Love and ADHD. in Mental Health

  • Sept. 10, 2020, 2:12 a.m.
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  • Public

I’ve always lived under the shadow of the idea that good things would never happen to me because I don’t exactly have a history of good things happening. There were moments in time that I experienced happiness and believed good things were happening, but they were only moments, never lasting. Every time I thought something good was happening, it would crash and burn, without fail, for one reason or another. More often than not, it involved a person who seemed too good to be true. And they were. They were manipulative abusers who saw an easy mark in me because I lacked any sense of self-esteem, self-worth. Self-validation was an unknown concept to me. I could not see my worth through my own eyes. All I ever saw was my lack of worth through the eyes of others and I accepted it as truth.

On a couple of occasions, I encountered truly incredible, kind, decent people. People who were interested in me, cared about me, loved me in all my broken glory. I pushed those people away. I was the one who ruined the good things for myself sometimes because I absolutely could not accept the idea that they were genuine or that I was worthy of them. One or the other, didn’t matter, there was just no way for me to accept their love and affection for me. I touched on this in the previous entry, I know, but it’s been rolling around in my head more and more for a few days. I flat-out believed that I did not deserve a good person, I did not deserve to be treated as well as those few treated me, I would only “ruin” them because I was broken and insecure and afraid of being abandoned again every, single day, and they deserved better than me.

Having someone incredible in my life, someone who loves and values me… it’s a daily struggle, a constant battle against the negative thoughts and feelings. Letting someone in is hard and terrifying because everything ends and nothing has ever ended well. While I enjoy my solitude, my privacy and space, there is also an isolationist aspect to my commitment to never sharing my living space with another romantic partner again. If I don’t open myself up to that, I can’t get hurt again, disappointed again. Living this way makes it possible for me to feel grateful that I am alone, that no one can see me in my day to day life, that people can only see what I choose to show them. I sometimes feel like I am only an impostor, impersonating a normal person, a mentally healthy person.

I write because it helps, it’s a release, an outlet. And I let people in, a select few, and I open up about my thoughts and feelings sometimes, but if I’m going to be completely honest, I don’t show anyone much more than what feels like only the tip of the iceberg. Because it all feels so crazy to me, you know? I sound like a lunatic to myself, I feel like a lunatic sometimes. I most certainly do not want to expose any other human to that in full force, which is what has happened in all of my former cohabitation experiences, and it was all so ugly.

I’m not saying that I think, no matter what, no matter who, cohabitation with a romantic partner would always end ugly. I do recognize that the people I cohabitated with were abusive pricks and it shouldn’t have been like that, but I also recognize the part my mental illness played in those scenarios, how it allowed for and exacerbated them. And I’m really starting to believe that ADHD is at the center of all of it. The more I read about how symptoms present in women, the more I feel like I’m reading about myself. Lists of behaviors describe me perfectly, my past and my present.

Once, when I was maybe 23 or 24, I was seeing a therapist who told me that I had an addiction to the adrenaline rush I get when I fight, argue, debate, whatever, because of the arguments I had with my mother as a child and teen. She said those arguments had made me addicted to adrenaline. I read in an article recently that ADHD itself is what causes the addiction to adrenaline, that people with ADHD have a tendency, an uncontrollable urge, to rile people up, make them angry, get them to yell. Being screamed at, being abused, it stimulates the brain, which is what the ADHD brain craves constantly. There is no control over it whatsoever. The ADHD brain is designed that way. It needs constant stimulation in whatever form it can get it. I’m not excusing the abusers, but boy, did I know how to needle them, poke them in just the right way, use just the right words, so they would explode.

This is what scares me now, has scared me for several years, about the idea of ever cohabitating with a romantic partner again. How could I ever trust someone not to react the way all others have? And why would I want to subject someone I love to the me I have no control over?

The good news is, testing for ADHD begins tomorrow. Maybe I will finally get some answers and treatment and maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop feeling so awful about myself all the time. Maybe I’ll be able to have a little bit of closure around events in my life that felt out of my control when they really were, quite literally, out of my control.

Maybe I’ll finally know why I am the way I am. I know a lot of it is due to trauma, but the trauma I can deal with. The trauma has become manageable. The traumas are things that happened to me, not because of me. If I can have it proven to me that my brain literally doesn’t function properly, if there is help for that, oh… I will be free. Free from the restraints and restrictions I’ve put on myself in an effort to control, contain, and mask the horribly negative behaviors that I exhibited for years. I may not exhibit the behaviors anymore, but the thoughts behind them, the urges to exhibit them, are fierce. If those thoughts can be helped with medication, I wouldn’t have to spend so much time battling them. It’s fucking exhausting. Self-regulation for a person who lacks the necessary tools is so. fucking. exhausting. I’ve fought for years and the only question on one symptom-question-list I didn’t answer “yes” to was, “Do you have trouble balancing your checkbook?” I’m almost 43 years old and I’ve finally got my finances somewhat under control. Of course, I just lost my job, so I may be speaking too soon.

(sigh)

Life is hard. My life feels harder because of the constant battle raging inside me. The constant flow of words through my mind. My compulsion for answers, for information, knowledge, wisdom. I just want to know how my brain works and why and can I fix it?

I just want to have some hope in a world that feels utterly hopeless right now.


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