I will give a brief synopsis of my life so far with my (soon to be diagnosed I hope) ADHD husband. We have been together for almost 6 years and have two children of 4 and 10 months. My husbands behaviour first became an issue for me when I was pregnant with my first child,he got a good job after some time unemployed and lost the job within three weeks for messing around during corporate induction, couldn't get him off various online chatrooms or the XBOX 360, he didn't seem to be able to monitor the passage of time, also realised he was very clumsy and forgetful. Life with a small baby was hellish, he seemed completely oblivious to the need to do any work around the house and was obnoxious if woken during the night, I quickly learnt not to bother disturbing him. Life got tougher when I returned to work full time, he had reduced his hours so he was providing day care and I was the main carer at weekends and in the evenings. Despite my working 40 hour weeks to his 20 I was still doing most of the housework and housekeeping. As our child got older his fathers lack of ability to organise himself became more apparent. Attempts to get him to access any baby or toddler groups with our son failed miserably, mainly because he forgot to go! In the midst of this I was physically unwell and required surgery, my fear that I would die under anesthetic and leave my child with this man who could not even organise himself to wash regularly was immense. But I had not voiced my fears and frustration openly to anyone at this point. Trips to others houses were very difficult for me, my is husband funny and quick witted but often socially inappropriate, I am quite socially adept and so find some of his behaviours very embarrassing. He would also take risks with both his own safety and the rest of the family which would lead to heated arguments.
Hopefully (insanely) I fell pregnant again, by now we had settled into some kind of stand off, me nagging frequently, numerous chore charts, sheer exhaustion, accused of being a controlling, micro managing woman, separate beds ( his sleep was all over the place) and regular rows. We also had the usual stressors of step children, finances, his alcohol consumption and of course the pregnancy which was not an easy one. In fact I was in and out of hospital from 20 weeks at 34 weeks. If I thought it had been hard before...
My husband just could not cope with the stress at all, he ran around like a headless chicken for at least two weeks, meanwhile I was feeding a baby 2 hourly and booking the family holiday from my hospital bed!
My second maternity leave was, if possible, worse than my first, indeed since our baby was born my husband has been involved in the caring of the baby at night on 6 occasions and on 2 of those I came close to murder ( seriously) he was so unbelievably rude and uncaring, and in my severely sleep deprived state I just can't keep a cool head, hense the continuation of the separate beds.
The realisation that he probably has a mental health disorder has been a double edged sword for us both, he understandably struggles with the idea of having a disorder ( he honestly thought his issues were down to other people nothing to do with him ( people have tried to kill him repeatedly!!!) and me, well I've slowly come to realise that I am not a bitch from hell, I was really struggling to understand how I had become this wired woman with no patience and a fish wifes way with words, generally I was considered bossy but kind hearted and generous by others.
But the anger still overwhelms me, when I am tired ( still up several times a night with baby and back at full time work), when he lies to me to cover a mistake, when he loses money that we don't have, when he asks about some trivia when I am so worn out and fed up that I am sobbing so hard my throat hurts, his inability to ever, ever, ever just be MY prop, just once when I ask for it, not when I have to berate him into doing it or when he feels like making me a cup of tea. That he has ruined the very short amount of time I was able to take at home with my small children, time that I will never be able to recoup, when he asks\me how he can make it up to me - YOU CAN'T.
But most of all the feeling that I am being consumed by this disorder, it controls every aspect of my life, I spend my time waiting for the next cock up, the next let down, running around trying to keep the balls in the air, never being able to rely on him to catch one for me if it should drop, really, really just wanting either him or I to disappear so this would all go away but knowing that our separation would devastate our son, and realising more and more just how much I dislike myself when I'm with him, how can I live with two people I have no liking or much respect for?
And I know about the book, and believe me I have tried to read it, unfortunately keeping my eyes open past 9pm is a miracle and my grief just keeps getting in the way.
And I am very aware of my husbands many good points, he is a fun and crazy dad, he will help anyone in need, he is extremely creative and writes beautiful poetry, I know that he loves me enough to learn how to clean the toilet properly and he is just as scared that this might not work out. However there is very little for me, and I'm just not sure if the good stuff balances out the sheer hard work enough for me.
Thank you for listening