Paging YYZ

I kept looking for a thread for my topic, but I've given up and decided to go the direct route.

What specifically helped you and your wife get to a better place?  I have been trying here for more than a year and a half.  He accuses me of loving to fight, but I don't know what to do when he declares "The Unvarnished Truth" and I disagree.  What is the difference between stating your opinion and starting a fight?  I don't have to yell, demean, or be sarcastic to "start a fight."  I just have to disagree.  Maybe I'm wrong in here as well.  I'm not just talking ADHD stim fights, here, to be clear.  I am talking about 2 opinionated people, but feel like only one is entitled to his opinion.  Did you have this problem?  How did you get past it?

He just gave me the "You win.  I'll stay and be miserable."  I called him out on that, and declared that he was lying, because he has changed his mind so many times on this topic.

Did you ever at any point want to just quit?   I am finding it increasingly difficult to be consistent in my efforts with him, not because of my ADHD (though it doesn't help..at all), but primarily because I am soooooooooo literally tired of being miserable and feeling like a consolation prize for someone who claims he loves me but who says it was a mistake to marry me.   I can't bear the thought of sharing custody of our kids, or the sadness it would cause them...

I know I'm rambling, but meds have long since worn off and I forgot my evening dose (oops!).  I'm so tired.  I just want to have a happy family.  Crying as I write this.

Thanks for your insight.

Sorry for the "Slow" page response ;)

Better Place: I wish there was a particular thing I could name as the how to get there. Things are not "perfect/normal", but what marriage is??? I would say that "My" being consistent, less angry, less defensive (Hard to not "Seem" defensive still). I tried/still trying to "Do what I'm supposed to be doing as a husband and father", like remembering things I was not asked to remember (I'm listening?!?!), keep the daily household stuff going, work in "Hyper-Focus Mode" on my Big Project and not let other things interrupt, as much as possible, so I don't have 10,000 things 80% finished.  I don't want to bring up ADD symptoms in reference to any of my past/present behaviors. That was a sure way of icing any potential conversation. When I notice (Yes, I said notice) my DW might be in a bad mood/tired/stressed, instead of steering clear, for fear of it being related to something "I" did or did not do/remember, I'll ask if there is something wrong or explain that it seems like something is not right. I still probably kind of suck at this, but I'm trying. It seemed as if my DW's anger had been tailing off and this has helped me do some of what I am trying to explain.

Loving to fight: It may seem like it to the NonADDer's out there, because we ADDer's tend to Not See how defensive we can be. I am still developing my "Your opinion/My opinion" discussions. Remember, these are the conversations that I "Never" used to have at all. I would just either agree to make it go away before saying something wrong or I would shut-down because of the stress.  

Many of the "The Unvarnished Truth" conversations were over ADD related topics that I felt she was unqualified to sound So Knowledgeable. These comments would goat me right into "Super Defensive Mode". Too many of these had me where you appear to be right now. We would agree to disagree, then she would bring it up again, or I would say something that she thought I was eluding to the topics. I think I finally realized that I was "Being Defensive" because I have done a bit of research into my ADD and trying to better myself that I would "Act" to her like the Old ADD Me when I would argue my point, instead of admitting Any Fault. I "Look" like I used to look, when I am defending what I feel is "Right". (I sound crazy, I know) This was "MY Anger" I had to let go of, caused by a lifetime of people making assumptions about me and my ADD. She had to let go of her anger and I obviously had to let go of mine...

Quitting: Sure... I have felt many times since my diagnosis that I might just quit. Were my changes too little, too late? I asked for forgiveness and was forgiven, I then asked if she could forgive and not bring up long past incidents (As long I was not repeating behaviors, this allows the past to be used as a reference of what Has Not changed)? She said yes, but it took a long while for the 2nd part to go into effect. I did admit this mad me mad, but I know now how easy it is for me to let the past be in the past and how hard it is for a NonADDer to do this... The past gives backup for current feelings of trust and insecurities. I have the Damn Trust Bucket I have vowed to refill from total empty status. Time is helping... When I was at my most frustrated I vented to my closest friends and family only and when they started to say "I'm" in an abusive situation and should get out and I was only fooling myself to believe it would get better. Light Bulb Moment: I started Defending her... I told them THEY did not understand why she felt the way she did about me/us and THAT was when I realized I needed to let go of the anger. I owed it to my DW, children and Myself. Quitting could at times seem like a solution to so many problems, but "The Great Escape" always looks appealing to us ADDer's because we don't have enough information about the "Escape" outcome and we know all about the troubles in out current situation.

I hope things improve for you and I've written many late night posts without any clarity from my meds :) Sorry I took so long to notice the "Page"...

YYZ

I "forgive" you for your

I "forgive" you for your "slow" response :).  I think I was trying to create the most obnoxiously obvious forum possible.  Win.

How do you NOT bring up ADD behaviors?  This is both a recurrent and destructive theme in our relationship, and I don't know how to get out of this stupid pattern.I literally have no idea how it is possible to do that.  I feel like I have to sort my behaviors  into ADHD and CHARACTER FLAWS, because ADHD symptoms can make the Non feel like they married a callous ass, and that's not who I am!  Explaining it makes ME feel as though I've reasoned through and analyzed my own behavior, but invariably make HIM feel like I'm making excuses.  I've recently realized that the other big reason I EXPLAIN MYSELF is because every time I apologize, even if immediately, he keeps a) hammering at me and b) interrogating me as to logic and motive.  I don't know where to go when I feel "cornered" like that, except EXPLAIN, EXPLAIN, EXPLAIN, which he views as EXCUSE, LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY, EXCUSE.  I know what you mean about icing the conversation.  It seems to negate any valid points I have in his mind.  Yet, I don't know he can possibly understand me without understanding the SHEER VOLUME of ways (both great and small) that having ADHD affects me, my life, and subsequently him and his life.  I'm trying to understand it from his vantage point.  I'd like a little reciprocity every now and again, but I don't know I'll ever get it.  Does your wife make an effort to truly understand the intricacies of you interlaced with your ADHD?  I'm also trying to figure out when things have to do with my ADHD and when then don't.  I have been perusing (not hyperfocus-reading like normal) Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?, but it really doesn't answer that burning question to my satisfaction.  Plus, the tone is snarky and bitter as well as being generally unhelpful.  Yuck.  Thank God for Melissa.

Any more insight you have would be much appreciated.  Thanks for taking the time to respond.  I really do appreciate it :).

"Explain, explain, explain"

I really like the way the two of you are exploring this topic, and your understanding of how your explanations get interpreted as "excuse, lack of accountability, excuse" is EXACTLY right.  Perhaps this will give you additional insight:

At this point, he isn't very interested in understanding you because your behaviors (specifically inconsistency, I suspect) are too threatening and disturbing to him.  He doesn't want to hear WHY things are they way they are, he wants to have them be different.  Once he feels less threatened by your behavior (presumably because it has changed in a way that makes life easier for the two of you) then he will be able to look back and understand you better (both in the past and in the present.)  If you read through what YYZ has written it's about specific changes he's making in behaviors - being less defensive, actively involving himself in potentially touchy situations rather than running away from them, etc.  These types of things do get noticed by a non-ADHD partner, and generally are reassuring.  Over time, YYZ will find that the progress gains momentum and his wife starts to respond more positively more quickly (over time, I said...it takes some time for this dynamic to kick in).

Next time you're "cornered" try this approach:

  • take full responsibility for whatever your actions were, without any complex explanations (unless one is requested)
  • state what you were trying to do
  • state what you will do about it in the future

So it might go something like this:

"I'm sorry I was late again.  I know that really bothers you.  I've been trying to start to get ready earlier, but I obviously didn't leave enough time.  So next time I think I'll set an alarm to remind me to start 45 minutes in advance.  Hopefully that will help me do better."  (Then, of course, try the alarm - set it in your calendar or cell phone as soon as you know of the specific time you'll be leaving!)

It would be hard for him to be mad at that without being a total jerk...and it sets you up to be in a process of continuous experimentation on the way to big "wins".  If the alarm works - or even works better - then you have learned something that you might be able to expand upon for future successes.  One way to make this even better is to enlist his assistance simply by saying something like "I'm going to be experimenting with a number of ways to do X better.  I'll be measuring my own success, but if you see something that you think works particularly well, I invite you to let me know."

Thank you, Melissa.  I tend

Thank you, Melissa.  I tend to be a motor mouth when I'm trying to explain, talking faster and faster, but then the words go fast than the speed of logic, and I end driving off a cliff.  BRIEF EXPLANATION, THEN CEASE AND DESIST ALL TALKING.  Got it.  Also, I shouldn't spend too much time on what I was "trying to do," because that also seems to be a trigger.  Question:  What if he "attacks" after the meds wear off?  That's a fairly frequent occurrence, and it's not pretty without my meds (does this sound like an excuse, too? I never know. Clearly.).  Sometimes I solve problems fairly quickly to avoid future recurrence (things that had been plaguing me) in response to a crisis I inadvertently created.  My reactive brain sometimes likes to solve problems this way (though I would rather not, because it means I'm in a crisis).  It happens so fast, and I wonder why I didn't think of the solution long before.  Other times, I don't have a solution ready to a more complex problem.  What reassuring thing can I say in that circumstance?  Should I say nothing with regard to preventing it in the future or should I say that I will devote some time at a specific interval to solving the problem (can see him responding sarcastically here, but maybe that doesn't matter).

Since you responded, I have another question:  how do I avoid "interpreting" what my husband means into nonsense?  Listening and communicating are the other major topics for us.  Part of it, I've realized, (a) is me thinking I've explained the complexity in my head when I'm really seeing a complex visual image but not elaborating enough and assuming my words match the picture in my head (I've posted about this before; sorry if this is a rehash, but I'm not sure if you have time to read all our posts).  That's getting easier, because now I know and can slow down (though he's none the wiser because he can't read my mind).  We also have the issue of him (b) automatically assuming I don't understand, responding under that assumption, me trying to explain that I do get it for several aggravating minutes until I finally convince him that I understand.  Then we have the issue of (c) me not remembering things he's said, such as "Remember, I'm going to X's house tonight," followed by my momentary blank stare as I attempt to recall (don't have planner opened, technology booted up to help at all time), culminating in him saying, "You don't remember???" with disgust and dismay in his voice.  Sometimes, I DON'T remember, other times I just need a minute or need him to jog my memory.  He counts this as not listening, too, even if I was listening at the time, took notes etc...  I'm not talking about failure to execute tasks, JUST instant recall issues.  I'm raising the B.S. flag on this one.  Maybe I'm wrong, but this seems just plain unfair, not to mention totally demoralizing.  If he's waiting on this to resolve itself, he's going to wear the mumu of disappointment forever, and we'll just keep adding more cloth.  We also have the issue (d) of me impulsively, but purposely exaggerating or misinterpreting to "make him look bad" because I'm pissed.  This happens very quickly when I'm mad.  Totally my fault, though.  And finally, we have the issue of me (e) simply processing information incorrectly and based on this, drawing incorrect conclusions.  I don't know what to do about this one...  Stress makes this one worse...

O.K.  Starting to ramble... again... 

Thank you for your valuable advice.  I don't know what I would do without your help or this site.

mumu of disappointment

I love that - that's a funny image.  I wear that muumuu too many times, I'm sure.  Maybe if I could get myself to picture it at the time (some ugly brown splotchy muumuu with frowny faces sown on to it) I would jerk myself out of disappointment mode.

Well...

If I have not ever owned a mumu I have never been truely disappointed???

YYZ

:( :( :( :( ... ;)

Frowny face patches!  That rocks!  Like a Girl Scout patch that no one would want to earn!!!  I can totally picture it.  Just need to resurrect my "cankles" from two pregnancies and the imagery is complete.  So hot.

You stopped me in my tracks with (C)

"(c) me not remembering things" "(don't have planner opened, technology booted up to help at all time)"

I just realized this is the MuMu O' Disappointment... Funny... I read this last night and wanted to respond, but I was exhausted after a Looooooooooooong day at work, then working on my "Home Improvement Project" until 10:30 last night.

On the spot, "Pop Quiz" backed up by my Short Term Memory. Awesome, like the "Snowball's chance in Hell". It's the blank stare while I'm processing/trying to remember that discredits me even if I get the answer right. Of course the answer does not matter after the blank stare anyway. I don't forget something on purpose and when I remember something the my DW forgets, I don't throw my MuMu on her.

Memory Rant over...

I can't believe you got my "Bat Signal" reference...

YYZ

blank stare leads to glare

"It's the blank stare while I'm processing/trying to remember that discredits me even if I get the answer right. Of course the answer does not matter after the blank stare anyway. I don't forget something on purpose and when I remember something the my DW forgets, I don't throw my MuMu on her."

I don't have much time, but I just wanted you to know that I experience the same thing.  It doesn't matter if I get the answer right, either.  The fact I even had to think about it is enough to elicit anger, angry comments, etc...  I don't know if it's because he assumes if I can't remember right off the bat, I must not have listened, and because he can recall such info easily, he can't imagine how it can be difficult (Guess what???  I realize the task is empirically simple, DH.  I just don't have the $&^#%#& neurotransmitters to do it consistently.  Unfortunately, because I SOMETIMES CAN DO THIS, this probably makes you think if I tried harder, I could do it consistently.)  Do you ever feel like that YYZ?  That because you can sometimes do certain tasks for which there is no trick (like pop quizzes) to overcome it, that they expect more and are consequently disappointed more?  Like we're holding out instead of experiencing the inconsistency as both a blessing and a curse?  I know that for me, the inconsistency was a curse also in that it lead me to think that "trying harder" would lead to good results, and that I just hadn't found the trick yet...  That was a treatment block for a long time...

Inconsistent...

My inconsistency is definitely looked at as a "I never forget something important to me", so what I do forget must reflect me not listening or it was not That important to me. Because my long term memory is pretty good my Short Term must be good enough... Wrong... Trying harder implies Memory is a choice. It is kind of luck for me. If I know there is something to be done on a given day, I have a pretty good record, unless the day gets crazy and I'm pounded with a bunch of unexpected things. This can really de-rail my memory. I'm a creature of habit and do pretty well when I have a normal day, otherwise it's a Crap-Shoot :-?


 

YYZ

Will my memory fail today? Let's ask the Magic Eight Ball... ;)

I concur.  I have no power what goes to the front of the queue, so to speak.  Fortunately, any kid-related medical or safety concern is something that takes 1st priority.  I say this because I can't really say it's because I'm a good Mom, and that therefore this is what my brain is choosing to prioritize (I am a good Mom, but I really don't know why my brain consistently chooses to prioritize this when I ACTIVELY TRY to remember other things and can't do it without a lot more memory aids).  I will say that my Mom, who has diagnosed, but untreated ADHD, was always SUPER RESPONSIBLE when it came to the health and safety of my brother and me.  My non-ADHD Dad was always clueless about that stuff (still is; don't really trust him with medical care of my kids).  That type of information was automatically prioritized for her as well.   I'm not telling you this for a pat on the back; conversely, I'm just saying I don't know how the hell this happens; I feel like a bystander in my own brain!

My long-term memory for things I've learned can be pretty impressive.  I still remember birthdays of people I went to elementary school with (but wasn't even friends with).  I have what my DH and I refer to as a "random memory."  My son is the same way.  We're  like Rain Man in several aspects of long-term memory, able to recall things most can't, but don't ask us what we ate for breakfast, and what time I need to be where tomorrow.  It sometimes frustrates my DH because he looks at the  combination of what my brain prioritizes and my ability to recall minutia and compares it to what my short-term memory and other executive functioning issues are, and it doesn't make sense.  Also, consider the fact I can sometimes recall items from short-term memory and I make even less sense.  I get frustrated by this, but it's true:  I don't make sense.  The dichotomy that is me perplexes me as well.  How can I be the same person?  I've struggled synthesizing the two parts of me into one person, but I'm more at ease than I ever was about it.  My husband, once jokingly asked me why I was making a particular task so complicated.  I responded (also jokingly), "Simplicity is for the simple.  That's why I leave those tasks to you."

Yeah,  YYZ, I like to say that I can't really deviate from the script.  Unexpected changes or inconsistent variations on a theme really throw me off me my game when it comes to time management, especially if it's totally last second and there's more than one adaptation to make.  It was one of the challenges of having to transport both my kids to school last year.  I could calculate time for myself fairly accurately (after I started therapy and she made me time everything for "homework"), but factoring my kids, their potential tantrums and fatigue, which were not issues every day, proved difficult.  I almost always got to work within 10 minutes of my ETA, but never as early as I wanted to arrive. 

Magic 8 Ball... Awesome analogy..

Random memory drives me crazy. I will say Adderall has improved the short-term memory a bit. My long-term memory is equally "Rain Man" like. (I am an Excellent driver too, really) We often joke about how I have wasted a brain cell on some trivial factoid stored in place of something that could be useful to recall :) I have been pretty good about keeping the kids appointments/events at the top of my recall. I refused to let these get forgotten and had extra Outlook reminders and alarms, whatever it takes to get those done.

My dad is undiagnosed ADD. I wish he would go to the doc, because I know how much better he could feel, but at 72 I doubt he would do this. My DD2 has an Extreme Memory and is Just like me in how she processes everything and I will keep an eye out for symptoms and explain why she may feel the way she does in terms of how I do and did as a child. I don't want her to ever feel the low self-esteem I did as a kid.  

Tasks being complicated: That is funny. Some things seem like they are Not complicated, but if you want them done right it does seem like I make a job "So Complicated", because if I Don't do it right it will be added to a list of Epic Fails. If it was SO simple why don't the others do them??? Like my current home project: "The Master Shower" My builder was SO bad that it had to be completely demolished. I'm a programmer/IT guy, but pretty handy with tools, so to save a TON of money I read up on all the processes involved and decided to do it. I had to start from the bare foundation and studs. From the new drain, then pan, step, cinder block bench, half wall between the shower and tub, to tile and grout, ALL While trying to keep the exact original dimensions so I could re-use the glass. Needless to say 5 weeks in, people are already asking "When is this going to be done?" Give me a break... Rant over :)

Rolling the 8 ball now...

YYZ

 

Good luck!

I just wanted to wish you luck with your shower repair job.  It sounds like a horrible and precise job, and I don't envy you!  I just put a storage bench together for my kids' winter hats/mittens/scarves, and I was pretty excited about that.  Last summer, I (mostly) fixed the light in our closet.  If the wires hadn't been mislabeled according to current code, I would have had it :(.  The electrician I called in to save me (finally) said I save some money by doing much of the work myself.  It was a situation where I was stubbornly hyperfocused on getting it done, even though I know little about electrical work (perhaps, not one of my better plans).  May you have better luck than I did!

Really Struggling Here

Need to be quick because I am SOOOOOOOO sleep-deprived (averaging 6 or less hours; only need about 7, but am quickly building substantial sleep-deficit).

I am experiencing a TON of difficulty for the first time (only a few short days after posting about being a responsible Mom, nonetheless) with NOT forgetting or neglecting to do things for my kids.  THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.  I think the change to from routine to my new (non)-routine is KILLING me. 

Problems:

1)  Used to be able to pick up two kids at 1 school whenever I was done work.  Now I have to leave work earlier than usual, and either pick up daughter first at her school and beat son to bus stop, OR if I need to stay later I need to meet son then backtrack to pick up daughter.  No consistency here, have finite amount of time to do these things, can't get distracted because of bus stop and son is only 6.  One day, I didn't have my watch and phone was off (have to keep it off at work), so I got lost in a time vortex  for about 10-20 minutes and arrived 1 minute after the bus dropped my son off.  I was and am SO upset about this.  Live in safe area and was surrounded by trustworthy adult neighbors, but STILL.  He is my responsibility. 

2) Husband is working several extra jobs this month.  We don't have a consistent schedule for drop off, pick up (who's doing what when), etc...  It takes me several weeks for me to adapt to a new routine, and I haven't yet because there is no "routine" except change.  Making it extremely difficult for me to see forest for trees.  NOT blaming husband.  He is beside himself because I have never been like this before; it was one thing he could count on with me.  Very down about this for many reasons.

3) Was trying to pick up house as we had contractor in house last weekend and it has been a disaster.  Cooked dinner for kids and me, enforced clean-up time, did several loads of laundry, did dishes, emptied and packed dishwasher twice in same night, took care of dog and administered 5 meds to kids before putting them to bed solo and reading with them (husband out at one of his jobs).  Oops!  It was 10:30 before I realized my 1st grader had a worksheet that was homework in his folder.  I glanced at the sheet (dense with writing for parents to read) but thought it was like one of the many optional suggestions my daughter used to get at school that were way below her level.  Decided to read it again when I had time, but clearly way too late.  Totally my fault.  It's so depressing to bust my ass all night and fail for my kids anyway :(.

How do I create a schedule when there is none to be had (at the moment)?

How do I anticipate it all?   Not even sure what to look for.  I'm not used to some of this 1st grade crap.  Not rocket science, but enough coordinating, timing, planning issues to confound me. 

Feel terribly that husband is so stressed about me not meeting expectation for the kids.

Also having battle of wills issues with 6 year old ADHD son, just like my ADHD Mom had with me.  Know I've done better than my Mom due to meds, therapy, awareness, but I am flying off the handle left and right when he refuses to listen to me.  I don't want to be like this!!!!!!!!

Need to sleep, but don't have time to sleep.  Huge problem for me.  Look like crap again.  Then I fight with husband, can't get things done and it makes it worse. 

 

 

 

 

 

Breath Mom

Try to be kinder to yourself... it's natural to be stressed out about school starting, changing schedules, etc., but when you are so hard on yourself, those emotions might make it even harder, no?  And all parents, ADHD or not, have these "adjustment" issues when school starts and schedules change.  You can trust that you will work things out, and it will get smoother again.  Promise.  Which child you pick up first and when and where seems to depend on when you can leave work, with the latest being in time to be at the bus stop. Do I have that right?   Would it be possible to just do it this way everyday, rather than changing frequently?  Even if it seems better to leave work at the earlier time when possible, the constant change seems to be bothering you. 

In addition to the watch, which might sometimes get left behind, I recommend a clock on your desk if you have a consistent work area.  If you "share" a work area, there are even tiny magnetic digital clocks that you can keep nearby.

As to the hubby stress and 6 year old stress.  Did you have a brief family meeting when the schedule changes and additional work were coming on?  I think every family should have periodic sessions where they can offer suggestions, learn how they contribute to the team's success, and feel heard.  Even if no one does anything "better" after the meeting, everybody feels "better".  With small children these can only be about 10 minutes.. but you learn things and they can be fun.  Ring a bell, put out a few cookies and try it.  When everybody is running around trying to get "too much" done, the working together thing can get left behind. 

Lastly, get a sitter, or swap favors with a friend and go to the salon.  I don't care if it's Cost Cutters or the swankiest place in town.  A girl has gotta feel like she doesn't "look like crap" to get up and face the day.  And I hope you understand your message and my reply could be from/for any mom in America.  It's not all, or even mostly, your ADHD.    

Thank you.  I have considered

Thank you.  I have considered leaving at the same time every day, but some days that is literally not possible due to obligations I have there.  But I should attempt to be more consistent with time and at least have planned days where I leave by 3:00 so I don't have to think as much; that would help my stress level.

I have no idea why we didn't have a meeting specifically to discuss logistics.  My husband has been dreading the business of this month since May.  I had no idea it was going to be this bad.  I guess I was taking into consideration the changes in my own schedule. Geez, now that I think of it, we haven't even discussed specific enough expectations of who's doing what in the morning to get the kids ready.  I think that tomorrow night, when we discuss the plan for the week, I'll mention getting a more solid and consistent plan together for the afternoon with designated pick up days like last year.  I think I need two later days so I can deal with paper organization, but we'll see how that works.

Thank you for you kindness, Gardener.  I really expected an angry mob of "What the hell is wrong with you" variety especially as my husband is beside himself lately with some of my (uncharacteristic) mistakes that have involved the kids.  It does take me significantly longer than others to adjust to schedule changes, but you are right, I have heard lots of Moms complain about schedule changes and the ensuing chaos and stress.  I think in a few weeks I will adjust, just like I did when they first went to school.

I'm just curious, is the

I'm just curious, is the kindergartener going to a different school because it offers all day school instead of half day? I'm just wondering because of two schools. I wonder if you could ask a friend or neighbor who has kids at the same bus stop if your son could walk or get off the bus stop with them for the 60 seconds he would be with them just so you know he is safe and not alone? Or, if he has a friend, since you are picking him up anyway, could you pick him up at a different bus stop? Or, is there an older child you could "pay" to watch him for 60 seconds after the bus drops him off? (a neighbor may be happy to have their kid make some cash while waiting at the bus stop - like $5 a week) I go to the bus stop everyday, 2 times a day, and would be happy to be there for any friends and neighbors, plus, knowing the child would not have to be in my house everyday for an extended amount of time would take pressure off. Since he is 6, i understand your stress! I would want the security knowing there is an adult there. Or, if your really in a bind, is it possible to pick up both children from each school? This way you know that they are safe, they may have to wait 5-10 minutes for you to get them, but they are still safe. Priority - kids safe, homework.... Then dinner, then chores. There is no perfect way, just one thing at a time. Be kinder to yourself. What advice would you give someone in your shoes? Would you be hard on her or would you have some compassion? I was just talking to someone the other day about how homework for 1st and 2nd grade takes over an hour!! It is crazy! My 5th grader only has a page each day and my 2 nd grader has a page, plus spelling.... That puts it to over an hour! Their brains are slower, they write slower, and they process slower. If dinner turns out to be cereal or pancakes a couple nights, then so be it. They will not be hurt if they dont have the perfect meal every single night. Make Smaller goals, and anticipate LOTS of time for homework now that they are so young. : )

What IS a uniquely adhd way to behave?!

The thing that makes our relationship dynamics so confusing is that adhd is NOT the only thing at play here. The "explain, explain, explain=excuse, lack of accountability, excuse" is something my husband likes to say about me. I call it the "no, no wait" response for when he says something so hurtful and antagonistic against me and I have felt "compelled" to respond ("no, no wait...you dont understand that...). He hears it as lip service, but for me it is my attempt to set things right- a poor attempt on my part at that (because it is really at those over the top times, I would have been better served go just walk away and reapproach the topic at another time). Even if adhd is a result of some physiological anomaly of the reward centers of the brain, it still doesnt mean that people who are nonadhd can not /will not act in a similarly aggressive or reward seeking way ( through self medicating, through fighting, etc like someone with adhd). I guess I am trying to say (poorly because I am so tired!) that I dont think we can strictly tease out what is ONLY adhd behavior or not...perhaps only tendencies...but with the understanding that there are exclusions to every characterization.

That's a really good point,

That's a really good point, Lululove.  Like many women, I find talking my way through something (or writing, even better) very helpful to process.  Then again, my husband also LOVES to talk through things by his own admission, even though he hates it when I do.  Maybe there are some really obvious things (like habitually forgetting things just said) that are clearly uniquely related to ADHD, but most are probably a convoluted intertwining of the two.  I guess I just like to categorize things so it's clearer to me, but most people aren't so simple that that can be done.

"obnoxiously obvious"

"Obnoxiously obvious" This may be a new code for me to rise too :D

"Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?" I could not get through that book... I've done the "EXPLAIN, EXPLAIN, EXPLAIN" thing too, because I knew how my actions looked to the NonADDer's and since my DW has not really read much of the topic, I felt like I had to describe how my brain got to the behavior. I stopped this, when I realized it Did look like all my "Excuse, Excuse, Excuse, Not My Fault, Not My Fault, Not My Fault," from our long history.

"Does your wife make an effort to truly understand the intricacies of you interlaced with your ADHD?" - Well... I think she is trying to not stir things up when she hears something that makes her want to retort one of my ADD beliefs. Sometimes she will look at me like I'm crazy when I reach a conclusion about something based on the 15 thoughts that came together to draw the conclusion and trying to map how I drew the conclusion is pretty useless if it is different from her conclusion. I stop and move on... No point is trying to change someone's mind about an observation of little consequence, right?

If my crazy insight helps, I'm glad to go on with my ramblings...

Maybe you should create a "Virtual YYZ Signal", who has a pager anymore???? :D

Ramble Away :)!

O.K.  I'm not totally sure I'm in the clear, but I made a pretty big boo-boo today that was 100% my fault, and I apologized for it; no explanation.  I just mentioned how I screwed up, what I need to do differently next time, and he sort of... dropped it.  It's been about 5 hours.  I'm not out of the woods yet, but still, his reaction is better than usual.  I'll let you know...  That he dropped it makes me feel even more penitent. 

This is weird.  I feel like the only deer left in an eerily quiet forest before an F5 tornado rips through it.  Can't get too comfortable...

ADD beliefs: meaning which behavior you ascribe to your ADD and why you do the things you do?  Thanks for that:  I get really annoyed when he doesn't want to listen to what (I believe) is an insightful little ADHD rant.  You're right:  it's not that important.  I guess I get annoyed because I want to feel like someone in this world truly understands me and wants to know these things.  That's the sense I get from having read Melissa's book and having listened to her seminar:  that she not only "gets" both her husband and her daughter, but like she's fascinated with their differences and how their brains work differently.  I like that she doesn't view herself as better because she doesn't face these difficulties.  That's what I want.  Sigh...  I guess he's not getting what he wants either, since I have been making excuses, even if that wasn't my intent.

Virtual symbol, or YYZ bat signal???  I say go old school on this one ;).

Your insights are very helpful.  You and Melissa have really helped me with an issue that has been plaguing me for a long time.  I just could not, for the life of me, see the answer on my own.  No one else would get it.    Have you ever had an ongoing problem that you can't resolve with your spouse that may seem to her like you're UNWILLING to resolve, but really, you just haven't a clue HOW TO RESOLVE IT?  Consequently, you stay on that un-merry-go-round until someone tells you there are way better rides in the park?  That's me when I can't solve a problem on my own...

Many thanks! :)

I hope you don't mind me

I hope you don't mind me chiming in...your first paragraph sounds like an all too familiar fight we have too.

I have literally gone back over many conversations and questioned my motives extensively because I am accused of not wanting him to have his own opinion, and to further add insult to that injury, I seem to be insistent that he adopt my way of thinking on everything. This is the best I've come up with..here goes nothing.

On one issue that has been a huge bone of contention in our marriage (my SD), I do think this accusation holds some validity..or DID at one point in time. Yes, I wanted desperately for him to make me feel, just ONCE that he loved me like he does her, to just ONCE give me credit for at least TRYING with her even if it wasn't my place, I made horrible mistakes, etc...I at least feel I deserve some kind of credit for all of the sacrifices I made, our shared daughter made, our marriage made, and for at least TRYING when so many other people..including her own mother..didn't want her and did NOTHING (or made things worse!!). I came around to a different way of thinking eventually...much easier after she moved out and I didn't have to deal with the blatant disrespect and loathing of me. I respect that she is his daughter. I know he wants to help her, feels obligated, etc. I try compromises...I'm seen as a bitch. I try to have some boundaries for myself and our other children...I'm seen as a bitch. Where my relationship with her stands is not ok with him...so I'm a horrible person and all of her problems are my fault because I can't just suck it up like he does. My absolute opinion, what feels like 100% truth to me, is that he does not respect what I've been through, how hard I have tried, how much damage she has done, and that she has to face the consequences of her own actions even if that means she brings suffering to herself. He TRULY feels that I want him to hate her, disown her, turn his back on her, and feels he has no choice but to choose between us...and he told me a few days ago he picks her. From the deepest parts of my mind, there isn't a part of me that wants anything more than for him to just say "I love you and respect your decision to step away from her and protect yourself" and what he does or how he deals with her would not matter to me at all. Anything I say is seen as me trying to tell him how he should feel or bring him around to 'my way of thinking'. In reality, I am just wanting him to agree to disagree but respect my decision. She has really, really hurt me in the past...and even as recently as a few days ago I discovered she had renewed her friendship with the woman he cheated on me with. His reaction was less than I would have ever dreamed it would be...I was so upset I was shaking and nauseous. He blamed me for snooping through the cell phone records. Our realities are not meshing on this issue...and it is very much to the detriment of our marriage. The only way I 'win' is to let him (and her) do whatever they want with no regard for myself or my own feelings..or those of my children.

What I have tried very hard to do, because the above issue is NOT the only time this occurs by any means, is to tell him "our realities are not the same...but that's OK. I don't see it that way, but I respect that you see it differently. We can agree to disagree...this doesn't need to be an issue". It takes two to fight. He is patronizing and you're defensive. One of you is going to have to try something different...and most likely it isn't going to be him. Just simply don't argue with him. Be content to agree to disagree and walk away. It isn't about being right..it is about getting along.

I'm digesting his "you win..I'll stay and be miserable comment". I've made similar statements before but never in this context. I'll have to see if I can come up with anything useful.

His telling you it was a mistake to marry you is abuse. I'm sorry, but that is completely immature, cold, and uncalled for. If he's unhappy, that's one thing. Dragging someone over the coals this way, to me, says he's unhappy with himself and is blaming you. Either that or he's just a cold hearted asshole who really feels that way and has no bones about saying it. I would like to think not.

I am fascinated by the way his ADD brain works

a lot of the time.  At the time of his dropping the ball on something important, I don't really give a flying flip why he dropped it until after it is picked back up and dealt with.   Maybe you are just explaining at the wrong time?  I don't know.  But it sounds like your recent way of explaining and him dropping it is a VERY good sign! 

 

I ask my husband a lot of questions about his thought processes because they really do interest me so much, but in another post one of the ADD poster said that just feels like being "drilled" for answers you simply don't have.

Honestly, after a week or two of regularly reading the forums, I start getting discouraged.  Am I the only one that it makes feel you are doing everything wrong sometimes?  If you ask questions, you are hammering a poor exhausted person for answers they may or may not know or want to talk about.  If you don't ask questions, you aren't interested.  Sometimes I want to just throw up my hands and scream........

 

and then I remember that for each of us the only person we REALLY need to understand is our own personal ADDer(s).   Everyone here is just giving us useful ideas as to what might be going on based on personal experience.  We then have something concrete to check in with our mate about.   So when I am questioning my husband about something, I remember to stop and ask him if it feels like the Spanish Inquisition.......then he can tell me how much questioning he can handle.  Honestly just by virtue of my asking, it lightens the mood up for him and the convo seems to go further so thanks for that bit of knowledge I can put into my tool kit.  I have asked him a few things I've read about here, and seen the lightbulb go off in his brain that just maybe that does have something to do with how he is thinking/feeling.  I appreciate that so much because just asking him flat out will usually lead to "I don't know".

Honestly not even sure where I'm heading with this post.....maybe I am the one with ADD after all LOL

P.S.  Honestly I just have no idea sometimes why my posts get put where they get put sometimes.  This was supposed to be a replay to ADDmom's recent post about her boo boo.