Yet another opportunity....

So.  I was posting last Friday, and in the middle of my post (re: my husband and our issues) I was stricken with symptoms such that I called 911.  I thought I was having a heart attack.  The paramedics checked me out.  Saw nothing that indicated heart attack or other cardiac issues.  I declined to go to the hospital.  However, my blood pressure and heart rate had both increased to well beyond what is normal for me, as I typically run very low in both areas.  My husband- normally detached and distracted but currently in hyperfocus due to me having approached him with the idea of separating last week- is now frantic with worry.

So, besides forcing me to make an overdue appointment for a physical with my physician, this episode has provided YET ANOTHER opportunity to reflect on what the current state of my marriage is doing to me.

As of now, I am doing only two things:

(1) resting.

(2) milking it for all its worth.

 You didn't think I would stoop so low, but yes.  I have assumed the mantle of some Edwardian invalid to get some peace in my house.  He now fears "upsetting me."  Thank you, Jesus.  Because I really need the stress relief.  The past few days, each time he has approached me about something vaguely unpleasant, I have only to languidly move my fingertips toward my breastbone and he says, "Don't worry.  I will take care of it."  I returned several hours later from a late night piano lesson to a house that was vacuumed, dusted, dishes washed, children fed and tucked into bed, garbage taken out, and a cup of tea waiting for me.  If only this could go on...  But I will at least try to make it last until I get him to that formal ADD evaluation.  He currently thinks that he has to please me or it will kill me.  I will do nothing right now to divest him of this misinformation....

ebb and flow's picture


Panic attack... I've been there.

It's your body's way of telling you its been under a stress assault for too long and your adrenals are exhausted!

Definitely time for you to stop stressing and finding another way to deal with the marriage you're in...

I think we ALL need to start encouraging each other to FIND the positives and USE the patience we have. It's good to vent but I feel it really gets our adrenaline going too when we sit here and vent, vent, vent. Almost like an addiction to the fact that we're finally being heard and someone understands!!! 

We really do need to watch that we're not all slipping into unhealthy bitchy non-ADDers mode (ME INCLUDED) because I think the chemicals that come along with the anger may be really damaging.

Lets take care of one another...

It's not like we're getting it from home. ;)

Oh my.... is this sorta like an emotional affair?!?!?!? ;P Just kidding.

Take care of yourself...

Do not ever let anyone make you sick!!! Nobody is worth your health!


ebb... I gotta tell ya

I have the positives.  I have lovely children.   I have the hobbies.  I have the friends.  I've got a career that involves me.   I really don't sit around thinking about how awful my life is.  I actually just disclosed to my department secretary that I have been under a lot of stress lately (didn't say why).  She said, "What?  But you always look so happy and calm at work."  That's because I don't think about it at work.  I think my problem is that I have repressed it for SO LONG, bringing it to awareness is stunning me.  

I just sat with my husband and talked (or tried to talk) with him about how I have enabled him to "check out" of or marriage, as far as his responsibilities for fulfilling our needs goes.  Ebb,  I got 5 minutes into that conversation and had to lay on the floor.  Its not talking to YOU- its talking to HIM that is causing this.  I don't know if I have been attacked for so long, that my body is just automatically going into extreme panic, or what.  I am not even consciously aware of feeling any panic. But, BAM- I got light-headed.  ITS HIM!

ebb and flow's picture


It is... but only because of how you're viewing him.

Don't let it eat you alive! You have control over your mind and how you react or respond. You can be the zen master, here!

Let him be the crazy!!! ;)

Naturally your chemicals are changing due to the stress and maybe even the *realization* of all the stress you've been under. Just breathe.

We really do need to encourage each other in a more positive healthy way. Like, for example, maybe we can start helping each other approach situations differently. Like, "I wanted to leap over the table and strangle him but instead I took a deep breath, assessed what was really going on here (ADD symptom+reaction) and I remained the healthy calm one while he took leave of his sanity"... etc.

Maybe we should start the process together, of being the healthy happy persons we can all be, EVEN under the immense pressure and strain our partners untreated symptoms produce. 

Melissa says our part as the non-ADDer is about controlling our anger and our stress response emotions and be the best person WE CAN BE. That's the only thing we can control... Not them and their behaviours.

We'll get there. I know it. Even if it means sanely walking out the door with a zen-like mind and a smiling happy face! ;)



Christina re: can you join?

Yes, as long as you don't tyrannize me with positivity.  I am going to be "b*tchily" positive.  I want to say what is good AND bad!  : )


You girls are on a roll tonight :-)

Wayne, believe me...

I am writing calmly to you about your "discussion" last night, but I am rhythmically slapping a nightstick against my thigh...

I am rubbing off on

I am rubbing off on her...softening her up a bit...and you can't make me stop!

ebb and flow's picture

LOL With no choice I think


With no choice I think we'll be b*tchy positive....

It's all part of the process... Accept the process....


No one in this line has

No one in this line has I would smile and convince them it was their idea for me to be first in line! :)

Your physical symptoms

sound bad - but not that unusual.  The body takes stress that we internalize (as you describe) and it comes out...somehow!  For me, it came out as heartbeat irregularities that I didn't have before (and will have the rest of my life, unfortunately) and, possibly, cancer.  Pretty sure about the correlation with the former, not so sure about the correlation on the latter.  However, what is in the past is in the past and, happily, I'm no longer under that stress and seem to be cancer free.  My point is this - YOU need to figure out how to no longer enable your husband to put you in this high stress situation any longer.  He's clearly capable of helping out when he is focused on it - so "encourage" his participation for the long run.  This means him getting systems in place and understanding that, YES, THIS IS ACTUALLY IMPORTANT, not just a hassle.  And, find ways to have some fun, too, which is also a stress reliever.  Build on top of that some critically important "me" time and hopefully things will calm down for you some.

It also means that you have to let go, which is sometimes hard.  We all say we want to let go, but when push comes to shove non-ADHD partners often find themselves still trying to control things - telling their ADHD spouse what "the best" way is to do something, when to do something, correcting him if he does it "wrong" etc .  Train yourself to think differently - i.e. "who cares, as long as it gets done?!" and focus on the timing (at a gross level, not minute by minute), not the method.  (Timing can be improved when the ADHD partner puts some systems in place to help remind himself to do the task at hand...that might include a regular schedule, timed reminders, etc.  The important part of improving timing is that the ADHD partner is the one in control of it, not you.)

This may sound unrealistic, but it's not.  Or, put another way, my husband has so internalized his job as dishwasher unloader that he whipped through this task this morning on his way out, even though he was running a bit late (and set a world speed record, too, so it was kind of fun to watch!)  This, from a man who used to be in a position of never, ever, doing ANYTHING around the house that wasn't related to technology (and I'm not talking about the technology of the dishwasher!)

Push for the help.  You deserve to get it, and your body will say "thank you."

Melissa, have you been

Melissa, have you been diagnosed with cancer or are you having testing or something? I'm so sorry to hear this...I'm keeping you in my prayers.

This really scares me...the physical damage done to our bodies by the emotional toll and stress these relationships have on us. I've honestly been in 3 'serious' relationships in my life, totaling a span of 20 years (3 years of which I was single), and the majority of those relationships were chaotic and toxic. This is part of the reason I decided last fall that being alone was better than being in a constant state of anger, frustration, and heartbreak. I know that days like last week, when I was in a total state of panic (posted about feeling defeated by ADHD) was a sign to me that I need some individual counseling to help me deal with some issues that I have (co-dependent, anxiety, OCD) and that I am still letting his ADHD affect me more than I am comfortable with. He is not doing anything is mostly him doing the trial and error thing with the meds coupled with my obsessive tendency to over analyze everything and panic prematurely. I have to put an end to this...I cannot spend anymore days like that. Stomach was in knots and nerves were shot. Not good.

Sherri re: physical damage from stress

This also really disturbs me.  I am not an anxious, co-dependent type person at all. But my husband's behavior has finally induced these panic attacks (I got my labs done- everything normal so far, plus the medication is stopping the symptoms so I am pretty sure its panic attacks).  I have had a serious talk with my husband about it.  At this point I have told him in no uncertain terms that he is NOT to upset me for any reason.  My body needs to recover from this exhaustion.  I told him, "That means NO MORE: stupid, obvious questions;  involving me in little parenting issues that he can handle himself;  asking me the same question repeatedly; asking me to    "hand" him something that's 2 feet away from him; letting me come home late from work to hungry kids when he's been home for hours; trying to "talk me into" something I don't want to have or do.  The list goes on.  I told him if he can't do this with some consistency, he will have to leave the home until I am feeling better.  

I know its hard for him to control himself with these things, and I am seeing him struggle with it.  I think its really causing his stress level to soar. But there is no other way right now.  Its either him or me.  And I have to choose me.  I am the more competent parent and my kids are still young.  He was mad about it at first, but I just don't care.  I even told him if he was going to be stalking around angry for days on end, he would have to leave then, too.  I can't take that either right now.  I need utter peace.   Every time he starts to do one of those crazy-making things, I just stop him (rudely, if necessary) and say, "You are making me light-headed." I think right now he's also really scared that I am just going to come home from work and throw him out.  And he's really not that far off the mark.  

Funny, but I spoke to my mom about it at some point, and she said the same thing: "Its either him or you. And you better choose you, 'cause nobody else will."  Even my doctor said (obliquely), "You're going to need to make a decision about your marriage."  In short, everyone in my life who loves me is telling me to kick him out, because they're afraid he's going to kill me.  

I know you know that statistically it is said that the stress of raising a disabled child can take about 10-20 years off the life of the mother.  You are right to worry about how many more years husband is stripping from you.  I know I do.  Plus, I smoke some now (stress!)  and don't exercise as I should. Plus 20 extra pounds.  By my calculations, I have about 7 minutes left to live.  


WOW! Have you been taping my life...LOL (NOT REALLY) Your life  mirror of my so sad. I hope you keep me posted , because you put it in to words that I can't. The other night he and I truly thought I was going to have a nervous break down,(also a lot going on with my nephew , the baby's daddy) but he thinks it's me and has nothing to do with him.GO FIGURE! I also smoke and he tells me often that I'm killing myself, I told him that night if the quality of my life didn't improve that I was ready. It would be a toss up to which gets me first ! Hugs