View Full Version : Girlfriend shut me out, left town without telling me, and hasn't spoken to me


Engineer913
04-12-14, 03:32 PM
Hi everyone,

I been doing lot of reading on this site as well as other online resources and it has been a big help with me as the Non ADD partner in the relationship. This past week has been really rough with my girlfriend, she is acting out of character, completely shut me out, left town without even telling me. This was a couple days ago, after repeated calls and texts she finally simple said ďIím fine, got home ok, but will contact you when Iím readyĒ. Iím so confused, this is all out of character for her, but I suppose some of this has happened before, albeit in not as a dramatic way. We didn't even have a real fight or anything, no lingering issues in the relationship (nobody cheated or mistrusts the other, everything is great).

Background on Relationship: We have been seriously dating several months. We live in the same apartment building, talk and text throughout the day, and see each other at least once a day. Have regular nights out, date nights, we have a fantastic sex life. Honestly, the relationship is very well balanced. We both communicate nearly equally, we both tell each other we love the other all the time. She says how lucky she is, Iím everything she has wanted in someone. I donít want to sound dramatic or clichť, but now in our mid-late 20ís we finally felt we met the person we were supposed to be with. We honestly have already had discussions about getting married someday. Usually Iím the one with a temper or dramatic, she just laughs at me when I act stupid and tells me to shut up because sheís not going to leave me and still will marry me someday. So overall, itís pretty much exactly what Iíve wanted from a relationship, and since we are so open I am positive she feels the same.

Background on Her: Sheís currently a graduate student in a very busy tough program (Iím also a grad student but not as busy currently). She easily can get overwhelmed, when she has lot of work to do, she stresses out, itís very tough for her. Most of the time she loves my support, she wants me to give her time to work which I do, but she usually loves when I stop by with dinner or tell her everything will be ok. She always thanks me and says it helps. The only other time she shut down was the end of last semester. We had a big fight, then she abruptly canceled a trip home to meet our parents for the first time, she didnít respond to me all day, when I went to see her she made her roommate answer the door and tell me to leave. Eventually within a day after some sleep she was better, I gave her space to get work done but she wasnít completely shutting me out anymore.

What happened this week: What is killing me I donít understand her actions this time. All week she has been distant saying I donít understand how much work she has. All I have been is supportive, just trying to help her or talk to her if needed. I could tell she was stressed but she was so not herself. Even when stressed she would answer me throughout the day. She would go almost the whole day without saying anything. I saw her barely at all over the course of 4 days (usually we spend at least 1 hour day together), we didnít have sex all week (this is really really odd, we have a vibrant sex life and I can only recall 2 other days we didnít have sex, so multiple days in a row was odd).

She had plans to go home Thursday night for a wedding and this business competition she is freaking out about. She didnít answer me all day after we made plans prior to hang out before she left. Eventually she answered me saying ďI have a headache Iím shutting everyone out, you are bothering me when Iím trying to sleep (which I didnít know) and this is too much loveĒ. So I gave her a few hours, but when I was heading out to meet a friend I saw her car was gone and panicked. I called her and it rang but eventually it was straight to voicemail she shut her phone off, simply left to drive 4 hours home without saying anything. She didnít answer me for over 24 hours and left the message I said at the top. Since then I have not heard from her (so about 48 hours since she left town).

Iím worriedÖ Iím trying to give her space, but I donít even know what to think. Iím not even sure if we are together still, we didnít even have a fight.
Iím sorry this is so long, but has anyone dealt with this type of situation? Does the ADD person just need space, even though this is way beyond what Iím used to her asking for? I just keep thinking ďhow could someone who love me leave town, not tell me, and make me worry all nightĒ She hasnít said she was sorry about it or anything.

I know I donít think like her and Iím trying to understand, but her actions seem so irrational I donít know what to think. Then my mind thinks, maybe she is ending things and didnít have the heart to tell meÖ I donít even know honestly. As a loving caring person she always treats me good, I just canít understand these actions.

Can anyone help me understand her mindset?

dvdnvwls
04-12-14, 05:23 PM
Nicer possibility: (and this is a total guess, but it's not a crazy guess...) Maybe she's feeling immense pressure from the work she has to do - maybe she's terribly behind on some project (for example, already missed a crucial deadline) and hasn't told you - and her emotions from that are so overwhelming that she needed to "check out" for a while. If she had told you, you would have asked questions, and she felt not ready for questions; she had made her decision to take time away, and was very afraid you would try to talk her out of it. Again this is a total guess but not a crazy guess.

Engineer913
04-12-14, 07:55 PM
No, I do think you are correct in many ways. I'm giving her space and waiting for her to contact me, but either way she will be back Tuesday so maybe we can reconnect then.

That's the rational side of my brain - perhaps these are my own issues but the rest of my brain is occupied with thoughts of how could someone do this? Is she trying to end things? She just was at a wedding all night having fun, I'd know I would miss her I can't believe she didn't even miss me!

Again maybe not rational, but hard to not have that line of thinking. I guess as a non ADD person, I have never felt SOOOO overwhelmed that I literally shut out people I care about for days at a time. Maybe a day then a good night sleep and I'm back to normal, but that's me.

salleh
04-12-14, 08:50 PM
......Sometimes we just overload ....and run for cover .....and for my part it usually embarrasses me that I do that ....so I'll just shut down completely ....

Canadian Mess
04-12-14, 08:59 PM
I do the same thing as him- I will try to put on a brave front, but eventually when everything piles up on me, I will shut out everyone and not respond to calls, emails, facebook messages, ... smoke signals. If I respond it will be misspelt or one liners, and I get irritated the more people try to help me, then I'll panic and run to the library and hide trying to bunker down and focus for abit.

I will barely eat, sleep or talk, just stare at the work I'm trying to do and trying to do something, usually ending up in an all-nighter, completely stressed and burnt out, causing me to need enormous amounts of sleep at random times. I will be awake in the night, not the day, etc.

Engineer913
04-12-14, 09:03 PM
That is good advice as well. I can't recall when or what exactly she said, but I do think in a way she is embarrassed a bit. It's almost like, as soon as we talk (and she's prolly right) I'll want to talk about what happened, which leads to questions, which leads to explaining, which I can understand adds stress.

My plan is just not bother her till she gets back. I have a feeling she wants to just see me in person and really just forget this all happened.

I do appreciate all the help though. It's just hard because at most in my life I've had a single day where I need to be alone, but usually a good sleep knocks me back to normal. So I am still confused but you all are helping me understand.

Have any of you felt like this for literally days or a week? Where you shut down that much? I'm just trying to understand. Thanks.

agirlandherdogs
04-12-14, 09:21 PM
um, this may not be what you want to hear ... when I've made a HUGE mistake BIG HUGE mistake this is how I act ... I'm not saying she did, but I'd act like this if I cheated on my boyfriend, and it's totally crappy I know. I'm a bolter and it sucks, not matter how great it is in every other area. I have never cheated. But rather than face the facts of other things I bolt

USMCcop
04-12-14, 09:26 PM
When I read this earlier, I was thinking the same exact thing (the way he described what was going on with her). Sorry...........

stef
04-13-14, 04:17 AM
no i would say total shut down and overwhelm...
you know she's under a lot of pressure
but what you know, may only be the tip of the iceberg and she can't deal with it anymore ,plus she is ashamed because you can handle these situations better.

( i have never done anything like that but have come very close, and always just long to be alone when i am that oberwhelmed...)

sarahsweets
04-13-14, 06:18 AM
are you saying she has adhd?

Dopes1
04-13-14, 06:22 AM
are you saying she has adhd?

Agreed.

From what I've read... chances are she has ADHD.

sarek
04-13-14, 07:17 AM
When I am under stress I do selective shutting down and out of people and activities. I know its sometimes hard to understand and I also know this can hurt people, even when its explained.

Ganjin
04-13-14, 11:12 AM
Well, you've received a lot of feedback with possible explanations that all sound possible/plausible to me. But really, from this distance, I don't think any of us could give you any definitive answers about her behavior. I'm assuming she's ADHD, but ADHD symptoms run across a wide spectrum and it seems like nearly all of manifest some form of comorbidity of OCD, SAD, depression, etc.

I'm glad she at least let you know that she was alright. Now you have to give her space to get her head screwed on right. If you don't hear from her for a while, you could try dropping a simple text occasionally. Keep it simple and don't pressure her to get back to you. Such pressure is likely to make her more reclusive (I feel certain of this).

I don't know what's going on with her. But assuming that she gets herself sorted out and you two resume this relationship, I suggest you two work a few things out before this happens again. Because it WILL happen again, right? There seems to be no doubt.

If you love this girl and are committed to continue this, then you'll have to figure out how to make this easier next time. Find out if there's any way that you can help her when she feels like this (you need to know before hand because she can't communicate once she overloads).

It's also necessary that you think about ways to make these crunch times easier on you! Whether she has ADHD or not, she needs to know that this is unacceptable way to treat a person who loves her. You don't want to load guilt on her, but you have every right to demand better treatment. Maybe she could text you some scripted words that would at least let you know that: 1. this is about her and not you; 2. she loves you; 3. she's OK; 4. she's coming back to you as soon as she can; 5. whatever else you need to know at times like this. You should not be asked to live in the dark for days or weeks wondering where you stand with a person that supposedly loves you. But you can't reason this out with her now. The crisis must be in the rearview mirror first. Then maybe you two can analyze it together. It might even be fun to analyze it together and plan for the next episode as a team. People with ADHD get used to the fact that the whole freaking world is annoyed with us and has no patience for our ******** anymore. But she might respond really positively to somebody who really wants to understand how her mind processes things.

I'm no psychiatrist, but I think its likely that this will be a lifelong pattern for her. Are you ready for that? Through medication, treatment, and support from loved ones many of us reduce our symptoms and make them more manageable. We get better at it with age, practice, maturity, etc. But it takes a long time for some of us and we never get "cured". You have to make an informed decision about whether this is something you can/want to live with.

dvdnvwls
04-13-14, 11:19 AM
One way to help for next time is to reassure her (truthfully!) that next time she needs space you will give it to her without questioning whether it's a good idea.

Sometimes, "being supportive" is not the supportive thing to do. I've been "supported" in some pretty painful ways in the past, "for my own good". That "my own good" never materialized; what was wrong was that the support person hadn't realized that ADHD is weird and ADHDers are weird - the usual helping techniques are often the wrong thing to do.

sarek
04-13-14, 11:50 AM
My gf, due to her own condition, can be similarly uncommunicative and unreachable for long periods of time. The evolution of my love for her is the evolution of my unconditional acceptance for the way she is and of her unalienable right to be that way. I'm not saying its easy but it IS a very good soul forge.

Ganjin
04-13-14, 11:51 AM
One way to help for next time is to reassure her (truthfully!) that next time she needs space you will give it to her without questioning whether it's a good idea.

Sometimes, "being supportive" is not the supportive thing to do. I've been "supported" in some pretty painful ways in the past, "for my own good". That "my own good" never materialized; what was wrong was that the support person hadn't realized that ADHD is weird and ADHDers are weird - the usual helping techniques are often the wrong thing to do.

I couldn't agree more! That's why these things have to aired out before the crisis unfolds. For me at least, the thing that feels like the intuitively right way to "support" and "be supported" is wrong every time.

Engineer913
04-13-14, 03:36 PM
Agreed.

From what I've read... chances are she has ADHD.

Yes, it's actually ADHD I believe.

Engineer913
04-13-14, 03:41 PM
Well, you've received a lot of feedback with possible explanations that all sound possible/plausible to me. But really, from this distance, I don't think any of us could give you any definitive answers about her behavior. I'm assuming she's ADHD, but ADHD symptoms run across a wide spectrum and it seems like nearly all of manifest some form of comorbidity of OCD, SAD, depression, etc.

I'm glad she at least let you know that she was alright. Now you have to give her space to get her head screwed on right. If you don't hear from her for a while, you could try dropping a simple text occasionally. Keep it simple and don't pressure her to get back to you. Such pressure is likely to make her more reclusive (I feel certain of this).

I don't know what's going on with her. But assuming that she gets herself sorted out and you two resume this relationship, I suggest you two work a few things out before this happens again. Because it WILL happen again, right? There seems to be no doubt.

If you love this girl and are committed to continue this, then you'll have to figure out how to make this easier next time. Find out if there's any way that you can help her when she feels like this (you need to know before hand because she can't communicate once she overloads).

It's also necessary that you think about ways to make these crunch times easier on you! Whether she has ADHD or not, she needs to know that this is unacceptable way to treat a person who loves her. You don't want to load guilt on her, but you have every right to demand better treatment. Maybe she could text you some scripted words that would at least let you know that: 1. this is about her and not you; 2. she loves you; 3. she's OK; 4. she's coming back to you as soon as she can; 5. whatever else you need to know at times like this. You should not be asked to live in the dark for days or weeks wondering where you stand with a person that supposedly loves you. But you can't reason this out with her now. The crisis must be in the rearview mirror first. Then maybe you two can analyze it together. It might even be fun to analyze it together and plan for the next episode as a team. People with ADHD get used to the fact that the whole freaking world is annoyed with us and has no patience for our ******** anymore. But she might respond really positively to somebody who really wants to understand how her mind processes things.

I'm no psychiatrist, but I think its likely that this will be a lifelong pattern for her. Are you ready for that? Through medication, treatment, and support from loved ones many of us reduce our symptoms and make them more manageable. We get better at it with age, practice, maturity, etc. But it takes a long time for some of us and we never get "cured". You have to make an informed decision about whether this is something you can/want to live with.


Thank you so much, this was great advice! I have no doubt we can work on this together like you suggested. I actually have struggles with depression/anxiety that crept up early in our relationship. When we fight we never yell, we end up siting down and talking about it. I think what you said is the way I should approach it, don't make her feel guilty, be supportive, and work through it. She's usually a very resonable person.

I like your idea about just general phrases she can say. I almost thought we need a code phrase that means like "Seriously, just need space, I love you and all that but right now I need to be alone, so don't try to be supportive".

We came up with a similar idea for fights, and when we both the phrase the meaning behind it is "Ok this is over, we won't bring it up again, no grudges over this fight etc" Honestly it's been working great, and I would suggest couples come up with a really dirty or silly phrase, it makes saying it and ending a fight that much better.

Impetus
04-13-14, 07:32 PM
Clearly something has happened, honestly there's no telling what from this perspective. IT, the relationship, probably isn't over. She's upset about something, like everyone else has said, she's probably embarrassed or made a mistake that is huge in her mind... BUT she's probably forgotten to tell you. :lol: It's only something I find worthy of laughing at because I've done it a kajillion times myself. My poor poor hubby has dealt with my telling him off and running away for 20+ years. hubby's catch phrase in these situations is, "WTF is going on here?" :giggle:

It's like this, things happen and upend us like apple carts, but we forget to tell our perspective to those around us; we sort of forget everyone isn't in our heads with us. (for all the ruckus going on in our heads, can you really blame us for thinking the entire world is with us in our own heads?) Then we tend to go off, with a great bang and no one realizes what in the sam hill is going on.

When she comes back around, and it sounds as though it's only a matter of time. (probably short time, we tend to go off loud and get over things fast) Try to explain that while you get the idea of the "constant rain of post it notes," that is our lives... if she would just try to slow down, and give you a sec to catch up; it would be awesome.

Engineer913
04-13-14, 08:43 PM
Update: Well the plot thickens. I went for a walk to store earlier by our parking lot, nothing of note. Then went for a job now, and her car is back! I didn't text her to call her out on it, clearly she is avoiding me. But I just send a friendly text saying I miss her and can't wait till she gets back.

I'm really baffled now. It's been 3 solid days and the only message I got from her was after me pleading to let me know she's ok. Now she's literally 40 feet from me (she basically lives right below me) and hasn't even stopped to say hi.

I'm really bewildered by all this...

Engineer913
04-13-14, 09:32 PM
Anyway I likely again overreacting. She said she would be back Monday night, so I guess in her mind I shouldn't know she's even home (our car lot is around the block but I pass it when jogging sometimes). Knowing her she is prolly going to bed early for class tomorrow.

So I'll just leave this as they are and play dumb about her being home. Hopefully she will finally connect back tomorrow Night.

TLCisaQT
04-14-14, 01:08 AM
The not knowing, can be vey frustrating, as pretty much, it's in her hands now.

A person with ADHD and one with depression/anxiety is a tough mix :) Seems to be a common one too in relationships hehe.

I agree that you may find this is how she copes with very stressful moments in her life, or it could mean something completely different. I hope either way, if this is something you want long-term, that it has a good ending for you both, AND that you realize these coping mechanisms are something that you can live with. Good luck.

Abi
04-14-14, 03:24 AM
Well, on the plus side, at least she didn't beat you.

RedHairedWitch
04-14-14, 10:23 AM
If she is anything like me, she probably got home and went straight to bed.

Hope everything works out.

Rebelyell
04-14-14, 10:41 AM
Forget her then if shes acting jerky, 2 can play that game.

dvdnvwls
04-14-14, 03:46 PM
Forget her then if shes acting jerky, 2 can play that game.
Yeah, true, but once 2 start playing this kind of game, it gets hard to ever get out of it again.

Rebelyell
04-14-14, 06:26 PM
truethis stuff use to bother me but dealing w a peckerhead brother whos up and down and cant get a straight answer from I just do what I need or want to do and let him/her decide when they want to rejoin the party and play nice again.I wont say jack **** to someone if they get all cranky and frumpy about something.Ill be like keep it moving ya mental case.

Engineer913
04-14-14, 07:47 PM
Well my psychologist doesn't understand, gave me some good advice but still. I'm feeling like I don't know if I can handle this much more. It's getting close 4 days or so, and honestly I just don't know. As someone with anxiety depression issues that are 75% under control, this has made the last 4 days unbearable, I have done nothing of value.

Sometimes when I seem mad she will text me and email me "Hey can you tell me if you are really upset? When I think you are mad at me I can't focus or do work".

So I nicely said the same thing to her, hoping she would get the idea... but no reply. I guess she's mad or ending things.

I do appreciate the advice though, just can't handle this much longer.

TLCisaQT
04-22-14, 03:15 PM
Why does she have to be the one to end it? Seems this relationship as it is is NOT healthy for you nor working out as you would like, so maybe you should move on to something that would be a better match. I know, easier said than done, but perhaps will be better for both of you in the future.