Guilt and anger

Hi

I have been reading from this forum for a few weeks now because I really needed help to understand how I have been feeling for the past few years.

I am 61 years old my husband is 65. We met when I was 17 and have been married for 42 years. We had 2 daughters age 41 and 39 and 2 granddaughters.

Last December, my daughter called me and asked if we can take care of our 15 year old granddaughter. Of course we said yes because we were aware of the problems they have been having.

Our granddaughter was diagnosed as having ADHD when she was 9 and has been medicated but has a lot of problems dealing with her anger and different areas of her life.

While she has been living with us, I started to noticed her behavior was very similar to my husband. Red flags kept popping up and I started to read about ADHD in adults.

I always thought my husband was lazy, had no ambition, was forgetting on purpose, was selfish, was narcissistic I can keep going but....

I started to really think something was really mentally wrong with him after he retired from work 8 years ago. I asked him to take a doctor appointment FOR MRI because I was worried. I thought maybe it was the start of Alzheimer or a brain tumor.

 The reason I  was noticing more was because he was always home now. His anger doubled because  I was asking more of him. My husband really don't like working. He procrastinate until i get very angry at him and then he says I am a nagger or I expect too much. His best line is "I thought retirement was suppose to be relaxing and doing what I wanted". When I succeed to get him to do something you can compare the job being done by a kid. He will take 2 hours to do a job that take normally 15 minutes to a regular person. He was really slow...think slow, does everything very slow. My husband will not die from a heart attack because he was too fast :)

Anyhow, since my granddaughter came to  live with us in December I started to get a double dosage. My frustration was building up. There was a lot of anger, yelling from all parties a very chaotic home. I wanted to be firm with my granddaughter, my husband felt it was easier to give in  than to bare with her anger. We had individual counseling, couple counseling, family counseling. Frustration was too much. Husband was saying if he had thought it was going to be this hard to deal with our granddaughter he would have never accepted to take care of her.

We decided to give our granddaughter to her paternal grandparents because of our issues at home. I feel very guilty because I had to choose between my husband and my granddaughter.  We have legal custody of our granddaughter. I don't think it will be possible to take her back. Children Aid is now involved because of all the yelling in our home and we don't seem to be able to take care of our granddaughter because of our own issues. There was no physical violence of our part but there was from our granddaughter towards us. She throws things at us, punches walls, break things and calls us very bad name. I don't want her back now and feel very guilty about this. I also no longer want legal custody because I will be responsible for her actions until she is 18. The paternal grandparents don't want legal custody. The poor girl is being thrown all directions.

As for my husband, next week is his second appointment to diagnose his ADD. I also asked my daughter to book an appointment for herself because I saw in her the same red flags when she was a child and as an adult. Back then ADHD was not as known as today. I wish my husband and I discovered this ADHD when we were a lot younger.

 

Guilt is unproductive

Hello. I'm very sorry you are having to deal with all of this. Retirement is often difficult because you don't have the same space and expectations aren't clear. All unhappiness is the result of unmet expectations, a quote I heard at an ADHD communication seminar. You certainly never expected to have a 15 year old with behavior problems now. I can understand the guilt, but it doesn't do any good. You did what you could. Your daughter is her parent.  Perhaps her paternal grandparents can get her into a residential program if she is abusive? Or there are parenting with ADHD resources. The thing with ADHD is that it must be actively managed, beyond just meds. Routine, diet, counseling,exercise. Not easy to unlearn bad habits.

I would suggest you read Melissa's book. And change your expectations to what is more reasonable given your husbands ADHD. Remember that it is not personal. It is symptomology.  It can't be cured, but it can be worked with. And treat him how you want to be treated. Instead of nagging and yelling, get a commitment up front about when a task is to be completed. Praise when it gets done and renegotiate when it doesn't. Don't get angry at symptoms.

This is all very difficult for you, your husband, and your granddaughter. I wish you all the best possible outcome.