Reply To: Inattentive ADHD type woman getting frustrated with Non-ADHD partner

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Sorry but have been distracted in this pandemic switching to teaching HS virtually/online and haven’t checked this board recently. This new method of teaching has been a struggle both professionally and structurally (ADD-wise) – but back to your questions in your last post. Yes, my wife was fully aware and always took it seriously. She’s an LicSW and has had patients who have struggled with this diagnosis. However, it’s much harder when it’s your partner or child. Also, I wasn’t in a place initially where I was ready to take it on fully. As you intimated in your story, I too had built up years of self-criticism/inadequacy and the resultant overwhelming shame that goes with it, to the point where I was virtually paralyzed in our relationship. It took her being willing to walk away and me getting into treatment (I’ve had a great therapist for about 5 yrs now). I’m just lucky/grateful that she loved me enough to stick with me; there’s still challenges, but we’re in a much better space. I’m lucky to have such a willing partner.

Now to your question about teaching… As you can imagine, I have always struggled with grading papers as a teacher. First off, it (correcting) never goes away until the school year ends. Also, you probably know that us ADD-ers respond to stimulation/excitement, and push away tedium. Well, what can be more tedious than grading 9th grade tests? SO yes, I have struggled my entire career getting papers back (I envy my colleagues who can sit for 3-4 hrs straight and grade!). I have found that being up front with my students and their parents at the beginning of the year has bought a lot of good will. I explain about my executive functioning challenges, and that I’m not trying to make their child’s life more stressful; it just takes me longer to correct assignments and get things back. A surprise bonus – several parents every year express gratitude b/c their child struggles with it as well, and they appreciate having a teacher who ‘gets them’! I believe ADD has made me a dynamic classroom teacher, as well as understanding/empathetic on a visceral level (almost ALL teachers have empathy – don’t want to imply otherwise) the challenges some students face. The trade-off is struggles with grading. I’ll take that any day.

Thanks for your kind words. I had been meaning to reply to some of the questions you had in your response to me; COVID shelter in place has it’s advantages! 😉 I hope things are heading in a positive direction for you and your partner, as well.