Trying to grow

Hi everyone,

I have been reading this site for a while now and am amazed at how much I see not only my girlfriend but myself in these posts. 

My girlfriend (she's 30) and I(I am 39 now)  got together about three years ago now and have been living together for two. She has two young (4 and 6 yrs old) beautiful children that I have come to love as my own. I hadn't really experienced an ADHD person before I met her. When I was a kid  it wasn't a real accepted thing.  I never knew that ADHD could effect people as much as it does because I didn't really know what it was.  Although my love for my girlfriend is real I always felt like I wasn't doing enough or when I was working a ton and making a lot of money that wasn't good enough either.  I have felt like my head has been spinning off for about two years or so. The uncontrolled mouth of her's and her controlling nature has brought me to exploding so many times.  Before her I seemed to have my life in order. I was mellow, I had a good job, enjoyed being a single guy, enjoyed my interests without hesitation, didn't take life too seriously (never wanted nor ever want to. life is short), spent a lot of time with friends, golfed, drank and traveled. Life was a celebration with loved ones. Maybe excessive at times but no regrets.  Over the past year or so, maybe more, I have really started resenting her. At the same time I have started to sloooowly accept certain things about myself. Through her issues I have started to come back to myself in positive ways. Retrospectively I have found out that my own life (youth through young manhood) of deliberation, avoidance, anxiety, and not following through nor reaching many if any goals are symptoms of the very thing my girlfriend has.  I recently started seeing a therapist and finding that I too have this (I am the inattentive one) and that all the things I hate her for I have denied in myself.  The main difference is that at a young age she was diagnosed and her mother (a elementary school counselor) helped to give her understanding and a framework in which to live.  She fought hard to become the mom she is and to have the wonderful career she has. She has fought hard for her kids and continues to be a great mom. 

I now wish I could have been diagnosed when I was young and could have understood my daydreaming in school. I wish I could have followed through and not felt like a failure my whole life. i wish I had understood relationships better and been able to not deny myself success. the fear that ADHD can breed is astonishing. As I have aged I settled. I settled for what I believed I was. I settled on not being able to be in one situation or place or relationship for too long. I settled on not being able to focus on one thing long enough to taste a hint of self satisfaction.  Pats on the back don't come easy. They actually never come.  Even if I forced myself to choose something new to try I would never succeed. I did great in culinary school but didn't finish my externship because of fear of failure or fear of not being good enough to do the work. I see now that in my past I have had this idea that if i wasn't "good enough" at something I would give up and move on. I guess it's the idea of perfection that I have. Not perfect means not good enough. What is "perfect" though and who the hell do I think is judging me other than myself? 

Anyway, this is a bit of a rant. Probably not well written either.

I am hoping beyond hope that I can straighten out some things and start to be fully involved in my life and my girlfriends and the kids' lives. i can say though that in the back of my mind there is a rip chord. The parachute has Caribbean beaches and a bar printed on it. the "easy" life. The thing is I want her and the kids there too.

 

-matt

 

You are at the right place...

I was always care free and laid-back too. I juggled just the right amount of things in my life until age 43, when my stresses at work and home began to cause anxiety attacks, depression and I felt like I was watching a train wreck in slow motion. I always joked about having ADD, but I did not know the first thing about it. I have learned a lot in the last two years. Not knowing about ADD and resenting the way your ADD girlfriend behaves rings true with me. I was never hyper and totally inattentive and with my second DD I could not figure out why I got so frustrated with her, I thought I was a pro dad because my experience with DD one was so easy. What was I doing wrong??? The answer is obvious to me now... My second DD is wired Just Like Me and although she has not been diagnosed I'm sure of it. Two years later I can spot an ADDer a mile away. It seems that I unknowingly found friends that had ADD and several I suspect might have it.

The "Easy Life" we think about escaping to is a world without details and looks good conceptually, but if you love someone it is worth slogging through the mud.

Keep reading and you will find a lot of really helpful people on this site from both sides of the ADD fence.

YYZ