Competely and Utterly Frustrated

 My oldest is 4 and was diagnosed with Autism at 2 and I have a 2 year old, both boys.  I have been with my husband 13 years married for 7 and spent a vast majority of them thinking I was crazy and everything was all my fault.  I've dealt with guilt, frustration, gone on medications everything but for some reason nothing changed. huh go figure.  Finally found a therapist that introduced me to ADHD and BINGO there is the Kaos.  My husband is undiagnosed and has refused to admit he  is anything but perfect - until recently.  He has and appt. today with a Psychologist and has gone to 1 other which was when he was in total denial still assuming his perfection and my faults. He is in sales and has learned quickly how to cover up or talk away his behaviors.  Basically, he was able to answer the psychologists questions without drawing attention to his ADHD.  She sent him home and said he was fine.  Well she needs to come and live in my Kaos for a day - he is not fine! It is as if I am the only one that can see his behavior, to everyone else he is nothing but and amazing man, doting husband and wonderful father.  I really wish that was true, and in some instances it is but not always.

My husband is pre-occupied always (computer and cell phone mainly), easily distracted, incapable of completing a task or doing it correctly, appears void of any and all emotion, deflects behavior by arguing and "turning the tables", knows how to push my buttons and does to avoid conversation, incapable of holding a conversation for more than 2 min., remembers nothing and lives in a world of utter clutter - hoarder. Basically the typical ADHD behaviors I have read here in the forum.

Yesterday was supposed to be a good day.  A cook-out at my Uncles with my family, my kids and my husband.  Swimming, playing, visiting, eating etc.  Good time right?  Then why was I trying to get out of going? Trying to avoid this outing? I went and for the first time realized why I HATE doing these things I used to love.  I spent the entire time watching the kids and re-directing my husband.  All the fear I thought was because of me were clearly because of him.  I spent the day keeping us organized and on schedule (extremely important for children with Spectrum disorders) I had to keep all our stuff together, watch the kids, re-directing my husband.  By re-directing I mean if I asked him to do something - get the towels from outside, watch the oldest so I could eat I had to in return watch him to make sure he could compete the task without distraction, chit-chatting whatever.  He is great with first time conversations. The fear comes when he has the kids,  he is an awesome dad, but again gets distracted easily.  When they were in the pool I was a freak.  I finally realized why.  If my husband gets distracted for 1 second he will loose focus and my kids who are in the pool no floaters and can't swim are in danger.  I watched him like an intense hawk the entire time.  All 3 of them.  My family thinks I am this crazy horrible wife because I kept scolding him. Again they don't see it.  I was exhausted and relieved when it was over.  I did not eat, visit or have fun and that is my life.  If things don't change soon I don't know what I will do. My life is total and utter Kaos and after 13 years, like many of you, I JUST CAN NOT DEAL WITH IT!!  I am at a loss, no idea how else to find a balance if he will not admit he has ADHD and even then is there hope? 

 

breakthrough

Thank you for sharing your story. It makes sense that you would be anxious, exhausted, and frustrated. What you're feeling is completely valid. I can relate to some of what you shared. I've been with my partner for about a year and a half now. I knew he was diagnosed with ADD as a child and took medicine for it, but I really didn't think much of it. We went through a really tough phase, though, this winter, and I started to question what was going on. He didn't seem like himself. He couldn't complete tasks, he was easily irritable, we couldn't have basic conversations without arguing, among other things. I finally hit my breaking point and tried to share everything I was feeling, especially my concern for him. The conversation didn't go over very well, but later in the day we were flipping through the channels on TV when we came across the documentary, ADD & Loving It?! starring comedian and actor Patrick McKenna (http://totallyadd.com/totallyadd-loving-it-trailer/). The humor in the documentary originally sucked us in. Then, it was like a light bulb went off for both of us. He looked at me and said, "This sounds like all that stuff you were just telling me about. It makes sense that I might still have ADD as an adult." The process was still slow moving after this realization, but coming across the documentary together helped him realize that what I felt wasn't just me being difficult. The documentary also helped me see that he wasn't just being mean or angry, but that he was battling adult ADD. We both learned that we would need to start developing ways to manage the ADD together. It took more conversations together and encouragement from me, but he eventually  went to the doctor who confirmed his adult ADD. He's taking medication now, which helps, but we're still working through a lot of things. I hope my story helps or that you two can benefit from the documentary like we have. My hope is that it may give him a different perspective on ADD/ADHD--one that he may be more open to seeing similarities in his own behaviors.

Thank you SO much for this!

Thank you SO much for this!  I think this will be great to watch together.  I sometimes consider hiding a video so he can see himself scrambling around looking for keys, pants, shoes you name it, when he has major outbursts and tantrums when he can't find them blaming me and having a fit if I won't give him my keys or when he takes the trash out and gone for 30 min. totally unaware of what he was doing or where he is going getting sidetracked by anything else.  I have to police him 24/7 and he is constantly telling me I don't do anything FOR him. I tell him "I'm your wife, not your mom.  Wife's share the responsibilities, mother's do for you." We had fallen into a really bad cycle of blame and now I'm just to tired.  I love him and I know it could be a lot worse but it can also be better too.  On a good not he did tell me today that he has been noticing things affecting him at work, writing things down wrong having to re-do a lot of projects esp. if the direction changes.  He does not do change well at all. So he is going today, fingers crossed. I just want the yelling to stop and the kaos to slow down.  I'm not asking for a fix, there isn't one I know that now.  I just would like to start with acknowledgement and be able to talk instead of yell about what is going on and be heard for a change. 

Thanks again for your post.  It helps so much to share!!