I must say it was a relief to find all the information about ADHD relationships in forums and blogs online. Finally, many bits and pieces have fallen in place and now I think I might understand what just happened in my relationship that ended abruptly about one month ago.
SIX MONTHS AGO
I am a 31 year old male and my former ADHD girlfriend is 24. We had known each other some three years and started dating six months ago. We are both musicians and share the same interest, values, friends, humor etc. Before we started dating she had told me (and many others) that she had ADHD. She was diagnosed three years ago and has since then turned her life around completely. She has always been very open with her condition, her (violent and destructive) past and how relieved she was to have been diagnosed. Since her diagnose, she started medicating (ritaline) and could successfully complete her high school degrees in two years since she had screwed up school all her life. She had a past of screwing everything up, she told me. We started dating during her final semester of complementing her high school degrees and two months ago she had the degrees allowing her to apply for a university degree. She said that these two past years had been the best time in her life. Now she either aimed at a musical career or a university degree.
I can relate to many of the posts in forums and blogs, since our relationship started out great. We fell madly in love. Although we both agreed to take it slow (she did not “plan” to be in a relationship) we ended up spending every single minute together. She was the sweetest, most caring person I had ever met. She constantly called and texted me, I constantly called and texted her. She basically moved in to my apartment. She was charming and bright. All I ever wished for. I was a bit surprised that although she told me she wanted us to take it easy, she always took the initiatives to meet and to do stuff together. I loved it. I had never felt so loved! Her hyperfocus on me was one of the strongest experiences I have ever had. I remember her warning me early on that she could be a really tough person to be with. Since I had seen some of her personal traits (hyperactivity, temper etc) I believed her. But we really had the best time for four months. No arguments, no problems whatsoever. Until…
TWO MONTHS AGO
…We went to her friend´s wedding. I enjoyed myself while she was dancing and having fun, all night. Since I didn´t know anyone at the wedding, I expected her to “stick by my side” but she completely ignored me. I felt invisible and really confused. I didn´t know if I should bring it up, but she noticed something was wrong and asked me. I told her how I felt and she was completely devastated. She told me she could never live up to such expectations and that I shouldn’t demand her constant attention. I was surprised by her strong reaction and said that I probably overreacted (at the time I really believed I did). We got over it (or at least I thought we did) and had a few weeks of “normal” relationship. Later, similar events occurred and I didn´t know what to think. She stayed out late, didn´t answer my calls, came with strange excuses and seemed to overreact when I brought it up.
ONE MONTH AGO
It all escalated when she went abroad for ten days. Her vacation turned into a disaster when her friend’s uncle got killed in a car accident (later she told me she forgot to take her meds the whole week). I was really worried for her (and for our relationship, which felt like a bad and confusing combination). She completely stopped answering my calls, said she needed to be alone. I really tried to understand and respect her wish but couldn´t since I was worried sick. The more I tried to contact her, the angrier and more frustrated she became. She asked me to stop bothering her. More excuses, lies even, it appeared. At that point I was a total mess. I didn´t know what to do. When she came home she literally did everything to avoid me. It took me five days to convince her to meet me. I explained that I only wanted to understand since I felt like an idiot. Had I done something wrong? What had really happened? What was really going on in her mind? I was going crazy and had such a strong demand for understanding.
THREE WEEKS AGO
When we finally met she tried to explain and said she was no good for me, that she was unsure of what she wanted in her life. Since I was a mental wreck I said I couldn´t take any more uncertainty and we decided to break up. In the end, it felt like she forced me to break up with her… I was really sad for what happened and how it happened. There were of course also very “normal” reasons for breaking up, such as the fact that she might want to move abroad for studies, age difference etc. As the rational person I am, I did my best to stick to the “normal” explanations, but the whole situation felt so unreal. How could something that passionate just end over night? However, I think I understand better now, since I have read hundreds of similar stories.
Since then we have barely spoken and only met once, very briefly. I still love her and I have tried to meet with her, but she keeps avoiding me. Since she doesn´t want to meet I decided to write her an email, begging her to explain what was “really” going on in her head. What was she thinking? How did she feel? That I cared for her. I did my best to explain that I had no hard feelings, no anger, that I only wanted to talk. I needed to understand to move on.
At that time I had read a lot about ADHD. I decided to write what I felt - my side of the story - after learning more about her diagnosis. I felt mean (I didn´t want to give her the ADHD-lable), but I had to let her know how I felt, and hoped to get some answers from her. I wrote that, as far as I understood, ADHD probably was an important reason for me feeling this lost and probably had something to do with her behaviour. I sent her links and articles that I thought explained a great deal. It took her three days to answer (yesterday). This was a short text where she said she didn´t have the energy to read all this and asked why I had to bring up her ADHD as a factor. She seemed upset.
Now I feel that I have somewhat recovered mentally and I have no intentions of getting back together with her. But it feels strange to just leave this all behind. I really want the best for her since she is a fantastic person. But I really don´t know what to do. I guess my nagging will only make things worse. So...
Can someone guess what she feels right now? What is going on in her head? Does she feel bad? Does she feel guilt? Has she shut of her feelings? Does she have regrets?
I know she is really sorry for causing me this pain, and she has apologized, but then what? What will happen to her?
I have asked her to be completely honest with me but she appears to have shut down completely...
I only want the best for her, so what do I do? Is there anything at all that I ACTUALLY CAN do?
Advice warmly appreciated! Thanks.