My wife and I are both ADHD and both recently diagnosed, which has helped explain a lot. Through prayer, stubbornness and Omega 3 we are just beginning to figure things out. Yet if ADHD in marriage were a sport, I'd certainly be playing defense. I am laughing about it now, but I had to take the day off work to write the following to my wife explaining another incident. I'm sorry it is a bit lengthy, but I thought I'd just post in entirety what I've written her. I guess doing this is part venting, part searching for sympathy and partly because I am always feeling so guilty I need to explain everything. That and I'm never sure why I do anything. So here goes:
My dear wife:
I'm sorry. Please forgive my behavior, this morning and last night.
Just to let you know though, last night was not about you. We arrived early and you found us great seats. Then it became crowded, the lecture had started. I was engaged with his opening comments; I was excited for what was to come. I was comfortable where I was sitting. I had two jackets arranged on my chair, I had my empty coffee cup stashed underneath, and I had an aisle seat. All this was good. Then latecomers started banging new seating up to the front, and extending the aisles. I was suddenly missing the lecture. I was being asked to move to the right, move to the left. At that point a switch flipped in my head. I can't explain it. I just can't explain it. Sometimes I feel like I'm about to burst. Chaos and crowds, too much happening at once. I feel like I'm about to implode. I feel trapped. I feel pressured. It's dark and the walls are closing in around me. I want to hear the lecture, I don't want to miss anything but it is too much. A breaker in my brain flips off, the circuit closes and I have to leave. There is no time to explain. I hardly understand myself. I am not angry but it likely seems that way to those about. Yet I am angry. I have to leave. I am angry because it is the only other emotion I know besides joy. I'm not joyful so I must be angry. It is one or the other. My life always seems to be all or nothing. Anger is bad. What if I explode rather than implode. I must leave. I can't say anything to you. I can't even explain it to myself. I just don't understand. The switch has been flipped. Where I was once okay and comfortable and engaged I am now the opposite. The thing, that thing has happened inside my brain again. I've forgotten that I want to hear the lecture. I've forgotten that I am with my wife. I've forgotten that there is love and support nearby. My thinking has changed. I just can't explain it. I leave.
Even now it seems ridiculous. It seems childish. I am ashamed. My brain begins to drum out that old rhythm ... loser, loser, loser ... asshole, asshole, asshole. I try to force it to stop. I try to think about other things. I don't want to see anyone. I don't want to see my reflection in the bathroom mirror. The little train in my head keeps running, I hear its engine ... whatajerk, whatajerk, whatajerk.
I come out to breakfast. I have to act normal. I have to act sane. "Good morning". No reply. Perhaps a grunt. I know you are annoyed. I know you are upset. What to do. What to do. What to do. Then an accusation, "What happened to you last night?" It is the tone of voice, I hear it. It’s not just a question. I've been a bad dog. Again. Bad dog. Bad me. Whatajerk, whatajerk, whatajerk. Too much is happening again. It is just like last night but how do I explain. What do I say? I don't want a incident. I don't want to argue. I'm not angry. It's not you. Yet I'm not happy either. If I’m not happy, then I must be angry. I don't know what else to feel. I want to wag my tail. I want pats. I want to be a good dog. I know I'm not. I know I don't deserve it. I'm just a train, a big freight train charging down the tracks. I hear its engine ... whatajerk, whatajerk, whatajerk. I don't want to leave the tracks. I've left the tracks before. We know that. Things get broken. Walls get broken. That screeching of twisting, tearing metal when the train leaves the tracks is things being said that shouldn't. How can I stop a freight train crashing? Things are said that should not be said. These aren't true things, these aren't real things, and this is a train crash. How can I stop a freight train crashing? It is better to keep on the tracks, just keep the engines humming along ... whatajerk, whatajerk, whatajerk. I leave.
I'm sorry. I've very sorry about last night. I'm sorry about this morning. But I have to keep the train on the tracks. I can't turn around. I seem unable to turn around. I want to. I really want to. I really just want to be a good dog. Good dogs get their bellies scratched though. My belly isn't being scratched. I hear accusation. I hear condemnation. I'm just a train, whatajerk, whatajerk, whatajerk. I leave.
My life always seems to be all or nothing. I know I want it all with you my wife. I want too much. I turn it to nothing. Please know I'm striving to turn things around. I know I'm not a train. I know I'm not a dog. I'm a man. A man trying to turn things around in my life. I know there a too many words here. How else can I explain though? It isn't just yes or no. I am unable to explain my brain by saying yes or no. It is not just all or nothing. I always have too many words in my head. I always have too much to say. All these words are what the train is pulling. How can I explain? I don't want to leave. I love you.