The effectiveness of self-screening

Hi All,

Just wanted to ask you what you thought about the self-screening as the main (or only) diagnostic tool for ADHD. Many therapists do this - base the whole diagnosis on that piece of paper, filled by the patient. And that's it. Voila. You immediately know if you have ADHD.

But I think it's been acknowledged quite widely that people with ADHD may not have enough insight to actually catch those moments and assess their frequency correctly. They have trouble noticing things that impact their environment, remembering those things, and truly understanding them (quite understandably, just like the non might have trouble understanding their point of view), and then there's the whole denial/rationalization system in place.

My SO denies practically everything ADHD-related that happens. There's always an explanation. And if I asked directly: do you do this often? Like, "do you lose your keys on a daily basis?" She confidently replies, "no, I don't". Or "well, very rarely, but that happens to everyone". And she does the same in therapy. When I know for a fact that it happens a few times a week. And it's ONLY talking keys. Add to that mobile, wallet, documents, documents and personal items. Still, the answer is "no".

So, what's the actual value of self-screening with people who still live in total denial? Isn't it like asking someone "are you a liar"? (don't get me wrong, not trying to suggest ADHD-ers are liars) Or "do you forget things"? Or "do you often miss clues"? Even if they do, they wouldn't know, would they?

I'm not blaming her she's totally oblivious, I think I know quite well by now how her brain works. What puzzles me, is how come the therapists never take those factors into account? Nobody asks me if I corrobrate. What she says obviously is truth. "Because if that really happens like you say, it would imply there's some serious issue". Yeah, so? How does that invalidate my experience? And you can't really fight the non-debatable argument "you're obviously noticing those things a lot, try noticing them less; you're obviously over-reacting". Yeah, I notice them a lot because they happen a lot. Yeah, I'm over-reacting because they happen a lot. I told you so at the very beginning: that's the reason I'm here. Not to hear those things don't happen "as often as I think they do". Trust me, I know exactly how often they happen. That's the problem.

That's just another wall in therapy. I've seen it throw back my ADHD partner down into the depths of denial too many times, even when she was actually quite ready to accept the issue and start dealing with it. And you can't just keep finding new therapists, hoping one of them will finally get it. At some point, it starts looking irrational as if you try to desperately stick to your "preconceived theory", no matter how many times they tell you you're wrong, so your chances of convincing your partner and actually helping them fade everytime you switch therapists.

Which is bad, because if you're looking for therapy, it probably means you already feel like you're only half-sane, doubt many of your observations and feel like you don't cope well. The relationship itself is enough to make you feel irrational, you don't need to pay for it.

And I think this must happen when you only do the self-screening. I can see no other way this could go.

So, my question is: has anyone here ever heard of an ADHD candidate in denial being successfully diagnosed this way?


If you're sure she has ADHD and that she is in 'oblivious' denial, telling her won't cut it. A lot of people with ADHD struggling to 'theorise'. We might be able to work with numbers and understand what it means, but we can't convert it into a proper sense of realism as in how much it affects our life. I know there's five minutes left to catch the bus, I know it takes about 3 to eat some bread, but for some strange reason I think 2 minutes is enough to put on my shoes, walk out the door and run to the next street where the bus is waiting. I might recognise that 2 minutes is a short amount of time, but I can't see how serious it is, no matter how much I tell myself it is.

Ignore trying to prove to her she has ADHD for the time being, prove to her that these symptoms exist and do it pictorially. For example, draw a tally of how many times you've forgotten something and how many times she's forgotten something every day. Expect what might happen. In this case she might realise she's forgotten something yet might be resistant to say she has. If you're both looking for something, then say they have a limit of 2 minutes to find it before it counts as having been forgotten. If you think she has forgotten something, ask if they remember what was mentioned earlier and if they can guess. If not, it counts. Throughout this mention to her how you're doing this not to prove she's a bad person but to show that it's something you are concerned about and that you want to help her out. If she does forget regularly, much more than average, it should become very obvious on her tally chart. If she still denies it after all that, then you know it's no longer oblivious denial but something else.

If she starts defending herself, make it about you. Use the 'I' language. Tell her 'I am concerned' rather than 'you forget all the time'. Let her know 'I want changes because it's affecting my life too' rather than 'you'll never get better at anything if you keep forgetting things' and be prepared to compromise (attempt to cook something nice for her if she puts up with it?). After all, marriages are about compromise and communication so for you to ask of something is not wrong but to not give something of similar value in return may be.

... With regards to your main topic, yes I believe myself that there may be a problem with the way therapists may try to diagnose it in this way by asking the patient questions and placing a lot of emphasis on their statements. Even when they don't deny it, as you've said there is also the problem of their lack of awareness of it and so their testimony alone should not be sufficient.

Thank you for your great post

Thank you for your great post. Let me address the bullet-points:

Theorise. Yes! This happens every step. There's lots of things being done "taking the opportunity" too, like she knows she's already late, because getting to the appointment takes 15 minutes and she only has 10, but since she's going to be passing a novelty shop and needs to buy a present, she'll stop and browse. Mind you, this doesn't happen when she goes by the shop, but not in a hurry. And the twisted ways of time counting really twist my mind, while they seem perfectly logical to the SO. The countless times of arriving 1 (literally one minute) too late, only to find the guard just locking the door... Just like being late for a bus, it's actually a 1/0 result. Either you get there in time and get the task completed, or you don't. So it doesn't actually matter if you're 1 or 15 minutes late. Yet it's always more frustrating, I think, if you see the bus JUST leaving.

Pictorials. I've tried that, and it's not working. Somehow she's still able to deny the fact she did it X times. And she categorizes, which is a neat trick. So "I've only lost my phone once this month". And "I've only lost my keys once this week". And "I've only lost the wallet twice this month". If you sum up ALL the lost objects this month, however - that tells a totally different story.

Making it about me. I've started doing this a lot recently. Trying to break the "you always/you never" pattern, that's one thing. Second, I really feel like it's more and more about me, literally about my sanity. Third, I think it might be easier to appeal to her compassion (which she has tons of, when able to focus): won't do it for yourself, please do it for me, it's really important. Sadly, that seems to be failing with things that are the most important to me.


What you suggested are all great methods and I'm trying to follow all of that, with mixed results. In fact, they might be the best ways that are available. However, in this case it seems like they're bringing mediocre results. But probably better than other solutions, so hey, that's something. :)

And about therapy, I'm clueless as to why they stick to those methods with conditions that may include lack of self-awareness. And the more I want to prove my point, the more maniacal I come across, so I won't even go there, I've learned that much.


About that... just wanted to add one thing, followed by a question. :)

I realize it may be easier to cope with everyday struggle of looking for lost objects if you do it this way. But I noticed a strange thing in our conversations and thought maybe you could share some light, since this may be related somehow to what you said.

If I say things 'as a rule', like "you lose objects frequently", she replies: "no, that's not true, give me examples". A-ha, but I'm prepared for this reply these days. So I give specific examples. But then this may go two ways:

- she'll start explaining EVERY example by some external circumstance. Like "I forgot the phone, because I was already late for a meeting". "I forgot keys, because I was distracted by a phone call". "I forgot the wallet, because I was already 5 hrs late for a meeting with you, and since I know you're such a stiff about that, and I had postponed so many times, I felt pressured by you, so it's actually your fault".

- she says "yes, that happened, I have no explanation other than my reluctance, BUT... you're taking an example out of context and making a general rule out of it. So it's a vicious circle: cannot prove a rule without examples. But an example does not make a rule, so here we go. Case closed.

Did you notice any similar pattern in your life? Any idea what's happening here? Do you think it's a secondary thing, like a self-defence mechanism, or rather something that can be attributed directly to ADHD?

BigSurprise ...... A Thought Directly to What You Said

This could be a follow up to what I mentioned earlier about having a discussion about symptoms and making sure to include "how much"...or ..."how often".....she does this?

Your examples here and her response are telling to me ( even if I can't read her mind and know for sure )   Like "I forgot the phone, because I was already late for a meeting". "I forgot keys, because I was distracted by a phone call". "I forgot the wallet, because I was already 5 hrs late for a meeting with you, and since I know you're such a stiff about that, and I had postponed so many times, I felt pressured by you, so it's actually your fault".

As I interpret that ( picturing myself saying it "as if" sounds like this is what she truly believes.  This is the complete rationalization ( or excuse ) that she has in relationship to her behavior and "why" it happens.  This is in essence...the denial of the truth or denial of what she is unaware of......which I think is a better way to say it?

Out of sight.....out of mind.   Out of mind.....out of sight.  If you can't see it.....then you won't know you do it?   As a defense mechanism, it would allow you to deny what you cannot bring yourself to see and refuse to take responsibility for?  The blaming or pointing the finger at the person who "made me do it" simply denial in itself.  Out of mind......out of sight   Not wanting to look....or refusal to see  for fear of what you might see which you don't want to think about?

The second I get too close to this with my wife for example.....she will interrupt, shut you down (and with me as my T called it ).....she will "muzzle me", or prevent me from saying it and stop before if I get too close or attempt to tell her what she is doing?  This is in part.....what I noticed in our session together.  He will avoid at all costs....speaking directly to her about her part in our interactions with is highly frustrating to me since "my part" is clearly being discussed right out in the open and I have no problem admitting or saying I do anything I am aware that I do? 

And so even if, I am "aware" but I don't see things at times......Out of sight....out of mind.....and I miss something or simply "did not see it" my language would say "I am aware that I do these things.  I am also aware that I miss things too at times.  I am also aware because of the nature of my ADHD.....I might not see something that is obvious even to me at times, or possibly aware that I might not notice how often or how much....I know the nature of my ADHD causes this to happen so "I am aware" I do these things.....I'm sorry, please excuse me because: " I missed this"..."I didn't see it but now I see ( even Thank you for pointing this out to me....that was helpful for me to know )".....or simply "crap,  I did that again....I hate that when that happens, that much be really frustrating"..."or at worst with no real acknowledgment of the other person"......"shit!!  Brain fart!!  ADHD moment!!"....."God damn I am, being me!! ( I'm such an idiot )" a more self defeating or "beating myself up" kind of way.

I can only speculate what the difference is here between my wife and I ( even before I knew I had ADHD ) but the fact that my feet were always held to the fire ( and blame seemed to fall on me ) (shit rolls down hill ) on and on.....with me at home for example....I was ( as I saw it )....always guilty and to blame for everything "I'm the one to blame!!"  This was my conditioned response and I was always "responsible" even if I wasn't responsible if you get the difference here?  I took on "responsibility" automatically, so I would beat myself up constantly for what I had no idea of or no awareness of...since that was the expectation and accusations leveled against me?  Responsibility was a big theme in our household ( pretty much across the board ).  I was always "guilty"..and walked around "guilty" before I even opened my mouth or did anything?  The fact is, I accepted that as "fact"...and that is what I believed? Or you could say...."made to believe" my accusers.  It was "Out of Sight"...but I knew it was there?  It was invisible and I couldn't see it.....but it was always my fault.  Guilty as charged.

This is what the ADHD meds did for me in part or in a huge way.  It was like getting "glasses" so I could "see" what was invisible.  How many ways can I say this...which brings one thing to mind in another variation of what they say to Artists too.  If you can "see it" can draw it. "Seeing is believing".....and so on and so speaks to the same thing?  In fact....there is no secret to why I could draw things so well a a kid or even now for the same reason? ( the gift of sight I call it )  It's really not that hard to understand even if you can't do this yourself?  If you had a bowl of fruit to draw a still life are simply looking at the "scene" or "still life" and painting it or drawing it right?  Well, if you can "see that image in your mind...that clearly and looking at a photograph, you are simply doing the same thing?  Your just copying the picture in your mind...and drawing it on paper?  Not that hard to figure out even if you don't have that "picture" so clear and vividly displayed?  Visualizing...could be called "virtualizing"....."virtual image"......not just vague undefined or unclear..."images". 

Even the definition of "Virtual Reality" says: the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors. 

Okay, so with me....I don't need a computer-generated see the 3 dimensional image (in my head)  My brain does that for me....I can see that same "Virtual Reality"...very close to accurately "clearly" in the pictures in my head?  In 3d ?  I can move it around and look at all side of it....and then just copy it on paper and draw it?  It's not the "skill with my hands and a pencil"'s just copying what "I see"?  It's so simply and easy to understand and it's even more simple and easy to do?  Simple and easy....piece of problem?  If you can see can draw it?  What's so hard to understand?

So for me....I can't understand why everyone can't do this?  In fact, I use to think everyone can but as I have come to realize....this is not the case?  I have never known, anything but this so why would I assume otherwise going back to my first recollection?  And or developed at time went on? This I can do in my fact, my dreams are so real sometimes....I think I was there or actually really "lived" the dream?  Nightmares are or were especially frightening when I was a child?  I use to "talk in my sleep nightly " according to my sisters who would hear me talking away and then tell me what I said in the morning?  And I use to walk in my sleep all the time too...but normally, it was due to some kind of night terror like being chased by wild animals and attacked by them and they were trying to eat me?  I woke up one time...standing in my front yard in my underwear...when a Tiger was chasing me...and I ran down the hall of our home, opened the front door, vaulted a brick flower planter and ended up waking up standing in my front yard in the middle of the night?  Those dreams were so real...that I actually acted them out physically and this was usually when I would do that?  And I could draw it, in very clear detail exactly as my "Virtual Reality Dream" in my mind was "as I saw it" that clearly and detailed just like a movie or photograph?  I can still see those images even today...right now as I am writing this?  I can still see the mountain lion, or the animal that was attacking me...where I was and see the lions face...just like it actually happened and I was actually there?  I could draw it clearly....just as I see it in my mind?  If you can see can draw it?  Out of sight.....out of mind.......means, I just don't see it...or I didn't see it.....but, just because a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it....does it still make a sound?  Well yes!!   Of course it does?  What kind of question is that?  That's a stupid question since the answer IS SO OBVIOUSLY YES!!! lol 

But as I am saying is not so obvious to everyone else and that's kind of the point I am trying to make?  Out of sight....out of mind.....does not mean it is not there?  What it means is, you can't see it, but you know that it is?

Out of mind, out of sight....does not mean the same thing?  Out of mind......means there is no picture?  There is no image or picture you can draw on a piece of paper?  If you cannot see cannot draw it?  No Virtual or can see?

I may be getting too far into this or too "deep" into this discussion....but I kind of realize that this is part of what happens with me too at times with people but especially my wife for example.  If I can't "see it" then I know there is a problem?  I know it because I "see everything" like this and always have so if I can't see it...then I know something is wrong?  It doesn't mean .."it isn't there or it doesn't exist" means I just can't see it which I know what that means? "I CAN'T SEE IT"  My language then would say....I am guilty of not seeing it if I can't see it?  I can't blame anyone else for the fact that I can't see it or I don't get it?  That makes me guilty of not seeing....automatically without thinking anything else?

This was an interesting discovery that I am still thinking hard about?  As it's been mentioned...that "shame' is a big factor here and people with ADHD carry around a lot of shame or can....depending on?  What I remember more than anything else and the pervasive feeling that haunted me was...."guilt" or "feeling guilty".  I was always "guilty" and it was always "my fault".  I think "shame" was a secondary thing as you were mentioning this or speculating this idea?

I was, and still am....very hard on myself or can be do to this very thing?  If you are always "guilty"...then defense against "guilt" would be your primary defense you would employ or use to avoid "being guilty".  Blame...has alreayd been established, so you really can't blame anyone else if you are always guilty I suppose?  That would have been me....more often than not?  Instead of the Scarlet letter of "Shame"....I had just had a big "G" painted on my forehead....blame and shame were not really on the table or the forefront of this if you can understand it from that vantage point?  Telling me, I did something...even with no awareness of it ( or even IF I was not guilty or to blame ) when you are always scape goated...and shit rolls down hill...then if you are at the bottom of the hill....then you pretty much know that too?  If I was accused of anything ( my fault or not )....I was "guilty first"....."innocent second".....that was how that worked so I'd be apt to say.."Yes....I likely did that even if I can't see it?  I'm the one to blame"

That is part of the "stench" problem I have from that kind of abuse but it's just left over habits that are hard to get rid of completely?  It's difficult to wash that completely off you ....but the language is different...if "guilt" is involved?

I'm speculating here but as it appears to me with my wife is just the opposite of me in many ways?  From her position, which sounds similar to your partner....both of them add that "and you made me do're the one to blame and it's actually your fault"

This is that "Perry Mason" line again at the breakdown at the end of the show when the murderer cries out "but don't you understand....I had to do it!!!"  

No....I don't understand?  You're Fucking one made you do anything? ( sheese!!! ) LOL    Out of mind.....out of sight   That's called denial right there.  Different, than Out of sight....out of mind..........if you get the actually less than subtle difference?

That's not to say I don't do that or haven't done it.....but my standard or conditioned "guilty first"   before all esle.( shit rolls down hill, and if you're at the bottom?? )  That's the point, and a different perspective and being able to "see".  It's what the meds did for me in spades.  Like getting a new pair of glasses, that I never had before?  But as I'm saying this....."not being able to see" different, that not 'wanting to"  or "refusing to"...for what ever reason or and the purpose to protect from?  I'm guessing "SHAME" that case......not so much "guilt" if you can see the difference which is what I think this is?

That's my best guess and using myself in contrast to what I ran into with my the possible differences and why that is?  And being able to visualize....which was a "gift" right from the start?  My wife appears to be completely challenged with anything visually but maybe that's just me since I can do it much better than her?  I don't know where the lines begin and end there either?  I am not inside anyone elses head to know what they actually see? ( visually speaking that is )  I take that for granted...but I'm thinking now I shouldn't?   I have a great deal of trouble "audibly" with instructions so I am failry challenged there except......the Adderall REALLY REALLY ...helped me there, almost immediately?  I was all the things I was what I "heard".....more than what I saw? 

I could say the Adderall....was like getting a virtual "Hearing Aid"......almost more than "Glasses" but to say both....weighted more toward hearing in my case?  For what that's worth to anyone else?  But I also have always had "sound clips" in my head too?  Not the just visucal picture...but the words in the sound clip...."or music"?  Same thing as the "photograph".  Sound "clips" are the same thing?  I can hear the "song" and the words both but the words people say "stick" in there permanently almost?  Just the "clips" not thye entire conversation?  But usually , those "clips" are really important since they are normally when something doesn't make sense and they "stick" "pergatory" permanent temporary holding place or "unfinished business" file...that is saved for later until the answer finally comes?  But sometimes there is no answer like: "It's clouds illusions I recall....I really don't know clouds, at all?"  What's to understand?  It's a frick'in cloud for crying out loud? LOL



Hi smd1409,

Just had another clash. She promised to do a small thing for me a few days back (doesn't matter what; point is, I can't do it myself).

Today, she told me in the morning she had plenty of work (not related to my request), but spent her whole day relaxing, doing many different things she likes (like meeting friends, chatting over internet, but mostly just spread on the sofa, reading random internet articles on her mobile). Those usually come first, until some really close deadline at work breaks the procrastination. Ok, I don't mind, as long as it does not affect me directly. But I really need her to make good on her promise, it's important for me.

So I proceeded the way I usually do. I said "I'm concerned you still haven't done what I asked for, even though I reminded you gently so many times. I'm not angry at you. It makes me sad, but that's also not the point. I just need you to do it." As expected, her reaction was "I didn't have time, because this and that happened." I said "I'm not talking about why. I know you meant to do it. I am not going to discuss why it didn't happen. It doesn't matter. I just need you to do it, preferably now." She said: "I meant to do it this morning, but then received a call and had to attend to this other thing, so I couldn't, so stop blaming me." I said: "I'm not blaming you. I didn't say anything about blame or guilt. I just need you to do this". She: "Ok, you didn't, I misspoke. Slip of the tongue." I said: "No, I don't think it was, I think you were quite clear. I realize you might have heard accusation. I cannot be sure, I'm not in your head. But in case you did, please know I wasn't accusing you. I just need you to do this thing." She said: "I will. Why are you always suggesting I won't?" I said: "I am not suggesting anything, I am just telling you I need you to do it." She: "And I really meant to." I: "I know you meant to. I know you meant well. But you didn't, so I'm asking again. And I really know how and why it happened. You don't have to explain it to me. It took me a long time to understand why these things happen, but I do. Thanks to what I know and because I understand this, I can be more patient and not be angry at you." She: "Don't try suggesting I'm not seeing things clearly. Remember, I still haven't been diagnosed. In fact, the therapist suggests you might be the one who sees thing incorrectly, only noticing the times I fail. Can't you see I'm trying? Can't you see I'm successful with so many things?" I: "I know that. I can see you're trying. I really appreciate it. About the diagnosis, I don't really care. We're not talking why, and it doesn't matter how we label it. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about doing that one thing you promised to do."

Finally, she said she'll do it tonight. Interesting phrasing, btw: "I still believe I can do this tonight". And I just couldn't say "I know you will". When I do it, she often ticks it off as done, and I really wanted her to do that thing. Besides, fighting the constant denial, I've recently introduced a policy of being totally honest. And besides, when I generalize after the fact, she often says "you should have told me while it was happening, because now I can't recall it; if you don't pinpoint these things for me, I assume you're ok with them". So, instead I said "I know you believe you will". To which she responded with the usual "you undercut me, you don't believe in me", and I stopped it, saying it's not about that. I'm not a prophet, I cannot know if that will actually happen or won't. I'm just saying I trust what she says, and not commenting on what she will. So she says: "I believe [here's that phrasing again] you're wrong saying I don't usually keep my word. I believe I am very reliable." To which I said "I believe you're in denial, but I won't try to break this wall again tonight. I'm just too tired and can't have this discussion right now. It's just my word against yours, I say it happens, you say it doesn't. We're discussing facts, I can't be discussing facts. Let's just see what happens, ok?" She: "I think you're already assuming I have ADHD (even though there's no diagnosis) and you see what you wanna see. You're assuming I'm not reliable and I won't do it. And even the T says the truth is in the middle, so you're exaggerating a lot, and this is also how I feel." I: "I understand you might feel this way. We just see the world differently. I've come to accept that and for now I can live with it. So, please, just do this thing." She: "Are you suggesting I don't know what I'm doing? Because you're clearly convinced I live in Matrix and you're the only one who lives in reality. I can't believe how sure you are that you're seeing things correctly and I don't. How do you know it's not the other way round? I'm very careful when it comes to giving strong opinions, because I know I might be seeing things subjectively. Why won't you admit you see things subjectively too?" I: "This is going nowhere. I won't try to make you believe what I believe. I may be wrong, as well as you. I'm not saying my view is better than yours. I just know they're different." She: "I don't think they're that different, you're just stubborn. I think we both see things in a very similar way." To which I finally said: "The very conversation proves it's not so. But please, let's not talk about it today, I'm really tired and can't be doing it. Let's just drop it. Just do the thing." She: "You'll be surprised. Fucking unbelievable, how little you believe in me. Suggesting like I'm crazy or something. You're tho one who's in Matrix." Then I said this was going too far and changed the subject (with no resistance from her).

But guess what. I wasn't surprised. She went to the sofa, ("cos I'm really tired"), spent another 1/2 hour reading random articles and fell asleep in her clothes.

I know tomorrow she's going to deny this happened, or say "yes, I know I said I would do it, but I was really tired, so I think I'm entitled to fall asleep when I'm tired", or "it didn't need doing yesterday so I decided I'd wake up earlier today, do all the things that are in the way, and then do what you asked; it was a very responsible decision, because this way I can do it even better; yesterday I was tired, so the results would have been mediocre, but today I'm well rested, so I can do it the way it should be done", or some other crap like this. Problem is, when she does this, it's like the discussion never happened. Just saying "I will to it later" for the thousandth time erases the whole issue, resets the story so it comes back to the beginning and we can start the drill again. It's like the time is rewound. Not sure if it's Matrix or Groundhog Day.

The second thing that worries me a lot is that she really doesn't see the pattern. Tomorrow she'll deny it happened or underplay it.

The third thing is that she's ready to have all this discussion to convince me I'm not seeing things as they are, and then she proves my point by not doing it.

Fourth: she defends herself very aggressively, even though I'm not really attacking.

Fifth: she very often refers to what the T said, making me think the therapy is not helping but doing some serious damage.

Sixth: the thing is still not done and I know I'll have to go through all that all over again.

It's really hard on me to be having these conversations. Trying to stick to the point is like trying to hold a very slippery live fish. And it always makes me realize how far we are from her really understanding her own problem and that there's literally nothing I can do to make her. So far, she's not read anything about it (she promised to, many weeks ago, and I keep reminding her from time to time - same story). I know I get her much better then she gets me, because she's not even familiar with what ADHD really is: she keeps saying things that literally make no sense about it, like "I don't think I have it, I don't lack focus, I even think sometimes I focus too much, so it can't be ADHD". I mean, come on. Really?

Thus said, I also keep wondering if maybe I'm making a mistake somewhere? I try doing it by the book, being honest, but also showing love and support, stressing how much I care and appreciate her will to do it... But maybe you have some advice for me, maybe you could suggest some different approach?


I'm no stranger to these types of conversations but it is exhausting.

Tell me, this "thing" your partner needs to do for you, would it take more or less time than two arduous conversations like this?  If you could do it yourself would it take more or less time than two of these conversations because it will likely take two of these conversations and all the mini coversations leading up to it for the thing to be done. 

There's the rub.  And yet, you're still anxious and kinda upset about it and you're asking for one very reasonable thing, something within normal expectations?

I get it.  Been there. Done that.  Exhausting as hell. I have a really hard time accepting this type of thing but it may be a personal deficiency.  It feels personal, like my H is being oppositional or passive aggressive because, well, I think sometimes he actually is. I'm not saying your partner is being that way, it's simply my personal experience.  I feel drained after conversations like this. 

I was going to write it in my previous post

It would take around 1/4 to half the time we've spent on this single argument. Which is somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. But then, you never know how much it would actually take.

Yeah, I would do it myself if I could. But that, in turn, is the whole parent-child dynamic again, right? Instead of begging and nagging, you decide it's faster and easier to do it yourself. And then you end up doing basically everything.

I think I sometimes see a trait in her to say whatever, even if she doesn't believe in it, just to stimulate herself - make boring conversation interesting, as she says. But here... no. It's not that. It's just the deepest depth of denial and lack of self awareness. She is able to admit "ok, maybe it's ADHD", but she's not able to acknowledge the symptoms, because she doesn't see them. But if so, why doesn't she totally reject the idea of ADHD in the first place? It's like trying to convince somebody who thinks they're the Pope that they actually aren't.

But I still can't believe that if we go to a therapy, the T asks her: okay, are you the Pope, and she says "yes", and they turn to me and say with a very serious face "Okay, she says yes. what makes you doubt it? You don't trust your partner? How was your relationship with your parents? Did they lie to you a lot? Your father was anti-clerical?" The truth is on the middle, so maybe she's Half-Pope... I don't know. Feels soooo Kafkesque.

Kafkesque hahaha

The English Lit useless liberal arts degree but "educated" nerd in me loves the reference.  Yes, I live a Kafkesque life with my spouse.  hahahahaha

What if the truth is NOT in the middle?

Another day of procrastination. Endless random browsing. My request - still on hold. Yet, she doesn't seem to realize. And reacts very negatively to any nagging, or begging, or whatever I might do. But asked how she sees yourself, responds "very organized and reliable person".

So, what does one do if the truth actually doesn't lie in the middle? You insist on what's perceived as "your objective truth", making some kind of "obsessive perfectionist" of yourself, or even a plain crazy person ("you see things that aren't there")? Or you accept it as your reality sink deeper and deeper into depression?

I think there's a difference between not suspecting something is wrong and ASSUMING EVERYTHING IS OK. If you don't suspect something is wrong, but somebody tells you "hey, there's weird things goin on in my home", your mind is still open and you might be able to hear them. If you assume everything is ok, it's much harder to change that conviction.

I've found out actually everyone around me assume things are ok. If she submits a project, a few hours late, but still - nobody asks how much time it actually took to complete it. If it's 10x more than you'd expect, nobody know, because that's something that happens at home. And asked directly "did it take 10 times more than usual", she responds "no". Kind of obvious answer. Kind of stupid question. "Why would you ask that? You seem to have some very strange notions about your spouse, friend."

If her hair seems clean and tied into a bundle (to make it less noticeable), nobody will come and sniff it and say "okay, that's dirty hair, how long have you been using dry shampoo". Why would they? I wash my hair whenever it's necessary, this is something I'll always find time for, no matter how busy my life is. I can't forget about it, because I feel bad if my hair is greasy. Why would I suspect somebody else might have trouble with that? And she knows she does this, but seems very proud of it, actually. "See how resourceful I am, third day in a row I didn't have time to wash my hair, but I'll put a scarf on it and nobody will suspect anything".

If she's dressed, nobody suspects she actually had to borrow clothes from her neighbor, because she's run out of her own and didn't have time to wash them. Oversize is trendy.

If she plans 5 meetings for the same hour and then is unable to attend any of them because she's late with something else, each party is informed separately. Something came up. Ok, this happens to everyone. Nobody will ever know the magnitude of the problem.

I am the only person in the world who sees what goes on behind the scenes. Not her parents, because they don't live with her every day, and based on their behavior I suspect the ADHD might be running in the family, so they wouldn't necessarily notice. Not the employers, because she might be late quite often, but she eventually completes her tasks, just on the sufficient level. Not her friends, because while they all know she's not reliable and often late, they don't mind if it happens once a week or once a month. If it's really important for them, though, they come to me and say: "Ok, this even is really important for me and she's invited, so do something to make sure she's not late as usual; we can't afford it this time. I don't care what, you know her better, think of something." But that's a very shallow view, you only see the tip of the iceberg. "She's often late". Especially if you can go to her spouse and ask him to "do something". Problem solved. See how easy that was? No big deal.

And jotting those things down doesn't do the trick. She'll still deny, say I made up the hours, or that's not how it happened, because I didn't account for the fact she had a phone call and had to do something else as result. And the very fact I'm writing this down seems very unhealthy, like I'm stalking her, and judging her, and "why don't you mind your own business" and "don't tell me what I should and shouldn't do, I think I know better".

Still puzzled though, how it's possible that she's denying it to my face. And to the therapist. And the therapist seems to be satisfied with that. But shouldn't they be more, so to say, suspicious than the rest of the world? And if they are, shouldn't they at least be suspicious of both spouses?

So what do you do if the truth is not in the middle? How do you convince your spouse there's a pink elephant in the room ("what an absurd idea")? Because only then you can convince the therapist ("what an absurd idea, I think you read too much, mister"), and only if you do that, you can receive so efficient therapy. I mean COME ON, there has to be a way to break through this wall.

And another weird thing is that she's willing to accept the notion she has ADHD, she's just not willing to accept all the things that happen because of it. In fact, she seemed to be looking forward to a positive diagnosis, because that would explain some things in her life. However, I think she's also afraid of it, so she catches every word they say about her "possibly not having ADHD", every far-fetched suggestion that she might be "normal". It's very inconsistent with her. I see:

- hope that I'm ADHD

- hope I'm not ADHD

- willingness to explain behavior by "I might have ADHD" (so, a big fat excuse)

- denial when it comes to symptoms

- admittance that I have some symptoms, but they're always taken out of context and therefore do not come from ADHD, they just happen by coincidence

Somebody pleeeaaaseee tell me there's a way to untangle this knot. Or at least loosen it a bit.

What if the truth is not in the middle? Very good question.

But I still can't believe that if we go to a therapy, the T asks her: okay, are you the Pope, and she says "yes", and they turn to me and say with a very serious face "Okay, she says yes. what makes you doubt it? You don't trust your partner? How was your relationship with your parents? Did they lie to you a lot? Your father was anti-clerical?" The truth is on the middle, so maybe she's Half-Pope... I don't know. Feels soooo Kafkesque.

ahahahahah....far from laughing at you, Big Surprise, ruefully laughing with you...   From my occasional remarks about the two attempts I've made to find a therapist to help me with my end of a marriage in which there's ADHD, neither of which worked out, one might think I'm anti therapy....I'm not at all.  I've been given very great help by a therapist earlier in my life....  Yes, in therapy, there IS an odd thing that comes up, or can come up, when the person whose training, wisdom and judgement you have hired to help you look at your living situation and your life in a new way, since you're deadended looking at it the way that you do, can tell you to your face something that you know is just not true.  It's an impasse.  You went into the therapeutic situation needing the therapist's eyes on your situation, because you were not seeing its reality in some things.  But the therapist isn't you and isn't God, so sometimes it can be that you're told to your face something about you, or about your living situation, that is off, and you know it's off.   Therapy isn't the place to hold your peace and let the therapist have his/her way of naming you, or your life, if it's really off.  But what to do?  It is Kafkaesque, when it happens.  Or like that early surreal movie, "Dr. Kaligari's Box"   

Big Surprise, in this last post, you moved out of the therapeutic situation into living at home.

So, what does one do if the truth actually doesn't lie in the middle? You insist on what's perceived as "your objective truth", making some kind of "obsessive perfectionist" of yourself, or even a plain crazy person ("you see things that aren't there")? Or you accept it as your reality sink deeper and deeper into depression?

And then you talked about knowing at home how your partner completes her projects for work, and seeing that her boss accepts them late or in the nick of time; and about seeing her friends (who don't live with her at home, yes that's right, they don't know the details) cutting her slack for being late or whatever it is that is her habit with them.

Hm.  Big Surprise, the more I think about an ongoing domestic relationship, in which one of the couple falls into being the person who keeps track of things, fixes things, cleans things up, gets the fallout of living around someone who doesn't "do" domestic work, or divide tasks, and who has executive function problems generally, I think it's a near-perfect storm for training someone like you or like me...or like a lot of us who post on this site, into being the codependent caretaker.   You weren't codependent in your desire to control, fix, judge, bail out before the relation, but howdy do, the relationship itself conditions a non codependent into being a codependent.  

You write like one in your last post.  You've written a lot, about what sounds like the daily or near daily commotion in your household, does to you.  I hear you and I know your upset is real.

I think the only way out of going down the tubes oneself, farther and farther into acting and thinking like a codependent enabler/judge/fixerupper, is the really hard way because you have to pull it off WHILE you're living with someone who is late to appointments, and meetings with friends, evades, has what sounds to me like very recognizable ADHD executive function problems, and generally is not inclined to grab her own well being by the horns and do her own hard work of being her own caretaker and standards applier.   

You're going to have to do it while you're living with your partner as she is.  Not as you think she should be.  Not as you are.  As she is.   And that means that most other people in your life don't do some of the things she struggles with or avoids dealing with.  But she's who she is, and she's an adult now, so unless she discovers her own motivation for tackling her evasions and incompletions, she's not going to change.  Maybe superficially, temporarily, if she thinks you're mad at her, but as you know from yourself, really lasting change in an adult is not a snap.  It takes keeping after it for a long time.   So for her.   

So she's going to keep being her.  Judging her and traipsing after her, worrying how her boss accepts late or shoddy work, if indeed it's shoddy, not approving her treatment of her friends will only take you farther down the rabbit hole of being unhealthily attached to the very parts of her that are hard for you to live with.   You'll lose sight of her good qualities, which are there in your present life as well, and become codependently more and more obsessed with her denials, avoidances or whatever sets you off most.   Because yes, her actions in your shared space, do very much have an impact on you.   Don't ever deny that to yourself.   Yes, some things she does is like bruising you, and hitting on the same bruise over and over again. 

What can you do?   Well one of the things we talk over on this site is going on and  living your own life as best you can, and not relinquishing it, so that everything, all the time, day in and day out when you're together is about her.  It is NOT all about her.  

You write like she has taken over your mind.  It could be the result of you using the site for one of its good uses, which is to name the hard parts because your partner for whatever reason cannot or will not take cognizance that they are going on.  Having us witness to what in fact you're going through.  I think this is a great use of this site and we all, ADHD and non ADHD use it for that....fairly often, and if some really upsetting thing is happening at home, a lot of grieving and unloading happens.   So I may well only be reacting to what you've chosen to write about your partner, which has been, usually, description of her behaviors and speech that strike you as childish or some other negative.

I'd caution you to avoid having your head full of this stuff all the time 24/7.  It can happen.  Simultaneous with marrying, I was discovering that my partner has ADHD challenges, and it was a real shock, and yes indeed it took over my worry and thought like kudzu, I'd lay awake nights wondering what the H I had gotten myself into, until death do we part?  

If you're that far into being overcome by the shocks and surprises, the not knowing what to do, the irritations and alarms of your relation, Big Surprise, you need to get your mind back, and get things in it that are not her and not the troubles of your relations.

Maybe my bottom line here, from someone who knows about codependency from my past but found myself being CONDITIONED by the amnesias, task incompletions, messses and so on into sliding back into a codependent belief that I was the fixer and judge, the "Mommy" who had been whoopsie doodle surprise, been left only the alternative of holding the bag on the caretaking of the relation. bottom line is that you cannot be happy, if you assume the role of being the judge, person to keep order and safety net of someone with ADHD.  

Now I KNOW that that is the most frequent advice to partners of people with ADHD: help them organize, forgive them their failures, accept that they (LOL) believe that they're the Pope, make it soft, quiet and easy, since they have a hard time.  I KNOW that's the trend of advice books and columns, to people in your situation.  

Well, I think kindness helps in daily life, all right, but speaking for myself, the person who in her earlier life had to fight like a cat to get out of the shoulds, judgements, feeling like I was the only one to clean up or make it work, take all the instructions about what you the non ADHD person sould be doing to "make it better" with a very careful eye, because on the WHOLE, the advice drives the non ADHD person (and in a two ADHD relation, the one of the two who has accomplished some self management and is willing to work for more than just him/herself) straight toward, I mean STRAIGHT toward codependency.

I suggest that you let her take her lumps with her boss at work.  You're not her boss at work.  You're not her boss' employee, and you and she aren't on a work team together for that job.  So even though you know, and I know, just how much procrastination on a project is going on at a home before a piece of work is turned in, let it go.  Just let it go.  Let her take her work lumps.  If her boss finds whatever she completes at work adequate enough to keep paying her, who are you to judge the work she does for pay?   I say, let that one go.

I'd also let her have her friendships as she does them, and let her take whatever lumps and fall outs happen due to how she treats her friends.  Ask C, if you want, why he decided that he and his wife would travel to social events in separate cars.   I think her friends need to deal with her directly about her lateness.  That's between them and her.  For them to ask you to be her minder, and get her to something that is her event, not yours, is, in my opinion, too much.  Let them deal with her directly.  You can, if you think about it at a timely moment, say something about an upcoming event that she will be attending with her friends, but you're not your partner's social cop.   

I am far from settled into even the first draft of how I do things at home, and I expect that there will be more adjustments.   Because I very vividly went through the early in the marriage experience of knowing myself being sucked by real life at home toward becoming a codependent "tin god" as I call them, caretaker, judge, fixer, and for as far as I had been tugged toward it, have had to work hard to let go, accept, figure out my boundaries, figure out how to live honoring them, etc, I do think from what you last wrote that you need to work on pursuing your own life.  You don't want to be hollowed out into only being a shadow of hers, in the home.

It's not easy.   

C has written most, about this particular situation of living with someone with ADHD, but others have as well, Jenna, DVance, ConditionedOrigination, I'm So Exhausted, 

You have to let go of what you've attached yourself to, that is sucking your psychic and physical energy, to regain energy to deploy in finding your own way to live as you best can live.

Wishing you well

Thank you for the shower of sanity

Hi Chevron,

First of all, thank you so much for taking your time and for your really deep insight in my situation. You've touched so many important issues. Please know that I really appreciate it. And I agree 100% with all you said, all your observations. I'll take your warning seriously.

A few brief thoughts: I know it may seem like I'm writing from a very angry place. Yeah, we've just had another argument, so it's hard at times to see things the positive way when this happens. Angry, yes, but I think it's more frustrated. From living for a very long time in an environment that is just not healthy, period. It takes a lot to muster your strength to start doing something about this, and when this fails, you fall harder every time. I'm just too tired, too frustrated to control the anger when I need to. And I noticed something else: more and more, when we quarrel, I'm out of words. I've just run out of things to say. Out of ways to make her see how I feel.

But, again, it's very inconsistent. For me as well, as I'm getting tuned to her inconsistency. I over-react, like she does. I don't get it, like she doesn't. I exaggerate, as she underplays. Speak about co-dependency, lol. I think I have this tendency toward becoming co-dependent, in fact I know I do, thank you very much for pointing it out for me, never hurts to hear that from somebody else. But I also see those glimpses of hope, I still see the good, kind person she is. I notice the good things that happen between us. That's what keeps me fighting.

About that separate cars, we do it too. I don't tell her when or where to go. If anything, I think it's often the other way round. I'm trying not to be the cop, the judge and the caretaker. Fixer... I often am. I don't need the boss and the friends to see it, really, not for my own satisfaction. I'm only saying by not seeing it they enable her. As a co-dependent, I often helped her cover some mishaps, so yeah, I'm the enabler too, I admit it. And when she's successful because I helped her, it feels so unfair she then quotes those people praising her success and timeliness. And also, I feel like, through her, they're somehow intruding in my life. Giving very bad advice, supporting her view of herself. And I know for a fact she had some serious trouble at work, over and over, which she hid from me. She doesn't know I know about it. I'm not sure she knows about it, I think she's just buried it in denial. I think she's motivated enough just to keep afloat, and she always has me and friends to rely on. Many pleople do many things for her, while she's busy... doing things for other people, which always comes easier for her. This might work for her job, but not in a relationship. In a relationship, we cannot expect other people to do things for us, and that's why the domestic life is so hard. I think some tough love would really help her, but If I'm the only one in her life with this approach, it makes me look like a judge in her eyes, when in fact I only want her to take responsibility for her actions. I stand out, and I stand alone, because in her eyes my observations aren't supported by other people. Even if they scold her from time to time, they aren't as frustrated as I am, which makes it seem like it's my anger management problem, emphasis on "my".

And no matter how hard and how often I help, I often hear from her "I feel like I can't rely on you. If I fail, I want to share it with you, but I'm afraid, because you already see me like a failure. I didn't ask for your help today when I was in trouble, and it's your fault, because I knew you'd judge me". Sometimes I do. Often I don't. Deep down, she knows she failed, and her guilt makes her see my reactions as judgmental, even if they're not. But I refuse to go that way. It's her decision not to ask for my help. It's her projection of me when thinks she knows how I'd react. I say: "You cannot blame me for the fact you didn't ask for my help. I just refuse to take part in this discussion."

And no, I'm not trying to live her life for her. Fact is, these days I'm becoming more and more concerned about MY life. But the amazing thing with ADHD is that even things that don't affect you directly, DO affect you indirectly. The way she does her job impacts us, because she's too busy to keep on appearances to notice how things at home are are in ruin. The way she plans her evenings does affect me, because I need to do some planning of my own sometimes, and I never know what twists and turns are ahead. The fact that her friends ask me to be reasonable FOR HER, I think it tells a lot, but it also feels like they unconsciously shift the weight of responsibility towards me, and I have enough of that even without their requests. I avoid meddling in her obligations, but some things around the house and our shared life just MUST be done, and if HER obligations stand in the way, she's neglecting OUR life.

take all the instructions about what you the non ADHD person sould be doing to "make it better" with a very careful eye, because on the WHOLE, the advice drives the non ADHD person (and in a two ADHD relation, the one of the two who has accomplished some self management and is willing to work for more than just him/herself) straight toward, I mean STRAIGHT toward codependency.

You just nailed it. Thanks for reminding me.

Part of what I'm going through, and that's really important, is that I felt something was off for a very long time. Then I finally realized what this was and that was the light of hope. It filled me with strength for this challenge. She needs to face it or we're going to suffer more, and I don't think I can afford it. But if you're down and you see this glimpse of hope, it's really hard to let go. It just doesn't feel like it's the right moment to leave it totally to others. Her in denial, and the Ts supporting that denial, when in fact we're so close to a breakthrough. I've sort of become a control freak for various reasons that you're aware of (not an easy role, don't really enjoy it), but why not use that momentum to push things forward if I can? This very moment, that's how I feel. I feel ready to face the challenge; I know what it requires, I'm ready to change my habits and my conditioning. On the other hand, I'm not controlling this anymore. The therapy is living its own life. My dilemma is, I don't want it to do more harm to us. We're already hurting enough. But well, maybe I did everything I could. Observed, made notes, thought about it, read books, sought professional help, started posting here and reading all your great comments. In the process I made myself co-dependent. But that's it. Cannot do more. That's in her hands now. She's and adult. And not because I don't want to do more - I really do. I simply have no idea what else could be done.

So, about letting go... I think if I give up now, we're just going to be stuck where we are forever.

You're holding her hand. She's holding yours.

I apologise for not replying earlier. I had a lot of things on my mind which I wanted to say about this and a lot of information about this, but none of which would be productive to mention (you can thank Chevron for breaking that). I could even tell you exactly what you'd need to solve it, but it still wouldn't be useful. It's like an elephant in the room. I could tell you how to get it out, but if you can't even gain access to the room because it's locked and you've lost the key, the information is useless. Not only that, but in your haste, you may decide it's possible to still go ahead with the plan, execute it and realise that the elephant destroys the entire room in doing so. In other words the same information which should help you, if given at the wrong time, may be used to actually make your life worse.

First off, based on he assumption that she has ADHD, I can probably explain a lot of her feelings. Combined with experience of dealing with my wife and trying to understand women in general psychologically, I think I'm beginning to understand why she acts the way she does and what might help. However before all of this there are some things you need to do.

First, there's the problem of acceptance. The best way of what I define acceptance is this: if your partner was to remain this way for the rest of her life, you would still love her; If she was to drive your life into the ground with her problems, you would still hold her hand. This is what I mean by acceptance. It doesn't mean accept her, there are boundaries which need to be set in order for her to be able to have such a status, however those boundaries are decided by you. For example, with my wife, I've made clear exactly what my boundaries are, as in I have literally stated them to her straight. If she ceases to care about her religion, I will leave her. If she no longer works together with me, I will leave her. However with the second rule only applies if she no longer tries. That means even if she does everything necessary to kill me, if she does it with the intention of trying to help, Allah willing I'll be willing to put up with it. What I will not put up with is if she knows what my problem is, knows what will make it worse and happily, purposely and without a care in the world for my feelings does it. If you cannot accept her for who she is and accept that she may be this way the rest of her life, no matter what improvements or changes she will make in her life, even if she were to completely overcome every one of her problems, I guarantee you that you will still not be satisfied.

Secondly, everything your partner says is important. It may not be correct, but it will always be important. If she were to tell you pigs could fly, you will react and listen to her as if it was possibly true. I don't mean agree with her and say yes, pigs can fly; I mean you ask her to show you how they can fly so that you can make the necessary arrangements, ask her whether it's important for us to know and what she intends to do wit this information. If you must make it known at you don't believe they can fly, let her know in the gentlest way possible while still continuing ahead with everything else. For example telling her that deep down inside you don't agree but that you will still support her as though it is. If you cannot do this, you will make an enemy out of her. 

Third is your pace. You are currently taking on lifetime's of working and considering it all in one day, every day. Going back to acceptance, if she were to never be able to change, you could try for lifetimes on end without success. However you'll never know that this was the case. Treat it accordingly. Never stop, believing that it is possible for your situation to change, yet go at a pace which lets you keep hold of your sanity. Once you believe your sanity is beginning to slip, then slow down until you regain control of it or take extra steps to do so.

I'd love to tell you more, but these I believe are the most pressing issues and if I were to add too much now you would have an overload of information and you may lose sight of the important stuff. Also I have my sanity to keep too and if I keep typing I'm probably going to make a mistake somewhere.

P.S. to give you've a flavour of what your wife is going through (assuming she has ADHD), when she says you don't believe in her, it's because ADHD is like having 50 TVs on at once and being unable to turn off any of them. If you remind her about something, she has 49 other things distracting her. Reminding her repeatedly still only uses up one TV, so the other 49 will still be on every time. You remind her, she considers the other 49. You remind her, she considers the other 49. You remind her, she considers the other 49. See the vicious cycle here? Even shouting louder *technically* won't do any difference. It still uses up only one TV and in your attempt to turn up its volume she may just move closer to one of the other TVs in order to make sure she doesn't miss anything else (i.e. you'll simply annoy her and push her further away not only from you but from what you want her to do. Your reminder still occupies one of her TVs, it just doesn't seem as pressing to her.

The solution is easy, take up more of her TVs. It's just how you take up more of those TVs which is where it gets tricky. One possible solution is whenever you remind her of something, do something weird so that she'll focus on your actions. Another is to touch her shoulder when you remind her. That means one TV is about how you reminded her through speech and another TV is also about your reminder except how you held onto her in order to help her remember. It's all about figuring out which how to switch the channel on the TVs that she looks at. The more channels you change to your reminder the more she will do it.

Not letting go of everything

So, about letting go... I think if I give up now, we're just going to be stuck where we are forever.

Hi, Big.  I didn't mean letting go of the whole relationship.  I wasn't thinking of letting go of hope, either.  (Rueful smile...) Hope often in my life is not the first thing that has shown up, when I've been in very hard times...I wouldn't want to turn loose of some that showed up, myself

I meant to let go of whatever you find in you that you see is keeping you attached to the troubles in the situation, to the point that that attachment is draining you.

The situational troubles need to be dealt with, no doubt about it.  So I'm not saying just bag it all and give up.  In RL, real people have to get through as best they can.   But I do think I was talking about mental overattachment to the stuff that is disturbing to you.  

I so, so, appreciate it when you say, well, when there's a mess, somebody's got to clean it up.   That, right there, is a big part of the being between a rock and a hard place that non-deniers go through in a relationship.  The Peter Pan in the couple doesn't want to grow up, doesn't stop creating extra stress and work, doesn't see the extra stress and work, doesn't; which leaves the other person holding the bag of being Mommy or Daddy, or whatever you like, Codependent Tyrant-Savior.   Because there is no food in the refrigerator, the sink is full of dishes, the credit cards are spent down, a job is in is a situation for SOMEbody to take action, that's for sure.  

But back to your wellbeing.  I think if I just stop evading my own unhappiness, by keeping my focus projected outward to whatever I can say outside of me might be the cause of my unhappiness, and turn around and ask myself what I'm attached to in a way that I (not my therapist, not my best friend, not anyone but me) know and decide is sucking the life out of me, to me, THAT is something to let go of.   Dang it, it still leaves the problem.  I'm sitting in a house that's got some in it right now, and no, calmly talking to the only person who can do part of some of it is having no effect.  So I'm in the middle of something right now, Big.  The game is not to give my Soul to this constant imbalance, and I do think for me, in my house, my experience not to be argued away, it's constantly something, something, nothing can be depended on to happen the same way twice, everything requires extra steps, extra patience, extra re-dos, it seems.   The job for me right now as I write, is not to (as we say in among-Christians lingo), not to WORSHIP the problem, meaning get stuck to it by judging, getting angry at it, getting resentful and start doing something like putting it on a list of screw ups that I believe my partner has done, and build my own pissedness about life in general because once again things are chaotic and once again, I'm exhausted.  Not to worship (over attach to) the problem, not to worship my own feelings, as if they were something to stoke, tend, and protect.  

I'm talking about letting go of attachments like you have to do if you play sports or martial arts.  If you stopped and got pissed at a wrong move, or at your not having made a basket, or at your team mate's screw up of some move that you've seen him do over and over again, you'd stop the whole game because you'd be reacting to yourself reacting and would start playing what I call "allegorical basketball"....sort of working out your attachment to plays that are already over that you can't control by using the game to vent your feelings.

I need to get back to my situation here at home.  I'll hold you in mind as I work on my own peace of mind in the middle of it here.   Once again, it's a situation that came up because my partner procrastinated and what's going to happen tomorrow is in not-now for him.   The ball game at my house tonight is how to continue to play ball with him, when he's in not-now.  

I have so much appreciation for the parts of what you've written that suggest to me that one thing you may be struggling with, that is so very familiar to many of us on the board, is what to do, if as you say, you DO want to do well, and do better in your relation, if the situation that results when your partner no-shows on something.   What do you do THEN?   As you say, just let everything fall in a heap and you'll both be stuck?   

Oh, Big, it's such a temptation, maybe especially for men, but there are some really heroic women on this board who have done this as well, to say, well, if no one is standing forward to volunteer, it's not right that everything fall apart and OK, I'll stand forward and volunteer to do extra, to raise the kids, to work two jobs, to, to, to...because I don't want to see us go to rack and ruin.  

But there's you to take care of, as well.

Exactly the same here BigSurprise...

I want bore you w/ details, but, your situation is just like mine....The shock, the Co-dependency, becoming the enabler, the anger etc....I've experienced the whole lot....Also I started talking like you are talking here a while back...Because like Chevy said...." I was spending way to much of my life over focused and frustrated about a life I can not change"...(this is still a challenge)

So like I posted a couple of weeks ago....I'm just done, no more arguments for me....I told her, I wanted her to have what ever life style she thought was right for her...And I want that for myself also....So I told her it's going to be all in on the marriage (two doing the work) or we can end it....

I told her to think about it, because I'm done w/ living w/ a wife for 9 years w/o a healthy attachment....It's not about adhd and the chaos that produces....It's about denial & blame, it's about the attitude!

To her credit she has been much more at peace, (aware) she is working better on the marriage w/ a much healthier attitude about marriage responsiblites... (and just plain resect) ....There will be bumps in the road for both of us...So it's just wait and see, we've been here before (But, I have never been where I'm at before)....



Thank you

Thank you both, Chevron and C. This will be short, because we're at point C, this very moment, which is:

I'm just done, no more arguments for me....I told her, I wanted her to have what ever life style she thought was right for her...And I want that for myself also....So I told her it's going to be all in on the marriage (two doing the work) or we can end it....

I think I've finally reached that point. She's still trying to play the blame game (oooh, that used to work so much on me), but no, not anymore. I refuse to take part in it any longer. I told her I can understand many things, I can learn to accept them, although I know it's gonna be hard and we'll always see some things differently. But this is only possible if she accepts that too. For now, it's a strange mixture of admittance (yes, the things you noticed about me are correct), underplaying (but it doesn't happen as often as you say and besides I think it shouldn't bother you), emotional blackmail (if you really cared) and blame (but come to think about it, I think it's actually your fault). Unhealthy. But I also understand this is a very emotional time for her, so I guess I'll have to wait and see.

I only explained what's important for me. I'm not insisting anymore on the objective truth. I say "we have two different truths, two different realities, they are not going to be the same, let's live with and learn to accept it". She says "ok, I know, BUT you probably have some weird preassumptions about me, so you're only noticing the bad things, why do you even want to be with me, if I'm so pathetic. I think you do the same things, but you're interpreting my behavior like it's different, when in fact your is even worse, because it's not caused by external circumstances, like mine." I keep explaining it's not about preassumptions. And not about objective truth. What she calls external circumstances are effects of her neglect. But I don't mind, really. I've reached the point when I really couldn't care less about who's more right and who's more guilty. Nobody is guilty. I don't blame her. I just want to stop being blamed. I don't want to be discussing realities anymore. Just give me the right to have mine, and I won't question yours. "Ok, but if you know that my life is messy, then I think you should be trying more to adjust to my lifestyle, because you are supposed to be so responsible and flexible and reasonable, but I don't think you are, because you're just living your life. If you had any feelings for me, you'd try harder." NO, LADY. This is the line for me.

Not sure how this will end, but this is definitely "trying differently". Cos "trying harder" obviously isn't helping. This time, I'm not budging. It's hard for me to see her this way, but I really can't be ignoring my own needs any longer, AND still be facing the constant blame. Maybe one of those things, to some reasonable extent, but not in a combo.

So we'll just see. When she calms down and has time to think about it, she'll either dump me or adjust her attitude. Either way, it's probably for the better. :) I'd even say I can't see how this could go wrong.

Oh, and Chevron, I think it

Oh, and Chevron, I think it was your post that made me realize how much it is about respect. And somewhere along the way, between the blame and the guilt, between nagging and begging, crying and arguing, helping and fixing, policing and convincing... like all co-dependents, I lost it. Lost the respect for my needs and my well-being. I also realized this is what might break the circle, this might be the way to crack this wall. Instead of doing those things over and over, instead of trying to convince her what she SHOULD do for her own good or mine, or ours, whatever... I think it might actually be helpful to draw a line and say "I refuse to do the blame game. I don't feel guilty anymore. I still care about you, but I can't be doing this with you. I won't be coerced into this thinking. Please stop trying to do that. This camel can only bear so many straws. If you add more, you'll break its back and it won't carry ANY straws. Please don't add more. Try taking one or two, if you can, it's make the whole journey this much easier."

Because somewhere along the way, because I lost respect for my needs, I also lost respect for her. By blaming her for my misery, she sort of became this blurry area where many bad things happen. And when good things happen, she somehow magically transforms into a sweet little child I can parent. Neither of those is something to truly, maturely respect. And neither is true, she's an adult, who, in spite of her condition, is still able to own her words and deeds. And for that respect, we'll both have to work, also for self-respect. She'll need to earn my trust again, not by not forgetting not by not making mistakes. That I can live with. But I need to see her take her part, instead of saying "it's your fault I can't do this", I need her to start saying "ok, I can't do this". I don't need her to say "you're always absolutely right". When I say something happened, it's enough for me if she says "I didn't notice that." But cannot live with "that didn't happen, why are you making a crazy person out of me".

I can't be dragging her along any longer. I can take more than my share of responsibilities, but she needs to help. Or at least stop pulling in the other direction, that would be a good start too.

Funny how this has never occurred to me. I guess the process of becoming a co-dependent is very sneaky, it happens slowly and don't see it because you never get enough distance, too busy "handling" sb else's life and yours to notice...

So, again, thanks for that, I needed it badly.

All the best.

All good to you and your partner, Big


Without respect and truth, love cant grow and bear fruit.   I think truthtelling and living truthfully are as necessary as respect.

I agree with your insight that your treating yourself with respect may or may not cause you to treat your partner with respect, but it certainly has a correlation with treating her with respect.  

The hard part there is the formula in reverse is going on, too.  If anyone is not respecting herself, she'll not be taking action to respect people in her vicinity.  I think this is just how humans are put together.  So also for love, so also for telling the truth. I'f I'm not truthful with myself, I wont be with others, etc.

I just reread smd's post.  He writes a lot in it about respect, and knowing that it's a good thing to have one's own bottom lines and boundaries, and communicating them.  

Thank you all for your recent

Thank you all for your recent posts.  I needed to hear all of this right now in light of what is happening at home 

Hard time?

Vabeachgal, whatever you're going through, my thoughts are with you, for all that's worth. Hope you'll sort things out.

Excellent; Big....Acceptance of the different realities.....

Acceptance of the different realities....does a lot to reduce the stress that is produced by pointing out (almost constantly, because that is just how different we are) behaviors that are so different....

Your dirty hair story is a perfect example of this....My W lives in the same mindset as your GF.....The way she handles 3 days w/o washing her hair is, she puts baby powder on her hair and scalp and then hot irons it, and off to work she goes....Very different from a the third day if I hug her when she gets home from work...What do I smell? That's right a little sour and it just the way she lives....Now I can keep my mouth shut, and go on about my business, and it will be no sweat off of my back...Or I can be stupid enough to make it a controversy...Like we need another one:)....LOL....

Little story:...I shopped around and found me a nice wood handle hair brush about two years ago now....Brought it in and showed it to my W, and asked her to not use it.....I was tired of sharing w/ someone who fills it up w/ blond hair and baby powder and never cleans it....But she loved the brush just like me....So after asking  for months I just gave up, and have been cleaning all the hair and baby powder out of it every couple of weeks....So about two weeks ago I just told her "since you are not going to respect my request about my brush, you can just have it.....So I claimed a cheaper one she had bought...And now that she hasn't got a Mommy in the brush cleaning dept....She is cleaning it herself if it get cleaned....LOL....(I noticed she is cleaning it, so I guess I spoiled her to having a nice clean brush)

This same principle is working in other areas also....For years I just could not stand living in a messy dirty house.....So I cleaned up behind her, now I limit it to just what I have to do for survival....Because she lives in such a rush, she don't even notice what the bathroom floor or counters look like after showering...(Kitchen also) or making a sandwich.....So if I leave everything out on the counter (except the meat or anything that could make us sick) she will eventually realize it's there and clean it up....In the bathroom I only pick up the step out mat and hang it over the shower curtain rod to dry....I just kick her panties and clothes in a pile in the corner, and all the junk on the counter I pile to one side of the counter so I can have one side clean for myself....I do as much accepting as possible and as little enabling as possible and try to accept and respect we are as different as night and day in many area's and not judge her or label her ways as wrong....

make and eat...NOW....Clean up counters, put the tie back on the bread, and return things to frig....NOT NOW...shower and rush to work....NOW....Pick up the bathroom....NOT NOW....

Yep...Different realities.....



"You've Got a Point...................

and if you wear a hat,  no one will see it."  I'll give you one guess where that line came from?  Mo, from the 3 stooges...talking to Larry and Curly about one of their "bright ideas". LOL  Wise guy eh?? ( doink, eye gouge )

"If her hair seems clean and tied into a bundle (to make it less noticeable), nobody will come and sniff it and say "okay, that's dirty hair, how long have you been using dry shampoo". Why would they? I wash my hair whenever it's necessary, this is something I'll always find time for, no matter how busy my life is. I can't forget about it, because I feel bad if my hair is greasy. Why would I suspect somebody else might have trouble with that? And she knows she does this, but seems very proud of it, actually. "See how resourceful I am, third day in a row I didn't have time to wash my hair, but I'll put a scarf on it and nobody will suspect anything".

I just wanted to make a point here, ( not the one on top of my head ) that this line gives me the "willies" ( shiver!!! )  "See how resourceful I am, third day in a row I didn't have time to wash my hair, but I'll put a scarf on it and nobody will suspect anything".

Do you not see the similarities in "Mo's words"....and this statement.  This is a statement by the way....( as if without going any further or any deeper that just that.......that this is true )  as you mentioned "shallow"....or not very "deep".

Allow me to attempt, to explain why thirst statement has a very negative effect on me, to the point that it hits upon something so disturbing that I have trouble reconciling it and putting it away?  The words "see how resourceful I am"....or you could say "see how clever I am"......"see.....see??"  Resonate something "really bad" my own experiences with it?  It is more than just a red hits a nerve and that nerve is related directly to something "bad".  "Bad" for me...and how that came to pass?  To the point, I get a "visceral reaction" to it......that is pronounced and unmistakeable.

Why that is......I related directly to this topic of conversation?  I can only add this to what I know and where that comes from and my own experience?  When the "tribe" you come from.....accepts something as "normal" that is "not normal"......meaning......"out of the norm"...."unusual"......"bizarre"......"strange"......."out of place"........"different"..........or any other words along "these lines"?  And then uses words like "resourceful"....."special"........"......"gifted"....."talented"....or any other "glowing positive appraisal" of said such words..........instead of .........."Ah.....I think you got that wrong?  I'm not getting "resourceful".....out of those words............"bizarre and unusual"....."strange"...."odd"......."odd ball".......or  "kind of, not so positive in fact....just "plain old weird".................

And the reply would be ( blank look on their face )....followed by......"what are you saying or implying???  There's nothing wrong with me!!!!!  Just fine thanks.....asshole!!!"  And then go off on a tiraid and a complete trying to explain how "resourceful" not related what so ever to those other words you so mistakenly applied to "my statement about me".

And where did that statement about you come from I might ask?

My mamma told me so that's who.  My mamma said  that when I was born, she thought I was a she tried to bury me!!!   That was very resourceful of her....just like she says I am ( or was back then )

Did this fictitious conversation that I just created between....."my mamma"....and ....."said such person"........actually happen?  Nooooooo.......but a conversation, just like it did...and probably many more just like it......and.....this person "believed it"....based on what "mamma said".  My mamma told me 'I'm special" therefore "I am".   Or....."my mamma said"......"I'm ugly......".....what does she know!!!  I'm not "ugly!!!"....."I think I'm beautiful"....yes!!!  That must be it....."I'm beautiful" and my mamma is just jealous of me?

Out of context.....we have no idea "why"...those things were being said?  Maybe......"her mama" was trying to tell her something?  Maybe, there is a reason "she believes" these things that appear...."not true".....yet, she believes they are?  Or maybe....she simply took what her mamma said as the gospel truth "literally speaking" about everything since  "my mamma never lies".

Really?  So what you're saying're mother never lies...and she is never wrong about anything....ever?  Is that what you are saying.....or did I get that wrong?

I've got news for you.......Kansas is that way Buck Wheat, you are not in Kansas, as you thought?  Just say'in.....even though it won't do any good if you don't know where or who you are to begin with and have no context to put those statements into and explain just how you arrived at this thinking you have?  Of yourself that is?   See?

( mau mau ) "you never gonna get me coppa.....See!" ( mau mau )  LOL

That was my these kind of situations where clearly....something was very very wrong ( and I knew it )....I just didn't know what that was?  As you said.

I also didn't buy into the Santa Claus Hoax......once I tried to climb up our chimney and went.....something doesn't make sense?  I think this calls for further investigation and to see why that is? middle I was told.....that my mother had to tell her that Santa Claus was not real when she was about to go into the 2nd grade...because as she said this, she said that she ws gettting to old to beleive it ( which she did ) and now she was afraid that my sister would go to school and the other kids would laugh at her and make fun of her....for "STILL"......believing in Santa Claus" age 8 years old?  And when she did tell sister cried.

Why.....did I not believe in Santa Claus for very long and  became skeptical very very early and went and found out for myself?
Why......did my "middle sister".....but not the "oldest one"  ( in the same tribe or family )....need to be told, that Santa Claus was not real and never figured that out like most other kids?

Why......just the "one" kid ( with ADHD )....and the other "kids" with ADHD  but "me" especially........."buy in" and "believe it as fact"...and never modified from this belief?

Answer me that....I would really like to know?  Along with the rest of these questions...and WHY?   There is a reason or a very good and accurate explanation here?  But no one seems to know, exactly why that is?  Speaking for myself that is?  I just know that it's real?  I know that much as fact.....because these things happened to me?  There you go.....I don't know exactly why either or better.....I don't really know but I have some ideas and that is all I have?  Those ideas by the way....have come from what I've learned from a variety of people or sources that "were not my family" or "tribe" and just through observation?  They didn't come from me all by myself....that much I am sure of except....when you mother takes you X-Mas shopping during the season, and you see two different Santa's in two different Department stores and you go "hey,......I thought Santa lived in the North Pole?  Wha'ts he doing here? And why are there two of them, and one of them is accross the street with black rimmed glasses on?....and you get some strange answer?  

  What is "strange" here?  The answer.....or the fact that none of this makes any sense?  Wouldn't it be ....the "answer" that is "strange?"...and then go....."WTF mom.....why are you lying to me??" ( errrrrrrrrrr)  Who are you going to "trust" at that point?  Your "eyes"....or "your mama?".

Cognitive a bitch! LOL


"WTF mom.....why are you lying to me??"

I wanted to point something out here, that I think is really important.  "WTF mom.....why are you lying to me??"

If you can imagine ( me ) at age 5 or so.....I did not actually way "WTF MOM!!!...but I was angry with her, for not telling me the truth.  The "Truth" in this case, was revealed to me when my entire family ( this is important ) stopped at "Santa's Village" in the middle of August or the summer.....especially on my account ( for me mainly since...."The HOAX" was still on....or so they thought ? )  And here I am, already skeptical and doubtful, and now I'm meeting another "So Called Santa" in the middle of summer in California?  And I am, getting pretty tired of this by now, because the lies are already piled higher than the roof top and I'm silently getting more and more distrusting and then "day in court" had arrived?  I was ready and just waiting to ambush this imposter and force him to tell me his secrets?  And as soon as he opened his mouth....."those secrets" had a very familiar "ring" to fact, it was like he was "Parroting" these words straight out of some book or script he was handed because they were the same ones my mother was using and I already new she was not giving me a straight answer, to account for all these discrepancies in her story?  And sisters were in on it?

The only one who was on it.....was the voice of reason and sanity in this father, the voice of reason when it came to this whole Santa Claus Cherade?  Once I had this imposter in front of me....I had all my ducks in a row and I was ready with my line of questions?  One by one, I fired these questions at him  ( while his phony elf's who looked like teenage girls dressed up in Elf costumes ) and one by one....the same patent answers came from him and right then was when I called Bullshit on the entire Hoax.  We walked outside of "Santa's  house  ( in the blazing hot California summer heat LOL )....and I promptly...without hesitation said  "THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS".  Also pointing out....that was a statement too....and I was sure of it!!  I remember this extremely well ...what it looked like ( not every bit ) but what I remember that I am saying...I can picture clearly.

And the reason I can remember this so well, and the reason this is a very important part of this whole "thing" being what happened next when I made my announcement which went like this?

"Oh no.....yes, he's real....of yes he is he is right there"

"NO He's NOT!!!"


"NO....HE'S NOT!!!!"

"YES...HE..................." ( interject...the voice of reason ) my father...."Hey....let it go, he knows already, give it a rest!! "

"Fucking A....DAD!!!"   Thank you for that!!!! ( sheese!!! )

How would one feel.....when they ( for the first time ever ) discovered that everyone in your family was lying to you...and, they continued to try and lie to you....even when you were telling the truth to keep the lie alive?  And only ONE family member, pulled the plug of the "lie" ...which meant, he knew too...but he wasn't saying anything until...."you figured it out yourself".

Wouldn't that piss you off?  Don't answer that.....just imagine what they is like....and you will get a huge part of the answer to why their are "trust issues" and where they come from and "how lying"....gets established and lines get very mukey and muddy and the "truth" can be very elusive indeed?

The fact is....."the lie" itself...wasn't important"  What was important to that I beleived it.  That is what made me angry...since it shook the foundation of my trust and my sense of betrayal....from that moment moving forward in time.  And that never got resolved......until I finally figure this out.....some 40 years later....when I finally got into therapy and my T explained why that is?

My point in even mentioning you realize this kind of also realize that "the Lie".....or "Lying" not what is most important in fact.....pale in comparison to the effect that has?  If any of you have childeren...and you did this to them....then you lied to them....which makes you a liar......since there is no such thing as Santa Claus.....but you lied....and told your kids there is?  That is not true.....and told your kids it was?  If it's not true and you know it....and you tell someone "knowingly something that is not true".....then that is the worst form of lying there the most Biblical sense, right out of the 10 Comandments.  Knowingly.....not telling the truth.....when you know what you are saying is "not true".

What else....can you call this....if it's not a Lie?  Just to make a point....people lie all the time...and don't even realize it..and think they are NOT lying when they are?  Or somehow.....saying the "lie" something else?

Anyone who thinks....that they don't lie......needs to go to therapy or some professional and get some help with that I think?  Just to make an example of a lie.....that is somehow .....not a lie?  How can that be?  I'll tell can't.  Thats the point....whether you believe it is or not......does not make the lie true now does it?

Think about it?  It all starts and ends right here?  The first and last believing something that isn't true.  Everything that you believe after than ( based on that first lie ) ...will then ..also not be true too....until you figure it out?  All I something was way Fucked up..and something was horribly wrong...about the motivation and the reason behind why....someone would do something like that?  Some sick pleasure or it appears to me?  Why else would you do that....if it's not some "sick pleasure" for the purpose of the ones being "pleasured"....not the victim of the lie?  That says more about the liar.....than it does the person who believes?  That is.....if all lying is bad.....and no lie is a sin...and your going to Hell for lying?

That isn't my take on it's the intention behind the lie....and what the intended purpose that it serves is wAY more important than the lie....and what you really need to know?  That makes all the difference in the world.....along with the ability to fogive and accept IMHO.




BigSurprise.......The Moving Target

I'm coming back here to possibly fill in some blanks but as I read through this, it occurred to me ( really exactly what is going on? )  This is the telling part to me since to say "I don't do these "things" is not  specific enough to actually be very helpful?  "Specifics" and being very "explicit" are the key words I keep hammering into my wife as she will start in with the same kind of situation you are describing?   To say, "I don't do this"....might imply, that I don't get distracted by the things you mentioned in this description:

... but spent her whole day relaxing, doing many different things she likes (like meeting friends, chatting over internet, but mostly just spread on the sofa, reading random internet articles on her mobile). Those usually come first, until some really close deadline at work breaks the procrastination. Ok, I don't mind, as long as it does not affect me directly. But I really need her to make good on her promise, it's important for me.

For me, it's really easy for me to see myself doing this?  But to say, I do this "just like this" neither true nor accurate.  Have I ever done this?  Sure I have, plenty of times...but this hits upon my immediately recalling...."when "I use to do this very thing" and I go....but not any more?   But even as I look back now, and recall when I have done "things like this"....I can also "critique myself" and objectively "see, what I did...and what I didn't do"and actually  remember when I did?   This is a curious thing to me now since I can remember it pretty clearly?  I can simply look back and go  "yeah, been there, done that"....and say "yeah, I apt or likely to do this even now if I am not paying attention?"

But even then...and even "when I would do this very thing or even now....."IF I decide to do it"...I actually see a choice being well as seeing myself doing something somewhat different, even back then which is also curious to me?

This whole notion about  "you know, I know what I did....and I know what I didn't do" might be true or not coming from me as you hear me?  I've already got that suspicion of doubt hanging over my head but maybe for your sake, I can tell you what "I did" in the same situation?  I learned a long time ago ( a very long time ago ) to do things first.  Meaning, I understood if I didn't do it "now" would get done "later".  So to say, that there was "no choice made" is not true nor accurate?  What is true and what is accurate was.....that I didn't want to...anymore than your wife does ( and still don't many times )....and doing all those other things first is really what I want to or feel like doing, but there is more than one reason for this or WHY.  Forget about the why for now....only what I did and then .....:possibly why....I chose to do those things last...or after I did the thing that "others requested of me"....that I can trace back to one thing just to start which is the reason I think......I didn't do this the way in which your wife sounds that she does this?  I mean...what was the magic potion I drank that made me different than the rest as it appears that I am saying?  Again......this is NOT saying....I never do this or have never done this procrastinating thing.  What I an saying, is there is a choice in there somewhere or possibly.....or possibly "no choice" being made at all?  The "not intentional" part.....or  "I didn't mean it" part and this whole memory thing?  This is where it would get way too complicated for me to even say exactly the entire process going on and to a certain degree.....I am not aware of everything like this at all times, which is why it happens but there is still a choice somewhere?  I mean, we aren't Robots and just do "everything we're suppose to do"....just because?  I mean, free will exists and there's simply no denying it?  And any time free will exist...then a choice has to be made? 

And further, there are times when you have "no choice"...and you "have to do it" whether you like it or not?  I think this is where the rubber meets the road right here and I can immediately understand where and how I learned to get past this and trace that back to the source for anyone else who is interested in wanting to know "why not me?  What makes me different?"  I'm wasn't different to start with, I can assure you that, but as I think about my daily daily routine involved something that was not actually fun.....not actually anything you look forward to ( exactly )and at was the most difficult and challenging thing that I can remember ever doing?  This was...the training or conditioning that I did in swimming.  I know I keep coming back to this....but these things keep going back to the same thing and it's always swimming so that is exactly what it is and nothing more than that?  This is just the "how I did it...without knowing what I was doing" part, but in there and the why answer and then how to overcome it..l.all gets resolved in a simple explanation?  I'll of the worst ones...and walk you through it?  This is called "pure torture"....for a prolonged period of time! LOL  For every 1 or 2 minute "race" on meet day.....come 40 or 50 hours of this before hand?  Cause and effect again.......the source....and the effect......which amounts to the action at the end of it?  If you can plug......your request that  (doesn't matter what; point is, I can't do it myself).  The choice is always  ( me first )....which you cou not being 'selfless"..and being "selfish" instead?  A "selfless" act.....mean you put the other person first and put your self second?  There is a time an place for everything and a choice between the two has to be made?  And there is a thing called "free time" or "discretionary time"....when you can do anything you want to do and you can choose yourself "first".....put something off, change plans and decide to relax and take a break and put everyone else second?  As long as you aware of your choices, are conscious of your decisions and are acting "making choices"...then I think you remember those?? ( I think? ) what is happening the rest of the time....are you wandering aimlessly in the wilderness and just lost with no direction?  I think, in part....this may be true?  Lost in Hyper focus...will do that too you?  But "Lost in Hyper focus" is not same  as doing it with intention?  Directing that Hyper Focus on something is not just wandering aimlessly in the wilderness?  I think this very much has to do with Dissociation more than Hyperfocus and simply "removing yourself from reality"  like zoning out on TV?  Mindless, entertainment....."Alpha Wave"....."Zoning out".  When you are "In the Zone" you are definitely not "Zoning Out" and I totally Zone Out when I'm Hyperfocusing on one thing..and trying to do another?  if something is pulling me away from doing's usually for a reason and I'm resisting doing it?  It's one thing, to be doing something and working hard and needing to rest or take a's another thing when you need to do that....before you even start doing it?  If you follow me here.....I bring you to "how I got past that, and trained myself to do it."   And it's called "making yourself" or "forcing yourself" to do something unpleasant.

Before I forget to metnion something here......I think it is really important to look at one thing you said within your request?  When you say ( doesn't matter what, the point is I can't do it myself ).....I think it does matter to a point, and what matters is ...are you saying you are not able to do this at the time because of other responsibilities?  Or are you saying......I can't do it...I don't not how and aI am not able to do it at all?  Not having the ability to do something that your partner can....puts you at their mercy and simply...beggars can't be chooser?  Consider that first....before you say anything else?  Best way around that simply learn how to learn how to do it yourself and you will never be in that postion in the first place?  Know what I mean?  That pretty much takes care of that one, and nips that right in the bud?  You will never be at anyones mercy....if you can do it yourself?  I took care of that one....a long long time ago?  Anything I could learn to do myself, I just did so I wouldn't need to ask anyone to do it for me, it's as simple as that?  And anytime I had the chance to learn or the opportunity to learn it.....I jumped on that opportunity so I would never have to be defendant on anyone?  Deferring...only makes you dependent...and deferring is a real problem if that is the case?  That is what wife does.....but she plays both sides of the fence and that really pisses me off?  She will defer to me...what she doesn't want to do....but complain about the out come? Or what she ..can't do....and complaining about the out come there too?  If you want it done it yourself?  You can't learn how...if you don't do it in the first place?  Anyway....the other side of the not asking or not telling the other person what you are doing...and doing it it anyway, without any consultation ahead of time?  Assuming.......or  taking control......and not giving the other person the chance to say "NO".  Not giving the other person the chance or the choice to say "NO" actually taking their "choice" from them...which is the other side of the fence of "deferring" responsibility...and this playing both sides of the fence?  That will piss me off faster than anything else just so you know?  You aren't "clean" here if you are doing this.......gotta be "clean".....or put up and shut up?  That's the other side of the fence response to "beggars can't be choosers."  Just say' keep this in mind?:  Not to say again...I don't do it.........but to reiterate....I am aware of it, and I understand at least I know what I stand and where I am coming from?  If you don't know where you are and where you stand...then you are being a moving target yourself?  I think this whole idea of "no truth in the middle " comes from this very thing....but to say...that's different than being neutral...and not making a stand which might be cons...digging your heals in and becoming stubborn.....or it could be you have to...because you have no choice?  Knowing where you really what need to happen first I think?  If someone takes your choices from you...then sometimes you have to make a stand?  There is no choice...when you have no other options ( or choices )  Free will, choices, responsibility and deferring....are you clean or not clean...and and you playing both sides of the fence.  And can you even do it ( at all)?  Or are you at the mercy of someone else?  All of this...plays into it...and it all matters that's for sure.

Okay....lots of stuff here but getting to the how part for me?  This is exactly where if came from...... worst worst case scenario:       20 x 200yard Freestyle....on the 3 minutes.  YIKES!  Yes indeed.....60 minutes of non stop torment and pain!! LOL  Her's how that one worked.  The faster you go...of course at the end of  the 200yards...the more rest you get and first, you get about 45 seconds or so? ( as I remember? )  But after the first 2 or you start to get it takes more energy to go the same distance and the slower you become.  And the slower you become.....the less rest you get.  And the less rest you get, the harder and more difficult it becomes, which means "Pain" and "exhaustion" and it only gets worse not better, with each one you do?  This is a "no win scenario" and there is no escape from the pain.  House of what you call this....once you enter, there is no way out?  It is inversely correlated to comfort!!!  With intention! LOL  By the time you make these choices and the only choice you have is to simply survive....there is no win or no prize in this exercise.  Do not attempt to adjust your TV set....we have control of the vertical, we have control of the horizontal...for the next 60 minutes have entered the Outer Limits of Pain!! LOL

What I remember most about this which sticks in your memory (clearly) that you automatically settle in to a pace you can endure?  And to the point....that you try everything first?  First you slow down to conserve energy....but then when you reach the've got like 10 seconds to rest...and that's not enough rest to recover ( barely ) now the next one is worse than the previous one...ahhhhhhh!!! .  So the next one, you go alittle faster and it hurts more, but you get more rest and you recover more before you start.  So this trade off back and forth between  pain while your doing it..and how much rest you get at the end becomes clear.  The most valuable commodity and the only variable that is worth any thing is time.  All you care about..and all you focus how much rest you will get.  Every second of a very valuable thing?  In this case....time = money...does not apply.....time = "reief from pain"  and you will do anything to get it...any way you can?  And there is only one way to get it, and that is to swim faster..and the faster you go, the more it hurts while you are doing it?  But the way you do to be steady and consistent and find the magic line.  Too much while your doing can't make to the end the hour.  Too little...and suffer while your doing it more, since you don't have enough chance to recover and rest?  There is a majic line in there somewhere, but there is only one way to get to that line.  Go through the wall of pain....and make it to that line.  That line lives on the other side of comfort, so if your in the House of get use to it, and you live in it and live there for a while.  Once you find that sweet spot of just enough but not too learn how to pace yourself and it simply a self fulfilling thing.  It's 1 to 1 relationship..the more you give...the more you get?  And the entire time your doing this...your thinking of only one thing....the prize at the end on race day...that 1 or 2 minutes that really count.  It's delayed gratification, and a direct connection to the source.  1 to 1 relationship with the pay off at the end.  You have to give to get...and you get when the work is done?

What I remember most of all in this in looking up at the big time clock on the wall...and watching every second tick by, before I had to go again.  And looking at the minute hand, and checking how much more I had to endure this for.  I can tell you under those learn just how important and valuable..10  seconds can be.  You also learn, just how little rest you really need to recover and to survive.  More than anything else..the House of Pain teaches you the value of time.  Absolutely more than anything else, that's what it teaches you.

From that.....I can't really give you any direct advise how to learn that.....but the value of time and delayed the lesson that needs to be learned.  That..and you have to give to get.....all came from swimming with me...but I guess that's the bottom line?  It's why I tend to do things first ....then I take my breaks and my rest but not always....depends on different things but the fact that I am aware of all of this..and  when I make the wrong choice, it was a choice and I just screwed up  and I will say so if its true because it won't get all that double taking or defending and denying simple because I know it is true. Do it again differently next time, until you find that magic line .Once your in the house of pain..there's no excuses and no free lunch.


House of Pain

I just wanted to share this for what it's worth because this is so "me". LOL   In all the years I did those swims and workouts and even later as a coach ( this is so typical of me ) and I don't know exactly what this shows or means but I still thinks it's funny as I just did this for the very 1rst time ever? LOL  I never stopped to add up just how far that 20 x 200yd "swim set" actually was?  It's 4,000 yards which I always knew cause that's how we tallied the workout totals?  But 4,000yds doing the math is 2.27 miles.  In one hour.  No wonder it hurt so much!!!!  The fact is however......the workouts were 1hour 45 minutes so that was not the only thing we did?  But whose counting I guess? LOL  I sure didn't????? Obviously. lol

This reminds of that song "know when to hold em.....know when to fold em......but never count your cards while you're sitting at the table....there'll be counting time when the dealing is done." LOL  takes longer for some of us I guess? LOL  Why I was laughing.


I don't agree with the self

I don't agree with the self assessment approach of diagnosis for anything other than the first step, the "ah, there might be something here" moment.  My H went to therapy for a whopping 5 or 6 sessions.  The therapist was quick to say ADHD but she also recommended EMDR therapy which is used for ADHD but also for PTSD and other things. I don't know for sure because my H wouldn't share much information, but I think she spent quite a bit of time on the PTSD issues related to my H's loss of parents. My husband did say that they only spent 5-10 minutes a session on marital and adhd/marital issues because it was all about him as he said. She was concerned about the lying as self reported by my H. She suggested that H go to his primary care physician to get medication as soon as possible.  She wanted to complete 8 sessions before turning it over to the practice psychiatrist for final review, diagnosis and prescriptions.  H's primary care physician conducted the self assessments and came up with depression and MAYBE borderline ADHD.  AAAANNNDDD, he was diagnosed in grade school with a learning disability and was placed in remedial classes his entire life as a result.  

I don't see a self assessment as a reliable indicator for the reasons you described and because there is no substitute for a full professional evaluation.  I do believe that partners and others should be interviewed also to provide a full picture. It's complicated and percentage-wise ADHD doesn't always present alone. 

Interesting.........How Different It Can Be

I don't have any exact answers here, but I can provide my own experience as a base line?  I saw my T for nearly 5 years, before I was the one who brought up the possibility of ADHD after reading more on the subject?  Obviously, he had been doing "some kind of thereapy with me" the entire time, but I am not exactly sure which one that is?  I've asked, and he's said he uses a number of different strategies combined and tailored individually to each person which was his answer?  Okay....what ever he was doing, was working and helping me a lot?  I knew that, or I wouldn;t have continued seeing him?

And when I did mention the ADHD possibility to him, he said he mentioned it, and I immediately said " You did?"....which he said, "well, you and ( my ex ) were pretty deep into a lot of other issues you had going, so that was not your focus or ( our ) focus at the time?  Now ( paraphrasing him ) "you are more focused on you" ?  Which is all true, but just mentioning ADHD in passing did not register at the time fo the very reason he was saying?

So then....I starting asking him question and specifically, about medication which was when he sent me to someone who could prescribe with his recomendation.  That's when I took the tests she provided and asked me for my own self assesment to go along with it?  My first prescriber was rather cautious as she told me.....that in all the years she had done that ( more than 30 years ) that she only had two people trying to convince here they had ADHD just to get on the meds themselves so she appeared to be aware of that possibility?  With me, and with my T seemed everything lined up and she went no further with me in sending me in for further testing and evaluation? And I specifically didn't want to go the stimulant route first, and try the alternatives which really didn't work for me at all?

So finally...after 5 years and trying everything else first, she prescribed the Adderall along with "Prozac" both....and I started on this journey of medication and getting everything to work.  I was on the Prozac for a year, and I finally stopped taking it just see if there was much of a difference as I felt kind of flat...and unemotional at the time?  Like..."too much" emotion was being taken out and I didn't know which drug was causing this exactly?  I figured by eliminating one....I could at least see what one did without the other?  The Prozac appeared to not do much except give me that "flat...lifeless feeling" and took out too much of the highs and I discontinued use which made me feel more like myself again....but now with the added benefit of the Adderall which made an immediate right away, that I could tell really helped which felt like suddenly seeing things I had never seen before and gave me abilities I never had?  That was kind of her criteria too as I would describe this as it happened which was the most confirming thing to her as time went on?  It appeared that it was working as it if it's not broken, why fix it?   Near sightedness....seemed to be the issue all along and the Adderall fixed that one...with amazing results.

And recently here, the article provided a while back, that suggests that men tend to compartmentalize more than women...seemed to make sense but also gave me pause to thin about this in terms of "compartmentalzing gone hay wire" or to the extreme?  I think....that "near sightedness" exacerbates somewhat normal compartmentalizing into more extreme compartmentalizing but thinking along these lines.....I'm not sure where to draw any lines and say what is what?

For example....when I was at work for my last employer.....I had to adopt his program and his way of thinking into mine?  I had to separate what "I thought was right or wrong" and follow what he wanted instead?  What I thought or felt was best, right, wrong or even good for the company....was not up to me to decide?  I had to take my own feelings and thoughts "out side of work" and put them somewhere else?  As soon as I walked in the door.....I took on "his way" and spoke for he directed me to do?  I did what I was told...and I didn't ask questions.  Even if I felt it was sketchy....or thought it was a bad idea?  I followed order...even if I thought is was wrong which is my understanding ( in part )  as a form of compartmentalizing but with full awareness of it.

What I ran across with my oldest sister and even my wife is somewhat different than that?  I mentioned the possibility of ADHD with her, since she was the one who had said that she saw "in my Mom, and in me...some similar things?  As she said...."Your just lkke Mom......which at first I took offense at but then asked what it was that was the same?  When she described what was the same ( as she saw it )...that made a lot more sense to me since it was the ADHD qualties and yes, in a number of ways....I could see that easily which is not exactly the same as saying "your just like mom"  I was about to really have a problem with this since I am so much....not like my Mom in most ways..l except for the ones she mentioned which I confirmed to her "well yes.....that's the ADHD"  But when I mentioned the ADHD....but also shared with her how "myself" and her...were so much different since I am an extrovert and she is an introvert and I gave her the same explanation I learned from my T which she immediately started saying..."well that sounds like me? "
Later....she told me she had read a book on "introverts" that I can't remember the name of....but then said "and that was really good for me to read since I definitely am an introvert and I understand that now....but I'm good with that, I don't need to go any further from there?  Which was her saying......I don't want to go down the ADHD road....."I'm good with introvert and I'm comfortable with that."  I think that is a different kind of compartmentalizing than what I described?

And what I see and saw with my wife is the very same thing?  I brought up a number of possibilities to my wife about "herself" including: ADHD, Bi-Polar, PTSD and even the avoidant well as OCD and perfectionsim and pretty much everything I've learned with her?  Even her friend with ADHD....told her she wouldn't be surprised if she had ADHD so I know of at least one other person who passed that along to her?

The one...and only "item" on the list...that she jumped on and accepted....was PTSD and she has no problem talking about or accepting that much even to this day?  Like my sister....she too the "one" that was most acceptable or palatable and put the others away or dismissed them completely?

What really took me back right at first....and still to this day, I don't know exactly what my T is doing.....but as soon as my wife started joining us with the 3 of us in the room.....what ever he is doing or has been doing with my a completely different method or way he is with her...compared to me?  He was speaking to me, in almost code....and that is and was very frustrating since I was willing to discuss anything about me with "them in the room"....but he was not allowing me to say what was on my mind with my wife in the room?  Suddenly.....were in a different program...or method than the one he used with me?   I mean....the entire program had completely changed to one I did not ( and still do not know ) what you call it or what that is?  I could no longer speak openly with him ( for the very first time even with my ex in comparison ) but I quickly got from this and how it was different...was what was NOT being said?

As I learned the hard way and in context to what was happening, my T knew what i didn't know until I finally understood why that was myself

So basically with me.....I never really wanted to know exactly what he was doing....all I knew was that it working and that's all I cared about?

And my experience with my other sister when my Mom was dying...was beyond frustrating to me....since she was saying thing and speaking to my Mom...from a perspective that I knew myself...but only from what my mother had told me....which went right back to "her mother" as I heard those words again?  As she was telling my mother as she was speaking to her...."that your going to see ( the list of dead relatives ) who are waiting for her in Heaven"

Okay...this is not to criticize or say that what ever you believe is not right ...right or wrong.....this is to say...."these words were what mky mom told me when I was a little boy word for word.  And those words...were my Grandmothers words....word for word exactly as I remembered it?  To me...this was very telling since I had questioned my mothers about this at length when I was younger and didn't get any real hard answers from her so I finally gave up trying?  Back to getting kicked out of Sunday I new better than that?

But ...before my sister arrived and just took over the entire process....I was sitting there alone with my mom and hospice nurse....and simply trying to comfort my my by saying "I'm here with you now.....if you need to go, it's Okay"

That's a pretty stark contrast between...."your mom and dad and sister are all waiting for you up in heaven"....and kind of weird thing to say to a dying person who is unconscious at the time?

My other sister....was not doing that either and she was more just being present with her too but without doing what I was doing and trying to think of what my mom needed to here.....if I was there dying?  Not to be alone...was all I came up with?  Seemed like the thing to say and what would be me that was....if I was still here?   Telling me that "every ones waiting for you"  kind of would have made me feel, it's more about the people waiting than it would be about what I was really feeling in the moment od dying?  That would have pissed me it did when my sister said that?

The confirming moment for me there....was when the nurse came to me later...and told me that was one of the most moving things she had seen in all the time she had been dong that from an outside observation....I think that was the best course in that case to take.  My sister....seemed to be off in her own world in her head....but ironically, it was the same one that my mother herself had told us?

And I have to share this here, because i still think it's really kind of funny ( which may be along the same lines of this discussion ) so I thought I would just share what I was actually thinking when my sister burst into the room and found me alone with my mom and started talking about Heaven and who she was going to meet there?  I could not get...this episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" out of my head...when Larry actually dies and goes to find Moses waiting for him there?  And while he was getting the tour of Heaven....he spots Ben Hogan up there and immediately asks Moses...if he can meet him and of course he could?  So when he's talking to Ben Hogan...he finds out that Heaven as a complete 18 hole golf course and Ben tells him that when he gets settled...that he should come play a round on the links with him? LOL   And Larry is just ecstatic about being there and is completely blown away about the prospect of playing gold with Ben Hogan, and he's just beside himself with joy and anticipation?  And right then, is when Larry gets called back to earth, since the doctors resuscitated him in his hospital bed....and he's screaming NO NO....I don't want to go back!! And  I think Ben Hogan tells him, the golf round will just have to wait until he makes it back at a later date.  LOL

And that is what i couldn't get out of my head...the entire time my sister was telling my mom about all the people she was going to meet but as usual....I just kept my mouth shut? LOL  Better than being angry I guess....but it was the first thing that popped into my head as I clearly remember that moment and going "errrrrrrrr"  My conection time with my mom....had just been interupted with images of Larry David talking to Ben Hogan up in the Heaven...while ( Moses ) played by Dustin Hoffman..was setting up their T time? LOL  Sorry....that is the honest to God truth right there? LOL  What can I say?

So from my perspective.....I really don't know ( or still don't know ) where this compartmentlzing things goes hay wire?  All my T told me and again, just summarizing...that "everything has it's place"...kind of like an old fashioned switch board operator and mail sorter who is soring the mail...and putting each piece in the appropriate slot ( picture a large wall full of square slots...and the sorter is organzing them by address?  But as she said this....he explained that if something doesn't have an exact address or there is no slot to put it into.....subconsiously....this will not "it has to go into one of the slots already there" "you" or what ever it si that is being sorted, goes in the closest one...or the closest slot...even if it's not the right one and actually doesn't fit any of them?

In other words.......if something doesn't have a slot....or it's not something you understand or have seen MUST.....go in a slot!!  And so it goes into one of these mail slots.....even it really doesn't fit or belong with the rest of the mail that's there?  Even if it doesn't fit or even if it really doesn't beling in any of the slots that are can't have loose mail lying around without a slot.  This simply won't do and must go into a slot of some kind, so it goes into the nearest one closest you can find?

I know I do this....I just don't know if what I do, is the same as everyone else?



J, yes, I think we slot

J, yes, I think we slot things into what slots we've got :)

Larry David is going to do another series.  Bless his tennis shoes and pilot glasses spectacles.

Off topic, but wow... I used

Off topic, but wow... I used to love this show, but it felt like the formula has exhausted itself around season 6. Or maybe I just got bored. It might be great to see the old nerd again after all these years. :)

Back to topic, J, I see your point.

And that single paper that is not a bill, but it's not a bank statement either, do you make a compartment for it, even though it's only one paper? But then, there are many "single papers" that don't match any category. So, do you make a separate slot for each of them (kind of defies the sense of having a compartment, why not just leave it loose)? Or just one slot named "misc" (kind of defies the sense of having compartments, if various things are mixed up in one of them)? Sigh. I guess I'll just put them all on the kitchen table and decide later. :D

Your are so right BigSurprise....

Never go to a counselor w/ a person in denial....It just turns into frustration and wasted money for you....A counselor can be a good thing IF (Big IF) a person wants help...When a spouse or close friend takes it on themselves to push their mate to be aware.... It Only ends bad for the pusher.....:)


C.......I Have to Agree With You in Part

As I have said before....I was the one who sought counseling after my divorce and wanted to continue since I felt like I was getting so much out of it, while my ex wife seemed to get nothing out of it at all?  People have issues outside of ADHD ( which are attachment related ) which was when I started learning about Attachment Theory with my ex wife ( way before ADHD was part of the conversation ) Regardless, I've been with the same one for years and now with two different people which is kind of weird in one way ( however ) one has complained about my T specifically ...although the mention that "it's really not helping" has come up in both cases?

My thoughts about this resonate with what you said.  A person who is going to therapy....thinking the "therapists" is going to somehow magically fix this problem  ( a person who refuses to take responsibility as he's mentioned and remain a victim  (to their issues) and is in denial.....(yes, both go with the same territory and is a big red flag in a general pattern )  are not going to suddenly change how they see things which means having to do the "work" as they say means....looking at yourself and like your name sake or handle here says  "cure yourself"....means, looking at the things that are not so pleasant or fun to look at ( in yourself...not the other person )...which is what therapy is all about?  No matter if it's alone...or with another's all about looking at yourself and seeing what you are doing wrong?  I mean, what would you think without thinking anything else?  ( it ain't gonna suck itself you know? )....sorry, a less than polite company phrase that hits the bulls eye better than anything esle I can think of?  You can do with that as you will.....but the meaning is what is most important?  That's the meaning that somehow does not translate with a person who is in denial it appears?  They think....somehow by magic....."it's gonna suck itself" which means they are waiting for the other person to do something?

That was the mind boggling frustrating part of trying to do any exercises or anything with my wife what so ever and now I just look at it and just shake my head?  I mean, to the point of being ridiculous which I think is the "kind of compartmentalization" that I was trying to differentiate from what might be considered normal?  I mean, I compartmentalize all the time....but that is not the kind that goes with denial as a defense mechanism which is astounding, baffling, frustrating and down right maddening ( crazy making ) when a person employs it to "block" what they don't want to or can't look at?   I watch this in action ( or experience it in real time ) is the part that makes you almost lose your mind it's so exasperating?

One of the most telling examples of this that I can think of was watching this video on FaceBook of an interview that took place in a senate appropriations committee hearing?  Forget about the topic, it's irrelevant to what I'm saying.  The most poignant take away from this video was what the "interviewer said" and how he responded?  As he said" "I didn't walk in her with my hair on fire.....but I'm walking out of here with it!!  I have never ( and I means in10 years ) run up against anything like it in the all time I've been doing this?  This is totally unacceptable!!!  That's you answer????"

And the interviewee said "Yes, that's my answer"

That was a real defining moment for me going...."this is it.....and it's never going to change unless she changes it?"  This is what my life will be like in 10 years....just like this interview?  It definitely takes two and with 3 you get eggroll.  With denial and no awareness.....all you get is a poke in the eye with a blunt stick each and every time to you attempt to communicate or even try and talk about anything with someone like this?  Just like this......until "they change".  And you can't do it for them, you can only change yourself.

Compartmentalization gone horribly wrong.  My blood pressure went up just watching this video!!! LOL ( Yikes!!! )  I definitely felt the interviewers pain!  But it doesn't stop there.  The "poking continues" INCESSENTLY!!  poke ,poke, poke, poke until ( I ) blow my Top!  It's like the Hornets nest is already buzzing with a lot of agitated "bees" upstairs.......but when my hair burst into flames and Hornets nest just got one too many rocks thrown at it, it's all I can do to keep my shit togeter and just so I don't lose it all over the place? 

Fix'in to git a might bit riled up and then some!!!  It takes all the energy I got in me....not to blow my lid and lose my mind at times in the face of this exact same thing?  The added poking is just the cherry on top or the straw that breaks the Camels back?  ( sheese )  It's like she has no idea she does this and her brother does the same thing in the same way which I've tried to explain to her at times but I understand....explaining it to her is like talking to a brick wall?  It doesn't nothing to stop it and it just keeps comiing?

You can only "fix it".....if you can see it, just like you can only draw it if you see it?  If you can't see it.....then you can't fix it?  That's what denial does for keeps it buried in your subconscious but it is definitely there?  Compartmentalization without awareness....and as part of the dissociation that takes place means it's got to go somewhere....and where it goes in all over you? ( the other person )  Even if they have no idea what they are doing, what they are doing feels like the neighbor dog coming into your yard to do his bussiness everyday and then goes back to his own yard where he doesn't have to deal with his own shit?  That's exactly what it feels like.....getting "dumped on" "pooh" at a time!!! poke, poke poke simply never stops!!

This, I can say with a fair amount of certainty.  I may have my ways and my means to complain and vent and all things negative ( and criticize, and mock and be sarcastic and the whole nine yards )  But.....I am very aware of what I'm doing, what I am saying ( at least the impulse and what actually gets said ) and even if I might say something "sharp" or "pointed" is usually in direct relationship with something being said or happening in the moment when I say it?  There is a direct the words that come out of my direct relationship to what is happening at the time?  Not about the past.....but directly in relationship to "right now this minute" and I can remember exactly what I said and why I said it if someone were to aks me?  I know what AI am feeling.....and I know WHY......I am feelking it...and if someones asks me a straight forward question.....I know the answer and I know why I feel the way I do? 

What I definitely do not do ( without question and without hesitation ) go around "poking people" for no reason, and if I do, I have a reason and I can say so up front?  I definitely do not go looking for trouble and try an avoid conflict as best I can?  My wife is like a conflict magnet......she "has to poke" get rid of any uncomfortable feelings or to "send a message" everywhere she goes?  These are so trivial and so petty...they are hardly worth mentioning....but if someone walked up to you and started "poking you in the arm" with the tip of their finger......after about 500 of those in the same spot...over and over ( none stop ) again and again....and you tell them to knock it off...and then 2 minutes later within telling them to stop it....they do it again? I don't know about you, but all I want to do is grab that finger, and break it in two...and then say "try that one more time.....and see what happens!!!"   errrrrrrrrrr!  Poke poke poke poke poke......snap!!!  You only have to tell me once to stop ( what ever ) and I will actully rmemeber and do my best not to do it?  Unless I am just venting which I know when I'm doing that for most part even if it leals out in a negative way?  But I never look at someones food that just arrived on the table.,..and before the person has a chance to take the first bite ( of their food....not mine ) and say "that's looks aweful.....that looks like it's undercooked, or I hate spaghetti makes me want to puke ...or point out of something "wrong"....with "my food"....just before I take a bite? Like...WTF??'s not "your food" and "you" don't have to eat it?
Second.....what does it matter that "you" don't like Spaghetti?  I like it, or I wouldn't have ordered it?  Do you have some kind problem with me eating "Spaghetti"...or you have a problem with having to look at it?  Which one is it?
Third........what business is it of yours anyway?  That's not a rhetorical question?

Fourth........WHO CARES if you don't like Spaghetti?  I mean really?  Who cares that much about what you think?  I really don't need your opinion of my Spaghetti...and I also don't appreciate you "taking a dump" right in the middle of my plate, before I even take the first bite?  What are you trying to do here?  Ruin my enjoyment and my enjoying my taking a huge dump in the middle of my Spaghetti because "YOU" don't like Spaghetti?  Why would you do that?  What are you trying to say here?  What message are you sending and why?  Huh?  That is not a rhetorical question?   poke poke poke!!!

click.......errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr    There you go.....and it never stops no matter how many times you  bring it up?  ( poke poke poke poke ) everywhere she goes?  It is just petty and unimportant....but after the 5000th gets more than just old?  With me, I about lose my shit after that much time, and sometimes I have....just like this guy in the video.  Not just kind of "like it"......"exactly like it".....non stop and just keeps on happening day after day and never stops.   The difference between "denial"...and "not in denial" ...I guess?  One is outside of your awareness...and the other is inside of it...even if you do it and it comes know you did it..and you also know why?  One is a choise....the other is without choice, unintentional and completely unaware?  What is needed is a wake up wake up and smell the bacon in this case I guess?

Just like this guy in the video except in the did not include the interviewee.....following afte the interviewer and keep repeating the same thing as the guy is trying to get away from him?  This video didn't include the "poking the Hornets nest"...right after the guys hair was set on fire!!! LOL First you light the Hornets nest on fire....then you throw rocks at it?  ( not the wisest thing to do in my thinking? LOL )  Nothing like adding insult to injury?  Maybe that's where they coined that phrase?? LOL  But the most exaperating part of all is when you stand there and tell them what they just did...and they get mad at you and say  "no I didn't....that's what you just did"    It's enough to make you lose you mind!! LOL  And then some.

C....that's the part I agree with you on and why therapy won't do anything very effectively to stop this or make this change unless they want to go for themselves....not thinking it's exclusively for your partner to change( only)?

  The only part I won't agree with but you really didn't mention this that I got a lot out of going to therapy with my wife.....even if she didn't?  I had an unfair advantage and a  big head start....but none the less, what I learned from my T in this case....was what to do and why you do it....when confronted with someone like this?  At least for me.....I learned why that a person like this is just not a good fit for me.....even if I can live with them....they certainly cannot live with me but to the point....they will not leave it or you alone.  ( poke poke poke poke )  That will drive you mad....after the 10,000th time.  Not for one minute do I not know why on my end.....I'm just saying....I do not do that....I can take it or leave it and I can deal and cope with things on my own and not have to 'take it out on" other people as a rule?  Unless they are in my face that the moment, not about the past? ( except the poking) and going around taking a dump....on my food just before I eat it?  Or the many other variations in the hundreds of different ways this comes out everywhere, all the time, non stop?  Kicking the exactly what it is?  That's a deal breaker for me........that is totally unacceptable. ( with extreme predudice and contempt ) That is simply no good.  Unless your intention is to rile that person up or shake things up to get peoples attention or use in a politcal debate?  That';s different and for a different reason?   But no one wants to live at a political ralley 24/7.....with a member of the opposing party for a room mate of spouse?  Know what I mean? ( sheese )  And of wife contends she is not this way and will say so which is not true...but she simply in denial of it and actually believes it which is different than lying with the intention to deceive?  That, she really hasn't done as far as I can tell but it is hard to tell sometimes?  Mostly...the results of her actions shows she is more unaware than aware...but there is no way for me to tell exactly and what parts she is..and which parts she isn't.  The poking...she simply has no awareness of while she is doing it....but you can't tell her she is doing it....or she will blow a gasket., which is why she stays in denial so she won't have to look at it....I can tell that much for sure.  This is a closed topic for discussion...she has made that perfectly clear.


PS....Before I completely neglect to say......the therapy I got out of being here and participating as well as far as what I learned in conjunction with everything else?  That you might say is "priceless" to be direct and right to the point?  No way I can even put a value on that, and simply the opportunity to do so?  What more can I say other than you simply have no idea  .( other than Thank more time ;)

Therapy, Self Diagnosis and the Attachement Answer

I guess this is a follow up to me, actually putting everything in it's place and looking past this ( puzzle) that I have been trying to solve ( or get to an answer ) that at least, satisfies my enough to know what I am seeing and then know what I'm going to do about it?  I've read through the comments here again and they really are helpful to me in that I recognize the things being said and that really is validating?  What I'm saying is I recognize these things in myself and just where I stand?  Maybe I can just speak to what I know about myself now with a pretty firm conviction that I know enough, to know that even if I'm not 100% correct about everything.....I am in the ball park and the rest I can worry about as it comes.....knowing what I know?

So how do I know what I know?  Well, I know everything I use to think,  and I know everything that I feel about those things....and then I know everything I've learned after the fact ( in the retrospect ) and I know that too?  Now it is just a matter of seeing where the differences between these two meet, and trying to fit myself into the new picture?  It really is like a jig saw puzzle...where each new piece you fit that fits, you get to see more of the picture?  I think what I'm saying here is and maybe it's somewhat the same in my own way of seeing it......that there is an existential or esoteric ( feeling of somethings wrong ) that is not going to go away or be resoved until you can see what it is? 

Actually, what is true as I have found....that the feeling doesn't go away....but it changes from what it was, and that comes from solving the jig saw puzzle and finding where all the pieces fit?  And as far as letting go or knowing when to "stop solving?"  You know that when you see "enough" of the jig saw puzzle to see what that picture or image is?  You don't have to keep doing the puzzle just to finish it....that isn't the goal?  The goal is just to see enough of the picture to actually know what it is?  If you still have a few pieces left and some of the corners or spots left can still see this beautiful scene of a water mill and an old Mill house on a Mill creek with a big Willow Tree next to it and a boy in a row boat paddlling along on a nice sunny day? 

I mean, if part of the Willow Tree is left unfinished....undoubtedly even if you see all those left over peices with green leaves on them lying on the table....that picture is not going to change much aside from simply being fully complete with no peices on the table?  Like I's not about finishing the picture's just about being able to see the "scene" in it's entirety....and that is when it's time to stop I think?  You've seen "get the picture" or say....."I get it" and that's really the truth right there?

And of course....that's my picture I'm talking about?  If I don't have my "picture" fully in view.....then when you add someone elses picture to mine.....then it makes it difficutl to get the picture of the two of you together and this is where the co-dependency starts seeping in?  Without a clear image of what that picture looks like....those ( unfinished areas ) the jig saw puzzle....are left completely blank meaning...those big areas of the puzzle left unfinished..,..need some more pieces fit into it, to at least get an idea of what you are seeing? 

And without those peices available ( or answers from the other person ) do end up just like the senator in the commitee hearing with your hair on fire?  Like he said, "I have NEVER run into anything like this, in all the time I've been doing this.....all I want is some God Damned answers.....and YOU REFUSE to give them to me!!!!  Unbeleivable!! "

Why I come back there is important to understand from my perspective.  I have been struggling with something the entire time I have been here in fact, it is the reason ( mainly ) that I have come to understand that is "REAL"....meaning "reality".  I struggle with or have problems with "non-reality" or can I say "partial reality" which means the "incomplete picture" and I suspect that is ( possibly ) not what others without ADHD struggle with and I think my suspiciouns are correct?  I cannot know that, I just suspect that it which by default, I simply say "yes" this is most likely the case?  I'm different than evreryone else in this way, so I've got to dig deeper and find these things out so I know what to do with it and know how to manage that situation better?  In other words, I need more of the picture and I need to know more than I am getting since this is not enough to do what I know I can do?

The video of the Senator was not staged or an act.  That was a real life drama happening and everything was authentic and very real?  It wasn't scripted and his reactions ( as a human being ) were recognizable to me.  I knew how he felt, and I knew why he felt that way?  In fact, I new exactly why he felt that way since I feel that way all the time.  It is a very familiar feeling and wanting to know out of curiousity is not what that was all about?  As he said, "we have a crisis going on, and if we are going to do anything to "fix it"...I need the simply answers ...answered, so I can do something about it?  Some kind of action is required, and I can;t do anything until you answer the questions and fill in the "blanks" of this puzzle?  This particular "crisis" puzzle that I need those peices "first" so I can fix it? 

And ..."All I want is some God Damned answers....and you REFUSE TO GIVE THEM TO ME!!!"   But as I understand and know now....that's not the problem here with much of what we're talking about?  It is not a conscious or deliberate Refusal.....that is already going down the wrong road in this case.   And this gets right down to the the question of WHY?   For the Senator, the answer or solution is clear.  When he gets those answers, then he can fix the problem or at least, set about the task of making it right with a plan or action and some kind of remedy.  Problem solved?  Not so much as to what we are talking about....."problem solved" is knowing the "WHY" first.....which means in terms of denail......that person doesn't know WHY....and they have no idea and they simply don't know, so they "can't answer the questions".  It is not a refusal as much as something else preventing this from happening and that is the "WHY"....and the jig saw puzzle that needs to be completed (first) before you can go any further?

So what is the base line between a non-ADHD person and an ADHD person?  What is the common ground that "both" can see and use to come to an understanding?  "Reality" is that simply and that difficult all at the same time?  And since everyone seems to have a different reality based on them and all the differences and the reasons why.....then what is "real" and what is "illusion" and what is the base line here for every human being on the planet?  The "reality" that everyone shares, no matter who you are?  What does that picture look like...and what is "real" or "not real"?  I can answer that with what I know.  What I know is....I have my own reality and I can see that clearly....and ....I have come to learn how to see the other realities their are...and see where the common ground is?  And I can see the differences which tells me where I am different than everyone else and that right there is the big picture  ( not just my puzzle ) but mine and the level I am able?

What I have discovered which is a remarkable that I really can see things at times that others don't always see or they miss ( or they can't ) and that can be a beautiful thing?  It can also be as frustrating as all get out...when you can see something that ( apparently?? ) no one else can see....or at least, fewer people than most...which can be very disheartening?  And this internet thing  ( this artificial reality ) really messes me up?  Same with simply talking on the phone or communicating just by writing?  Without that person there....standing right in front of me....I have a hard time operating ( as I would normally ) without all that information missing?  As my T has suggested in speaking about his as "just a slice of the pie" not the "whole pie" which is reality?  This is the same problem ( as I see it ) with Porn or even masterbating.  Fiction, fantacy, imagination and "virtual anything" including "virtual sex" via not real......but it is  as my T has said  " a slice of the pie".  This, I have so clearly defined in my mind that I cannot see how anyone else cannot see this?  It is beyond obvious to I might assume everyone else see's it this way?  In the same it enough to feel satisfied and the answer is's not enough, but it's better than nothing you might say?  Do you have to have it ....can you live without?  That is a good question.....but of course the answer is yes?  The answer is yes....but now where does that leave you?  Can you be Okay without it......or...."as good"...with nothing?

This is the same thing I discovered by going on FaceBook.  FaceBook is no different than Porn in the same way?  It leaves you wanting more....since it is not enough.  It is just a "slice of the pie" and is not "real".  Whithin the "slice of the pie" that it is.....that is very real.  But is it enough to meet your needs...and be satisfied?  For me the answer is simply no.  And the reason for that is very easy for me to answer......the way I function and the way I operate best, is "live in person" due to both my strengths and limitations.  The limitations come from "needing to be live and in person"....but when I am is where all my "strengths" kick in?  Without the "reality" and the "real person" there to gather all thyat missing energy and all the millions or sublte physcial cues happening that my radar and my senses are all designed to recieve....."words" alone can't give me that or replace it for me?  There is a giganitic hole in my ability to read and understand without that "tons" of info that I get, from being "live" in person?  I need very few words, in that case since I can get a "sense" from them....and I know what that means?  It tells me a great deal, without anything being said?  And I didn't have to have anyone teach or tell me how to do that?  It just happens all on it's own and I really didn't need to know why to know what I know but without any ability to explain it or say...."how I know?"  The same with animals too.  I have always been able to sense, what they are feeling and from that I can act or do accordingly since they cannot "talk" or "tell you" these things?  And they seem to understand or know when you do this?  Somehow, they know, that you know and they relate to you and you with them and no one is saying much of anything?  Animals do this and so do people (I think? ).  All I know is, I do it and I don't know how exactly....but I know exactly what I know, and this is what I know?  And I know, I have always been able to do this going back as far as I can remember?  It is like reading "brail' I guess?  Either you can read "brail" of you can't?  And if you can't read brail, then you won;t know what the message is written to know what it is saying?  This is most frustrating and really aggrivating!! LOL  I can read "people" way.....and they can't seem to "get it" the same way I can?  But.....take my ability away from me..and put me in this artificual contructed world of the inter net....and bam......I'm left without my abilities anymore...and now all I got is just words?  Highly say the least!! LOL  It is very difficult, to ge the same sense.....from only "a slice of the pie"?  All that does, is kind od leaves me I just got dropped off on the side of the road...and left there standing there frustrated at times?  It's like I needed a ride all the way into town....and the driver just pulled over out of the blue and told me to get out? LOL That is exactly what it feels like and I'm going, "Okay then.....I guess I need to hitch hike the rest of the way and catch another ride?" LOL  And apparently, what is good enough for not good enouhg for others and this is what I thinking or feeling as to why I never pursued the "inter net" and this new techonology thing?  That includes the smart phones and all these gadgets....that are "created intelligence" or "AI" which I don't care which way you sloice's still mising something very reall...and very muchy needed to get the picture or the entire "Pie of understanding"?  And this is what makes people move away sometimes including my wife there for sure?  It's the fact that I penetrate ( kind of intensly.ya think ? lol ) but only when I need to know more and I need more information?  That get the whole pie of understanding which I am fully aware that I do this?  In person, however......I don't need to do this?  In person....I get all that info...and I can work from my senses just fine.  My senses have almost never failed me since they are all based in "reality"...."like energy" happening...right now?  All I remember ( in a humourous way ) when I was little was hearing ( constantly )...."don't touch that" LOL.  "Why not?" I would always say?

Well, I know now why not, since it pisses people off!! LOL  It really makes people nervous, when you go around toching everything!!! LOL  But the fact is how I learn?  Tactile, and how I learn things?  I get from that, a great deal of information...that there is no way to an "artificial world" or the "reality" or the "internet"...."the virtual slice of the pie".  I need to "touch it...hold it, and feel it" in order to understand's really that simple?  Simple for me....unlike trying to do it another way which is where all my challenges come in?  More information is get what I am not getting to see the entire puzzle "enough" to call it good?  That's really all I need....just enough of the picture to tell me what it is?

I'm sorry for making this a long post....but I am going somewhere with all of this.  I just read this the other day and more and more light and understanding came from this...from having that puzzle picture enough to see exactly where I stand here?

I can say this now better than I have before.....what is almost more know too much than not knowing or knowing to little?  If I am "ADHD"....then that is who I am or what I have?  What no one knows and there is no way to just how much I know...and just how much I aware of?  The symptoms really tell you nothing more...than the slice of the pie.  That is all you the "whole rest of the pie" is missing  or unknown?  Maybe what you see is what you get?  And maybe there is lot more in there or that I am completely aware of....and not being given credit for?  Maybe...I know a lot and in fact....maybe I know things other people don't know which is more to the truth than anyhting else?  I am way more than the slice....and then some but that came from a lifetim of learning so I am right where I am?  Nothing more...but nothing less?  That is reality.....and that really is what I need more than anything else?  And I just want straight answers .....from straight questions and nothing more?

This is that thing that really really hits up against this things my wife does that does make me crazy?  She asks tell you something?  errrrrrrrr!!!  Like in drives me batty!!  Really.  She asks or poses questions....when she doesn't want an answer?  She asks questions....when she is trying to tell you something which to me is completely ass backwards?  Why...on earth...,would you "ask a question"....and that is actually "telling you anything?" LOL  Or a method or means to tell you something?  I mean crap.....if I know what it is.....then I wouldn't ask the question? Why would you ask a question....and not want to know the answer?  And if you know the answer...then why would you ask the question?  I mean....lets not make this more difficult than it needs to be?  If you know the damn answer...then spit it out!!! LOL ( as I see it ) which is part of our communication problem which makes no sense to me at times?  And then when she asks and I answer her....she stop me and say...."sometimes I just want to be heard? "  I get why are you asking me questions and being heard at the same time if you don't want the answer?  As I have also come to learn...that "can we talk"....means.....she talks...I listen...there is not talking on my account wanted or needed? LOL  In both talking or neither wanted or appreciated! LOL  ( which is frustrating as Hell!! ) LOL

Here's what I read...speaking about diagnosis, therapy and attachment.  And just to be clear here.....I know what I am seeing....both in myself..and my wife.....and I see the entire picture here?  At least know where I am...and where my wife I know what I need to do or what I can expect so I can act accordningly?  This is just a good summary of the all the possible peices and what they are?  The symptoms and the possbilities and what "might be" but not necessarily?

And just so you know, now refelcting back in time?  ODD....was really not my issue?  Maybe a "tad bit" here and there, but that really wasn't my "thang".  I got over that for the most part, even if there was a little in there, it wasn't an issue as much as other things for sure.  At least, not as much as some and it appeared to go away after a certain time which really was "my reality" why it's so confusing and so difficult to place one person with ADHD...compared t another?  I ge that now, more than ever before?  I have and had my own "thang" going on....but just to self report now after all is said and done?  ODD really wasn't a big "thang" or problem....and it wasn't then...and it still isn't now?  My wife....on the other hand.....that's a horse of a different color.  I get it and I see the picture clearly now if I didn't  before?  My hair is far less on fire as it has been....since I got the answers to the "WHY" question....which is contained in this article?  Either you see it....or you don't?  I couldn't see it, until I had all the pieces and then put the puzzle together enough and that was all I needed?   I think that is the bottom line?  Know thine own self....that's the key.

There are several self-reporting tools used to screen for adult ADHD. Examples of these scales include the Wender Utah Rating Scale and the Copeland Symptom Checklist for Adult Attention Deficit Disorders. Although use of self-reporting scales in adults has been shown to accurately describe ADHD symptomatology,[18] the scales lack specificity. Additional measures are needed to assist in making the diagnosis of adult ADHD.[19,20] Rating scales may aid in monitoring the symptoms and course of the disease.

The differential diagnosis of ADHD must exclude comorbid psychiatric conditions, such as major depression and substance abuse. Medical conditions in the differential diagnosis include hyperthyroidism, hepatic disease, intoxications, and sleep-disordered breathing.[21] A thorough medical evaluation, including a thyroid panel, serum lead level, and urine drug screen, are indicated to rule out these disorders. No specific neuropsychologic testing is recommended for the diagnosis of ADHD, but it may be useful when the diagnosis is uncertain. The testing should be individualized for each patient.[20]

Personality traits have been associated with adults who have ADHD,[22] particularly an increased incidence of mild histrionic traits. Adults with ADHD and comorbid disorders demonstrated avoidant and dependent personality styles. When oppositional defiant disorder occurs with ADHD, avoidant, narcissistic, antisocial, aggressive-sadistic, and negativistic traits are often found.


One More Thing to Add in Here

Another one of those "tid bits" that my T gave me as a tool to use.  As he said...."are you going towards something?  Or are you going away from it?"  As I see my wife rigth now, with all that we've gone through, she's been "going away from something" the entire time....and she's still doing it......right now this very minute?  And the best of my ability and to the best I am able....have been going towards something?  We have been like two ships passing in the night...the entire time.  I get that...and see that clearly.


The question why


thank you for your detailed posts. I enjoy reading your prospectives. I admit I did read this one in its entirety so please correct me if I'm on the wrong line of thinking here. My h and I go thru this why thing a lot with me being the one with the question. I think I ask that because i see the same behavior time and time again and somehow I'm hoping that he will really think about the why and some kind of light bulb will go off and he will realize this is not a circumstantial issue but a habitual symptomatic issue and then I'll get a response that makes me feel like he gets it! Unrealistic I know! The "can we talk" syndrome where she talks you listen is another merry go round we get on and I have realized I do this and not to excuse it but here's the "why" for me. I basically feel like I've heard every rationalization excuse justification known to man and until I hear some accountability and acceptance of responsibility I really don't want the same old bs. I'm not saying you do this but mine does and I frankly can't take it anymore. 

Dear anteight...............LOL

You want to hear something funny?  I'll start with what you said and then comment on a couple of things.  I ( think ) I have finally got this "WHY"?....answer or riddle solved.  I'm laughing at myself for being so stubborn but in this case, it's one of "those" times that something was telling me something, and that something was "right".  It was in part, a feeling, a sense or just plain not understanding what I was looking at?  But making this simple.....I was seeing, and experiencing "something"...that just wasn't right?  Here we are, and my wife is moving out....and even with that, I have never experienced anyone behave or act the way she does in any of the 100's  ( maybe thousands by now )of different situations we've been in where it's like "huh??" ( scratching ).  Not only that, but I have never known anyone who was so "self unaware"....but in the weirdest of ways?  I mean, this is all brand new to me and I've got to say this straight up front.  I've been with a woman who was Borderline and not just one, but possibly a couple?  One confirmed by a therapist and others suspected as such?  And then there's my family members with my mom and my sisters and this mentioned of "mild Histrionic" traits. a life time of expereince with that too.....mostly my middle sister who is undiagnosed ADHD.  And my older sister is undiagnosed ADHD ( definitely inattentive )  OMG!!  Inattentive and then some?  Highly intelligent though, to the point that she really figured shit out on her own and she has her "ways".  Don't try and get in the middle of "her ways" though.....she will protect those babies like they are Fort Knox.  But.......she functions ( highly ) because she has created a system that absolutely works for her and she is like clockwork in precision.  She is "consistant" like there is no tomorrow, just don't ask or make her change from her system and everything is hunky dory.  And her husband seems to be fine with it but he use to travel all the time for work, and he like lots of space and time away to do his own thing so that's just fine with my sis and him apparently with "lots of space" betwee them?  Some people are like that...and they are those people.  If she was married to someone else.....they probably be her complaining?  I'm thinking?

The other kind of spastic ( my own endearing word for her...she is my sister and I Love her to death )...but she kina spastic none the less and is a little bit all over the place.  Always late, always got every waking minute of the day planned or penciled in with someone....and she is a like a Doctor who over-books and doesn't leave enough room or margin for any overages.  The appointments at the end of the day.....are the people who have to wait the longest since each appointment, she runs over 5 or 10 minutes and by the end of the can be an hour or an hour an a half by that time so if she says 5pm.......I automatically add and hour and I know I will be safe?  Last time we had dinner scheduled when she was in town....she told me to meet her at 5:00pm.  I added 30 minutes and stopped for gas which put me almost 40 minutes late for our dinner date.  I got there at 5:40pm..and my phone rang and it was my sister.  Okay, nothing new, I expected it but I just guessed early this time?  She say she will be there in 10 minutes and it was 15 minutes when she arrived for a total of 55 minutes late which for her.....that's doing pretty good?  It was Mexican so I got some salsa and some chips and a Margarita and watched the Baseball game in the bar.

This is my life.  These are my family members snd there is nothing here that phases me on tiny bit?  My sister being an hour late for dinner. HA!  Waiting on the women in my house was a way of life?  No problem......this thing about "lying" if you wanted to pin that on my sister?  Ha!!  She would not lie to anyone, if her life depended on it?  She is the most trust worthy person I know? ( one of them )  And she is simply beyond "Christian"....she lives and breaths it, every single day.  And then there was my mom?  Forget about! LOL   At her wake and memorial....I gave a Eulogy that was specifically designed to be able to tell a crowd of people things or stories about my mother that had to do with this kind of "special relationship" we had....going all the way back to my teen age years when my sisters were gone out of the house and it was just me, my dad and mom?  

You have to understand one thing here.  I....was NOT use to ....being an only child.  By age 12 ( which was when my other sister left home for college ) I had my program down and I was just fine flying under the radar and keeping a low profile?  And mostly, it was because of my mom.  She had a tendency, to focus very intensely....on who ever she was focused on...and who she was focused mostly on my spastic sister, or lets say, more on the one with some "histrionic tendencies".  Fine with me!!!!  It was NOT the kind of attention I was looking for let me tell you?

So when the eye of Sauron...turned my way......I was already just starting to be a rebellious teenager.....this simply did not do and I made that pretty clear!! LOL  This began, this weird relationship, where I began to teach my mother in just how things really were? LOL  NOT, the other way around?  But in those years and especially when my father traveled and it was just my mom and I.......we had some really interesting conversations where I was going  "um........... ( I think there's something wrong with my mom LOL )"  In fact, I knew there was...and told her so straight up right out of the blue?  And what she told me was facinating and I will always remember this?  She said....she knew something was wrong when she was about 30 but never told anyone ( so she was actually telling me...the first and only person she told )  And she said.....that she knew ( your father ) would never go for paying for a pyschologist....but she knew she said....and had resigned her self to her station and this was it for her.  That was when I was about 16 or 17 ans further....she made this cryptic comment about....."wishing we could do more for you" which I was going  .....what  does that even mean?   Spit  it out...will you? errrrrrrr"!!!  LOL  And...Who's this (we) here by the way?.....I only see you here talking to me MOM!!" LOLerrrrrrrr"!!!  LOL  And...Who's this (we) here by the way?.....I only see you here talking to me MOM!!" LOL

So to say, I haven't seen it all......might be a mild understatement but really.......I've been with a number of woman over the years in both married and unmarried situations ( in may shapes and sizes ) and I didn't think you could throw something at me, that I had never seen before?  Until now.......and this totally freaked me out!!!  And I will my moments of utter despair and exasperation with someone or something that was so bizzarre acting.....that I would yell at her and throw my hands up and go ":You're a Freak!!  Freak of Nature!!!  What the Fuck is Wrong with YOU!!!!"  errrrrrr!!!!!   Which I'm not proud of ...but I had just hit the wall one too many times plus this person was aggressing on me at the time which just added to this and then some!  Hostile aggressive...not passive aggressive!! LOL  But still.....something wasn't adding up, and when things don't add up...I can be kind of bull dog and ferreting out the truth or fining out what that is?  It was be there waiting until I finally find out so I'd rather find out sooner than later even IF......the person is gone?  I really hate mysteries unless they come with some kind of answer to the crime or some ending to them that can put it to rest?

So this is a completely different WHY than I have ever encountered before?  Which is where I can start with what you said now and make a couple of comments to it just to start?  As you said "The "can we talk" syndrome where she talks you listen is another merry go round we get on and I have realized I do this and not to excuse it but here's the "why" for me. I basically feel like I've heard every rationalization excuse justification known to man and until I hear some accountability and acceptance of responsibility I really don't want the same old bs. I'm not saying you do this but mine does and I frankly can't take it anymore."

There's something you have to know or keep in mind here?  I laid out my ADHD to my wife in great detail.....I warned of her specifically of my limitations and spelled it out to her ahead of time and gave her ...or handed her on a silver platter, all my weakness and so on in an effort to almost "talk her out of being with me".  Almost, but not quite.  Someone, who has strong Narcissistic qualities....will have a strong start targeting your weak points and go after them as a menas to start breakding you down.  When you tell someone point blank  " are my weakness's"  and further, when "can we talk comes" and the why question comes from her?  I can tell you straight up what my answer go her was?  "Hey, do not you not recall me saying that this is my weakest thing?  That this is directly tied to my ADHD?  Did you not recall, our talk about my plan of action?  How I am taking actions steps one  by one and doing them just as I said I would?  Do you not recall us having a long and detailed conversation...about this plan:  What I was going to do?  How I was going to do it?  How long this would take?  How long that would take?  That I'm doing them in this order   1 , 2 , 3....rigtht out of the book?  Just like the BOOKS said?  Do you not recall, me saying this?  Do you not recall  US talking a bout this already?  Do you not recall....that we already talked about this?  And now, here we are talking about it again?  do you not recall...any of that? apears to me, you are singling out.....only the things I am absolutely worst want to keep reminding me daily, how I fail.  What the Fuck is wrong with you!!!  You Freak!!"    

The last part I just threw in there because it still frustrates me but I have a better idea now of what this is?  When someone comes to you in the morning..and they say can we talk?  And you tell them during that talk, you are going to do something, and you give them a time frame you will do it in...and you anser them directly and say "I will do this by this time on Sunday.....and it's Wednesday morning.....and on Wednesday afternoon, they bring it up again, and you give them the same the same question, and then later that day say late in the afternoon....they bring it up again  ( on Wednesday ) and you go, " know, asking me 3 times the same day when I told you Sunday ...and it's still Wednesday....sounds like  ( two sylobols ) sounds think, if you keep asking the same question over and will get a different answer than Sunday?  Sounds think?  If you keep on pstering me, it will get doen sonner even agreed Sunday would be fine?  Sounjds like  Sunday, is not fine and you changed your mind?  Sounds like that to me?  What the Fuck is the problem here?

Anger irritations, blaming blah blah blah  from her.  Throw it back in my face or even if I'm nice....there is some kind  of double talking going on as an answer?

Then later, that there's a written note on the counter...a note dealing with the same topic hand written right where I can't miss it........and it;'s Wednesday night?  And we had that "can we talk converstation that morning?"

That right there, is bizarre and unsual? LOL  and that right there when I would come to the end of my rope on the same day...I mean, WTF???   4 times....and the last one when I called her on the 3r5d one...she leaves me a note instead of speaking cause she knows full well that 3 strikes and she she has to sneak another one in the back door and serrapticously leave a note......thinking that somehow thats not the same thing?  I mean really?  I've seen it all  ( ADHD included ) but I have never seen that in all the years I;ve been on this planet and that is when I scream  "FREAK"....caus that just freaks my shit out!!! LOL  It's like an evil clown that follows you around and is waiting arojund every corner?  ( I have a thing about clowns...ever since the movie Poltergeist LOL )You nevere know when she will strike next and come at you again with the same thing that you just talked an hour ago...or like a kid in the back seat on a car trep saying...."are we there yet"  but at least with a kid, you can yell at them and tell them to put a lid on it and they will listen to you when it gets to that point? LOL  I mean really?

And that one just happened this week?  LOL  I kid you not?  One of hundreds or maybe 1000's of those....never ending, on a constant basis?

Anyway....our T has confirmed PTSD with my wife and even wrote a letter for her job so she can work 4 days instead of 5 ( 4 10's ) so that way, she can no lose her job, but at the same time, comes home more irriated and aggrevated than before.  And as I was wrigting this, she came home and within 5 minutes, asked if "we can talk" again ( just now ) an irritated voice and I just now told her  " can it wait until I'm finished here unless it something postive or it's not going to tell me something I didn't do ( fidning my weak ness again after  2 mintures in the door ) and she got angry and pissy and said  "this is why I'm leavning".  Specifically, she got angry because I didn't drop everything, to come her what "I had done wrong" which I'm sure, is something related to something that she "told me to do" and I know exactly what it is.  I never agreed or said...."I will do this thing".....she was walking out the door and gave some "command" and I didn't do it, but I never said I would?  Like she thinks, she can just bark out and order...and step and fetch it will imediately "jump to" and do it?  The difference is......I ignore those "commands"...until she learns to act like a decent human being instea of this "person " she  becomes which I know sho that person is by the sound ofthat voice?  That voice bbelongs to Mini Me.......and I don't not hear Mini Me or respond to Mini Me ....or speak or acknowledgte Mini if Minim Me is not even there?  and Mini gets really pissy when Mini gets ignored.  Tough shit're SOL on that one.  errrrrrr! LOL  This literally just happend  as I was writing this?  And I am laughing now...because that negativity is coming to and end.  The evil clown will no longer be lurking and I can relax and do what I need to I have been the entire time?  That I speled out to her indetial with a detiled plan of attack.  That she see's me doing...but will never ackowledge it?

Thkis is now, what I think I"m seeing?  No one has mentioned this before, I just stumgled across this the other day?  Oh, and I found out from her just this week a few more bits of the puzzle...and no, there was no alchoholism with her mother at the time she was born or pregnant with her ...nor with her borther at the time.  Her real father as I found out, dspite any of his failings which I have heard of.....was a tea totaler, and didn't drink alchohol except or rare occasins.  And her mother, was 18 and moved straight from her familys home when she got pregnant with my wife..and that family had no alchohol in the alchohol was not even in the equation?  Just found that out this week...for the first time ever hearing about that?

Putting 2 + 2 together now.....I stumbled on CPTSD....COMPLEX POST TRAMATIC STRESS SYNDROME...or Developmental Trauma Disorder...which had this list of symptoms.

attachment <-----huge

neurobiology & physiology

emotional regulation and processing

core identity of self is fragmented and incoherent

cognitive and behavioral regulation is challenging

also huge: CAN BE CAUSED BY EMOTIONAL NEGLECT ALONE <--- which often prevents a person from getting help or identifying any trauma in their lives as we have yet to fully explore neglect as commonly as more clearly identifiable traumatic 'events'

flashbacks can often present as "emotional flashbacks" or "Somatic flashbacks" without the reliving of a memory through visual or auditory sensation.....these are scary and confusing and less discussed than the flashbacks we usually hear about or see played out on TV

Repeated traumatization, typically during childhood and developmental years

A real or perceived sense that one cannot escape, totalitarian control, authoritarianism, power over dynamics  ***  ( note )  percieved or real......meaning, I'm a passive guy...I'm not into the whole dominating and controlling thing.  That's not who I am

The 'self' literally developed within pervasive trauma/neglect and lack of ability to escape these conditions which makes seperating onesself from the truama freaking hard and complicated and scary. There is no 'before the trauma' for us. 

Folks with CPTSD can often exhibit the outwardly signs recognized with PTSD such as anxiety and avoidance behaviors, but they have literally developed their identities within the containers of trauma, neglect unable to make external changes to their environments to bring relief. Because there was an inability to create external changes to protect or remove onesself, the person learns to make deep internal changes, often absorbing as fundamental truths the insidious lies of the traumas in order to survive. 

Because of this, relationships can be some of the most challenging and in fact terrifying things to navigate as they are the actual battle ground where the original traumas occurred. Imagine if all the ways you learned to understand yourself, what you can expect from others and your role in the world was shaped through neglect, gas lighting, manipulation, shame, physical,  sexual and psychological boundary violations and isolation. At the core of CPTSD is the very real struggle for trust, especially trusting yourself. The primary relationship that is most damaged in ongoing developmental trauma is the relationship we have with ourselves AND it is the one we have to fight the hardest to get back. 

With CPTSD and chronic developmental traumas, the stories shaping how we see ourselves are all emerging from serious fucked up-ness. There typically isn't a pre-traumatic event place/self to refer to. So we just think we are crazy. And bad. And we operate to a high degree on beliefs and assumptions about safety that we don't even know we have.

That the world is inherently unsafe (because it totally was)

That people are unsafe (because they were) and ultimately going to hurt you

That shame and self-blame and inherent lack of self worth are TRUE reflections of our unworthiness (we were shamed for natural feelings and needs)

That we are inherently BAD. Unavoidably, unfixably BAD (because it was unsafe to see the abusers and neglect as bad during developmental stages so it is internalized and redirected at the self).

That we cannot trust ourself or there is no actual self to trust

That these realities cannot be fixed or changed but instead need to be hidden or conquered through becoming better/more worthy/more likable

All I can say is.....light bulb.  ( ding )

I have to say that my T did tell me that he wasn't thinking my wife was Borderline....but as I have come foind in reading more on this,, these two conditons apopear very similar and have some overlapping features.  Like I said, something wasn't right...and somng wasn't adding up...untill I got a bit more information from my wife....and Bingo...I think the glass slipper fit like a glove this time.  I had no idea there was thid dignosis out there which was made distinct from regular or normal PTSD?  Attachemnts alone...or any other epxlaination just wasn't hitting the mark?  Like the woman who wrote this who has this issue said....there's a whole lot of Fucked up in there...and this is what wasn't right.  Nothing fit until I got enough info out of her to see it go ...finally!!

So there you go...the last peice of the puzzle.

ASnd FYI:  My wife just came an apologized.  As she almost always does.  That just doesn't fit....with what I know in these other things like Narciisism or Borderline>  That's a different kind of Fucked up...and just like me, I got my own brand of Fucked's just not one of these. LOL  For what it's worth.  I still contend that she is a decent person who is struggling tremendously...but has no control...or is inclined at all to do anything about it?  That's really all I got to say?



Please post the link

Hi, J

Well, it looks like you discovered something about your wife that is important to know, regardless of how her moving out goes.   Wishing you well.

From the writing style shifts, it looks like the information on CPTSD that you posted is a blend of parts of an article or online source, and your thoughts about it.  Would you please post the link to your source, or if it's a hard copy book, its author and title?  Much obliged.

I totally agree from what I've seen so far that clinical Narcissists and Borderlines don't come back later and apologize.  



Narcissists....My experience....

When a mind is blind to others feelings, and lives in the one lane street (tunnel vision) of self interest, and self gratification...Others are usually only a tool for them.

The big mistake for those who are in relation to this type individual is the same for anyone who wrongs you are dumps expectations on you....Not forcing ownership back onto them....It is very difficult to walk away from a elderly parent who just hung up on you, because you didn't jump through their hoop of expectation....

But if you love them, you will let them suffer from your inattention until they see themselves clearly...Being sucked into a internal situation by a narcissist when you only had peaceful and loving feelings toward them, lets them off the hook and ensures you will be used for their interests again and again, as long as you feed them w/ your willingness to baby them through every event of selfishness.....

Until you have nothing to say.....there is no hope for their internal conflict, and their blindness to the fact, that no one but them, are responsible for their pain....They will never own it, until you make them by your absents in the matter....

If they can't force you to own it, so they can have closure, then there is hope!



Here's the Link ...........Chevron

I also wanted to say, that a number of different possibilities and speculations have been posted on this forum about a lot of different behaviors including the ones about Fetal Alcohol Adults...and the other one, forgetting the Acronym, that dealt with sexual abuse trauma that Spacey Stacey was dealing with , with her husband and they all share some really similar looking and similar things along with Borderline and a real Narcissists as I am familiar with my father.  And no....not one time in my entire lifetime...did aI ever hear the words "I'm sorry" come from my father.  Never once...ever.  That is just bizarre or even unimaginable really....but yet it's true?  He'd almost as soon commit Hari Kari before he would say he was sorry to anyone?  The closest thing you would get was something like  "  I could have done better"...or ..."I guess I wasn't very good".  Nice for the self report there bout..."I'm sorry"? LOL  Would that kill you??  Apparently yes!!LOL 

And I've also just recently read this to put this into perspective.....a "Narcissist" will never say "I don't know"  ...which again, I can relate to thinking back.  Instead of  "I don't know" dad would do this thing where he would just ignore you if you told him something he didn't know?  He wouldn't say anything.....there would be just silent as if you said nothing?  This happened many times in the point ( not knowing better ) I use to tug on his shirt ( metaphorically speaking ) and point things out to him that he "didn't know".  Holy Cow!!!  You learned rather quickly that silence was actually an answer in itself.  He heard you....he chose to ignore you and for good reason....."he didn't know" and that's where he would just turn his back on you and walk away from you as if you weren't even there?  This was not about being rude....he had decent manners and knew what manners were.....he would literally "stop" and just not say if you weren't there?  And if he could not walk away.....he would wheel on you and viciously attack you either verbally or sometimes with the back of his hand. not say  "I don't know".  OMG!!!  What a wiener.....sheesh!  When you can see this as a 3 year old doing really isn't all that scary or powerful cause that is exactly what this is......a 3 year old acting up and being a total brat!!   A big time wiener.....I'd say? LOL

This is not what I experience exactly or even had these elements to it with my wife?  She has or has had......a lot of these elements from other things too...but then certain ones and some important ones are missing?  The "I'm sorry" for one....and the "I don't know": for another?  This was why I was so concerned at first and so fixated on this Borderline diagnosis from my past experiences and but I was going.....but, but ...I feel like an idiot, cause I could have sworn it wasn't the same?

Well, isn't "exactly the same" and it is subtely and distinctly different?  Different but the same....just in different ways and not others?  I think at the might be different in some ways too but there are so many vairables here that this just simplifies it?  It made sense, that my intuition was picking up the one....but at the same time going??'s really not the same?  And what is really not the same at missing something that my wife show all the time and is really there?  She really is sincere and she really does's just so messed up and confused that it comes out in weird ways but I think there is ADHD in there so that flavors this a lot.  I'll post the origingal source that put me on to's a guy who has a series videos that I really like personally.  I just like how he talks and presents this material and I think he has some really good insights that I just personally connect with and grab onto to easily. I gues what I'm saying is, I had to hear it again or framed in a different way, for the light bulb to really go off and go "ding" for me. He "speaks to me" I guess, in what I am saying.  Here it is on both accounts: ( I took from her page here in the post I made )  Richard Grannon Spartan Life Coach


You've put me off Nathan's Hot Dogs for a good long while, J


yes, what a wiener.   Creepily familiar from my lengthening past life.  Yes, yes Narcissists are all about power.  They don't do apologies b/c in their mental world that puts them one down.  

Thank you for the particular links.  I'll look at them.  Looking around, I could see that the syndrome matched some things  I remember you describing in your now maybe as long back as a year ago.  I put a lot of stock in you knowing in a somewhat uncanny way, that you're not in the presence of clinical Narcissism.   Bleah, once you're in the presence of a real mccoy, you never forget...

Best to you, always.

Good morning J

Good morning J

i responded to this but it didn't post due to website issues! 

I just wanted to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife today. I'm thinking it may be somewhat of a difficult day and I wanted you to know you are both being lifted up! 


Thank You anteight

That was very thoughtful to remember but I think I'm doing Okay and my wife seems so too?  I have to say that I have been dealing with her well and dealing with this transition as it comes.  The quite obvious and most telling thing in all of this is observing how when there is not demands for "closeness or intimacy" wife has gone back ( almost immediately ) to being a pretty civil person.  Even as I was explaining how she came home last night and started in.....I just told her I'm not going there and she of course reacted kind of "as usual" but then imediately calmed down and said she was sorry?  With no demands to be intimate or close...or any threat from me there now.....suddenly she's just fine?  No problem?  Which I could take as some kind of indicator of her feelings for me as she doesn't care or has none.......that's not what I'm seeing at all?  What I'm seeing is exactly what I said?  I pose no "threat" to her now she sees me completely differently?  Not completely indifferent in fact...and increase her her awareness of me and actually being very nice?  I am seeing this....not a sign that anything has changed......I see this for what it is....and just part of the overall pattern?  Nothings changed there....except, on my part and how I am approaching her and she is responding in kind?

The "threat of intimacy" is gone I am no longer a threat?  In that much......I can't complain, I see it for what it is an accept it as much.  Thank you again, for you well wishes I think I'm going to be Okay and that's a good thing.


Again Yes

Yes Yes Yes!!!! So true! Spot on! Maybe I'm really not a crazy person!!!!

Letter to ex-therapist

After reading this I actually sent this to our previous therapist,a psychologist by the way, and told him that he did damage to us and if he was not willing to educate himself in the effects of ADHD in marriages he should do the right thing and refer those couples elsewhere. I believe it is his obligation especially at $175 and hour!  Doubt it will do any good but at least I tried! 


Hi anteight,

Can't write more right now, as I'm in the middle of something. For now, I just wanted to say I'm glad my comments helped and I think you're doing great, considering the circumstances. A letter to therapist might not do any good for them, but that's also a way to do something good for yourself. These people are supposed to be your helpers and your guides. They should be more reliable.

In case you haven't heard of it, there's this book, "Is it You, Me, Or Adult A.D.D.?" It's always a great resource, and it's worth every cent you spend on it. And If you're looking for further validation, just read from page 161. Large excerpts are available on Google Books. I'm no longer allowed to access those pages (exceeded the limit for free version), but I've checked my paper copy and I think this might be exactly what you're looking for. The chapter ends with case accounts, you might find it really interesting.

I'll say that again: "Dear therapist, read a f*** book."

Stay strong.


Thank you! I will get it right away!  

Hope it helps

Hi anteight,

Please let me know your thoughts after you start reading! And don't be a stranger, please update us on how things are, ok?

Take care.

Thank you

Hi bigsurprise

i actually haven't got the book yet due to car issues however they are thankfully cleared up now! I'm thinking I may just buy the audio. I have however read some of her stuff esp on meds. I've forwarded them to my h and his counselor. I told him what he does with the info is of course his business. We have have been communicating today via text which is the first real communication since last wed as I had asked him to leave me alone. Apparently he had a good two hour session with his T who by the way is the sp of the co-author of Melissa's second book Recovery Intimacy. I am meeting with Nancie individually. He really wants to talk and wants me home but I've told him at this point I'm not coming home and I don't know what I want. Just taking it day by day. I could change my mind quickly or it could take months or it could be never. I can't give him an answer. I feel that he needs to get his meds reevaluated and continue his own therapy and time will tell. How he responds to having to wait it out and knowing the outcome will tell me a lot. 

Thanks for checking in. I hope you are doing well!!!! It's hard to stay strong!