A friend upset me… destroyed me for the week.

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Women & Girls A friend upset me… destroyed me for the week.


Viewing 29 reply threads
  • Author
    • #99112

      If you have a spat with a friend does it end your world. For a short time anyway?
      During my life I have been so sensitive to friends, our conversations and interactions. I absolutely hate confrontation with friends, hate to argue or think I’ve upset someone. I recognise it’s extreme behaviour.

      On the weekend a friend sent me a text reply: “that’s a bit off, Kate” so I quickly apologised because I didn’t want to upset our friendship. She ignored me. I expect my comment was, as usual- totally loaded!

      Anyway, my point is I cant get it out of my head. It’s spinning constantly from wanting to challenge her to getting revenge then trying to ignore it. She’s had a massive impact on my week, my work, my son, my happiness and I can’t yet get past it and it shouldn’t really matter.

      It happens frequently on social media. One girl on a virtual group said she was leaving because of my comment. I did the same then, let it take over my week but didn’t take any real action.

      I can draw similar scenarios from as far back as college days. I feel I’m better not interacting at all because I always offend someone. I’ve usually got a point but it’s the type of point that doesn’t need to be mentioned, get me?!

      I can count my friends on one hand and they are the types who have a million friends because they need social interaction. If there’s an elephant in the room, count on me to mention it!

      I think I’d be a good friend to someone, other than I can’t go out socially until I’ve tidied the attic. I’ve been trying to for 3 years.

    • #99122

      It absolutely ruins my world until we talk or make up. I’m in the same boat as you I have very controlling friends and I am extremely easy going. I hate conflict, but every now and then I challenge them or disagree and When I do It means everything to me to express myself. But then the next day I get the cold shoulder, unanswered calls and the silent treatment. Then the next day I’m feeling like a deserter and I try to apologize to know avail.

      • #99125

        It also seems these friends aren’t effected by the incident.
        Or maybe they are but the cold shoulder indicates otherwise.

        I really want to take a break from this friend. I rarely see her to be honest and this shouldn’t even matter, but it does.

        I wake up at night thinking of scenarios in my head where there may be future conflict and what I should have done differently this time.

        I always conclude I’m in the wrong, even when in the back of my mind I can justify my action(s). I’ve never really thought about the type of friend I attract or target. Thinking about it, they are all the same- strong, controlling, independent.

    • #99126

      Yep, same here. Are you ADHD? I was diagnosed in June I was started on Concerta 18. Tomorrow I start on Concerta 36..

      • #99127

        I’ve convinced myself I am.
        I’ve booked an appointment to take my 4 pages of symptoms and self diagnosis to the Dr but I keep cancelling.
        I’m scared he won’t agree and then I won’t know what’s going on in my head anymore. I need it to be this or I’m lost again.
        My world is so chaotic.

        I envy you, you are where I want to be.

    • #99137

      I know how you feel but You matter, your feelings matter, your opinion matter. Google adhd symptoms and you will start seeing your self in the symptoms you will feeling a sense of relief because you think wow there’s a name for this and maybe just maybe there is a cure. I just ordered 2 audible books-
      “You Are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” and
      The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F–k!

    • #99358

      Hey hun, don’t stress I am exactly the same. I will completely hibernate for a week, energy levels completely shot and my emotions are incredibly sensitive. The thoughts will continuously play on my mind too, omg it’s so annoying because I try to stay strong and keep myself distracted to pull myself out of the hole but I always find myself back to thinking about the fight and can’t move on completely until it’s resolved somehow. Ive shut out my toxic friends because of their inconsistent behaviours and attitudes, it affected me way too much. If you want to talk, feel free to message me. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is completely thrown after an altercation. Xx

      • #99545

        Wow, I thought “It’s not just me” when I read the heading. This isn’t just with friends either. It is sometimes with people I don’t even like or who are just acquaintances, but the interaction still bothers me and upsets me. I ruminate and still remember past “offenses” that are years old. But I’m getting better.

        I have ADHD and depression. My youngest son has mild depression and ADHD, and my oldest son has high functioning autism and is at a special school in a state on the opposite side of the country then we are because he could not leave his room. Both of our sons severe struggles came out in the last two years and I truly found out who my friends were. I was barely functioning and keeping it together and all the friends with whom I had spent a lot of time with prior to this were NOT the ones that helped or reached out to me. I realized that I had kind of two sets of friends:
        Those that were fun to hang out with (mostly) but I always ended up not feeling very good about myself if I spent too much time with them
        AND Those that were fun to hang out with (almost always), didn’t see as much, but always ended up wishing I could spend more time with them.
        Guess who provided the most support in the last couple of years? We get different things out of friendships. Some are meant for deep connections some are not. I’ve learned to figure out who serves what purpose. (Not on a calculated level, just based on interactions, etc) I have friends that I love to grab a cup of coffee with, go get my nails done, take a walk, see a movie, but deep meaningful supportive conversations are not possible. I sort of call these “human interaction” friends. I love to be alone, but I can also get too much in my head if I don’t get out and do stuff. I know I can not count on these friends to provide the emotional support I need so I don’t try to get it from them anymore, but I do enjoy their company with in limits. So I CHOOSE to keep them in my life and believe we both find value in the type of friendship we have.

        Because of all the challenges my boys have had, I have been learning a lot about myself. My younger son and I did a parent/teen DBT group and I must say, out of any ‘therapeutic’ help I’ve had in the last 30 years, this has provided the most immediate and useful tools. It helped me ‘accept’ my feelings, and also helped me realize that I was in control of how much I suffered from them. I don’t ignore them or judge them, I just try and look at them from a different perspective. It is sort of like hitting the pause button. Not ignoring, or beating myself up, or telling myself to stop, just telling myself to CHOOSE how I want to deal with the emotions. Just giving myself that power helps minimize the impact. My favorite skill is RADICAL ACCEPTANCE. A different approach to “if you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry”. That is so passive in my opinion, but to Radically Accept something? That makes me feel powerful, like I’m in control.
        Sorry if I sound preachy and I know this is long, but I can’t tell you how many years I have struggled with being sensitive and emotional and over reacting and suffering because I seem to just be so much more of these things than others. DBT has been the only thing that has helped me really feel like it’s ok, I don’t need to bury the sadness, anger, frustration, etc. But I can control what I do with them. Seems like a simple concept but it really wasn’t for me until someone helped guide me.

        If you want to private message me, I will be glad to listen and support you.
        Hang in there and try and be kind to yourself.

    • #99370

      This one immediately caught my eye!

      I try to be very careful about how I respond to people, but every now and then I think I reach a point of saturation. Last winter a good friend was complaining (once again) about something her husband had done. I won’t go into the details, but it was kind of typical, and IMO she puts up with a lot from her family, in general.

      I’d been really sick with the flu for almost 3 weeks, so I guess my ability to filter my response was not working. Anyway, I told her she needed get a “f**king backbone.” I was worn out and tired of hearing about it, and at that point I felt like I didn’t even care about our friendship. So, it was probably harder on her than it was me.

      We eventually mended things, and I wish I’d handled it differently. That is not my normal response, and I could have done so much better!

      On the other hand, I find social media to be very hurtful at times. I’ve commented on something, not thinking that much about it, only to discover I’ve managed to offend someone! I’ve even had them gang up on me!! I’ve quit a couple of groups because I felt as though the topics were often a “setup.” They were meant to be controversial, but it seemed as though they were fishing for the people who didn’t agree. Sometimes it’s impossible to have a civil “conversation” and people will say some awful things that are completely untrue. Yet, I take it so personally. Why? They don’t know anything about me, and are making assumptions based on a very small bit of information that really tells them nothing.

      The only thing I can say is we are all flawed, and we all make assumptions, say things we wish we hadn’t, and misunderstand one another. Sometimes people react because we’ve said something that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s an issue for them. They don’t always do a very good job of explaining or trying to understand. Friendships take work, and that means being able to tell the other person why something bothers you. It also means not making them feel like the “bad guy” by placing all the blame on them.

      I’m a work in progress, and I keep trying to see how I can manage my interactions and expectations in a more realistic way. Sometimes I fail, but I think/hope I continue to do better.

    • #99372

      Full disclosure – I am a coach and spiritual guide. I’ve studied, personality, conflict, and emotionally focused therapy, as well as trauma. But speaking from my personal struggle with the same dynamic, let’s not forget that there are two people in any relationship, situation, or conversation. Understanding the science behind what goes on in the brain and body can help us shape the environment of our relationships and conversations. We generate the environment, so we start with ourselves, strengthening and caring for ourselves, clearing away the past hurts while we’re looking with fresh eyes at how we create a friendship – or should I say co-create. Maybe we just see more deeply into what a friendship can really be? Also, we tend to put stories on top of everything that we experience, and this blocks us from asking open-ended, powerful questions, which is linked to what our intention is in a relationship and conversation. Go in knowing what we intend shapes what comes out, if our intentions are honorable and inclusive, we can always recover from the inevitable bumps. Humans bump into each other, our feelings are like the cat’s whispers sensing as we go along. In EFT the wisdom is that the predictor of success in a relationship is the ability to repair. Each bump is an opportunity to love each other for who we truly are – as a whole. Stop labeling traits as good and bad! And let’s get to the bottom of our worries about people challenging or disagreeing with us. They all have their stuff going on. Perfection is an illusion, except it’s all the Perfection. Without the bumps, we are incomplete. Ask for help from friends when things get bumpy by saying, this feels really uncomfortable to me but our friendship is important so I’d like help talking about it. Here’s my first draft about what is going on, and please remember, I can’t see into your thoughts, feelings and experiences, so please share them. And then ask them for their first draft. If people turn us down then, it’s on them, and we’re meant to be somewhere else. Kudos to everyone who keeps trying despite getting thrown off for a week. And when we need to, let’s be gentle with ourselves. When other’s aren’t there to love us, we need and have a responsibility to love ourselves all the more. There are great techniques you can Google like the Golden Sequence and R-A-I-N. to help manage and work through feelings with resilience too. Each one of you is special and needed – deeply. What would I have done if you hadn’t been on this forum and given me so much to consider?

      • #99408

        Meli, that was a lovely and very helpful response. It’s something I need to save! Relationships are complicated, especially the ones we care about the most.

        A girlfriend I felt very close to, and had known since childhood became distant for about a year. I couldn’t think of anything I’d done, and the last time I’d seen her we parted on a good note. The only thing that bothered me was she was always so busy, and it had always been difficult to get together. However, she had children and I didn’t, and we didn’t live close by (or so I thought).

        Things came to a head when I got a letter for my class reunion, and I noticed a return address for a town that was only a 30-minute drive from my home. My girlfriend was on the committee, and had included a short note saying she hoped to see me there.

        I can’t tell you how hurt I was to realize she’d been living so close by, and had never contacted me! I found her phone number so I called, but had to leave a message. Of course, I told her how I felt. I few days later I received a letter from her explaining that she felt as though I took no interest in her, and never asked any questions about her family. To be honest, she was right, but my feeling had always been that she didn’t want to share those things with me! I immediately tried calling again, and had to leave another message. This time I apologized profusely, explaining that I WAS interested, etc.

        Well, we got together and ended up hugging and apologizing to one another. She told me she had taken her frustrations with family members out on me because she felt none of them ever listened to her; she was always the one doing the listening. It took us awhile to stop apologizing each time we got together, but it’s been years since then, and we have never been closer. We’ve since moved further apart again, but we get together 2-3 times a year now, and have a wonderful time. She still doesn’t like to answer the phone, but I discovered she loves to text! So that’s another great way that we stay in touch.

        I guess my point was to say that your response reminds me of this. I don’t think either of us knew how to approach the other person and ask questions or explain our needs. We’ve been friends for over 50 years, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.

    • #99373

      I have several friends like this. I may occasionally do this, too. Thinking about any issue over and over again may indicate what my therapist calls rumination which may indicate some OCD is involved–Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD often goes occurs with ADHD and depression and or anxiety. The rumination keeps you thinking in loops over and over and having a hard time stopping. I think writing down your thoughts and feelings about a situation may help you to analyze your feelings and help you to figure out how to handle a situation. Impulsivity of ADHD in saying things that may offend other people may be involved, too. Try to distract yourself if you think you are going to say things that may offend someone until you can think through what you want to say and make sure what you are going to say is accurate and not going to offend your friends. I hope I do not offend you here, but rather offer you some insight to what may be going on.

    • #99396

      I have similar experiences: I seem to say the wrong thing with some frequency and without being able to see why it was the wrong thing. It can be particularly problematic at work as I work in govt.

      While I haven’t been able to solve that issue, besides asking people to check my responses before I send them, my psychiatrist recently gave me a great tool for when I am having obsessive thoughts about a situation. He said to intentionally have the obsessive thought — give yourself a cap like 1 minute or think the thought 5 times — then physically slam your hand down on the table or desk and say “STOP!” It really helps! It allows you to take back control of your thought patterns.

      As for getting a diagnosis: there’s nothing to be afraid of. But I would definitely recommend seeing a psychiatrist or therapist who *specializes* in ADHD in order to get the most accurate diagnosis. Some doctors who aren’t familiar with adult ADHD may think your symptoms are something else (and they could be!) or, as in my experience as well as a friend’s, treat you like a druggie who just wants to get some pills. Someone who knows the nuances of ADHD that aren’t listed in the current DSM will be your best resource for diagnosis IMO.

    • #99435

      I am like this for most conflict. I will often give in to avoid conflict and the other’s person’s anger. When someone does get angry at me, I live in constant anxiety. My stomach hurts, I cannot function well at home. This is especially hard as my adult children frequently get angry with and can be very hostile. I have never been diagnosed with anything but depression. I take wellbutrin, but it does not do much of anything.

    • #99467

      I really try to avoid saying anything unkind on any social media. If I do disagree I keep it focused on me:
      “In my experience…” or “I feel this way about that…”
      Rather than:
      That’s ridiculous, how can you believe that?” or “You should/shouldn’t do X”

      I finish with YMMV a lot (Your mileage may vary.)

      When apologizing, you needn’t admit you were in the wrong if you weren’t. Say you are sorry you made them upset and that wasn’t what you intended. That makes it more about caring for your friend’s feelings and the social media topic is not the focus.

      This was only possible for me after taking meds. Before that, it was easy for me to get my knickers in a twist about things. Right-brainers actively seek out argument and conflict as it gives us dopamine just like pleasant things.

      Keep in mind if someone is making you feel bad a lot it’s probably not about you, they are just acting out. If they are just a toxic person, it may be worthwhile to cut them loose.

    • #99486

      Yes. I also feel very hurt and ruminate if something like this happens between me and people I care about.

      Ever since discovering my ADHD, I’ve seen patterns where I can seem hyper-focused so much that I steam roll over people (without knowing it). I have also gotten into A LOT of trouble when I send emails. Usually, I say more than I need to say. I offend. Others take my tone in a way that wasn’t intended.

      I am learning to do more conversations face-to-face. Especially if a lot of explaining seems necessary or if it is a touchy subject. Thankfully, those close to me now gently tell me if something sounded too harsh or they ask if I wanted to say x, y, or z. I am getting a little coaching from them as they see my true intentions when face-to-face.

      Yes, I get angry at times. Yes, I say more than I need to, at times.
      However, I am learning to be more mindful and much less wordy in emails.

      Good luck on your journey!
      We’re all on it.


    • #99508

      I experience the EXACT same thing, completely distracted and dysfunctional until a personal problem is solved. I think it’s definitely ADHD related because it’s an inability to regulate attention. I’m starting to figure out that ADHD isn’t just about missing details, but it has just as much to do with obsessing over details or giving too much attention to things, even feelings. Since my diagnosis and especially since I somehow managed to get the greatest non-ADHD friend in the entire world, I have made tons of progress in terms of understanding exactly what it is I do that pisses people off. I’ve learned it from my friend, who does not have ADHD, by hearing her complain about other people. So, I’ve gotten a good sense of what behaviors make other people mad, mad enough to ignore you and walk away. I think the biggest problem people with ADHD have is the fact that they can’t keep a friend long enough to learn from them or we are so desperate for friends we keep toxic people around us for way too long. I wished that someone had given me a cheat sheet on social etiquette. I asked my sister for
      one, but she refused LOL. She didn’t want to offend me. I was fortunate enough to find a friend who was almost the opposite of me. Anyway, here are a few things I’ve learned. 1.) Let people know you have ADHD because any odd behavior you may display will be given a degree of grace; 2.) use the Myers-Briggs personality test to learn more about yourself; 3.) understand that in comparison to others you are REALLY easy-going and other people take themselves far more seriously than we do. We are used to “failing,” we are used to being hurt, we put up with a lot of behavior that other people wouldn’t put up with. So, we tend to come off as superficial (laughing is a subconscious coping mechanism) and offensive (we are surprised that other people get so offended by things we say. That’s because we think well it wouldn’t bother me if someone said that. Apparently it DOES bother other people, so it’s best to toss that “rule” out the window.? The following is a list of behaviors other people can’t stand (remember they’ve got plenty of friends, so you are dispensable. Don’t be late. Write things down so you don’t forget them and don’t flake out on plans. You’ll come off as unreliable and eventually people won’t invite you to things because you’re a pain. When people ignore you, then you’ve done something wrong. When someone changes topic, walks away, looks the other way during conversation, you’re talking too much about something that interests you but not them. There is a give and take in conversation and you have to be aware of that otherwise you’ll never catch yourself talking too much. Read signs and follow the rules; read emails and try to do what is being asked of you (keeping a calendar is vital) otherwise people think you’re a pain in the butt. Watch what other functional people are doing and do what they do. It may feel like you need to change your whole personality for other people, but what we don’t realize is that other people do it. They regulate themselves enough to fit in, but they are still the same person. It’s is expected. I hope that helps a little. I am so very, very fortunate to find a good friend who has given me grace long enough for her to get to know me and appreciate the person I am. I don’t think I would have made it past a few faux pax without revealing my ADHD. (I asked her when she was due and she was NOT pregnant). Good luck. I really hope something I’ve shared helps. Know that I am WITH you and by no means think I know everything, but like I said I wish someone had given me a cheat sheet. So that’s what I’ve tried to do here. Best of luck. Christine

    • #99525

      OMG, I will be 50 next month and the people that know me ie, “work friends” my boyfriend, family ect… know me and accept me (probably because they have to.) I always seem to voice what everyone else around me is thinking and won’t say because it’s 99% of the time, inappropriate or should’ve been left unsaid, BUT leave it to me. I try to recover with humor, which works a majority of the time and again the people that know me expect it. Most of the time I’m not taken seriously and that can be good and bad.
      As far as friends go, I have NO close friends and up until recently I couldn’t figure out why. Well, HELLO. Confrontation used to bother me too. Anymore, I don’t stress about it or over think it. Life is too short and I have way too much going on to worry about whether I have offended every person I have a conversation with. I don’t intentionally or knowingly hurt anyone’s feelings, I just don’t waste my time dwelling on conversations that I think might have caused an issue anymore.
      I am however, hypersensitive to what I call “static” or crazy vibes in the air. I can immediately tell if someone is talking about me as soon as I walk in a room or I can tell if someone is upset with me instantly. This does bother me. It’s the static or vibe that drives me crazy. It’s like nails on a chalkboard and at times almost physically hurts. I will drive my boyfriend crazy until he spills it or just tells me he needs some space to get over “it” and then we can talk. I like to call this my “ sixth sense. “ It can very be eerie at times, well honestly most of the time.
      I hope you get some answers or maybe helpful suggestions in regards to how you can better deal with future “misunderstandings.” I have found though that unless people really understand me and who I truly am, they know I am harmless and my heart is always in the right place. If they don’t know that much about me, they don’t really know me at all.
      One last thing, a friend once told me; only worry about the things you can change, don’t waste your time on the things you can’t. So I guess what I’m saying is, you are who you, PERIOD. Don’t change who you are for anyone. Either they will accept you for the awesome person I’m sure you are and the tremendous attributes you have/do offer to any friendship or they aren’t worthy of having a friendship with you. Maybe that’s why my best friend is my boyfriend, because I haven’t met anyone else worthy of having a friendship with myself.
      Good luck!!!!

      • #99528

        That’s interesting what you said about the “static” …I think that’s really my biggest problem too. It’s not the conversation or confrontation itself, it’s the “crazy vibes” some people put off in those situations that makes me uncomfortable! My bf is great at not giving those off so it’s really easy for us to talk, even about hard stuff. My soon to be former roommate, however, is soooooo passive aggressive. She huffs and puffs and puts out the crazy vibes before she can have a conversation and it makes me feel physically sick to my stomach!

      • #99623

        I don’t often tell anyone about my “sixth sense” there is really only one person I have ever had an in depth conversation about it with and the only reason I disclosed my little secret to her was because I could actually prove it to her. After that she was a believer. I’m not sure what to contribute it to, accept that may be we are a little more aware of our surroundings or it could be the whole hyper focus thing. I don’t know. Another issue I have that might be connected is my extreme sensitivity to temperature. I absolutely can not take a really hot shower. It is extremely painful. It hurts to the point that I have to either get out or lower the temp.Some people love a really hot, steamy shower. Not me. I also do not like to be extremely cold either. Sometimes it hurts my bones and its not like an arthritis thing. I can’t really explain it. I’m sure there are other little idiosyncrasies, that are very normal to me, but to a non-ADDer, would seem crazy. I don’t think I’m clairvoyant, or maybe I am and just haven’t tapped into that part of my gifts as of yet. Maybe that’s something I’ll read up on. Lord, now I think I’m starting to sound a little on the crazy side. 🙃😉😜😝😆

      • #99635

        Haha I know just what you mean! I like to think of it as a bit of clairvoyance. But also our brains take in so much around us, even subtleties, and process the info so quickly, that I think it really plays a big part. I’m also very sensitive to temperature and physics sensations. Princess and the pea syndrome.

      • #100414

        Christine-great cheat sheet!
        Greta-love the description of the “sixth sense” being described as “static” and like many others said, I have my own version, complete w/ lots of other hypersensitivities.
        AnneHW and All-For many reasons we all know too well, neurotyipicals can’t handle the truth (get a backbone!) like we can. I try to guage their “truth capacity” when determining what kind of relationship I want with them.
        All- I use a technique called “energy restructuring” to stop ruminating dead in it’s tracks. I learned it before coming accross EFT. It appears to me that EFT does the same thing using a different technique, I haven’t tried EFT. I’ll teach anyone who wants to learn.
        Also all: yes. You feel ganged up on when you get on social media. Sometimes you really are and sometimes it’s done by bots deliberately because you can think for yourself and you are challenging what Big Brother wants you to think. Why put yourself in that position? Really. Ask yourself and get your answer from yourself.
        YOU KNOW. KNOW YOU KNOW. Find ONE person who knows your crazy, ain’t crazy! If you have one sanctuary, one respite you’ll be fine.
        Trying to make sense out of others’ “crazy” just drains your energy.

    • #99642

      It is awesome to know I’m not the only one with these same “symptoms.” My boyfriend thinks I’m a weirdo. Don’t worry, I know I’m not(and if I am, I’m extremely happy being a weirdo.) I’m very confident with my ADHD, personality, just ME in general. I know I am intelligent, in my own way. It has taken me a very long time to mentally get to the point I am at now and I deserve to enjoy all the gifts and surprises my ADHD offers me and anyone that chooses to join me on this ride. Don’t let your “sixth sense” be your guiding factor. Try to learn to use it to your advantage. I’m not sure what you can do to change your perspective. Meditation might be an avenue to explore. Maybe when in one of those situations, you could use some meditation techniques to turn it around. Just a suggestion. I’m sad that you have realized the gift but are unsure how to harness it and use it to your advantage. It saved me more than once in dealing with my ex-husband while I was going through my
      second divorce. I could tell approximately when he was going to pull some crazy and at times, cruel, stunt or even just when he was going to randomly show up. I KNOW, CRAZY right!!!!!

    • #99804

      I am totally overwhelmed by the replies to my post.
      Thank you all, sincerely. There’s so many hints and tips I’ve already made an action list and hopefully I can hyperfocus till it’s exhausted! Go me!

      I’ve learnt a lot just from one post.

      I’m not awful
      I’m not evil
      I’m not spiteful.
      I am kind hearted
      I am sensitive
      I am caring

      I just occasionally say the wrong thing.
      Get over it!

      • #99817

        I’m chuckling because I posted on here about telling a friend to “get a f**king backbone” and then felt bad about it. We are friends again, but I realized today (after a lot of text messages from her) that somehow she annoys me. I’m NOT going to say anything to her because we are just different. But I’m realizing that I’ve moved on, and that relationship isn’t particularly important to me anymore.

        I can still be pleasant, and even supportive, but I can also let things go.

        I had another friend who really hurt my feelings a couple of years ago when she pretty much told me she no longer wanted to be friends. It still hurts to some extent. But I also realize that’s HER problem. I have friends who go way back in my life that I still keep in touch with. They like me and I like them. No one is perfect, but the best friends understand that because they know they aren’t perfect either!

    • #102104

      I’ve spent the morning re-reading these replies because it’s happened again.

      On Friday I had a conversation with my employee about his decision to let a team of 6 do nothing for 2 days. After the conversation he sent me a text to resign.

      This was a total surprise to me. I didn’t shout, swear, get angry or derogatory. I was professional or so I thought. When I spoke to him he said “never in my life have I been spoken to like that and I will not put up with it” he continued “you spoke to me like I was 3 years old”. I apologised for offending him and he isn’t leaving, for now. He also told everyone in work what he though of the way I spoke to him which wasn’t great. Luckily the conversation was in front of others so it’s divided the team about 50/50. Drama.

      Anyway, my point is. Who gives a damn?! It’s the weekend and I’m with my wonderful son playing diggers at the pirate ship park. So why, why the hell (and it is hell) is this scenario playing round and round in my head like it’s on repeat? Consuming ever space in my head, my mind. I feel physically sick, I’m anxious and I have a black cloud pressing down over me.

      I’m trying to fight this, it’s a useless response. Total waste of my weekend and an attack on myself I could do without. But it doesn’t stop, I’m angry at myself for doing this again.

      I purposefully ‘closed’ this on Friday because I knew what I would do. It’s over, resolved, I apologised and actually so did he. Finished. So what the hell is wrong with me? You’d swear I just buried my Grand Mother, the way I’ve hit rock bottom overnight.

      It’s really strange because I can distract myself from it, I can do it. I just throw myself into something and it’s gone. Then maybe 30 mins later it creeps back upon me like a thick black blanket of dread and guilt. The nights are the worse, I wake up at 4am and it just spins through my head on repeat.

      I think I’m half way there by recognising what this is and almost treating it as a threat to my well being I need to eradicate.

      I just don’t know how.

    • #102106

      I feel I am experiencing the exact same thing except in a different context. My girlfriend of 6 months dumped me after moving in for 3 weeks. I begged her to stay and work it out and she has since blocked me so I can’t contact her. I’ve been unable to go to work – I tried and broke down crying in front of my boss.

      For the last 4 weeks it’s been all I’ve been thinking about. I love her and she told me she loved me too. I can’t understand why someone who loves you wouldn’t stick with you if you own up to your shortcomings and try to address them.

      I’m in a blinding pain. I feel like a complete failure. The rejection hurts so much. I want more than anything to fix things but I can’t, as she won’t talk to me anymore. Strangely, she left her cat and some furniture with me as she can’t take it where she’s staying because there are dogs there. Pathetically, this gives me a tiny bit of hope because eventually she will (probably?) contact me sometime to get her cat. My friends say it’s important for me to pack the cat up and take it to her mothers house and let her deal with the problem but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.

      It helps to know there are other people who can relate to the sting of rejection. I’ve been seeing a psychologist and just starting with a psychiatrist and expect I will be put on meds again. I’ve been on them before, for depression (which I don’t think I have) and ADHD. Meds always seem to come with unpleasant side effects but I’m prepared to try again but doubtful they will help.

      I’m in a world of hurt which makes me feel guilty as I have a lot to be thankful for – excellent job, 2 wonderful kids, an understanding ex wife, etc.

      I have to say these forums are extremely helpful. It feels good to know I’m not the only one struggling with these issues and there are other people out there like me. Thank you to everyone and I wish all of you all the best.

      Keep talking!

      • #102107

        If you had a broken leg you would take time off work and be in bed. Right now your heart is broken.

        So often with the health of our mind we try to function as usual and maintain life but if you think about it in the context above that’s impossible!

        There’s only one thing that will heal a broken heart and that’s time.

        If I was you I’d grab the cat, put movies on, lie on the sofa and cry for a week. Just accept that this is going to hurt because you are broken. Give yourself sympathy, hot bubble baths, time off and love.

        Maybe in time she won’t matter as much. If she actually broke your leg you’d probably not want her back. She broke your heart and that’s ok?!

    • #102167

      h22k22 I appreciate your message, it’s upli and heartwarming. Thank you.

      I hear you and what you say makes sense. And I’m listening. But my heart won’t get on board. You said to take a week to cry but it’s already been 4. I just can’t shake this. I want to stop thinking about her but I can’t do it. I can’t even accept that it’s over. She said in 6 months it’s not impossible that we’d get back together. And I know this is something that people just say to get exes off their back but I can’t shake the hope that maybe she might come back.

      Amongst other reasons, she mainly left because of my ADHD. She’s meticulous in her organization, and I’m cluttered, disorganized, and slow in doing things. I’ve been trying to spend my time now getting my house perfect the way she wanted and the way I always wished it could be. And to be honest, I can’t say I haven’t accomplished anything. I’ve painted my daughters room, cleared out my basement, made 9 trips to the dump getting rid of old things. But there’s still a lot to do and the place is still messy.

      I’m trying to have hope but I feel hopeless. I feel like a failure and a piece of shit. Other than my kids I haven’t got much of a support network. The friends who were helping me have drawn away, saying I’m wearing them out. I feel completely alone, miserable, unlovable.

      I need help but no one can help me. It’s all inside you, I keep hearing. You need to do it for yourself, you need to fix yourself, only you can do it…

      I’ve been contemplating ADHD for years now. One thing I only recently learned about is the potential effect of ADHD on emotions. I feel them so intensely both good and bad. I don’t think the way I’m feeling is ‘normal’ Other people seem to cope with hurt much better than me.

      I don’t know what to do. I’m trying so hard, but things don’t seem to be getting better. I’m even talking to mental health professionals and that process is so slow and uncertain.

      My resolve, what little I have, is faltering. I don’t know what to do. I need help. I’m sorry :/

      • #102178

        You do need help, and you don’t need to apologize for that.

        You sound depressed on top of everything else, which is one of the reasons you’re having trouble getting out of this cycle. I don’t think anyone in this group can help you, although I know we’d all like to.

        Do you have any access to therapy? You need that, and probably some antidepressants or other medication. It doesn’t have to be forever, but right now you need a way to refocus and even relax. Nothing is going to change overnight, but it can get A LOT better. If you don’t have access to therapy or don’t know where to look, make an appointment with your doctor.

        Please see what’s available to you, even if it feels like another “job.” Let the other things go for now.

      • #102179

        Hello! I am sorry to hear you’re hurting and I have been in similar situations. I know how hard it can be to find good help and I personally don’t believe in “only you can help yourself” because it really does take a village, not just to raise a child, but to uplift and support one another.

        Have you been on the CHADD website? I found a great ADHD support group on there that meets once a month in my area. Maybe there is something near you where you can connect with others who have ADHD and those who provide support services.

        As for your ex struggling with your ADHD, same here! My boyfriend has suspected Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder which is basically the antithesis of ADHD in a lot of ways. After 4.5 years together we finally moved in together about two months ago and we spent months planning, talking about one another’s needs and how we operate when it comes to chores and cleanliness, and coming up with a plan to have a functioning household. Even with all that, it is still stressful at times for both of us. What has helped the most so far is printing out articles from this site and discussing them together. Perhaps something like that will help you in future relationships, whether with your ex or with another person.

        As for still feeling the intense pain of the breakup, I too have felt completely crippled by breakups, even when the relationship didn’t last all that long. If you’re not getting the support you need from friends, this is another. Thing where connecting with other ADHD adults may be the best help. It can build your confidence back up to know you’re not alone, there’s NOTHING wrong with you, and that your ADHD comes with a lot of talents and gifts that you bring to the table. But don’t forget that while you can learn tools to better manage the negative impacts of your ADHD to have more harmonious relationships, don’t allow someone to make you feel like you need to change who you fundamentally are as a person to be worthy of their love.

        I find it helpful for me when I’m in a tailspin to write out the negative impacts ADHD has on my life and things I can do to improve them or how I feel about them, then also a list of the strengths I gain from my ADHD and how they make me special/better at a task or skill, or how they make me feel good about myself. It’s easier to develop improvement strategies for me that way.

        I hope you find the help you need, you’re not alone and you CAN find solutions but it takes time …and it’s hard for ADHD brains to keep sight of intangible future things so remember that too if you feel hopeless or like progress isn’t moving quickly enough.

    • #102183

      AnneHW thank you. Yes I do have access to therapy and am in it. I’ve also just started seeing a psychiatrist but she’s still assessing me. Therapy is a little helpful, but not really solving the problems I’m talking about. I’m trying to let go of the other things but don’t seem to be able to. I’ve also seen my doctor by the way.

      • #102224

        I’m glad you’re seeing someone. Just realize it takes time, and YOU have to do the work. If you really feel you aren’t getting anywhere, then you might need to see someone else.

        I hope you’re able to find help. Being so “stuck” must be painful, and it might be a bit scary for the other person. I know it won’t make any difference, but are you at all able to see this from her side? Your desperation to get her back isn’t healthy at all. You see it as love, but it’s reached a point of obsession, and no one wants to be on the other end of that.

        This is NOT about having ADHD. You’ve got some other issues going on that require some serious intervention. I hope the psychiatrist is able to prescribe something to calm you down and give you some relief. That might be why you don’t think therapy is helping as much as it should.

        Good luck to you.

      • #102225

        Hmm AnneHW.. I hear what you’re saying, but I am doing the work. I first sought help for mental health issues when I was 16. I’m 43 now. I’ve tried various anti depressants and ADHD meds. Nobody can figure it out. It’s frustrating asking so many different people for help and not getting any solutions.

        The obsessive love is concerning, yes. But I gave her everything I had and treated her very well and all I wanted was someone who would stick around to work on our issues – it wasn’t all me though it seems all the blame falls on me. The day she dumped me she told me she loved me, in fact she was still saying so after she left.

        As for whether it’s ADHD or not I’m not sure. There is an article on this site about rejection sensitive dysphoria. It discusses this situation and claims the majority of people with ADHD can/do experience this.

        I am wondering whether there is an emotional component to ADHD which according to the article there is.

      • #102227

        I honestly feel badly for you, but I can see how you suck people in. And, I can see how they reach a point where they just can’t do it anymore.

        Your ex-girlfriend probably does care about you. She might even “love” you, but she wants out. Her problem is not being really clear about it because she probably doesn’t want to hurt you. At some point she will probably make it abundantly clear that she’s done and you need to leave her alone. I know that hurts, but just because you feel like you did everything to make her love you doesn’t cut it. You don’t get to decide whether or not someone wants to be in your life; that’s their choice.

        Everything I’ve read from you blames someone or something else. You are not taking any responsibility for your own part in this, but maybe you can’t.

        You are obviously charming enough in the beginning to get people involved. You even married and have two children. That didn’t last for some reason, and now you’re onto the next one. I’m not saying that alone is bad, but I have a feeling you aren’t telling us everything.

        I also get the feeling that you are looking for an easy out. I can understand trying to find something that makes sense because nothing else has worked. Maybe it’s because you still haven’t figured out that you are the problem.

        This makes me sad because I know that there is no one here who is going to be able to help you. Getting into another group isn’t going to help you. Not one of us is qualified to help you. I think you have some mental health issues that require a doctor’s care.

        I see that someone here has already offered to PM you. You and I both know that’s not a good idea, but that’s going to be her problem. I truly hope you get help; I don’t wish you any ill will, and I’m sorry you are in so much psychological pain.

      • #102234

        Tomhurting: you’re right on the money, actually. There is a HUGE emotional component to ADHD. unfortunately, it is not yet part of diagnostic criteria as the last DSM came out five years ago. This means many doctors (and even ADHDers) don’t know enough or understand enough about it.

        What you are experiencing as you have described it sounds very much like rejection sensitivity dysphoria and emotional hyperarousal — extremely common with adhd. It’s a blessing and a curse that I know very well. When you feel emotions more deeply…significantly so…it’s very alienating, but it does not necessarily mean you are suffering from other mental illness. And in fact, medicating for other mental illness can make things WORSE.

        When you deal with emotional hyperarousal, it’s important to know that what is happening in your brain is *very* similar to what happens in the brains of people with PTSD(studies are even showing that adhd stimulant meds can relieve some ptsd symptoms because they act on the same parts of your brain!)….which is why strong emotional events can feel so downright traumatic! You brain is responding like they are!

        Don’t get discouraged; just because some people on this forum aren’t qualified to help you doesn’t mean we all are not! You’ll find that some of us are licensed and trained coaches, social workers, and outreach professionals so even if you run across an armchair psychiatrist or two who can’t help but project on you, some of us are armed with science, experience, and professional credentials.

        It sounds like you know your intense feelings around this situation aren’t “normal” and you’re doing the right thing by trying to find out why this is plaguing you. It seems like the help you are getting now isn’t, well, helping…so I would look for a mental heath or medics professional who *specializes* in adhd and follows the latest research.

        Don’t get discouraged! I know how crippling and alienating emotional hyperarousal is ( if that’s what you’re experiencing, which IMO it sounds like) and if you’re also suffering from rejection sensitivity dysphoria (which is EXTREMELY COMMON in adhd) then that would explain a lot. It sucks when you’re in so much emotional pain. I used to try and describe it as “if your ‘soul’ could bleed to death, it would feel like this” so others could attempt to understand the gravitas of it all. Don’t let the haters get you down! Everything you’ve described sounds exactly like my adhd experience and I have been diagnosed for over 20 years.

    • #102184

      ADHDinPGH thank you very much. I checked the CHADD website but I’m Canadian and it doesn’t seem to list local resources.

      I agree that it would be helpful to meet others with ADHD and am trying to figure out how to accomplish that.

      Your other strategies sound good and I will try them.

      Part of what hurts so much is that I did try to change who I am as a person and failed.

      I appreciate your support.

    • #102189

      You’re welcome! Feel free to PM me any time. I have tried time and again to change myself, too. It doesn’t work AND it just tanks my self esteem. IMO, in the long run it is better to change the systems we operate in so that they work with our brains, rather than to try and change ourselves to fit systems that don’t support how we naturally operate.

    • #102190

      How do I PM you?

    • #102191

      Silly me! I thought we could PM on here but I guess not. You can email me! Cdloves2sk8 at gmail!

    • #102235


      I came here in the spirit of goodwill to ask for help, support and advice from fellow ADHDers, and also to offer what support I can to others. There is nothing constructive in your posts. I may not get to decide who wants to be in my life, but I do get to decide who I want in mine. Therefore kindly stop talking to me and leave me alone.

      • #102268

        Tom, this is my thread and i’d Like Anne to stay.
        I know it hurts but she talks sense if maybe a little direct. You are probably aware adhders don’t beat around the bush and that’s ok here.

        It would be good to know what are you doing about this situation?
        Vitamins? Zero alcohol? Excercise?
        Have you contacted this girl and told her you’d like her back?
        Point is- You need to take action.

    • #108597
      Nelson DG

      Hello to you all-

      I am the best friend of a female adult who has ADHD. I am also someone who does not have ADHD, but am trying to be very supportive.

      Let me begin by saying how amazing I think all of you are that must live with ADHD everyday. To assist my bestie, I have been doing what I can to learn about what she must go through. BUt I must also say that this motivation has come with a lot of argueing which includes several days of not speaking to each other. I always felt that when she didnt text or call that it was because she just didn’t care. This has led to a lot of arguements because I am one who needs constant communication to validate our relationship. I might add that I am also OCPD which adds to the stress for her.

      The reason I wanted to reply, and actually signed up specifically so that I could, was because I wanted you all to know the frustrations for those of us who are not ADHD. We dont want to walk away, make you feel bad, or even criticize you for having ADHD. What we want to do is understand so that we might help and in turn assist the relationship. The problem is its hard for us non-ADHDers to know what to do. For instance, I don’t want to hurt her feelings because I ask questions – but how can I learn how to help if I’m in the dark about her needs?

      I also wanted to reply about the “… destroyed me for a week.” It is just as stressful for those of us on the other end. Right now my best friend hates me because I’m brutelly honest with her about how much I miss her. All she ever wants to do is text. She hates talking on the phone and I really need that communication. I want her to talk to me because I want to make a mends. In fact, I’ve sent several messages that have gone unresponded. I’ve apoligized numerious times. What is the best advice you can give for someone on the outside looking in and in a panic that I may have lost my best friend? She did tell me she loves me and needs time. But what does that mean exactly? A day, a week, a year, a never?

      Thanks for any replies and insite you can give me. We really do care. But we need to understand. I just want to be able to have a friendship with her. But how?


      • #108609

        Hi Dianne and welcome! It’s great that you want to understand your friend better and improve your friendship! First, if she says she needs space then you need to respect that and give it to her. She may not know for how long and if you want to help your friend an your friendship, you need to try and accept that.

        Second, you mention that your OCPD adds to the stress for her. My boyfriend also has OCPD and, like you, asks a lot of questions in an earnest effort to understand. The problem is that his OCPD leads to *obsessive* questioning that feels like an interrogation. His need for perfectionism and his staunch view that his well-calculated way is the best way quite often lead to me feeling like he is forcing his way or opinion or questions down my throat. And any time I answer a question he ALWAYS has an opinion about it or some suggestion to make it better. He is trying to help but it makes me feel like he can’t just let me be me sometimes.

        Now, he doesn’t mean it that way but I take it that way. And because I have ADHD, I have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria, a hallmark symptom present in almost all ADHDers, that makes me feel rejected by him for what I see as him telling me I am not good enough or my way isn’t good enough. And I feel emotions extra strongly so it can be crushing.

        How do we get through navigating each other’s idiosyncracies? Space. Mental AND physical space. And when we do not give the relationship enough space, our dueling “neurosis” combust and we have emotional arguments.

        When your friend is ready to catch up, try and be supportive and try to be mindful not to ask too many questions. Instead, make your questions more meaningful. For example, instead of asking a bunch of logistical questions about her vacation (how’d you get there? Where did you stay? What did you do?) you could ask something like “do you feel more relaxed from your trip? What was your favorite moment or event?” Etc. Does that make sense?

        You need to find a compromise on communication style, too. If she doesn’t like to talk on the phone, you can’t make her. Maybe you schedule a phone call once a week and text the rest of the time or something like that, but be congnizant if her boundaries (as well, she should be cognizant of yours).

        I think you’ll find a lot of useful resources on this site that help explain what ADHD feels like and the ways it can negatively (AND POSITIVELY!) impact our lives.

    • #108867
      Nelson DG

      Good Morning and thank you so much for your reply. Everything you said here makes perfect sense.

      To give you a little history – my best friend and I lived together fresh out of our parents house. After two years of argueing (and not knowing she was ADHD or I OCPD), I finally gave up and moved out. We had no contact for 30 years. We recently came back into touch two years ago (she persued me after her mom died) and decided we wanted to make an attempt tat frinedship agin. To add to the stress, she is also my neice (daughter of my older half sister). The first few months was great, but then we started argueing. In fact, this last arguement we all but decided to walk away from each other for a second time because the relationship was causing great stress for us both. But, over the last few days we have been talking again. In fact, yesterday I took time to travel a great distance to have lunch with her at her work. I apoligized and took the blame for the misunderstanidng as I always do, which is stress for me because I am not ever 100% of the cause of an arguement. But I am made to feel I am. What I have realized is that getting along with her is more important than me being right. However, I feel like I am on a roller coaster with our friendship. I’m trying patience and understanding, but it can be difficult.

      I am very glad that this forum is available and I must say that you will problably be recieving several questions from me in the future. What can I say, I love her and want her in my life. I’m willing to learn and work toward keeping her friendship.

      For those reading this thread, just remember that being ADHD doesnt mean you are not lovable. I love my bestie with my whole heart. It just means that you have a little more challenges than those who are not ADHD. Which is why I think you are all amazing.

      Good luck and thank you for letting me be a part of this forum,

    • #204125

      I take Elvanse ADHD medication , when scored high for ADHD WHEN TAKING A SELF TEST and then decided to seek a formal ADHD Diagnosis , a lot of what I began to read was about shame feeling , on the elvanse it has informed me how dull and single minded non Neoro logical Folk can be at times, and thank goodness I have ADHD, IF I WSRE A NON NEORO LOGICAL HUMAN i WOULD FEEL SO ASHAMED X Yet I can afford this outlook as I do have ADHD AND am now ON my Elvanse , In the past prior to Diagnosis, this being mainly down to not enough access to an ADHD assessmnet , AND FAR FAR TOO MANY COOKS SPOILING THE BROTH SO TO SPEAK, ADHD MEDS LEVEL OUT THE THINKING AND HELP THE FOCUS ETC, YET WOW WHEN YOU DO THE SWITCH , HOW DULL AND TRANSPARENT FOLK BECOME , GET THE MEDS AND adhd ASSESSMENTS OUT THERE , HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A STANDARD HOSPITAL OR HEALTH CENTRE OR HEALTH ASSOCIATED LOCATION AND SEEN A POSTER ON THE WALL ABOUT ADHD OR EVEN LEAFLET FOR ADHD, VERY RARE IF YOU HAVE DONE , DULL AS BISCUITS X

    • #204126

      I take Elvanse ADHD medication , when scored high for ADHD WHEN TAKING A SELF TEST and then decided to seek a formal ADHD Diagnosis , a lot of what I began to read was about shame feeling , on the elvanse it has informed me how dull and single minded non Neoro logical Folk can be at times MORE SO SOME sadly noted within health Professions yet thankfully well informed/ADHD expert professionals help out, thank goodness I have ADHD and am Proud to be Neuro Diverse X Yet I can afford this outlook as I do have ADHD AND am now ON my Elvanse , In the past prior to Diagnosis, AS LACK OF INFO OUT IN SOCIETY , and AS A WHOLE this being PROVEN AS mainly down to not enough access to an ADHD assessment WHICH ENABLES ACCESS TO ADHD MEDICATIONS BEING PRESCRIBED INITIALLY AS CANT HAVE THE CHICKEN WITHOUT THE EGG, wHEN a minority get a chance to see how majority of folk think that they live their lives LOts of opinions ie opinions on diet,opinions in some of the ADHD books FOUND FOR sale some good some rubbish and some advice or quotes in some books reasonable yet not all ARE HELPFUL or read as just plain daft or weak advice/suggestive , ADHD MEDS LEVEL OUT THE THINKING AND HELP THE FOCUS ETC, YET WOW WHEN YOU DO THE SWITCH , HOW DULL AND TRANSPARENT majority of FOLK BECOME , GET THE MEDS AND ADHD ASSESSMENTS PROCESS AND INFO OUT THERE , HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A STANDARD HOSPITAL OR HEALTH CENTRE OR HEALTH ASSOCIATED LOCATION AND SEEN A POSTER ON THE WALL ABOUT ADHD OR EVEN LEAFLET FOR ADHD, VERY RARE IF YOU HAVE DONE , DULL AS BISCUITS IM AFARID X IM VERY HOT ON JUSTICE / INJUSTICE AN ADHD TRAIT AS OPPOSED TO BEING CLASSED AS A LABELLED ADHD SYMPTOM ? gOING TO WALK MY BICHON DOG , TEDDY NOW X

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by VICTORMELDREW.
      • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by VICTORMELDREW. Reason: IM ADHD SO THEFORE CAN BE VERY LITERRAL AND TIDY UP ANY CORRECTIONS THAT I MAY CARE TO , thank you
      • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by VICTORMELDREW. Reason: IM ADHD SO THEFORE CAN BE VERY LITERRAL AND TIDY UP ANY CORRECTIONS THAT I MAY CARE TO , thank you
    • #208455
      Caroline S Wright

      Hi, I can relate to this too. My brother upset me and I have been destroyed for a week also. So I’m getting back on the horse this morning. I know I’m very sensitive. It’s hard not to be after having undiagnosed adhd all my life. I was diagnosed in February this year. I turn 51 on the 22nd of July.

      It’s been a hard road and it’s made me quite resilient. I love the attitude podcasts. I listen every night and that’s how I found out about Sari Soldens workbook “A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD
      Embrace Neurodiversity, Live Boldly, and Break Through Barriers”

      It’s difficult to know when you are being overly sensitive or if it’s fair enough because others are being critical and wanting to be right. xx

      Im going to focus on Saris workbook and see how I feel.

Viewing 29 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.