What's normal?

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    • #75182

      Hello. Just need to vent here and find some clarity.

      So I got recently diagnosed at the age of 28. Seeking help and a diagnosis was my own initiative; my parents were initially skeptical about this plan even though they’d known for years that I needed some sort of consult. Throughout all this time I had to put up with years and years of being berated for my ‘inattention’ or ‘not caring’ or ‘not being able to shut up’. I’ve had to deal with gaslighting, insults, and just a lot of negativity from my own family.

      Now this leads me to where I am, preparing to start a life and a family of my own. But this leaves me with one terrifying question: what’s normal in relationships, especially for someone with ADHD? How do I deal and avoid repeating what was done to me?

    • #75202

      I don’t think there really is a normal… well not for us… that’s kind of the whole point of it! We see and live everything differently than most of the world – the colors more intense…. the music more sweet… everything is more on every level – find your own normal and find what works best for you and your life- have a partner that adores you just the way you are with all our ‘quirks’ but also make sure that you are both educating yourself so you both know what’s really and issue and what’s ADHD- I’ve been married for 10 years to a man who I frustrate at times to no end but one that understands that sometimes I just can’t help it – one that sees me becoming overwhelmed before I even get there and helps me find my way. We don’t always get it right and there are new challenges everyday – so make your own normal! And remember friends are the family we choose and life is too short to be surrounded by negative people no matter who they are. Be you! Be proud and find the path you want.

      • #75204

        My partner is just the best when it comes to dealing with my ADHD. He knows when to keep me anchored and how to deal when emotions get too much for me.

        I just worry about the impact my biological family has had on me. It took some concerned friends pointing out that what I was putting up with was just not normal, or at least constructive in terms of familial relationships.

    • #75227
      Penny Williams

      You can try to educate non-believers, but it fails to change their minds more often than not.

      Enlightening an ADHD Non-Believer

      You can try to set some boundaries with them, like not talking about ADHD or not being critical. Often, it comes down to limiting your exposure to negative people that make you feel bad, even when they’re family.

      My Family Thinks ADHD and LD Are a Joke

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

      • #75312

        For starters, I’ve chosen to disclose my diagnosis to only a few trusted people. It’s a bit difficult to have to bite back my words when people get unkind with their words, but then again I don’t owe them any information about myself.

      • #75393

        Katy, I was much older than you when I was diagnosed, but I definitely understand what you mean about not wanting to repeat behaviors in your new family just because it’s what you grew up with. I think that some of that is inevitable, and you might find yourself saying or doing things that you will recognize as coming from your parents (it definitely happened to me, even when I didn’t intend it). But knowing that you want to have something different for yourself and your family is the key, I think. Also, because of the memory difficulties of ADHD, it might be helpful now, before you have children, to write down a vision of what kind of parent you want to be, then revisit that often both to remind yourself and to see if you want to change anything.

        It’s great that your partner is understanding and supportive! That will go a long way.

        Also, it will be good to keep in mind that motherhood can be a huge stressor for women with ADHD. It is great that you know about your ADHD beforehand. I didn’t, and I always felt that I was on the verge of failing as a mother because I could barely keep it together–even when other people couldn’t tell that’s how I was feeling–especially when I compared myself with the other busy women I knew who had many children (we have only one). Had I known what I was dealing with, I would have been easier on myself and given myself permission to do less, schedule less, say “yes” far less often to other people.

      • #75394

        Thanks. This helps a great deal. I really hope to keep that vision in mind as the years go by.

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