When you are cycling into overwhelm

I debated where to put this post but ultimately decided that it sort of stands on its own.  We are about 2.5 years into our ADD (Inattentive) diagnosis and approaching 1 year of real work on it (1 year was spent with him grieving/denying while I educated myself, 6 months really getting a handle on tools & waiting on appts and SLOOOW progress to manifest, and now I think we basically know what to do but it is difficult to do except under *ideal* circumstances).  When we are both on top of our game, we meet together regular and iron our the schedules, we each stay on top of what we need to handle, get it done well and happily while enjoying eachother and date nights and romantic time.  Our life together is awesome....and then there are months like this one...


This has been a bad month for us and we knew going in that it was going to be.  I took on quite a bit of extra work so that we could take a vacation, which we are going to see the Grand Canyon for the first time in May :)  In order to keep everything flowing smoothly we need many things to be taking place.  He has to remember to take his meds regularly (this now happens most of the time)  He needs to be regularly meeting with and working with (he is meeting his coach, but she was at a conference for a week plus he has not been really DOING his work with her the last couple visits).  And we also need me to take a certain role in making sure we keep meetings with eachother and stay informed on what needs to be done and who is handling it  The problem is that our schedule has been screwy and I have not been taking the leadership role partly because I am busy and partly because I am ready for him to step up and lead this family. 

He has ADD....fine we are educated about it, we have a buttload of tools, you are medicated, and you need to fulfill your family role regardless of other challenges.  I am tired of being ultimately responsible for everything.   Problem is as I get more overwhelmed, he seems to get more overwhelmed--in him this produces a *frozen* type effect where he gets little done.  We had a silly argument the other day because I was talking to him about something important and my laptop (which we needed at the time) started to die.  I asked him to hand me the plug and then he couldn't stop interrupting me to ask about the plug rather than listen to what I was saying about the issue (and it was IMPORTANT).  When  I replied that I had already told him the plug was in and charging and went back to what I was saying, he felt it necessary to interrupt me again to tell me WHY he kept asking about it charging. I wanted to scream I DON"T CARE!!  SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO ME!!  I didn't of course, but we both ended up angry and feeling unheard.  

For me the core of anger was that he had the nerve to say to me, "You know I get distracted.  You shouldn't have asked for the cord and kept talking since you knew I would be distracted."  Ok first of all his ADD is not that terrible and yes he has a tendency to be distracted, but I don't accept that I can never ask for something I need while in a conversation.  Especally if I got up to get it when it was right next to him, he'd have gotten just as distracted.  I said "You have ADD and it is your responsibility to find ways to avoid distraction.  It is not other people's responsiblity to conform everything to you.  Stop blaming me for asking for the plug.  I agree that ideally I wouldn't have asked during a conversation, but it needed to be done THIS TIME, so you have to find a way to stay on the subject or to get back onto the subject."

I just think ADD can become an excuse for everything.  It is a challenge, and being aware of it allows you to develop tools to deal with it. I get that.  I work with that all the time, but sometimes situations come up where you just have to control yourself.  It is just life. 


We just got unreasonably upset about eachothers' viewpoints.  It wasn't worth that!  I think the problem is that we are not both staying on top of our game and then things start to unravel...I am sure this probably happens to everyone but with ADD it is another level.  We have the ability to have a marriage that works like a well-oiled machine (and I apologize for whining when I know a lot of you don't even have this option :(  ).  We love eachother dearly.  His ADD is not terrible.  We have lots of fun together.  But it is so hard that when he is overwhelmed, I have to step up and either take on some of his load or rework the system until he can get going again, but when I am overwhelmed everything comes to a grinding halt until I again can pick up and clear backlog and get us back on track.  I want a partner to keep things going well when I am not up to it.  That is what a partner is to me. 

I have been gone a lot these last few weeks and when I am home, I am gathering tax papers.  I struggled all day yesterday to finalize everything and keep our afternoon appt to get our taxes done.  It was so hard to get what I needed from him...most of what he should have provided each quarter last year and at the latest at year end 4 MONTHS AGO.  Most of what he has been slowly providing over the last several months has been incomplete and had to be redone (which he claims is part of the reason he doesn't want to do it, but it is the same info every year so learn what to include!)  I felt like I had to ride him to get what I need at a time when I was PMSy and overwhelmed, and it is just so UNFAIR!  I gave him one assignment yesterday (not saying that is all he had to do....he had several others things also which got done).  BUT as far as taxes went he had one job, he had to take one 1099 and reconcile it with the work he did and the pay we received.  He had to do this because he kept very poor records of this particular job and we couldn't go by the filed stubs because he lost several of them.  We couldn't go by the deposits into our acct because he sometimes forgot to write what the deposit consisted of and the bank couldn't provide it for several of the deposits he made by ATM.  I felt it was only fair that he have to take care of it...a bit of consequences if you will...and he agreed.

During the time he did this ONE tax assignment, I reconciled 10 other 1099s.  Now they weren't all complicated, but he only had to do ONE.  He finally told me it was done and I was printing out all the final paperwork by months when I realize that he didn't tell me that part of the coding needed to be changed in our computer....he noticed this on his printout, but didn't tell me cause that wasn't "what he was doing."  I blew a gasket...yelling about him not even able to do ONE THING to help our taxes on a busy overwhelming day.  He insisted that he DID his job.....which he only saw as reconciling rather than making sure that our record was actually correct.  I don't even see his side of this as what is the POINT of reconciling if you don't have a correct record at the end of it.  I took it from him and finished it as I now had to get an hour's extention for our appt (which I did make him call for).


Then while I was having the taxes done a question came up on some notes he gotten from a phone call to the IRS.  He told me it had to be in 3 seperate sections which caused me to have to go through and change 4 items which were now in the wrong column, and I was mad at him for not telling me about it.  He thought I understood "from his side of the conversation"  So fine I change it, but he didn't clarify 1/2 the amount, so I called him back for clarification and he looked up the reference they'd given him & it turns out I had DONE IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!! ARGHHHH  If I could have whacked him upside the head with something I think I might have at that moment-- which made me glad he was not with me!!  Him too more than likely.


We made our peace last night and called it tax time blahs.  He is sorry he wasn't more helpful and he claims I will have the first quarter of 2010 this weekend, so I feel we have a plan going forward (which we make every year but we have more ADD tools this time and I think it will be successful).  We got up and had a nice companionable Sunday morning preparing for our religious services.  Every month or so the booklet we use for the audience participation study changes.  He is responsible for picking up the booklets when they come in and putting them in our bookcase so they are ready when it comes time to change.   Last month he couldn't find them and we had to use a printout for the first week until we could replace them (this is because he doesn't look for them until Sunday morning) I HATE HATE HATE this and he doesn't like it either, but it happens every couple months or so.  When I finally had enough last month, he assured me that we had the next 4 or 5 months filed there and it wasn't going to happen again.   This morning he goes to get the new booklets and can't find them so we sit down to study together and he brings printouts.  I flat out refused to study with him.  I told him I am sick to death of him not taking care of his responsibilities.


I know a lot of this is residual upset over not the entire month's stress, but I don't know how to get over it all.  How do you handle it when you are just SICK TO DEATH of either taking care of everything or having it be screwed up.  This is not about booklets or forms only, it is just about being frustrated with it all being screwy if he has a hand in it.  Not feeling like I have a soft place to fall when I am overwhelmed because I have to keep everything running.  I agree with not minimizing his feelings and putting things differently and trying to play to his strengths, but what about when you just don't have it in you and all you want to do keep his hands off everything becaues it would be easier but you cannot humanly do it.