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Old 10-13-04, 10:08 PM
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Angry Update to a still important question and issue

geez.. I wrote all this only to see the old thread was closed! Actually, this is better because its a clean slate and no one knows who this is about. I think thats much better because I still think this is really important and I'd like to know what others think the next step should be. If some of this post sounds weird because it sounds like its responding to another post... its because I am really tired and cant bear to edit and type anymore! So please bear with me!

Hello everyone!
Sorry I have not posted any replies to the questions people have asked for so long....it wasn't intentional. I have been really busy recently and I didn't have time to log on.
Actually I was stunned to see that this post had grown so much!...hardly anyone responded for ages so I thought it was dead in the water!

Before I get into what I can tell will be a very lengthy email. A big thank you for all the support from everyone who spoke up for me on this thread and in private messages, especially Stabile. My mouth was hanging open as I was reading your very clever, impassioned and superb razor sharp defense! We should all be so lucky to go through life with someone like Stabile in our corner. Thanks y'all.

First, just to clear up a few things about the accuracy of my first email and the comments from the facilitator ( I will refer to her as F) to my husband. My husband is an engineer and he took notes during his conversation with F. Thats very normal for him even when he is talking with me sometimes! My conversation with my husband was less than 30 minutes from his with F, and when he told me what F said, he was reading from his notes. After I heard the first few comments, my blood began to boil and I wrote notes as he spoke (my own habit from a science background and many years at school!). All this note taking probably sounds really strange to other people but its normal in our house! I also asked my husband to forward a few of her emails to me because I wanted to see if he was exaggerating what she said in order to make himself look more like a victim. The emails were as he had told me. I know all of this doesn't make it the gospel truth, but I think it comes close!

I also want to be clear on MY own reason for starting this thread. Which was basically to see if others agreed with me that F's behavior was wrong and unacceptable from a support group leader. I really rely on this forum for ADD advice as only 3 people know about my ADD and I already regret telling 2 of those. The stigma of ADD, that is apparent even in this thread is something I don't need.

The reason for this thread was NOT to make it a personal attack. I did not intend for others to know which group or even which ADD organization chapter I was referring to and I am disappointed that it has been revealed.

Since my first post, I have spoken with 2 other people that have negative things to say about F professionally because of their own experiences with her. I have also heard that there have been 2 other "official complaints" about her to a direct supervisor at the ADD organization. Neverless, others encouraged me to take my complaint to the higher ups at the ADD organization. (I'll refer to this person as Z).

I had two SERIOUS misgivings about this advice because 1) I could see that the 2 complaints before mine had not removed her from her position and 2) I was aware that there was a direct friendship between F and Z. I know of the friendship because F gave my husband Z's name as a good marriage therapist (despite the fact that she said marital counseling does not work!).

I finally decided to tell Z about my concerns mainly because F's one conversation with my husband caused so much negative fallout in my marriage that I could not imagine what months of ongoing "support" was doing to other couples.

I first left a voicemail for Z, but did not hear back for 2 days. When we crossed paths by accident, I took the initiative to introduce myself and ask for some time to speak privately. Z knew my name so I can only guess thatmy message had been heard, but not responded to. I told Z everything that was in my first post. Z's manner and response were very cautious and very noncommital. Z actually said very little in the whole 10 minute conversation that was not a response to a direct question from me. The strongest response was when I said that F told my husband that she didn't think Adderall worked but Concerta and Ritalin did. Z said "she shouldn't say that". When I repeated the comment about the boiled frog, he actually laughed a little and said "I'd heard that story before". I could tell Z wanted to end the conversation as soon as possible, but I asked what was going to happen now that I had complained. Z said that s/he wanted to get F's side of things. I asked what happened after that...would F possibly get fired? the answer was NO. Z said s/he "would work with F" to improve. I asked Z if this was a volunteer and unpaid position like other of the ADD organization facilitators. Z said yes. I said I did not understand why it was not possible to remover her from her position if doing so would not take away her living. I told Z that I thought leaving her in the position is reckless and irresponsible. I also said that Z needed to see that F was leading the only support group for spouses in our area, so, anyone that didn't like her message but needed the support of a group has nowhere else to go. Z only nodded to each of my statements without agreeing to anything verbally.

I suggested putting someone either secretly or openly to monitor F's meetings in the future. Z said that was not a good idea, even if F was made aware that a monitor was there.

I told Z I could not understand Z's reasoning as F was even negative about her husbands ADD and I mentioned the email I had. Z's manner cooled visibly and our one-sided conversation was clearly over. I had one final question for Z, which was to ask directly if Z and F were friends. Z said yes.Top of Form 2

I told Z that if he didn't believe me, I would ask my husband to call Z and verify. Z thought it was a good idea. My husband was annoyed that I had volunteered a call from him as he regularly works 12 hour days and hates being interrupted, especially for stuff he considers annoying. Z did not bother to wait for his call anyway, and sent him a private email.

Bottom of Form 2

I mentioned the fallout in my marriage because of F's comments. It was more like hell for weeks. I want to be very CLEAR that I am completely aware that F had so much impact because her comments fell on very WILLING ears. My husband was very upset and angry. I think he felt that the ADD diagnosis was like I had been given a pass card and now that I had it, I would never take responsibility to change my behaviors. F confirmed his right to be angry and pointed out some other reasons to be angrry that he had missed.

After F, my husband said he didn't think the Adderall was working even though the day before F, he had said he thought he saw definite improvement. We has seen a counselor for almost a year and he had admitted that he was critical and extremely detail oriented. After F, he said he had reconsidered his comment and it was not true, he now thought it was my ADD that made me think he was critical. He began to talk to ANYONE and EVERYONE about my ADD since we had agreed I did NOT want to tell ANYONE that I have ADD. He said I was trying to make sure I was the only one to have knowledge of ADD and I was restricting his access to information and support. I changed the rule to not discussuing my ADD with anyone that I knew or might get to know. After that, at least twice, he actually sat next to someone on a plane or train that was a psychologist. EVERYONE including the pychologists had an ADD horror story. They all confirmed the miseries of marriage to someone with ADD. He told me every single story of kids that were kicked out of the house and painful divorces. I found out that ADD is a topic that EVERYONE had an opinion or personal story or passed on story involving a relative or a friend.

All of this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what happened in the weeks after F. There is just too much to write down.

Despite his feeling of validation from F's comments. He reluctantly agreed the same day to NOT attend the actual meetings with F. Then, a few days later he complained that he was getting bombarded with emails from her private forum. Each time anyone posted a comment, he was sent an email. He said the emails were not only annoying, but they were also depressing as one member had decided to get a divorce and the others were telling the member that it was the right decision. I asked him to send F an email telling her to remove him from the list. Here is his ACTUAL email and F's ACTUAL reply.

Hi (name deleted), > I spoke with my wife about our original phone conversation and about the group e-mails I have read so far. My wife prefers that I don't participate for several reasons, which I will honor. I'll be in touch if things change. Thanks,(name deleted)

Here is her ACTUAL reply.Whatever you say, (name deleted). But I will tell you that could be a huge red flag. That is a pattern of abuse: to try isolating the partner and censoring what they say. Brainwashing can be very insidious. take care (name deleted)

Hopefully this email alone will convince people who think I am mishearing things that THERE IS A REAL PROBLEM HERE.

I want to tell everyone that the saga of F ends happily in my case. After weeks of hell, my husband took a 4- day trip to NY. He took my copy of ADD and Romance by Jonathan Halverstadt to read on the plane. He had put off reading it for months. When he got back, he was a different person. For the first time since the diagnosis he was sympathetic and understanding. He was less angry and more willing to look at new solutions. Most significantly, he was sure of his commitment and didn't feel or act like marriage to someone with ADD was a raw deal for him. I will be eternally grateful to Jonathan Halverstadt!

Despite my own good luck, I feel terrible about the others in her group who are getting brainwashed.

I have found out that an email complaint sent to the ADD organization website is actually sent automatically to ALL their coordinators INCLUDING F ! I also have no doubt that F is an active member of this forum and has been reading this thread.

What do you guys think should be the next step?
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Last edited by Tara; 10-14-04 at 08:16 AM..
  #2  
Old 10-13-04, 10:37 PM
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Wow, thanks for the update and I'm glad you found some peace after all that. I also got stabbed in the back by our couple's counelor regarding ADD at a critical time while our divorce was emerging. I know how it feels!

I think the next step is to talk with the national administrators (go over Z's head) since you aren't making any progress. I would be careful but insistent. As you know ADDers are an erratic bunch so it's understandable to have some wierdness & like I said before, "organizing ADDers for meetings is like herding cats"... We have to thank them for going as far as they do to bring us together & it's appropriate to cut a bit of slack. But yeah, the support group leader should be removed from that position. That is very clear. Very clear.
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Old 10-13-04, 11:07 PM
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Moxee,

It seems to me that you handled this situation very well. You did not post any specific info in the orginal post and yes you were looking for general feedback from other members. Somebody must have come accross the thread who also knew about this situation and reported back to others who were involved.

I really hope that things work out with you when it comes to this situation.
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Old 10-13-04, 11:39 PM
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Thanks Tara. I really appreciate the acknowlegement. Believe me its very hard to type such a long post and never type the word he or she!!!

By the way, can someone tell me what does pwADD stands for? Please send me a private message if its going to start a war! All the different acronyms drive me crazy! DH, SO,BTW...I finally figured those out.. but pwadd has me stumped. Is it Post warADD?
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Old 10-14-04, 12:02 AM
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partner with add (I think)
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Old 10-14-04, 12:05 AM
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PWADD and PWADHD are just abreviations that some people are using for People with ADD and people with ADHD. It's on the same line as the term ADDers.
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Old 10-14-04, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxee33
Hi (name deleted), > I spoke with my wife about our original phone conversation and about the group e-mails I have read so far. My wife prefers that I don't participate for several reasons, which I will honor. I'll be in touch if things change. Thanks,(name deleted)

Here is her ACTUAL reply.Whatever you say, (name deleted). But I will tell you that could be a huge red flag. That is a pattern of abuse: to try isolating the partner and censoring what they say. Brainwashing can be very insidious. take care (name deleted)

Hopefully this email alone will convince people who think I am mishearing things that THERE IS A REAL PROBLEM HERE.

.
.
.

What do you guys think should be the next step?
hey moxee,

1) I never doubted that there is a real problem.

2) What do you feel like you need to do for resolution? Do you have any power to make this situation o.k.? Or, is this something you need help letting go of? (i've got one of those issues myself right now ) What do you think should be the next step?

w.

I hope to see this dialogue continue, even if it gets messy, until it is resolved. I have no idea how to keep things civil. I am hoping that everyone can remember to treat each other with the dignity and respect we *all* deserve, even if/when we feel attacked.

I think that the reason we react so strongly to a thread like this is because many of us ADDers have been put down, lumped into a category, then summarily dismissed as over-emotional, inaccurate, irresponsible, selfish, lazy and a plethora of other negative images. I get so angry when I read sweeping negative generalizations about ADDers, and it is inferred that *we* are what is wrong with a relationship.

ADDF feels like a safe haven, someplace I can come to where I won't be cornered or made to feel as if something is wrong with me. I get to figure life and all it's twists and turns out for myself, with a little help from my friends. Here, we are just like everybody else, and it feels really good!

slightly off-kilter, but i'm o.k. with that! ...

wheezie
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Old 10-14-04, 02:37 AM
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Moxee, I am just happy that things between your husband and yourself have come out for the best That's the best news.

I think the explanation you have written above is brilliant, and obviously some things are a little fishy in Denmark, and need to be addressed.

I am with Paul, the support group leader needs to be removed from that position. That's all I'll say; no WWIII

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Old 10-14-04, 10:23 AM
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Moxee, Kay and I want to thank you for your stubbornness in keeping your own intentions on track. (ADD, anyone? grin…) We take notes all the time around here, too, so your post had us laughing out loud.

We're certain that personal quality is at least partly responsible for the positive turn of events, and congratulations for that. But we had little doubt about that from the start, after reading your original post.

We're really happy for you both. Stick to it; it gets better.

As far as what to do, we think contacting the national organization would be a good next step for you. But there aren't many options after that, so dignity and grace are called for. If you and your husband are each making the kind of personal progress you're reporting, there isn't really a place in your lives for the distraction of chasing it too much further.

You've done everything that could be expected of you to help those who may be getting bad or malicious information in that particular group. You can rest easy.

As far as what we here at the forums can do, well, I knew what I would do when I saw where the original thread was going. And I'm sorry, but we've decided not to discuss it here.

(If anyone's interested, please email (not PM) me. It's nothing that warrants any mystery; it's a standard solution any manager would think to use in these situations. But it's personal, and we all need to move on and focus on other, less private, things.)

Kay and I would like to thank the volunteers that staff these forums for their unwavering personal honesty. We are very certain that this sort of thing can create tremendous pressure, but you all clearly have the wonderful culture that you've nurtured here uppermost in your hearts and minds.

Geeze! What verbiage…

Oh, well. Our next post is worse; some of you may find it completely off the wall. But it gives a succinct general answer to Moxee's question of what to do next.

Thanks again to everyone. ---Tom and Kay
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Old 10-14-04, 11:39 AM
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moxee,
i think you're absolutely correct that this F person needs to be removed from situations where F could harm ppl's lives. god forbid that the ugly environment that F may inspire cause any divorces.....

i am seriously upset by this. i cannot believe you've had such a hard time getting anything done about the F situation.
it seems it would be easier to be a male reporting sexual harrassment from a female at a corporation
than this.
i just feel that we adhders are constantly doubted. what in our disorder implies that we are dishonest ???

i am very glad that your husband read that book and became more understanding..i wish the best for you
and i'm super
confused about all the uhhh..wierd forum walking on eggs thing..
but i guess i've never seen a forum go nuts...
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Old 10-14-04, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f_wcomboadhd
… i'm super confused about all the uhhh…weird forum walking on eggs thing…
but i guess i've never seen a forum go nuts...
There's a specific reason for this particular kind of blowup, and it's actually pretty interesting. The elders (grin) have joined us in defending our whole reality from attack, which is no trivial undertaking.

I know the people from the ADD Oganization are certain they're not wrong, and at the risk of drawing more fire, I'll say this: they aren't. What they were doing was defending their reality, and with good reason.

Ours threatened it big time, and still does. Just like their reality, when they represented it in their posts, was a palpable threat to ours. We all felt it, and responded in different ways. I knew what the deal was right from the get go, but I was really bummed to realize we were that far apart on basic truths about AD/HD.

The thing is, we were both right. They weren't wrong; their response was as correct as ours was. What is wrong is the ADD Oganization reality itself. In fact, if we all had the same reality they do, we would have attacked us, too, and in the same way.

So you can see how different their reality must be, because I think we all saw something distinctly dishonest in their responses. If we could become dishonest in the same way, simply by being in their reality rather than the one we do inhabit, then the world must be a very strange place, indeed.

And indeed, it is. We're all programmed to react like this (in fact, even much stronger than we did). It's the effect of a collection of instinctive behavioral impulses and drives called the social impulse. (More about that a little later, if all goes well and I didn't just set things off again.)

But you are spot on about picking out the bit about the "weird forum walking on eggs" political correctness. That's the standard response to this sort of thing, and a dead giveaway that the social impulse is behind it.

Nobody needs to walk on eggs when we all inhabit the same reality. And everybody hates the feeling that we’re compelled to do it.
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Last edited by Tara; 10-14-04 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 10-14-04, 05:11 PM
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At this point, I would suggest throwing up a second big red flag. Your husband has done two things which raise serious issues to me; he has reneged on admissions he made during couples therapy, and he has chosen to accept the opinion of someone else to make judgements on you. Someone who had never met you, even. This is why couples therapy involves couples; psychiatry and psychology can't tell you what's wrong with your partner if they're not there, they can only tell you what's an issue in your perception of what's wrong.

What you really need to do is tell your couples therapist about what's happened, preferably before your next visit and in such a way that there's minimal feedback; an email or phone message would be ideal. This is so that A> your therapist knows what your problems are, but can deal with both of you without having given either of you a foreknowledge of any thoughts; this means they'll take the time to get your husband's thoughts on what you had to say first before making any comments. If they're worth the money you're paying, that is.

And, of course, ensure your husband comes along to the next session, instead of abandoning it in favour of the support meetings, as he appears to be doing in his judgements.

What the support group leader has done is give your husband an excuse to discard anything you could ever say in defense of your actions. And it's one he's chosen over the "some things are my fault" one the couples therapist was handing him. Which makes sense on one level; being less at fault is usually a good thing. But it forces the blame onto someone who doesn't necessarily deserve it, and it's his willingness to do so that makes me worry.
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Old 10-15-04, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex
1)At this point, I would suggest throwing up a second big red flag. Your husband has done two things which raise serious issues to me; he has reneged on admissions he made during couples therapy,

2)and he has chosen to accept the opinion of someone else to make judgements on you. Someone who had never met you, even.

3)And, of course, ensure your husband comes along to the next session, instead of abandoning it in favour of the support meetings, as he appears to be doing in his judgements.

4)being less at fault is usually a good thing. But it forces the blame onto someone who doesn't necessarily deserve it, and it's his willingness to do so that makes me worry.


Hi Alex,
If my arm hadn't been so sore last night, I would have probably written a lot more in my last post and possibly not alarmed you, but I'm glad you asked!

1) After his miracle cure in NY. My husband did own up to his own mistakes and apologized for his critical behavior and basically say I am the best thing since sliced bread! If you need more details on what he said, I'm happy to provide them because I took notes on his compliments! I swear thats true!

2) I agree on this one. I don't think thats his general M.O. But I know he was frustrated because in his individual sessions with our couples therapist (we asked to do both individual and couples therapy with her), he told me that no matter what issue he had brought up as being annoying to him, the therapist said it was related to my ADD. I knew her answer frustrated him, because he felt like she was taking my side. He was worried that the issues that he brought up would never be taken seriously. This is why he was so ripe for F's negative comments. I certainly hope this happens less in the future as we'll know each other better. I also know that one of his good and bad traits is that he is highly confident and usually VERY confident of his own opinions and judgement!


3) He didn't plan to stop therapy, even if he had gone to F's meetings. The irony is that it was me who INSISTED he sign up to go to the support meetings even though they are an hour away!

4) I agree this is a bad trait, but I am actually more guilty of this than he is! I also find it much harder to admit that I am wrong and apologize than he does!

I wanted to also say in response to others posts that... I did not then, nor do I now... think that F intends to hurt marriages through her comments. Its not her intent to be hurtful...but it is the RESULT. Analogous to third degree murder, third degree is defined as unintentional murder, usually as a result of criminal negligance. ITS JUST AN ANALOGY! EVERYONE PLEASE RELAX!!!!

Lastly, (because I have to go start dinner!) Wheezie asked what I'd like to see happen.

First, I'd like to make sure the members of the group are checked on and that includes the health of their marriage.

Second, I'd like F removed from her role and a professional or otherwise qualified person be put in her place. I'd rather cough up $10 a meeting to get productive group support than free damage.

Third, I'd like the ADD organization to have a better system in place to deal with complaints. What the ADD organization's policy should be id someone complained about a group facilitator : Z should say "What you have told me is of GREAT concern to me. However I need to have X in our national office follow up with you on this matter as F and I are friends and so I am not qualified to make this judgement"

I feel relieved to hear that people think I have done my duty in taking this as far as I have. But I truly see F's comments and possible influence as abusive. I really feel concerned for the mental health of the members and their marriages and as a result...their spouses. I don't think most husbands would tell their wives all the details of what F said, the way mine did. So the ADD spouses would probably have no idea why their spouse was becoming more angry and less kind, accomodating, undertanding over time.

One extra tidbit I got from my husband is that in one week..2 members announced on their forum that they were getting a divorce, and one member was advising another one not to get married to his girlfriend because he would regret it as she did. Nice huh?

I know the ADD organization was set up to be advocates of people with ADD. I think we ALL agree on that. F's behavior goes against everything the ADD organization stands for.

Just for the record, I never felt the thread I had started last time was hijacked My conversations often go off on tangents also.
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Last edited by Tara; 10-15-04 at 12:48 AM..
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Old 10-15-04, 01:34 AM
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"One extra tidbit I got from my husband is that in one week..2 members announced on their forum that they were getting a divorce, and one member was advising another one not to get married to his girlfriend because he would regret it as she did. Nice huh?"

I have tried very hard to stay away from posting but I just cannot keep quiet anymore. I am amazed that you can type these things so easily and not even care to check out any facts on anything. First of all I am sure two people did not announce their divorces in one week. I know that for a fact. And, do you think the people in this particular email group encouraged this to happen or can you concede that these woman can make up their own minds. Do you not think that it is NOT okay to divorce a man who has been physcially abusive, emotionally abusive, very controlling and not willing to take medication when psychiatrists have prescribed them? Is it okay to choke your child in a fit of rage? Do you really think this woman, who happens to have a husband with ADD, should stick around and take this abuse? And do you have any idea how long she has been married and tried to work things out? Btw, separation is almost a year ago so could not have been just announced in that time frame. Now, for the second woman who is only contemplating divorce, she went though a very similar circumstance but on top of different forms of abuse he had signs of being with hookers. Guess she should stay and get STD, HIV, aids what have you. Both of these women worked very hard in a one way marriage for long enough. They had to get out to perserve their sanity. Now, as far as telling a man not to get married? I am not sure what you are even talking about. We have a few men online who have spouses or gfs. I don't think we ever blatantly tell someone not to marry. What we do is talk about their experiences as related to what we may also go through or have been through, but gosh, you are giving us way too much power if you think we can talk an intelligent adult man into not marrying his girlfriend on what we say, plus you are not giving that man any credit for having a mind of his own. Oh, and we do have one other woman who is going to divorce but has not done so yet. Her situation is very much the same as the other two. Bottom line, they all worked very hard to save the marriage, but it takes more than one working on it and they did not have that.

It would be nice if you could please refrain from making statements when you really have no basis in fact. If you are accusing "F" of saying things out of line, I would encourage you to take a look at yoursefl. You have said some untruths here.

I appreciate the fact that you are very upset with "F" and you will never be convinced otherwise. But, you must consider that you (and I think you said two others) not being happy with her is far less than the many many people who are very appreciative of her and what she has done for spouses or significant others of an ADDer.

Thank you for reading.
  #15  
Old 10-15-04, 04:43 AM
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