I have been working a lot these past few weeks on sorting out life stuff. Liz's stuff. What Liz sees. What Liz does in response. Focusing on what Liz can overlook, and what is just no longer acceptable. Liz is Non-ADHD. Believe me, there were a few times I started to wonder, but, nope. No ADHD. My spouse had a full diagnostic study at the Cleveland clinic. On their scale, their spectrum of a 1 - 10 severity, my spouse is between 9 and 10. And living with that, undiagnosed for 50+ years, he has developed a complex life system to accommodate and protect himself. Thus, my relationship with him took on some very unpleasant styles of living.
I have looked at the 5 top signs of adult ADHD that cause disruption. 1. Disorganization. 2. Focusing trouble. 3. Forgetfulness. 4. Lateness. 5. Procrastination
I have tried, with extraneous amounts of effort, to back away from his anger, and try to assign one or more of these 5 traits to each instance. No, not as a parent reprimanding a child, but this is done in my own consciousness, in an effort to see my spouse with understanding rather than contempt. Because, believe me, as I have posted here enough times, these 5 traits have been a thorn in my side for a very long time. My own responses to them have evolved into pure spite.
What I am looking at is "What is important. What values do I want. What will make my relationship work in a functional manner."
To be honest, what I have today, at this very moment, is very uncomfortable. I live in the same house, I am frustrated by the stuff everywhere, I do not discuss ANYTHING but surface talk – I barely am able to acknowledge his presence and it takes so much effort to DESIRE to go beyond this level of communication. I do not want to plan anything with him. In that arena, I really struggle - if I plan with him, there needs to be contingency plans: What if he is late? What if he starts an argument? How do I deal with MY embarrassment at his behavior? "Liz just really no longer WANTS to try to figure these things out." It is tough for me to bounce back.
I am in the very beginning of this process. What I can do is identify those 5 negative traits as the ADHD. And discern for myself the accompanying behaviors that I will not accept being directed at me.
So I am looking for dynamics that are important to ME. Respect, an atmosphere where I can express my feeling without being told they are wrong, accountability, apologies, courtesy, the Golden Rule, no character assassination, and a few others.I have 4 major current events that I am still working on sorting out. All 4 hurt and I do NOT accept his behavior towards me in them.
1. The Fence. Well, we discussed it, we got 2 estimates, we ordered it - then he called and canceled it. Rude.
2. His anger at me because we have past due taxes. He ASSIGNED the BLAME for this issue to me - "You never did like to pay taxes, and now look where we are at." Rude.
3. The RV. He declared he is selling the RV. Rude. At one moment in time, I was thinking a suggestion I got on this forum was the solution - Just sign the title over to him, and be done with it. But that feels like Liz's old behavior - let him control me with his anger.
4. The room. We had discussed making our daughter's old bedroom into his office. Or just a room for him. I asked him if he wanted to move his office up there. He said, no. I asked if he wanted it to be just "his room." He said, no. So I said I would use it for my classwork for my college classes. I put the toys in the attic, moved in a table and light, and . . . . . he just trampled in on my space.
I am not choosing to just heap all the blame on him, either. So there-in lies the REAL question, not why does he do that, rather why wouldn't he do that? He does it because he can.
I surely am choosing NOT to accept my spouse just cancelling the fencing. Not acceptable. I surely am choosing NOT to accept my spouse selling the RV. The title is in my name, and that gives me some amount of fulcrum in this - but I am not willing to use that as a trump card. It would be acting the same way he is behaving. And the room, Wow! Literally the night I was finished and working on school work in our daughter's old bedroom, he just walked right in and started rustling through the closet. UN-BE-LIEVABLE.
So, I need to let him know these 4 things are NOT acceptable, . . . . . . . but Liz is not equipped to deal with this, and Liz just wants to go far, far away. Liz is tired. Liz has no brain room to try something else that she hasn't already tried - - especially since I pretty much think I have used up all the resources I can find. I need to take care me of me, and let him take care of himself.
I am sitting here with the words once told to us: "Look what you have done to each other." I surely cannot grow any stronger in my own resolve when I am afraid of being yelled at, and being shot down with his angry words. Then have HIM slink away in tearful posturing, mumbling how he can't be good enough.
The fight is gone from me. This is bigger than me. This is bigger than ADHD. Liz is not a victim. Liz is. . . . . . . and has . . . until now just sat and asked why, why, why? Now Liz will say. I don't think so. If this is the best I can get, it is not for me.
No constant bickering back and forth. No trying to figure out how not to get blasted. Just going forward into - -well who knows what. The fight is gone from Liz. Now the fight is his.