Hi there everyone,
This is my first time posting in this wonderful site. Reading other peoples posts and situations has really helped me to come down from a very big anger/frustration/anxiety attack which almost resulted in me moving out from the home I share with my ADHD girlfriend who I have lived with for 6 months. I also have been diagnosed with ADHD about a year and a half ago.
She has ADHD which was only diagnosed a few months ago after I watched her struggle in various aspects of her life and suggested she get referred for assessment:
*Untidy to the point her bedroom floor was un-walkable on because of piles and piles of clothes and other mess. The mess became so insurmountable that she couldn't tidy it. The funny side of this was that it was an 'organised' mess in the sense that she knew where everything was in that mess.
*Struggles to be on time for appointments, work and social commitments.
*Gets easily distracted in conversation, doesn't contribute much to conversation in the way of asking questions when talking about a subject I'm interested in.
*Lack of empathy.
*Has multiple debt companies chasing her for money.
*Is misunderstood by various family members and as a result has estranged relationships with them.
*Self medicated 'racing thoughts' using marijuana on a regular basis.
I suppose the saying 'It takes one to know one' comes to mind because all of these things I have mentioned above are things which I too struggle with or have become better at managing. I 'get her' and understand her ADHD (to the best of my own experience with it's ability will allow me to), however since we both moved in together I have found slowly over time to encounter more and more frustration with her. Things like:
*Not pulling her weight in the maintenance of our home - I do all the ironing and most of the cleaning/dishes and find myself picking up after her.
*Lack of response in communication, particularly arguments or bringing up issues I have. She never gives pragmatic input or helps to work towards a positive resolution of simple issues which in turn intensifies my own initial frustration. I'm met with defensiveness or an over-reaction and resistance... Or even worse, a blank expression and she walks away mid-argument.
So far I've tried various times to come down from my own initial frustration in order to make her feel better and more comfortable communicating, crossing over to her side of the bridge and taking her hand and leading her across to my side in hope she can see things from my perspective, so to speak. This has had little effect. In fact I think we end up talking about her issues and then pretty much disregard mine. So no resolution.
I've tried to encourage and re-educate myself on ADHD hoping for some pearl of wisdom which will give me the tools to help her to help me, however I'm struggling. My own ADHD is in my opinion more of an inattentive ADD without the hyperactivity. I find my own concentration to be difficult and when I argue with my girlfriend who I love very deeply, I feel emotionally drained, anxious and depressed. I feel that this relationship is one sided in terms of the communication. I know she loves me and from when I first met her to now I commend her for the progress she has made, she has come a long way. I just don't want the old bad habits to creep back and I also want her to take responsibility for her condition. I can deal with everything except the lack of communication and input when we talk about issues. These things don't magically go away. Loving someone and living with someone are two separate things.
I want to go about this in a way which is productive and ADHD friendly. Please can someone offer advice and tips.
I'm really struggling here.