Every once in a while when I'm feeling really down I look at this site thinking I will find some hope. Instead I end up feeling even more discouraged. Even in the 'hopeful' forum - it's all about being hopeful that the ADHD spouse will change and 'get better' and live up to the non-adhd spouse's expectations. I read how everyone is at their wits end with their spouse and can't take it anymore. Or how the adhd spouse is making progress but it's such a small step.
I AM the adhd spouse. And I'm tired and I'm weary and I want to just be loved for who I am. I don't want to be worked on or fixed or trained or graded. Walking on eggshells is no fun. Going along being happy and thinking life is good and then realizing I'm the only one who sees things that way. Realizing that the person I love with all my heart is frustrated yet again for something I have or haven't done that I didn't even 'see'. Hearing the same topic of frustration over and over again week after week. There are times I work so hard and I'm patting myself on the back thinking I've made real progress only to hear that I've still not measured up and the same frustrating topic is right there again.
Sometimes I wish I'd never pursued the realization that I had adhd because now that's what I have become. It's stamped on my forehead and that's all my spouse sees. And right next to me is a running scoreboard of my perceived successes and failures. It's as if now everything I do is a measurement of progress or no progress. I want to live and just be happy. I feel like I am one of the happiest people I know but inside now I'm crumbling. From the beginning to the end of the day I'm corrected, reminded, judged and defeated. Even when my spouse isn't around I can hear in my head the frustration and irritation. Even if it's nothing that's been spoken before now I know the eyes that things are viewed with and all I can see are the things I do wrong. Now it's as if I'm trying to win the game each day. I do all these things each day in hopes that today will be the day I'm not reminded of my adhd. And yet I could do 400 things right but there will still ALWAYS be something I failed. I wish I could just live my days again - just being the free me - instead of trying to prove I can do 'normal'.
All I can see now are the flaws I have and all the things about me that I know frustrate my spouse. With all my heart I wish I could change those things overnight and be what my spouse wants but they are me and are who I am. I'm not sure I even understand why some of the things are bad. Why did it suddenly become bad to be me? I talk too much or say the wrong thing. I see the look on my spouse's face and know I've done it again. There are times I tell my spouse things that may seem pointless but to me they're not - and the silence in response is deafening. I get it. The silence means I'm rambling about things that seem silly and pointless. At times it feels like my spouse just wants to get away from me and it hurts and I feel so lonely inside. I just want someone to tell me I'm doing a good job and it's ok to be me and I'm not such a disappointment to them. Just one person.
For the first time ever my spouse poked fun at one of my adhd flaws at the dinner table and my children all laughed. I wanted to die. My heart was crushed and I wanted to sob like a little kid because it hurt so much. In a way I feel like I've become a child in my spouse's eyes instead of a partner and that this label I now have comes with a free pass for constant correction and frustration. At the end of the day there's a silent review going on and I always know what the unspoken grade is until it builds and builds as I wait and guess what it will be this time.
There will be no end to me being who I am. I am sorry that it is so frustrating that I am this way. My heart aches for the days when I didn't feel like I was doing everything wrong. When the days weren't filled with dread and I didn't feel like I failed every expectation. I wish that my spouse didn't feel alone. When I learned that I felt like my world was shattered. How could I be in such a different place and view things so differently? And how could I unknowingly cause my soul mate so much pain? I'm sorry that I wasn't doing my share. I didn't realize it really was that way. Now I try so hard to look at it from a different perspective and use the different tools and strategies to remember and try but it feels like it's never enough and it's too late to make a difference now because we had to discuss it rather than me just seeing it and so it's not the same.
If only my heart could express how much I wish I wasn't this way and how hard I'm trying to do all the things I can to fix it even if it's not a fast huge change. I'm so very sorry. I wouldn't wish this for anyone.