Aspie vs. ADHD

Hi Friends,

It's been a while since my last post. I have been around, but had no opportunity to post due to lots of things that have been going on recently in my life. First of all, I want to thank, again, all of you who have read and responded, you've been a great support and please know you've helped me through a very difficult period in my life. Which, unfortunately, is still going on. (would put a smiley face here, but I'm not really sure it's appropriate, and yet somehow the sad face seems inadequate too)

The coaching I've been getting seems to be working wonders when it comes to achieving my goals. I know how to motivate, how to make my ADHD partner feel things are important to me are also important to her. I've been able to limit the daily struggles with tasks to what seems like a comfortable minimum. However, there still remains one unsolved issue: communication. I've been looking at it very closely recently and realized that while most of our everyday struggle seems ADHD-related, when it comes to mutual understanding, it's extremely aspie. It made me question the direction we had taken so far, as, although deceptively similar in some symptoms, it seems to be an entirely different beast.

I've been reading around about it and particularly one point seems very clear to me: there is no effective couples therapy for us. Even with a counselor who truly understands the problem, it only exacerbates things. There seems to be a lot of understanding during the session. But then, a couple of hours later, the defensive mechanisms start rolling, and once they kick in, it ends up in an excruciatingly long conversation when basically everything that had been said by the therapist or by me gets questioned, twisted, perverted and used against... well, I would say against me, but I also feel like it's against the relationship itself. Like it's depriving us of whatever common ground we may be sharing. It turns out my observations are invalid; it turns out they are valid, but only since I've programmed myself to see her in certain light; it turns out they are 100% valid, but these are all unimportant things, that, if anything, prove my obsessive nature and unbearable perfectionism. God forbid the therapist uses a sentence like "our minds have a way of playing tricks on us"; that gets immediately interpreted as "they say I'm sane and you're remembering things incorrectly". The effect? I don't feel safe to say what all the important things that I need to share with her and the therapist. If I do, I know I'll suffer 10-fold later.

I've read a few online articles regarding Asperger's and in this context, pt. 6 of the following article seems particularly true:

I found out it's much more helpful for me to read about case studies, situations and real-life examples than studying dry lists of clinical symptoms. Even though I've already read a bit of "serious" literature on it, I admit this particular article has been an eye-opener for me:

I've been thinking about how much of that relates 1:1 to what we've all shared here. I could go on and on about how well it describes my whole relationship, but there's just too much. I admit I feel overwhelmed and I feel like, instead of closing one chapter, I'm actually opening a new one, maybe even more terrifying. I'm really determined to go on, but I'm also really exhausted, and to find all common therapy seems to be actually hurting us - that's a blow that I wasn't prepared for.

But it has also made me realize how easy it was to confuse the two. There's a lot of banging on and on about comorbidity, but the distinctions are so elusive... Not sure if it's helpful in any way, but I thought I'd share it with you, even though it's been covered by other's posts so many times. I'm also eager to read your comments on that kind of communication issues.

Regardless of the glimpses of hope every now and then, it's been a true rollercoaster for me recently. And, looking backwards, a way downhill rather than up. I'm very frustrated, very tired, exhausted by both whatever-the-hell-this-is and exhausted by the ongoing attempts at struggle - therapy, talks, diagnoses, tests, forms, definitions and all of that stuff. I realize I might be on the verge of losing my mind, although I don't trust myself enough at this point to be able to tell. But I'm pretty sure I am. I can feel depression creeping in slowly but steadily, and I'm noticing some really unhealthy patterns in my own behavior. So... I'm trying to defend the only way I know how that's proven truly effective so far: by sharing with you guys.

Thanks a lot in advance for all your support.