My Forum Comments
I see this every day between my sister and brother in law, and to a point me. My sister has a full schedule, with working two jobs and volunteering at church, so she and I tag team the mental load. During the semester, when I’m in school full time, my side of keeping up with the mental load starts to have some challenges since I also work. Between the two of us, we are regularly cooking, cleaning, picking up after brother in law, everything that’s needed to keep the house running. Meanwhile, brother in law is working only one job and it can take a month, or longer, to get him to do the thing we asked him to do. It’s at a point where sis and I basically carry the load until we’ve had enough, and then talk to him, because it makes no difference. I think in this situation gender stereotypes is in play. Bro in law was raised by a single mother, yes he has ADHD, but his mom also did a lot for him, and wasn’t home much. I think that taught bro in law that women are supposed to do everything. But then he starts getting upset about never seeing sis. So that’s just another thing to add to the mental load, and something I can’t help with. Sis trying to keep track of time to make sure she’s home with enough time to spend with him, and then stay up late to finish up the chores. To get up early and go to work and keep track of the house the next day. And this is without kids, unless you want to argue our cat, dog and ferrets are kids. Which reminds me, we still need to get some sort of vaccination for both the cat and dog.
@ MosMom: Maybe have it put into his IEP that he needs to be able to go to a quiet space when he’s having a meltdown, instead of being sent home? Both the school and my parents tried to punish away my symptoms of ADHD, so elementary school wasn’t too bad, the worse that would happen was I would start crying. Which would then lead to my classmates picking on me. Which is part of why I now go to my room if I feel a meltdown coming on. I’ve had years of people telling me that my ADHD is inappropriate behavior, and if I can’t control the behavior, I try to hide it, in either suppression or I hide until the behavior passes. I have found lavender essential oil is very helpful for calming. Maybe try giving him some that he can smell when he feels a meltdown coming on.
Taking online classes helped me figure out how to manage my time better to get assignments done. Since with online classes, I didn’t have a teacher to keep on me or even physically talk to, I had to learn how to both teach myself the material, and manage my time to get stuff done. I will always remember my first year of Latin, which was my first online class. I’d log in every day, I’d check to see what the teacher wanted us to do, take the notes, and then I prioritized the assignments, from what I wanted to do most to what I wanted to do least. The assignments I was excited about, I got done in no time. At some point though, about half way through the year, something happened. In my prioritizing, I ended up skipping around, which led to me being simultaneously ahead and behind in Latin. I jumped right on the stuff I wanted to do. The stuff I didn’t, I put off and put off, until it was either last minute and rushed to be finished or completely forgotten and I got a zero. I had the same issue my second year of Latin, which was my senior year of HS. So, when I started college, because of work status and transportation, I took an online class. It clicked. I figured out how to do things in order(ish) and get it done. What I found helpful was teachers posting announcement as to what the homework, a syllabus that outlined the homework for the entire semester, and the teacher posting the week’s lessons in the unit folder that it goes in, one week at a time. I didn’t really get these options when I was in HS, I feel like HS teachers don’t get the same freedoms that college teachers get when it comes to setting up their classes, but it really did help me figure out how to keep up with and get my work done. Still not necessarily in order, but it does get done. The fact that he sounds like he doesn’t care is a little harder to work with. It may take him just getting out into the work force and seeing what jobs he can get, and the horrible pay and issues that are dealt with, for him to realize school is important. That turned into a motivator for me as well.
I have not had kids yet, but this has been a concern of mine when I do. It wasn’t until the end of first grade that we got me reading on level (and then by 5th grade I was on college level, so there is hope) and it wasn’t until now, that I’m 24 and taking a college algebra math that math even remotely makes sense. My parents tried tutors, I started in a private school till 4th grade and then transferred to a public school, because the private school had more freedom in trying to tell my parents what to do with my mental health and my 4th grade teacher was an awful match for me. As I started college, I loved online classes because I could tailor them to myself. Basically home school myself in a way. From experience, those early years are crucial, as I’m sure you know. My math issues went from never getting the basics to then being combined with convinced I couldn’t do it because I never had before. Homeschooling may be the best fit for him. Or maybe look into a Montessori if they are available, there are some public ones, at least in some states. Montessori are more developmentally accurate compared to “traditional schools.” Or in first grade he may have a wonderful teacher that he clicks with and he can stay where he is. You got this, you know your child better than the school does, don’t be afraid to try homeschooling. There are social groups for home school kids and books and articles on how to do it. He will learn in time.
When I lived with my parents, I felt like I had to keep my emotions secret, very rarely did they see how I was really feeling. I hate answering what’s wrong, especially when the answer is normally I don’t know, which was unacceptable to my parents. So, I hid it. 5 years ago I moved out, and for about the first two months, I still kept my emotions to myself. And then a big thing happened between my roommates. I didn’t hold back my emotions as much as I had. After that, I very quickly started showing how I really felt, except for when I was at work. It was overwhelming and at first I felt like I wasn’t in control of my emotions anymore, but I have since discovered that I can still control and express an emotion simultaneously. A lesson I think that is normally learned at a young age, but because of my parent’s expectations of emotional displays, I learned to hide instead of let the emotion out without dissolving into hysterical tears or screaming. I still tear up at weird moments, but I do normally have them under some level of control.
I’ll have similar issues periodically. I’m 24. Normally in the form of just breaking down and crying, but sometimes fits of anger. I found getting a weighted blanket and stuffed animal has helped. When I’m at home and feel a meltdown coming on, I just shut myself in my room with something soothing on or nothing at all, and wrap up in the weighted blanket or hold the weighted stuffed animal. It takes some time, I think an hour has been the longest, but the weight helps me come down enough that I can start looking at things in perspective and figure out how to tackle them. It has decreased in frequency and difficult in holding in until I can let it out. As for not hurting people around you, sometimes that’s hard during a meltdown. It’s like all the filters get turned off. With the help of my roommates we’ve worked out letting me get through the meltdown and I come to them when I feel better. And then we discuss and apologize (normally both of us because I feel bad for blowing up, and my roommate feels bad for setting it off) but until I start speaking or sit in the same room, they completely ignore me. There’s this weird middle spot when I’m coming out of a meltdown where I feel like I need food or water but being noticed will cause me to scamper away or slip back into the meltdown. Just know it is a process, there is hope. I can’t guarantee the meltdowns will stop completely, but there are things that can be done to make them more manageable. There is a website called Happify, it is free unless you want to unlock premium stuff (which is really just more levels of the games) that helps me a lot when my anxiety is going haywire. And when I can, I try to squeeze in yoga because it’s gentle and the person who does the youtube videos (Adriene) is very laid back, very big on the do what you can (which is great for me, because I am not flexible lol). I hope you find some of these tips helpful, encouraging, or at least re-assuring you are not alone. Emotionally speaking we feel things very deeply, which sometimes prompts intense displays. Not necessarily a bad thing either. Just another thing that makes us different.
I’m not really sure get better is the right phrase. I think thing one would be getting him off of the cannabis. It sounds like, if he truly is ADHD, he also has a co-morbid of bipolar and/or Asperger’s. Since he was just recently diagnosed, he probably will never get a proper diagnosis if there is some Asperger’s going on in there. Without the proper treatment, there will be some improvement but not necessarily a lot. Now, should you leave him? Ultimately that is up to you, just realize that you will go through this probably for the rest of your life, not to scare you. My brother in law is actually very similar to what you described (diagnosed ADHD with bipolar) and there are good time. Just realize, there will probably be times he will act like a child and it will drive you crazy. If you do decide to stay with him, I recommend finding a group of ladies that you can hang out with and talk openly with or some sort of support group, there are free ones online that are totally anonymous. It is very easy to feel like you are going crazy without being able to share your problems with people you trust and/or people who understand. Since I live with my sister and brother in law, I serve as her reassurance that she’s not being overly critical and what we see really is there. She also has a group of ladies through church that she likes to hang out with that gives her an outside view on the situation. If he will listen (because brother in law won’t) see if you can get him to see a psychiatrist, or you guys in couples therapy. It does seem to help sometimes with someone of that personality type to have kind of a mediator. If at any point you fear for your safety, leave, don’t look back. Emotional outbursts are one thing, but if they turn violent that has to be it. If you feel like it’s taking too much of a toll on you emotionally, keep leaving as an option. Sometimes just a weekend get away with the girls will help you recharge, and sometimes it’s really too much. If it seems to be going down the too much path, leave. I know it will be hard, especially with the good times, but you’re health and safety has to come first.