I wasn't sure whether to put this in communication or Hope and Progress but as I see......this is a huge step forward and making progress but it did come through communicating some things to wife....including the possibility of her having ADHD? She actually took the initiative to take some on line tests that put her in the "possible" category which was no surprise to me. However....that;'s not what this break through is all about (but related....emotional lability? Thinking it is? In part )
But the Good part...and the one to explain at least....the problem. The real big problem that there was no conversation that was going to explain it to me unless she told me what it was? Well.....she finally told me. ( I had my suspicions and they were right all along )
Our family growing up....had some really good times together as a whole despite the problems and the issues in our dysfunction. Having said that....we could really "party" when things got rolling. It was loud and boisterous and a lot of laughing and cutting up and it was BIG. Everyone talking at once...everyone was animated and lively and it was not unlike the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when we all got together and got on a roll. (We aren't Greek...but none the less lol )
And as the one and only....little brother and boy....I played my part and being hyperactive and bouncing off the walls was part of it only in a good way. I was very animated. Extremely so.....and easily got excited especially when we were having fun together. (like the family in the movie)
Most people who would come to our house when there was an event or party happening....left with a smile on their face and reported having an overwhelmingly good time. There was never a dull moment when we got rolling...and laughter, joking, teasing and practical jokes were parr for the course. No one was the center of attention because.....we were all the center of attention together and If you were shy or not willing to jump into the steady stream or rushing waters and go with the flow....you were left behind and sitting on the bank of the river while the party rolled down stream with who ever was left was left out had no other alternative but to sink or swim. There was no shallow end of the pool....either you jump into the deep end of the pool with everyone else or you didn't. One of two choices in our family and it could get pretty rowdy at times when the party was in full swing. If you were in the party....you were part of being the center of attention because everyone was talking at the same time and everyone was having fun. No alcohol needed or permitted either. The was a "G" rated affair of wholesome boisterous, rowdiness with lots of laughter and having fun. Period. Not unlike that movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" but with only 5 of us and whoever wanted to join us. The more the merrier as they say....it's a party for crying out loud!!!! Everyone is welcome!!! (and usually.....between my sisters and their boyfriends, my friends, or some neighborhood usual suspect involved...more often than not )
My mother had a way of making everyone feel welcome and many times my friends would say...."Gee...you're mother is sooo nice?" It hadn't occurred to me why that was but in context to what I learned from my wife....this starts to make a lot of sense.
Since I told my wife about the differences in our families and I dropped the hint of ADHD onto her....the wheels must have been turning because the topic of my ADHD symptoms came up again. I was making a reference to some issue we've had and I said." I rarely am angry or hostile with you and I am so shocked at your reactions to me sometimes?"
I said..... "I still cannot understand why you think I'm (agitated and angry) when clearly I am not? I'm clearly....happy, excited over something and am animated for sure. But I'm having fun...and being my usual animated self and just expressing myself naturally. The way I always do when I am relaxed and having a good time? You act as if I'm some alien intruder and you've even said to me....I seem like a stranger to you (in the past ...she said that I went....huh??? ) That was telling. I know I get loud sometimes and am easily excited about things....but that's always when I'm happy but I realize from years of toning this down....that this was not always the case. There was a reason why they use to say .."I was bouncing off the walls" ....but no one (I mean no one) ever misinterpreted that as being hostile or angry.....even back then. I did learn to control that and bring it down and later as an adult...that usually only comes out now if I am around someone I trust like my own family since I know this is annoying to some people and am completely aware of why this is. That part....you don't need to explain to me but I do have some control of this but only up to a point. I am an expressive extrovert and can be very dynamic and I can get big and loud and rowdy when I get wound up about things.
But it's only when I'm feeling safe enough to let my guard down and when I know someone well enough to do that with since I am so aware that not everyone finds this a comfortable thing like I have explained with the many stories of my family (Big Greek Wedding Family example) but even then....it wasn't a problem in that no one thought our family was hostile, angry and intimidating?????....even my friends who came over who would say WOW....you guys are a crack up and it's always a surprise to come over to your house when you guys ( our family) get all in "party mode" with company.
This is true. No one ever thought we were hostile...when everyone is animated, excited and having fun??? WTH.....then why to you when I get this way with you? In fact.....I never get this way with you.....you won't let me and accuse me of all kinds of things that aren't happening????" This really hurts my feelings when you shut me down and especially when you react hostilely towards me and won't even allow me to speak. You just cut me off mid sentence at the first sign of what you call.....AGITATION. It's not AGITATION you're seeing....it's animation, outward expression and excitement.....in any form it comes in.
I might be mad when you see it.....but that's not when you cut me off. I'm happy, enjoying our company...and then suddenly...you turn on me? What makes me mad or angry...is being cut off in the first place. What gives????
She said...." I don;t remember anything like what you described in our family. I don't remember having fun or doing things like you said. I don't remember our family laughing or having fun together or having any company over or any social event anywhere at any time in my entire life. Our family was kind of flat and boring all the time. Kind of expressionless....kind of dull...and mostly very quiet. If someone got excited for any reason....that meant they were angry. Whe I see you start to get (agitated)....my PTSD kicks in and all I want to do is stop you or prevent you from getting more (agitated) than you already are. I'm afraid when I see you start to get (agitated) and it's because it's so overwhelming to me and I am afraid. I'm afraid to get close to you since all I want to do is get away from you and I'm afraid of the next time it's going to happen. This is when my thoughts get distorted and I can't think straight and I panic or over react."
Replace....AGITATION.......with........"any signs of extroverted outward exuberance, excitement, expression, animated behavior and being loud and boisterous and having fun and apply that to hyperactive-impulisive ADHD....and that's what you get.
Happy, sad, mad, glad, having fun, not having fun, outward expression, animation,, annoyed, depressed, elated, impatient, irritated, ecstatic, over joy, rambunctious, disturbed, contempt, judgmental, criticizing, understanding on and on...Any outward sign of emotions and done in animated way....all gets lumped into one group called...."AGITATION"
Ironically......the time she should be the MOST worried about....is when I get quiet. Quiet for me....means....I'm pissed and angry. Not a good idea to poke the Tiger when he's sleeping as they say. The reason why the Tiger is being quiet....is because I learned how to control my outward anger and I don't go off half cocked because I learned to be still and be quiet so I won't react and be hostile......
That is....until someone keeps poking the sleeping Tiger repeatedly when he sleeping and I can control it any more?? Even within that...I have stopped reacting to that as well. I don't do this at all any more....but what my wife cannot understand is......Quiet.....is when she should be worried about it??? I do not wear AGITATION on my sleeve where everyone can see it. AGGITATION for the most part....goes completely unseen until it explodes from someone being told repeatedly that I am agitated and to stop...and if they see me as being quiet and reserved and mistaking what they're seeing and not listening to me and proceed anyway.....they get what they get.....and it my wife's case.....that was it. she couldn't have asked for it....any harder on my account looking at this now...for what it is?
This explains it completely.....now on to what's behind it for my wife beyond what she thinks but she's taking the online tests for ADHD (on her own initiative...and thinking about it now)
I'm calling that a touchdown and holding a lot or promise for us both. Whew!!! What a ride that was!!!! lol