MY focus

Daily I think of the person I once was and the person I have now become inside of myself.  I can't believe how I have changed.  I used to be SUPER competent, happy inside, well-adjusted, good outlook, faith-filled.  I know about operant conditioning and feel that while dh has made some advances in his standard of living since we married and I have been a good influence on him, I have compromised myself into being LESS THAN I was because of my constant allowances and trying to understand him and be WITH him.  My focus today, and for the next year, is to heal myself.  To wake in the morning and FEEL the beauty of LIFE and appreciate the birds singing and sunlight shining through windows again.  Can I heal myself while the cause of my downfall is still in my life?  It is like I am trying to hear birds singing while there is a huge boulder tumbling down the mountain towards our house and family and I am the only one able to see/hear it coming for our eventual ruin. Everyone else is distracted from its reality and won't listen when I tell them about my fears and anxiety about the boulder.  I have been able to keep the boulder from crushing us through my own will-power and determination and working hard to build and repair the mountain supports but I am getting too tired to keep that up anymore. AND there is a feeling of unreality that I am doing this alone. It feels crazy that dh goes about his silliness and does not plan ahead or even be aware of his own or our family's security in life.  I have to move out of the way of the boulder (the financial crush and breakdown of relationship/family and losing the home) and lose everything I have worked for and loved for all my life.  OR surrender to the crash. 

There is no house next door, family member, or other place to go to.  I would be without a home.  I have been doing my own denial and distraction...not wanting to see the ruination that ADD has been causing in our lives.  Trying to feel the pleasure of the birds singing in the morning and ignoring the boulder that is on its way is my own dance with unreality of coping.  When I write on this board it is toward my own acceptance of what is really going on.  Sometimes I re-read my own posts and don't recognize the person who is in this situation I describe...but it is more true than the person I am in my daily life of coping.  I tend to sugar coat and smooth over everything in real life.

Still, I know that if I focus on what is bad, only more bad will come my way and you tend to get stuck there....where I am.  The only way to move out of a dangerous situation is to look outward toward a better place to be and a better way to be and focus on getting there.

hey there

Jenna, I have been following you on here for a long time. On these boards, I tell you that I feel for you, and I am sorry. If you were my friend, I would tell you that you sound pretty miserable. Just crushed as a person.  

I cannot walk in your shoes, but I have been there. It took me a long time to accept what was going on. I had to take my children away from their father. I left. I have no family within a 500 mile radius. I had no other place to go. And I knew I could not heal myself while my spouse was still in my life, under the same roof, and my spouse. I was talking to my therapist and she looked at me and said, "You sound like a victim," and I realized all my language was about responding to him and dealing with him and being trapped. And she was right. It got to the point that I realized that it didn't MATTER if anyone else understood it or saw what I saw. No one was going to be able to get on this train with me. 

I knew I was not a victim. I am here to tell you: I was upset about leaving the house--he insisted on staying in it and with his ADHD I don't think he had the werewithal to move. Long story. It was heartbreaking, sure--those wood floors that I cleaned and that back yard that I loved. I asked myself: would you trade your happiness and peace of mind for a house? For some money? The answer was no. A million pound weight lifted off my chest. It took me a long time to work through acceptance and face my own particular reality, which was: I had a terrible, awful marriage to someone who was quite unhealthy for me. No matter how hard I tried, he wasn't going to take steps to change anything about himself. The moment I accepted this and decided to go, I knew it was the right thing and I have not regretted it for one second. 

I have spent the last few months working on myself and recovering from my lengthy marriage to someone with untreated ADHD. And I feel like, "I am back!" My children have their mother back. I have my brain back. I laugh again, for real. I am not depressed or numb any more. I wake up every day and say, "Thank you for letting me have my life back." Sure, I am close to broke--I can't take a vacation and getting a pair of shoes would be a huge, huge event in my life. The first month or two were tough-- and I hated having to tell people--I would run into someone at the grocery store who would ask, "How is your husband?." (ugh, lol!)  But this type of insecurity and fallout--it is nothing compared to the emotional turmoil and insecurity and damage my spouse caused my life. Plus, I realized that my spouse never took a fun vacation with me, anyway, even back when we could have scraped the funds together to do so. And, my smaller, manageable, sunny apartment with just me and my guys? Clean. Orderly. No junk or clutter or halfway finished rehab work he started and then left. Definitely don't miss that. 

So Jenna, I can't presume to tell you what to do, but if I were your friend: Your posts sound so full of pain and heartbreak. You sound like you have lost yourself. You sound smart, and capable, and so loyal and hardworking. And by the way, you wouldn't be homeless! Leaving the house that you live in, if you had to, doesn't make you homeless! You would make your own home, even if it didn't look like what you thought it may be. And only you can know if there is anything about your relationship that still makes you happy--maybe there is and I am missing something. Are you worried about what everyone will think? I was--of course I was. And then I realized that they didn't have to walk in my shoes and wake up in my life every day. And I heard the saying, "It is not your business what anyone else thinks." Got me through a lot. And even my life is not most people's business-most people at work and from our early life still don't know that we have separated. I decided to take one day at a time, and deal with it as I have to. I am not trying to be pushy, but it helped a lot to confide in a few friends back then who gave me "permission" to leave. 

Are you seeing a counselor? I saw a psychologist who specialized in working with women, and it did worlds for me. I also sneaked out and visited a great (female) attorney who specialized in family law so I would know what to expect down the road. I wish the best for you, no matter what course your life takes. Maybe there are those on here who could tell you how to heal yourself while you stayed:-)


Thank you dear.  I feel we are e-friends.  You give us strength and show us the way to courage and tenacity.  Thank you.

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Take gentle care of yourself - you deserve it


I will be art of your cheering section.  



Thanks for the support. It is so nice to come here to the computer and feel someone hears you.

carathrace's picture


Jenna, your pain moves all of us and makes us want to help you.  lynninney's wise and beautiful post, I could tell how much she gets you and wants you to be free and yourself again.  Have you ever made a list of every possible choice you have?  I mean EVERY choice?  brainstorm until you can't think of one more thing.  I'm talking stuff like," I could shoot him in the head while he sleeps", and "I could file for divorce and declare bankruptcy", and "I could live in a homeless shelter for awhile".  I mean it.  Every choice.  Don't stop until you have 50 things.  (Think Paul Simon.)  If it's hard to do that, maybe you could enlist a friend's help to get as crazy as you can get, think way outside the box.  Something might sound halfway good.     

50 ways

I am going to do that.  50 ways.  I am trying to change my brain.  From years of habitual responses of servitude and support, changing my brain to courage and individual strength takes practice and work.