Anger at surprises- are we dating ? Confused

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    • #76820

      I did something nice for my ADHD friend, and she got very angry. It was a small purchase to help her organize her new place. She was so angry and frustrated and tried to say that being nice to her was all new. I’m nice to all my freinds I care about. I was taken back, and I was angry. I did tell her she entitled to her feelings, and that am entitled to do nice things for anyone I want. We are not dating ( that I can tell). The purchase, she then demanded to reimburse me. Insult to injury.

      I took the money, and swallowed my pride. But this weekend we worked together on the project that this purchase entailed. We completed it. ( I let her work through the entire project and let her have control of it. ) I was muscle. It was a good time.

      Until we were done. She then looked at me, and said I’m still mad at you for buying this. I was like .. pissed. I told her again she can be mad, I’m not going to stop being nice to her. I was beyond words and then she thanked me for helping her. I said whatever and left and went home. I was so angry. I calmed down. Sent her text not related to this. She reads my body language all to well.

      I talked to a freind whom is married to an ADHD male. She said her husband is like that.. hates and gets angry at gifts or surprises. His behavior at his businesss nows make sense. She recommend the 5 love languages.. but I need her to take it. She set the tone a month ago, that we were not going to be g/b. But then she blurted out one day, after a passionate exchange that she loved me. I was thunder struck, and dint know if she blurted out a utterance. Her actions in whole come across as loving but, it’s on and off. I’m so confused.

      I want to give her a cute gift, something she is a fandom about. But now I’m like how do I do this without cutting my throat.

      This is so new to me, I want learn all I can, I want to see where we go. I enjoy doing so many things with her. Have for years, but the dynamic changed. She does now like being in the public with me in social setting that was not “our activity” related.

    • #76828
      Penny Williams

      People with ADHD can be very sensitive. She likely felt the gift of an organization tool was a negative statement about her lack of organization. She read an insult into it, even if you never had that intention or thought.

      There’s also something called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSJ) that is a common aspect of ADHD. I think if you read these articles about it you will see a lot of your friend in it (I realized it explained a lot about my own son, and my undiagnosed husband):

      How ADHD Ignites Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

      The Fear of Failure Is Real — and Profound

      I would assume you’re safe with gifts that are just an interest of hers and not a tool to improve something, although that’s an unknown.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #76852

      It may be there, I’m not sure. She is guarded. She had a break up recently, and it was a silent treatment or ghosting. (I was there for her) always as a freind. This is the first for me, I think so one she is guearded due to fear of being hurt, but maybe that I would not want to be involved with her due to her ADHD. She doesn’t want to hurt me?

      I know she has fear of failure, I see it readily, and she shuts down when she is overly stressed. Again simple task seem insurmountable to her. But her day to day, she functions I think quite well. I remember how she almost didn’t pass her college exams. But she powered through it and completed her degree. I was proud of her. But she never knew because we weren’t that close then.

      I’m just confused. It seems she wants more and is scared. I’m not. Just need clues or something.

    • #76882

      Bearlyt –

      I am an ADD husband (married 25 yrs. – diagnosed 15). First off, let me say that your friend is so lucky to have someone like you in her life! Your compassion, care and friendship here is such a tremendous gift.

      Let me say as gently as I can that the reaction to the gift has little to do with you. Your intention in giving it comes from a place of goodness/care. But as the ADD person, we only see this gift as a another reminder of all the times when we feel we’ve disappointed someone we care about deeply because of this ‘thing’ we carry with us all the time. The shame/embarrassment/guilt can be overwhelming to us; and rather than admit to a challenge/limitation, we lash out. I know I’ve done it so many times – I’m just lucky my wife loves me as she does (and as you seem to here!).

      You seem to be in this for the long haul (I hope so!). Penny’s advice above is very sound. Read what you can; try to learn what it’s like for folks like your friend/me. Then, find some things to support you on this journey of loving someone with ADD; it’s not easy, but I think it’s worth it. Be gentle – for both your sakes. Safe gifts for now are best – your offer to be ‘the hired muscle’ might be appreciated more than you know! Just remember that the reaction isn’t always about your initial action, but what goes on inside of us. I wish you both the best on this journey…


    • #76950

      Yeah, I really do like her a lot- I am in it for the long haul. She was adamant about us not being a couple in the beginning of our friendship, just buds, and freinds.

      But one night we had done the deed, and I was supposed to be mechanical no feelings. Like not care, however we professed to each other that night before the deed. About how much we really cared and liked each other a lot, and loved each other as freinds. I walked away after, my professing and told we will never know unless we try to go forward. It will, it won’t, or it will be awesome.

      So we sit with our decision of later that night. She professed her love me in such a sweet way, and I was taken back. It violated her rules she set. I smiled she didn’t see it. We both were very happy. But her emotional regulations she didn’t contact me for days. It hurt. I was confused. She then became defensive of the nice acts, which were always there before, helping, talking, buying gifts, etc..

      I am dedicated, and she is so nice, loving, and so smart, and I just want to be around her. But we now have awkward silences occasionally and look at each other. Then we walk away or change the subject. I see it that she wants something. But what, I don’t want to be needy, or pushy.

      That’s my confusion. I know she loves me before and after by her actions. But we are at a strange junction.

      Good news for me.. Today I just recently was quasi offered a job in the same agency, and she had helped me get to this point. I haven’t been officially offered the job, but I was asked what station I wanted. I chose this one due to proximity to my own home, it less than two blocks from my home. I won’t have to drive to work, I can walk or ride.

      I saw her today and not sure she knows, and she was nice and pleasant, and she was doin her job, but our little conversation and work related activity was foremost on my mind and hers.

      I am there for her. Have been for along time and ADHD doesn’t scare me. Thank you for you own insight, and makes me feel so much better.


      • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by bearlyt.
    • #77595

      Well. It has been interesting. She has helped me in the past year being supportive for me and to me. I dont want to go into great deal of info but my life changed so dramatically it was a hard year. She was there for me. Just as i have been for her.

      Well Monday I got awesome news and a change in my life for the positive. Im working on a new career and moving foward. I had been steadily employed for 14 yrs with one employer and was looking to retire. It got political and i was let go in a very ugly way.

      She helped me work the new way of thinking with another job preparation. She has been there in the darkest times.

      Well she was 2nd person I told. My mentor was 1st. She was so very happy but she was also sick. In the conversation I broke down I told her she had no idea how much she meant to me. She said she does, i told her she didnt. I told her i love her so very much. She was hugging me and she was hugging me hard when i said that. I said it louder and she said “i know you do”.

      My actions have been clear. I like spending time
      with her and enjoy her company. She knows now i love her and i know she loves me. She has gotten sicker and i helped her while she was sick. So i assume all is good. We are a little more relaxed. But she is very independent and my offers to continue to help seem to fall on the ground. She let me come to help and did. Back again to the on off thing.

      I am happy she called me. But i cant tell if we are in a relationship or not. We do things once in awhile like couple. Then nothing and like a separate deal comes. Sigh!

      Slow is the game. But at least she knows the anxiety is lessened for me.

    • #77660

      I find this behaviour very strange, why would anyone get angry over a gift? Nor do I think someone is “entitled” to feel this way, people with ADD need to learn to control and fight their amygdala rooted impulses such as anger. Because we get angry at stupid things.

    • #77703

      I agree, I don’t beleive she has had many relationships. I believe she is short kn grace in those areas. Her longest RS that i knew was 5 year it blew up ugly. The latest was 2 yr long distance and it was just him not talking to or calling her ever again. Before that I dont know her history.

      I have seen when she is mad, sad, and heartbroken. I did none of these. I have been there- a phone call a mile or so away, as a freind. She does turn to me for help. I am patient, but im not a doormat.

      I just dont know what to do. I am just going to let this ride. I think about all the nice things and loving things she has done. Its all i have till she is ready to run or come.

      I will always be her friend.

    • #78503

      I had a long talk with her. I’m pretty hurt. So she denies ever professing her feelings. I heard them as real as I write this. Her actions have been off and on, like a switch. I explained as her freind I was trying to learn more about her ADHD, and that was to help communicate and understand her more effectively.

      She was stuck on what had happened after what occurred between us. I then told her I have been confused since that time as well, as her ( professed) feelings toward me contradicted what she said we would be. She then stated as she did before I wasn’t her type. It would never happen again, because I’m not her Preference/ type-wise. Which just makes me throw my hands up, of in my head” why do you even do a damn thing with me.” It’s very upsetting. I get a double standard.

      I explained to her that my actions of late come from, my love and care I have had for her since along time ago, it never changed. I was her freind and always have. I was more reserved back then, because She and I were in other relationships. I felt that my moving on from that old relationship allows me to be whom I truly am, a loving caring person, and that would not change. I do things for my freinds, nice things with no expectations. I told her that I’m not ready to be in relationship with anyone, (I said that after she hurt me with preferences comment.) I told I don’t want to lose her friendship nor miss out on doing things together, but I where we stand has not been making sense.

      A couple times, I saw the blank look. When I talked about my past relationship.

      I put myself out. It was a convoluted mess.
      Her actions say one thing, and then words another. I left on somewhat decent terms. Then later heard from her again, she was clearly upset about something, and I tried my best to listen. Her issues( drama) later resolved and then right back to cold. She would not tell me why she was frantic and upset.

      I’m here for her. Always have been, but I’m pretty hurt- I don’t know what to do anymore.. she knows I love her, and care about her. If she wants a relationship then yes, but I want no confusion as to where we are as couple. I had no expectations of relationship, but thought if it happened “ awesome.”


    • #78663

      The whole gift that made her angry, was indeed about her planning, executing, organizing things. I messed her up. She also admitted she was wrong about the something she told me I could do. Thank you for that.

      I hope, that this conversation I had with her, has not ruined our freindship. She admitted to all the problem she has, overworked, time management issues, communication issues. That’s when I told her I was trying to understand her problems, by researching what ADHD is to her. She was surprised, and asked why. I said so it makes understanding her easier for me to communicate correctly, and effectively.

      Am I going about this all wrong? I do love her a great deal, and if a relationship happens great. If not I still want her to part of my life as she has been. After talking to several freinds, my instincts tell me that she is scared, scared to be loved, scared to love. Scared to show how flawed she is, in her own perception. I don’t know how to communicate it, that regardless of her issues, I accept her for whom she is, not what she perceives herself to be. Is there a way to say it to not make it sound like a boyfriend thing.

      Anybody been in this boat.

    • #79066

      Well.. all for naught. I guess I can think this is part of her ADHD- but she had job, here, and with seniority for increasing wages, etc..

      Since I have known her, several years she worked here and there. Never did I hear bad things. But as I watched over the last two years, I have seen the conflict in workplace occur, in her last permanent hire, to the point she quit after a getting a temp seasonal job here. She has had a great boss here, one of understanding and complete faith in her abilities. But this is not enough and she was and has been looking for another permanent position pretty much anywhere. She would tell me and she would see the hurt and fear in my eyes..of losing her..

      Every time I heard it it may heart hurt because I do love her, and don’t want my freind to go. I will miss her terribly. But as mature non-ADHD I understand she must grow and be herself. I had been getting all the mixed messages and believe she feared a real relationship with us, because of her pain, and what she might assume I may think if I really knew her. The last month has been confusing.

      Well – today she was offered and accepted a permanent job elsewhere more than a few hours away and the prospect of another opportunity in another state. She applies for more jobs, when she has one..if when she has one, she was always looking. ADHD trait? Well answers are not what I am looking for.

      I’m worried. I worried that she will go and find out, that is not what it’s cracked up to be. I know now at this time and maybe never that we may never happen. Fear of relationship, fear of being hurt. She stated that we would never happen, and that hurt as well, because the indications were we moving forward albeit slow.

      I’m surprised she didn’t tell me first, and that hurt. I am sad very sad. She has no concept what she has done for me this last year.. I will miss helping her, walking with her, shopping, and being around her.. I will miss everything. Ughhh why.

      She will call me, I know this. For what I don’t know.

      She has to move forward and I know I have too.. but damn.. I’m her freind. I will always take her call. Life is so cruel. Dang it.. ( I would use harsher words but I respect you all)

      Pray for her.. I will be.

    • #79515

      Sorry long post—-

      I have not heard from my freind Since a week ago. We used to exchange texts and or call more often than that. I texted her an apology for my response to her getting a job offer. I did it on Saturday. No response. I also spoke to her boss, actually her boss came to me. They don’t want her to leave and I echoed this sentiment. I was given insight on how she reacted to 3 job offers in one hour time period.. she freaked out, full on panic attack..she went to her boss, whom calmed her down.

      They discussed the jobs she may take.. one would be here— two agencies split time and come out with 65000 a year.( great opportunity) The other a permanent job 9-5 desk new location less money than the other — The other in Another state that would be cool..I think.

      But apparently me, not knowing the circumstances went and approached her and was happy for her yet very depressed that she would be leaving.. what I didn’t know she had tentatively taken two of the offers and was/is waiting for the job interview for third, she was given the opportunity to weigh her options..

      Was I wrong to be sad. No. Could I hide my fear of losing her better? Could of, but she knows how I feel. Do I think she is scared of a relationship. Yes, any relationship. Her actions upto Thursday, shows me she loves me.

      I apologized in a text. About being selfish in my sadness and not listening or wanting hear her rant at me. I was wrong i Shut her down. I value our freindship a great deal, I don’t want that to be lost. She knows I love her, more than freind, but she walls me up, and uses excuses to say not my type, etc.. but she had no problem, flirting, teasing, etc..till I told her I heard her say she loved me. Which she denied then stated she didn’t remember ever saying.. ( she remembers everything of that night except that three word phrase) I wanted to know where we stood at that time, dating etc.. she then cam back to be and was wanting more involvement in my life. Push/pull.

      I know she is super stressed. I think she traveled out of town to investigate the locations of the other two jobs. She has not communicated to me at all. Her last text to me was the phrase was she will talk with when she is ready and my reaction at her house was inappropriate and it crossed a line. ( I was sad and stated after congratulations and hug that I grumbled guess We’ll never know, that sent her into rage/rant..) I left her house on ok terms, but obviously it didn’t sit well when I asked her three times to give me half hour to talk about something else later in the evening.

      I want what is best for her. I will not nor ever have I encouraged her to do anything that I was directly involved in.. I give her facts, pros con and let her make her own choices. Doing otherwise is not fair nor loving. I can only assume, that since we are still freinds on Facebook, and she has not told me to go kick rocks..that we are still freinds, and that she will again talk to me. I don’t like being ignored, it reminiscing of silent treatment, I suffered from my ex.

      but I don’t want to even bother her while she is dealing with this. I do believe her last relationship failed due to her lack of communication that is consistent and clear.

      I am at a loss. I will not give up our freindship that is first. I will always be here for her as I have been since I have known her. She is my freind and very close freind. But she is scared of us. I will let the powers be decide if we are going to be a couple. I have no interest in other women, just because of who she is and what she means to me. Yes, I know I’m in love.. she knows I’m in love. But if is not meant to be at this time I have to deal with it.

      Any advice, or am doing the right things. I can see she had a EXecutive function issue and the rejection dysphoria. I’m so new trying to deal with this. Help

    • #79578

      Well. Don’t get it. She contacts me in reference to her rental search. Not one mention of last week. Lasted all of few lines of text..

      I am scared for her. She’s a grown woman, and I realize there is nothing I can say or do, but be supportive in her decisions. Regarding the rental, it was an excuse to not take the rental. I do agree with the decision. But I can see her playing on fears. I also see this job search applying for everything for any job impulsive in nature.

      Again I know if she was to stick out her job here, within 6 months the opening she knows about will open. They want her stay. But again I’m stuck being supportive and not being involved, I don’t want her to not take a job. I am concerned what happened in her last job before this will occur again. She’s a great woman, hard working, dedicated, detail oriented, loving, kind, supportive, she also very beautiful woman. Sigh. Thick or thin, I’m her freind, a loving caring, dedicated freind. I will not be a rescuer. But I am here. If it wasn’t for her, I would not have gotten where I will be in May.

      Sorry it was just an update..

    • #80547

      Help, I’m very confused I don’t know whether not she is taking a job or not taking a job and lack of communication is frustrating . My last Text from her was concerning her possible rental issue and I gave her critical information and let her make her own decision on what she needs to do. she was said that she wasn’t being mean, she’s just busy and all stressed out and I told her I understood and then the next day I sent a text telling her that I know she is stressed and busy I’m not avoiding or ignoring her and I’m here for her.

      Now during the last week she’s gone into the office where she’s been volunteering and it doesn’t appear that she’s making any definitive actions towards movin- she hasn’t contacted me at all in the last week no phone calls no texts nor stopping by.

      There’s also not been a blockage on Facebook and said to me, nothing saying don’t call me/don’t talk to me/don’t contact me or anything like that so I don’t think she’s mad at me.

      I do think she was possibly depressed that she couldn’t take the job based on her own financial circumstances and I hope that she doesn’t blame me for it not working out for her, because I gave her that very critical information that I thought was relevant to her safety.

      I think early on in the relationship I may have come across as being needy and now concerned that I might have pushed her away and I don’t know what to do now, other than to sit back and wait for her to contact me. I miss talking to her and visiting with her. We both sent mixed messages about wanting or not wanting a ltr.. I was fearful to lose her by admitting it, because she was acting scared of ltr, but I gave actions showing otherwise.. I know I need to fix that, but she was showing signs of ltr, but would state excuse of why couldn’t be together.. it’s frustrating and we kept this dance up.. till I fumbled and then fell in line with her words ie “not now” and I stated I understood her career is first and I was not in the equation. ( did I screw up?)

      Does anybody who’s got ADHD have any solutions or ideas or how I should proceed, behave, or how I should communicate because I’m getting lost and I don’t want to lose my closet friend and a potential Ltr. I have been pouring over all sorts of books, videos, and learning as much as I can. But that only goes so far. Help please.

    • #81258

      I am concerned for her. She has pushed me away. I spoke to her Wednesday, and she was not sure how she was going to move. So I called and left message. No return, so I called today. Ignored.

      So I stopped by her house, to give her stuff I asked her to get a little less than month ago. Not well received, her attitude was a smile then, and then she got mad. I brought those items, a package from her favorite fandom and a toy for her esa.

      I told her that she has been acting different to me, and I don’t understand. She said and that I had repeatedly violated our freindship, I asked how..or when..This happened. I want to know what did. She then said that’s not how the world works. I was so taken back..I told her I don’t want to bother her and left the package on the step. I drove off. I’m a blown away. I have never been treated so rudely, and cannot understand.

      I know this move is stressful, and the overthinking she does, and all the items on the table. I just don’t get it and only can think to be this mean she is afraid of our relationship and cannot process how she feels. I just don’t get it. I know I did nothing wrong. I have never been treated like this, and I don’t deserve it.


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