View Full Version : A misunderstanding created a monster in her mind


Skippy Can
05-11-14, 01:34 PM
I’ve been seeing this girl for about four months. She’s in her early 40’s and I’m in my early 50’s. Although we exchange colorful texts just about everyday, we usually get a chance to see each other just two or three times a month, as there is a little distance between us. I live out in the country on some land that I own and she enjoys coming out to my place and bringing her dogs and staying for three or four days at a time. She’s an avid hunter and we’ve had some great times hunting together and we share a lot of other similar interests too. I also have numerous improvement projects going on around here and she’s always eager to help out with anything she can. Obviously, focusing on a rewarding task is good for her. She actually describes my place as Project Disneyland.

She told me up front that she has ADD and is taking medication for it. Within a very short time I noticed a level of patience in myself that I never would have thought was possible. I told her about that and thanked her for being open with me. I explained that had I not known about her ADD I would have lost my patience with her over a few things already. I was also surprised that I was able to spend an extended period of time with her without her getting on my nerves. Usually, constant contact with anyone for longer than 24 hours gets a little tiring for me.

The solitude of my personal space is my comfort zone and when I’m sharing that space with someone else it’s no longer available for comfort. I told her how I was amazed that she didn’t get on my nerves after so many days of constant contact, which is rare for anyone. She echoed the same sentiment, and explained that she’s used to being a loner and if she gets uncomfortable around me she has no problem going home and being alone with her dogs. She doesn’t do drama and will simply remove herself from any dramatic environments.

All of our times together have been very enjoyable, and rewarding, with minimal disruptions attributed to her ADD. She would lose her train of thought sometimes, or lose certain objects, or she would start on a project after dinner, forgetting that it was her idea to watch a movie then, that I had spent some time and resources getting prepared. Nothing major, and sometimes quite entertaining.

It was her good looks that got my attention. Her enjoyment of hunting and outdoor activities got my interest started, but it was something more internal that kept my interest going. She’s very real. She’s open, honest, and very blunt. She’s very well spoken and no subject is off limits. We’ve had very deep conversations about various topics and the dialogue just seems to flow with ease for both of us, even on a few topics that I normally wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing with just anyone. We also seem to share similar views on most issues. It’s been a long time since I have met a woman that I am that at ease around and, even with the ADD, comfortable enough to relax and be myself. I also get a tremendous amount of energy from her.

On her most recent visit one of the discussions was about how our feelings for each other are growing. Neither one of us was looking for anything exclusive or long term when we met. We both have some scars from previous relationships that make us cautious about making any substantial emotional investment prematurely. We also both have our own ways of putting up barriers if we feel ourselves getting too close. She described one of hers and pointed out how she was starting to do that with me and I then recognized the behavior she was referring to. I told her that I didn’t notice any of my barriers going into action and although I wasn’t going to fight my feelings, I wasn’t going to force them onto her. I told her that I didn’t have an agenda with her and no long range goals other than making each visit better than the previous one. She seemed quite content with my status and my approach.

Sorry for the long introduction but I tried to include any item that could be relevant for formulating any advice. So here is the meat of the issue:

On the third evening of her last visit we were sitting outside listening to some music that she had put on and I noticed a metaphor in the lyrics and I commented on it and started playing around with different variations of the same line. Apparently she thought I was making fun of the song because I didn’t like her music, and she took offence by it. I told her that I didn’t have a problem with any of the music she selects, and that I was just having fun playing with the words. It was in fun and I didn’t say anything that could remotely be considered as condescending. Well, that set her off. She said I was always condescending. I said, “Excuse me?” And she starts going on and on about how I’m condescending to everybody. I finally get enough information to figure out what she’s talking about. I use a lot of sarcasm, especially when I’m around close friends that know me well. So it’s like, “Oh. I understand now. You’re talking about my sarcasm. That’s just part of my sense of humor. It’s not intended to be derogatory. It’s just in fun. And it’s different then condescension.”
She replied with, “They’re both the same thing. It’s not funny, and I can’t believe what an a**hole you are to your friends.”
I was speechless. I said “A**hole?”
She said, “That’s right. You’re a great guy and a lot of fun but sometimes you’re a real a**hole.”
I started thinking about how she’s been listening to my sarcasm for three months and not understanding it, and not saying anything and letting build up. I was just about to find out how much it had built up.
She said, “I really can’t get mad at you because you didn’t know (I’ve never known another woman who has said that, and this was the second time for her), but this can be a deal breaker.”
So I’m still trying to explain the difference between sarcasm and condescension, and also explaining how my sarcastic comments are intended and she stops listening and ramps it up a couple of more notches. It quickly changes from a discussion to a high volume monologue. All of a sudden, I have no idea who this person is. This can’t be the same person that avoids drama. I’m thinking that this type of attitude can be a deal breaker “for me.” I was getting real close to telling her to leave but I kept my mouth shut. I wanted to hang in there with her on this one. I needed to know where this was coming from and how we can take care of this. She didn’t have a lot of substance, basically repeating three bullet points over and over. When she would pause, I would start to respond and she would immediately start talking over me much louder. I never tried to match her volume and would pause to let her finish, and then ask, “Is it my turn now?” And she would just continually drown me out. I remained calm, quiet, and seated. She said that I knew that I was being an a**hole but I thought that I was getting away with it by trying to be cute about it, and she didn’t want to hear my b.s. reasoning because she can “see right through it.” She just flat out refused to listen to anything I tried to say.

This went on for maybe 15 minutes. She paused to catch her breath. Since I wasn’t being allowed to participate, I thought that would be an appropriate opportunity to walk away.

I might have been gone 10 or 15 minutes. I was still trying to figure out what had just happened. I remembered that a couple of hours before, she mentioned that her medication didn’t appear to be working so she had just taken another dose. Regardless, there was something that needed some work. I went back to where she was and she was somewhat back to normal and was appearing more cordial. I told her that I had been thinking about what she said and was in agreement with some of it and I was planning on working on my language. She acknowledged what I said but didn’t provide any kind of a significant response.

We enjoyed a nice dinner a little while later and our usual interactions didn’t appear to be compromised by the earlier event. She was planning on going home after dinner. That was the scheduled plan since the beginning of her visit. During the visit, I brought up the idea of her staying for another day and we agreed that we would just play it by ear. She’s been helping me with a bathroom remodel that I’ve been working on and I mentioned that I was planning on starting the tile before I went to bed. Her face lit up and she said she would stay another day if we were going to set tile. I thought great, and I was glad she decided to stay another day.

It took me a little while to finish a couple of items before we could set the tile. She was idle during that time, either watching TV or on her computer. She came into the bedroom and plopped down on the bed and said she was losing her focus. I walked over to the bed and asked her if there was anything I could do to help. She didn’t offer any suggestions. I told her that she might get her focus back when she sees me starting to move tiles into the bathroom. I even offered to carry one like a big pizza and pass it in front of her face.

Her expression changed and she said, “That wasn’t funny.”
I said, “I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
She said, “I’ll just go ahead and leave now.”
I asked her, “What part of what I just said did you have a problem with?”
She said, “All of it.”

I thought back to the earlier event and just moved out of her way and let her gather up her things. There was no further dialogue between us except for when she couldn’t find a particular item and she would ask me, “Where’s my X?” in a way that almost implied that I took it or hid it, even one item that I handed to her four minutes earlier after I found it the first time she asked.

One item I mentioned that if she didn’t find it, it would be here next time. She said that there wouldn’t be a next time.
In a reasonably calm voice I said, “Hold on a minute. I don’t know what you thought I said back there, but you’re going to take all of the great, fun times that we’ve had and-“
She cut me off, walking out the door to load her car, “I’m not listening to you.”

One of her dogs had wandered off (he’s done it before but always showed back up when he got hungry) and we both looked for him for almost an hour. Finally, she said, “I can’t stay here any longer. Call me when he shows up and I’ll meet you at the gate.” I started offering some parting words but she rolled up the window and drove off.

Over the next several days the only correspondence from her was in very short text messages inquiring about her dog and a legal issue that a lawyer friend of mine was taking care of for her, and billing me. She ignored any other subjects that I included in my responses to her. I’ll skip the other details but She was treating me the way I would expect someone to be treated if they were in a serious relationship and got caught cheating. I could still only make assumptions about why all of this happened.

That’s when I started researching on-line. I found a lot of good information, including this forum.

I learned that her initial behavior could have been her creating conflict in order to stimulate the brain to produce more dopamine. As I recalled her mentioning that her meds weren’t working about that time. I sent her a brief text (6 days after she left) about my findings and mentioned that it helped me to understand a little better what might have been going on.

No response.

I learned about how the brain processes sarcasm, and that many ADD brains have difficulty with that. I sent her a brief text (8 days after) about those findings and acknowledged that I was sure that I sounded like a total a**hole, and that I was surprised she didn’t say something sooner. I said I was sorry that it happened and I was working on making some changes.

No response.

She deleted me as a friend on Facebook and blocked me from viewing her profile.

She finally responded with a text, questioning why I was wasting my time trying to justify the fact that I was an a**hole when I came over to the bed, alluding to my comment about tiles and pizza. She said it has nothing to do with her ADD and it was all about me acting like that.

I thanked her for the feedback, stating that it was helpful. I then described my view of what took place in those last few minutes, including the comment that I made that set her off. I told her that I didn’t know what she heard but I don’t equate what I said with her conclusion of a**hole. I asked her to tell me what I was missing.

After waiting about an hour for a response I followed up with another text, telling her that she was right about it not having to do with her ADD, and that it had to do with her perception. I referenced a very constructive and in depth discussion we shared a couple of weeks earlier about perception. We both shared the same views, but the discussion wasn’t related to ADD, more about beliefs and perception. In my text I mentioned the possibility of her ADD having an influence on her perception.

Her response was that it was all me, thinking that I could get away with acting like that by disguising it as humor, but that she could see right through it. She was done with the texting of me trying to convince her that it’s her, and that I was the one acting like that and I got what I deserved.

She was right about one thing. She was done with the texting. That’s the last I’ve heard from her. A non-confrontational text just to send a picture I took of something that she would normally would find fascinating, went unanswered. An email with final instructions from the lawyer that I had working for her went unanswered and a short email about arranging to return a few of her items has not been responded to as of this writing.

If you’re still reading this, I appreciate your interest, and I’ll summarize with a few bullet points:

We were both very comfortable being around each other, even for extended times.

Communications were easy, interesting, deep, apparently honest, and without any reluctance to bringing up sensitive subjects.

I got a lot of energy from her.

We had numerous mutual interests.

We never discussed being exclusive, or whether or not we were seeing other people, but it was probably time to bring it up. Maybe this is her way of not having to bring it up.

We both have emotional scars from previous relationships, and we each have our own methods for protecting our hearts, which we discussed openly. Maybe this is one of her methods that she didn’t tell me about.

She commented about her medication not working on the day she had her blow-up.

My take is that after listening to my sarcasm for over 3 months, she pretty much drew her own conclusions about my character. I feel like I was tried and convicted without being allowed to testify, and not even knowing that I was on trial. And she has no interest in listening to any opinion contrary to hers because she has already decided that it would be B.S. I want to believe that her ADD caused her to misinterpret my spoken words and it built up so rapidly that it was no longer manageable for her.

She’s an intelligent, logical, and reasonable girl, but I think that she has created a huge monster out of me in her mind, and as long as that monster exists she won’t listen to my reason or logic. I’m sure there may be some contributing issues that are non-ADD related, but we’ve never had a problem bringing them up.

I’m still willing to accept that this all could be a reaction (and a very valid one) to the “closeness” issue we discussed.

I’m just trying to figure out how I can get her to give me 15 minutes of her time and to make sure she’s listening, with an open mind, during those 15 minutes. I’m confident that that’s all it will take, unless there is something else major that I’m not aware of.

Thinking about her ADD, would she be more receptive if I presented my side in writing and she could digest it at her own pace without me being in the room? Assuming she would take the time to read it and give it some serious consideration.

Maybe I’m being too passive in my limited correspondence with her. Instead of finding parts of her position to agree with, maybe I need to point out exactly where she is mistaken and back it up with my reasoning.

I could even back it up using her words:
“Words mean nothing.”
“Actions mean everything.”
“Confidence is what women are attracted to.”
“You’re a great guy and a lot of fun, but…”
“I don’t do drama.”
“I can’t get mad because you didn’t know.”

I would accept her position and move on, if I thought it was valid. From my view, this has “misunderstanding” written all over it and I’m not ready to throw in the towel over a misunderstanding when the possible rewards can be win/win.

I am also very aware that I have only presented one person’s view here.

What do you think?

Fuzzy12
05-11-14, 02:36 PM
I doubt she was trying to create drama because her meds weren't working properly. If she was I don't think she would have dragged it on beyond that evening. Adhd can come with problems with emotional regulation and I in particular easily get overwhelmed. My negative emottions linger way longer than for normal people I think. It's very confusing for my husband because even after we ve made up after a fight I can still be very upset and some times very hostile. Once I'm overwhelmed it takes me at least a night and a good sleep to get back to normal.

I don't like sarcasm either. It's not just because I don't always get it but because I feel there's something mean and humiliating about it. It s like having a laugh at someone else's expense and while humour often is just that somehow sarcasm seems more devious, more hurtful. I'm not sure how to explain it and I could be wrong. I do believe that you don't mean to be hurtful but somehow sarcasm in particular is something I don't take well, especially when it seems to pick on someone s genuine shortcomings or makes them feel..or look stupid.

I'm not sure if that's r typical for adhders though.

I can also relate to suddenly not wanting anything to do with a person anymore often for seemingly small reasons. Sometimes it's not even the other person's fault or anything they have done but it's more about how they've made me feel and even if they change their hurtful behavior just the memory alone of that unpleasant feeling is difficult to get over.

You do sound like a very likeable guy and when I first read your post I did think that your girlfriend seemed to overreact but unfortunately I can see myself overreacting as well in that situation.

Keep in mind though that I've got other issues apart from adhd so I don't think I'm typical. Emotional regulation is a huge problem for me, I've got mood issues and relationships are very difficult for me. Once they start getting difficult I tend to run away, hide and eventually completely cut out that person.

Sorry for rambling and there's even more I'd like to say but I'm on my phone so it's taking me ages to type and I'm not sure really if any of this is very useful. :scratch:

ginniebean
05-11-14, 03:11 PM
Sarcasm is very difficult to process. In effect it requires a heavy load on working memory to process because it uses deception in service of humour.

I personally have difficulty processing it and even when I can the mixed signal of tone and deception wigs me out.

I think writing to her is a good idea and when you do, or if you do, don't use any sarcasm. People with adhd can come off as blunt specifically because of our deficits, being sincere and forthright is necessary when you can't do a triple back flip linguistically. Be straight forward and if it's possible be mindful nit to be sarcastic around her. A little is fine but when it's the main dorm of humour it can appear hostile.

Hope that helps.

Skippy Can
05-11-14, 03:41 PM
Sorry for rambling and there's even more I'd like to say but I'm on my phone so it's taking me ages to type and I'm not sure really if any of this is very useful. :scratch:

Thank you for opening up and sharing your experiences, Fuzzy. Everything you said was very useful for me and I didn't read anything that I would disagree with.

I would be very interested in the "even more" that you would like to say, when you find yourself at a keyboard designed for more than one finger. I know that frustration all too well.

Don't worry about rambling unless your response is longer than my original post.

Skippy Can
05-11-14, 03:49 PM
Sarcasm is very difficult to process. In effect it requires a heavy load on working memory to process because it uses deception in service of humour.

I personally have difficulty processing it and even when I can the mixed signal of tone and deception wigs me out.

I think writing to her is a good idea and when you do, or if you do, don't use any sarcasm. People with adhd can come off as blunt specifically because of our deficits, being sincere and forthright is necessary when you can't do a triple back flip linguistically. Be straight forward and if it's possible be mindful nit to be sarcastic around her. A little is fine but when it's the main dorm of humour it can appear hostile.

Hope that helps.

All very helpful, ginniebean. I've actually learned that it takes three different parts of the brain, working together, to process sarcasm.

I also learned a long time ago that sarcasm is meant to be heard and not read, so I do my best to leave it out of my writings. I have also found myself doing my best to keep it out of my dialogue since this incident.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

kilted_scotsman
05-11-14, 03:51 PM
Sarcasm can do REALLY bad things to an ADDers mind particularly if we are sensitive around relationships.

Sarcasm is one of those things that needs to be processed on several different levels to work, and there needs to be a significant amount of trust and mutual understanding for it to work...... it needs to be one step away from being downright rude and it's very very difficult to keep pulling off successfully time after time.....

that's why it's regarded as the lowest form of wit.

so someone who makes a habit of it.... comes over as rude to many people. Usually they don't notice because they've think skin and only hang out with thick skinned people.

Advice.... if sarcasm is a significant part of your comedic repertoire.... try to up your game unless you want to hang out with thick skinned blokes.

dvdnvwls
05-11-14, 04:31 PM
I am an ADHDer who does make occasional (too much?) use of sarcasm. I find that it too often mystifies absolutely everyone - many ADHDers simply don't do sarcasm, while the "normal" people don't get me either because it's special obscure ADHD sarcasm and not the regular kind. :)

With that kind of a description, I should probably just give up on it. :)

dvdnvwls
05-11-14, 04:34 PM
it needs to be one step away from being downright rude and it's very very difficult to keep pulling off successfully time after time.....

that's why it's regarded as the lowest form of wit.
No one who understands wit, or who understands what you just wrote, could proceed to call sarcasm the lowest form. Something that complex and difficult to pull off is clearly one of the higher forms. I'm not saying that makes it a good idea. :)

RedHairedWitch
05-11-14, 04:42 PM
Explaining how her reasoning is faulty, and then using her words "against her" is not going to work.

What you need to do is apologize to each other. Looks like you'll have to go first.

Then have a talk. Using "I feel" statements, not "You're wrong because X" statements.

My mother used to say that sarcastic people are just passive aggressive bullies with a poor sense of humor. Ouch. Guess she really hated sarcasm. I'm also ADHD but mostly I find sarcasm to be annoying. And yes, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. All you gotta do is mock someone or something or mimic someone or something. You don't actually have to come up with a novel idea or expression. No thinking required.

RedHairedWitch
05-11-14, 04:46 PM
Sarcasm is said to be a low form of humour as its intent is generally to get laughs at someone else's expense. The pointed humour may not be funny to the victim but its funny to those who understand the barb as it feeds their intellectual egos. This is because sarcasm is a form of humour that is known to require the highest functions of our brains. Areas of the brain that decipher sarcasm and irony also process language, recognise emotions and help understand social cues. Sarcasm is related to our ability to understand other people's mental state so it's not just a linguistic form, it's also related to social cognition.
David Buley, Seaforth

Fraser_0762
05-11-14, 04:48 PM
She sounds a bit toxic and I wouldn't waste anymore time on her.

I've met plenty of women that can just flip in an instant for no good reason. They never change.

You haven't done anything wrong, so don't be apologetic to her, as it will only feed her ego.

Best just to move on from this.

Fuzzy12
05-11-14, 04:56 PM
Sarcasm is said to be a low form of humour as its intent is generally to get laughs at someone else's expense. The pointed humour may not be funny to the victim but its funny to those who understand the barb as it feeds their intellectual egos. This is because sarcasm is a form of humour that is known to require the highest functions of our brains. Areas of the brain that decipher sarcasm and irony also process language, recognise emotions and help understand social cues. Sarcasm is related to our ability to understand other people's mental state so it's not just a linguistic form, it's also related to social cognition.
David Buley, Seaforth

I could never quite put my finger on why I dislike sarcasm so much but this could be it. It seems rs a bit like an attempt at making yourself look intelligent by making somEone else look stupid..or ridiculous.

Dvd I could be wrong but I can't imagine you using biting or hurtful sarcasm. At least I've never heard it. Or maybe I Just wasn't smart enough to get it. :scratch: :lol::doh:

Skippy glad to hear that you have already started toning it down n a bit. :)

stef
05-11-14, 05:03 PM
first of all you did nothing intentionally wrong,
but i think you triggered something , with the tiling remark.

it's huge for her to come in and say, "I'm having trouble focusing". she needed huge support here (maybe not a solution just someone to listen) and perhaps she no longer wanted to work on tiling and didnt know what to do...
îdon't think she was being dramatic but genuinely very lost. hope you can work things out...

ginniebean
05-11-14, 05:18 PM
Wow good job witchy! I'm learning a lot about sarcasm today beyond that I just don't get it. Thanks everyone.

RedHairedWitch
05-11-14, 06:34 PM
Yes regarding the "trouble focusing" at that point, you were trying to help her get back on task. Yay you! That was well intentioned.

But really what she needed was to get away from the task entirely for a while. Maybe for the rest of the day. She should have made that clearer to you.
Mentally, she was fatigued.

Skippy Can
05-11-14, 10:48 PM
I'm not saying that makes it a good idea. :)

Thanks, DVD. I'm starting to understand that myself.

I agree with your earlier statements about a higher form of wit, but I'm also proof that there may be no winners in a contest of wits. (That's the best I could come up with, extemporaneously, while working hard to cool my jets).

sarahsweets
05-12-14, 04:52 AM
Is it possible that its not about sarcasm at all? Could it be a latent flight or fight feeling as a result of past scars. I know for me, I have been in relationships that are going great and then one thing is said a certain way and it triggers something from a past wound and I cant let it go. I have left a few relationships this way, and it was unfair to the other guy but it was like I couldnt help it or let it go. If this is whats going on with her, you wont be able to talk her down or even reason with her really. If she is triggered by something seemingly small or insignificant to you, its huge to your and her need for self preservation will always trump what is 'right",true, or making sense.

RedHairedWitch
05-12-14, 05:42 AM
That's a good point Sarah, it could be that he was unknowingly showing some behavior that reminded her of a past abusive relationship or childhood trauma that set her off.

My Dad was a joker. Always teasing and trying to make light of stuff, never taking things seriously. Even some pretty terrible circumstances we went through, or he caused, when I was growing up. Now I can't stand it when someone tries to make me feel better by making a joke about the situation. Drives me right up the wall. But at least i recognize the trigger and can calmly explain to the person this is not acceptable with me.

SirSchmidt
05-12-14, 04:04 PM
Skippy, I'm so sorry you had to experience this.

I don't think this is about ADHD at all, at least not directly.

I have ADHD, but my wife did not. My wife started having these exact types of reactions shortly after our marriage. She would be fine one moment, then completely blow up at the slightest mistake I made. It would turn into an argument with her raising her voice and escalating the severity of the problem to 10x what it actually should deserve. During each argument I desperately tried to calm the situation down by being peaceful and rational. It seldom worked.

I printed some pictures out in a different manner than she wanted and she reacted as if I had cheated on her. She screamed, threw multiple objects, and dragged the argument on for three days. She also brought up events from the recent past and blamed me for malicious intent. She seemed delusional because she dismissed any evidence, no matter how compelling, that I was not trying to undermine our relationship. No amount of reason, logic, or factual information had any effect on her views. Eventually communication with her was not possible because she thought that everything I have ever said was a lie.

My only conclusion was that she had either 1) Met someone else and was intentionally "throwing away" our relationship to justify leaving, or 2) she has some type of imbalance which reared its head only after a certain level of stress, resentment, and failed expectations took place. I believe both to be true in my case.

For someone to throw away a relationship like this, whether it is dating four months or married four months, is a huge red flag. Someone who's healthy and ready to be in a relationship will not be this quick to completely dismiss an otherwise good relationship. If they really had to leave, why leave while hurling fire and brimstone at us? Clearly, something is not right here.

Even if we could get back together with these women, there's no telling when they would turn another 180 and storm out of our lives again. One day they may be ready for a serious commitment, but it will likely be years from now.

Skippy Can
05-12-14, 05:52 PM
Is it possible that its not about sarcasm at all? Could it be a latent flight or fight feeling as a result of past scars. I know for me, I have been in relationships that are going great and then one thing is said a certain way and it triggers something from a past wound and I cant let it go. I have left a few relationships this way, and it was unfair to the other guy but it was like I couldnt help it or let it go. If this is whats going on with her, you wont be able to talk her down or even reason with her really. If she is triggered by something seemingly small or insignificant to you, its huge to your and her need for self preservation will always trump what is 'right",true, or making sense.

Yes, Sarah, that's very possible. I thought I touched on that in my post. Realizing that we had the discussion just the day before about growing feelings and how we each had methods for protecting our hearts, it's a very real possibility. She even pointed out how she was already starting to deploy her shields. Maybe too close for comfort and then realizing that she spilled the beans about her first line of defense, she had to go to plan B.

I know that behavior all too well because I have done it in the past. Therapists call it "The Love Addiction Dance," but in the clinical model the dancer fears the closeness and moves away, either physically or emotionally, but not too far away and keeps glancing back to see if the partner is following. If not, takes a deep breath and goes back for another dance. It sounds more like a yo-yo to me than a dance.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Skippy Can
05-12-14, 05:59 PM
If they really had to leave, why leave while hurling fire and brimstone at us?

Thank you Sir! All very valid points, but I really liked this one.

FroGpants
05-12-14, 09:08 PM
First let me say, I loved this post at first because I can relate bigtime. And what I saw at first was a whole bunch of ADD gone awry. However, once I started cutting and pasting to quote this and read back thru it, I started to see what's going on here.

See, you have to understand, she and I are a lot alike. We can see other people's bull- even when they're smackdab in the middle of denying it. We can also see the good in people. Fact is, there is no lying or pretending with us even if you yourself absolutely believe what is coming out of your mouth. Hence her comment, actions speak louder than words. And it's not just actions, we can feel it. We can feel your emotions. Ok I'm not speaking for all add/adhd'ers out there but it's certainly true for me.

And here's the thing, we don't always see it from the getgo. It depends on how much denial or coverup is involved. You know like when an angry person tries to act like they're not angry, either because they're embarrassed at the anger they carry or because they're intentionally trying to conceal it.

Either way, it sometimes takes time for us to figure it out. Sometimes it's a final piece of the puzzle, like something will happen and it makes us go OH, and then we see what was in front of us the whole time.

For me, your use of formal language, if you speak the way you write, would have been a huge red flag. But that's because that's a sign that I've already experienced, processed and has been duly noted. That is, people who speak with such a formal tone about a subject so emotional may be keeping their emotions in check. And probably for a reason.

About sarcasm, as others said here, it's not funny. Sarcasm is an expression of anger. Period. It's not funny and yes, it's condescending. You can disagree til you're blue in the face but the fact of the matter is, it's suppressed/repressed anger.

She said you didn't know any better and I'm sure she was spot-on. You don't. Most people don't. Most people have a very limited understanding of their own behaviors. As it so happens, some of us with add/adhd, for some reason, have a weird ability to see right thru all this.

Think I'm a nut? My bf has add and reads me like a book. I was sitting here minding my own business last night and he said to me, something's wrong, you're stressed about something. What's up?

I had not said a word and had only just started thinking about something I was worried about just a few minutes before. It startled me that he picked up on it that quick.

Ok so let's dive into the quotes...

Obviously, focusing on a rewarding task is good for her.

This was an odd thing to say and an odd way to say it. Very rigid. Very ~why are you so up in her add~.

I explained that had I not known about her ADD I would have lost my patience with her over a few things already.

Screeching halt. Really? So was she supposed to be grateful? What had she done that was so off-putting? What had she done that would have angered you so greatly that it causes you to make this statement?

I ask because you didn't mention anything that sounded like a valid reason to get angry. Being with someone who misplaces things can be irritating, esp when you're heading out the door but to lose your patience over it?

I was also surprised that I was able to spend an extended period of time with her without her getting on my nerves.

Consider this statement as said to you by someone else. What if someone else said to you, wow, it's so nice that you don't get on my nerves. On its face, it kinda sounds good. But compare it to how it could have been said.... I really enjoy your company. I feel so relaxed around you.

I told her how I was amazed that she didn’t get on my nerves after so many days of constant contact,

Angry and emotionally distant "many days of constant contact".
Reworded: I told her I had never enjoyed the company of a woman so much.

She doesn’t do drama and will simply remove herself from any dramatic environments.

And that's what she did. She had reached her conclusions, knew from years of experience that there was no sense in talking about it so she left.


All of our times together have been very enjoyable, and rewarding, with minimal disruptions attributed to her ADD.

Sigh. Really?

She’s very real. She’s open, honest, and very blunt.

We (some of us) don't know any other way to be. It's how I'm wired apparently. I don't think to lie unless it's the usual little white lies. And blunt, yup. A friend told me the other day that I'm very direct. I don't mean to be and I guess I need to keep a lid on it. Don't want to offend the deniers out there.

I told her that I didn’t have an agenda with her and no long range goals other than making each visit better than the previous one. She seemed quite content with my status and my approach.

Yes. I've had people complain to me about this one. I seem agreeable because I'm not sure which direction things are going and my indecisiveness comes into play. I don't yet have enough information but as soon as I do, the direction I take will be in one fell swoop. Or maybe she just agreed with you.

On the third evening of her last visit we were sitting outside listening to some music that she had put on and I noticed a metaphor in the lyrics and I commented on it and started playing around with different variations of the same line. Apparently she thought I was making fun of the song because I didn’t like her music, and she took offence by it. I told her that I didn’t have a problem with any of the music she selects, and that I was just having fun playing with the words. It was in fun and I didn’t say anything that could remotely be considered as condescending.

Haha, you were making fun of a song she liked. And you tried to lie to her about it. And now you're lying to us about it.

I started thinking about how she’s been listening to my sarcasm for three months and not understanding it, and not saying anything and letting build up.

It didn't build up. More than likely she kept brushing it off and making excuses for it. She saw the good side of you but then saw this side and was trying to put the two together. Weighing the good v. the bad. But in order to do that she may have been seeing your bad side with a bit of denial. But that's not add, we all do that with others.

As for understanding it, apparently some adder's don't get sarcasm. I sure do. But then I grew up with it. I'm so well-versed in it that it was my 2nd language for a long time. Until I learned that it was nothing but suppressed anger :cool:

I was just about to find out how much it had built up.

Haha, hey there's that sarcasm!

I know you may not see it but you're putting her down with this statement. Actually, you put her down thruout your entire post but anyway. This statement is making fun of her reaction to your actions. You vented your anger in a passive-aggressive way and she responded. So when she responded (with normal, healthy anger) you were able to vent even more anger by belittling her.

It's a tactic men (ok we all do it) do all the time. Use a passive-aggressive behavior against someone, they respond in a normal, healthy way, then you're able to point to them and say see? Look at what an angry person he/she is.


So I’m still trying to explain the difference between sarcasm and condescension, and also explaining how my sarcastic comments are intended

Right, but there's nothing you can say. There is no defense. You have to look at why you're doing it and think about what you're actually saying.

This can’t be the same person that avoids drama.

It wasn't drama and you're being condescending again. You're putting her down again and using something she said against her. Mocking her.

I’m thinking that this type of attitude can be a deal breaker “for me.”

So why wasn't it? This is actually the statement I read that made me go, wait a minute. What's going on here? Is this really about you trying to figure out what happened or are you having a hard time being the dumpee. Sorry for the bluntness but I see too much control freak in your entire post to worry about being polite.

she didn’t want to hear my b.s. reasoning because she can “see right through it.” She just flat out refused to listen to anything I tried to say.

Exactly. Because we can see right thru it. Because we can read between the lines, because we see your actions, because we translate what you say. And you putting that in quotes is mocking her again.

Since I wasn’t being allowed to participate, I thought that would be an appropriate opportunity to walk away.

I don't have enough info for this one. I just know that something here stinks. You got her wound up, enjoyed it (deep down you sure did), and then tried to add to it by passive-aggressively walking away. I think you were surprised when she didn't come after you, that's why you came back.

I even offered to carry one like a big pizza and pass it in front of her face.

I would have up and left too. Wow.

She finally responded with a text, questioning why I was wasting my time trying to justify the fact that I was an a**hole when I came over to the bed, alluding to my comment about tiles and pizza. She said it has nothing to do with her ADD and it was all about me acting like that.

I thanked her for the feedback, stating that it was helpful.

You "thanked her for the feedback". Have you reread your post to see how stiff and formal it is? Your self-control is to the point of being scary.

After waiting about an hour for a response I followed up with another text, telling her that she was right about it not having to do with her ADD, and that it had to do with her perception.

I mentioned the possibility of her ADD having an influence on her perception.

sigh

Her response was that it was all me, thinking that I could get away with acting like that by disguising it as humor, but that she could see right through it.

And yes, apparently you can get away with it. As long as there are people in your life who let you be the way you are.

If you’re still reading this, I appreciate your interest, and I’ll summarize with a few bullet points:

Matters of the heart don't use bullet points.

My take is that after listening to my sarcasm for over 3 months, she pretty much drew her own conclusions about my character.

Lol. Isn't that what we do when we're dating?

I feel like I was tried and convicted without being allowed to testify, and not even knowing that I was on trial.

You were allowed to testify. She explained it to you loud and clear. You're the one who refuses to acknowledge the validity of the evidence.

I want to believe that her ADD caused her to misinterpret my spoken words

Yes, this can most definitely happen. It's something I struggle with A LOT. BUT once I'm allowed time to refect, I come out knowing I've interpreted things correctly.

Thinking about her ADD, would she be more receptive if I presented my side in writing and she could digest it at her own pace without me being in the room?

This just sounds creepy.

Instead of finding parts of her position to agree with, maybe I need to point out exactly where she is mistaken and back it up with my reasoning.

You've already done that. Repeatedly. She's wrong. You're right.

I could even back it up using her words:
“Words mean nothing.”
“Actions mean everything.”
“Confidence is what women are attracted to.”
“You’re a great guy and a lot of fun, but…”
“I don’t do drama.”
“I can’t get mad because you didn’t know.”


You know it's a little off to be using her words like this. A little control-freakish.

Maybe I should have started my response with IMHO. Just to be on the safe side :cool: But anyway, yea, you came off great until I had another look and saw past your actual words. And that's what she did. You have lots and lots of disguised anger. Sorry my friend but there's my honest & blunt answer.

dvdnvwls
05-13-14, 12:25 AM
FroGpants,
I wonder how much of your post is directed at the OP and how much directed over his head at someone else who you know and I don't. I don't believe that you know or understand the OP as well as you think you do. I feel a little bit as though I'm vicariously observing gaslighting by one stranger (you) on another (him). None of what you have said is as cut-and-dried as you seem to believe right now.

peripatetic
05-13-14, 11:01 PM
FroGpants,
I wonder how much of your post is directed at the OP and how much directed over his head at someone else who you know and I don't. I don't believe that you know or understand the OP as well as you think you do. I feel a little bit as though I'm vicariously observing gaslighting by one stranger (you) on another (him). None of what you have said is as cut-and-dried as you seem to believe right now.

i've been reading this thread and i must agree that your post, frogpants, is more than a little shocking in the context of this discussion.

you accuse the thread starter of being angry multiple times, but your post is by far the most aggressive and hostile in tone. and that you reject his voice as the best and most credible one on his own internal state and intentions is disturbing. i say that because so often those of us with mental illness are spoken for, assumed to be less accurate or credible when self reporting than when others speak for us, presumed malicious in intention, or assigned emotional responses instead of being listened to and taken at our word. this supplanting of our voice by another's narrative is dismissive and dehumanizing. it's no less so when it's done to someone without mental health concern.

i think your post provided valuable insight on how his statements *could* be interpreted. but that's a very different thing from what you've written. i've had people in my life, throughout life, claim to have better or more reliable access to my thoughts, feelings and motives. what i've found is that their "assessment" and conclusions demonstrate they know very little about me--because that would require listening to me instead of speaking for me--and what they say tells anyone listening very little about me, but a great deal about them. i'm glad you and your boyfriend have such a strong emotional connection, but do you not think it's possible that just as the thread starter didn't understand the motives and perspective of his girlfriend and maybe misread some stuff...that you might be doing the same?

Skippy Can
05-15-14, 02:06 PM
you accuse the thread starter of being angry multiple times, ......... you reject his voice as the best and most credible one on his own internal state and intentions.

I took in everything that frogpants had to share and didn't dismiss any of it. However, I was trying to come up with a constructive response concerning the two subjects I quoted above, without sounding defensive, confrontational, or sarcastic (ie: "I guess you just had to have been there."). That is sometimes difficult to do with the written word. Sometimes the observations of a third party work best, and you did it well. Thank you for your candor and your tact.

RedHairedWitch
05-15-14, 06:31 PM
I just assumed Skippy used formal-ish language because he's in his 50s and was taught how to properly write letters etc. Unlike us kids.

Nicksgonefishin
05-15-14, 08:19 PM
Ok..... so you guys have gone down the sarcasm rout and hashed that out.

I commend skimpy for being so interoceptive. But what struck me was "always".. Perhaps just my own personal issue but it struck a cord. You think you're the one with the issue? There is something about the 3-6 month mark that brings out the true colors of people.

Stand up for your own character. Say No I'm not always an a-hole. You don't want to end up belittled and walking on eggshells to avoid blowups.

If she took the low road and has apologized cool. But if it is drilled home that you're the one with the problem move on...

Adhd is the easy one to admit to. It's the comoribid issues that people rarely are open about.

Flory
05-15-14, 08:32 PM
Sarcasm is something that most British people do on a daily basis as well as general banter so I'm pretty unqualified to respond to this post. If she were an English woman I would have told her to pipe down and stop being so ridiculous. You seem like a decent guy and you've gone to a lot of lengths to understand her...tbh I have no idea what her problem is and it's definitely not ADHD related as far as I can see... I often miss the joke or don't understand subtleties but I try my best to take it on the chin and get over it especially if the intention was kind...you were only trying to help her as far as I can see ...

Flory
05-15-14, 08:36 PM
I feel the only option is to ask for a fresh canvas but I agree with nick you shouldn't have to stifle your character to be with somebody that's not fair....my best friend calls me a wh0re on a daily basis but I know she's only playing, your sarcasm sounds like gentle teasing by comparison to some of the banter I'm used to. Wishing you all the best

Fuzzy12
05-16-14, 11:48 AM
FroGpants,
I wonder how much of your post is directed at the OP and how much directed over his head at someone else who you know and I don't. I don't believe that you know or understand the OP as well as you think you do. I feel a little bit as though I'm vicariously observing gaslighting by one stranger (you) on another (him). None of what you have said is as cut-and-dried as you seem to believe right now.

I wonder if this might be what happened with the OPs girlfriend as well. Maybe she's had negative experiences in the past and this episode with OP triggered those memories and emotions and maybe she got them confused?

(Just speculation..)

I don't think the OP is overly formal. I think, he writes very well and some people just have (or learn) that skill. I don't think it says anything about intentions at all. I found it made his post easy and pleasurable to read in spite of being quite long.

finallyfound10
05-17-14, 07:10 PM
When I read the OP post my gut reaction was very similar to FroGpant's. I wanted to reply in an appropriate way but didn't have the time or emotional energy.

OP, I don't think that your formal writing style shows us anything really but your actions, words and more than anything, your attempt to assign an ADHD-fueled reason for her reactions. While ADHD causes us innumerable issues in our lives, I don't believe that in this case it played as large a part as you hope it did. I think Fuzzy12 may have it more right than wrong: Maybe she's had negative experiences in the past and this episode with OP triggered those memories and emotions

Arthas
05-24-14, 12:09 PM
My mother used to say that sarcastic people are just passive aggressive bullies with a poor sense of humor. Ouch. Guess she really hated sarcasm. I'm also ADHD but mostly I find sarcasm to be annoying. And yes, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. All you gotta do is mock someone or something or mimic someone or something. You don't actually have to come up with a novel idea or expression. No thinking required.
Sarcasm is said to be a low form of humour as its intent is generally to get laughs at someone else's expense. The pointed humour may not be funny to the victim but its funny to those who understand the barb as it feeds their intellectual egos. This is because sarcasm is a form of humour that is known to require the highest functions of our brains. Areas of the brain that decipher sarcasm and irony also process language, recognise emotions and help understand social cues. Sarcasm is related to our ability to understand other people's mental state so it's not just a linguistic form, it's also related to social cognition.
David Buley, Seaforth
There are some many contradictory statements with that quote from Buley, and it certainly does not back up your previous statement. Sarcasm isn't a low form of wit or humour at all. If anything, it's the exact opposite, in that it requires a higher level of thought process, as stated by Buley. The only people who say sarcasm is a low form of wit are those who don't get it, and thus are themselves insulting something they don't understand. It would be the same as calling someone stupid for appreciating slapstick humour, when I don't myself enjoy it.

That said, it's perfectly fine to not appreciate it, and to be open with someone about that feeling, and it would be up to the one with the sarcastic sense of humour to adjust accordingly, if they are indeed not trying to be condescending. But to outright insult someone based on your own (in)ability to understand or appreciate that form of humour is in itself condescending and rude.

TLCisaQT
05-26-14, 01:14 PM
So whatever happened Skippy?

Wookiee
06-05-14, 02:34 PM
I have an aunty who used to flip out like that apparently after 6-12 months into a relationship.

She turned out to be paranoid schizophrenic.

However I have read that some people who are ADHD can be sensitive to sarcasm due to past experiences.

I myself was bullied for being a fat kid and I still wear emotional scars from that 30 years on. So if anyone makes a sarcastic remark directed at me I still feel pain before I see the humor.

faller
06-29-14, 04:48 PM
My short answer to the OP if he is still around- move on. I think the issues lie within your girlfriend and there is not much you can do. My opinion.

Lunacie
06-29-14, 05:51 PM
Originally Posted by Skippy Can View Post
So I’m still trying to explain the difference between sarcasm and condescension, and also explaining how my sarcastic comments are intended

The dictionary describes "sarcasm" as a put down. If putting another human being down isn't condescension, I don't know what it is then.

I won't go into "high" or "low" humor, puns are very low humor but I often find them amusing. They are not based on making oneself feel better by making another person look bad in some way.

I never find sarcasm amusing because it is based on hurting someone else's feelings. Even if it seems justified, it's just not funny. It's only hurtful. It mocks people, it's contemptuous, it's destructive.

I grew up with people who used sarcasm, it hurt me and it hurts me to this day. Unfortunately, I use it myself in trying to be humerous with my grandchildren. My autistic granddaughter will have none of it and calls me on it every time. We all should do that.