View Full Version : Bridging The Gap?


Mittens
03-17-14, 01:11 AM
Is there anyone with any advice on translation?

It's like both my partner and I are speaking different languages and I just can't seem to find a translation.

It makes my heart hurt and I feel like I hit a brick wall.

Are there any tips or advice that help break the impasse?

Specifically in terms of discussion emotions. I know emotions are tricky with the best of people, and I have learned they are even more difficult with ADD.
I'm not blaming, and I apologize if anything I said insinuates that.

I can't and don't pretend to understand and know how my bf's mind works, but I want to try to learn how to speak the language. I know he has just as much trouble when he tries to understand mine.

Man. This is tough.....

Any advice or insight would be much appreciated.

Thank you for reading

Mittens

BellaVita
03-17-14, 01:31 AM
I don't have any advice, but I just want to comment that I think you're awesome.

It's really great to see someone trying so hard to understand another with ADHD.

Good for you. :)

tester
03-17-14, 01:43 AM
To everyone reading this, I am Mittens' other half... the one with ADD... and yes, we do have a very hard time communicating... I have Mittens' approval to provide more details that could affect the advice and/or insight that we are looking for... hopefully it will help emphasize the gravity of the situation... and the importance of my being able to provide emotional support to her.

Something that has not been mentioned in earlier posts by Mitten's or myself... is that Mitten's has been for the past 6-months, on and off, very ill... and that her physical health has been deteriorating rapidly over the past several months... she has undergone numerous tests to determine the cause of her health issues... most were dead ends, only that she wasn't improving and that additional auto immune issues kept appearing and advancing...

my role to provide (and display properly) the expected emotional support is of the utmost importance to her emotional well being... we are expecting to hear the formal results of the months and months of tests this thursday... and as much she and I don't want to believe it to be true, all signs are leading to the conclusion that Mittens' is developing a rare form cancer that will take away her ability to do many things in her life.

And it means we need to be a stronger team than ever before to beat this together...

she feels alone, and helpless... and fearful that since I haven't be consistent in providing emotional support to her in the past... that i won't be able to do it in the future...

we are in this together, I just can't display that all the time, so she understands... and sometimes, because of my ADD, I misinterpret her responses, and offer poorly timed emotional support... or come across callous when I don't recognize when she, in her words is "begging me to help" her emotionally.

anybody??

Nicksgonefishin
03-17-14, 01:47 AM
Um.... translation i think would be hard when the person your communicating with doesn't have words for said emotions. My emotions used to just be frustration/confusion. One has to know their emotions to be able to communicate them. Ultimately it's his choice to connect with his emotions and improve his eq and share with you.

tester
03-17-14, 01:49 AM
the reason i haven't been on this forum in a while, is because i've been reading unbeknownst to Mittens, cancer forums... http://www.cancerforums.net/ coping and support... :(

dvdnvwls
03-17-14, 01:58 AM
The emotions are the same ones, but there are several things going on at once that can cause the translation problems.

First, because of the high sensitivity natural to ADHD and the high stress associated with going through life with ADHD, almost any emotion can become "the straw that breaks the camel's back" for him, causing him to be overwhelmed and fearful.

Second, from my own experience, it was easy for me to mis-identify my own emotions and needs, believing them to be other than what they were. There are many lists and charts and ways of expressing what people feel and need, and all have their merits, but here are a couple of pages to print out from a Non-Violent Communication group - this is the type of thing that helped me understand my needs & feelings a bit more clearly:

Feelings and Emotions List (http://www.baynvc.org/materials/Feelings_Emotions.pdf)

Human Needs List (http://www.baynvc.org/materials/UNIVERSAL_HUMAN_NEEDS.pdf)

Third... well, there's a lot more, but maybe that's a start.

dvdnvwls
03-17-14, 02:00 AM
(Hey tester... good to see you again.)

Mittens
03-17-14, 02:03 AM
I don't mean to sound crass, I just don't want this to get derailed.

Any advice on emotional translation or ways that I can maybe try to express myself differently would be really beneficial.

Yes, cancer is important, but the issue is the emotional side and not about cancer.

Thank you very much for reading and responding, and I will definitely check those links out, DVD.

dvdnvwls
03-17-14, 02:11 AM
One needing emotional help and the other not giving it can be from lack of ability, even just from not enough energy available - but I suspect it's more often misunderstanding, thinking the other person needs something mysterious when it's actually just something that was hard to name. Using those lists can actually help, in my experience.

Mittens
03-17-14, 02:15 AM
The emotions are the same ones, but there are several things going on at once that can cause the translation problems.

First, because of the high sensitivity natural to ADHD and the high stress associated with going through life with ADHD, almost any emotion can become "the straw that breaks the camel's back" for him, causing him to be overwhelmed and fearful.

Second, from my own experience, it was easy for me to mis-identify my own emotions and needs, believing them to be other than what they were. There are many lists and charts and ways of expressing what people feel and need, and all have their merits, but here are a couple of pages to print out from a Non-Violent Communication group - this is the type of thing that helped me understand my needs & feelings a bit more clearly:

Feelings and Emotions List (http://www.baynvc.org/materials/Feelings_Emotions.pdf)

Human Needs List (http://www.baynvc.org/materials/UNIVERSAL_HUMAN_NEEDS.pdf)

Third... well, there's a lot more, but maybe that's a start.

Was there ways that someone approached something that you found helpful? Or easier to understand?

If I wanted to say, I need emotional support, how best could I phrase it or explain it?

I'm not sure if that makes sense, i'm not great
At trying to convey my thoughts (which doesn't always help, lol)

Thank you to everyone for reading.

dvdnvwls
03-17-14, 02:20 AM
Was there ways that someone approached something that you found helpful? Or easier to understand?

If I wanted to say, I need emotional support, how best could I phrase it or explain it?

I'm not sure if that makes sense, i'm not great
At trying to convey my thoughts (which doesn't always help, lol)

Thank you to everyone for reading.
Sadly, my ex and I cam across this too late - but what we tried that was at least starting to work was simply going over these sheets together and trying to understand where each other was coming from. Trying to fit what we were asking for and not getting, into these categories and names, made it much clearer to me what was going on.

I think sometimes ADHDers are with emotions like men are with colours - we know red and blue, but chartreuse escapes us - and seeing names of things set down in black & white really helped me.

Being able to point at the menu is easier than trying to order in a foreign language.

Mittens
03-17-14, 02:21 AM
One needing emotional help and the other not giving it can be from lack of ability, even just from not enough energy available - but I suspect it's more often misunderstanding, thinking the other person needs something mysterious when it's actually just something that was hard to name. Using those lists can actually help, in my experience.

I think you bring up a really, really good point.

If it's lack of ability / knowing how, are there any resources that anyone has found beneficial? I know especially on the man vs woman side they tend to (not always) have different emotional needs in terms of support for sure.

And with the misunderstanding, what was it that helped something 'click' for you?

Thank you so much again

BellaVita
03-17-14, 02:26 AM
I think you bring up a really, really good point.

If it's lack of ability / knowing how, are there any resources that anyone has found beneficial? I know especially on the man vs woman side they tend to (not always) have different emotional needs in terms of support for sure.

And with the misunderstanding, what was it that helped something 'click' for you?

Thank you so much again

I'd like to recommend the book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher K. Germer.

It has a list of emotions in the back of the book.(very similar to what dvdnvwls posted) And there's an entire part of the book devoted to teaching one how to label their emotions, and express oneself. It's really really helpful.

Definitely helped me.

dvdnvwls
03-17-14, 02:27 AM
I think you bring up a really, really good point.

If it's lack of ability / knowing how, are there any resources that anyone has found beneficial? I know especially on the man vs woman side they tend to (not always) have different emotional needs in terms of support for sure.

And with the misunderstanding, what was it that helped something 'click' for you?
Seeing that what I thought I needed wasn't even on the list, was my first clue. Seeing the name of what I really needed, and being able to feel some amount of dignity and justification in being able to ask for that, brought me to tears, after years of bashing my head against the proverbial brick wall.

Sadly for us it was too late; my ex turned away regardless. It isn't too late for you.

Mittens
03-17-14, 02:44 AM
A big roadblock we face is if I say "I really need emotional support, listening and comfort" he hears it as me blaming him. As much as I say it's not blame, I'm expressing my feelings as its a really tough time right now, he hears accusations.

It reminds me of, as DVD puts it, when I saw "I need support" what is unsaid or what he may hear is "you aren't supporting me".
Which I guess kind of is true, in the sense that if I felt I was supported it wouldn't be an issue, but I do know that he genuinely doesn't know how to handle me, and I don't blame him for that. I do try to offer advice in how to learn tools to help me.
I unfortunately can't answer it for him. I dearly wish I could.
The one night he said something along the lines of "how do I show you I love you, care you, listen to you and make you feel better when your down or need support?"
He phrased it a lot more eloquently as he's very articulate, but I told him I couldn't answer that - maybe reaching out on the forum to people that have the same challenges and have learned different ways to overcome them / found more 'tools' to add to their belt, and/or asking a counselor with ADD experience to give him some tools?

I'm not sure where to go from here... one day he tells me it makes perfect sense to look into resources because he genuinely doesn't understand what I need, and the next I bring it up and i'm blaming it on him, he doesn't have to put up with me, and should him and his son find somewhere else to live?
I *know* he can't help it. I know i'm not in the wrong for asking for an emotional need, and I know he's not in the wrong for genuinely not knowing how to provide that. I'm just not sure what the right answer is or how to bridge the gap on it?

I'm sorry if that got rambly. It's been a very emotionally exhausting night, (and I definitely am sure Tester is really emotionally exhausted and at wits end as well).

I know it's not for lack of trying, I just don't know what direction the trying should be towards? All I know is both directions him and I are trying in have been unsuccessful so far, and unfortunately before it was an issue, but, as Tester pointed out, it's kind of reached critical mass very quickly because of some recent developments......

Mittens
03-17-14, 02:46 AM
I'd like to recommend the book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher K. Germer.

It has a list of emotions in the back of the book.(very similar to what dvdnvwls posted) And there's an entire part of the book devoted to teaching one how to label their emotions, and express oneself. It's really really helpful.

Definitely helped me.

The bright side of staying with my Mom is she has a library membership in a lot bigger city than the one where I normally live, so I will definitely check this out.

Thank you very much

dvdnvwls
03-17-14, 04:49 AM
A semi-random thought:

My ex often told me she needed emotional support. The support I gave her was what I would have wanted, and it didn't help her at all. Saying you need support often turns out to be reducing the other person to a crazy-making guessing game. Naming clearly the exact need that you're looking to get met, is a huge part of clearing this up, in some cases.

someothertime
03-17-14, 05:11 AM
Extinguish something...

New ways manifest when old ones are no longer...

( rhetorical ) ... What can your cease, not from resentment, punishment nor dominance... but from lack of purpose. fulfilment and function.

Words are overrated.

stef
03-17-14, 05:11 AM
What KIND of emotional support, do you need, when you say this to him:
"I really need emotional support, listening and comfort"
what is his family like? how does he usually talk?

I don't like to talk about my marriage here... I am the one with ADD but with someone just completely unable to express his emotions.
but he will try to be kind of "attentive" and make me laugh... (I have been dealing with my mom's health issues). and he is very stoic so for him the solution is just forge on ahead. but I know he cares.

I realized yesterday, as we were biking on residential streets in the park - he must have said 50 times, "don't ride in the middle of the road!" I guess he worried I wouldn't notice a car coming up behind me. Oh and he fixed the pump dispenser thing on the shower gel.

This, is how he shows support. but certainly not by talking through anything.

BellaVita
03-17-14, 05:46 AM
What KIND of emotional support, do you need, when you say this to him:
"I really need emotional support, listening and comfort"
what is his family like? how does he usually talk?

I don't like to talk about my marriage here... I am the one with ADD but with someone just completely unable to express his emotions.
but he will try to be kind of "attentive" and make me laugh... (I have been dealing with my mom's health issues). and he is very stoic so for him the solution is just forge on ahead. but I know he cares.

I realized yesterday, as we were biking on residential streets in the park - he must have said 50 times, "don't ride in the middle of the road!" I guess he worried I wouldn't notice a car coming up behind me. Oh and he fixed the pump dispenser thing on the shower gel.

This, is how he shows support. but certainly not by talking through anything.

This is exactly the same thing for my boyfriend.

(I'm the ADHD one in the relationship)

He fixes things, does things for me, and reminds me of things.

He knows my ADHD is a struggle and that it helps me when he reminds me.

I agree with stef on the part I bolded

amberwillow
03-17-14, 06:22 AM
We are both diagnosed with ADHD. In our marriage I'm usually the 'together' one, but when I'm not - my husband takes extra time to show his support by stopping what he is doing and spending some time with me.

He cuddles with me, or maintains a physical touch with me while he listens... My favorite is when he reads our favorite author aloud to me.
He's taken over more of the cooking and laundry as a way of supporting me too. It's far from perfect, but it's a help.

Are there things that do help you feel supported?

It's taken us a long time to take 'attacks' off the table. We don't blame or shame any more.
We are in this for each other, together.

Mittens
03-17-14, 06:32 AM
I wish I could tell you what exactly I needed...

I know:

I need to feel safe.
I need to feel loved.
I need to feel secure.
I need to feel like it's okay to break.
I need to feel he will keep it together on times when I can't, so it's okay for me to not keep it together for a little while....

I don't know what to tell him on how to do that :(
I know that's not fair. I don't know what the right answer is, but so far I know what doesn't work...

I think before when we've gotten into countless discussions and arguments over it, i*wanted it*... and i'm discovering now the difference between need and want.
I really need it right now.
It's really tough.

I don't mean to come off as a whiny, cry-baby.

I think a little later on today I might really look at DVD's list and try to re-post my needs a little more emotionally specifically.

I'm not sure if that helps or clarifies any?

I'm sorry NT'ers are so complicated :(.... we really suck sometimes, and not on purpose, but definitely don't make things easy.

amberwillow
03-17-14, 06:40 AM
I guess I'm asking, what makes you feel those things.

For example: When my husband lays down on our bed and tucks me into his arms, so that my head rests under his chin, I feel safe.
It's a specific thing (that he knows works for me) that he can do.

He likes to know he can make me feel better.

I don't think you sound whiny at all. Just conflicted and unsure.

Mittens
03-17-14, 06:56 AM
I guess I'm asking, what makes you feel those things.

For example: When my husband lays down on our bed and tucks me into his arms, so that my head rests under his chin, I feel safe.
It's a specific thing (that he knows works for me) that he can do.

He likes to know he can make me feel better.

I don't think you sound whiny at all. Just conflicted and unsure.

To be honest, i'm not entirely sure.

I'm pretty independent (almost to a fault) and this whole thing kind of blindsided me.

I'm not used to needing emotional support. I guess for sure would be knowing that he would be able to logistically, and financially 'run things' and take things over if was in a place I couldn't. We haven't been living together for a couple months now- in a good way. Or meaning, for the sake of our relationship. I 100% plan and hope and can't wait for the day I can call my house a home again and sleep in my own bed with him beside me...
Sorry, side tangent. The point of that was, maybe an upside is with him bring forced to handle the day-to-day cooking and cleaning for him and his son, when I do move back i'll have confidence and trust that not only he can, but will handle it when I can't.
When we first moved in together we started off *ALL* wrong, and I accept responsibility and accountability for not setting boundaries. With me staying elsewhere it's trying to establish those boundaries.
Ps. Anyone that moves in with someone - this is your "What NOT to do under ANY circumstances.. you may think you are being nice or helping, but you are not doing yourself or your spouse any favor, and it is WAY harder breaking habits than forming new ones off the bat"

Side rant over. Sorry about that.

RedHairedWitch
03-17-14, 09:05 AM
It's easy to say things like "I need your support" or "I need to feel loved"

But as been pointed out, that really doesn't tell your partner what makes your feel supported or loved.

Three blind men, trying to describe an elephant.

It's not his job to figure out what makes you feel X. It is his job to provide you with whatever makes you feel X.

Time to do some brain storming together. Sit down with a piece of paper and pen and think back to things he has done in the past that made you feel X. Things from your childhood, things friends have done etc. He might be able to make a few suggestions as well "Remember when I did this thing, did that help, how did it make you feel?"

Work through some of the typical loving and supportive gestures and discuss what they mean to you. Massage, doing the dishes, flowers, hugs, laundry, breakfast in bed and so on.

It will take time, and some experimentation, to figure out what your actual needs are.

Eventually, you'll be able to say "I need a foot rub" instead of "I need to feel cared for" or "Do you have a minute to sit and listen to me vent? instead of "I need to feel heard"

When you're unwell, there are things that you're not going to be able to do anymore. He can keep a list of those things and try to work through them, so you don't have to worry about it. There are also going to be things that you'll try to do and not be able to finish, that's a great opportunity.
"I tried to sort the recycling but had to stop, can you please finish it?"
"I just don't have the energy to water the plants, can you do it for me please?"

VeryTired
03-17-14, 10:09 AM
Mittens--

I'm so sorry to hear of your illness. But as you said, the thread is about communications, so lets' talk about that. I completely understand why everyone is saying that you have to be specific about what kind of support you need. Poor Tester, if he doesn't know what you want, it can be overwhelming to try to give it to you.

But nevertheless, I just want to say that I don't think it's unreasonable when you're in a scary, challenging, overwhelming situation to just feel the need for help without being able to specific what you need. When I am in a situation like that and someone challenges me to say exactly what I need, I often want to go away, hide, and cry. It can feel very hard and unfair to be challenged to do something hard at the moment when you are helpless and out of resources.

I wonder if maybe it's OK for you to say "I need support but I'm not sure what exactly I need" and also OK for Tester to try offering a menu of some different kinds of support, let's say, a back rub, willingness to listen to your worries, reassurance, the chance to rest while he does household chores Sometimes when we can't say what we need, we can recognize it if we see it offered. I don't think you have to take responsibility for how he meets your needs. Sometimes, you get to be the vulnerable person and he needs to find ways to meet you where you are.

Mittens
03-17-14, 10:40 AM
VeryTired and Red - thank you much for articulating what I couldn't, and for the super practical advice. Both your posts really hit home and everyone has offered some really valuable advice.

I know i've said it before, but holy crap you guys are awesome. I feel like a basket full of smashed bumholes swirled in a sauce of crazy and a dash of wtf, and a group of really awesome people from around the world have a way of making it okay.

You guys rock.

I'm fortunate for forums like this, and a partner willing to also participate as well.

RedHairedWitch
03-17-14, 10:54 AM
I was very sick for over a month over winter. I was in a lot of pain and even standing or walking for more than a few minutes was more than I could handle.

When you're living in a world of pain, your needs become very simple. I need a blanket. I need a pillow. I need a glass of water. I need you to hold my hand.

These were things that he could do for me easily.

Helping me through bouts of pain was different. All he could do was sit beside me (I didn't even want to be touched). There really wasn't anything more that he could do. I can't fault him for that. I can't fault him for not having some magic trick to pull out of his sleeve that would help me through the pain. When I complained about the pain, all he could say was "I'm sorry". I can't fault him for that, what else was he to say?

It's easy when you are hurting or sick or tired to lose your temper, to have less patience. It's hard to be kind and understanding when your world is a narrow strip of "my body is a living hell". It's easy to get upset at someone for not being more helful or understanding. It's easy to forget all the times in your life that someone was sick or hurt and you had no idea how to help them. Does anyone know what to do when someone is racked with pain? If your hunny started pucking everywhere, what would you do? He doesn't even have long hair to hold. You would ask "Is there anything I can do?" Because that's all you CAN do in that moment.

One of the hardest parts of being sick is having to be understanding of the fact that no one has any idea how to help you.

RedHairedWitch
03-17-14, 10:58 AM
I wonder if maybe it's OK for you to say "I need support but I'm not sure what exactly I need" and also OK for Tester to try offering a menu of some different kinds of support, let's say, a back rub, willingness to listen to your worries, reassurance, the chance to rest while he does household chores … Sometimes when we can't say what we need, we can recognize it if we see it offered. I don't think you have to take responsibility for how he meets your needs. Sometimes, you get to be the vulnerable person and he needs to find ways to meet you where you are.

Offering a list is a great idea.

As for the rest. In a perfect world that would work great. Expecting an ADHDers who has only begun treatment to recognize you have a need, and take responsibility for it is a pipe dream. Heck, I know perfectly NT people who have a wife with Fibro (or whatever) who have no idea what to do, they try their best, but that's all a person can do.

Honestly, it makes me angry how folks expect other people to be responsible for their needs. So I'll walk away from the computer now. *hugs*

VeryTired
03-17-14, 01:47 PM
RHW--

I'm very sorry if I irritated you. We've differed on this point before, I think. It's not that I feel other people should be responsible for my, or Mittens' or anyone else's needs. It's rather that I feel sometimes it is a real and valid need to have someone else make offers and overtures, express support, figure out solutions. There should be give and take with this--no one should have to do all the figuring out alone. I do not accept the premise that all people at all times must know what they need, and ask for it directly.

I believe that one aspect of human interconnectedness and loving partnership can be offering what's needed without a prompt or request, figuring out what's needed before the person in need does, and taking a turn being the one who comes up with strategies for support. This can sometimes be an element of nurturing. It can be a strong expression of love.

I understand that some needs may be difficult for people with ADHD to meet for their partners, but that doesn't mean that they aren't real needs. Mittens can't stop needing something just because Tester is new to treatment for ADHD. Her need may not be easily or well met at a particular moment, but it's still a need. I don't accept that needing one's partner to help figure solutions to problems is not a legitimate need.

I am uncomfortable with posts that suggest that people who do not have ADHD have to sacrifice their own needs and points of view because they are in relationships with people with ADHD. Similarly, of course, it is very wrong if someone without ADHD suggests that their partner with ADHD has to sacrifice his or her needs. Partnership should give both partners more of what they need, not less.

I admire very much your commitment to independence, RHW, and can see that you are a strong person. You give excellent counsel to many here, as well. While I greatly value independence too, I still think there is a wider spectrum of possibility for what a healthy relationship looks like than you seem to find OK. Back to a point of agreement: I would say that we are all, always, trying to do our best in relationships, and that's all we can do. As you said, "that's all a person can do."

With that in mind, please note that I never said that anyone, with or without ADHD, has to have ESP and 100% perfectly intuit their partner's unspoken needs. Trying to help one's partner when that partner can't articulate a specific need often means getting it wrong and trying again What's so terrible about that? We go through life doing the best we can, and sometimes we succeed more than other times, but if we don't try at all, we aren't giving.

kilted_scotsman
03-17-14, 06:34 PM
My (now ex) wife was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer..fortunately the medics were able to push the cancer into remission, though there was a period when things were decidedly dicey.

We were already going through tough times, my undiagnosed ADD and possible post viral fatigue were putting a strain on the marriage plus we had two young kids and expenses exceeded income by a significant margin.

My own reaction to the new stressor completely blindsided me..... and was a significant part of my marriage imploding a while after the successful completion of treatment.

Having been through that experience I would advise getting some pretty heavy duty psychological support.... both of you are likely to need someone wise and independent to talk to, scream at, cry with. What you are facing is a very complex and deep set of emotional triggers that may produce unexpected responses.

Part of this is that life is changed irrevocably.... writers such as Yalom talk of the cancer patient becoming "luminous" in their intensity of living and ability to connect to the essence of things.

Obviously this causes difficulties in relationships as much of the ritual of life is stripped away.

My experience was that I was unprepared and completely unable to get to grips with the situation I was confronted with. I had no support system to speak of and no one with whom to talk about my own fears and denials. As the situation worsened and we entered the debilitating treatment phase I became increasingly isolated and retreated into a sort of numbed state of denial.

The thing about communication is thst there will be things you want to say to your partner..... and also things that you don't want to say to your partner..... but that definitely need to be said to someone who will listen wisely. Working out which is which can be difficult.

Mittens
03-18-14, 11:21 PM
My (now ex) wife was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer..fortunately the medics were able to push the cancer into remission, though there was a period when things were decidedly dicey.

We were already going through tough times, my undiagnosed ADD and possible post viral fatigue were putting a strain on the marriage plus we had two young kids and expenses exceeded income by a significant margin.

My own reaction to the new stressor completely blindsided me..... and was a significant part of my marriage imploding a while after the successful completion of treatment.

Having been through that experience I would advise getting some pretty heavy duty psychological support.... both of you are likely to need someone wise and independent to talk to, scream at, cry with. What you are facing is a very complex and deep set of emotional triggers that may produce unexpected responses.

Part of this is that life is changed irrevocably.... writers such as Yalom talk of the cancer patient becoming "luminous" in their intensity of living and ability to connect to the essence of things.

Obviously this causes difficulties in relationships as much of the ritual of life is stripped away.

My experience was that I was unprepared and completely unable to get to grips with the situation I was confronted with. I had no support system to speak of and no one with whom to talk about my own fears and denials. As the situation worsened and we entered the debilitating treatment phase I became increasingly isolated and retreated into a sort of numbed state of denial.

The thing about communication is thst there will be things you want to say to your partner..... and also things that you don't want to say to your partner..... but that definitely need to be said to someone who will listen wisely. Working out which is which can be difficult.

All I can say is i'm sorry, and thank you.
That was very heart felt, honest and touching, and I SO appreciate the wisdom and you sharing your experiences.

dvdnvwls
03-19-14, 01:26 AM
I wish I could tell you what exactly I needed...

I know:

I need to feel safe.
I need to feel loved.
I need to feel secure.
I need to feel like it's okay to break.
I need to feel he will keep it together on times when I can't, so it's okay for me to not keep it together for a little while....

I don't know what to tell him on how to do that :(
I know that's not fair. I don't know what the right answer is, but so far I know what doesn't work...

For a spouse, knowing the ways you need to feel but not having any idea how to get you there is extremely frustrating and can cause anger eventually. There's no possible way for him to work it out for himself how to make these things happen, because he needs to know the causes, not the effects. Especially the last one, feeling that he will keep it together - pretty much impossible for him to know how to make you feel that. In fact, it might be necessary, for that item, to just "take a leap of faith", simply stop keeping it together, and let him do what needs to be done. He'll do the best he can, and that's all that was ever going to happen.

Mittens
03-19-14, 01:58 AM
On the bright side, we learned a very valuable lesson....
I could see him really deteriorating, but figured it was the stress of being told one one you love not only is staying else where, but then getting a bomb dropped about my health..
Monday night the cycle was eerie - the venom, blaming, even threatening to leave like before when he had problems with the emotional dysregulation..
After day to think about a totally irrational reaction I got the 'ah-ha' moment and asked him how he was doing? Is something up?
......
Caffeine + energy drinks + concerta = BAD!
!
BAD BAD BAD!
......
Did I mention it was bad?

However, huge cudo's to Tester - he recognized it and was really honest and open.
He does have a really amazing quality of self awareness when he see's something and has his ah-ha moment.

So, that's a pretty amazing thing.

He said he didn't like the way it made him feel and hindsight he could see the way he treated me, etc etc.

Does anyone else have a really adverse reaction?

Looking on the net it seems concerta is especially sensitive, but I trust you folk's input more than articles by people I don't know.

Hooray for wins!!

Piper30
03-19-14, 02:36 AM
I don't mean to sound crass, I just don't want this to get derailed.

Any advice on emotional translation or ways that I can maybe try to express myself differently would be really beneficial.

Yes, cancer is important, but the issue is the emotional side and not about cancer.

Thank you very much for reading and responding, and I will definitely check those links out, DVD.


I have helped a friend figure out how to communicate with his wife.... we figured out through trial and error the first and to me most important step is identifying how each of you do communicate. What words really mean what, what frustration means, figuring out when someone says one thing it really means _________ .. after you figure out how each communicates then a true test comes with attempting to communicate so they understand.

More complicated than that .... but then again not really. I don't know if I am making sense.

grape_ninja
03-19-14, 03:08 AM
What Piper says is true. you need to talk about the words you use and agree upon their meaning. My wife and I have been struggling with this forever. It still isn't easy but a lot of the time we can communicate on a level playing field. We were all raised in special ways that require agreed upon meanings to words. When we as couples can take those separate agreements and find compromises we find there is understanding. While feelings are far more complicated than words the principle is the same.
Yes I am the friend Piper refers to having helped.

dvdnvwls
03-19-14, 03:37 AM
Adverse reaction to two stimulants at once (including caffeine and whatever else is in energy drinks) is common.

Mittens
03-19-14, 08:30 AM
I have helped a friend figure out how to communicate with his wife.... we figured out through trial and error the first and to me most important step is identifying how each of you do communicate. What words really mean what, what frustration means, figuring out when someone says one thing it really means _________ .. after you figure out how each communicates then a true test comes with attempting to communicate so they understand.

More complicated than that .... but then again not really. I don't know if I am making sense.

You so definitely are making sense! And thank you :)

Emotions are one of those complicated things that are really simplified in the wrong way way... Ie. you make me angry. Simple statement? Millions of meanings and complex. Simplified to an understandable level? I feel very frustrated when you ___specific action____, and it would make me feel really good if you could ____specific action___. ( leave the dishes in the sink or a week, or whatever literal action, consequently do the dishes for a specific resolution you ask for).

It gets tough for me when it's not the action, it's the lack off and I don't specifically know what to fill the blank in with...

Ie, I feel emotionally unsupported. I can't say it's because a specific ______, I know what things don't help, like ignoring it/me or not responding, but I haven't figured out what the correct, successful way is.

Not sure if that made sense, haha.

Thank you very much for responding, and Grape_Ninja (awesome name, btw) thank you very much as well.

I've said it tons of times but input from everyone is invaluable, and i've come to so respect and appreciate it big time.

As a total aside, and just a quick note / cudo's to Tester..
I had an emergency dental appt. Yesterday morning from breaking a back tooth (on oatmeal.. the eff? Lol).
Unfortunately, instead of heading in to a simple procedure even worse case just a tooth extraction, things went south quickly and I ended up having 3 teeth removed (all the back teeth on one quadrant of my jaw), and oh - did I know *all* of my teeth have extra roots so it took 2.5 hours!?!?
Okay, whiny cranky pants rant part done, point is that Tester was a few hundred km's away, and he was awesome. I was in a LOT of physical pain (when the dentist tells you to be prepared for very significant amounts of pain, even if you've had your wisdom teeth out - believe him, don't shrug it off because you (believe yourself to be) a tough cookie. - my life advice for the day, lol.
Anyways. He was far away, I was really whiny and in a bunch of pain, he couldn't physically do anything, on top of which dealing with his own workday stuff, and every while he would take the time to text me a bad joke about the situation that made me giggle (ps. A ridiculous sight when someone is drooling and looks like they have a football on the side of their face) which would make me laugh more, or just tell me he was sorry I was in pain, or just that he loved me and wished he was there (despite the drooling and football face - that, my friends.. is true love. When someone offers to wipe your chin and hold your spit cup, that's life-mate stuff).
Even when I get a dark sense of humor when I hurt in demented jest - like if he loved me he would amputate my face, he responded something cute and witty.

Does it solve some of our current challenges? No. Did it make me feel really good when I was in a really crappy situation? Absolutely. And that's not to be taken lightly - I was super whiny cranky pants :)

On one hand, yesterday sucked more than a Dyson vacuum.. on the other, it was really great, and at the end of the the small things carry you through the big ones and remind you what your working / fighting for.

That was kind of a tangent and i'm sorry. Holy side track Batman.

Anyway.

Also wanted to say thank you for everyone sharing their difficult situations they've been in - it really helps me personally not feel so alone.

And for all the good advice (which there has been a ton of) really, really helps me.

Ps. David, thank you. Also glad to know that it's really common. It makes sense logically but hell, who says logic applies to real life sometimes. Any other common contradictions with concerta that you know of? He says the difference between long acting vs. Short half-life is night and day. Yay! I couldn't even imagine the struggle of trial and error with medications in that way.. takes a lot of strength to not throw your hands up and just say 'for the birds'...1

Jace1973
03-20-14, 07:18 PM
My wife and I have struggled with this for 20 years and I have learned that I have to be hyper conscious of her moods and signals when she needs support. I am much the same as you, part of the frontal lobe development that didn't develop. At times it comes natural and others I have to be told, she's learned its part of who I am and that I don't do it on purpose.

Piper30
03-20-14, 10:56 PM
Emotions are one of those complicated things that are really simplified in the wrong way way... Ie. you make me angry. Simple statement? Millions of meanings and complex. Simplified to an understandable level? I feel very frustrated when you ___specific action____, and it would make me feel really good if you could ____specific action___. ( leave the dishes in the sink or a week, or whatever literal action, consequently do the dishes for a specific resolution you ask for).

It gets tough for me when it's not the action, it's the lack off and I don't specifically know what to fill the blank in with...

Ie, I feel emotionally unsupported. I can't say it's because a specific ______, I know what things don't help, like ignoring it/me or not responding, but I haven't figured out what the correct, successful way is.


I personally think you are closer than you realize to an answer or road to a solution... You know you feel "emotionally unsupported" .. okay that is a start. When you feel that way ...stop. Tell him. "I feel emotionally unsupported and I can't tell you what you are doing wrong, if anything, or what is lacking to make me feel that way but it is how I feel and I want/need your support... help me figure this out?"

Nothing mean, nothing blaming, nothing saying I feel bad and it's all your fault ... just you saying you need him and need help figuring out how.

I think if we can take the blame and anger out of our lack of understanding not just others but more importantly ourselves ..... things go a lot smoother. Just be honest and open and vulnerable.

angora
03-20-14, 11:18 PM
Any other common contradictions with concerta that you know of? He says the difference between long acting vs. Short half-life is night and day. Yay! I couldn't even imagine the struggle of trial and error with medications in that way.. takes a lot of strength to not throw your hands up and just say 'for the birds'...1

Reactions to medications are definitely different for everyone. I drink coffee all day every day and don't notice it.

However, I really disliked concerta. There was a spike in the afternoon and then a big drop that made me really irritable.

But I can take short acting methylphenidate or longer acting biphentin and have the opposite reaction - that is I'm less irritable in general. Biphentin is only available in Canada and it's release pattern is different than concerta. For what it's worth - it works much better for both me and my son.

Mittens
03-21-14, 12:50 PM
Well unfortunately didn't get great news, but it can always get worse.

I'm immediately put on massive doses of prednisone (if anyone is familiar with it, it basically is going to turn me into an emotional tornado).
On that note, considering I can see this being a very, very potentially bad combination ( me being Captain Crazypants + ADD bf) anyone have an experience on some tools or wisdom for a situation like this?
I've been fortunate enough to never before have emotional stuff that is outside of my control, and wondering how best or any advice for bf, or for me when I have a feeling it'll be like putting 2 explosives together and waiting on which makes the bigger 'boom' :(

FroGpants
03-21-14, 02:08 PM
A big roadblock we face is if I say "I really need emotional support, listening and comfort" he hears it as me blaming him. As much as I say it's not blame, I'm expressing my feelings as its a really tough time right now, he hears accusations.



You're actually clearing some things up for me too.. with my add bf. So first let me thank both of you for that.

Ok 10 years together... my bf is add, I'm adhd. And there has been a whole lot of learning going on around here. I'm just gonna jump right in....

We always had horrible fights but there was always such a bond between us that breaking up was never what we wanted. It took me years to figure out that when I said... "Why don't you just leave?? Get out!!"... he took it literally. And he'd leave and not come back. So later when we calmed down and were texting or whatever I'd ask why he didn't come home and he'd say, well you told me to leave.

Mine also takes it as an accusation when I say I need support or whatever. And he didn't have a clue what I meant either. I didn't realize we were translating that differently though but yea, that's what was going on. What I did figure out though was if said, hey babe, can I have a hug? (support in the moment) he was more than happy to hold me.

And when I asked him if he'd go to a doc appt with me, he was more than happy to. Now he actually takes the day off work, he won't let me go alone.

Or I'll ask him if he can help get dinner for the next few days or for the week and maybe more precisely, hey babe can you make spaghetti tonight? Who doesn't love not having to do the mental work :) And once mine got in the habit of making dinner he kept on doing it. Yay me! We're to the point now where I'm helping him if I do it :)

He's really great about helping in the moment and once he's done it and sees that it helped me and made me happy, it's much easier for him to do it on a regular basis. It's hard for him to start doing something that isn't his usual behavior.

Like if I ask him to take out the trash I can ask, talk about it with him, make a chore schedule, you name it, it's probably not going to get done. But if I start doing it myself, he'll jump in and finish it. Every single time. Cleaning the garage, I get started, he'll jump in and work until it's done.

I've also had to pay attention to when he says he's doing something for me. There have been a lot of things over the years that I either considered his job or that I didn't think were that big of a deal. Like doing all the maintenance on my car or doing my laundry for me. I didn't care about him doing my laundry, I'm perfectly fine doing that on my own but it was a big deal to him. Of course he never said that but over the years I finally figured that out. It was like, why does he keep mentioning that?? Ohhhhhhhhh. So now I know to look at that as something he does because he loves me and now it's much more meaningful.

Talk, talk, talk. We have had many, many, many conversations about every bit of our relationship. We would sometimes get worked up and mad (and accusatory) and they'd go bad but we learned from that too. It was baby steps for us at first... we knew to say things like.. "I feel that you_____" or "It feels to me like ______" but we learned a lot about each other.

And now we know to take a step back when something goes wrong. Like if he says something that causes me to react or vice versa. Now we know to say, hold up, what's going on?

Anyway I hope this helps and I hope I didn't get too off-topic :p You two are beyond awesome <3 <3

dvdnvwls
03-21-14, 03:14 PM
Well unfortunately didn't get great news, but it can always get worse.

I'm immediately put on massive doses of prednisone (if anyone is familiar with it, it basically is going to turn me into an emotional tornado).
On that note, considering I can see this being a very, very potentially bad combination ( me being Captain Crazypants + ADD bf) anyone have an experience on some tools or wisdom for a situation like this?
I've been fortunate enough to never before have emotional stuff that is outside of my control, and wondering how best or any advice for bf, or for me when I have a feeling it'll be like putting 2 explosives together and waiting on which makes the bigger 'boom' :(
There are quite a few ways to look at it, I guess.

For me, the idea of emotionally "no stone unturned"... having nothing in the relationship that "she ought to know" or "he ought to know", making sure that all those things are stated openly and clearly. If you find yourself thinking "He ought to know that by now", knowing that the response is "Well, he doesn't, so tell him", and vice versa of course if he finds himself thinking that about you. It's a lot of talking and a lot of work to be specific emotionally, but I think it helps.

TLCisaQT
03-23-14, 01:10 AM
Communication is a SKILL, and like any skill will take time and practice to learn and get better at it. It also takes two willing participants. Looks like you have that.

One thing I noticed was that that you kept asking for suggestions of ideas to find a way or an answer. DVD actually was giving you those. It really is about planning and preparing BEFORE those moments when it's needed. So those lists that are talked about. Have them ready beforehand, so that in those moments (even though it might seem awkward) he/you can pull it out, or go to it on your fridge (until you have it memorized) and see just what it was that you came up with previously that you thought would meet your need. You can also add to it as things come to your memory.

No matter who you are....any skill can be learned in the way we can best learn it!

Sorry to hear you are not feeling well...take care of yourself.

Mittens
03-24-14, 08:14 AM
Communication is a SKILL, and like any skill will take time and practice to learn and get better at it. It also takes two willing participants. Looks like you have that.

One thing I noticed was that that you kept asking for suggestions of ideas to find a way or an answer. DVD actually was giving you those. It really is about planning and preparing BEFORE those moments when it's needed. So those lists that are talked about. Have them ready beforehand, so that in those moments (even though it might seem awkward) he/you can pull it out, or go to it on your fridge (until you have it memorized) and see just what it was that you came up with previously that you thought would meet your need. You can also add to it as things come to your memory.

No matter who you are....any skill can be learned in the way we can best learn it!

Sorry to hear you are not feeling well...take care of yourself.

Thank you so much. That makes total sense.
Especially when there is 2people that potentially have very little emotional control, it absolutely makes perfect sense to take the 'thinking' out and make sure you've done the thinking before hand in a very literal sense.

And yes, Dvd is absolutely an amazing person and has a lot of wisdom that has helped me more than I can count, and thank you for helping me see what he was saying and I wasn't seeing.