Horrible Holidays

My ADHD husband hasn't spoken to me in a week. A new trend in our relationship. Anger, then avoidance for a week at a time, and then anger again. Because of this insane cycle, I've barely spoken to him since Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, as he stews, feels sorry for himself, and withdraws from the family, I've been doing everything to get ready for the holidays. I bought all the Christmas presents, which, given the fact that his employment situation has not been stable this year, took an act of God. I juggled, I returned things we needed to buy gifts for his kid/my stepdaughter, bought things on layaway, used credit cards, skipped a couple of bills . . . it was truly a Christmas miracle that I was able to put anything under the tree.

I also wrote all the [homemade, since we're poor] Christmas cards, did all the cooking, shopped for his nieces and nephews, cleaned the house, wrapped all the gifts, and made a last-ditch effort to put together a semi-decent Christmas meal. Which won't be easy easy, because I have $0.27 in my checking account for the rest of the month. So I'm scraping together what's in the kitchen, looking for loose change, and using my work's meal card (comes out of my next paycheck) to buy food.

On top of that, we have plans to go out of town, which means I have to do laundry for three people, pack everyone, print out tickets and itineraries, arrange for a ride to the airport, scrape up more change for tolls and gas, pack snacks for the plane (we can't afford plane food), and make sure everyone gets there on time.

To say that this has been stressful is an understatement.

Every year, I ask him to help out, to at least help me plan and schedule. But he won't hear it. He overreacts and becomes explosive with me. He accuses me of avoiding housework -- clearly, it's my fault that the house is messy, because "all we ever f-----g do is talk." He says that he sent me a detailed email three days before Christmas, explaining how things can't be left to the last minute. He has no clue, whatsoever, how much work I do.

And then the piece de resistance, the name calling, swearing, and verbal abuse.

I feel so unappreciated and overwhelmed. And as I look at the tree, all I want to do is cry. He didn't even buy me one gift. Not even something homemade, modest, or from the heart. Not even a card or a hug or a thank you.

All I ever do is scramble, hustle, rush around, beg, maneuver, do whatever I can to stay on top of our life. The kid has no idea how broke we are, how much we struggle, because I do an incredible job of covering it all up.

I assume that since you're

I assume that since you're posting here that he has ADD/ADHD? In treatment?

Your post breaks my heart. Read it to yourself...as many times as it takes...until you see what is missing. ADD or not...where are YOU in this equation? Who is taking care of, providing for, considering YOU???

I can only offer my prayers and my sympathy...many of us can relate. Please share more about his diagnosis and such when you get time. (((HUGS)))


I see that he does have ADHD...

I'm so sorry for your heartbreak.  You've got a bad deal all around, hon, and I can relate too.  There were years I never got a gift either and my stocking was empty.  It hurts...no doubt about it...especially when you do everything possible to make the holiday special for everyone else. 

Sherri is right about the "you" factor, however.   I don't see that you've done anything for yourself, and you are VERY important.  Don't neglect your own needs.   Do something just for you and to heck with him and his silence and nastiness.   After Christmas sit down and ask yourself 'what exactly am I getting out of this relationship?"   Sounds like a big fat nothing to me....maybe time to make some positive changes??

ebb and flow's picture


You are effing amazing!!!! Wow.

I can't believe how organized and skillful you are in putting all of this together for his child!!! I can tell you truly do have a huge generous heart that is willing to sacrifice your all to make the holidays feel somewhat "normal".

You truly are a strong woman!

Keep breathing. 

None of this is your fault. It's the fault of a not so wonderful disorder that puts us all into situations like these for the ADDer and the family we love.

I understand how hard it is to try to bring a little "normal" into your life when it seems all is lost to ADD symptoms all the time. Exhausting is an understatement! 

The holidays will be over soon and I hope they turn out positive for you and your family.

Sending you happy vibes!