help!!! how do I get past the setbacks!!!

Last weekend I had 2 setbacks:

1) Dinner party with husband's colleagues, someone asked me, "How did you two meet?" and I launched into the usual story, which I have been telling friends at parties for the last decade or so.  I jokingly said i 'stalked' him.  What I did was ask his friend when he was working so I could stop by at those times, not scary stalking...  I noticed that he looked terribly uncomfortable - but only after i'd finished my story....  He was angry because i'd embarrassed him and that even though it was an informal setting, I shouldn't have told a 'private' story to one of his colleagues (even though she'd asked me a direct question) and that saying I 'stalked' him made me look crazy. 

2) we drove to a relative's house 3.5 hours away on saturday for Easter weekend.  We had a plan to stop at wal-mart for a few things, change my 1.5 year old's diaper, get my 4 year old to pee and then I would take the kids to the car while my husband would get stuff for the kids' easter baskets.  While coming out of the bathroom, i passed the toy section and saw a toy that I thought would be much better (and more long-term) than the cheap easter basket toys.  I told my husband that i wanted to do the 'errand' and asked him to take the kids to the car.  I was trying to be secretive so as not to blow the Easter bunny surprise.  he said fine, but would only take the 4 year old to the car, saying the younger one, "Won't know the difference' anyway.  Problem was, I had not brought a stroller or gotten a cart so she was grabbing things off the shelf.  I had to go get a cart, then find the toy - then realized it was too expensive to get two... then had to scramble to get SOMETHING and went to the easter section that was practically cleaned out.  it took 20 minutes.  Add that to the 10 minutes we already were there and we were 30 minutes behind schedule. 

I got back to the car and my husband was seething.  we pulled out of the parking lot and after a couple minutes he laid into me, saying 'We're a half hour late!  we have to stop and get lunch now because i can't drive for another hour without eating!"  then he went on to accuse me of trying to emotionally blackmail him when I asked if I could get the easter stuff.  I tried to explain that i was not blackmailing anyone, I was being vague so as not to ruin the surprise.  Then he brought up a comment i'd made a week ago when he took the 4 year old to a movie.  I said, "Hey, how come you always get to do the fun stuff?"  I was half joking, but... yes... I would like to have some time with her and not always be home with the little one when they go off to do 'big girl' stuff.  I would not call it blackmail, but who knows? I am discovering every day more and more things i have done that are a result of my mental illness (that I thought were normal).

The worst part about the outburst in the car was that he humiliated me in front of my kids.  He is always saying that i need to set a strong example for them so that they aren't afraid of everything like i am.  But how will I set that example if he is speaking harshly to me as if scolding a child?  He has never done this in front of the kids before.  I had taken my adderall an hour or so before and it had just started to kick in.  The adrenaline produced by the shock and shame of his attack shot through me and I began to panic.  I had to roll the window down and stick my face out until my heart stopped flipping out. 

He apologized an hour or so later, but I was still freaked out and spent the weekend pretending to be ok when all I wanted to do was lock myself in the bathroom and cry.  It seems he is MORE intolerant of my mistakes now.  I asked him why he didn't tell me that he hated the story about how we met.  He said because he knew if he said something I would be offended and take it personally and whine and complain.  *sigh*

I have been busting my ass to get better and I have been on adderall for months.  I don't like it, but I admit it works.  I can robotically go about household tasks and chores and get things on my list checked off. I hear the college kids around here bragging about taking 'Addies' and they feel like Superman.  I do not feel like Superman.  At best, I occasionally feel like Captain Adequate.  I know the solution is probably a higher dose or more doses etc. but i HATE the idea of popping pills all day.  I started running, but because I exert so much physical energy walking/pushing a stroller (sometimes with both kids=60lbs) it seems to just exhaust me. 

How do you deal with setbacks?  How can I stop F**king up???????????

You are a human being and an

You are a human being and an adult. Unless I am missing something, you did NOTHING WRONG in either situation. What the hell?

He needs to let go of his anger and start letting you be an adult...that is a hard pill to swallow for many of us non's, but it is loud and clear in the Wal-mart situation. A 'half joking' "wow that took forever...I thought we'd miss Easter!" or something and then moving on would have been a much better reponse than his acting like the world was going t come to a damn end over you being in Wal-mart for 30 minutes for goodness sake!!

YOU need to start standing up for yourself. You need to learn to react, without anger, but by saying "this is a really inappropriate response to what I did and I don't like the way you're acting in front of the children or the way you're talking to me. Please stop. We can discuss it later when you're not upset". Deal with it IN THE MOMENT and don't let it chip away at your self esteem and your God given right to take a little longer in Wal-mart than he likes occasionally.

Neither of these are "mistakes" or "F**% ups" they are just situations that you were in that he responded poorly to. HIS fault for not telling you about the 'how'd you meet' story...although I think he's full of sh!t for saying it made you sound crazy. Respect that he doesn't like it, and just shorten the story to "met him where he used to work", but stop beating yourself up over something INNOCENT that he decided to pick away at you needlessly for. That is not kind or respectful treatment and there is no excuse.

I know it is hard, but the best way to handle situations is to handle them as they happen, expressing what you're feeling in a calm, rational way. I give myself this advice a lot...say to him "it really hurts when you say things like that" or "I respect that you don't like our story, I won't tell it in the future, but you can't expect me to know you don't like it if you don't tell me. It isn't fair for you to be upset when you didn't communicate your feelings to me" Just something short, to the point, and non-confrontational as possible. You couldn't have known. I think it is BS, but you do need to respect his feelings and he needs to communicate better.

I am sorry...but it seems to me you're drowning in his anger towards you, and killing yourself to change...what are his plans re: dealing with his anger and his treating you like a child?

Timing really IS everything.

That's just it, Sherri:  I can never think of the right thing to say in the moment.  When I finally download all the information and process it and think of a good reply, he's already moved on.  I did manage to say something like, 'don't do this in front of the kids' but... was so shocked I kept thinking, "oh man... i screwed up again!  I can't do anything at this point to fix it!" He felt bad that i had a panic attack and apologized and said his blood-sugar was low and that made him grumpy.  but i'm still kind of hurt 3 days later. 

He's agreed to read the book - and we'll order it soon... as soon as he meets his current deadline.  maybe in a couple of weeks?

And I agree:  it IS a God-given right to take too long at Wal-mart!


I'm not sure how long you have known about your ADD, but I recognize a few things here. I responded well to Adderall. All of a sudden I could plot out and execute chores, projects and not let other distractions stall me out. I had a better perception of time. I was AWAKE and functioning better than ever. I wanted to exercise, because it made me feel good. But with all of the positives, the ADD is still there and the coping skills are hard to let go. You can probably see emotions and body language that you never saw before and learning to react and measure them is something I am still working on two years later. Like Sherri, I don't think you did anything to warrant the reactions of your spouse. You are trying to improve yourself and therefor your family. I hope your husband is trying to learn a little about ADD, as his understanding it will help him see how hard you are working to improve things.

One bit of advice, if I may... Since you can probably function at a higher level, don't try to do too much, or you will be back in the ADD frantic mode in no time :-) Get your meds right, too... If you don't take enough you can slip back in the fog, if you take too much you will know it. It takes time, LOTS of time. So many people with ADD don't follow through and it sounds like you are really trying your best. Keep up the good work!



getting the meds right

Thanks, YYZ.  Yeah, i know I need to go back to the doctor and figure it out.  I've known for years something was wrong and suspected ADD, but always thought I could 'snap out of it' if i just get routines esablished and some behavioral therapy.  But.... as you know... it doens't always work for us.  So i went to a Dr. in December and started the Adderall.  I find that if I have a particularly busy day, the next day i'm a zombie even WITH the adderall.  So... Time for tweaking.  *sigh*  I HATE going to the doctor for this!

Oh, and you're so right about the finally seeing body language that you never saw before!  So freaky.

Zombie Prevention = Exercise

I can tell a huge difference in my day when I start my day with my two mile walk and end with the same 2 miles. I feel completely different on those days :-) Not to mention I am not addicted to food anymore and in my two years of walking and Lack of ADD Fog I found myself down 100 pounds which helps with the self esteem too :-) Lots of people discount the use of drug therapy, but the FACTS are we are short of key chemicals in our brains. Adderall does not make me Superman, but it is an equalizer to compete better and more confidently in the world. I still am working on the body language interpretations. It's like being 5 years old again and learning how to deal with All sides of the conversation :-)