The other day when my wife and I went to therapy together...my wife asked him straight up if he thought she had ADHD? What my therapist said was interesting. I've been seeing him for nearly 17 years now and he rarely diagnosis. It took 5 years of seeing him before ADHD even become a topic of discussion so it was interesting from my perspective...to hear him answer this for my wife now? As he said (paraphrasing here as close as possible ) "The problem with diagnosing something like this...has to do with the environment in which you put that into context in. The same person...put into a different situation and a different environment is going to behave and act differently. To start with using ADHD here for example...is that all of these behaviors are common ones that everyone shares...and for the most part, men with ADHD behave like all men and are no different. Most of these are the same problems that you run into with people without ADHD but it just acts as way of amplifying or bringing out certain behaviors more than others but at the same time.....are stereotypical "male" behaviors none the less. And the same applies to women with ADHD. Women with ADHD do not act ....differently than all women so ADHD is not the reason for the differences here. It's just a contributing factor to the same problems but maybe only amplified a little."
This now makes perfect sense to me and why I was not really seeing the ADHD in my wife since she does not act or do what I do at all? In fact....messiness around the house and picking up after herself is not even on the radar with her. In fact...it's the extreme opposite of this and when I say extreme...it's what I believe that my T was saying. Exactly. In any relationship I've ever been in with a woman and living together....my wife is stereo typically "female" in the things she wants and needs and how she acts or behaves. The things that are most important to her...are no different. And the things that are important to me and not her fall into the same range or categories across the board. They same conflict areas I've ever experienced before which for me.....involves the same old song and dance and the same story behind it. Chore wars, division of labor and how we do things differently...and who's priorities are "screwed up"....is dependent on who's the one saying these things. Neither is feeling disrespected or being angry about these things anything new or specific to ADHD.
The biggest problem I see and the one that gets to becoming dysfunctional in a relationship has to do with the pattern of failure and why this happens in terms of ADHD. And as far as lowest common denominators goes....the main culprit is Trust. Being able to trust...and having faith in someone...is at the bottom of getting right down to this "pattern of failure" that I am now beginning to see pretty clearly. Not just with my wife but now....everywhere I look on this forum? And the reasons for this are stereotypical to each gender and how these two play off of each other especially if the "MAN" has it.;.;...even if the woman does too? Even if each person has their own particular brand of "self fulfilling patterns of failure"....the two together combined is the one my T.....as he was saying......"is what I'm most interested in and finding ways to correct pattern for both people together...not just for one of them." I have to whole hardheartedly agree now as I sit and think about this more. Part of my wife inability to see herself and what she does sometimes is not different than most women or even how she thinks about things and what she really wants? What she can't see is how she is so narrowly focused on these same things and this is where it gets into trouble.
What this is....is a "pattern of thinking gone bad" and then not seeing out of it or seeing it any differently. What needs to change is the "thinking itself". That's the problem right there if nothing happens to change it and it continues on uninterrupted. As my T said it to us the other day...as he said it..." I'm not really all that interested in the details within the stories I hear. They're the same stories and I've heard them a thousand times and everyone couple who walks into my office has approximately the same stories about many different topics and subjects you can name. The one thing that is consistent no matter what context you put it into ,...is the "pattern of failure" within the "thinking" itself and both people together (male and female) have their own part to play in this As I just read on comment that was recently made by a woman who does not have ADHD....I saw it clearly and went WOW....there it is again. I can see it as an observer....much easier than I can see it in myself or in our relationship until only recently which is why I am making this post. I don't want to single anyone out here so I'll leave the person who said it out of the picture. If you recognize the comment or know who it was coming from.....as I'm saying this...it makes no difference who said....which context....or who is "right and wrong" here because none of this applies or is even relevant. There is no...."good side" to be on within this pattern of failure itself. The reason for this is because it's a recipe for disaster in terms of a failure....not on either side or who here....but in the big picture and for the relationship itself. It's what you put into it that matters and that's all you are responsible for. The rest will take care of itself unless you do something to change the pattern and do something different. That's all you need to know and that's all you can do but not seeing the pattern as a problem is primary reason it exists and no one is able to see why their own behavior...is 1/2 the reason and 1/2 the problem in itself.
The Pattern of Failure: Fear, Trust, Permission, Allowing, and Unilateral Decision Making ie: " I am the Decider"
"My husband and I bicker a lot about his driving. He doesn't have a record of tickets or accidents, so that gives him a false sense of being "in control". I "broke off" our engagement temporarily because out of anger, he slammed on the breaks in the middle of an intersection after I yelled at him for speeding up to keep someone from cutting him off, almost colliding with the car and forcing us off the road. When I threw the ring into his cup holder, I think he finally got the point. He acknowledges now that ADHD has an effect on driving, makes him more impulsive and aggressive, and has done some reading/research on it." Facts of evidence: - He doesn't have a record or tickets or accidents - he slammed on the breaks in the middle of an intersection after I yelled at him - for speeding up to keep someone from cutting him off, almost colliding with the car and forcing us off the road. (almost...as in horse shoes and hand-grenades..doesn't count as an accident) - I threw the ring into his cup holder, - I "broke off" our engagement temporarily
How you get from A to Z here has everything to do with this. Continuing on here....
Assumptions, Justifications and Conclusions:
- so that gives him a false sense of being "in control".
- almost colliding with the car and forcing us off the road. (almost...as in horse shoes and hand-grenades doesn't count as an accident)
- because out of anger, he slammed on the breaks in the middle of an intersection after - I think he finally got the point. - ADHD has an effect on driving "Has"....a fatal flaw in thinking here. Not just semantics but more Freudian in Nature
- makes him more impulsive and aggressive "Makes" another fatal flaw in thinking here "ditto"
- and has done some reading/research on it."
Cause and Effect...in chronological order as it has to be in the physical world. Nothing physical...can happen out of time in order of chronology
" I yelled at him, for speeding up to keep someone from cutting him off.... and out of anger, he slammed on the breaks in the middle of an intersection. I threw the ring into his cup holder, and I "broke off" our engagement temporarily ...... I think he finally got the point."
Not withstanding any other validity test you can put onto this situation and forgetting about any speculations, assumption, conclusions or anything from the past being brought in here.....AT FACE value. Here's my take on this and what really happening in light of everything that's been said and applying it to the "thinking and pattern of failure" and coming from being in the exact same position in my past and why I would have done what this husband did and the possible reason why?
Case in Point
I think he finally got the point?
What is the point here and what did he get? He was making a point....and then so did she. He slammed the breaks on to make a point. He didn't do it because he was out of control even if it was because of his unbridled anger and aggressive behavior stemming from ADHD. Been there....done that. And why? For being yelled at while I'm trying to drive.
Nothing is more distracting than a back seat driver who is making commentary about your driving and giving "helpful directions and advise" during the process. My mother was relentless in doing this and it drove me to absolute madnss with her when ever she would do it which was every time you drove with her in the car with you. I "slammed" by breaks on in several occasions with her and gave her an ultimatum. (so did my father for the same reason. (not saying this is good...just the reason for it in terms of cause and effect)
Either she shut up and leave the driving to me...or.... get out of the car....take you pick? (and opening her side door and pointing OUT at the same time)
She'd do the same thing when I was working with a power saw and come up behind me and go "oh!!! Be careful"....which started me and nearly caused me to cut my own finger off and I promptly took her by the arm and escorted her back inside the house for doing this. I could have lost my finger....out of her "FEAR" that I MIGHT cut it off unless she said something. The very fear that I might do something.....actually ALMOST caused it to happen? The point of me bringing this to the attention of this situation was this very thing stated here....." almost colliding with the car and forcing us off the road." I have no idea what really happened here and if....."almost colliding with the car."....and "forcing us off the road" really means?
I can imagine a number of different scenarios and that could be interpreted different ways. What is most important and the only thing that matters here is....how she interpreted this which is where she is making her claims and drawing all of her conclusions from.
In terms of "control" ...only ONE person can control an motor vehicle at a time. Back seat drivers are not only a hindrance...but a danger because the act of back seat driving....gives no control to the back seat driver who is feeling out of control...but it diminishes the attention and the ability to focus on the only one who has any control of the vehicle. The same as when my mother use to do this...which almost caused on accident on several occasions because she startled me so bad and made me second guess what I was doing that she caused me to look away for a moment and that moment was when a car was coming that I missed seeing because of her not because of my driving ability. Her own inability to trust out of her own fear and inability to drive a motor vehicle very well....brought her to a feeling of being out of control when ever she was not the one driving as poorly as she was herself at doing this for all reason there were. Having to sit quietly and just let the driver do their job was not something she was able to do. She was so worried about what she was worried about....that she caused the driver to worry about what she was worried about...and not paying attention to what you needed to worry about ie: controlling the vehicle and not running into anything? To have an accident...you actually have to make contact. No contact. No accident.
My mother was so afraid of an accident that might happen....she was neglecting to understand that what might be...will be if you are the cause of this yourself?
This reminds me of one time I got re-ended by a driver who was following too close to me. But the reason the accident happened in the first place was do to one of those "do gooder" drivers up ahead of me who "stopped" in the middle of the road...to let someone cross where there was no intersection or cross walk. This is one of the most dangerous maneuvers anyone can possible do. When you aren't ready or expecting someone to just stop in the middle of the road....it makes no difference "why" they did it. What they did was just up and stop with no warning or no way of predicting ahead of time that they just "happened to decide" and made a unilateral decision to do this without warning...to let someone standing on the side of the road cross....as if....this is helping anyone? All the person waiting to cross has to do is just wait for the cars to go by and walk across like a normal person. They need no other help than this and any child can do this on there own. The "do gooder" who thinks this is serving some kind of purpose is acting recklessly and flagrantly with no regard for the people behind them and without warning and which is completely random and unpredictable. At the end of the day....it caused me to be run into and the car behind to doing it. The "do gooder" drove off unscathed and oblivious to the problems and the accident they THEY created by doing this. In essence...they made an an emergency "stop"...when there was no emergency and no sign of one anywhere that anyone else behind them can see. I saw the person standing on the side of the road too.....I didn't expect the person in front of me to suddenly "stop"...in the middle of a busy street to let this person cross?
The failure was the person who "stopped"...not as much the person behind me who now had to make an emergency stop and was too close and not prepared. And very much like this same pattern of failure......fear, surprise or being startled, misinterpretation, assumption, and no communication are the reason why this happens. Making a point...in a way to communicate directly to someone where directness's is a necessity is like communicating in sign language and hoping the other person understands sign language. And if they don't....I'm pretty sure they do not get the point if that's what happening?
I just wanted to end this with a comment about driving and safety in concerned. I ride a motorcycle and I've been riding since I was a teenager (for over 40 years ) off and on at different times in my life. I have never been down or had an accident or been injured but there is a good reason for this all said and done. People are in denial or have this illusion that a thin piece of sheet metal and some foam and a little upholstery is going to stop and 2 ton vehicle from injuring you if they run into at 60 miles an hour. There is a false sense of security that you get when you feel comfortable and like you are sitting in your living room inside a car. Try jumping on a motorcycle and watch how vulnerable you know become feeling completely exposed and without that thin piece of sheet metal there that somehow makes you feel safe? The ope rant word here is "vulnerability". When someone else is driving the car and you are riding...they are in control and you feel more vulnerable.
Vulnerability in itself...does not cause you do do anything. What causes you to do "something" is the fear of feeling out of control and vulnerable and this is no different when you ride a motorcycle with cars and trucks on the road with you. No matter who is at fault or who's to blame if there is an accident.....you will be on the losing end of the stick guaranteed and you will most likely die as a high probability. The only thing that will keep you alive...is your ability to think on your feet and do evasive maneuvers and your skill in controlling the motorcycle.
When I drive my bike in traffic. All rules and laws pretty much fly out the window. I do what I have to do...to stay ahead of traffic and not get sandwiched or caught in a scenario with no escape. I will speed...I will dart....i will even drive off the road on the shoulder if I have to ...in order to keep cars away from me and for me to be on top of what is happening. In the very essence of this....you drive more aggressively not less aggressively in order to do this and what ever is required to do it is what you do. I ride...as if I'm invisible to everyone and make the assumption that no one see;'s me as if....I'm invisible. If you are invisible....then you do not count on or trust...that anyone will see you. You do what you have to stay alive and I've done some pretty major traffic violations in terms of tickets or otherwise in order to stay that way. If I hadn't done this in order to stay alive and just drove as if I was in a car....I would be dead right now for absolutely 100% positive. By not following anyone and being behind them...and staying out in front of everyone with as much space between me and the nearest car or truck...I ensure I am in complete control of the situation by doing what I need to to stay this way.
This is not in any rule book or driving manual and there are times I violate those laws in order to stay alive. This means speeding on occasion and jumping through holes in traffic to gain the advantage and keep it that way. This may look like someone being reckless but just the opposite is true. But the first order of business to ensure you can even do this....is being really good and "jousting traffic" and maintaining control of you bike. The illusion of safety and control is only in appearance....the reality of staying alive and paying attention becomes an entirely different thing with a different interpretation when you life...is actually on the line and you realize the fallacy of that thin piece of sheet metal and thinking all you have to do is just follow the rules and you'll be safe?
One of the wisest and most profound things my father ever told me (he was a phenomenal driver and had amazing skills in controlling a motor vehicle ) "it doesn't matter whose fault it is....when your dead."
Putting that in terms of this idea of "pattern of failure in thinking" and why this happens....I think my father was on to something that had to do more than with just not getting killed on the highway? For what it's worth?