that i could lose my job, if i did not apologize to the guy, i told her, that she can do what she thinks is right , in this situation, but in my mind, what i told him, i meant it ,and i would say it in front of her again now. I will not apologize for saying that to him, because that is what i think he is, for the way he behaves.
I did not lose my job because everyone knew including my boss...that he really was a FB :p
I just was the chosen one to tell him LOL...it felt very good...let me tell ya..:D

Scattered
03-10-05, 01:37 AM
The kind of sorry that I am referring to is like a nervous tic. I feel it stems from our lack of "social understanding". Like repeating the mantra "sorry" is going to make up for possibly being offensive or hurtful with that wonderful ADD honesty. I have really cut down on the "sorrys". The fear of offending is palpable but the sorry delivered has no teeth... Real apologies are followed up with an attempt to change behavior, always. I am constantly evolving and hyperaware of other people's feelings. I feel like a bull in a china shop with all of those fragile linear egos out there ;-)

I do also apologize for what other might see as a lack of intellectual capability (Spelling, grammar...etc.). That stems from a very (almost non-existant now) small insecurity borne of being called stupid, airhead and bubbleboy in my childhood.
My daughter is ADHD (as am I). She is 7 years old and is constantly apologizing. If anyone gets upset about anything, even if they attach a name to that upsetness (ie: like her sister), she will apologize. It doesn't matter if she had anything to do with it or not. The nervous tic and lack of social understand make some sense to me to describe her behavior.

I've always apologized too much too, but after lots of therapy, that's not so common, unless I'm feeling bad about myself (ie: If someone is mad at me, I'll apologize or in therapy if a lot of feeling is coming up, I'll apologize for my strong feelings (probably not what my therapist is looking for:rolleyes: ).

Scattered

Jami Lea
03-10-05, 03:18 AM
I do it all the time....someone once told me that if you say sorry too much, it just clouds the heart and becomes meaningless over time. I understood that but I still did it all the time. It never bothered anyone til I got older and they actually say it to me. I have a boss who is really patient with me and teaches me alot of useful things. When I first started working there, she pointed out how I say sorry ALL the time. She first asked me why I do it and I told her I didn't know. I told her that I really am sorry and that I just feel bad for certain things. She then told me that I shouldn't feel bad because I didn't do anything wrong. She said NOONE intentionally does anything, therefore they shouldnt feel bad or say sorry for mistakes and such there of. I started realizing that I really don't need to say it because it makes you vulnerable to ppl taking advantage of you. Also, she told me that if you are not intentionally trying to hurt someone in some way shape or form, there is no need to say sorry. I agree totally with this. Some ppl may find it a little on the aloof side, but it definitely helps so ppl don't take advantage of me.

Kimalimah
03-10-05, 03:54 AM
The problem is that after a while, the apologies are meaningless and only serve to further anger those who are being apologized to. Whenever I hear "i'm sorry" from my ADDer, I just roll my eyes (sometimes literally, usually figuratively) and chalk it up to "yeah right, heard that before".
At_wits_end
I hear you on this one! I feel the same way. I am trying to call him on it and get him to really look at the situation, define it for himself, and then talk about whether he is really sorry or just trying to placate me. Since it is often a perceptual problem on his part it is another opportunity for me to teach him how to better understand himself.

Kim

ADDition
03-10-05, 09:08 AM
I'm not willing to change certain modest expectations, like: you're an adult and need to be able to function as one which means being somewhat responsible, your word means something, holding a job or at least don't lose it because you can't show up on time. Really not too much to ask IMO.

Having said that, I'm open to changing how I interact with her as a way to help. My problem with this is that whenever I try to talk to her about an issue, she doesn't talk with me. She just listens, gets upset, and walks away. Usually she'll "hide" in the bathroom until she's ready to come back out and not talk about the topic I brought up.

How can I adjust what I do when I never get any feedback?!?

At_wits_end
I do see your point of frustration with feedback, and wondering if you have ever considered any type of counseling? Have you read the book "ADD and Romance"? It talks about some of the shutdown functions an ADDers may go through when feeling under attack. Also, when you say she listens, are you sure she's hearing everything? What type of treatment is she receiving?
ADD is a reason, but not an excuse. I know I was defensive a tad in my post, and please know, I'm not saying we ADDers have carte blanche to do anything. We are not exonerated from responsibility. I have a job, child and marriage, and despite how frazzled I get, I'm doing all of them. I may frustrate people along the way, but I am also taking measures to get organized, to speak up more, to try to be more aware when I'm non communicative. I'm on medication, arranging for counseling, and reading books, as well as openly talking to my husband about what's going on in my head. I have not always done that. I've been an "avoider" too, and recognize that finally, and it was a lot to realize. Is your partner taking any type of approach to dealing with her ADD? (books, medication, counseling).

at_wits_end
03-10-05, 12:40 PM
if you have ever considered any type of counseling? What type of treatment is she receiving? Is your partner taking any type of approach to dealing with her ADD? (books, medication, counseling).
We have been to 2 or 3 couples sessions with her regular therapist that she has been seeing for a couple of years now. I have not seen much happen in those sessions, but I'm not sure that it's due to the therapist being lacking. She offers good advice (ironically it's mostly the same stuff that i've been saying to my SO for years); the problem is that my SO does not follow through on anything that is discussed. She will agree that it's a good idea, and something that she should do, but then she doesn't do it. I think it's a continuation of her pattern of trying to placate authority figures by saying what needs to be said (apologies or excuses), and then just sliding back into her familiar patterns when the heat is off. It's as though she feels that unless someone is on her case, there must be no problems. And when you get on her case, she goes into shutdown/avoidance mode.

As far as meds, she is taking adderall and wellbutrin. Not sure of the dosages. She also takes allergy meds and other typical girl meds (THE pill, vitamins, etc).

I really think that it's a case of either she is hoping the meds will be a magic cure and fix all her problems for her, or that she's so used to failing at most things that she's just taking a short cut to the end game of failure by not really trying very hard. Or both. It's really weird.

She's had many ADD books around the house, but who knows how much she's actually read and how much was just the books piling up dust and overdue fees. I've browsed through most of them, as well as doing a lot of research online (and annoying people in this forum :) ) but I have not read the romance book you mention.

At_wits_end

chain
03-10-05, 01:20 PM
Yes, she should be able to make it to work on time... Maybe she has not found a job that works with her ADD. Are you becoming an authority figure in her life? Or are you an equal. Sounds like my marriage.

I made it to work on time and met many of there requirement but there was always SOMETHING I needed to change about myself for my partner to approve. I personally think it takes an incredible ADDer AND an incredible Linear to work in a mixed marriage.

I keep get the feeling that you are taking responsibility for her by forcing her to accept her responsibilities. You can do nothing about her choices. Maybe SHE needs to set those priorities herself. Hiding in the bathroom is a very bad sign. She is probably losing herself. My recommendation would be to lay off the "telling her what her responsibilities are" thing and just show her love and support.

Are you going to starve if she does not meet her responsibility to work? If the depression continues... I would move on. I know you love her and are trying to help her. Maybe that will be the way to do it. I had to do that with my fellow ADD partner when she was not taking responsibility for herself. Now she has blossomed and I am still here for her with all my love.

It is a Zen kind of thing...

I have found most ADDers do best with freedom. It forces us to act!

I'm not willing to change certain modest expectations, like: you're an adult and need to be able to function as one which means being somewhat responsible, your word means something, holding a job or at least don't lose it because you can't show up on time. Really not too much to ask IMO.

Having said that, I'm open to changing how I interact with her as a way to help. My problem with this is that whenever I try to talk to her about an issue, she doesn't talk with me. She just listens, gets upset, and walks away. Usually she'll "hide" in the bathroom until she's ready to come back out and not talk about the topic I brought up.

How can I adjust what I do when I never get any feedback?!?

At_wits_end

at_wits_end
03-10-05, 06:12 PM
Maybe she has not found a job that works with her ADD. Are you becoming an authority figure in her life? Or are you an equal. Sounds like my marriage.

Hiding in the bathroom is a very bad sign. She is probably losing herself.
I would say that she had the ideal job for an ADDer. It was in a creative arts field (picture framing and design). She loved the job; hated the boss, coworkers, whatever the reason of the day was. None of her reasons really rang true as valid reasons to hate a boss or coworker though.

We are not equals, never have been. At first it was just the stronger/weaker person dynamic between 2 adults, but over time it has morphed into more of a parent/child dynamic. Not good, I know. :( How to fix that, now that's a hell of a question.

Not sure what you mean by "losing herself"...can you elaborate?

At_wits_end

chain
03-10-05, 07:46 PM
We are what I call "cognitive clay". When we are children, we learn many things about our environment. Children with the strongly contextual mind (many bipolar, autistic and ADD) do not pick up verbal and visual cues from our environment. We focus instead on the bigger picture. This leaves out much of the detailed social information that people with the more linear mind take for granted. You learn what it is to be a boy, then a man. You learn what is appropriate behavior in public. You learn what relationships are supposed to be. Your cognitive structure (the underpinnings of your world view) is built out to fit a template that our culture supplies. If you were born in a tribe in the Amazon, you would be a completely different person. This is mixed in with personal cognitive traits (aggression-passivity, etc...) Nature and nurture together.

The ADD brain does not form from the "nurture" side nearly as much as the non-ADD mind. Your cognitive structure is a detailed painting based on external cultural reality like a Norman Rockwell painting ours (hers) is more like a Dali or Bosch painting.

Since the ADDer does not have reference into that external input as well, we develop our own structure that is a very incomplete model based on what we think culture tells us.

The clash that ensues between an externally based cognitive structure and an internally based one often plays out as a power struggle. She hides in the bathroom because she is questioning her cognitive structure (who she IS). She is questioning her reality. She probably thinks she is crazy So... she needs to be as happy in her cognitive structure as do you in yours. She needs to be able to live in her skin.



Start asking her what it is she thinks about things (relationships, What she knows about herself).

Explore her cognitive structure. It is rich and complex. Try to view things from her point of view.



Be her advocate. By being a "parent" you are losing her.



Realize that she is very intelligent. It takes a lot of energy and brains to build your own cognitive structure.

You have an opportunity to grow and help her grow.

Cory

P.S. ADD is not a disorder or a disease but a cognitive structure that is necessary for the human race to progress.

auntchris
03-10-05, 09:24 PM
Okay I AM SORRY ....

chain
03-10-05, 10:09 PM
Okay I AM SORRY ....
Are you just saying that to placate us? I want you to spell out how you are going to change your behaviors... Sorry just will not do! ;-)

auntchris
03-11-05, 04:16 AM
Chain... I am not there yet. No matter what I do in any area I still fall backwards. I am always saying I am sorry. I almost said it a few times here. Therapy for me is a battle. I am not trying to be sarcastic and dont want it to, okay. auntchris;)

Nucking_Futs
03-11-05, 09:10 AM
Chrys have you ever considered the idea that you may be trying to fix too many things at once? I've done it myself and had to slow down figure out what was the most important change I needed to make, work on that and then make another improvement, etc. Don't overfocus on change or your self esteem can take a drastic drop as well so one thing at a time love.

chain
03-11-05, 10:59 AM
Chain... I am not there yet. No matter what I do in any area I still fall backwards. I am always saying I am sorry. I almost said it a few times here. Therapy for me is a battle. I am not trying to be sarcastic and dont want it to, okay. auntchris;)
You know what?... It is ok to say you are sorry too much. You are not hurting a soul with that :) I still do it and I am fully aware that I do. I think it is actually kind of cute :) (I still try to cut down on it a bit)

tamtamm71
03-11-05, 11:32 AM
I really believe we ADDers say sorry too much because we often do feel sorry for too much that we can't control but that we know effects those around us. It's not really that we don't mean it and that we don't intend on trying to change (though we do usually forget what we were supposed to change before we can get around to actual change:D ) I know I say sorry way too much and that some people tune it out, but those that know me understand that I Do mean it at the time even if I do it again. It is so hard to change some things about my ADD, especially in relation to what I say, which is where most of the appologies come in.

Jami Lea
03-11-05, 12:42 PM
I really believe we ADDers say sorry too much because we often do feel sorry for too much that we can't control but that we know effects those around us. It's not really that we don't mean it and that we don't intend on trying to change (though we do usually forget what we were supposed to change before we can get around to actual change:D ) I know I say sorry way too much and that some people tune it out, but those that know me understand that I Do mean it at the time even if I do it again. It is so hard to change some things about my ADD, especially in relation to what I say, which is where most of the appologies come in.
Well put sista!

milauran
03-12-05, 01:25 AM
At Whits end

Just to put another perspective on the running to the bathroom behaviour, I know when I am engaged in an emotionally charged conversation, I don't manage very well. I used to frustrate my ex to no end when conversing because I didn't answer quickly enough for his liking. I would struggle to formulate answers when it came to discussing personal matters, especially ones where I felt I was under attack or where I had to justify my behaviour. The more at stake emotionally the more I froze. Normal back and forth conversation can be difficult to keep up, but for some reason when it comes to expressing feelings I really struggle. It was very hurtful when he would get angry as if somehow I was doing it on purpose.

Over the years since we separated when we have heated discussions on the phone, I reach a point where my brain can't respond I freeze and just hang up the phone (which really ****es him off), its like my brain just shuts down. I have very good verbal skills, can carry on high-level thinking type conversations with ease (if its a subject I am interested in), but feel like a bumbling idiot when it comes to talking about myself.

I will often try to put off conversations with my children if I can't put the pieces together in brain of what they are trying to talk to me about. They of course think I am dismissing their concerns and get quite annoyed or hurt. Hitting menopause has made this even worse, now I have real brain fog. I don't do a very good job of explaining what exactly is happening, again I can't seem to communicate clearly when this happens because I am feeling intense shame and embarassment that I can't seem to get my brain to function the way it is suppose to. This becomes a viscious cycle because the next time you start to have a conversation with someone you start getting anxious that it will happen again which makes you brain function worse before you even start. Its almost like a cycle of panic attacks.

I know it is very difficult not to view her behaviour as being non-adult like therefore childish/not responsible but I think it is important before heaping too much pressure on her to look at her intent. One suggestion I would make is to try to have conversations at a pre-arranged time when you are both at your best; refreshed, not distracted. Going to a neutral place like out to dinner or for coffee where you both tend to be on your best behaviour and things won't escalate (make sure whoever doesn't have the car keys has mad money to get home).

The other thing I would encourage is to try writing letters to each other. Again, writing down how you feel and editing it to take out anything that can be interpreted as a personal attack, ensures that the message is not lost behind the hurt, anger and frustration. She would then have the opportunity to read your concerns and respond at her own pace. I know this sounds to be a strange practice when you are living under the same roof and it doesn't stop the normal interaction between you, its just that she might need a non-threatening method (as in one in which she can keep up) to be able to respond.

The other thing is that writing will help her to gather her thoughts and imprint a clear direction in her mind and will help eliminate misunderstanding. This will also give you both something definitive to review down the road to see how thins are progressing - this would have to be a 2-way process, not just an attempt to "fix" her. It needs to be done with a feeling of mutual respect, 2 adults using a different means of communicating.

Just an idea for what its worth.

auntchris
03-12-05, 03:20 AM
I am not trying to be sarcastic or anything. I do have a difficult time express getting my feelings out. I have found out new things about myself that I dont actually like and everything is streaming thru my head and wont stop.

I feel as though I am always in the wrong and have to apologize for everything. I think it was a way to stop an arguement... to say I am sorry...There is more but will tell later.

at_wits_end
03-12-05, 12:09 PM
Going to a neutral place like out to dinner or for coffee where you both tend to be on your best behaviour and things won't escalate

The other thing I would encourage is to try writing letters to each other.
**** When we go out to dinner or whatever, we never really talk; I think she's overwhelmed by all the new stimuli. So I don't feel the desire to "take her out on the town" because it always ends up being kind of boring and awkward for both of us. Not to mention I'm a great cook and would rather save $$$ and eat better at home! :)

I really like the writing letters idea. I've pretty much only tried various ways of TALKING, not other non verbal forms of communication. I'm going to give that a try. Great idea!

Thanks!

At_wits_end

f_wcomboadhd
03-12-05, 04:17 PM
i used to apologize all the time...it was a reflex for a long part of my life. sorry i'm alive! sorry i'm here in front of you with all of me instead of being gone! sorry!!!
now i find myself having merged into adult married version of this although i don't feel sorry about stuff that i didn't KNOW or don't KNOW that i did, how could i?? i ask my husband ...are you mad at me? are you mad at me? are you mad at me????
anything close to a cross look, or a dismayed expression- it instantly makes my stomach twist- i get anxious- don't get me wrong my husband has never really done anything for me to be afraid of
we're not like that
but i just always worry that he'll spring something on me that he's been mulling over for such a long time and it just never occured to me....
its always a shock (which i'm sure is the tendency w/ us adhd'ers...i do that? when? how? what???)

unfortunately i'm getting to a point that i have a hard time sitting through all the posts in a thread...i've added ten mgs. to my adderall (my doc did this)
and i hope it does the trick...