I still can't bring myself to fess-up to the boyfriend about my ADHD.
by Jane D.
Spent New Year's with the boyfriend. We braved the winter chill by holing up in the apartment with DVDs, popcorn and the promise of a new year. For the first time in a while I didn't think about resolutions. In the adult ADHD world, every day has the feel of New Year's--promises made and promises broken. Despite all of the holiday cheer and festivities, inside a storm brewed--the fear, anxiety and doubts resurfaced. Even though he had come to visit me and his mere presence should have been a sign of his interest, I could not trust even that. Where was faith when I most needed it? Somewhere between his coming and his arrival, the tsunami of emotions escalated and exploded.
Why hadn't he called me as often as he used to? Why had the frequency of his visits gone down? Why didn't I meet his friends and his parents yet? Why was I seemingly begging for it? The thoughts were now spinning out of control. I could not catch my breath. The beast had resurfaced. I thought back to one of several run-ins we've now had, mostly over my need for affirmation. There I stood amongst the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer, but inside the storm of anxiety was now escalating before the boyfriend.
I started to pout. The boyfriend wanted to shop and asked if I wanted to come with him. "No," I snapped. "Why don't I just meet you later?"
He seemed confused and said, "Okay."
Then he seemed frustrated when I said, "So you don't want me to come with you?"
The face-off seemed foolish even as it was happening. What was I waiting for? An engraved invitation? What was going on? Why was I doing this push/pull thing? Why did I have such a hard time communicating? This is odd for a writer. I thought back to the book that I'd bought a while back and keep hidden on the bookshelf, "ADHD and Romance." When I read the list of challenges and benefits for those of us in ADHDland, and kept thinking, that's me, that's me.
The problem was not finding romance, but sustaining it. I thought back to all of my past loves, a long litany of mostly short-lived dates, none really leading into relationships. There is always a tipping point, which sometimes comes sooner than later when it comes to people. Sometimes friendships start out like a meteor and fall to Earth with a splat. That translated to lovers too.
I told the boyfriend that I was screwed. Whenn solving the challenges of ADHD love with medication, there seem to be side effects such as irritability, anger and impatience. After the storms clear, the boyfriend wants to know what is specifically wrong. Each time the answer sits on the tip of my tongue like a rock unwilling to budge. I've mentioned the family problems, the sick sister, the non-existent mother, being depressed and sad, feeling like a failure, and yet I could not bring myself to say, "It's the ADHD."
Tongue tied and stuck in the same place in a new year.