Newbie wanting to vent and normalise

Evening All,

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

 

Sounds so familiar

Chaos,  I can't say that my story is exactly like yours, but I deal with many of the same issues. I haven't found many things that work, so I'm not sure if I can offer any advice, but I can offer sympathy. I too feel angry a lot (which is new for me, I've always been very forgiving and am not one to hold a grudge), I feel frustrated by lies (from big to little, to me and to others), I get furious over the stress and anxiety I carry around every day. I have read Melissa's book, and a lot rings true, especially the parent/child dynamic, and I've tried to implement some of the strategies she recommends. I have tried to change myself, not him; I have tried to give up control. It's hard, though. I can't and don't want to do it all, but I can't rely on my husband to consistently share the household responsibilities, so I have lowered my expectations. But that doesn't get me to a happy place either--my house is messy. And when it comes to health and safety, it's not okay to lower expectations--I can't stay quiet when he neglects the dogs (doesn't let them out or feed them dinner b/c he "didn't think of it") or when he drives recklessly or when he leaves our house doors unlocked.

I hear you on looking for that balance--I know my husband has many good qualities, which is why I fell in love in the first place--but if we don't find an effective solution soon, I fear that all this stress, disappointment, and frustration will eat away at my good qualities (kindness, patience, fun-loving spirit).

Have you talked about seeing his PCP to get a diagnosis and possible treatment (pharmacologic and/or non-pharmacologic)?

Take care, and post updates as you can.

thank you

Hi veg_girl

 

Thank yu for your response, although I hate to think of others having difficult relationships too it is good to know I'm not alone in this. We live in the UK and there are strict rules about who can make an initial diagnosis o adult adhd ( in those not diagnosed as children) and who can initiate medications. Because there are few specialist Adult ADHD Centres the waiting lists are long, however we will be seeing the best in the country once we get there :-) Hoping to get our first appointment in May, we have seen a GP, a mental heallth social worker and general pysychiatrist already in the process of getting to the specialists.

We have investigated therapy too, however again there are few specialists about and we need to get a diagnosis before we can access them.

At the moment we are self medicating with nicotine replacement therapy and caffeine, he is also on antidepressants and sleeping tablets. I have tried antidepressants myself, neither I nor the Dr thought I was depressed but thought it was worth a shot, it wasn't it made no difference, I was and still am frequently so angry I feel like I will vomit and racked with sobs i response to his rudeness, lack of empathy and inability to communicate with me as an adult. We start off adult but he likes to play the fool and act in a childish manner (he often speaks to me or asks me questions in the same way he speaks to our children) and so I am pushed into the parent role. He will also blame me when he hasn't taken responsibility for his actions which leads to that parent/child dynamic. And I hate it, but as you say I have little choice when he puts me or the children at risk, either emotionally, physically or financially.

Just never sure we're going to make it and so wonder why I'm sticking at it?

Hope things improve for you too soon

 

Best Wishes

 

 

 

Both Situations Ring True to Me too

Chaos and Veg girl,  I read so many similarities between both of your stories and my own that I felt relieved to hear that someone suffers as much chaos, stress, disappointment and frustration as myself.  However, I feel so much sorrow for you both because I know how difficult it is living in this kind of turmoil.  I sit here with tears streaming down my face because I feel your pain so deeply.  Thank you for sharing.  I hope we all can find an inner peace and strength that helps us get through each and every day.  

Today, I feel defeated and worthless because we are arguing about cleaning a car....  of all things.  This is just insane.  We are trying to sell one of HIS cars that is just disgusting with food and trash.  I wanted to clean it this morning myself, instead of wasting the money to get it detailed.  It also makes me feel good to accomplish something.... anything.... and feel that I have actually completed a task and reached a goal.  Instead, he insists on taking control of cleaning the car, irresponsibly wasting money because he is not going to physically exert himself to clean the car.  He will take it to the car wash to have the job done.  All the time he is saying that he just wants to make things easier for me.  He knows that I am stressed out and wants to help in any way he can.  After a huge blowup and feeling defeated and pretty much worthless in my own house, I give in and tell him to go get the car cleaned.  However, he now decides that he will let me clean it because that it what I wanted to do in the first place.  At this point, I pretty much don't want to even look at this car.  I just want the argument to end.  

I try to figure out how our relationship fits into the parent/child dynamic.  I handle all the responsibilities like the parent (laundry, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, car maintenance, lawn maintenance), however he treats me like the child... asking me "child like" questions, telling me how I should be feeling and what my responses should be...  My motto is... "It is YOUR World... I just live in it!"  I feel that I am not allowed to have my own thoughts, my own voice, my own feelings, or my own decisions.  I live day to day a very lonely person, without any desires of my own.  But to hear him tell it, I treat him terribly, constantly complaining and nagging about everything.  He tells me that I am consumed with negativity. ???

I definitely hope that tomorrow is a better day for us all.  Again, thank you both for sharing.   Take the time to do something you enjoy for YOURSELF.  I believe it will keep us grounded and give us the strength to make it through till tomorrow.