Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults UGH NEED HELP! :'(

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    • #81106

      What can I do? Im ready to ram my head against the wall, I’ve been diagnosed with adhd since I was a kid, and its been rough. But now I live with a stepmom who has ocd and we fight like crazy! My symptoms drive her bonkers and hers drive me up the wall. I hate it, but dont know what to do and even worse is the fact that Im in college too. I tend to give into my stress and depression lonliness and unhappiness, and spend money willy nilly and get ridiculed over it, I know mom and dad are right to be upset, but mom bombarding me constantly about each of my really bad screw ups does not help me improve. It only makes things worse. How do I deal with it? Im not looking for any secret remedy or anything, just some advice and maybe tips to help me not be such a burden on my family and how I can deal with mom and her ocd without it looking like Im trying to avoid my parents to game and socialize online.

    • #81152

      Hey! Very familiar situation pretty much to a tee. I learnt that you can never rely on the idea that your mum might change, because that’s entirely her remit and if she doesn’t want to have a reasonable chat about how to make your relationship less fractious then she won’t. What I did find worked was to emotionally distance myself a bit… know by building good relationships with other people that make you happy if you can, or if not something like getting a dog (escape walks!) or a consuming hobby or interest that means you aren’t always around each other. Even if it’s playing video games or painting in your room – I found that a lot of the meaningless interactions that happen when you’re in the same space and talking about the tv you’re watching etc often turns into arguments because of the built up resentment. I’m not suggesting you isolate yourself completely.. I ended up sitting in my room most of the time and that ends up being an equally bad problem!

      Then I would suggest that, when you can, you little things like make a cup of tea or buy some flowers… I was unemployed when I moved back to my parents house so there was a lot of resentment about financially supporting me/watching me spend most days being depressed in bed (‘lazing around’, as they called it!). Little token gestures when possible are normally really appreciated and stop the tension (and so horrible burden guilt) for a while. Also makes gaming or spending time by yourself less of a point of criticism.

      There’s a type of counselling called interpersonal therapy  – some people go to manage how their symptoms affect their relationships, but a lot of people also go to find coping strategies so the behaviour of difficult family members doesn’t negatively affect them so much. I found it really helpful in recognising how the more I responded and defended my (obviously always right 😝) self when my mum started, the more it would fuel her and the less I’d be able to control flying off my adhd handle and making it worse. I never understood how saying nothing and walking away was good; I thought it horribly unfair to let her or anyone consistently bully people without being pulled up on it or seeking help for themselves. I still do, but started putting my own mental health above that, because..realistically..those arguments have never had a good outcome. She won’t work at it unless she wants to and the more you fight the worse you feel and the worse your relationship gets. Unfair, yes, but I felt so much happier just not responding and going off to read or something. If you don’t engage in the first place you can objectively see it and so feel empathy for her and whatever uncontrolled problems she has instead of reactive anger (which was almost always followed by 3am guilt for me). Especially if you’re at uni: do anything you can to minimise stress and look after yourself!

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