Growing up

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For those new to the board, I am the non ADD person in my marriage. I have spent years crying and ranting about H. Feeling powerless and stuck. I have come to realize that I can't change someone else.  I can only change me and my surroundings. I thought I would share this reading I found on the internet:

HOW TO MATURE AND GROW UP FASTER by Lawrence Wilson, MD.      Google this and use it as a tool to get past the stage I was in when I began learning about ADHD.  Ranting, crying, being incredulous....looking for a knight in shining armor to save me from my distress!

I believe I had some "arrested development" after I was married to H.  I had put all my eggs in the marriage basket and it took all my effort just to keep things afloat.  Meanwhile I was not maturing  inside myself.  I am in my 60s and realize the time I spent "helping him mature, trying to compromise with him and trying to understand him and support him" to be a dependable, conscientious husband (which NEVER happened anyhow) took something away from me. ...my own development.

 At this age, I am trying to make up for lost time.  Learning how to be mature.  I feel stupid that it has taken so long.  I didn't WANT to be the parent of a delinquent child (I wanted to be a partner in a cooperative, loving connection).  I was in my own denial of how we were both being childish in our own ways.  I WANTED to be the loving, playful, youthful married girl in love with her knight.  

My children needed me to be sane, confident, assuring, and a model of bravery and character - a responsible, lovely adult.  That is what I am trying to be now.  It has taken some work to "let go" of my youthful dreams.  Unless you happen to married to a knightly guy, we need to be grown up ourselves because our children need us to be adults.

This is my journey. Here is an excerpt in the writing "How to Mature and Grow up Faster".

2. You must learn to be tough with yourself, and very committed.  You must stay on your path.  You must not waiver in your desire to mature, and you must realize there is a part of all of us that does not want us to mature and succeed.  That part will oppose you at every turn.  It makes you doubt yourself, hate yourself, and even loathe yourself.  You must get tough with it, fight it and defeat it.  It is like the story of the dragon that was supposed to protect the damsel in the castle, but the dragon gets “too protective”.....It is the dragon of doubt, fear, confusion, depression, and death.  This is the dragon we all have.  Maturing has to do with becoming “tough as nails” with it, letting it know its days are numbered, and that it is time for the dragon that may have been useful earlier in life to retire and die.  The damsel must affirm that she or he does not need this type of “protection” any more, and that the dragon is now preventing maturity by stepping on opportunities that present themselves at the castle of life.

Taking inward control of your life

Number 6 in the writing "How to Mature and Grow up Faster" is also something I am working on.

6. Take control inwardly, rather than allow others to control you, even if you are in prison.  Maturing has something to do with taking inward control of your life.  It has to do with making sure the soul and the enlightened brain rule the body, for example, and not the other way around.  Immature people allow the body to rule the brain, in many cases.  This is called anxiety and fear. It also has to do with making sure the spirit in you rules supreme.  This means you must be true to yourself, true to your word, no lying, no cheating, no corruption.  Until you do this, you are not a mature person, no matter what your age or status in society. Immature people are backwards in this respect, and are never inwardly in control, even if they have millions of dollars, beautiful houses and a beautiful family.  It is about taking internal control of your emotions, feelings, thoughts and actions.

believe I had some "arrested development" after I was married to

<<<

believe I had some "arrested development" after I was married to H.  I had put all my eggs in the marriage basket and it took all my effort just to keep things afloat.  Meanwhile I was not maturing  inside myself.  I am in my 60s and realize the time I spent "helping him mature, trying to compromise with him and trying to understand him and support him" to be a dependable, conscientious husband (which NEVER happened anyhow) took something away from me. ...my own development.

 At this age, I am trying to make up for lost time.  Learning how to be mature.  I feel stupid that it has taken so long.  I didn't WANT to be the parent of a delinquent child (I wanted to be a partner in a cooperative, loving connection).  I was in my own denial of how we were both being childish in our own ways.  I WANTED to be the loving, playful, youthful married girl in love with her knight.  

My children needed me to be sane, confident, assuring, and a model of bravery and character - a responsible, lovely adult.  That is what I am trying to be now.  It has taken some work to "let go" of my youthful dreams.  Unless you happen to married to a knightly guy, we need to be grown up ourselves because our children need us to be adults.

<<<

 

 

I agree with the above.  I am grateful that I was and  have been the "sane and stable" parent for our kids, and they are very grateful for that.  They have often told me that they have long felt that they've only had one parent....the parent who was always there for them, who took care of them, and was always there to help them.

 

However, in the past several years, I have been very unhappy with a few aspects of my life that have "stalled" or have gone "backwards."

 

All my life, I was a person who did crafts, baked and cooked a lot, sewed, and loved the holidays...decorating, baking, etc.  My home was always decorated for whatever season it was.  

 

However, in the last few years, when my H's alcoholism flared, which worsened every other symptom he had (and its frequency), I have often found myself "in a near-constant state of recovery" from whatever his latest "episode".   I haven't decorated in about 7 years, except for a small Xmas tree.  I haven't done much holiday cooking or baking at all.  Crafts?  none.

 

 Frankly, there came a point when I was afraid to do crafts because my H's anger became so frequent (with some sort of jealousy aspect) that I feared that if I were to be working on some craft, he would just destroy it during one of his fits.  This wasn't something I worried about during the first 20 years of our marriage.  

 

We used to regularly invite people over for dinner, or a BBQ, or a pool party.   And, we'd regularly get invited to others' homes.  I haven't been able to do that for at least 7 years.  

 

(For those who make threads here wondering if their partner or spouse will "get better," the answer is likely "no."   Not only will they likely not get better, but they will likely get worse.  And, you will find more and more aspects of your life, your social circle, shut down or operating at a minimum.   Once a year, I travel to visit my relatives.  That is the only time I feel normal.  I don't bring my H (can no longer trust him after he had an unbelievable outburst at my parents  home one year).  

 

During the 2-3 weeks that I'm visiting my relatives, I feel completely rejuvenated...the weight is gone.  My extended family is very social....many BBQs, beach parties, dinners, etc.  I cook, bake, and really feel ALIVE.  I become my "old self".  

 

But, then when I return home and face the "unknown," it's like a dark cloud is over me.  I never know (NEVER KNOW) when an outburst will happen because so often the underlying reasons are unrelated and unknown to me.   I will inadvertantly trigger something (maybe mishear something or misunderstand something), and then H will begin raging.  The aftermath lasts for days. 

"There is nothing wrong with

"There is nothing wrong with giving up something you have outgrown."

I had been holding on to things from my past and those things have stopped me from living a life of new possibilities and maturity.  Like old childhood teddy bears, some of us tend to not want to forget about them (the past beloved things and people), lest we deem ourselves unloving and unappreciative.  

What I am working on letting go:

My small town and it's mores and customs.

Beliefs of feminine "place" and expectations.  

Looking outside of myself for "authority" over my own life.

Letting go of guilt that I have changed into someone I don't respect anymore.

Letting go of the dreams that my "young love", H, is not who I thought he was....or at least now what I thought he could grow to be.

Some old habits die hard.  Sometimes it seems there is a glass wall between my reality and the way I want life to be.

Letting go of the yearning for someone to complete me - to be a companion - to love me.  I have to love myself before I can look outside of myself for good company.

This has come to be a total inside job.  I have been letting go of my anxious, negative thoughts about H, who I am now accepting that I have no control over,  and coming to terms about my anxious, negative thoughts about my own life, which, as an adult, I have control over.

 

Jenna ..... Be Your Own Hero

3. Look for truth and side with it. You must take sides on issues and decide what you believe in, and why. You can change your mind, but maturing has to do with finding truth, as you see it, and living your truth. This is a must.

I looked this up the Laurence Wilson article you recommended and I think it is really accurate  and absolutely right on the money. But as I read what you said about this being your journey and the #2 listed that you gave, it said "You must stay on your path" which was then followed by # 3.  I think these two go together and you can't really do one without the other...until you know which path your on or which one you need to pick?  First?  Just a thought that came to mind as I read this and my own two bits to add to you personally.  Being your own hero is actually what you are doing which I give Kudo's to you for doing it, and not chasing the Dragon any more.  Two thumbs up from me on that one.  If I had anything to add to that or possibly something that was not said if I were to say anything at all?

Get back on the horse when it throws you....."I'll let you know when that horse is dead and he isn't dead yet, not by a long shot."  That's my mantra..and I'll pass that one on to you :)

J

 

Deep thoughts

Thanks for responding J, not much activity on this site recently.  Yeah. #3 is a good one.  I have, at this late age, trouble knowing truth and have a difficult time taking sides on almost anything.  (The older I get the more I realize I don't know for sure).  AND people who are adamant about things are many times suspect in my view.  But I know this is not a good way to live....When I was younger I navigated the world much better with a firm map of who I was and what was truth (small midwest town where everyone thought the same ways)....the trouble is, that i got myself a liberal education and realize there are shades of gray, lots of perspectives and points of views and the world is made of all kinds of people and that to be a loving human being, you must not have blinders on believing that you know the best and only ways of life.  I have become a wishy washy empath. WHAT can I adamantly believe in that a century from now will still be truth?  It's tricky to know what to teach my children and grandchildren that does not become heresy in the next generation. 

Just wandering thoughts this morning after a difficult overnight with sick grandchildren. Zaps the strength out of a person and makes one vulnerable and surrendering to heaviness of mind and spirit. I feel like this is a downer of a post and I may come back here tomorrow and erase it or change it but this is my truth today.

 

Great Question Jen

(WHAT can I adamantly believe in that a century from now will still be truth? )

Your journey for truth is a good one! Kind of been on this self awareness kick for a couple of years myself...It's difficult, it's hard to accept the things I don't like about myself...But, it's kind of freeing also...It gives me things to work on and also helps me stop over focusing on my W's living of life so much...I'm sure she appreciates it:) 

For me the answer to Life, and Truth is Jesus statement in John 14:6...I am the way, the truth, and the life!...Yes for me truth is a person...Life is a person...and the way to paradise is a free gift that came through the redemptive work of that same person....

That don't mean I can 100% accept this knowledge or that I can understand it....But I feel it has created accountability in me to stand on my own two feet and make sure my interactions w/ others is only positive and caring...It's also making be a better listener ( not my strong suit) and my marriage is improving...

.I noticed lately our children have started calling and coming by more often...It dawned on me just today it's because of the peace...Even they are sensing the threat of high emotion and the discomfort it always produces is disappearing....PTL!

I pray your precious grand children recover quickly, and that you can get some rest...

C

 

Peace and understanding

C, I was hoping you would reply to this.  It is a great comfort to me to know of people (especially men) who hold to faith and persist in pursuit of faith to "stand in the light" and bear witness to their strength and vulnerabilities.   Thanks.  

I am not going to erase my previous message I wrote yesterday like I thought I might because it is a springboard for where I am this morning in my head.  I just watched a show on PBS called Open Mind.  On it was the author of Letters to a Young Muslim.  I am wowed.  It is a space of thinking that my heart and mind have gone to often.  It is not about Islam or any religion but it opens the dialoge to where my mind was yesterday.

The author is saying that there has been much change in the world from 3 or 4 generations ago, that the clerics are not the rule-dictating/preachers they once were when the population was illiterate and looking for laws to tell them "how to be". The mass public now has access to and is capable of thinking and being rational on its own and the new leaders are part of the congregation....not above it anymore.  So, given that it is easier to let the laws of the church dictate your thinking than to take responsibility for our own decisions and thoughts and beliefs it is a time for discussions of personal committment to consiously coming together knowing the world has many perspectives and having open discussions toward peace and understanding.

  

Common Ground.....C and Jenna

This is what I have been struggling with in trying to find with my wife which (was) the stumbling block or wall that I kept hitting my head against with her.  I think it has to do ( now in retrospect ) with a number of things and it's not just one barrier or wall you have to get past but a number of them depending on ( who you are talking with ).  I can finally say that I think the worst is over and that wall has finally started to come down.  You've heard me go on at length, in trying to analyze this, take it apart and put it back together, and complain and vent at my own frustrations in attempting to do this without any means to know if it was working or not?  And every time ( it seemed ) without fail, my wife would threaten to leave as her only means to confront this?  What I did take note early on that my wife does have a habit of doing is jumping to conclusions..and then racing off in that direction immediately as if...there is no answers and all hope is lost?

That was the "THING"...that I was also mentioning to you that I have learned over the years through a great amount of trial and error and failure.  Failing is not the problem.  Getting back on the horse...IS! lol  Simply put.  This was driving me crazy and I was pulling my hair out at times!!  And Jenna...just to point out to you one thing that caught my eye in what you said....

"..... AND people who are adamant about things are many times suspect in my view.  But I know this is not a good way to live....When I was younger I navigated the world much better with a firm map of who I was and what was truth (small midwest town where everyone thought the same ways)....the trouble is, that i got myself a liberal education and realize there are shades of gray, lots of perspectives and points of views and the world is made of all kinds of people and that to be a loving human being, you must not have blinders on believing that you know the best and only ways of life."

I intentionally isolated just this train of thought...because this is the common ground that I share with you for a number of reasons one of them being....I was not adamant about anything and barely had an opinion or even knew what that was in the first place?  And I didn't have a firm map of who I was or what I believed in because what I believed did not go with or fit along with the people who were around me ( namely my own family )  You barely heard a peep out of me on anything....that's the point?  I didn't know what was true or what I could believe but I knew I didn't believe the things I was hearing ( or seeing many times ) and that was all I knew?  I was not out spoken and tended to sit at the back of the class in silence as a rule.  That's not to say I wasn't thinking things...it only means I learned not to say anything which is a more accurate way of seeing this?  Saying things...or expressing my thoughts or emotions...was what got me into trouble back then so I just shut up, and didn't say anything, and kept things to myself.  And because of that, I never learned how to do that well and this is where ...what you see, is not always what you get?  If you applied what you said to me now...you might not trust the things I say only because of that preconceived notion that says "adamant people cannot be trusted".  The only reason I a more adamant and assertive now, is that I "know things now" that I didn't know then?  I didn't start out this way...I became more this way only because I had to.  I had to speak up and say things where before I said nothing and that was one of those failures that I now know why that is?  Learning how to do this better now, is no easier than learning it back then, if I had learned to which I didn't..so I am just now learning how to do it better and still I fail at times?  But you aren't going to learn anything...if you quit every time you fail?  That part I had down already which appears to be the biggest difference between my wife and I?

She is much better ( to her own detriment ) in saying what is on her mind right then in the moment.  That is almost the polar opposite of me...going in the other direction?  And as I have actually learned how to navigate her better, and once I recognized the impulsive / compulsive aspect to her "having to do this" I realized that she was never put in a position in her childhood where she learned to control her impulses ( ADHD or otherwise which in her case PTSD and fear / reactiveness / fight response as a defense....comes out as hostile reactionary blurting things out of her mouth with no ability to control it ) from which, I have learned when to "shut up"..and learned when to "say something" much better than before. LOL  But the problem with not saying anything is....nothing ever gets said especially when it relates directly to a problem you are having?  So if you aren't really sure of yourself and what you really want...and that moment comes and it's time to say something...you better know what you want to say ahead of time..and be ready for it when it comes?  And speak with a certain amount of authority and not back down when it gets thrown back in your face?

And that's just it right there Jenna.  I am not by nature...one that insists on having people agree with me or not even necessarily have a need to say anything at all...from where I started?  But when you are confronted with someone who tends to verbalize their needs....quickly and easily on demand, and can do it in a way that kind of overrides you instantly....then you've got to step out yourself and say something which goes directly against your nature to do in the first place?  My wife can tend to be pushy and demanding and verbalize this openly.  I on the other hand will tend not to say anything..and just let people do what they do and not feel compelled to control them or even say anything?  Until the way they are...starts effecting me negatively and that's when I have no problem saying things or speaking up...but it use to be only in those moments once I was already on the ropes and backed into a corner?  And usually when that happened in the past....it didn't come out the way most people would find as the softest touch or with a lot of "tack"...and was could be rather blunt and straight to the point.  Actually more straight to the juggler vein..without too much trouble! LOL

Someone experiencing me in those moments ( who didn't know me or hadn't met me ) might think I was like that all the time, when in fact, I was only like that with them...in that moment, due to the way they were more naturally and I was feeling like I was not getting heard, dismissed or not taken seriously?  It took ..."THAT"...sometimes, just to get their attention?

But that was when I was not seeing that it was me that was the problem more than other people sometimes?  They were just fine being the way they were and had no problem with being that way at all?  It was me who had a problem with what I might call..."pushy, bossy, overbearing" people...who fluently spoke their mind and did that rather effortlessly?  The fact is...they were just better at doing that than I was...and I hadn't learned how to play that game successfully very well?  I started out being "stiffled" or "muzzled" as a kid growing up in my house...so I was at an extreme disadvantage with someone who did not have those same limitations placed on them?  So when I did have to do it or was confronted with a situation where I had too...it just came out all at once, and not very well indeed?

I always thought it was unfair and that people were taking advantage of me...when the fact is, I just wasn't as good at playing that same game or being any other way?  I learned later on, that I could do this as well as the next person..and the better I became at doing it...the less that really bothers me when I am confronted with someone who is more by nature..the opposite of me? I can do both now ..if I choose to...but I had to try and fail and get back on that horse again and again..until I finally got a handle on it better?  If I never learned to do that...quit every time I failed in fear of failing again..or just avoided doing it because it was "hard".....then I would have never learned to control myself and control my impulses along with it?  I had to do it...or not do it at all?  That"s the point....there is no easy way around it I'm afraid?

And just to show you how well this finally worked?  Literally, two days ago...my wife said  "I don't know why anyone would want to be with me, all I do is upset you and and say things people get upset with me."  Taking on a bit of that victim thing like....why doesn't anyone like me?

And I told her "It's not that you say things that upset other people as much as they say things you don't like, and then you have to say something back.  Everything that makes people upset with you at all..is from the words that come out of your mouth.  It's that need to say something back, or to "strike back" when you hear things you don't like or want to hear...that's that "impulse" turning into a compulsive need to "hit back" which means you are getting something from it, or you wouldn't be doing it in the first place?  I can't speak for everyone else, but that's the exact specific thing that pisses me off and why I "say things back to you" that are not always the nicest or most pleasant things you would want to hear?  If you haven't noticed, I stopped doing that, but it doesn't mean I don't want to, when you have this compulsion to throw things back into my face like that?  I'm  sure, without a doubt, that other people are probably responding or feeling the same way, even if they don't say anything?"

And then I said " It's not that ( I ) or other people don't like you as the person you are....it's that they don't like having the words thrown back into their face, just because they tripped some unknown trigger you have, that makes you do this.  That's the only thing I don't like which I'll bet, other people would agree?"

And I told her about my past and my impulsive/compulsive need to interupt people and she said "you still do that"...which I quickly reminded her of her friend ( a woman with ADHD ) who does this a lot and has very little control of it.  The difference I pointed out to her...is I may start, or I may go "ah...."..and then I stop myself every time, and I never just keep on talking and talking and override people in the middle of what they are saying.  Ever!!  Starting to..or even uttering the first syllable..and then immediately arresting myself....took a long time to learn how to do..but I do it now every time without fail...and never just keep on going and ignore all the cues or even realize that I was "just about to interrupt"..and I do that automatically now every time.  The one thing I don't do ever....is just keep on talking and saying what I wanted to say even if I just interrupted someone like your friend does to this day.  Same problem..and I use to do the same thing...but not anymore and not like her...even if I get the impulse or start to open my mouth?  The point I'm making to you is....the words never make it out or my mouth.  That's the point."

This is one of the few ADHD symptoms, that I can honestly say 100%.  Even if I start to interrupt....I never just keep on going and continue on as if I didn't just do that?  And in the same way, this is what I am saying to my wife which is she is just now beginning to realize?  No one will get angry or upset with her ( including me ) unless she keeps responding or reacting by "hitting back"..when ever someone says something that she doesn't like the sound of?  If she never says those words...no one will be upset with the rest of the things she has to say?  She has those sharp corners too...but that is not as much of a problem for me..as the "hitting back" part which is completely unnecessary and many times uncalled for?  That's not being assertive...that's just "hitting back" just to "hit back" and no other reason as a "reaction"....not an actual "response" or acknowledgment,to anything your saying?  Even if she doesn't like what she hears or even if she doesn't agree with me....responding is one thing even in disagreement.  Hitting back is just over reacting..and is really not saying anything?  Better to shut up and put up, than to be sorry in that case.  That's what I learned so very long ago in positive way that still applies the same today.  This is in live interaction with people of course...we lose this ability to read cues and non verbal because this is not a live one of one exchange in the moment.  You'll never learn to do that here of the internet...that one comes ( and you learn) live,face to face with another human being which really is the only place you can learn this, which means, you have to practice it, fail and get back on the horse every time you do.  No short cuts there it seems .....and no free lunch on that one?

J

 

J

"Trust and Obey?" Or not?

I don't think we NEED to take hard stances on broad issues but to be thoughtful of humanity and the Life we have been given.  The challenge for me is - am I aware and honest of and with my self? Truth is allusive to me these days and I have not trusted my own intuition since I found myself pregnant and then married to H a long time ago.  Since then, I was one to look for leaders or laws (Teachers, Parents, The Bible, the Girl Scout Promise, the laws of the land) for navigating life.  So, if I navigate the world without the laws, how do I know right from wrong or smart from stupid or acceptable and unacceptable?  Where do MY OWN laws for my life come from?  My own intuition?  That would be self-ish and blasphemy according to the way I was taught as a child.  What do I want?  That would also have been blasphemy the way I was taught.  Yet, I am trying to put away childish things.

Maybe in some situations I trust my intuition and others I can't know things for sure so I must accept that i just don't know everything and possibly fail.  And be OK with that.

Limited advice

I admit that I have not read the whole thread here, so may well have missed some important details.  However, as I think about whether or not to do something I try to bump that question up against high-level values that I hold dear.  So, for example, does the thing I am thinking about doing respectful of me and others (sometimes those things are in conflict, which I then have to resolve).  I have a few other values I hold dear, as well...this way I'm not 'confused' by the specific incident and end up living true to myself and what I care about.

Don't know if that is helpful in this case or not.

Thanks for the nice reminder Melissa.....

It's hard to go wrong when we start our words and actions with such a great core value as respect....Respect alone has many offshoots for healthy living and healthy relationships...It say's to me, I care, and I will be accountable for my actions....

C

Nothing gets said.

But the problem with not saying anything is....nothing ever gets said especially when it relates directly to a problem you are having.  With H, nothing is "being said" by me anymore for the past year.  I believe I had to do be nearly mute with him for a while to get a perspective of where our constant arguments came from.  It is the "taking it apart" before you can put it back together again....the not talking.  But NOTHING GETS SAID.  It is really no different than it ever was between H and me because when I was active in discourse with H, NOTHING WAS BEiNG HEARD (OR REMEMBERED) any way.  Which I was able to realize by stopping talking (rather than frustratingly arguing with) H.  And H has not really talked (communicating and sharing talk I mean, not just joking and deflecting) hardly ever.  

Learning discipline to not reply or react J

In my case it's not learning how to play the game... It's learning how to expect and ignore...When u deal with behaviors that are spawned from anger outbursts and hyper focus u better learn how to not react to it...Especially if denial is present...Denial renders a person helpless to own any thing they say or do... So all you have left is blame, fight or flight....You can set up for hours trying to work through something, but if one or both minds are locked in denial you will most always just experience the frustrations that blindness to one's own action causes... It's almost impossible to gain any ground...Some people have triggers, some have times that have a higher probability rate for the outbursts or hyper focus... So for me the wise thing to do ( if u stay) is learn to recognize our own (as well as our partners) triggers and times of susceptibility..,It may not be the ideal way to exist but if you want to have calm and limit the disagreements and arguments their isn't any other choice.., Or at least none I've found to be humanly possible anyway.

C

Growing Pains

Learning discipline to respond and not to react.

Yes, C, I have learned this too.  And I can apply this lesson to some other people in my life too - which I have always been able and aware to do.  Having poise, savoir-faire, finesse, discretion.  It always made sense to me to use these tools with others outside of family.  I had not applied them to family, believing that inside family, I MUST and CAN be myself with all my insecurities/truth/vulnerabilities.  Living a REAL life just as I am.  

I am coming to believe that even in family, there must be the artful withholding/discretion/stratagem effort.  I will mourn this aspect of "putting away childish things" of having the freedom of "just being me" and reacting. I will be practicing holding my SELF inside myself and putting forth a mature personae of discernment. This does not seem as FUN or as REAL as " just being me" but in H's case with me, I see that it is the only way to heal my ego and have sanity.

Then, what is love?  Doesn't LOVE have some expectations?  Don't you want the people you love to be trustworthy of accepting you as you are?  Ah.....Then doesn't my own love to others require that I accept them as THEY are?  Can I accept H as he is?  

I don't want to accept that my H is the way he is - and that WAS MY DENIAL.  I get to work on that and go from there. 

 

You are on the right path Jenna :)

When I am answering my own questions (like u did here, as painful as it may be at times) I know I am on the right road....

And Yes! (in my opinion) Love does have expectations, because true love is a product...It's like Faith, it's a substance built out of choice of commitment and heart:)....Some times we can look right past Love, (not appreciate others efforts of giving themselves) or have our attempts to Love looked past, when it's there all the time...And sometimes our thinking can be convoluted due to insecurities, and immaturity...And what is projected on us, or dished out by us isn't love at all....

I like to get my definition for Love from 1 Corinthians 13:1-7...(For that matter I desire all the answers I seek for this body, soul, and spirit combination to come from the Words of God...)

In a world where self-love is so prevalent...Things like Lust, Control, Enablement among others get thrown out there in the name of love...This also happens a lot where inability or mental illness is present from my experiences...

C

C I Had a Thought About Your Wife?

C, I've been following along with the things you've said about your wife and you mentioned severe and clinical before?  I just had a recollection that pertains to the way you've described your wife.  As you said, "spawned from anger outbursts and hyper focus you learn how not to react to it?"  Taking you for face value as you described this, I connected something not to my wife but to her brother and how that corresponds to what you are saying?  Before I forget to mention, this is more in connection to PTSD than it is to anything else?  From some of the things you've said about your wife in the past, I get that something traumatic happened on some level that is a contributing factor here?  Possibly?

This goes back to this last summer on vacation on the house boat and I had all these things coming at me all at once with different people in a new and different environment?  What I saying is not what my wife does ( in the same way or degree ) but how her brother reacts and copes with times of stress and confusion and I found it kind of shocking at first, and then even later because it just continued to happen but the initial shock had kind of tempered some even if it was un-nerving at times?  I had only seen him do this once, one time before, but under those circumstances and her sister getting involved, he would have these sudden combustion explosions, over seeming nothing at times?  Nothing that you'd think, would cause such a pronounced explosion or something that just rolled off the table and onto the floor?  It was NOT ( as I have witnessed )...ever directed at a person.  It's mostly just a moment of frustration that goes horribly wrong?  It over almost before it begins unless something breaks and then it will continue on for some time until he calms down.  This kind of thing, is different than what I know or what I have seen with just ADHD?  Even for myself unless I went back into my childhood at times?   What it seems to me as I look at this more closely, is having frustration as the trigger itself, but tied with some kind of reaction to things going wrong , getting broken or anything that might be seen as an accident or something knocked over etc etc....The kind of thing one might get severely punished for, if a parent or caretaker were the ones who originally made a big deal out of something like this?  And then exacted punishment for it regardless of the cause?( accident, carelessness, act of God...what ever? )  This is the picture I am getting of my wife's home life and the kind of environment where this thing might happen?  As if no matter what happens or who done it...someone has to pay?  If you follow me, this might give you a different direction and possibly a different way of seeing your wife and what she does?  I have no idea if my wife's brother has any kind of disorder or not?  What I do know with him for sure ( and my wife for sure ) is they suffered child abuse and would bet a good amount of money that her brothers issues stem from that more than anything else?  Namely these overwhelming outbursts that seem to come out of no where?  This is not something I can say that I have ever seen with my wife in that way or really like it in the same way exactly?  When I shifted my perceptions about my wife based more on the PTSD side of things, I actually found that my reaction to it changed as well and it took on a different feeling in a more compassionate way?  Not to in a sympathetic way as much as allowing me to  be more objective and not take things personally?  That part is what may help you in the same way as it has for me?  I did have to go look up more on PTSD to get a better picture of it, but I know that if you are seeing one thing and thinking it's another....that really doesn't help and it really only hurts you in that case?  It doesn't make a bit of difference to your wife unless you suddenly changed in a way that she might think was outstanding or something? LOL  This is more to do with you which is why I thought I would mention it?

J

Yep J, u described it pretty

Yep J, u described it pretty well...First of all let me say that when I point out or say "Learning to not react" probably what I should say is, that's the goal...It is so difficult for me to take the abuse...A few years ago My reaction were very bad... We would spend days or weeks hardly speaking...So that is what eventually put me on this acceptance kick... Her reality was that from time to time, she would just loose site of her self and the negativity, name calling and animation was just going roll out there....So since I made twice as bad, I knew to stay together I HAD TO Suck it up and be a bigger man during these moments of loss of reality, and control...No matter what she says during these outbursts, IF I can just maintain my composure (maybe just look at her in shock and amazement w/o a word, then walk away) 95% of the time she is hunting me in an hour or under to apologize... Now if she is really angry and blaming me for something she may try to provoke me into a fight, because she (denial) really hates to apologize...Now don't get me wrong she has been absolutely the sweetest and most attentive the past few weeks than she ever has in 9 years...But something happened ( want say what) that usually causes great hyper focus and a build up expectations and high stress... I could tell it immediately... I pointed it out very kindly but she blew me off and I knew right then it was going to be a tricky few days... And we ended up loosing sleep and having a blow up...When she is relaxed and has no excitement or  anxiousness going on she see's the big picture pretty well... But when these situations come up her focus gets as laser sharp as I've ever saw. She looses most all sense of reality and you want exist in these times...That is difficult for me to be around... Because changes our whole dynamic for how ever she is seeing the world down her tunnel...I want go on, got to get some sleep and I'm doing this on my iPhone... My eyes are not what they once were. But I will try to come back and revisit this latter...Thanks for ur concern, night friend

C

C.....That is the Pattern for Sure

The pattern: Built up stress and anxiety over something? ( what ever? )  and going off of a memory ( only ) of something I actually saw on a TV show once on anger and relationships....as I recall the word "Tanking" was used?  Tanking refers to storing up anger ( like in a tank or vessel ) untill it gets so full, it just comes out all at once?  Whether this idea is exactly ( technically accurate ) it does speak to the idea of Harboring or carrying around resentment and anger and storing it instead of getting rid of it?  I kind of picture it like the overflow tank on your car radiator?  If that tank is tiny, or your ability to "contain it" is limited or ( you have no over flow tank on your car radiator )..when ever the pressure gets too high, it will just blow out the radiator cap and spew all over everything including (you) if you happen to be standing there?  That would be more like my wife's brother.  He has no overflow tank what so ever and even if it's not stored up or tanked, his anger or frustration just blows up instantly with no where else to put it even over something little where normally, one might think you could just let that slide?  The problem I see with my wife and her brother ( and I do know where that came from ie" their mother )..no one in that family let anything go...and everything and everyone was under the microscope at all times?  There is ( was I should say )...very little slack or rope given or room for mistake or error?  The problem, or hypocrisy there was....their mother was the biggest violator of them all and broke all the well know (phrase-o-logy ) "Those who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw rocks"..."calling the kettle black"...etc etc..  That for me right there, was where I was the same as you at first in the past?  That was what I really had the most problem with and when I was "bitting the bullet" as they say? LOL  This is where I am really beginning to feel ( most important to look at ) is what was allowed and what was not allowed in the home life and family growing up?

For example in comparison.  With me....I think I was probably the poster child hyperactive ADHD male child to begin with that came with it....what you might expect?  This is where these things really start to get confusing and I don't want to leave the impression that any positives that came out of my experience....suggest this is a good thing to do on any level what so ever?  If a child like me that has something they have no awareness, control or ability to conceptualize what is happening?  When placed in a situation that is kind of "do or die" under those circumstances....you leanrn to "live" rather than to "die" and find ways to do this, no matter what?  If the fear of retaliation and punishment ( as in being physically attacked ) at the hands of a parent becomes your focus when in their presence....you learn rather quickly how to avoid this at all cost and by any means available?  Saying even with ADHD involved?  If absolute compliance is demanded at a cost that is so severe....you learn to pull your shit together in a hurry and get with the program and not stop and think too much about  the why's and where for alls?  But at the same time ( in family and especially with at my mothers protest ) ..."corporal punishment"...like bending over and taking 10 swats with a cricket bat or belt....was completely off the table in our house?  That's more of a humiliation type punishment that has more to do with power and control and obedience instead of compliance?  I have that image of Kevin Bacon in the movie animal house...get hazed by his fraternity brothers in the basement of their frat house..with all the "brothers"...wearing "Monks" hooded garb and then doing this very thing with him as a pledge to the fraternity?  As he yelled with each hit.."Thank you sir...nay I please have another"  As my wife described the kind of abuse she and her brother received...this would fall more in line with what I heard from her.  Humiliation, obedience, power and control?  But in respect to this...the same rules applied to everyone and everyone new the score?  This is more a prescribed and accepted way of punishment and reward system but mainly as I heard it...there was no reward....jus the punishment?  Real "Lord of the Flys" kind of stuff?  Very primitive indeed IMHO?  Like putting people in "stocks" in the public square while having to sit on a sharpened skinny rail of wood for 3 days in plain sight of the entire village?  Pain and humiliation...as the motivator not to do something?  Primitive..is the only word I can come up with to describe this?

On the other hand, what I experienced was completely different than this?  What I experienced was a raging lunatic that just went off on you and came down on you like a ton of bricks with no rhyme or reason to it and no real prescribed way or lessen to be taught?  As I experienced it of course.  That was more like ( to me ) that unnerving thing that my wife's brother would do?  It has a more violent flavor to it..and is much more terrifying?  Humiliation or control or any lesson to be taught here...pretty much takes a back seat to just surviving and not getting killed? ( if you can picture a raging Giant...coming down on you and backing you into a corner ( and physically beating on you ) in a rage?  I think it is much easier to separate yourself...from these random incidents since these did not appear to be for any other reason than to simply say.....don't do that ever again!  What ever "That" was?  And you learn rather quickly exactly what "those things are". Precisely, with no confusion?

That is just rule by terror and dominance...rather than humiliation and punishment by pain?  I have no recollection of physically pain even being felt..or as much physically where I was actually hurt ( maybe bruised slightly only )..and afterwards I remember going.."that didn't hurt very much? ( physically...you gigantic asshole!!!! )  Simply put? LOL  Which is definitely where any attitude from this comes from since the "asshole part" was pretty much the end result of these events as I remember how I felt about this?  I had no problem separating the "asshole" from myself in that case?LOL  But at the same time....I had to live this asshole and not have that happen?  Under those extreme circumstances...it amazing the things you can learn to do?  In a hurry,let me tell you...ADHD or no ADHD? LOL  Which is exactly what I set my mind to and learned how to do....emotional lability or not?  What has been said about Narcissism ( by Freud I think )..."Neurotics make themselves miserable....Narcissist make everyone else around them miserable"...as a way to determine this?  It's also why I keep repeating at times....where theres a will, there is a way?

But here's my current thinking on this Narcissism topic again?  This pattern you are mentioning is an ADHD pattern more than Narcissism to be sure?  But within that same pattern...if you add in Narcissism to it...it will take on a different kind of flavor with different behaviors involved?  ADHD is not calculated or doesn't involve any cognitive process  by itself?  It's literally going back to having really bad brakes..and an inability to control it what ever it is?  It is not with intention, forethought or with any motives what so ever?  There is no motivation or motive involved and is more involuntary without a way to stop it?  This actually fits more ( very possible now once you stop and think about it ) the way I witnessed my wife's brother in those moments but impulse control is also linked to PTSD so that is not saying anything either?  But as I said....it's over..almost before it even begins and then that's it?  And with him....it's never directed at another person but that is not saying he hasn't done this in his past?  But the fact that it does just jump out of him spontaneously.....then disappears back to normal again...suggests he is not "thinking" about anything..and just reacting to something out of fear?  I'm thinking that kind of systematic programming in a systematic way of training a person ( under those same primitive kind of "Puritanical" means like the "stock"..made to humiliate and shame along with the physical pain for reinforce ) would do a number on you in a more ingrained way...than simply getting attacked out of no where by a raging asshole who just went off the deep end?  As I am saying this....Narcissistic Rage from some kind of Narcissistic injury sustained which has no rhyme or reason to it..and is just completely irrational and only has to do with one person..and no one else?  Picture Donald Trump having one of his rage attacks over the media ..but is coming at you and flying off the handle and beating you on top of the rest of this kind of non sense?  That's not a systematic approach or with any kind of conviction...that is just a 3 year old in a mans body...having a complete hissy fit because he is not getting his way or is someone slighted him in his own perceived "illusion of reality" which is the one he made up in his own head?  Only one person actually knows what that reality is...because it will change on a dime and change to fit the day or the week or what he wants in that moment?  The pathological lying is a tell tale sign on that one?  In his case...he could care less about the lying...only that you believe him and do what he says?  That's different in respect...to lying because you don't want to get into trouble or avoid consequences?  With Donald Trump for example...he could care less about consequences because there are none for him which is another way of seeing the difference?  If lying serves to do this...then lying is a good thing?  In the other example.....lying only serves one purpose and that's to avoid consequences and not get into trouble?  That was me...back in the day...and otherwise I had no motivation or desire to lie about anything?  And ...I knew when I was lying or not....for the better amount of anything I ever lied about?  I may not have realized I was lying or not being accurate when I said things...but without any pattern of lying and it was not a habit by any means?  What...was I going to risk what I mentioned...if I was caught in a lie?  No way Jose'!!  I was very aware of what ever it was I was doing and for good reason?  Be aware..or face the consequences?  That's the point I really wanted to make here since "necessity is the mother of all invention as they say".  Unfortunately.....the end result there is you becoming more Neurotic from having to be on guard like that all of the time?  That is one of the main reason why I refuse to live "walking on egg shells".  There is no way in Hell...I will ever do that one again as long as I live!  That much...I am absolutely sure about..with no hesitation what so ever?

I think when you are that sure of what you want and do not want ( specifically related to something like this that you can put your finger on and know it ...For Sure!! ) it makes it much easier to speak with authority..in specific language that is clear and unambiguous?  When that "Shit Don't Fly".....it has less to do with acceptance..and more to do with boundaries and then saying so ..straight up, in no uncertain terms?  This is where I have had to temper myself from my past and learn to express this better...but message and what I've been saying to my wife..has not changed one iota?  When I gave her nothing to use as ammo against me, and learn to put a lid on my emotions long enough...to speak directly, succinctly and straight to the point without losing it while she was doing her thing as a reaction to it....I just kept driving that same message home..until she finally got it?  That's not to say with no cost on my end...but like I said, when you know something so well with so much assurance of what you want and don't want....and you own it when you say it.....it doesn't matter if they don't like it...all that matters is they hear you?  Simply put?

J
 

PS  I just wanted to add in something here that has completely stopped in my wife and my interactions together.  This is based on what I just said about my wife...."hearing me".  She has literally stopped doing that thing that was driving me up the wall where she would just interrupt me in an effort to shut me up and then say "I don't want to talk about it".  As my T called this...muzzling.  That was one of "those" things...that I was just not getting past and I did keep pushing and pushing..until she finally gave in? 95% of all our fighting..was over this very thing and it was the one thing that I was not going to accept...or even try and entertain with her?  An low and behold......95% of our arguments or "fights"...have stopped completely over this one thing that she did...in an effort to try and shut me up?  Shut me up...in that she did not want to hear what ever it was I was about to say but she didn't give me the chance to even say it in the first place?  I guess once she realized....after allowing me to say ( what ever )...that what ever it was she thought I was going to say...was not as bad as she feared or thought?  I know this now as a fact....because now I say what I wanted to say...and it really was never as bad or even said in a way that was all that bad to begin with?  Most of what was "bad"...that came out of my mouth....was in direct relationship to being muzzled..and dismissed and not listened to?  Once she started to listen and hear me......95% of the problems we were having...disappeared almost over night?  Poof!!  Like magic.  Just saying...what ever I did..and however than worked.....seemed to work and stop this endless bickering...over nothing except...just that one thing and that thing alone?  We still have all the real problems we face to address as needed...but bickering and fighting over that one...took up 95% of our time and energy and is/was...a complete waste of time because nothing from nothing...leaves nothing. Pretty much.

I am so glad you guys are communicating better:)

J your point about not being cut-off in the middle of a sentence, is something all of us need to be aware of....I do it, my wife does it....Even though there is a reason behind it....To big talkers, (detailed monologs) w/ low recall, and low thought retention....But in saying this there is still no excuse for it!....We've been calling each other out when it happens and it's getting better here also.... 

(If a child like me that has something they have no awareness, control or ability to conceptualize what is happening?)

This statement you made here is about a child or someone immature....But, it jumped off the page at me.... It's the perfect picture of what happens when no effort (denial) is given to awareness. Or, there is no ability for awareness (brain function) of one's self...Adult or child....When it's an adult you love and are living with it's much much harder to accept and stay aware of continually...You have so much that interfere's here....You feel like you are disrespecting them (your own guilt).....They can feel disrespected with your boundaries (although boundaries should protect both partners)...Intimacy is a huge problem when it comes to the lose of awareness and letting our boundaries slide...The need for shared responsibility in day to day family living is another huge let down of boundaries....Especially for the families w/ children and active lives....

When you need an adult to be an adult, when you need them to be trust worthy, responsible and accountable it's very difficult to be understanding, to give concessions, and to stay at a heightened level of awareness of their reality....

Do you know what it's like trying to engage (communicate)  with another adult in a marriage relationship where this is one or both person's reality? Do you know what it does to a person's psychological and emotional state over the years as they try to be intimate w/ this type mind?

The things I've read and written on this site that just boils out of hurting and damage hearts and minds (many things that are offensive and full of anger and betrayal) is because of trying to exist side by side in a peaceful, calm and understanding way with someone who lives in a mind that mirror's your statement...

In my humble opinion there is no way to have a peaceful life married to this person...Unless we accept the reality of their minds and the behavior's it's going to produce (usually when you least expect it, or when you trust it's all going to be ok and relax) We must also set boundaries for ourselves (what we can afford to share in every aspect...trust, emotions, finances etc etc...)...That makes us only engage at a level that is safe!

When I ignore reality, (during the calm times) and lay my head on the chop block (allow myself to be vulnerable) that just makes the pain of the ax fresh as in the beginning, all over again!...This is a key component in my opinion of why act/react happens and why it causes so much division...(Loss of reality)...

But, if I understand and accept this inability to be aware....And expect the seemingly selfish acts that will always flow out of someone who has no ability for awareness....

When the person acting out doesn't even know it's coming and has no control to stop it if they did...(under NO condition can you allow this to be personal, and have emotional health yourself). If you are on the receiving end of this it's good to be aware...I think most humans are capable of behaviors that shouldn't be happening....Some just more than others based on there inability to control it, or blindness to it...OH and then there's that denial thing....And last but not least.....There are those people who are so in Love with themselves...Who will tolerate you as long as they find you useful, or until there is a cost for them.

C