I have been reading posts and I am always amazed at the similarities we all experience. I have to admit, I have to stop readings some times of I start to feel hopelessness.
My husband has ADHD (I had no idea what that was when I met him. As many of you, we went through the huge hyper focus ending right after our wedding. Talk about a shock! My sense of trust is still damaged. The fact that I have PTSD does not help that lack of trust in my reality. 'What you see is not what you get' keeps me unable to put my guard down). Well, I had to decide what to do. I followed my instinct: to show him not everyone was a coward, a critic, or a cheater (as so many he met seemed to have been), and I would stand by him. It has been so much work since. I fought the parental relationship demon and said no: Instead, I helped find medical care and he followed through by getting meds (Bupropion, since stimulants were terrible for him). I find tools and we try to incorporate them as a family: Things like visible organization (I had to adjust because I need neatness but we figured a middle). I started a blog that he reads every day. My blog keeps things practical and since he found the info out there overwhelming, I choose one topic a day and create a resource and he reads that one blog. I adjusted diet and even his ulcer got better. I do all finances and automated as much as possible. But as of yet I go invisible or rather, my needs do: No sexual intimacy, no dates (lots of intentions but his therapist said it was his job and I was not to organize them because I do more than enough. That means that in the end nothing happens.) I am actually thinking through a new idea: He comes up with four activities we can do at the start of the months and I do the arranging? His ideas my org. skills? He still struggles with follow through.
It can be exhausting. But we love each other.
Our danger? Terrible fights where I need to talk about my needs (For example: his family for once have been really unfriendly to me and my child. They treat his kid in ways that make mine feel invisible, and in spite of their knowledge of his forgetfulness they just get mad at me and lend no support - I have no family of my own. I was orphaned young. So, I need for example some holidays to be just us and peaceful, and I need him to work to have our girls sisterhood protected. These are examples that came to mind. Sorry. I am actually trying to keep this short)
I think about my words, I try to stay calm... But all he hears is this running tape in his head that says about himself (excuse me for sort of swearing) "I am a F...-up" He says he feels like he is being hammered by a board that just repeats that. Meanwhile I am saying "our daughter is hurting, we need to address this." OR "I need a break, please lets have a quiet weekend", or even "When you do that it hurts"... As soon as I need him to hear me his "reactives" start: Eye rolls, dismissive body language, telling me I think or feel things that never cross my mind, ... eventually I raise my voice (sadly this works for a bit) or I cry frustrated and he starts to withdraw (totally understandable if that is what he is hearing in his head) and last night he gave me emotional blackmail: The I am leaving sort of thing (mind you, I left my job and country to marry him..I have no where to go, he does). Makes me feel betrayed. We take care of his needs, but when I need mine addressed I am getting the message that I cannot find a way to reach him. Do I have to tell you how easy it is to fall into feeling not good enough no matter how much you do?
I though it was an excuse or bad habit not to have to hear me. That it is the deposit of so many critics in his life. Whatever it is, I do feel for him, but I must get around it.
At this point I do not care what it is. I have heart...I work hard... But I don't feel well...I need some room in this marriage for my needs and refueling (Please do not tell me I have to take care of him and refuel myself alone... I don't want to be a couple of one) I need my husband, my friend and my lover back.
The point is...If he can't hear me he won't. I will take slow steps, but I first need to get through... Please help? Did you/do you have that inner mean voice talking you down? Do you know how people get through to you? Can you tell me how the look on my face does not show him I am reaching out? (I do know he feels guilty that is is so hard for our oldest and for me here). However, his guilt won't help me...won't help us. How can I get through so he hears what I say, my actual words? I wish I could punch in the belly whoever put that insidious voice in his head. He does not deserve it... Neither do I.
We are both trying really hard and love each other. So please know I am asking for practical ideas that are constructive. He will also be reading this post and we will try to work together on this.
I have registered him and our oldest for Tai Chi, so they find a way back to each other and to help him find a way towards mind-stillness. They were excited about it until last night. My oldest is pulling from expending time with him. I am gently just moving forward. It is on the calendar. I hope as class starts they both will find their cadence with that.
Thank you for your help.