I've learned of codependency. And I see my past patterns in all of these threads. If my life was a football field, I'd always be down at his end of the field - never at my end, and never sharing the 50-yard line. Reading books to help him, modifying my life to handle him, giving up my day to help organize him, recovering from his unexpected 180 of mood and attack-invalidate-stonewall-abandon abuse cycle. At some point, one needs to say "he's a disordered jerk, and even in the world of disorders, there are choices and decisions he makes that are more about being a selfish jerk than about being sick." It is compassionate to 'explain away' his behaviors as "Well, he made me cry and then yelled at me for crying - but it was the ADHD." But SELF CARE - you were still hurt! YOU need a website, YOU need a support group, YOU need him sitting around reading how to help YOU out of your PTSD from the abuse. But that doesn't happen with the ADHD spouse.
I have more and more strongly insisted I'll share the 50 yard line with him but I will nolonger run down to his end of the field and live there. I defined what I need: a partner who equally cares for me as much himself, and who welcomes for me to do the same; and someone who can handle life's up's and downs, so that a flat tire is just something to to discussed and handled, not something that so offends him that he has a right to punish me for it.
On the days when he does not come to the 50 yard line, I'm sad, but I try not to seek solace from the disordered abuser. I am trying to make him a smaller part of my inner circle, adding more to my circle every day. I also vow to step away from fires that burn me, not toward them. A healthy person does not get burnt and go back for more; that is a disorder. I seek to be healthy, not disordered. If my sitting at the 50 yard line results in us being apart more b/c he won't come to the 50 yard line, then he's made his choice, but I will NOT give up healthy boundaries anymore.
So where we are now is: after 22 years together he was just diagnosed - every 2-5 years we identified a new "clue" or psych diagnosis for the recurring cycles in our marriage, but the ADHD just lifted the lid on the entire crazy train. He was put on vyvanse - 10 mg, then 20, now staying at 30mg. He is gone for a week, talked at 8pm 2 nights and he was a jerk; the meds had worn off. Then I asked him to call me when he's ON the meds (b/c he keeps saying how great he's been feeling - read a book - 70 pages without skipping over to espn.com etc.) So the last 2 days he's called at 12pm when his meds are active and it's been rainbows and butterflies. I say negative truths (eg he asks how I am and I'll say "well, I'm still hurting b/c you blamed me irrationally on the phone last night and then hung up; and I'm generally hurting b/c I am a wife and mother but my true experience is being completely alone and hurt repeatedly by the one that supposed to be my support system." So that TRUTH would normally set him off, but when he's on the meds he went the opposite direction "I'm sorry to hear that and I know it's always my words and promises of future change, but I really want to do that and be there for you. And you are the best mom ever and I'm so thankful for the way you talk through things with the kids and you see what's wrong and really work to give them the support they needs. You are really so amazing and I want you to know that."
??? It's NICE but the butterflies and rainbows sweet talk scares me just as much as his angry outbursts. Do the meds make this much of a difference? Do I now treat him like Fiona in SHREK? Only talking to him from 8am - 6pm so that the "meds" keep him talking sweet and nice? It feels like a bridge that will break. And am I married to a jerk who is dressed up in pretty meds? Or are the meds bringing out the "real" him and the thoughtless, selfish angry him is "just the adhd?"
I NEED to organize this in my mind with some sort of model. If he was in a wheelchair I'd say "Can I live a life with a man in a wheelchair, yes or no." But the guy in the wheelchair isn't a tornado of psychological abuse. The adhd is. .... which brings me back to the top - am I just still a codependent allowing someone to scare the sh*t out of me even when he's nice? Stockholm syndrom is NOT the marriage I sought when we met 22 yrs ago. Mother trucker. They are mindf**ks. I feel we become more like them, not the reverse. It's a robbery of an entire life. Even me spending my 1 free hour on a Saturday - I feel ROBBED of normalcy, sanity. But as another post-er said: he faked it so well in the beginning, I was duped into doing the biggest most important thing I thought I'd ever do with someone - have kids. My kids are the MOST important to me; they are the next generation. I'd have left my husband years ago if it were not for my kids. Yet I've read all about how it's healthy to leave a spouse to give kids a model of how to have self-care, self-compassion, even if it means breaking up a marriage. Yet b/c of career changes for my husband, the kids have already managed so much change, they just need consistency (my younger sees a therapist for worries about us!!!). So I just need THEM healthy and I do yoga and mindfulness work. But it always seems like he's the riptide trying to pull at all our good grounding work.
Where is the light - the order - the plan in all this? And are the meds the answer - or does it set us up for more roller coasters and deep dives? (This is my first post - new member, so lots of unanswered quesies as you can see.)