It is sunny here and the skies are clear. A perfect day to spend out in our 10 acres cleaning my gardens. On with the sweatshirt and gardening gloves, step out the door - and less than 15 minutes later I am on the couch with nausea, light-headedness and abdominal distress. Everywhere I looked is a partially completed project, little messes here and there, and things, things, things, things.
My marriage is strained past the breaking point. My life's responsibilities are way out of balance - I have assumed all responsibility for the housework, and the finances for both our household and those of my spouses construction business. I have things out of order of priority and I do not afford myself the proper amount of time to do well in my college classes.
More or less the only person I can rely upon is me. Myself. I. Our income is surely not adequate to feel a comfort zone. I cannot speak openly to my spouse when I am stressed, worried or angry. Chores, money and daily living are not things that can be casually discussed. I guess I really do try to do everything by myself, as I cannot rely on my spouse to follow through. Agreed upon chores go undone. I realized I no longer ask, because I do not want to deal with frustration.
I cannot organize my life effectively as so much of it is lived with fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants chaos.
I am not coping well under all this pressure - because right now I wanted to be enjoying the yardwork - not lying on the couch trying to get undizzy.
What has been foremost on my mind this past week - How to unravel what I have done with my life. How to disengage. How to separate our financial responsibility. How not to run away, but restructure MY life. This should not all be a conundrum for me. I have been a member of Al-Anon for years. Yet I am wrapped up in over helping and co-existing in a marriage affected by a spouse with an ADHD wired brain, which he acknowledges. Surely, at Al-Anon they hear frustration, and say "Yes he has a drinking problem. You can do nothing until he accepts it. Now how can we help YOU with how it is affecting your life?. He drinks because he chooses to drink. You are not to blame for his drinking."
ADHD diagnosed in the later 50s in a cruel harsh beast. He is alone because he is not fun to work with. He says no one wants to work hard anymore. He is alone because he cannot 'agree to disagree.' He is right, they are wrong, and they also have a whole list of character defects that make it "right" to choose not to be with them. Family. Friends.
I don't want to abandon him, but it is already taking too much of a physical toll on me. I think I really do want to give him an ultimatum: Choose your life, as it is - with all the poor coping skills you have developed over the years by not knowing about the ADHD. Or choose me.
I do want to be chosen.
I do want to be cherished.
I do want to feel loved for what I bring to our relationship - not just because I can provide intimacy for him.
I have realized to my horror that his has taken over every living breathing second of my life. It is overshadowing EVERYTHING. It feels like a defeat. It feels like a disappointment. It has consumed me. It permeates into every discussion I have - with everyone - everywhere. I have discovered I have isolated myself as I do not know how to share the difficulty of this challenge without appearing to trash the man.
I agreed to enter into counseling again - yet again - as he assured me he has accomplished what was required to be able to do couple's work: be reliable in the relationship, be more than 90% on time, finish what he says he will do, remember what he should be doing, communicate when he isn't going to do something before it becomes a crisis, has the anger in check.
How not to sound defeatest. He is 90% of the time on time - because we don't have any set plans for anything for the past many months. We do not have a set dinner time. He does not have a set work schedule. I do not rely on him. He forgot/ignored more than half of the 8-week financial course we took, and did only one day of homework.
He insists he has accomplished all those, and - again - the issue is me because I won't acknowledge his progress.
I am trying to focus on my actions. The groceries need to be bought. The bills need to be paid. The house needs to be cleaned. The trash needs to go out. And I need to drown out his angry words of "I wish people could see what I have to live with. A wife who punishes me. No other man would stand for it."