View Full Version : In Heavy Need of Advice..


Mittens
11-17-14, 02:49 PM
Hola!
It's been a while.

Funny, but not funny. Was re-reading an old thread I had put up and unfortunately it's the same issue :(

I know that ADD presents HUGE challenges when it comes to emotional regulation and emotional interpretation. Unfortunately I don't know how to help my partner learn to be emotional supportive.

Any time I come to him needing support, it turns into a massive fight. He reverts to his knee-jerk defensive actions, attacking, deflecting, etc etc, and I usually give up and just say 'Sure, whatever you say'. I know it's wrong, and I accept full responsibility for that.

I'm not sure what else I can do. I have brought up counseling multiple times, for the both of us, as I think someone to 'translate' would be worth their weight in gold.... There is always some reason. If it's not one thing, it's another.

If I go to one of my friends, my husband gets very resentful and hurt, and even if I go to my Mom to talk, he again gets very resentful and aggressive - I'm assuming out of guilt and/or feeling bad and it coming out as aggression / externalizing it. Natural human instinct (especially male) can very much be to lash out when they feel hurt, whereas (not always by any means, but 'typically') women tend to internalize it. It almost always ends in him blaming me for not 'hurting the right way', or him talking himself into that I am Superwoman and don't need him, that I refuse to be vulnerable, that the reason my Mom is able to make me feel safe and supported is because she 'doesn't stand up to me' whereas he is 'not a weak man and won't do the same'. I never really understand that part. Recently it's now gotten into "learn how to be vulnerable or divorce me - get the paperwork".

.................
Huh?
...................

I'm kind of at my wits end in trying to understand or clear past the impasse....
I *know* it's not his fault that he has huge challenges with this. He's a very sweet, caring man and despite what he says or his actions, he really wouldn't do anything to deliberately hurt me.
I just have absolutely no idea where to go from here.
I've suggested counseling, google, even here - I mean, why reinvent the wheel when I'm sure there are a ton of people out there with ADD that have faced and found solutions to the exact same problems?

What can I be doing differently?

Is there another way I can approach the subject with him that may be more easily understood?

I don't pretend to understand how difficult it must be, and it makes my heart hurt that I can't think of anything that can make this easier on him.... I know it's not wrong to want or need emotional support from my partner, I just don't know how to connect the dots :(

Any advice is sincerely appreciated....

Thanks for reading,

Mittens

silivrentoliel
11-17-14, 03:41 PM
is he in any type of therapy? is he medicated? since there is such a massive communication breakdown, you NEED someone to step in and help... if he cares at all about staying married to you (and if I were in your shoes, I'd actually say that), then he'll go with you. If not... well, then he's not really vested in y'all's future.

Mittens
11-17-14, 03:44 PM
is he in any type of therapy? is he medicated? since there is such a massive communication breakdown, you NEED someone to step in and help... if he cares at all about staying married to you (and if I were in your shoes, I'd actually say that), then he'll go with you. If not... well, then he's not really vested in y'all's future.

He is medicated - and the concerta has made a HUGE difference....
He also has read 'You, me, or ADD'.
As for therapy or coming on here anymore, no he isn't involved in that stuff....

silivrentoliel
11-17-14, 04:41 PM
if he's vested in the relationship... if he cares whether it works out, therapy in some form NEEDS to happen. there is a massive communication breakdown in there somewhere, and I don't think time will fix that.

sarahsweets
11-17-14, 05:07 PM
No matter how you go about approaching him you can't control his actions . You can only control yours and if he wants change then he will strive for that. Usually change is preempted by negative consequences.

Mittens
11-17-14, 06:02 PM
No matter how you go about approaching him you can't control his actions . You can only control yours and if he wants change then he will strive for that. Usually change is preempted by negative consequences.

Any suggestions on the best way too approach it in terms of least likely knee-jerk reaction?

I really don't know how to get things across to him any differently than all the ways I have tried.. I try to be creative but nothing seems to stick.

His response, as an example of today, was when I brought it up he said I didn't know how to need someone and get the paperwork done and he'll move out this week.
And no, I don't understand what or where it came from... i'm begging him for emotional support but he says I guess I don't know how to 'break down' the 'right' way or the way he thinks I should, and each time I feel more alone and more worthless. it ends up coming back to being my fault, my inadequacies, etc etc. Regardless of our agreement that after we got married his habit of launching ultimatums at the drop of a hat would stop (I believe marriage should be taken very seriously), but oh well I guess. Sigh.

I apologize if that sounded pessimistic or whiny. It truly wasn't meant as such. I think I am just exhausted and feeling very much out of options.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.

VeryTired
11-17-14, 06:51 PM
Mittens, hi--

I'm so sorry to hear of your continuing troubles. I am not sure I fully understand your situation--you are a bit sparse as to details ad context. But it doesn't sound good!

I don't think it's your job to meet your partner's expectations regarding these things. You have a right to emotional support--and it won't be that unless it takes usable forms for you. ALl this may or may not have links to ADHD, but it sounds as though right now you are in an unsatisfying relationship, getting blamed for stuff that is not your fault. I could be wrong, but my immediate reaction here is that you should not be trying to figure out how to communicate better with your husband, or how to accommodate him.

Take care of you. You need support? OK, what are places other than your husband where you can find it right now? What that he's doing do you need protection from--anger, blame, criticism, what have you. How can you make that stop until you get a little time and space to attend to your own needs?

I don't think it's your job to teach your partner to be emotionally supportive. If he is not so now and can't teach himself that, he should be in therapy if he wants to keep you. Is it possible you could take a little break from each other and get more perspective?

I take it very seriously when a non-ADHD says "at my wits end" or "exhausted"--that's not a good sign. I am concerned for you. It's very easy to lose perspective on one's own situation when one doesn't feel good and important needs aren't met over a long period. How about therapy for you--you sure sound like you need support, and therapy can be a very good source of that.

sending good wishes your way--

dvdnvwls
11-17-14, 06:55 PM
There are parts of this problem that unfortunately you can't do much about - mind you, I'm not saying that nothing can be done about them, just that you can't be the one to do it.

But first let's look at the parts where you can do something. When you've tried and tried to make a particular change in your relationship with an ADHDer, and you've had no success or very limited success, then despite how important it is and despite how right you are, stop. Stop beating both your heads against the wall, stop trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. (Everyone knows what that last one means. :) ) Don't give up on the situation, but do give up completely on your method, and try something new.

What should you try? The trouble is that ADHD does not make sense. If possible, try to learn why the old method won't work for someone with ADHD, and see if you can find something that might. Your new and potentially successful method is likely to be something that seems backwards, counterproductive, or just plain crazy; take consolation from the fact that it really might work - and can't be any worse.

Be brave, but stop trying to be so strong. Strategy, especially the unconventional kind, will get you much further with this situation than the greatest strength could.

dvdnvwls
11-17-14, 07:05 PM
My response, as an ADHD man, to a partner's request for emotional support, is "I don't know what that is. Please list the actions you're asking me to take, and list the circumstances in which you're asking me to take them."

I'm perfectly aware how stupid that sounds, ... but there it is.

anonymouslyadd
11-17-14, 07:06 PM
Any time I come to him needing support, it turns into a massive fight. He reverts to his knee-jerk defensive actions, attacking, deflecting, etc etc, and I usually give up and just say 'Sure, whatever you say'. I know it's wrong, and I accept full responsibility for that.
Can you describe a scenario?

sarahsweets
11-18-14, 05:25 AM
I think a key word in what you've written is "begging". No one should have to beg for emotional support.

Pilgrim
11-18-14, 10:45 AM
Sounds like he doesn't regulate his emotions well.

Mittens
11-18-14, 01:17 PM
Sounds like he doesn't regulate his emotions well.

A simplified example, but same jist.
Let's say he asks how I am, and I tell him i'm having a rough day, and I am really stressed at work and about finances.
His response would typically either be to just ignore me, or be something unfeasible / unrealistic like telling me to just quit my job, or along those lines. I'd then tell him I don't need him to 'fix' my problems, I just need him to be supportive and there for me, and he would get upset and start blaming me / deflecting everything to be my fault and telling me that I don't know how to ask for support or get it, and the onus and problem is entirely with me.. that i'm abnormal and it's not fair to him, etc etc.

Sorry, this may be all over the place, trying to respond to all the great responses on my cell.

Does that make any sense? I'm not overly good at conveying myself at times.

Rebelyell
11-18-14, 01:20 PM
Sounds like he needs a knee jerk reaction with a nice kick to the cajones or in the knees himself.

Mittens
11-18-14, 01:21 PM
There are parts of this problem that unfortunately you can't do much about - mind you, I'm not saying that nothing can be done about them, just that you can't be the one to do it.

But first let's look at the parts where you can do something. When you've tried and tried to make a particular change in your relationship with an ADHDer, and you've had no success or very limited success, then despite how important it is and despite how right you are, stop. Stop beating both your heads against the wall, stop trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. (Everyone knows what that last one means. :) ) Don't give up on the situation, but do give up completely on your method, and try something new.

What should you try? The trouble is that ADHD does not make sense. If possible, try to learn why the old method won't work for someone with ADHD, and see if you can find something that might. Your new and potentially successful method is likely to be something that seems backwards, counterproductive, or just plain crazy; take consolation from the fact that it really might work - and can't be any worse.

Be brave, but stop trying to be so strong. Strategy, especially the unconventional kind, will get you much further with this situation than the greatest strength could.

Can you elaborate?
I like to think i'm creative but i've hit a total wall... i'm not sure if I kind of hooped myself by always being the one to fix things, it just genuinely feels like without his participation anything I try is futile. I genuinely feel like I have no idea what to try or where to go next...

Mittens
11-18-14, 01:34 PM
Mittens, hi--

I'm so sorry to hear of your continuing troubles. I am not sure I fully understand your situation--you are a bit sparse as to details ad context. But it doesn't sound good!

I don't think it's your job to meet your partner's expectations regarding these things. You have a right to emotional support--and it won't be that unless it takes usable forms for you. ALl this may or may not have links to ADHD, but it sounds as though right now you are in an unsatisfying relationship, getting blamed for stuff that is not your fault. I could be wrong, but my immediate reaction here is that you should not be trying to figure out how to communicate better with your husband, or how to accommodate him.

Take care of you. You need support? OK, what are places other than your husband where you can find it right now? What that he's doing do you need protection from--anger, blame, criticism, what have you. How can you make that stop until you get a little time and space to attend to your own needs?

I don't think it's your job to teach your partner to be emotionally supportive. If he is not so now and can't teach himself that, he should be in therapy if he wants to keep you. Is it possible you could take a little break from each other and get more perspective?

I take it very seriously when a non-ADHD says "at my wits end" or "exhausted"--that's not a good sign. I am concerned for you. It's very easy to lose perspective on one's own situation when one doesn't feel good and important needs aren't met over a long period. How about therapy for you--you sure sound like you need support, and therapy can be a very good source of that.

sending good wishes your way--

I struggle greatly with this...
On one hand part of me wants to hug you and cry and thank you for telling me it's not my responsibility to teach him how to be supportive - on the other hand there's a part of me that wants to ask 'are you sure it's not my job?'.

I am fortunate enough to have my mom to an extent. Her and I are very close but I also don't want her to have a jaded or negative picture picture of him because that isn't fair to him, either. Most of my close friends are male and he gets very upset if I talk to them. I don't know if I agree with it, but I can, to an extent, understand.

I would love to start individual therapy, but it's the situation of if we put money towards counseling the first priority would be for him or us as a couple.

Things got very ugly last night.. basically ending in an extremely bad explosion and me telling him he really should take the next few days to be alone with his thoughts and get his head together.
I don't believe all is fair in love and war, and if you love someone there will always be lines and / or boundaries you don't cross - no matter how angry or upset you are. He evidently doesn't and really crossed some lines he shouldn't have. I am by no means guilt free - I did participate in the fight as well. Not near to the same extent, but regardless...

Then this morning he messages me that he just found out his grandmother passed away last night.

I believe everything gets put aside in a time of need with a relationship, I just hope he isn't going to forget about the last 24 hours after the immediate crisis and consoling is over
That isn't meant to sound heartless or cold. It's a horrible tragedy and I don't mean to minimize that...

I don't know. It's like there is no right answer - damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond. I really appreciate it.

BellaVita
11-18-14, 02:57 PM
A simplified example, but same jist.
Let's say he asks how I am, and I tell him i'm having a rough day, and I am really stressed at work and about finances.
His response would typically either be to just ignore me, or be something unfeasible / unrealistic like telling me to just quit my job, or along those lines. I'd then tell him I don't need him to 'fix' my problems, I just need him to be supportive and there for me, and he would get upset and start blaming me / deflecting everything to be my fault and telling me that I don't know how to ask for support or get it, and the onus and problem is entirely with me.. that i'm abnormal and it's not fair to him, etc etc.

Sorry, this may be all over the place, trying to respond to all the great responses on my cell.

Does that make any sense? I'm not overly good at conveying myself at times.

I'm in a relationship with someone who has ADHD.

At first, he would try to fix my problems. :)

I then explained that it helps for me to complain, and that I just want him to listen.

I had to repeat this a few times, but he mostly gets it now.

I think I was actually bold at one point, and said "I don't want you to fix my problems. I don't even want to hear about it." Seemed to work....

So now he's just quiet, will listen, and probably give me a hug. (When your man does something you like, praise him for it, and maybe tell him "yes, that's it! If x happens, then it makes me feel really good when you do y.")

stef
11-18-14, 04:47 PM
I see has a lot of issues - but I think men somehow need us to be happy. It reassures them and when we aren't they want to "fix" the problem.

BellaVita
11-18-14, 05:21 PM
Mittens, hi--

I'm so sorry to hear of your continuing troubles. I am not sure I fully understand your situation--you are a bit sparse as to details ad context. But it doesn't sound good!

I don't think it's your job to meet your partner's expectations regarding these things. You have a right to emotional support--and it won't be that unless it takes usable forms for you. ALl this may or may not have links to ADHD, but it sounds as though right now you are in an unsatisfying relationship, getting blamed for stuff that is not your fault. I could be wrong, but my immediate reaction here is that you should not be trying to figure out how to communicate better with your husband, or how to accommodate him.

Take care of you. You need support? OK, what are places other than your husband where you can find it right now? What that he's doing do you need protection from--anger, blame, criticism, what have you. How can you make that stop until you get a little time and space to attend to your own needs?

I don't think it's your job to teach your partner to be emotionally supportive. If he is not so now and can't teach himself that, he should be in therapy if he wants to keep you. Is it possible you could take a little break from each other and get more perspective?

I take it very seriously when a non-ADHD says "at my wits end" or "exhausted"--that's not a good sign. I am concerned for you. It's very easy to lose perspective on one's own situation when one doesn't feel good and important needs aren't met over a long period. How about therapy for you--you sure sound like you need support, and therapy can be a very good source of that.

sending good wishes your way--

I think it's not really a matter of "responsibility", but rather helping your partner to understand you.

I think it's important for both people to teach each other how to be emotionally supportive - in the way that *they* need it. This takes time (sometimes lots of it) and patience.

In every relationship, both partners start off by speaking two different languages. It can take time before both understand each other and learn to "be on the same wavelength."

dvdnvwls
11-18-14, 05:22 PM
Can you elaborate?
I like to think i'm creative but i've hit a total wall... i'm not sure if I kind of hooped myself by always being the one to fix things, it just genuinely feels like without his participation anything I try is futile. I genuinely feel like I have no idea what to try or where to go next...
Trust me, from my own experience, what you call "emotional support" is to him a total mystery. He does already know what emotional support is, to him, and I'm sure he's already giving that to you 110%. He's probably already participating, to the best of his knowledge. What's missing is not his willingness or participation, but his step-by-step understanding of what you're actually asking for.

BellaVita
11-18-14, 05:39 PM
Trust me, from my own experience, what you call "emotional support" is to him a total mystery. He does already know what emotional support is, to him, and I'm sure he's already giving that to you 110%. He's probably already participating, to the best of his knowledge. What's missing is not his willingness or participation, but his step-by-step understanding of what you're actually asking for.

It may even be helpful for you to write a little book for him, giving him specific scenarios of what you would like for him to do, giving multiple ones with different ways of which you'd like emotional support, and to define emotional support *what it means to you.*

Make sure the definition is clear, and for each different scenario write down "the end result", or in other words the the ways you'd like to be emotionally supported in that situation (and how it looks/what you'd like EXACTLY for him to do) - and then also to show and explain how your definition of emotional support applies in each different situation.

I know it might sound silly, but this at least will give him something to refer back to.

Also, make sure not to approach him with the idea of this book in a way that might offend him.

VeryTired
11-19-14, 01:11 PM
Mittens--

I think you need to redefine some of the problems, You are making assumptions that aren't helping you, and right now, you seem to be the only person who can help you in this situation, so that's not good. I think this is one of those "put on your own oxygen mask before you try to assist someone else" scenarios. Think about how your situation would be different if you tried out putting yourself first more often.

You should take of you simply because that's the right thing, the healthy thing to do. But if that is confusing or feels hard, you should also take care of you because you can't take care of anyone else if you're not OK. And you should do it because if you rely on others to do it and they won't or can't, that will leave you in trouble.

I don't think you can teach your husband how to be supportive of you if you haven't done so already. Either this is too hard for him to pick up from you, or he isn't trying, or he doesn't have the ability to do what you need. Maybe in another context (therapy for him? couples counseling?) that would work, but just coming from you, it sounds like you are not having success. Your trying harder and harder to help him help you is going to wear you out without getting results.

I have two words for you, and they are "Gina Pera". Her book is extremely helpful for partners of people with ADHD because it illuminates general circumstances so you realize "Oh! It's not all just me and my failures! There are real problems that other people have, too, and just trying harder or suffering more isn't going to fix them!" I think this could be valuable for you.

Actually--as you see--I have more than two words, so here's a little more advice. I am concerned that you say that if you had the resources for therapy, getting therapy for YOU wouldn't be the priority. Why not? You are exactly as valuable as the other person in your relationship, and it's often the case that couples counseling doesn't work well until both parties have done some work on themselves alone. Also, it sounds as though you are more open to this now than your husband would be. So why would you be the last priority? This raises a red flag for me about how you prioritize your needs in this relationship.

I say you should get the therapy first--you are open to it, you need it, and it will only help you in your relationship to your husband to have clarity and support from that venue. Ask for a sliding scale. In the US, if you have any insurance at all, it has to cover some therapy--the Mental Health Parity Act requires this. I would have thought things were even better in progressive Canada.

Anyway, think of what you are spending money on now, and then ask yourself if it is really worth more than some therapy would be. Can you reallocate from Starbucks and dry-cleaning, let's say, to a few months of therapy?

As for the boundaries, I can't tell from what you say if it's small things or big ones, but you are kind of scaring me with what you're writing. If your husband can't respect important boundaries of yours, then the relationship isn't healthy, and something needs to be done right away.

I am sorry to hear of your husband's loss. Grief and stress make us all less able to be our best selves, but I have to say that losing a grandmother is not a reason for someone to transgress a partner's boundaries. And your needs really do matter, even when there's a death in the family. It took me a very long time to realize that I was living with my partner's constant cycle of emergencies (he produces them quite reliably, one way or another) so it was never time for us to focus upon me and my needs. But once I got it, I was done with that. I hate the feeling that I have to struggle/insist/police/remind to get what I need, but it's far worse to realize that I'm not getting it and I didn't do anything to make sure that I did.

Anyway, sympathy to you for your tough situation. Keep posting--let us know how you are doing--

ToneTone
11-22-14, 01:36 PM
Hola!

If I go to one of my friends, my husband gets very resentful and hurt, and even if I go to my Mom to talk, he again gets very resentful and aggressive - I'm assuming out of guilt and/or feeling bad and it coming out as aggression / externalizing it. Natural human instinct (especially male) can very much be to lash out when they feel hurt, whereas (not always by any means, but 'typically') women tend to internalize it. It almost always ends in him blaming me for not 'hurting the right way', or him talking himself into that I am Superwoman and don't need him, that I refuse to be vulnerable, that the reason my Mom is able to make me feel safe and supported is because she 'doesn't stand up to me' whereas he is 'not a weak man and won't do the same'. I never really understand that part. Recently it's now gotten into "learn how to be vulnerable or divorce me - get the paperwork".


Question: the last line from the above. I couldn't tell who uttered that line. You or him?

Tone

Mittens
11-23-14, 02:18 AM
That was from him - sorry, I should of clarified.

dvdnvwls
11-23-14, 02:44 AM
I struggle greatly with this...
On one hand part of me wants to hug you and cry and thank you for telling me it's not my responsibility to teach him how to be supportive - on the other hand there's a part of me that wants to ask 'are you sure it's not my job?'.

I am fortunate enough to have my mom to an extent. Her and I are very close but I also don't want her to have a jaded or negative picture picture of him because that isn't fair to him, either. Most of my close friends are male and he gets very upset if I talk to them. I don't know if I agree with it, but I can, to an extent, understand.

I would love to start individual therapy, but it's the situation of if we put money towards counseling the first priority would be for him or us as a couple.

Things got very ugly last night.. basically ending in an extremely bad explosion and me telling him he really should take the next few days to be alone with his thoughts and get his head together.
I don't believe all is fair in love and war, and if you love someone there will always be lines and / or boundaries you don't cross - no matter how angry or upset you are. He evidently doesn't and really crossed some lines he shouldn't have. I am by no means guilt free - I did participate in the fight as well. Not near to the same extent, but regardless...

Then this morning he messages me that he just found out his grandmother passed away last night.

I believe everything gets put aside in a time of need with a relationship, I just hope he isn't going to forget about the last 24 hours after the immediate crisis and consoling is over
That isn't meant to sound heartless or cold. It's a horrible tragedy and I don't mean to minimize that...

I don't know. It's like there is no right answer - damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond. I really appreciate it.
I believe it is your responsibility to teach him how to be supportive in ways that work for you, just as it's his responsibility to teach you how to be supportive in ways that work for him. The two of you do not need all the same things, and it's clear that neither of you is as knowledgeable about the other's needs as you might have thought.

It disturbs me that you said "evidently he doesn't ". That is tantamount to dehumanizing and belittling him, and far too often, dehumanizing and belittling is a prelude to a broken relationship. It doesn't matter why anyone dehumanizes anyone else - it's the act that's poisonous, not the reasoning behind it.

[B]I don't for one second blame you for being upset. I would be too. But this kind of view of your partner "leads down a dark road", if I may put it that way.
(The stock phrase "Don't ask me how I know this" applies here, in a very sad way.)

meadd823
11-23-14, 03:32 AM
I am an ADDer married to another ADDer who does not know much about emotional support - however his lack of ability isn't simply related to his ADD symptoms but because he had parents who were not supportive of him so he has no clue what that means. To Gary emotional support sounds a lot like what you describe Gary also tend to respond to any problem I am having with some pat answer that is unrealistic - I used to respond by pointing out the lack of practicality but that never worked out well Now I just interpret his answers as an honest attempt at trying to be supportive the best he knows how -

I tired to explain how to offer emotional support but that didn't work either - Gary is Gary - I am not responsible for his emotions - If I need emotional support from some one else especially a family member like my Mom I get it - If Gary has a problem with it it is his problem - not mine.

See I am responsible for meeting my own needs - If Gary can't then he simply can't - It isn't fair for me slap my version of what he should and should not be - Don't get me wrong there are certainly behaviors I would not put up with {abuse, deceit ect} it is not my place to tell him how to be him.

The flip side of that is it isn't his place to tell me how to be me either - I am responsible for meeting my own needs. While expecting Gary to be my best friend Lynn isn't fair to Gary on the same token it isn't fair nor will I tolerate Gary preventing me from getting emotional support from my mother, a sibling or my friend Lynn.

He tried the blame game but in this house that dog don't hunt, has never hunted and never will. See I don't blame my emotions on others however I d not accept the responsibility for their emotional reactions either. That is the key . . . he can blame all he wants but Gary can not force me to accept blame and I don't.

It took time but eventually Gary learned the blame game is ineffective and emotional manipulation either falls on deaf ears or backfires depending on my mood.

Once the boundaries were in place and I met my own needs and gave him the freedom to deal with his own emotional issues in what ever manner he saw fit things have settled down a lot. I still have to turn to my friends and family for emotional support but having those needs met allows me to see where Gary does try to be supportive the best way he knows how. . . .


Personal boundaries - the freedom to be yourself while extending that same freedom to another regardless of whether you understand it or not really works in ways that are difficult to put into words. Frustration yeah it happens because we live together. . . .

meadd823
11-23-14, 04:17 AM
I believe it is your responsibility to teach him how to be supportive in ways that work for you, just as it's his responsibility to teach you how to be supportive in ways that work for him. The two of you do not need all the same things, and it's clear that neither of you is as knowledgeable about the other's needs as you might have thought.

It disturbs me that you said "evidently he doesn't ". That is tantamount to dehumanizing and belittling him, and far too often, dehumanizing and belittling is a prelude to a broken relationship. It doesn't matter why anyone dehumanizes anyone else - it's the act that's poisonous, not the reasoning behind it.

[B]I don't for one second blame you for being upset. I would be too. But this kind of view of your partner "leads down a dark road", if I may put it that way.
(The stock phrase "Don't ask me how I know this" applies here, in a very sad way.)

Do YOU live with an ADDer? Do you . . . ???!!

I am an ADDer as you well know but amazingly enough it does NOT make living with some one else's ADD any easier. I can understand all I want but that does not stop me from having days where I wonder "WTF was I thinking when I married this guy"

It is frustrating . . .Lack of boundary isolation IS a problem for many ADDers - Lack of knowing where the social boundaries are is a problem for a lot of folks.

Explaining boundaries to some one who has none is like trying to explain the color blue to some one who has been blind from birth . . it simply does not exist for them never has However the lack of a blind persons ability to perceive the color blue no now way negates the fact that the color blue exist in some form or fashion for the sighted!!!

She is NOT responsible for her husbands ability or inability to comprehend personal boundaries however she is saddled with the responsibility for formulating and protecting her own. It is NOT dehumanizing him to say "he apparently does not understand there are lines he should not cross" she observing a behavior.

ADD isn't the only thing that can cause personal boundary failure All forms of abuse and neglect can cause personal boundaries issues as well. Those of us who have both ADD and a history of abuse just comprehending boundaries can be quite challenging.


It isn't that he does not want to color in the lines hell he probably does not even know there are lines to stay in!!! The ADDers lack of perception of said lines {boundaries} in no way negates the fact that healthy individuals have lines in place that they will not tolerate being crossed

Having one boundaries trampled repeatedly is annoying as crap . . frankly at times it can be down right MADDENING! To repeatedly allow some one to trample them is not only unhealthy for the one being trampled it is unhealthy for the one doing it as well -

She can not control his behavior only her own . . .

Here are some article that may help any who are struggling with boundary issues


Setting Personal Boundaries - protecting self (http://www.joy2meu.com/Personal_Boundaries.htm)


Core Components of EQI.org - The Big Five (http://core.eqi.org/index.htm)

Finally

How Do You Cope With an ADD Spouse (http://www.addresources.org/how-do-you-cope-with-an-adhd-spouse-2/)

Remember Who Has the Disorder

You can help your spouse seek help, assist with his personal organization, and try to make life easier for him, but it is not your job to “rescue” him. As frustrating as this feels, you cannot make his ADHD go away any more than you could make another person’s diabetes disappear. You are not responsible for his disorder. You are not responsible for his mistakes, his depression or his frustration. Neither is he responsible for yours.

If you are being blamed for your spouse’s frustrations or unhappiness, do not accept the blame. If others tell you that you’re not supportive enough, do not accept the blame. Say it out loud if you have to, “I do not accept the blame for my husband’s medical condition.”

To the OP

Hope this helps!!!:)




. . . .

ToneTone
12-01-14, 10:45 PM
Mead823,

You speak the truth in a way that made me laugh. I have a brother who is utterly clueless about boundaries. He is actually a quite good person in that he means well and does think of others.

But somehow he really is convinced that it is his business, indeed it's his duty as a GOOD PERSON, to comment gratuitously on the lives of others. Amazing!

And I've tried to initiate a discussion on boundaries. Utter failure. I had to start setting them, not initiating a discussion about them.

Anyway ... love the analogy of trying to get a blind person to understand color ...

Thanks for those wonderful lines.

Tone

someothertime
12-02-14, 06:51 AM
Short term... also brainstorm and immerse yourself in whatever it takes to get that emotional support... I can relate to his upsettedness... ( not validating )...

Tell him clearly your doing XYZ to let your hair down... It's "my sport"... or something of that nature... it's hard not to reference the deeper things when these emotional flarings arise... though this is almost akin to a sort of blackmail / quidproquo... so would need to be discussed at another time.

Care for yourself. Care for yourself. Care for yourself. Warm and Firm. A "new zone"... or area / time for you two alone may also help. Good luck Mittens!

dvdnvwls
12-03-14, 03:00 AM
Do YOU live with an ADDer? Do you . . . ???!!

I am an ADDer as you well know but amazingly enough it does NOT make living with some one else's ADD any easier. I can understand all I want but that does not stop me from having days where I wonder "WTF was I thinking when I married this guy"

It is frustrating . . .Lack of boundary isolation IS a problem for many ADDers - Lack of knowing where the social boundaries are is a problem for a lot of folks.

Explaining boundaries to some one who has none is like trying to explain the color blue to some one who has been blind from birth . . it simply does not exist for them never has However the lack of a blind persons ability to perceive the color blue no now way negates the fact that the color blue exist in some form or fashion for the sighted!!!

She is NOT responsible for her husbands ability or inability to comprehend personal boundaries however she is saddled with the responsibility for formulating and protecting her own. It is NOT dehumanizing him to say "he apparently does not understand there are lines he should not cross" she observing a behavior.

My comment was not at all about the plain (and expected - come on, he has ADHD!) fact that he's not good at boundaries; I was trying to get at the way the comment about him was made. It sounded like the kind of comment that comes from a person who has given up on her partner. It wasn't an ordinary factual comment, it was bordering on insult. People generally don't talk about their partners that way unless something deeper is going wrong.

tester
12-09-14, 02:52 AM
My comment was not at all about the plain (and expected - come on, he has ADHD!) fact that he's not good at boundaries; I was trying to get at the way the comment about him was made. It sounded like the kind of comment that comes from a person who has given up on her partner. It wasn't an ordinary factual comment, it was bordering on insult. People generally don't talk about their partners that way unless something deeper is going wrong.

something deeper is going wrong... hi, I'm Mitten's husband, the one that nobody seems to get except dvdnvwls.

Trust me, from my own experience, what you call "emotional support" is to him a total mystery. He does already know what emotional support is, to him, and I'm sure he's already giving that to you 110%. He's probably already participating, to the best of his knowledge. What's missing is not his willingness or participation, but his step-by-step understanding of what you're actually asking for.

Thanks for that dvdnvwls :)

Mittens is my world... and I am not embarrassed to say that I can be oblivious to what constitutes emotional support to Mittens... and moreover why I can offer what I perceive to be the same emotional support at two different times, in what appear to me to be two identical situations... and one time I get positive reaction, and another I get a fight.

I love Mittens with all my heart... and respond to dvdnvwls, regarding the "something deeper is going wrong"... And I may catch hell for mentioning this... but Mittens is suffering from some very scary health issues... she had a terrifying episode, and nearly died two days before our wedding... where she woke up shaking with sweats, barely able to breath... I rushed her to the hospital where the doctors discovered that she had a pulmonary embolism in the middle of the night... she is in chronic pain (that unless you experience it, you could never hope to understand it) as result of a pervasive infection... she is taking a plethora of medication to dullen the pain, and has recently begun a chemo treatments.

I need help !!!

A woman that I love more than life itself is going through so much pain and I can't take that pain away... I see her suffer and I am unable to lessen the hurt.

To some of you, I am certain that I have come across as an uncaring A**hole (or worse words)... but I assure you, that is the farthest thing from who I am... But I truly want to be there for her... but I really don't understand what she needs for support and/or when she needs it... Mittens is an amazing woman... the strongest woman I have ever met... and she does not display need overtly... I say this because would any of you reading her post suspect (other than dvdnvwls I mean) that she was suffering from anything but a hubby that was too thick to know how to be there for her? granted I'm as thick as they come... and probably wouldn't recognize someone in need if they fell down in front of me...

I am back on this forum because Mittens asked me for a Christmas gift "for me to do whatever I have to do (or even just try), so that she can come to me for support"... and I've committed to try to give her that gift... but I still don't have a clue what that gift looks like, or where to buy it... or what color/size/style, etc., of emotional support fits her... I recognize that it's not a one-size-fits-all deal... and this fine lady doesn't buy off the rack... bad analogy... but I hope I can get some direction. I love this woman... and she deserves to have this present... at any cost <3

MrsNewton
12-09-14, 03:25 AM
Maybe you could try asking him not to respond for a little bit, to absorb what you're saying. My husband and I both have ADHD, and I have to give him time to process what i've said. It drives me INSANE, but I think that is how he learned to not lash out, he tells me his initial reaction to things is never the way he feels, or what he wants to say.

You could also try sending texts to mentions minor things and even letters if you just really want to say things and know he won't hear what you're saying while you're saying it.

MrsNewton
12-09-14, 03:33 AM
something deeper is going wrong... hi, I'm Mitten's husband, the one that nobody seems to get except dvdnvwls.



Thanks for that dvdnvwls :)

Mittens is my world... and I am not embarrassed to say that I can be oblivious to what constitutes emotional support to Mittens... and moreover why I can offer what I perceive to be the same emotional support at two different times, in what appear to me to be two identical situations... and one time I get positive reaction, and another I get a fight.

I love Mittens with all my heart... and respond to dvdnvwls, regarding the "something deeper is going wrong"... And I may catch hell for mentioning this... but Mittens is suffering from some very scary health issues... she had a terrifying episode, and nearly died two days before our wedding... where she woke up shaking with sweats, barely able to breath... I rushed her to the hospital where the doctors discovered that she had a pulmonary embolism in the middle of the night... she is in chronic pain (that unless you experience it, you could never hope to understand it) as result of a pervasive infection... she is taking a plethora of medication to dullen the pain, and has recently begun a chemo treatments.

I need help !!!

A woman that I love more than life itself is going through so much pain and I can't take that pain away... I see her suffer and I am unable to lessen the hurt.

To some of you, I am certain that I have come across as an uncaring A**hole (or worse words)... but I assure you, that is the farthest thing from who I am... But I truly want to be there for her... but I really don't understand what she needs for support and/or when she needs it... Mittens is an amazing woman... the strongest woman I have ever met... and she does not display need overtly... I say this because would any of you reading her post suspect (other than dvdnvwls I mean) that she was suffering from anything but a hubby that was too thick to know how to be there for her? granted I'm as thick as they come... and probably wouldn't recognize someone in need if they fell down in front of me...

I am back on this forum because Mittens asked me for a Christmas gift "for me to do whatever I have to do (or even just try), so that she can come to me for support"... and I've committed to try to give her that gift... but I still don't have a clue what that gift looks like, or where to buy it... or what color/size/style, etc., of emotional support fits her... I recognize that it's not a one-size-fits-all deal... and this fine lady doesn't buy off the rack... bad analogy... but I hope I can get some direction. I love this woman... and she deserves to have this present... at any cost <3

Clearly, you love your Wife. I don't think you're an A-hole at all, I think you get frustrated seeing your wife unhappy and you express that frustration by snapping and/or saying things that you don't mean.

My advice to you is to go to therapy! You have ADHD, and you don't 'get things' the way your wife does, people on a forum can give you some advice, but not the kind you can get from someone who does it for a living. I really think It will help you learn how to help your Wife.

Remember that you two got married for a reason, and you've made it this far.

Maybe you could start with asking her what you can do to help her when she's upset. One of the best things my husband does for me is just to listen and hug me. Sometimes, that's all I need.

It's OK to not have the answers. You don't have to fix every problem, sometimes all you need to do is be there.

BellaVita
12-09-14, 03:44 AM
something deeper is going wrong... hi, I'm Mitten's husband, the one that nobody seems to get except dvdnvwls.



Thanks for that dvdnvwls :)

Mittens is my world... and I am not embarrassed to say that I can be oblivious to what constitutes emotional support to Mittens... and moreover why I can offer what I perceive to be the same emotional support at two different times, in what appear to me to be two identical situations... and one time I get positive reaction, and another I get a fight.

I love Mittens with all my heart... and respond to dvdnvwls, regarding the "something deeper is going wrong"... And I may catch hell for mentioning this... but Mittens is suffering from some very scary health issues... she had a terrifying episode, and nearly died two days before our wedding... where she woke up shaking with sweats, barely able to breath... I rushed her to the hospital where the doctors discovered that she had a pulmonary embolism in the middle of the night... she is in chronic pain (that unless you experience it, you could never hope to understand it) as result of a pervasive infection... she is taking a plethora of medication to dullen the pain, and has recently begun a chemo treatments.

I need help !!!

A woman that I love more than life itself is going through so much pain and I can't take that pain away... I see her suffer and I am unable to lessen the hurt.

To some of you, I am certain that I have come across as an uncaring A**hole (or worse words)... but I assure you, that is the farthest thing from who I am... But I truly want to be there for her... but I really don't understand what she needs for support and/or when she needs it... Mittens is an amazing woman... the strongest woman I have ever met... and she does not display need overtly... I say this because would any of you reading her post suspect (other than dvdnvwls I mean) that she was suffering from anything but a hubby that was too thick to know how to be there for her? granted I'm as thick as they come... and probably wouldn't recognize someone in need if they fell down in front of me...

I am back on this forum because Mittens asked me for a Christmas gift "for me to do whatever I have to do (or even just try), so that she can come to me for support"... and I've committed to try to give her that gift... but I still don't have a clue what that gift looks like, or where to buy it... or what color/size/style, etc., of emotional support fits her... I recognize that it's not a one-size-fits-all deal... and this fine lady doesn't buy off the rack... bad analogy... but I hope I can get some direction. I love this woman... and she deserves to have this present... at any cost <3

Hey tester! :)

I don't think you're the a-word at all!

It's obvious that you love and care for Mittens, that's wonderful.

From Mitten's posts, all I've seen is someone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of their partner with ADHD, and someone who is trying to communicate with their ADHD partner but is failing (no offense to you Mittens, it's just how I read it) miserably. (And the failing part isn't anyone's "fault," it's just two different brains speaking two different languages)

That saddens me to hear all that Mittens has been through, wish I could give her all the hugs in the world.

I think you have a kind heart and really want to do your best to support her.

And I think that's fantastic.

:)

BellaVita
12-09-14, 03:55 AM
Mittens and tester -
This may sound completely silly, but hear me out....

One thing I've noticed is that you two have different and distinct personality types.

Have you heard of MBTI?

I highly suggest going to google and type in "Myers Briggs Type Indicator Test" and it should come up with a MBTI test (human metrics is a good one).

I think it would provide great insight for you *both* to take the test, and then discover what your "types" are.

Each type has their own way of speaking, of understanding the world.

Each has different cognitive processes, different ways of perceiving situations, different ways of speaking, thinking, and experiencing the world.

For many, the types (in-depth information) is surprisingly accurate and very helpful.

It may open both of your minds to how the other person sees things.

I know for me, once I discover someone's personality type, I feel like (using what I've learned from research and applying it) I have an easier time communicating with them because I know "how they think."

It's very important to understand how different each person's brain is, and that we all handle situations differently in ways that feel natural *to us.*

When you go to research the types once you've found out what you are, please google relationship type information. (Type into google the two personality types, for example could say "INFJ and ISTP relationship advice")

It's a whole new world in MBTI, and may seem confusing at first but once you start reading more and more you will see patterns and you *will* see how accurate it is.

To better understand how your partner's brain works, from the inside, could prove to be very helpful.

dvdnvwls
12-09-14, 05:06 AM
I'm going to give a ridiculous analogy; I hope no one finds it offensive.

If you need emotional support from a partner, but they seem to not understand what it is that you're asking for, you might try to remedy the miscommunication in sort of the same way that a lawyer approaches writing a contract - everything laid out crystal clear, in agonizingly precise detail, no possible way it can be misunderstood, because every responsibility and every benefit is specified and nothing is left to the imagination.

I'm not saying be adversarial or to turn this into a contract, I'm saying that if you need to ask for something important and the other person doesn't understand, write it down in every obsessive, boring, and irritating detail.

BellaVita
12-09-14, 05:11 AM
I'm going to give a ridiculous analogy; I hope no one finds it offensive.

If you need emotional support from a partner, but they seem to not understand what it is that you're asking for, you might try to remedy the miscommunication in sort of the same way that a lawyer approaches writing a contract - everything laid out crystal clear, in agonizingly precise detail, no possible way it can be misunderstood, because every responsibility and every benefit is specified and nothing is left to the imagination.

I'm not saying be adversarial or to turn this into a contract, I'm saying that if you need to ask for something important and the other person doesn't understand, write it down in every obsessive, boring, and irritating detail.

Yes!!! :goodpost:

Details, details, details.

Nothing left out.

This seriously helps, I even think doing what dvdnvwls said was the analogy-part could help. (Writing everything out in clear detail)

Lunacie
12-09-14, 11:18 AM
Maybe you could try asking him not to respond for a little bit, to absorb what you're saying. My husband and I both have ADHD, and I have to give him time to process what i've said. It drives me INSANE, but I think that is how he learned to not lash out, he tells me his initial reaction to things is never the way he feels, or what he wants to say.

You could also try sending texts to mentions minor things and even letters if you just really want to say things and know he won't hear what you're saying while you're saying it.

Good post ^

My adult daughter and I live together (both divorced, I help parent my grandkids)

and for awhile we were driving each other crazy.

She totally hates it when someone interrupts her with their thoughts on what
she's saying, and I and my oldest granddaughter both have ADHD so that was
happening a LOT.

She also hates it when she asks a question and doesn't get an answer right
away, thinks she's being ignored.

At one point I was ready to move out, and she was ready for me to go, although
I have no where else to go.

My youngest granddaughter has autism, and through going to counseling with her,
both my daughter and I learned a lot.

Now she accepts that I need time to think, even if I don't ask for it like she wishes
I would so she'd know that she wasn't being ignored.


I don't know for sure if this applies to the relationship of the OP and her hubby,
but it could be that she wants emotional support right away ...
and he needs a little time to figure out how to do that instead of responding
right away. But she may feel ignored when that happens. And he may forget
because he does have ADHD ...

Mittens
12-09-14, 05:50 PM
Yes!!! :goodpost:

Details, details, details.

Nothing left out.

This seriously helps, I even think doing what dvdnvwls said was the analogy-part could help. (Writing everything out in clear detail)

I struggle with this.
Every problem / situation may be different to another, slightly or dramatically, and I can't predict or accurately write the script to each one.

I know things that don't work. I have communicated what doesn't work, and unfortunately that is what is repeated each time. That isn't mean to sound negative or laying blame, that's as literal as "The worst thing you can do when I am upset is ignore me" then if I get upset he doesn't know what to say so he ignores me. I've tried suggesting counseling, for both of us and for him, but it's something he is against.

I've unfortunately ran through my covered counseling for the year and fully intend in the new year to begin going again individually. There are limits per individual in the benefit plan, which is nice so it's not like either of us use 'eachothers' per se.

I don't honestly think I am capable of making a list of exact phrases or notions that he should follow each time in select sequence to me being upset. For right or wrong, A) it's not always that simple that every situation may fit that list, B) it really doesn't sit well with me... I keep thinking and trying to put into words to describe it, but I am horrible at describing things at the best of times. It seems almost, contrived? It's almost like me telling him that I love him, and then telling him to repeat the same to me in response every time. It's not genuine or real if it's just following script? Maybe that is completely wrong of me. Unfortunately we don't have a great track record in terms of trust for a number of reasons, but in this scenario specifically I can get very leery because he has before told me what I wanted to hear to end the discussion or calm me down / placate me, etc.

That truly isn't meant to sound negative, that is just (a probably very crappy way) of trying to describe how I feel. I'm horrible at explaining myself.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to read and/or respond. Thank you. I'm still catching up on responses, and am sorry if it's all over the place a bit.

Mittens
12-09-14, 05:55 PM
Good post ^

My adult daughter and I live together (both divorced, I help parent my grandkids)

and for awhile we were driving each other crazy.

She totally hates it when someone interrupts her with their thoughts on what
she's saying, and I and my oldest granddaughter both have ADHD so that was
happening a LOT.

She also hates it when she asks a question and doesn't get an answer right
away, thinks she's being ignored.

At one point I was ready to move out, and she was ready for me to go, although
I have no where else to go.

My youngest granddaughter has autism, and through going to counseling with her,
both my daughter and I learned a lot.

Now she accepts that I need time to think, even if I don't ask for it like she wishes
I would so she'd know that she wasn't being ignored.


I don't know for sure if this applies to the relationship of the OP and her hubby,
but it could be that she wants emotional support right away ...
and he needs a little time to figure out how to do that instead of responding
right away. But she may feel ignored when that happens. And he may forget
because he does have ADHD ...

We do this quite a bit, however what unfortunately happens is the "I am upset / can't respond right now" and then hours and days go past and is never mentioned again, so it seems to have moved more into a tool for avoiding uncomfortable subjects.

Lunacie
12-09-14, 06:01 PM
We do this quite a bit, however what unfortunately happens is the "I am upset / can't respond right now" and then hours and days go past and is never mentioned again, so it seems to have moved more into a tool for avoiding uncomfortable subjects.

And then you say ... "I can see you can't talk about this right now. How about if I bring it up after dinner tomorrow night?"

He says "I don't know about tomorrow night."

You say, "I'll check with you then. Please give this some thought because I think we need to talk about it."


... hey, it might work. You won't know unless you try it. Good luck.

dvdnvwls
12-09-14, 06:32 PM
We do this quite a bit, however what unfortunately happens is the "I am upset / can't respond right now" and then hours and days go past and is never mentioned again, so it seems to have moved more into a tool for avoiding uncomfortable subjects.

This way of avoiding subjects is unfair and has to be stopped in its tracks. Fortunately, it isn't that difficult to change - what's needed is an agreement between you (an agreement made "in peacetime" if you know what I mean) that whenever either of you can't handle a conversation or topic, a time frame will always be set for coming back to it. There's more than one way to set a time - in my opinion, it can really help to have a reasonable range that's more or less "set in stone", and then having flexibility within that, such as "When one of us has to stop a conversation, that person names a time-out that's between 20 minutes and two days" - or whatever is reasonable for the two of you - some people really do sometimes need lengthy recovery periods, others not as much.

Mittens
12-09-14, 06:38 PM
This way of avoiding subjects is unfair and has to be stopped in its tracks. Fortunately, it isn't that difficult to change - what's needed is an agreement between you (an agreement made "in peacetime" if you know what I mean) that whenever either of you can't handle a conversation or topic, a time frame will always be set for coming back to it. There's more than one way to set a time - in my opinion, it can really help to have a reasonable range that's more or less "set in stone", and then having flexibility within that, such as "When one of us has to stop a conversation, that person names a time-out that's between 20 minutes and two days" - or whatever is reasonable for the two of you - some people really do sometimes need lengthy recovery periods, others not as much.

At first it was an hour.... sometimes it was till the next day, depending on the time or how much time he felt he needed - and it would just cycle. I didn't expect him to remember the specific time (because that's not fair in terms of ADD, or at least I think so) so after however how I'd begin the conversation again and usually within a sentence or 2, he would say that he couldn't continue the conversation right now because he was upset and needed to calm down... rinse and repeat.

dvdnvwls
12-09-14, 06:48 PM
I struggle with this.
Every problem / situation may be different to another, slightly or dramatically, and I can't predict or accurately write the script to each one.

I know things that don't work. I have communicated what doesn't work, and unfortunately that is what is repeated each time. That isn't mean to sound negative or laying blame, that's as literal as "The worst thing you can do when I am upset is ignore me" then if I get upset he doesn't know what to say so he ignores me. I've tried suggesting counseling, for both of us and for him, but it's something he is against.

I've unfortunately ran through my covered counseling for the year and fully intend in the new year to begin going again individually. There are limits per individual in the benefit plan, which is nice so it's not like either of us use 'eachothers' per se.

I don't honestly think I am capable of making a list of exact phrases or notions that he should follow each time in select sequence to me being upset. For right or wrong, A) it's not always that simple that every situation may fit that list, B) it really doesn't sit well with me... I keep thinking and trying to put into words to describe it, but I am horrible at describing things at the best of times. It seems almost, contrived? It's almost like me telling him that I love him, and then telling him to repeat the same to me in response every time. It's not genuine or real if it's just following script? Maybe that is completely wrong of me. Unfortunately we don't have a great track record in terms of trust for a number of reasons, but in this scenario specifically I can get very leery because he has before told me what I wanted to hear to end the discussion or calm me down / placate me, etc.

That truly isn't meant to sound negative, that is just (a probably very crappy way) of trying to describe how I feel. I'm horrible at explaining myself.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to read and/or respond. Thank you. I'm still catching up on responses, and am sorry if it's all over the place a bit.

You're right. I've struggled with this feeling a lot. The trouble is, unfortunately, that what you need gives him the exact same internal conflict. Your true needs feel fake and contrived to him. They don't make any sense at all, from his point of view - they don't even look like they could be genuine needs. :( That's not due to insensitivity or lack of caring, it's because he's a really bad mind reader. (And he's so bad at reading your mind because his mind doesn't work the same as yours - all his assumptions are based on if you had a brain just like his, which obviously you don't.)

I know that for you this topic is a complex one. For tester, it's very simple. From his point of view, the conversation goes like this:

mittens: "Please help me - I'm hurting and in trouble, and I really need your support."

tester: "I'm here for you. How can I help? What do you need?"

mittens: "I can't say, just help me please."

tester : [does what he always does]

mittens: "But I don't want that! It's not helping at all!"

tester: [breaks down, can't continue]

mittens: [breaks down, can't continue]


He really honestly hasn't the faintest clue what things he could try next. He has no way to even consider them. Until you give him some scripts for different situations, you are going to continue to receive only the kind of help he already gives you.

dvdnvwls
12-09-14, 06:50 PM
At first it was an hour.... sometimes it was till the next day, depending on the time or how much time he felt he needed - and it would just cycle. I didn't expect him to remember the specific time (because that's not fair in terms of ADD, or at least I think so) so after however how I'd begin the conversation again and usually within a sentence or 2, he would say that he couldn't continue the conversation right now because he was upset and needed to calm down... rinse and repeat.

You need to set clock times ("in 45 minutes", "at 5:00", etc), or situational times ("tomorrow after dinner"). It's the only way. If he needs to, he can set an alarm or something similar.

It also really REALLY helps IMO for both of you to know ahead of time, covering all situations, what the maximum "intermission" is going to be. Knowing that if two days (or whatever) have passed then he has to "bite the bullet" and go through with it even if he's not really ready, gives him a strange kind of comfort - it's one less decision to make.

Conversations can't be put off indefinitely. Some conversations are hard, and some of them a person is never going to be truly ready for.

Mittens
12-09-14, 06:54 PM
Sorry if this is a bit all over the place. I'm going to try to clarify a bit.

In terms of a cool off period - at first it was tried with no time limit.
That wasn't successful.
Then it was tried with a time limit.
That wasn't successful.
Then it was tried some more, and a bit more after that.

At present, and being completely honest, now when he says he is upset and can't continue the conversation sometimes I will leave it at that, and sometimes I completely disregard it. I am by no means saying my behavior is right or fair - but that's the truth. I think I have a lot of resentment and hurt built up as a result of not finding any progress in the area.....whereas before we would be able to make bits of stumbling progress and maybe not necessarily in the most efficient or logical or cleanest of ways, but it was still progress, and now it seems to (sorry for the bluntness) be the 'get out of jail free' card and I have lost the respect and faith in that notion in this situation.

At this point when he says it I feel hurt, taken advantage of, belittled and disregarded.

I'm not sure if that made any more sense or just discombobulated things more. I just re-read the last few posts I made and to me they jumped all over to the point of contradicting eachother and didn't make any sense.
Sorry for that.

dvdnvwls
12-09-14, 07:07 PM
I'm not sure if that made any more sense or just discombobulated things more. I just re-read the last few posts I made and to me they jumped all over to the point of contradicting eachother and didn't make any sense.
Sorry for that.

If I may use another weird metaphor or analogy thingy: You're describing swimming in a very strange lake. The water is a different kind of water, and the bottom of the lake is made of stuff you haven't seen before, and the currents don't behave like normal currents. The things you're describing might sound silly or impossible or nonsensical to people on the shore.

However, a couple of the people on shore have been in that very same lake before.

:grouphug:

tester
12-09-14, 09:11 PM
Regarding cool off periods... I've read areas of this forum that express similar experiences, so I know it's not just in my personal situation that ADDers and non-ADDers have different cooling off periods... just as they have different periods of emotional escalations in arguments... I don't believe this is so dissimilar to regular couples... except for my (the ADDer's) inherent ability to amp it up a notch followed by my inability to self-regulate emotions when I hit that point... and the argument becomes a "no words" out of bounds... throw every past issue in her face, and be the worst and most emotionally hurtful person I can be...

I recognize that is wrong and unfair, and most times I am able to feel that point coming... and I know that I simply need to walk away from a conflict to regain perspective without continual reminders that the fight is in full swing... don't kid yourself, I understand the argument exists... but at those moments, I do not have the capacity to discuss it...

the one thing that I failed to mention was that many of these fights start via text messages where I fail to interpret a plea for emotional support, then hurt, resentment ensues and then things escalate via the same text messages... and occur throughout my work day when I have no ability either time-wise or brain-wise to focus on the fight (or said resolution)... and i'm not allowed to ignore the fight... because ignoring isn't an option... it will only escalate the conflict because being ignored is her biggest pet peeve... however, continuing will only then take me over the edge...

so, how can I be allowed to step back from an argument, and then when I'm more settled try to discuss the problem... and how am I to recognize that my partner in said argument is also in a good place and able to talk...

VeryTired
12-09-14, 09:58 PM
Tester--

You know, for some people, texting just isn't a good idea. It strips so much out of the tone and context of an exchange, and it is so easy for people to text and then look away from their phone and so disregard the other person's reply.

Maybe you guys could use text to say "Call me! I need sympathy" rather than to specify what the need is via text.

I also think this taking-a-break thing works best when the break comes soon enough. An easy mistake to make it to keep talking way too long, so it's an urgent emergency by the time the need for the break is expressed. If you can catch it sooner--at the first faint feeling of panic, let's say, then it may be easier when it's time to re-engage.

within you all the best--

dvdnvwls
12-10-14, 05:20 AM
tester:

Both of you need a new way to handle these conversational time-outs, that's for certain.

Everyone is different - I wished many times that my ex would agree to handle certain things by some kind of writing (emails, real letters, texts, whatever), because in person (or speaking on the phone) my emotions can get out of control much faster.


It seems clear to me that both of you have expectations of the other person that aren't being met. You need her to really truly back off and allow you to settle down during those time-out periods, and she truly needs the kind of support she needs.

tester: One way you can help mittens, if possible, is just as VeryTired said - to give her earlier warning that you're going to get overloaded soon, and that you'll need to stop the conversation before that happens.

mittens: One thing you can do is be awesomely respectful of those time-outs, taking care during them to not bring up even the tiniest reminder of what was happening, or the fact that the clock is ticking, or whatever. Tester is not the only one who (internally or out loud) goes "AAAH! It ruins the time-out when you do or say things like that!". Each tiny reminder of the issue drags me back to "square one", and I legitimately feel that I need the clock re-started after each of them, though often I avoid asking.

At another level, though, there is an issue of respect and consideration for each other. One of the ways that has to be manifested is to take for granted that the other person is doing their best. If for any reason you are not able to happily and permanently take it for granted that your partner is doing their best for you, then you have (without exception) a serious relationship problem. If either of you feels like the other is not really trying, I recommend that the person who feels that way take a very very long hard look at why they judge another person (their partner, no less) in that way.

ToneTone
12-10-14, 08:43 PM
Wow, both partners are here talking! ... I love both of you for coming here.

I'm going to direct my remarks to Tester. A few points come to me and I want to share ... they may be dumb ... but one might be helpful ...

1. When Mittens says she wants more support, that doesn't mean you've done anything wrong ...

2. Mittens could just be making a plea for help ... and not doing so in a precise and articulate way that would give you direction ...

3. Or she could be simply saying that she feels really bad and that she wants to spend time with her favorite person in the world--you!

You mentioned that Mittens has a number of health issues right now. Well, just recently my oldest brother died ... and I want to share what an office worker at my job did that was so wonderful ... I got the call at work from my sister ... that my brother had died. I walked out of my office and into the hall and down to the office managers' office ... I told the two women there about my news, about my brother's death. One of the workers said, "Oh, I'm so sorry. That's so sad." Great response ... made me feel embraced, made me feel supported.

Here's what the second office worker did: she stood walked over to me and gave me a big hug. A hug. A real hug. Didn't say one word. Let me tell you the hug was absolutely fantastic--it was exactly what I needed. It made me feel warm, feel loved, feel supported, feel understood. Zero words. My system didn't need words. The hug was far better than words.

So I'm wondering: is it possible that the best response to Mittens (at least sometimes) would be to give her a hug. No great words. No argument. No talking. Just give her a loving hug.

Sounds silly but what the hug does is sort of give the other person fuel. It strengthens them by making them feel, literally feel, love and connection. People don't always need words... and Mittens may not need words. She may assume she needs words. You may assume she's asking for words.

Now, there are some good words to offer people who need support, but these comforting words and phrases are shockingly simple.

Here are words of comfort that work for me when I'm feeling in the pits and words and phrases that have worked with others, when I've shared them.

"I'm so sorry you're going through this." Hug.

"This is really tough." Hug.

"I love you." Run your hands through her hair.

"I like you." Works especially with a partner. Scratch her back.

"I'm glad I married you."

"Would you like a neck rub?"

"I have a silly joke to tell you." This fits better at the end ... after you have said some of the other words and the person has relaxed ... Tell a silly joke.

I know this can sound formulaic, but I've been through a lot in my life and I've learned that people in general are often not great at giving support to each other during tough times. And the reason they aren't great at it is that they don't know what to say. But the truth is, there is nothing complicated to say other than "I love you" and "I will always love you" and "I'm sorry you're having to go through this." That's all we can really say ... but the amazing thing is that it's often enough to comfort the other person in pain.

Good luck.

Tone

BellaVita
12-10-14, 09:46 PM
ToneTone, your post above is perfect! :goodpost:

I have to agree that for me, a hug is often what makes me feel so much better. It's like I can pour out my emotions into the other person, and they can pour their love and comfort in to me.

That's what I'm thinking when my boyfriend hugs me, anyway.

Also,

I know this can sound formulaic...

You have no idea how helpful something that is formulaic can be. (Well, obviously maybe you do :))

Seriously, as long as *the act itself* is genuine, whether it's something you've learned or not doesn't matter much.

Mittens
12-11-14, 12:00 AM
I'm kind of at a loss....

I'm apologizing now - this is probably going to be very long and fairly complicated, and I tend to ramble / be long winded at the best of times..

Last night we talked on the phone and Tester expressed adamantantly about not texting. That's fair.

To a certain degree, some things have to be done that way presently because I am not staying at our house ('superficial' or logistical stuff kind of thing), but, wanting anything emotionally related to be over the phone is completely fair.

I have had some challenges lately feeling emotion, so I told him last night on the phone, and reminded him this morning via text (I was at work) that it's not that I am unsympathetic or angry, I am just feeling numb, and to keep that in mind when interpreting things I say.

I get off work and text him that I am just leaving, and if he wants to call me he can, if he doesn't then that's fine.

He calls me and was making comments about me coming off as angry, and I said again that I'm not angry, I'm just having problems being really emotional right now.. He said okay, but he'll forget 10 minutes after our conversation anyhow and will do it again. I asked him if knowing that, there was anything he could do to mitigate that, and he said he doesn't know how to text himself to remind himself, and if he texted it to me when we had a conversation it would go off his screen and there would be no point. I said okay, if he feels there's nothing he can do then there's nothing he can do. He said he was starting to take things personally and needed some time to cool down. Conversation ended.

I didn't text, call, initiate or have any kind of contact.

3 hours later he texted me that he had a headache and was going to bed, loved me, pleasant dreams, and acted like everything was normal.

When we were talking last night he kept saying that he doesn't understand what makes me think and feel that he doesn't care and that things I say and feel don't matter.

When he texted me about going to bed, I responded that this was an example of something that made me feel like I didn't matter. I respected him saying he needed time to cool down, didn't say a word, and he did not hold up his end of the deal. I can understand him having a headache (there is a big weather change up here currently and all this morning and afternoon I had a wicked headache as well) but there isn't a reason at some point in the previous 3 hours that when he had calmed down he couldn't have called me back so we could come back and address things.

He responded that I didn't respect his time out, it's all my fault, I just want to start a fight again, f me, I can go to hell, he can't deal with this, can't deal with me, etc etc.

I told him that it wasn't fair to avoid dealing with things when I held up my end in good faith he would hold up his, and it is situations like this when I feel I don't matter and I don't feel listened too or cared about.

He said fine, then leave him, f off, etc etc.

After that I just left it with a simple 'okay.'
He responded with f me and my complacency, my bullsh.t compliance, etc, and I said that if yelling at me alleviates stress for him, I get it, that's okay, and I meant it genuinely, and that I just can't get upset right now.

I'm just at a loss.

I don't mean to come off as cold or uncaring - I am just really having troubles with feeling 'feelings' right now (if that makes any sense?). I'm aware that isn't his problem and that's why I tried to remind him if I come off as monotone or quiet, it isn't the case, and please keep that in mind right now.

I'm not sure what to do or say that won't make the situation worse or upset him. It seems like there really isn't a 'right' answer. The only thing that doesn't seem to illicit anger from him is me not mentioning anything.... Logically I know that is detrimental in a marriage, but I just don't have it in me to fight and there doesn't seem any alternative that I can think of....

Normally I am a pretty emotionally independent person, so this didn't become a huge issue until I got really sick and needed the support, and since then I have been asking him to talk to a counselor that could explain it to him in a way he understands because I have tried and failed miserably. Last night he agreed and made a phone appt with a counselor for Monday. I really hope it is a positive thing and maybe bridges some of the 'lost in translation' gap. I houred out my own counseling with my benefits, so I am not eligible again until January, but it's my hope that we both would talk to someone individually and after we each have some more tools to understand eachother we talk to someone together.

Maybe I am completely off track. I don't know. I'm not going to remotely pretend to know what the right answer is... I do know that not being together physically in person definitely makes everything harder and escalate worse, but for a multitude of reasons it is necessary right now. I'll be back home shortly before Christmas and hopefully that helps at least ease the situation a bit. I know it won't fix it, but I'm hoping it'll calm it a bit for both of us.

I'm not sure if any of this is making sense, or if this is the right way to say things, or what have you..

Anyhow. If you made it to this point thank you for taking the time to read and thank you to everyone that responded. It really blows my mind how much good advice is on this board and what a valuable resource it is, as well as being very positive and always giving hope. That's invaluable in and of itself I think when it comes to stuff like this.

Mittens
12-11-14, 12:04 AM
Wow, both partners are here talking! ... I love both of you for coming here.

I'm going to direct my remarks to Tester. A few points come to me and I want to share ... they may be dumb ... but one might be helpful ...

1. When Mittens says she wants more support, that doesn't mean you've done anything wrong ...

2. Mittens could just be making a plea for help ... and not doing so in a precise and articulate way that would give you direction ...

3. Or she could be simply saying that she feels really bad and that she wants to spend time with her favorite person in the world--you!

You mentioned that Mittens has a number of health issues right now. Well, just recently my oldest brother died ... and I want to share what an office worker at my job did that was so wonderful ... I got the call at work from my sister ... that my brother had died. I walked out of my office and into the hall and down to the office managers' office ... I told the two women there about my news, about my brother's death. One of the workers said, "Oh, I'm so sorry. That's so sad." Great response ... made me feel embraced, made me feel supported.

Here's what the second office worker did: she stood walked over to me and gave me a big hug. A hug. A real hug. Didn't say one word. Let me tell you the hug was absolutely fantastic--it was exactly what I needed. It made me feel warm, feel loved, feel supported, feel understood. Zero words. My system didn't need words. The hug was far better than words.

So I'm wondering: is it possible that the best response to Mittens (at least sometimes) would be to give her a hug. No great words. No argument. No talking. Just give her a loving hug.

Sounds silly but what the hug does is sort of give the other person fuel. It strengthens them by making them feel, literally feel, love and connection. People don't always need words... and Mittens may not need words. She may assume she needs words. You may assume she's asking for words.

Now, there are some good words to offer people who need support, but these comforting words and phrases are shockingly simple.

Here are words of comfort that work for me when I'm feeling in the pits and words and phrases that have worked with others, when I've shared them.

"I'm so sorry you're going through this." Hug.

"This is really tough." Hug.

"I love you." Run your hands through her hair.

"I like you." Works especially with a partner. Scratch her back.

"I'm glad I married you."

"Would you like a neck rub?"

"I have a silly joke to tell you." This fits better at the end ... after you have said some of the other words and the person has relaxed ... Tell a silly joke.

I know this can sound formulaic, but I've been through a lot in my life and I've learned that people in general are often not great at giving support to each other during tough times. And the reason they aren't great at it is that they don't know what to say. But the truth is, there is nothing complicated to say other than "I love you" and "I will always love you" and "I'm sorry you're having to go through this." That's all we can really say ... but the amazing thing is that it's often enough to comfort the other person in pain.

Good luck.

Tone

I am so sorry for your loss, and definitely send a huge hug from the North.

Thank you so much for posting this....This was pretty amazing.

BellaVita
12-11-14, 12:58 AM
Mittens -

First more :grouphug: s

Second, I feel for both of you.

It sounds very troubling for both of you.

I have something to say, and it may not be all that helpful, but I thought I'd mention anyway.

When I was with my ex (we were best friends for 6 years, together for over 2) and I realized that his emotions were too much for me, or that I continued to get upset with him over his "tone of voice" and "sounding stressed/angry" I asked him if we could take a break and only message over FB. This worked marvelously, as I then wasn't bothered by his voice and didn't keep thinking he was upset. It really helped when he added smilies at the end of what he wrote, as then I thought he was being happy. He later told me that he *always* feels "that smiley inside" when talking, his voice just doesn't show it I had issues with his monotone voice. It really threw me off.

When emotions would start to escalate, even just me *perceiving* him to be angry, I would then ask for another "break" and we would go back to messaging on FB.

This helped loads, and caused me to become happier in the relationship.

It also cooled things down for us.

Gave us time to recover, but yet we still felt connected.

I think sometimes, us ADHD'ers can interpret people as angry when they're really not. I'm still guilty of this, sadly, but thankfully my boyfriend is really patient with me and will explain over and over that no, he's not angry.

It may help for you to give him examples of what is "normal tone of voice" (and how you act when feeling fine), what is "angry tone of voice" (and how you act when angry) what is "I'm feeling sad tone of voice" (and how you act when feeling sad), etc....

My boyfriend has done something that is very brilliant. It's very simple. But, he has made almost a sort of "rule" that when he is angry, he will TELL me the words "I'm angry" - and has further told me that IF HE HAS NOT SAID THOSE WORDS, then he's not angry.

Simple as that!

So now, if I don't hear "I'm angry" I know inside that no, he's not angry, it's just my brain making things up.

I am still working on not thinking he's angry when he's really not, but I think his technique is really helping me.

Also, I can relate with tester when you said he will tell you you're angry and then forget and 10 mins later tell you you're angry again.

I do that. :o

Sometimes I think, asking (or accusing :O) over and over again may be a weird way of actually just wanting reassurance that you're NOT angry.

Especially those of us who have trouble reading tone of voice, are more likely to do this.

So like, it may be "are you angry?" "Nope"

Then 5 mins later, we'll notice the person (who we just asked if they're angry) sounds angry yet again, get confused, and proceed to ask them if they are angry.

It's hard for me, because my brain is like, "YES THEY'RE ANGRY" and this can override my thought processes. It makes it hard for me to see anything else other than the person is angry.

Even after they've told me they're not, that "YES THEY'RE ANGRY" buzzer is STILL going off in my head, oh-so-loudly, and I have to try EXTREMELY HARD to push past those thoughts and continue the conversation as if the person isn't angry.

It sounds like tester is becoming overwhelmed, confused, and not able to make sense of what's going on in a rational way and not able to express what's going on INSIDE HIMSELF in a way that's healthy for you both.

It appears that he may need a big deal of space, even if he doesn't realize that yet.

I really hope therapy turns out well for him.

I know that you are going through many emotions, too much to handle on your own. Do you have *anyone* to talk to? Someone who *can* in a healthy way handle what you need to express? Someone you can unload your thoughts and feelings on? It may really help to at least turn to someone else for the time being, because you need someone there for you emotionally, even when tester can't provide.

He needs to learn how to know when he is about to blow up, and how to end the convo RIGHT there to cool off (and to let you know that he needs to in a polite way) so that things go better for you both.

About the 3 hours thing, maybe he didn't realize that he actually needed *much* more time for the "cool off" than he expected.

Maybe, you two could *in advance* set up a rule. Like, during every "break" (cool-off period), you get 4 hours.

HOWEVER, make it so it's more of a "check back in" sort of thing. NOT a rule that forces convo.

It may be best to "check in" again through text, that way less emotion is transmitted, just in case he's not ready yet. And that's just it, he then must tell you honestly whether he can handle being polite and kind to you, and if he can't then in a nice way tell you "no, I can't yet."

If he can't talk after 4 hours, make it a rule that the person MUST address the issue by the following day.

That way, he'll have time to sleep on it, you both will get rested, and have time to let emotions settle down and think in a more rational, calm way.

dvdnvwls
12-11-14, 04:48 AM
I am, if it's legitimate to say this sort of thing, "less ADHD" than BellaVita, and I usually interpret tones of voice as the speaker intended. However, I just had a sort of flashback-ish moment where I remembered my ex's voice in an agitated and distressed tone. Once that tone of agitation and distress and desperation came into her voice, I was immediately sent over the edge. Each time I heard that tone, it filled me with fear and anxiety, because I knew that she needed "something" desperately, and I knew that whatever "something" was I didn't have it and didn't know how to get it. From that point forward in any conversation, I became worse than useless, because all my mental alarms were going off at once. My brain was suddenly like a three-man fire department in a city of 2 million. :(

Lunacie
12-11-14, 11:49 AM
Mittens -

...

About the 3 hours thing, maybe he didn't realize that he actually needed *much* more time for the "cool off" than he expected.

Maybe, you two could *in advance* set up a rule. Like, during every "break" (cool-off period), you get 4 hours.

HOWEVER, make it so it's more of a "check back in" sort of thing. NOT a rule that forces convo.

It may be best to "check in" again through text, that way less emotion is transmitted, just in case he's not ready yet. And that's just it, he then must tell you honestly whether he can handle being polite and kind to you, and if he can't then in a nice way tell you "no, I can't yet."

If he can't talk after 4 hours, make it a rule that the person MUST address the issue by the following day.

That way, he'll have time to sleep on it, you both will get rested, and have time to let emotions settle down and think in a more rational, calm way.

Good post ^

In the past when I was undiagnosed and untreated for ADHD, anxiety and depression,
along with having my weather-related migraines misdiagnosed and improperly treated ...

I felt like crap and I'm sorry to say that my family often took the brunt of that.

Here we are 20-30 years later and my daughter still flinches when she thinks she hears
"that tone" in my voice.

But now that I'm properly diagnosed and treated I don't get angry like that.
She's just playing back a loop of recorded stuff from the past.

It's taking time, but she's starting to ask me if I'm angry instead of assuming that I am.

That expectation seems to be a hard habit to break.


Anyway, as someone who also has weather headaches, they don't always come on
in a blinding flash like most migraines. They sneak up on me, especially if my mind
is preoccupied with something interesting.

Then I don't want to talk to anyone, it's too much effort to modulate my voice,
modulate my tone, think about how to say things so they don't come out wrong.

Sounds like tester may have been feeling that way and didn't remember to say
"Let's talk tomorrow when I'm feeling better."

He said what was uppermost in his mind ... letting you know what was going on
and that he loves you.

And as the song goes, two out of three ain't bad. ;)

Mittens
12-12-14, 02:54 PM
Heh. I love Meatloaf!
.....baby, we can talk all niiiiiiight

tester
12-14-14, 02:54 AM
I am, if it's legitimate to say this sort of thing, "less ADHD" than BellaVita, and I usually interpret tones of voice as the speaker intended. However, I just had a sort of flashback-ish moment where I remembered my ex's voice in an agitated and distressed tone. Once that tone of agitation and distress and desperation came into her voice, I was immediately sent over the edge. Each time I heard that tone, it filled me with fear and anxiety, because I knew that she needed "something" desperately, and I knew that whatever "something" was I didn't have it and didn't know how to get it. From that point forward in any conversation, I became worse than useless, because all my mental alarms were going off at once. My brain was suddenly like a three-man fire department in a city of 2 million. :(

Get out of my head :) ...I mean, that is exactly what I experience... almost uncanny the parallels, although I would never have been able to express it as well...

javamonster
12-14-14, 03:37 AM
I've read thru the entire thread. No matter what the communication snafu is, I still think and believe there is NOEXCUSE for tester to use that language toward his ill wife WHATSOEVER. Certainly the stress alone of being spoken to that way could adversely affect her health.

Everyone is so tippy-toe around this. It's a matter of simple respect toward the woman he professes to love more than life itself. Well, I don't flipping believe it. There's not an iota of respect in that sort of behavior and the fact he strikes out that way-ADHD or NOT-is simply inexcusable. It's verbal abuse. He's an adult. Spewing that garbage at anyone else besides his wife would get him fired, kicked out of venues, you name it.

Mittens
12-15-14, 01:08 AM
I am, if it's legitimate to say this sort of thing, "less ADHD" than BellaVita, and I usually interpret tones of voice as the speaker intended. However, I just had a sort of flashback-ish moment where I remembered my ex's voice in an agitated and distressed tone. Once that tone of agitation and distress and desperation came into her voice, I was immediately sent over the edge. Each time I heard that tone, it filled me with fear and anxiety, because I knew that she needed "something" desperately, and I knew that whatever "something" was I didn't have it and didn't know how to get it. From that point forward in any conversation, I became worse than useless, because all my mental alarms were going off at once. My brain was suddenly like a three-man fire department in a city of 2 million. :(

I would genuinely like to say I am able to change my 'tone', but I truly can't if I am in a place bad enough to need help. i'm not sure if I am reading this correctly, but I don't understand the obstacle of after the cool off period, why nothing is ever mentioned again?

I guess I am reading that it's a Mexican stand off. I honor the time out, and it's dismissed until next time the same issue blows up.
In reality it is exactly how it plays out, so that makes sense... I just don't know how to fix it.

Mittens
12-15-14, 01:21 AM
I've read thru the entire thread. No matter what the communication snafu is, I still think and believe there is NOEXCUSE for tester to use that language toward his ill wife WHATSOEVER. Certainly the stress alone of being spoken to that way could adversely affect her health.

Everyone is so tippy-toe around this. It's a matter of simple respect toward the woman he professes to love more than life itself. Well, I don't flipping believe it. There's not an iota of respect in that sort of behavior and the fact he strikes out that way-ADHD or NOT-is simply inexcusable. It's verbal abuse. He's an adult. Spewing that garbage at anyone else besides his wife would get him fired, kicked out of venues, you name it.

I do agree with this... a few posts (might have been the original, I can't remember) I mentioned things got ugly... in front of my mom (loud enough her neighbors texted me if they needed to call the police) he screamed that I was a reference rhyming with punt. That, to me, is a line and boundary.

However, the logical part of me knows that like a previous poster eloquently put, you can't describe the color blue to someone has been blind since birth. I don't know if I have came to terms with that sort of thing, but I am learning work around for damage control. I apologized to my mom for him and told my mom he regretted acting that way very much. I can only assume and hope deep down he did, as it was never discussed with him before being shut down, but either way the last thing the situation and me need is to have to do damage control between my mother and husband, especially over Christmas.

Yes, the stress has a very physical impact on my health, and that is a part of why I am not staying in my family home at the moment / for the past month or so. It's not a permanent solution obviously but it's a band aid to avoid chernobyl.

VeryTired
12-15-14, 09:24 AM
Mittens,

I think you have explained to us before why you can't be in therapy for yourself now. But I have to say, I think that's the answer. You are describing a situation where your partner transgresses your boundaries very clearly and yet you make allowances for him. You are describing your needs going unmet while you struggle to honor his (he gets the time-out, you don't get the re-engagement). It sounds as though things are confused and confusing.

I don't think any of us here are going to offer you solutions, and it's pretty clear you are not generating them yourself. This is the kind of impasse where therapy can help. If you are very clear about what you want and need, and very clear about whether or not is is possible, then it should be easier for you to make good choices. But right now, you are describing a situation where you are at the end of your rope and it's hard to have strength or clarity, or make good changes.

I get it that life is difficult in general, and you have many many stresses. But maybe if you make it simpler for yourself and concentrate on only one goal, you can find ways to attain it. If the goal is to go to counseling for yourself, to get support with your difficult situation, then all you have to solve are problems of logistics: time, money, access. That's not nothing, but it's WAY easier than sorting out your partner's disorder, your often difficult relationship, and how the two ft together. If you make your priority getting the help and support you need from a professional, then maybe you can let the rest take care of itself for a while, until you are ready to deal with it.

Maybe you can find a therapist with a sliding scale of fees? Maybe someone can help you pay for the therapy? Maybe you can change your priorities so as to make some change in lifestyle and budget to pay for therapy? ADDF is great, but your situation sounds like one where you need a different kind of help ...

Mittens
12-15-14, 11:30 AM
Mittens,

I think you have explained to us before why you can't be in therapy for yourself now. But I have to say, I think that's the answer. You are describing a situation where your partner transgresses your boundaries very clearly and yet you make allowances for him. You are describing your needs going unmet while you struggle to honor his (he gets the time-out, you don't get the re-engagement). It sounds as though things are confused and confusing.

I don't think any of us here are going to offer you solutions, and it's pretty clear you are not generating them yourself. This is the kind of impasse where therapy can help. If you are very clear about what you want and need, and very clear about whether or not is is possible, then it should be easier for you to make good choices. But right now, you are describing a situation where you are at the end of your rope and it's hard to have strength or clarity, or make good changes.

I get it that life is difficult in general, and you have many many stresses. But maybe if you make it simpler for yourself and concentrate on only one goal, you can find ways to attain it. If the goal is to go to counseling for yourself, to get support with your difficult situation, then all you have to solve are problems of logistics: time, money, access. That's not nothing, but it's WAY easier than sorting out your partner's disorder, your often difficult relationship, and how the two ft together. If you make your priority getting the help and support you need from a professional, then maybe you can let the rest take care of itself for a while, until you are ready to deal with it.

Maybe you can find a therapist with a sliding scale of fees? Maybe someone can help you pay for the therapy? Maybe you can change your priorities so as to make some change in lifestyle and budget to pay for therapy? ADDF is great, but your situation sounds like one where you need a different kind of help ...

I agree.
I was hoping for something / anything in the mean time until the new year when my benefits renew, but it was at least worth a shot.

Unfortunately with the sliding scale - on paper I make far too much money for even sliding scale to be applicable, however my income supports 2 house holds so it's not really a fair representation. My husband owns his own business, which means a couple of things... He is in charge of his paycheck's - which can be a very bad thing for someone suffering from ADD, and also his income has never been reliable. He contributes what he can when he is able and remembers, but it's never been reliable for more than a few months. His business partner recently withdrew from his business so he is now at 100% owner and operating... The plan is after I am back at home for him to give me access to all of his online banking (business and personal) with lists of all expenses, bills, *anything* that is to come out of (and go into) either and both accounts.... I have a feeling that is going to be a far larger feat than it seems, but here's hoping. I'm hoping that will make a difference....

Due to the financial irregularity it just isn't feasible to afford counseling for me right now until my benefits renews. Right now managing base expenses (mortgage, 2nd households rent, utilities, normal house expenses, etc etc) is difficult enough and a month to month challenge. It sucks, but it's reality, and thankfully New Years is shortly around the corner.

VeryTired
12-15-14, 09:35 PM
Sometimes holding on for the last little bit of time until you reach a solution is so hard that the fact that better things are coming almost doesn't seem to matter … until it actually happens, of course.

Sometimes just holding on is all you have to do--and all you can do.

Sometimes it's hard to be optimistic, but you don't even have to be--you just have to make sure you survive until life's pressures ease.

Anyway, the new year is soon, actually--if you close your eyes, the holidays will blur right by and you'll be standing right in the doorway of 2015 before you know it. Make your appointment with the therapist now so you won't have to wait after the 1st!

Good luck with sorting out the budgeting and shared finances. These things can be incredibly difficult to manage and to communicate about. I don't think there's an issue where my partner and I are further apart, and where he is more impaired. It's not only the impulsiveness and problems with executive function, it's being a middle aged adult who has literally never in his life experienced prudent budgeting and rational expenditure. He has no idea what those things even look like! But hard though that's been, people can change and things can get better, and small, incremental progress is being made. So, have hope--but do get yourself the support therapy can offer, too!

Wishing you both all the best--

anonymouslyadd
12-15-14, 10:45 PM
His response would typically either be to just ignore me, or be something unfeasible / unrealistic like telling me to just quit my job, or along those lines. I'd then tell him I don't need him to 'fix' my problems, I just need him to be supportive and there for me, and he would get upset and start blaming me / deflecting everything to be my fault and telling me that I don't know how to ask for support or get it, and the onus and problem is entirely with me.. that i'm abnormal and it's not fair to him, etc etc.
He seems very sensitive and probably has low self-esteem. I know. When I get upset, I can't think rationally, and how I may want to respond is negated by the urge to react and not think. It's like being in a straight jacket, knowing where the door is to escape without the ability to stand and leave. This is probably the experience of many ADDers. He doesn't know how to handle your issues. It's probably painful for him to see you go throw it, coupled with the fact that he can't fix it.

When he comes to you with an issue he's having, do you try to listen to him and not give advice? If you can do this for him and model the behavior you'd like to receive, maybe over time he'd be able to perform such behavior.

Have you considered writing him a letter explaining yourself and how you feel in a non-condescending way? I would do it during a time when you're not fighting so he could be calm and absorb what you're saying.

You said your SO has made significant progress. He's taking medicine and has read a book on ADD. This is huge progress. Don't forget about that progress, but don't forget about your needs.

Mittens
12-15-14, 11:54 PM
Sometimes holding on for the last little bit of time until you reach a solution is so hard that the fact that better things are coming almost doesn't seem to matter … until it actually happens, of course.

Sometimes just holding on is all you have to do--and all you can do.

Sometimes it's hard to be optimistic, but you don't even have to be--you just have to make sure you survive until life's pressures ease.

Anyway, the new year is soon, actually--if you close your eyes, the holidays will blur right by and you'll be standing right in the doorway of 2015 before you know it. Make your appointment with the therapist now so you won't have to wait after the 1st!

Good luck with sorting out the budgeting and shared finances. These things can be incredibly difficult to manage and to communicate about. I don't think there's an issue where my partner and I are further apart, and where he is more impaired. It's not only the impulsiveness and problems with executive function, it's being a middle aged adult who has literally never in his life experienced prudent budgeting and rational expenditure. He has no idea what those things even look like! But hard though that's been, people can change and things can get better, and small, incremental progress is being made. So, have hope--but do get yourself the support therapy can offer, too!

Wishing you both all the best--

That is EXACTLY him as well!
I have no idea how, but he has never budgeted or had any kind of financial handling.. it always boggled my mind.

I moved out just before I turned 16, and had no choice to work full time, go to high school, pay rent, etc etc and my life depended on budgeting.

It's going to be more stress because of the added work but hopefully it will be less stress on him and more continuity with the family.

Fingers crossed.

I can whole heartedly say there is not another person on the planet that I would rather be in this with, good times and bad.

He had a phone counseling session and the counselor approved an in person marriage counselor for the both of us. That's a huge positive. I do believe both of us still need individual therapy, and i'm not sure how the conversation with the counselor determined we apparently don't, but regardless I will still be pursuing individual therapy in the new year.

So, that's better than nothing for sure. Beggars can't be choosers.

Mittens
12-16-14, 03:15 AM
He seems very sensitive and probably has low self-esteem. I know. When I get upset, I can't think rationally, and how I may want to respond is negated by the urge to react and not think. It's like being in a straight jacket, knowing where the door is to escape without the ability to stand and leave. This is probably the experience of many ADDers. He doesn't know how to handle your issues. It's probably painful for him to see you go throw it, coupled with the fact that he can't fix it.

When he comes to you with an issue he's having, do you try to listen to him and not give advice? If you can do this for him and model the behavior you'd like to receive, maybe over time he'd be able to perform such behavior.

Have you considered writing him a letter explaining yourself and how you feel in a non-condescending way? I would do it during a time when you're not fighting so he could be calm and absorb what you're saying.

You said your SO has made significant progress. He's taking medicine and has read a book on ADD. This is huge progress. Don't forget about that progress, but don't forget about your needs.

I have... unfortunately because we have been speaking different languages it hasn't thus far, however hopefully with marriage counseling and some 'translation' it will be a hope to look forward too in the future.

Thank you. A reminder of things to hopefully come can sometimes mean a whole lot, even if they don't seem so at the time, if that makes any sense?

Man. I so suck at explaining / conveying things. I am so sorry,lol.

Thank you to anyone that reads through th gibberish and takes the time to respond.
You guys really are pretty amazing people with a whole lot of amazing knowledge in your melons. Thank you for sharing.

Mittens
12-16-14, 03:24 AM
Sometimes just holding on is all you have to do--and all you can do.

Sometimes it's hard to be optimistic, but you don't even have to be--you just have to make sure you survive until life's pressures ease.
o-

I know I responded to this, but this really and truly struck home and very much just summed it up so succinctly and eloquently. It stuck with me and somehow said exactly what is in my mind.

This.... just this.

VeryTired
12-16-14, 12:35 PM
One more thought for you, mittens--

It's important to be realistic about what success is. If you are at a moment in life when you don't have it in your power immediately to get everything you need and fix everybody's problems, then maybe just surviving and giving yourself permission to be in the trouble you're in can be a kind of success. I'm not saying to give in or give up or lower your hopes, I am just saying, if merely holding on really is the most you can do right now, then don't try to do more, and do feel success and accomplishment in managing that much.

And great work making progress toward getting counseling!

Mittens
12-16-14, 06:13 PM
One more thought for you, mittens--

It's important to be realistic about what success is. If you are at a moment in life when you don't have it in your power immediately to get everything you need and fix everybody's problems, then maybe just surviving and giving yourself permission to be in the trouble you're in can be a kind of success. I'm not saying to give in or give up or lower your hopes, I am just saying, if merely holding on really is the most you can do right now, then don't try to do more, and do feel success and accomplishment in managing that much.

And great work making progress toward getting counseling!

Reminds me of a brilliant quote my mom said to me when my husband and I were just finding out about the ADD.

"Mittens. You need to think of realistic expectations from the source - like,if I expected one of the cats to speak French, because damnit it's about time someone in this house was bilingual!"

Cracks me up every time.

BellaVita
12-20-14, 10:58 PM
Any updates Mittens?

(No pressure btw)

Mittens
12-22-14, 03:16 AM
Any updates Mittens?

(No pressure btw)

The super happy news about therapist appt booked for us on the 29th is pretty exciting!

Got home late Saturday night and he ended up going out while I was sleeping to put lights on the house to surprise me -i thought that was a very,very sweet thing to do, as well as flowers on the dining room table. Sounds silly, but i've always had a thing for having flowers on the table so again, very sweet and really tugged my heart strings.

I'm trying my absolute best not to focus on things that are stresses (stuff around the house, etc etc) and just focus on being home and being able to see each other. We do SO much better in person in many ways. It doesn't change any of our issues, but it makes them less intense a lot of the time.

One advantage to Christmas is that everything is so busy it's distracting from every day stuff, which can sometimes be a blessing in disguise.

My health went for a big dive and I got put on a bunch of heavy duty meds right before I came back, so I do feel very badly for Tester because he's going to have to shoulder a lot. Unfortunately I just physically can't right now.

So, I guess that's about it. No news is good news sometimes :) thank you so much for taking the time to read, respond, and care.

Y'all are a really amazing group of people, and I really don't know what I would have done without the pages of advice, support and wisdom over the past year.

<3 *oodles of hugs*

BellaVita
12-23-14, 03:39 AM
Awwwww I'm so glad to hear!

That was really sweet of him.

Good job on trying not to focus on stresses...I know that can be hard to do.

Sorry to hear your health got worse, lots of hugs. Stay strong.

Keeping you and tester in my prayers.

And I hope you two have a wonderful Christmas.

Go easy on yourself. :)

Mittens
12-25-14, 03:44 AM
Well, so much for that.

On the down side, it's December 24th (25th technically I guess as its after midnight).

On the up side, that means 5 days until the 29th, which I am so hoping for some kind of positivity and hope to come out of.... needing at least a little of hope to come out of.

The bright side also, is other than boxing day I am working each day, and most days long hours. In this situation currently - it's a blessing in disguise I believe this is a positive for everyone involved.

Boxing day will be 'big family Christmas Dinner' and ideally too busy for anything to explode, the following working and cleaning and etc etc the day after, which only leaves the Sunday that there is a slight chance I may get off, but that's the day before the appt so even if things go sideways it'll be far easier to say "just 24 more hours..." or "15 more hours..".

And, theoretically, everyone will be so consumed in a turkey coma, there will be laziness and a content lack of angst with copious amounts of left over 'warm fuzzies'.

4 more days. I just need strength for 4 more days.

I truly hope everyone has an absolutely, amazingly awesome Christmas with all of you and yours. I can't express again how invaluable all the advice and wisdom I receive on here is... and how incredibly appreciative I am to anyone that has taken the time to read and respond.

Give your loved ones super tight hugs, and happy holidays from the Great (only mildly White currently) North.
-Mittens

Mittens
12-31-14, 07:15 AM
I am super excited to update that the first counseling appt went AWESOME!

Far exceeded my expectations. The counselor gelled really well with both of us, and our next appt is the 8th.

She was realistic, understanding, and it was a very, very encouraging start. She is emailing us with the ADD specialists in the area (what?! Those exist in our area??!!), and though they are not covered by benefits, if it helps I'll sell a kidney to make it happen, lol.

It's late and i'll elaborate more tomorrow, but definitely good stuff. We really lucked out, I think. I know finding the 'right' counselor alone can be SUCH a huge challenge in and of itself, and to find one familiar with ADD is great. She 'gets' it. It's not about blame or negativity, rather about the tangible goals and what we can and need to do (separately, as well as together) to work towards those and realistically make them happen - also making sure they are realistic for our situation and us personally.

Anyhow. Wanted to say thank you again for everyone that has read or responded - this forum has been such a huge pillar of support and advice for me with so many amazing and wise people.

Happy Wednesday from the Great White (and horrifically cold) North.

VeryTired
12-31-14, 09:05 PM
Mittens--

What a great start to a new year this is. Thanks for sharing your excellent news.

Wishing you both all the best--

Mittens
01-02-15, 04:04 PM
Elaborating a bit more (and hopefully making more sense this time).

I noticed when I did my individual counseling earlier in the year it took me 3 separate counselors to find one that was 1) familiar st least vaguely with ADD, and 2) as a result (in my opinion) helpful / fair. The final one wasn't great, but better than the first 2 and my last option. I was very apprehensive because the counselors I had seen alone viewed things very much on a superficial level and said I was using ADD as an excuse for his behavior, basically making him out to be a total jerk. I completely disagree with that.

Don't get me wrong, if you look at strictly actions (if ADD wasn't a part of the picture) sure, he'd come off as a total a-hole, HOWEVER, if there's one thing i've learned is that his intentions rarely, if ever match or mean his actions, and in my mind that is a *HUGE*. I don't believe he has a malicious or venomous or hurtful bone in his body - we just have some challenges that cause very bad situations. This counselor held us both very fairly and neutrally responsible / accountable for *both* of our actions, but there wasn't blame or negativity or guilt. Ie. Yes, Tester - it's fair to expect you to contribute to house work, and the amount or type will be individual on what works *for you guys*, but we need to give you the tools to teach you how to be successful first. That made me feel *amazing* because he has enough problems with blaming himself, the last thing he needs is to hear that from a third party.

I don't know how to explain what I need, or how I give him (or any of my loved ones) emotional support. It's just intuitive to me, and that (probably sounds crazy) has given me a very small appreciation of just a glimpse of the frustration that Tester has. Hearing that it's fairly normal for (not only, but especially women) made me feel far less like a bad wife, and also hearing that with Tester working on his stuff, including learning how to receive me a bit better, I can also be taught and shown how to communicate with him. So we're both working individually for ourselves and for each other. I'm not sure if that sounds silly, but that just gave me a lot of hope.

Tester definitely felt good about talking with her, and I know he's really encouraged and open to the cognitive behavioral therapy, and that makes me feel *really* amazing.

On the flip side, I really like that she wasn't all about 'blowing sunshine up my rear', and was realistic. She said blatantly 'Tester will probably never do the same amount of house work, or organize finances, but we will be able to get both of you to solutions that work for *you guys* and your situation'. To me, that says she definitely 'gets' ADD. I don't care if I handle all the finances, and chores are non traditional or strange, I just want to not be over whelmed, get some self esteem and self worth back, and feel as loved as I know he wants desperately to express.

She really affirmed about medication being half the battle, and the concerta making the CBT successful. Like trying to build a fence with no nails - you need all the components to be successful. Part of that is also me having the tools to play my part in the whole thing and with a lot of work and a little luck, here's to 2015 :)

Happy New Year :)

-A Very Smitten Mittens

dvdnvwls
01-02-15, 05:01 PM
Mittens - I'm probably biased, but this last post you've written is the best news I've seen in the non-ADD partner support section, ever.

willow129
01-02-15, 07:27 PM
Yayay mittens! :grouphug: <3 <3 <3

BellaVita
01-02-15, 10:44 PM
Mittens - I'm probably biased, but this last post you've written is the best news I've seen in the non-ADD partner support section, ever.

Yes, for real.

Thanks Mittens for going through all the hard work to find a great counselor, and for not giving up on tester.

Thanks for being of the rare few who actually steps back, and tries to understand their partner's ADHD.

I hope things continue to go well for you.

Also keep in mind: I've found that, with counseling, it's often a "one step forward two steps back" sort of thing.

Please, don't become heavily disappointed if things don't go *great* every single session.

It can take lots of time, effort, and patience.

Mittens
01-03-15, 01:08 PM
Every day is a challenge... and a *lot* of work, but I can handle that if there's a light. I'm really good at 'just one more day' as long as there's hope. Previous to the counseling session that was getting very questionable and that's when I take a tail spin.

Real life isn't sunshine and butterflies, but it's loving someone and reminding yourself that when days are absolutely crap. It *is* worth it. Or I believe so anyhow.

The first counseling session didn't accomplish 'anything' in a concrete sense, but it gave me more hope than I could have asked for, and in our situation I honestly believe that's what we needed.

Things aren't going to change over night, or even soon, but eventually with us working together they will get to a point that works. I don't know what 'works' means yet, but we'll find out, and we'll make it.

Last night, as an example, was crap. Same as always crap. However, sometimes the best thing about tomorrow is that it isn't today. We see her again on the 8th, and I still can't believe how much we lucked out. Finding a counselor that 'fits' can be harder than the actual work and therapy itself, so that was really, really cool.

Things don't get to really bad places over night, and they don't get out of really bad places over night, but now I honestly believe there is a ladder.

All of this is strictly my opinion, and I don't pretend it to be right or fact, but in my eyes that's my hope....

Mittens
01-04-15, 06:41 AM
One thing that I have skirted around but not elaborated much on, is the 'so much more' Tester has had to deal with.

When Tester first met me, I was president and creator of my roller derby league, captain of 2 competitive volleyball teams, workaholic, full time care taker of my mom, extremely financially stable and generally the epitome of type-a, over-achieving ball of 120lbs spit fire you'd ever see.

A year and a half ago that all changed. My appendix burst.. suddenly causing a deadly blood infection called septicemia (or septic shock) and Tester spent days on end, *literally* by my side in the hospital watching doctors shrug helplessly as I was dying before their eyes - and no one knew why.

I never got better. It was like a terrifying game of domino's. The massive blood infection that almost killed me triggered a catastrophic immune response that brought out an extremely rare and paraneoplastic systemic autoimmune disease, and so on and so forth.

Since then Tester has followed me be ambulanced away with a pulmonary embolism (2 days before our wedding), gives me my weekly chemotherapy injections because I just can't stomach injecting myself with poison, held me for hours because there are days I can't move my legs or get out of bed, helplessly wiped my tears while I went through adrenal failure, and told me I was beautiful despite losing almost all my muscle mass and a good part of my hair.

Yes. Tester is dealing with ADD, but Tester is also dealing with all this.

I have maintained working full time (albeit sometimes from home), and taking care of my mom... and as much as every day is a battle for me, I can't begin to imagine what it's like (especially as a man) to have to watch from the side lines and not be able to do a single damned thing about it.

He rubs my hips and back for hours because percocet and morphine some days doesn't even dull the pain. He tells me i'm beautiful after I spend an entire day getting sick from chemo. He sits by my side and holds my hand with every trip to emergency for hours beside my hospital bed.

I really don't like talking about it, and have debated for months including anything because it is very difficult for me to share, but I do believe that, for Tester, the recognition and understanding of the full situation and the things he deals with outweighs my difficulty of not including that information.

As a result of some of those things is also why I spend a lot of time at my Mom's place 2 hours away from our family home. Sometimes it's care taking her, sometimes it's her care taking me, and sometimes it's because I have to remove myself as emotionally the family home is not a good place and unfortunately emotional stress = very real and very scary physical side effects for me.

I'm hoping after counseling and the two of us learning how to do what we need too, home will be my safe place, and that is a big part of the main goal. My Mom's health is at a point her living alone is no longer an option so she is moving in with us as of March 1st - also a reason why we really needed to find someone able to help us.

I can't even pretend that my situation is fair to Tester. No one deserves that. I have an immense amount of guilt and I know Tester doesn't have the tools he needs to be able to 'handle' me in terms of my health, (logistically speaking like cooking / cleaning / providing financial support and continuity / all the hardest and most challenging things for someone with ADD at the best of times). Counseling will hopefully teach both of us how to help each other how each needs and a year from now we'll look back and go 'Yeah... we made it through that, we can make it through anything'.

Anyhow. That's a bit of a 'full picture' ramble, and also a perspective of a man who didn't hesitate in hopping on the band wagon when almost any other one would have ran as fast and as hard as they could in the opposite direction.

Hug your loved ones extra tight and never forget that life and love is precious.
Don't ever take it for granted.

Here is to 2015 - new beginnings, new hopes, new strides and good things to come.

-Mittens

willow129
01-04-15, 12:16 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this Mittens
**huuugs**

You are an amazingly strong person.

Mittens
01-09-15, 06:54 PM
Phew.

Counseling appt #2.

It was realistic. Like she said, the things we have to deal with are far more than 4 sessions (what my insurance covers), and now it's a game plan of individual therapy (CBT for him, counseling for me) and for right now, work on some 'oxygen mask' strategies to make it through until we have the tools to actually deal with and solve stuff.

So, not a whole lot on one hand, but a game plan and some coping skills that should help.

We have another appt in 2 weeks and in the mean time a list of ADD specialists to try to call and see what the options are financially and see if there is any flexibility because they are private.

For right now - remember to breathe and put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.

Here's to lots of work but good things in 2015 :)