Dear my husband (a little long).

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)
- Eat

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.

We fight.

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.

Sincerely,
Your wife. 
 

All I can think, when I read

All I can think, when I read things like this, is how sad it makes me to think that this is what life is like for ADDers. These negative thoughts...the inability to follow through with even the simplest (to me) of tasks as washing a load of clothes...and the guilt and self-loathing that seem to come with each 'failures'. Our counselor once said that it wasn't necessary for me to 'feel sorry' for my husband, that his brain is his own and he's 'used to' it, but I cannot help but mourn for how exhausting it must be for him (and you all) to live with such chaos in your mind.

Do you take meds? Sorry if you answered this already..I cannot remember right off the top of my head. If so, do they help at all?

Brilliant writing. ((hugs))

It is very sad, for me who is

It is very sad, for me who is on the other sad and read things in this forum I just think how sad it is that you non-ADDers have to suffer so much. How we struggle so hard on both sides to meet somewhere in the middle but life gets in the way and sometimes you don't have the right tools. It's so sad to see how your lives get affected, because it's not just a little it's a lot. I don't know if I managed to get a glimps of what it's like in our head, well at least in mine, because I think that is important to know.

I take medication now for my ADD but have only been doing so for the last 2 months (due to the country laws, I live outside of America). Before I got these stimulants I took a couple of different medications as a form of symptom relievers, for example mild sleeping pills and a low dose of mood stabilizers.
The stimulants are making a huge difference for me, they turn on the lights in my dark, foggy world. But they're not miracle workers and I have to try hard by myself too. Living most of my life in active on a chair without accomplishing anything has kind of turned into who I am so even with medication I easily still end up sitting on the chair.  Just with the medication the difference is that when I think I need to do the laundry I can get up and complete that as soon as the thought pops up.

To be honest, my first weeks of medicating I was struggling with angry feelings as I for the first time in my life got to experience life, every day, the way it is for you non-ADDers. Then I felt a lot of anger for every mean thing someone said to me, for every time I have been scolded and punished for a mess up that I've done. Because your world is like a walk in the woods after you've spent all your life in war. It is so different, it is so easy. And it is no wonder that we are so all over the place.

 

Yes I agree! Thank you?!! So

Yes I agree! Thank you?!! So my big question is: how or did you get over this anger? This is the "crosshair" target of blame that I lived w post diagnosis and medication phase. DH is so mad that I did not know h had AdHD and reacted w my own anger and resentment which i do regret (and have told him so). But Kippei, how could any of us have known? This is such an almost invisible disorder- and forgive me, wuthout knowing what it is, the actions seem intentional and easy to misinterpret. I give you great thanks for opening up like this. you are teaching a huge class of us in this adhd classroom....

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading :) 

Hm, I think your husbands reaction is a little bit different from mine. When I was diagnosed at the age of 17 I felt nothing but relief. It was when I got stimulants (medication for ADD) that I felt the anger. I think it depends on what a person is like as well, with this diagnose maybe your husband feels relief, anger, sadness, confused, don't know what to do from here everything at once. And of course you couldn't have known, it takes a professional to know. Maybe your husband is just overwhelmed and needs someone to blame. As you are close to him and someone he feels safe with he blames you? Does he always blame you or just sometimes, for example during arguments?

The anger that I felt wasn't because no one knew what was wrong with me and it was more of a controllable anger, not a rage. 

As I've mentioned before in other threads it is important to also remember that behind ADD there is a personality, everyone has there own way of dealing with emotions that isn't connected to their diagnose so maybe it would make more sense to you if you push the ADD to the side for a moment and think, if my husband didn't have ADD how would I deal with this?

I would think that is a

I would think that is a deflection. How could he possibly be mad that you didn't know he had ADD? I remember bits and pieces..really need to go re-read and refresh my memory..but it seems that anger initially is common because it explains SOO much, yet it makes them feel defective and sometimes even resentful for all of the rejection and criticism they've endured, since it wasn't picked up on as a child.

I think I am seeing a little of this...and this COULD explain some of the anger I am seeing since my husband started the meds. I'm trying very, very hard to consider all possibilities. Is he feeling the same anger like Kieppi explains? Am I just an easy target? He also expresses the frustration of dealing with a whole new way of 'thinking' and 'processing' and this frustration manifests itself, if I'm to understand him correctly, in anger and irritability. Does he resent me because I DON'T have ADHD? Does he resent my anger because for so many years I was angry with him...because I could never wrap my mind around why he did the hurtful things he did, swore he'd never do them again, swore he would die without me in his life, but then repeated the same behaviors over and over again. The difference for us though is that I let go of my anger BEFORE we got the diagnosis...MONTHS before. I did know something wasn't right...and I did insist that we were getting help. I just don't think he thought that it would end up being something that fell on his shoulders to 'manage'...and although he likes the diagnosis in the aspect that it explains so much about who he is and why he's struggled all of his life, he also doesn't like to identify with the parts that require the hard work to manage. Oddly enough, he's in counseling and learning to manage them, but doesn't like to acknowledge them as part of his ADHD.

We were discussing a common behavior that I read so often here from ADDers and he kept saying he didn't feel that behavior was due to their ADD. I tried to explain that each and everyone of them has ADD, so how could he deny the connection? He questioned their diagnosis. I decided it was best to just not argue the point anymore. My point to all of this is that I am not thinking it is unusual for them to start to feel anger (my husband is now the angry one in our marriage!!!!) because of the diagnosis...and for many other reasons (medication changing their world, throwing them for a loop, finally opening their eyes to the damage that has been done and the hard work invovled in fixing what they've been in completely denial about for YEARS, etc). I can sympathize with all of this...but I do think their anger needs to identified and dealt with...just like ours.

I want to back up what Sherri

I want to back up what Sherri said (so basically we're backing up each other ;D).

For Sherri though, it takes a certain maturity to let go of anger. I'm not saying your husband is immature, I see it as in life we can earn maturity points. We all have them in different areas and genres and some take more hard work, more blood sweat and tears than others. Some just take a one time of sipping a milkshake too fast and it causes a brain freeze kind of process.

It's hard for anyone to say why your husbands are angry. One thing about anger, like you mentioned, is what it actually.. IS. Anger is a very special emotion and what is so special about anger is that it is the same as being sad. The feelings are interchangeable. You can feel disappointed and betrayed for example and from there choose whether to get angry or to cry. Women, we usually do both. We start by getting angry and then we cry/get sad. My personal theory for this is that anger takes more energy than sad, being sad is the default when one gets tired.

When I get angry, the anger that I have mentioned toward non-ADDers, it is when I think about the hurt I had to suffer because of my diagnosis. All the times that "one of you" have made me feel bad. Now that I have my stimulants I get to be in "your world" for approximately 4 - 8 hours a day depending on dosage and.. your life is so easy. I feel that it's no wonder you can manage life if this is what it's been like for you since you were born. I don't want to feel this way. Because I don't support that way of thinking, no one should belittle anyone's feelings. Just because something isn't hard for you, you shouldn't talk down on someone that it is hard on. If you understand what I mean? So I push this anger away.
 

Ok..so let me ask

Ok..so let me ask this...

If you are honest, does it make you mad sometimes that your husband doesn't seem to be able to 'accept' that things are sometimes harder for you? Maybe not all of the time, but from your post here it does seem that sometimes he is saying things that are basically insinuating you're just lazy. ("did you do laundry today"?)

Honestly, I resent comments like that when they are made...and I don't have ADHD, I AM just lazy sometimes. I guess I am just asking of the anger is something you feel you have to supress a lot because you feel like there isn't a complete understanding of what it is like for you.

Where I want to have a full understanding of what life is like for my husband, why his follow through sucks, why he says one thing and does another, why he insists on hearing only what he wants to hear when it isn't what I said, etc...but I also want him to have an understanding of how hard these things are for me too. I think you are very unique in that you GET how difficult life can be with an ADDer, but I also worry that you're far too hard on yourself because of it. I don't feel that forgetting to wash socks is something you should even give another thought to. "Oops, I forgot to wash them..let me go do that now" and it should never be a huge deal or made into anything more. Yes, I've had to stay up past my bedtime for forgetting to do laundry and realizing my son doesn't have clean pants to wear to school the next day, but that's just a consequence for me, and nothing I should be belittled for or that I should beat myself up about.

It seems your husband is quite forgiving...or is he? I just think you're putting far too much thought into the 'small stuff' and not realizing that forgetting laundry, leaving groceries half put away in the floor, spending countless hours in front of the computer aren't really worth feeling bad about.

Sometimes and always

If I am honest it makes me mad that my husband sometimes only seem to be able to accept and understand whenever he feels like it. That it's okay that I have ADD on days when he has energy for it. As any other person he has bad days and on those bad days he falls back and compares me with him. My husband is not the only one who does that, we all do that. In the end all we have is ourselves to compare with and it takes an active change of thought, forced even to think beyond that and switch shoes with someone else.

My husband thinks that I am lazy. And he doesn't think that I am lazy. He never speaks in a condescending tone and I love him for that, that is something we have changed together in our relationship because we were tired of that. I also resent those comments, I even reply to them with "Uhm, did YOU?" but 99% of the time I know why it's being asked. Simply because he has been reminding me of the laundry for a week and now was the due day, so then he simply asks. I work hard on taking deep breaths and not to snap (snapping is the first signal my ADD brain sends out when someone enters this area (things I have to do/should have done) so I work hard on that) as I know that he isn't trying to be mean. He's just learned that I need reminders etc.

The difference between you and me is the sometimes and always:

You know one of those days when from the moment you opened your eyes everything just goes wrong? You didn't wake up on time so you have to rush, one of your children is throwing a tantrum, you're late for school/daycare, also today was PE but you forgot to pack for that, you end up late for work, at lunch time you notice you forgot your wallet, you pick up the kids after work and they're cranky and hungry, dinner is chaos, bedtime is the same, you sit down for some alone time and your favorite shop is canceled.

When would you break down? When would you lose your spirit? Isn't it when you go into the kitchen to make yourself toast and when it's done you realize you accidentally put it on the highest effect and the toast is burnt? You can't even make toast. How hard is that? You push a button and the toaster does the rest. You just have to get the toast when it pops up. How HARD can it be!?

Well, I have "one of those days" practically every day and I will always cry about the toast. So yes I am too hard on myself, no doubt it should be on the symptom list seriously (I bet it is!). But it makes perfect sense to myself. Basically what my story is about is "I'm sorry that I can't even wash your socks" rather than "I'm sorry I couldn't. I did all these other things but I completely forgot about the socks". It's the same way from my husband's side, my mothers, my friends or who ever that is also affected or has been affected by this. I have had it said to me that "I also forget to do things sometimes, it happens, but you do it ALL THE TIME" by my mother and she wasn't trying to be mean, she was feeling hopeless and this was before we knew what was going on with me.

My husband is wonderful. He is really trying. He has bought a book, read online, come with me to doctor's appointments. He is trying his very best to understand "despite" his lack of experience within any kind of mental problem/illness etc. But he is human and sometimes he gets disappointed and frustrated, sometimes he wishes that I could just DO it, it's hard to accept that this isn't a two weeks with penicillin sort of thing. And it's his full right to feel that way, frankly if he didn't I would go crazy, I want to be understood so we can be equal not special treatment.

 



 

Those mornings you describe,

Those mornings you describe, when nothing goes right...I have those often. Not everyday, but probably once a week or more. I usually end up laughing at myself once I've 'survived' it, so I suppose that is another difference. I suspect my husband has a lot more of these 'days' than I do...the days when he says he's quitting his job, tired of it all, etc. It seems so real and overwhelming to me, but to him it just seems a passing thing and he gets up and does it again the next day. Truthfully, I know he would be this way no matter what job he was doing...just having people depend on him (and occasionally be upset with him for whatever reason) is not something he 'does' well.

Really, if I could encourage you to work specifically on one issue it would be to re-think your whole process of putting yourself down about things like 'socks' and laundry and groceries and such. Do you not think it somehow makes things worse? The feeling of just giving up because 'why bother, I never get anything right anyway?'

I know in a lot of therapies the recommendation is to change your internal dialogue. Acceptance of our faults is hard for all of us, and I appreciate that this comes harder for many ADHDers because it is something many of you have heard all of your lives. Your mom's comments are sharp and long lasting. I'm sure she said it from a place of 'frustration' as you stated, but still it is engrained in your brain forever. "if my mom feels this, surely it's true..surely there is something wrong with me". I cannot even JOKINGLY say something ADHD related without my husband being offended/hurt. I figured it would help to laugh about it, but it ends up it only helps me.

Over the years, the hurt has piled up so much that leaving socks laying on the floor, throwing his clothes all over the house, making a complete disaster area out of any area he 'claims' for himself, throwing wet towels on the floor, destroying any vehicle he drives (the interior) to the point that no one else can use it, and the various other 'extreme annoyances' have taken a back seat and now all I want is for him to just engage in the marriage with me, show me THROUGH HIS ACTIONS that he knows what I need (and really, it would end up being very little if he'd just learn to give it consistently), and to be faithful to me. That's it. I can handle the rest...it is irrelevant after all of these years. Just be a husband who shows he cares and who doesn't cheat...I would be on top of the world.

I don't sweat the small things...and I really think that many people would find such peace in their lives if they just quit doing this. It is such a waste of time in a relationship with an ADHDer...or with anyone for that matter. I hope you can start to focus on your strengths and (like I am trying to do) don't take it personally when your husband has an off day and takes it out on you. As long as you see him trying to understand and you see PROGRESS, this is all anyone can ask, really.

Amen, sister. Do you not

Amen, sister. Do you not wish to press a reset button sometimes for days like this? Especially when confusion not only messes w your routine but also w the interactions you have with your spouse. I am constantly struck by the fact how so many of us, adhd and nonadhd partners alike will strongly voice the deep commitment and love we have for our spouses but for one reason or another it comes out in a different, often negative and misunderstood way. I am learning to not sweat the small stuff but meantime wish for the connected relationship we used to have (but without the drama this time). My life and view of it has drastically changed over the last couple of years and I'm still not sure if it for the better or not. Either way i wish my husband understood this: despite all the crazy trauma drama of our years together, i have also seen and cherished the good with him. He is a good man and I am proud of all his successes as I wish I could know he was proud of mine. I dont feel the negative things he seems to think I do about him- sometimes it never even crosses my mind til he might make a snide comment about it. Yes so much time has been wasted over the years over this when we had no idea it existed (half a lifetime). I jus wish the rest could be used to deal with these and other life issues together with as much love and patience as possible. But even that hope seems to be elusive, even now. I say this to ou fellow adhd friends: dont waste time lamenting this disorder: rejoice in your partner - tell them thank you and love you in a way needed for every relationship while I say to the non partners: appreciate, love and treat w equal respect your partner regardless. In every relationship, we have to start at a point of respect and work up from there.
ebb and flow's picture

kippei

Thank you so much for opening up like this!!!

I just cannot even express the feelings that came up while reading this... There's sadness and anxiety and the feeling of 'I don't know what' just thinking that my ADD partner lives like this every day!!! :(

He's expressed something similar to me before so I know this is bang on!

Just THANK YOU!!! 

This is so very helpful... You have no idea!

It's very hard to pick up books written generally on the topic of ADHD and gain a full understanding of how it can be applied to my specific relationship/situation... but real life stuff like this is much easier to relate to!!!

THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! 

:)

Thank you for reading! I am

Thank you for reading!

I am sharing this simply because I want to tell those who want to know what it's like. No medical terms, no diagnostic whatever I can't even find words what I want to express, hehe.

It warms my heart, cheesy as it sounds, to hear that it's helpful. I am more than happy to explain our, or at least my side (since there are some individual differences and I'm a woman etc), to you wonderful non-ADD spouses/partners that are willing to fight this battle with us. You are so important in this and I really wanted to stress that in my "letter".

you need a coach

Your post is a moving one, to be sure.  You don't mention how you are treating your ADHD.  My suggestions include:

  • make sure to investigate whether meds will work for you if you're not currently taking them
  • find a good ADHD coach immediately to start working on tactics that will help you deal with time, getting things done, organization

Reading your post is brings to mind so many possible ways to put structures into place to help you:

  • electronic reminder system that beeps when it's time to do something
  • alarms to help you track the passing of time
  • lists to carry with you as a reminder
  • turn off the computer - use it as a "treat" when you have completed things, not as a tool for getting things done
  • consider asking doc about sleep issues (are you getting a good night's sleep or is it interrupted?  Are you getting enough hours of sleep?)
  • hiring someone else to do housework (why do you have to do it?)
  • hiring someone else to remind you to do things (so your husband doesn't have to)

and so many more...

Yes, you have ADHD and your mind is everywhere - but you don't have to live this way - at least not to this extreme.  And to assume failure ahead of time (which is what you do when you say that someday your partner will tire of you) is a waste of your life and your partner's life.  There are many people with ADHD just as bad as yours who have succeeded.  Follow in their footsteps!

Thank you Melissa for your

Thank you Melissa for your time. I have bought your book as an investment in my marriage. And thank you for the time and energy you have put into caring for us suffering from ADHD (both directly and through spouse).

This is a little short story I wrote to try and express ADHD in it's pure form, what it's like to have it and when it's untreated. There are mostly non-ADD wives on this forum so I wanted to share as much as I could to maybe and hopefully help one step closer to a happy life together! In that way this story is fiction as I have not written this as a letter to my husband based on a real event, I have just taken my life experience, my feelings and the setting of my marriage to write something that I thought was easy to relate to (something as common as laundry that everyone does and the feeling of loving someone and wanting to give them the world in a perfect state). That's why there is no information about what treatment I am getting or what tools I use in my daily life :).

I medicate daily with stimulants, I have very severe ADHD (non hyperactive) so I take the highest dosage allowed in a day, every 2 hours and I also go to CBT. I have a notebook with me at all times where I scramble down various things but it's very unorganized and so far I haven't really responded to any of the usual ADHD tools (such as lists and alarms). But I do get daily assistance. So there is no need to worry! :) I do have to bend over a lot to my ADHD but I don't feel held back or unhappy.

sullygrl's picture

Wow, and thank you

Kippei - I'm glad you took the time for this long post.

I *know* my husband has ADD.

I *understand* it affects the way he thinks, is able to do things, etc.

I *feel* frustrated when he's asks me the same question for the umpteenth time, to which I have the same answer for the umpteenth time.

I *try to help* with lists, notes, reminders until I lose my patience for the umpteenth time.

But NEVER have I seen so clear a picture of what happens in the thought process of someone with ADD. 

I *hope* I can remember this the next time I come home from work and find orange juice in the microwave...

A funny aside

Kippei,

I thought you might find this amusing.  I read your post and was very touched by it.  I thought my ADD husband would be similarly moved so I forwarded him a link to your post to him via email.

I asked him later that day if he had read your post.  He hesitated for a second and then said "I have ADD - I can't read a wall of text.  I thought you were giving me a hint to rotate the laundry.  I went to the washer to check but there was nothing in there!"

:-)