I can’t forgive and forget and bare grudges

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    • #100402
      Sam k

      Does anyone with ADHD have this problem . If I fall out with someone I can’t forgive and forget and I do bare grudges.
      Things which happened years ago: for example if someone wasn’t nice to me, they might have been condescending/ disrespectful to me, I will hold it against them and decide I don’t want anything to do with them . (I think I read people very well so tend to pick up on micro expressions)
      Generally I find it difficult to make and maintain friendships and if I’m honest I’m not a people person, I spend most of my time alone. I have minimal contact even with immediate family and clients (I have a makeup business at home .
      I find I also get picked on by people probably because I have this spaced out / goldfish expression on my face, when I’m day dreaming.
      I deal with disrespectful people in two ways I either stay quiet at the time and brood about it for years or I have a very public confrontation, for example customer service advisor being rude, you know how irritating it is when someone doesn’t acknowledge you and talks to their colleague, poor customer service is one trigger. Snooty, arrogant people also provoke a horrible reaction.

    • #100436

      I do this too but not sure it is related to ADHD. I am an introvert and I avoid confrontation when possible when another is being disrespectful. After, I’ll brood for a long time. It’ll linger in my thoughts, especially when my mind starts to wander (so, maybe ADHD related). I’ll carry that grudge for quite some time. If the behavior from that other (and here I am thinking of a current brooding issue w/a brother-in-law… whom, sadly, I will be seeing in two weeks) continues there will come a threshold where non-confrontation gets trumped by the ADHD amplified emotion response. Then, I lash out furiously (I even, in a way, fantasize about it in my brooding) and deliver a particularly nasty dressing down and declaration of contempt. I’m never proud of those moments. I have difficulty with proportional responses. Other times, I’ll just hold a grudge and be snidely passive aggressive (I tend to do this with closer family members.. I can control that lashing out here. Instead of a short nasty burst it is a slow steady trickle).

    • #101051

      I know this is late but Im new on here. I am the same way. I do not think it is bc of introversion. I dont think its bc of our so called “poor social skills”. For me, it is because I see people more clearly than “neurotypicals”. So its not that I only dont forgive behavior in certain scenarios, but I can read nuances that tell me if someone has selfish motives, or lacks integrity, etc. Then, my problem is I cant lie to myself and just pretend its “okay” to be around this person. To me, it feels dishonest and like you I cant get over it. Most people I know or have ever known, cant see these things in other people, are fine to pretend with other people, or fine to lie to themselves abt the nature of people bc they dont want to deal with reality. Im not insulting them, in many ways I envy them bc they dont have the inner conflict I always have. A strong sense of justice. But the reality is, people are flawed. I have had to forgive a few people recently bc it had been years since I interacted with them,and ar some point it just isnt reasonable to not give people a chance again. I have so much work still to do on myself, and walling more people off from me doesnt seem healthy. Take care.

    • #101535

      I’m like this as well, recently diagnosed adhd (though the school apparently told my mom I had it when I was young…just that it was mild enough to not need treatment). I am EXTREMELY extroverted and into people. I also pick up on micro cues in tone, body language, implied messaging etc. I’d say my mom (who likely also has it, undiagnosed) and are both like this. Hold grudges. Are stubborn about being the one to try and make peace if we feel the transgression is primarily on their end. I’m not really sure if this is an ADHD thing or some other personality trait. I understand that hyper-reactivty and more extreme emotions and irritability are not uncommon with adhd-ers.

    • #101583

      Yes, I can identify so much with holding grudges, exploding on people “I” perceive as being purposely rude to me and, IT’S CRIPPLING ME!!! I, too, am a loner but most of the time it’s because I’m afraid to get close with anyone for fear that they will say or do something that “I” take the wrong way. Even if my instincts are true, I wonder why it bothers me so much where others can just get over it. I am what people would consider “attractive” but it’s so hard for me to date anyone for long periods of time because either I demand more time for myself (mostly to avoid them finding out I’m not always attractive on the inside), and because I can get so upset in public & embarrass them. I am now trying to think the opposite of my feelings. For example, If I “feel” like someone is treating me a certain way, and I feel the need to let them know I’m not stupid; I know what you’re doing, instead, I tell myself they’re not even thinking about you or they really may not know that they’ve done something. Just like when I bumped into someone & they get an attitude even though I apologized, I know I didn’t do it on purpose & I walk away thinking they’re the crazy one for not accepting an apology. Like I said, I’m trying this out because I am really suffering…

    • #101585

      It sounds like you are describing my ADD-with-anxiety daughter, who is now 20. She never had much trouble MAKING friends, but when whenever a transition point came (summer camp ended, a move from middle to high school or high school to college) she always seems to dump the old social group cold, sometimes on a pretext of a mild squabble. But any time there is any tension, she is quite a bridge-burner. Her psychiatrist believes it’s partly the impulsivity of ADD, and partly the anxiety that makes her lash out, out of proportion to a situation. Then the ADD-typical inability to apologize or admit wrongdoing seals the deal, and she is forced to realize she is friendless again – until she finds a new situation where no one heard of her past behavior. I am hoping that maturity will help, because talking about it with her only angers her.

    • #101587
      Sam k

      I think mine is with hyperactivity, I pace around and talk out loud to myself, sort of acting out my emotions, both negative and positive, although when I am around people I only feel negative emotions. I also day dream excessively, it’s hell

    • #101609

      Although I’m not diagnosed with ADHD my son has it and I see identical patterns repeating themselves, patterns and issues from my childhood that he is exhibiting. I can relate to all of the previous blogs. Have always felt overly sensitive, always avoided and continue to avoid confrontation, and have lost friends along the way because I really don’t think I ever knew HOW to be a friend it maintain friendships. Many prior friends ended up stabbing me in the back and I’ve come to accept this as normal from people, I almost expect it, so I never really open up completely bc in the end I know they won’t be around. It’s hard realizing this as an adult but it is what it is. Now that I’m more conscious of these things, I will try to look at things differently.

    • #101634

      I have the same type of response to arrogant, and the ‘I am better then you’ individuals who seem to be mostly women. I don’t forgive easily if I really ever actually forgive and I will never forget. I have a very small social circle that honestly consists of me, myself and I and my mini Aussies.
      In my opinion I feel itit has a lot to do with my ADHD as I feel the emotional hurt so deep that it is instantly turned from hurt to anger and the hurt is quicklybreokaved by anger or pushing the buttons anger

    • #101665

      Yes, I hold grudges against people I think are excluding me or acting disrespectful. I can easily exclude them from my life during the day but I wake up 3:00 in the morning thinking about it and can’t turn it off and go to sleep. This happens with anyone I am having a conflict with.

    • #101774


      As a mom with adhd and 4 kids with adhd, I’ve seen this trait within me and 2 of my kids. It is related to adhd – fixation and difficulty to let go. Adhd is often combined with anxiety, OCD and other things. One doctor has told us that anxiety is the opposite side of the coin of impulsivity. If you have both, it’s hard to find a balance.
      We all take meds. I find that to be helpful. I also like to make lists when I have things going on in my head to get it out. I’ve always seen myself as perceptive and I am to a point. But when I started meds and therapy, I see that I also was missing stuff that came easily to those who are neurotypical.
      Sometimes we have to forgive ourselves – trust that we were created as we are for a reason. I’m very open and share about my ADHD. I’ve had great conversations with people because of my honest and open approach- sometimes people I feel conflict with and some that had no one to talk to about their own experiences with it. I look at those of my past and present friend groups and realize that I’m attracted to those who I also suspect have adhd.
      My 17yp daughter is also very open. I see that her friend group all has something like adhd, social anxiety and or autism. Some of her friends really like talking to me about it because I’m open, honest and excepting.
      I wish you all the best!

    • #101534

      Hello Everyone, So sorry for this being as lengthy as it is. Funny this comes up now. Tomorrow would have been my 14th wedding anniversary with my now ex-husband who is an architect. A big part of the marriage not working out was he knew a lot about my ADHD (read cover to cover “Driven to Distraction”), knew what I did for a living, (which was not a $100,000 job), knew I wasn’t highly educated and knew my troubles in school. Knew a lot about me and my living and workings. As he puts it “He thought he would try it out and it just didn’t work out”. Didn’t think we would have lasted 6 months. Wanted me out of the house 8 months after we wedded. Threatened me on our Hawaiian honeymoon. Called me names, never honored or thought my dialogue was worthy enough to take in account. Never encouraged or complimented me, and thought that I was good for one thing. Pretty much there was one person in the marriage, me. I am going to be 52 years of age in a couple of weeks. The marriage was annulled 7 seven years ago. I unfortunately found it was not wise after a couple of years into the marriage of having children with him (although I wanted them bad). He is now 62 living in our home with a woman 14 years younger then him from Trinidad who is a Mathematician is now 48 years of age. They now have a 4 yr. old little girl.

      With the foundation set up here I wanted to point out that I realized after much debating in my head, he punished me for having ADHD. I have suffered with ADHD since 4 years of age with countless times being a guinea pig on finding the right meds to function on a day to day basis. I have worked for a University for 32 years so out of the grace of God I have been able to keep a job or jobs and have found the right combo for meds to help me function not perfect, but better. I found my way of learning, but of course where I work, there are sometimes 400 students to a class. I cannot take large amounts of information so I have to take classes that meet once a week or once every two weeks to do well in them. My brother who is 2 1/2 years older then me, was blessed with the academic intelligence.
      With that said, my brother tends to be arrogant and my ex-husband was arrogant and lied a lot. I refuse to deal with people this way. One because as you might feel, ADHD is my workings. I didn’t ask for this, get mad at God for cursing me with this, and hate the fact that someone was caring enough to read about it, but yet enter into something so sacred and left me with nothing while he lives my dream. I have to say that I’m not really mad, but most of all disappointed and hurt to have believed in someone who I thought would be there and work with me. I wish I could put a band aid on this, but as you know we can’t. It is hard to imagine he is now living my dream with someone else who also obtained my dream and I came up empty handed. From sources, they are both very condescending people. Something I do not wish to be. I still have troubles day after day. I think as I get older it seems to get worse. But I still try to be on top of things as best as I can. There are two things I hate in people and that is deceitfulness and arrogance. I have no need to be around people that way, it only upsets me on how they can be.
      Back in April, 2014, I lost my Grandfather. When the services were planned an email was sent to my ex stating not to be near the services and not to contact me in any way. He burned me as well with paying me insurance money and settlement money. So I just don’t want to converse be in his presence within an inch of me and my family. I have given instructions to friends and family, if anything ever happened to me, I don’t want him within an inch of my services or family and I will never have never attend services for him or be in contact with his family as long as I am living on this Earth. I have no need of those kind of people in my life. I have struggled, but not made ADHD a crutch. So it may be I don’t forgive him by not wanting to even be in the presence with him, but it is basically, I don’t want to be around someone who can treat someone like he treated me. I would rather be alone. Someone who uses and abuses you, calls you names, never encourages or compliments you. Tells you over and over again how much he hates you and is basically plain mean, whoosy in my opinion, never sees the struggles that had and have accomplished to this day. Basically everything his way or no way. My only wish is that their little girl never finds someone like him to believe in and will hopefully, but probably have the same condescending attitude as her parents.

      • #102556

        Hey, I just came across your answer and learn that you are really so nice person. You are incredible and your ex don’t deserve you. It hurts when people overreact on the ADHD, you are such a brilliant personality. Appreciate you from the core of my heart.

    • #102427

      I too have a very difficult time holding grudges. Usually it starts first thing in the morning with angry racing thoughts in my head. Or constant thoughts throughout the day. What scares me is knowing there are people out there who hold grudges against me too.

      As for forgiveness, I can be very forgiving. There was this one guy who insulted my mother. I held it against him for 30 years. I would seeth over it. One time I ran into him and straight out told him I was holding a grudge against him. He was extremely sorry… very sorry… he had no memory of even insulting my mother. I can honestly say I totally forgave him and to this day have absolutely no animosity towards him over the incident. So I know forgiveness is possible.

      What it might be with grudges is unresolved conflict over people who have hurt us.

    • #104995

      What if it has something to do with all the theories on ADHD being the hunter/gatherer and never forgetting is all about learning to keep surviving?

    • #114225

      Hi all, I like Susan’s idea about the hunter/gatherer approach. Did we all read “The Edison Gene”? Good book! I wonder what would happen if WE all got together in a room! Would we all get along? Would we be able to be honest with each other? Would we be able to have an annual get together with everyone or would we all not show because we all had grudges that we all understood?
      Interesting experiment idea I think.
      I too, cannot forgive and forget.
      My roommate, who last July (2017) saved me from homelessness, told me that she now realizes that she cannot live with people who are not family and I have to move out. Considering my name is still on wait lists that are now 2-3 years long instead of the 3-4 from last year, I was still looking at homelessness two weeks ago. But she didn’t care. But a cousin has taken me in. The only person left on the planet apparently with room for me.
      I guess grudges may not be the best way to go, but trust me, my roommate, who thinks we can continue to be friends, is wrong!

    • #114357

      Grudges..Ha, I’m still upset with my 5th grade math teacher and that was 40 years ago. Yes, I am one of those silence and rage people. I usually let things fester and rot inside me because I know when I reach my break point, I get explosive. Regrettably, this has put a strain on my relationship with some of my siblings too.

      For me, I don’t think the grudges come from ADHD but from anxiety. I discovered pretty late in life that I have OCD and not in a way many would visualize OCD which made it somewhat difficult to diagnose. People with ADHD often have heightened anxiety and OCD. I’m getting better with these things now since I started working with a CBT and ERP therapist.

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