ADHD person with damaged relationship with possible ADHD or on a spectrum boss

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    • #113936

      I am diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and anxiety. Although smart, a psycho-educational evaluation helped me understand I read slower than average but I’m able to grasp various things like complicated # problems at a high level. I work with computer systems and am constantly coming up with ideas to make things run more efficiently. When it comes to reading though, it takes me longer especially when I’m provided a document of steps that is all text but missing details. In fact, I’ve take a few page process document provided to me with missing details and made it 26 pages long with pictures. This specific document is only 1 of 5 documents for a project that bounces between 3 different softwares so even when following instructions, it takes extremely extra effort to not miss anything. There’s such a large amount of work to do that I’ve been clocking out at my leave time but continued working for hours into the night. I was so stressed I recently had chest pain so extreme I thought it was a heart attack and when I’d stand up I’d pass out. Around the 6th & 7th time passing out I knew I needed a change as I hit my head and arm in those falls.

      The thing is, I suspect might have ADHD and is on a spectrum where she’s intelligent but her communication skills highly lack as people come to me to interpret what she’s told them and sometimes it’s not pertaining to their original question. Had times she’s asked about progress of a project she never gave me and times she’s had me work on projects that weren’t what the individuals requested. There have been 2nd meetings held because she didn’t hear what was being asked and didn’t believe me when I gave the information.

      I’ve tried to speak with her about it but it failed so I reached out to her boss for help and it’s been an ugly nightmare. Her boss had been informed for some time now that I’m the one struggling to prioritize and my evidence is being overlooked from where I outline what I’ve been instructed and how I’ve done just that. They’ve been working with each other a long time and what her boss hasn’t been informed of is the amount of things I’ve done and ideas I’ve come up with. I had no idea my hard work and abilities wasn’t being known with Inaccurate messaging being provided. Do I hate my boss? No. I honestly think she doesn’t realize how confusing she is and she believes she’s right.

      Worked with boss for almost 2 years and it’s been hard. Here’s a brief history:

      -Within 3 mos I requested trainings be recorded as I couldn’t seem to follow. This was permitted and 1 recording happened before my boss started contacting me a different way where I couldn’t record. She is all over the place jumping to topics outside of originally planned topic
      -Within 4 mos I started seeing a therapist
      -By 2 mos I was back on Adderall as therapist saw unorganized boss was impacting me
      -By 6 mos I started asking more for her to stick to 1 topic at a time & to organize how we get tasks. We have 5 different resources for task requests
      -Before 1 year I met with another supervisor about system communication tactics I could try beyond what I’ve tried. My supervisor would ask what I’m talking about in a message app where we were already talking about a certain topic or sometime. Or I’d receive answers to my questions that didn’t even pertain to the question.
      -Met with that other supervisor again maybe a month or two after to try something else but issues didn’t resolve
      -Slightly after my year mark, I found I couldn’t stop thinking about work, was losing sleep, carried my computer everywhere and would be working wherever I went and I had work on my phone so is always stressing. My boss sent me stuff from as early as 5 a.m. to midnight to 2 or 3 a.m. on top of a regular work day
      -after health problems occurred, I really tried advocating for process documents for things that were in her head and not passed down to me, or even things from my beginning training where she was all over the place and I struggled to remember those items from that long ago. She would point me in so many different directions of priorities then get after me when I didn’t focus on a different priority after being told to work on something else. I can tell she didn’t like me asking for process docs
      -I tried giving her a list of everything I have to work on. In fact I had done that in the past multiple times. But tried it again and worked on those items she informed me to work on but she later claimed I wasn’t prioritizing and used that against me
      -I went to her boss about this because I desperately needed help. The boss inquired if HR should be involved so I said yes. I don’t know why it was offered so early but I was just in a desperate mental state for help and she said she had a friend that was great to work with
      -after being requested to bring examples in the first meeting with HR, her boss, and her, I put together 27 pages from just two weeks. Provided that in the meeting but was told we weren’t going to look at that as we weren’t here to point fingers. Another meeting was scheduled in two weeks because I didn’t feel like anything got resolved when I couldn’t talk about the problem
      -my boss’s boss is out of town, HR representative wasn’t responding, so I had contacted another department supervisor during a very stressful time. My supervisor has gotten more difficult to work with and was now actively seeking even the tiniest of mistakes that I was anxious to do anything
      -my supervisor started sending me harsh emails about mistakes where I was told to look for something and I did it according to what I had commonly seen but she ended up meaning something else. I was scolded with instructions of the proper way and asked why I did something but my side wasn’t heard
      -I forwarded this correspondence over to her boss saying it feels like retaliation and I need help
      -I’m not sure what it is but her boss said nothing was wrong with her approach even though it’s gotten harder and actively refused to listen to my side of the most common process I’ve dealt with. And refused to look at evidence when I offered. honestly, I think she just believes my boss because my boss has done a lot for that department so having somebody else that has not been there that many years, she is not aware of my skills
      -my performance is now getting bad. I’m so nervous and even when I’m double-checking I’m missing things now the I did not miss in the past
      -I am being put on a corrective action plan for looking problematic and pointing fingers and I don’t even know if all parties reviewed my document. It’s over a month and I didn’t get confirmation. My boss’s boss claimed recently that everyone read it and she said she read it again that morning. She spoke on behalf of HR saying that they disagree with me.
      – I reached out to HR again requesting to speak with them individually and they said they will be in touch soon

      I honestly think that my boss’s boss had been prefaced with this idea of me for some time now and believes my boss without truly looking at the documentation I’ve provided. I don’t know the opinion of the HR rep but I do know my boss’s boss has been working with this representative for over 2 years and I can see where they have that working relationship that there could be some unintended biases. Also, I understand that no one wants to read 27 page document with screenshots. That’s long and that was me going to the extreme from anxiety. I suspect my boss’s boss knows of some kind of diagnosis or learning disability or just something that’s different about my boss and that she’s protecting her. I am aware that my supervisor has been spoken to about her communication prior to being on her team.

      I know this would sound frustrating but I actually think it’s a matter of two different people learning and communicating differently and unfortunately assumptions were made about me way ahead of time. And my intention has been assumed. I have gotten frustrated at this point that I finally got vocal that I want to be on a different team. I was upset.

      I really like the company I work for, the product is awesome. it has only been these past two days where I realize I haven’t approached them in a way explaining that I’m a treated ADHD person that’s working for someone who is possibly ADHD or something else but I don’t want to say to them I I think she’s on the spectrum. I really don’t know but I do know that she has something and it is making it really difficult for us to work together.

      I’ve read that ADHD ADA accommodations don’t necessarily apply if one is medicated. I have considered having a letter written for accommodations in hopes that maybe, even though I’m treated, it would be a tool for them to see there needs to be structure. I don’t know how a normal person would function under her team. She has only had three employees under her and I’m aware of two of those employees, one being me, have broken down in tears during meetings with the concerns of unrealistic expectations.

      I apologize that this is so long. I’m just really tired and I want this to be at a good place. It’s taken such an emotional toll on me and I’m sad. I was mad but now I’m looking at it differently that both she and I have a diagnosis weather whatever she has be undiagnosed or diagnosed, I know there’s something.

    • #114020
      Dr. Eric

      I would recommend two resources on situations like this.

      -360 leadership.
      – Extreme Ownership.

      Jocko Willink also has a lot of podcasts and YouTube videos on dealing with difficult bosses.

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