It's so heartbreaking to read around this forum, a lot of happiness and good things too of course, but a lot of sadness. I always feel a little numb and I ended up writing this. It's quite long and I don't expect anyone to read through it but maybe it can help someone somewhere. I'm a wife married to the love of my life, but in our case I am the one with ADD, "ruining everything".
"Dear my husband, I'm sorry I couldn't do your laundry"
Dear my husband,
I love you more than life. When I met you you changed everything, to me you are the world. This is why I married you. This is why I was overjoyed with making a life long commitment to you. But now we're falling apart because I can't do your laundry.
It breaks my heart every time I fail you and let you down. I don't do the things I promise you I will. I don't do the things you remind me to do. I don't do the things expected of me. I don't take responsibility for my life. Or yours. And most likely not our future family. I am lazy. I sit while chaos roams around me. I get obsessed with and prioritize things that make no sense. I spend all my time in front of the computer. I don't show any respect or consideration to other people as I am always late, always absent minded, always losing track in conversations and changing subjects. You leave your life, your home, your everything in my hands as you leave for work so that we can live a happy life together. And I just place it on the table together with a toothbrush, a toy car from McDonald's, one dirty sock, 2 dinners worth of dishes and all those things that I was "supposed to do".
I love you. I want to give you everything. I want to paint the sky blue for you. I want to make you smile everyday. I don't want you to worry about a thing. I want to take care of you and most of all I want you to always see me the way you did that night when we had our first date and you fell in love with me because I was the most wonderful person You'd ever met.
But I have ADD.
When I wake up in the morning, I feel like last night was one hell of a night. Although it wasn't. I was at home, I went to bed at a decent hour but still the alarm clock is making me want to jump off a bridge. Immediately I come up with 6 different valid excuses for why I can not go to the early lunch meeting I scheduled today (even though I knew it was a dumb idea, I knew that it was going to be hard on me but as always I thought I just have to because "everyone else" can handle 10:30 am meetings I just need to grow up!) while I go in and out of a half sleep of some sorts, ending up snoozing for at least 30 minutes. Not much of a 30 min extra rest as my brain is already accelerated up at "Titanic before impact speed". But.. since you are here, with me everyday, I do get out of bed.
Without you I would have been stuck in this daze for at least 2 more hours, missed my appointment and stuck with the consequences from it. You saved me from wasting my day in bed, losing my job, messing up my sleeping schedule and from a lot of anxiety. Thank you.
Without me you wouldn't have to constantly take responsibility for this teenager (which was not by the way anywhere mentioned on what you signed up for!) who doesn't seem to care whether she has a job or not, gets medical care or not, passes school or not. While you are trying to deal with your own morning routines, you are tired too in the morning but you get out of bed on time. Damn me.
I have to leave, I have to leave real soon. I lost 30 minutes to my coma but at least I am up now. Well I'm physically standing up. You know when you were in high school and someone always had a car that wouldn't start at once? You had to try a few times and the car would just make that noise, the countdown to when the engine actually starts and you're once again safe, phew? Well that's my brain right now. Key - shift - gas, key - shift - gas.... key-shift-gas-key-shift-gas. I walk out of the bedroom trying to figure out what the next thing to do would be, as I have been asleep for a long time (6 - 8 hours) my body has needs and of course it is screaming them all at once. I have to go to the bathroom and eat. I am also cold. The list looks like this to You:
- Bathroom (depending on how urgent, putting on a sweater might come first)
- Put something on (cold)
The list looks like this to me: batthingonehrotsomeompuat. To clarify this is the same three things above but the letters have been thrown around. My thoughts go around like this:
"I have to pee, I need to remember to do that before I leave or I'll have to rush suddenly and there might not be any restrooms. Ugh my stomach is growling I really need to make sure I eat something or I'll end up forgetting and have to sit through my appointment worrying about my stomach growling loudly, gosh that's so embarrassing, I remember in 2nd grade when it did that that was awful.. I wonder how mom is doing. I should call her tonight. It's cold, I should put a sweater on, where are the sweaters? I have one in the kitchen, right, I have to eat and I should drink something to wake myself up my blood sugar is low, I wonder if I have any Cola, oh and I have to go pee, that's prio one but it's cold in the bathroom so I should grab the sweater on my way through the kitchen, I remember when I thought I was going to pee my pants at H&M because I forgot to go while I had the chance. That was rough. So glad I made it, that was like 3rd grade? I really want to call mom today.."
A mind goes fast. These thoughts only take a few seconds. But I can't get anything straight. In what order am I supposed to do what? And what happens if I forget one of the things? I suffer a lot from my anticipation stress, as I am so used to messing something up I spend a lot of time worrying before it even happens. When I was younger I handled this stress by completely ignoring the whole thing, like I didn't even care, now I've grown wiser and know that I will only get into trouble. At this time You can see that I am up. You are not inside of my head and what You can see is a slightly confused, just woken up Me. You are a great person, You always wake up in good spirits. But You're tired of me being the same load every morning and You can immediately sense that this is not a good day. You know it's your responsibility to make sure I leave the house on time. You try to take a deep breath, maybe even say a happy "Good Morning" but just the sight of Me standing there and ugh You can just anticipate everything and You are so over it, of course Your mood takes a hit and You start firing questions my way. "What are you having for breakfast?" 1, "When is your appointment?" 2, "Do you know when you have to leave the house?" 3, "You know it takes 10 minutes to walk to the train station, right?" 4, "Do you want some Cola, here, take a glass" 5, "Don't be late today, okay?" 6, "And don't forget to do the laundry today, these are my last pair of socks" 7, "Don't forget what you have to bring to the appointment" 8, "Did you charge your cell phone?" 9.
I am trying to figure out how I can go pee without being cold. I'm tired. I feel like my brain is a fog. You know when you were a teenager? And you suddenly felt so tired and just emotional? And all your mom said was "Hey sweetie" and in your chest you could just feel it coming, just no energy left for "Hey Sweetie" and you just snapped at her? You didn't know why. Your mom didn't know why. No one around you knew why. But you were exhausted. That's how I feel, everyday, all the time. Especially now, I haven't eaten since dinner last night and no matter how hard I try, I can't grasp any of the thoughts in my head. So I snap at you. I am short, rude and I might even yell depending on whether you continue to ask me or leave me alone. And all I can think about is how am I going to make today work? You get angry, but mostly hurt I think, but it takes the shape of angry. You inform me that you are just trying to help cause I will forget and you leave the house, in a bad mood, mutter under your breath how I am ungrateful, always pissy, can't even remember to do the laundry even though I spend most of the time doing nothing in the house. Then you close the door behind you, and I didn't get to send you off the way I wanted to.
This morning's tiny event was enough to max out the resources that I have, all these impressions from our conversation, from the surroundings, from you not standing still while talking to me this has drained me as I have no filter, someone forgot to put that in when I was assembled. Everything that happens around me, comes at me like witnessing a horrible crime. I'm exhausted and I've only been mentally conscious for 15 minutes, 12 - 14 hours left to go. I will deal with this by going in and out of states of hyper, extreme sleepiness and dumb staring.
Without you I would have been late as you told me what time I have to leave the house. I would have forgotten to pee as you were the one that gave me the Coca Cola that helped me kick start my brain. I would have gone hungry to my appointment and ended up eating something from a 7eleven (most likely something with sugar which means I'd have to eat again shorty, would add to my gain weight cause of snacking and also is a waste of money) while rushing and working myself up. Thank you.
Without me you would have had a calm morning, drinking juice and Googling the news. You would have brushed your teeth and grabbed the things you needed for work. You would have been in a good mood, thinking positively about your day and not be wearing your last pair of clean socks. Damn me.
My day goes on. I make the appointment on time. By the time it's over I have been awake and active for a few hours and am currently going through a hyper phase. I will be in a good mood for a little bit longer and probably get an impulse to go grocery shopping as I reckon there is enough energy for that (this is a misreading on my part, I'm pumped out).
But I'm still sad. I feel so guilty. I didn't mean to treat you that way and I am upset that I didn't get to tell you I love you. I send you a text, apologizing for being so mean this morning, I thank you for getting me to my appointment on time and that I miss you. You answer that it's okay, that you love me too and that you're glad it went well. You also remind me about the laundry.
When you come home from work you are tired. It's been a long day, things happened, some were routine and some were challenging. A colleague of yours is getting a bit on your nerves and you also haven't had a time to take an afternoon coffee break and a sandwich. You are really hungry when you come home and just want to sit down. Since I had an appointment today you got me out of bed which means that when you come home I am dressed and proper. If this would have been a day when I had nothing planned it wouldn't be a shocker if you walked in on me still wearing pajamas. That's annoying.
But today I am out of the jammies and my hair is brushed. However, I am sitting in the same spot, I'm in front of the computer. Of course. You're not taking your bad mood out on anyone else and you greet me in a nice way, I get a kiss on the cheek and you carefully ask me about today. You can't help but notice that the house looks like the 3rd World War. For some reason it seems to make sense to me that out of all the groceries that I bought on my way home, only half seem to have found their way into the fridge, the rest is just artistically decorating the floor in front of the freezer. Like.. they're not even in the original shopping bags, I have actually taken them out of the bags and then put them on the floor. Hm. Anyway, not the end of the world. Deep breath. At least there is food in the house. The laundry. You undo your tie while glancing over to the laundry.
In my life, in my marriage there are five possible scenarios, four that are the most likely and then one that is a special case and is but within brackets, it should be ignored for now.
- The laundry basket is untouched.
- The laundry basket is now half full but no laundry can be seen outside.
- The laundry is still in the washing machine washed.
- The laundry is still in the washing machine unwashed.
(- The laundry basket is now half full and the laundry is hanging outside, so far so good.)
Today the laundry basket is half full but you know me and you open the washer to see what's going on. The laundry is in there, your socks is clearly the priority but it hasn't been washed? You sigh, enough of me already. I'm just sitting there, what am I doing? Chatting, web browsing, listening to music, watching some TV show. The dishes are not done, the floor hasn't been vacuumed, half of the groceries have created their own little society in front of the refrigerator God, the bed is not made, there are things all over the apartment, You almost stumbled on my handbag as you tried to get into the apartment and you have no clean socks. While you walk over to me and I can sense that you are not too happy you remove your socks and start spraying them with Febreeze, you speak calmly to me but you are not tip toeing around your point.
You tell me you're not happy with this.
I get angry.
You get angry.
Our marriage take a hit for the 13 487 364.5 time.
And you lose yet another energy bar when it comes to me, sooner or later you will have had enough.
I am in front of the computer. I can't really recall how I ended up here, well really I was just going to look at something. I will tell you what happened when you approach me with your dirty socks and your Febreeze, but that's not yet. I sat down about 2 hours ago but it's late, it's closer to 7 pm and I'm getting tired so I have no grasp of time. My inside clock doesn't really match the real time clock, the real time clock is really fast? I don't really understand how that works. The things I do on the computer don't match the amount of time but then again I do know that I am time impaired. I don't really know how long or short an activity is, but for me reading 2 forum posts can't possibly take 20 minutes. I feel confused by this a lot and taken by surprise. I Google a food recipe at 5 pm to get dinner ready on time and plan, glance at the start bar clock and suddenly it's 6.30 pm and you will be home in 30 minutes. I do not control this and I don't know how to control it and this is very hard for you to understand. Join the club is all I can say. Every time you put your key into the door it feels like I have dropped my wallet. Stab in the chest, pulse goes up and I get an adrenaline rush. I associate like a master, of course I have ADD, and as soon as I can hear you the list of:
- The things you have asked me to do.
- The things you expected me to do.
- The things I think you expect me to do (this is a very important one).
pops up in my head. The laundry. You don't have any socks. Why haven't I done the laundry? I now remember why.
I tense up a bit but am still so glad to see you. I have found something during my time on the internet and I can't wait to tell you all about it (and things around that are not related to the thing but still worthy of mention.. apparently). A few things also happened today when I went outside and I can't wait to tell you about them either. On top of my happy tree I am also so glad to see you, I missed you all day! Welcome home! I want to hear everything, what did you have for lunch? But I haven't washed your socks.. you're going to notice.. and you did, you're quick. I feel like you're coming home and you go on your second work shift cause you wander round the apartment like a security guard on his watch. I'm so ashamed, cause you're checking on me like I'm a child that clean for allowance and just told you I'm done. But I know why you are doing that, cause I am like that child, that tried to cheat to finish fast but get my money. I'm a grown-up. I live my own life, I take care of myself. My mom doesn't live with me anymore. And still my husband is baby sitting me.
You want to know why I haven't done the laundry and what I have been doing all day because obviously we are still out of laundry detergent You feel like I am just completely ignoring the laundry. I tell you the truth. Because I am honest. This is not our first time around so I work hard on keeping my guard down so I don't snap in self defense. I tell you that I will do it now. You don't believe me. You speak of experience and I speak based on fact.
Your experience is that more often than not I leave house chores not done, half done or at the most 2/3 done. If you are not chasing me like there's a witch hunt then nothing will be done and I will grow old and die in front of my laptop.
My fact is that I loaded the machine 5 minutes ago (in reality 2 hours) and have ever since thought about it every 10 minutes, that I should start the machine. The thing is while I was preparing the washing machine I noticed that we were running out of laundry detergent and remembered that you had been reminding me about that too. I also happen to know that we're out of refills for hand soap. When I was going to buy laundry detergent while grocery shopping the supermarket was sold out and I was about to buy some at the drug store. But the drug store doesn't take cards only cash which I didn't have any. I would have withdrawn money but it was past the opening time for the closest ATM. As I knew we had enough for today's load I figured I should just go home and crossed my fingers that you wouldn't notice.
You ask: "Why don't you have cash, withdraw enough so that you have enough - simple as that!"
I do not want to withdraw the amount needed to "always have cash". I have told you this many times. The reason as to why I don't want to is because I have ADD and with that am very impulsive. Not having too much cash in my wallet has always been my way of controlling how much I spend. You know this. You know that you know this. But you wish it didn't have to be like that. I have had ADD my whole life and as we are still young you have been a part of my life for such a small period of time, thus for most part of my life I have been single and shaped my own way. My own way does not always match with a couple way, in fact 9 times out of 10 it's a frontal collision as a single ADD life honestly is a selfish, inflexible hobo life style.
When I got home I started putting in the groceries and remembered the laundry. I do remember my chores, they come a few times every hour back into my mind thanks to association. I made an active decision to abandon the groceries and load the machine right away so that I wouldn't procrastinate and end up not doing it. I knew that you really needed socks. I also wanted to show you that I could do something for you. That I could finish something that you asked me to. That I care, I want you to see that I care. Because I know that isn't always coming across. After loading the laundry I try to read on the box to calculate how much detergent I need as I am trying to cut down a bit for several obvious reasons (the environment, cost, allergies, plus we've had problems with the rinsing). I can't find much information about my question on the box. As a part of my ADD I feel very insecure and I don't trust my instinct, also I really want to look this up. The result is that I go over to the computer to look it up. That is why the groceries are still on the floor, the laundry hasn't been washed yet and the detergent box is standing beside me on the table now working as a one leveled up table for my coke glass slash arm rest. For the first 1 hour out of the 2 that I will end up spending in front of the computer I am not even sitting down but leaning over the chair.
I tell you this long, dumb, complicated, excuse story because I want you to know.
You are so tired of always being the one keeping this boat afloat, you don't want to hear another excuse.
So you get angry.
And I get defensive.
And when I get defensive, I can tell how my whole self changes. It's like I become a different person, this person is ugly. She is ugly and immature and hurtful. And you deserve so much better.
Without you I wouldn't have anyone that depended on me, not even myself. I wouldn't be pushed to face the problems that I have and I would run away as soon as things got too tough. And I definitely wouldn't have any bought groceries to spice up my kitchen floor with. Thank you.
Without me you would have had your own routine of getting the laundry done. As you work fulltime you would have done it every Saturday and rest Sunday. It would be washed, dried and folded. You would have enough laundry detergent and when you feel lost you would be able to follow the instructions on the box without having to Google your individual question. You would have eaten when you had gotten home. You would have spent the remaining one and a half hour on calming down after work, internet surfing, playing a video game and getting to bed on time. Damn me.
Just like with anything else I lose focus in our fight and I don't stay angry for too long. But you are hurt. I said mean things and I overreacted. I remember it all and I am right now just sitting on the kitchen chair looking like a human question mark. I don't really understand why I got so angry, why I said those things and why we have to fight. Yet another 2 hours have passed. We're even more tired and hungry than we were in the beginning. I try to apologize but we're all different and you just want to be left alone so we can calm down, you've had enough of me for today too. You're making something quick for yourself to eat, you might ask if I want some too. Usually you do but sometimes you don't. I most likely am still punishing myself and will say no if you offer. Most of the time you will then go to bed and fall asleep. You won't say good night or I love you. Sometimes you'll agree on a hug and I love you. We can then eat something together and I promise I will try to get better. You promise you'll try not to nag and try to understand me more. You say you know I have a problem. I say I know I have a problem. None of us say that we know I will forget to wash your socks again.
I will stay up after you sleep and wait for the sound of the machine being done and I will hang your socks. I will make sure one pair is dry and ready for you in the morning. I get to bed a little too late but it can't be helped as I can't control my head and my thoughts and I know I wont be able to rest my brain the way needed to fall asleep. I know this will also reflect in my mood tomorrow. My ADD will be worse due to my lack of sleep but at least I don't have any appointments.
My dear husband, I am so sorry about your socks. I know that without me so many things in your life would be more simple. But without you I wouldn't have any structure in life. I wouldn't have a motivation to try, someone to fight for. I wouldn't have had someone that has my back through this battle I'm facing everyday. I would have given up on myself and pretty much let my ADD take over my life leaving me feel like I could never ever accomplish anything.
But I'm not without you.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.