ADD Man friend (with anxiety) blocked me – making sense of what happened

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    • #144546

      TDLR: ADD man friend who has anxiety blocked me twice. He was/is going through a lot on both occasions, but I don’t understand the need to block me when I’m not even being clingy/needy

      I’m gonna be honest that I don’t really know what I’m looking for here. There’s nothing to resolve as I am blocked, but any input/opinion/relevant experience in the context of ADHD/Anxiety would be greatly appreciated. I know this is an ADD forum and this is long but please bear with me.

      I started being friends with ADHD man (who also suffers from anxiety) almost two years ago (known him about 2.5 years since we’re neighbors). I’ll call him X. X and I would hang out from time to time, bump into each other and talk, and it was mostly friendly on my part. He on the other hand would flirt on and off. It was around this time when he mentioned he’s diagnosed with ADD and was on Adderall at some point. The interaction was on and off but progressed over time. Fast forward to early last year, we became more comfortable and I caved. We started hanging out more in a romantic context. I noticed that he would say things that he would like for us to do but there was no follow through. I didn’t react to them but I was being observant. I realized he would do this even when we were just friendly. He also said “I love you” far too early. Around this time, we were dealing with uncertainties (job and home loss for him, he started drinking a lot as a result, job transition for me, him moving out, travel plans for me..etc) which added to the hesitation from both ends. He also said he’s feeling broken, “do you really want me like this?” type of thing but would also refer to me as his gf. After a short period of time of doing this, he completely shut down and said he’s not relationship material. A day later he said he loves me but doesn’t want to damage me. Same day sometime later said I love you I’ll see you when you get back (I left for international travel). Casual texting followed and then he went silent. The confusing texts were all in a matter of 3-4 days. I tried to keep my mind off of it but when I came back, I found out I’m blocked when I called.

      …8 months later, he apologized saying he was feeling so scattered and broken at that time. That he did want to be with me but didn’t want to mess it up either and he didn’t know what to do given the circumstance. I dismissed this as I didn’t know what his intentions were, didn’t want feelings of hurt to resurface… I just didn’t know what to make of this sudden re-appearance. At this point we were already long distance because I moved, but we continued to communicate. Since I wasn’t being intentional with my actions, I had a hard time rebuilding trust and anxiety built up. Up until this point, I haven’t read up on ADD and didn’t know that not following through, or him being intense were most probably because of it. Whenever I talked to people about the situation, they chalked it up to him BSing who doesn’t follow through. This happened for over a month with my anxiety growing even when we met up 2 weeks ago, when it seemed apparent to me that he does want to be with me. We talked about taking it slow but he would still bring up possibility of kids, marriage.. I was very confused. What made matters worse was I wasn’t communicating any of these because I wanted to enjoy each other and not ruin moments.

      A week ago, he opened up about a family problem that’s going on.. with which he said “I didn’t really want to tell you this because it’s embarrassing” and “I want you to know this because if we get into a serious relationship, this is what I’m dealing with”…etc. Said some supportive words, he responded, then went silent shortly after. He was a bit unresponsive the day after, and then the day after that, he called, sounding very impatient and not laughing at jokes unlike how he usually is. I asked him “have you had something to drink”, and that’s when he snapped. I’d like to note that he’s been working on completely stopping drinking, but I didn’t mean for it to sound accusatory. what I meant was that it probably wasn’t a good time to talk because he sounded off. When I explained that, he said “I need to go, I’m not mad, just not very social”..and that was that.

      I called 5 days later and found out I’m blocked again. I did send one text in between saying I’m excited to see him (as I’m gonna be in his area again), asking him light heartedly how things are going. No response.

      Not asking for a resolution as to how to reach out or anything. I guess I’m just still feeling hurt about what happened and trying to make sense of it. I’ve talked to people about this and all I get is that he’s an asshole. Yes, he did hurt me. Logically I’d like to think it’s unintentional because of other factors mentioned, most likely the overwhelmed feeling, but my mind keeps reverting back to: I felt very anxious, projected it on him and it pushed him away which I don’t believe I did either…. maybe a little, but not really.

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by pepelepew.
    • #144548

      A misunderstanding is one thing, but flip-flopping like this has got to be maddening.

      You need to ask yourself if you are willing to put up with someone who flakes out on you like this. It sounds a little like RSD and anxiety mixed. Until he gets himself under control, expect more of the same behavior.

      Even if his behavior is ADHD related, there is nothing you can do to help him, he has to help himself. Check out Melissa Orlov’s site. There you will find hundreds of posts from the “Non” partners of ADHDer’s, who after years of walking on eggshells and stuffing their own feelings down are left feeling lonely, empty and confused.

      Because you cannot change him, if you were to get married or ever have children with him, the situation could be exacerbated.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by AdeleS546.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by AdeleS546.
    • #144567

      When people show you who they are believe them. When a man says he’s not relationship material that’s what he means. I wouldn’t spend any of your precious time and life force analysing it all and find someone else to invest in. It’s nothing you’ve done wrong at all and his behaviour is no reflection of your self worth. .

      • #144732

        Very true.

        Your friend is experiencing symptoms of having ADD and that’s why you did nothing wrong, it’s just that, there are better ways to communicate with people who have ADD. There are online consultations and/or mental websites that can help you have an idea as to how you can better communicate with your friend. Cheers!

    • #144860

      Thanks for the responses! I’m trying to be more logical about the whole thing but there are times when I get emotional. Does anyone have a link to Melissa Orlov’s site?

    • #165147

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. I think a lot of us who are involved with someone with ADHD can relate to the flip-flopping, anger when confronted about not following through, and the whole cycle of pulling someone closer, then pushing them away.

      What I’ve realized after years of going through this with my H, is that if the behaviour hurts and doesn’t change, the “why” doesn’t really matter. Understanding why doesn’t change how unfair and hurtful it is, or how worthless it makes me feel. At some point, we have to decide how we deserve to be treated and accept that this person will probably never be able to treat us the way we deserve. The question is, are you okay with that and what it will do to your sense of self-worth? Or are you ready to call it quits and give yourself the closure that the ADHD person will never give you?

      I can tell you without knowing you that you’re worth clear communication, closeness, reliability and respect. For whatever reason, he can’t give it to you. You might never understand the “why”, but I hope you can still give yourself closure. Don’t wait for him to realize it and change, because that just won’t happen. I’m currently stuck because we have kids and I don’t want to be in position of not seeing my kids every day. But I don’t respect myself for staying with someone who is constantly playing with my feelings. You’re free, so give yourself permission to get off the roller coaster and go out there and enjoy it!!

      • #167264

        Thank you for your response! So after reading so much about ADHD on reddit and other forums trying to understand, a lot of the symptoms and anecdotal posts resonated with me. I… likely have ADHD as well. What’s even more “enlightening” at least for me was a heated argument that I had with a friend a few days ago. So, I “ghosted” this friend for 3-4 months (starting November of last year) and didn’t realize that she felt hurt by this, when I did tell her before “disappearing” that I am overwhelmed about a lot of things going on with me and couldn’t handle some of our interactions — what it really meant for me was that this friend is too needy and I couldn’t handle her. I did reach out after, sometime Feb, and explained to her that it was not exactly about her. Under normal circumstances, I would not react that way. I just didn’t have enough mental/emotional space — there was a lot of emotions going on in my head, that I didn’t know how to compartmentalize. I thought she understood this but alas, a few days ago confronted me about it, while all this COVID uncertainty/anxiety situation is going on. I was pissed off deep inside because she was complaining about how she doesn’t feel appreciated when it didn’t have anything to do with that and that there are more important things to worry about! —— This was an aha! moment for me, and was able to relate this with my post above. Just took a conflict with me being on the other side. I realized I did this with another friend, the difference is the latter kept pushing me to talk to her, irritated me to the point that I became detached I didn’t care to speak with her again. I am not saying that one person here is right or wrong, it’s just how experienced it.

        I understand that the “why” doesn’t matter, you have to set your boundaries. But being on the side who sometimes gets overwhelmed and withdraws, I wish friends/family wouldn’t take it against me when this happens. And I think this is why I spend so much energy understanding the why — that maybe like me, it’s more of a coping mechanism rather than being an butthole. Consequently this makes it hard for me to draw the line :/

      • #167892

        I understand what makes you feel that way and I’m sorry you find yourself it that situation. However “why” does matter it probably matters more than anything else. “Why” doesn’t change the crime, but it can change the motive. It lets you dissect what is him and what is his disability. It might not change how you feel about him. But it’s will allow you to understand what is intent and what isn’t.
        We are not always the complete monsters we are perceived to be.

        (Watch Fitz Lang’s M is a key film to understanding impulsiveness and intent)

        We can be horrible to be around and I sometimes don’t understand why people bother. But we are human (just wired differently). We walk in a world that isn’t made for us (like being lefthanded) but to us neurotypical people can be as confusing, callous and frustrating as they find us. There is just a lot more of them.

        If we could take a pill to be somewhat “normal” we would… And most of us do

    • #167886

      The issue with ADHD is that what is experienced are thing that everyone experiences at some point. It’s just a lot more frequent and charged with may have it or you may just relate to standard normal stimulants

      He flirted at the beginning because it a great source of dopamine. Over time that disapates and he doesnt get the same long term goal rewards that neurotypical people get. So he will sometimes sort out his own fix (so to speak) and cause drama. He also probably has RSD (rejection sensitive dysphoria) this can cause him to set things (metaphorically) on fire, to get the reassurance he craves. Regardless, these people (I included myself) are very hard to handle . They mean well and can show great love and attention. However over time it shift and dulls. If you meet someone like that again. Use clear and concise communication. Do not bend to their will and keep them guessing and on their toes (but without losing postive communication). If you keep them stimulated then you have them for life. They are hard work and in the end it can be thankless (as they can just walk away) but done right you have a magical unicorn in your stable

      • #167979

        Personally, I was a little skeptical about him having RSD but then remembered how he’s had so many self-deprecating jokes/statements, telling me he has low self-esteem. This is something I don’t experience and still trying to understand. I do have insecurities but not to that level. There also had been times when he misinterprets my texts when I would express concern and he would think I’m girlfriend-raging on him, or I would say something innocuous and he would say I’m being sassy so he didn’t want to engage. Is this RSD as well? These were all prior to me seriously associating ADHD symptoms.

        I almost always try to understand the “why” with people not just him. People not understanding me, taking things personally, is the very reason why I withdraw and feel isolated at times (which also has been a factor that drove me to depression in the past)…which is why I try to understand. I hate it when people don’t care to do that.

        Thank you for your response. How do you suggest I handle this?

    • #167973

      I would never expect somebody to keep me constantly stimulated, challenged and excited. I’ve got to do that for myself. A relationship when it is new is exciting because it’s new.
      Each person needs to accept their partner as they are and not try to change them. People change with time and relationships change with time. It’s not always going to be exciting that’s the reality of day-to-day life.
      I am hoping that what my fiance and I have going on 5 years now will be lasting. We don’t live together yet but I hope once we are that it will work.

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