My ADD husband and I used to have a lot of good friends. We saw friends all the time. I felt we were sought after because we brought fun to gatherings.
A couple of decades later, this is all gone. I have grieved it immeasurably. For many years, before diagnosis, I couldn't understand why it happened. My charming and kind husband started to withdraw from social events and became afraid to speak on the phone. He lost his confidence. I then lost my confidence, because it seems nothing makes you as vulnerable socially as a weakened partner.
Friends turned on me. They made fun of my husband and me. We let them. Family acted awkwardly as contact became more and more difficult. It was all so unexpected. I never managed to defend myself or confront anyone. I felt so confused and hurt, I finally just gave up most of the people I used to care for.
And since then, I haven't recovered. I can guess what's wrong with me socially: I'm anxious to be accepted. I don't want to put people off, so I choose my words and actions carefully. I probably constantly scan people's faces and voices for signs of dismissal. People don't like it.
I've tried to make new friends for us as a family. Nothing sticks. We now have the tiniest circle of old friends, and we don't see them very often.
I used to get away with arrogance, feeling generally admired and loved. Now, humble and friendly, and using my tuned-in professional communication skills, I am deep down convinced nobody likes me.
Does anybody recognize this?
How is it that ADD can do this to the partner?
How can I ever regain that confidence?