“Moving On After a Breakup Is Hard to Do”
My ADHD makes it easy to forget things – like appointments – but where are its powers of memory-lapse when I want to let go of my soon-to-be-ex-husband?
I should be good at this – moving on that is – after all of the kinks and roadblocks that ADHD has brought into my life. But even after picking myself up and brushing myself off time and time again, I’ve discovered that I’m not. I’m tired of the constant ups, downs, and loop-de-loops this condition brings – especially by my age, 40.
My latest roller coaster ride began with divorce papers that led to a new job and a fresh start in a different part of the state. Uprooting oneself geographically is supposed to be the easiest way to say goodbye to the past. Yet even after my physical move, I’ve been unable to say goodbye to my lost love.
My very soon-to-be-ex-husband and I are still tied together by our phone bill and health insurance. He’s paying for it until the end of the year. I hadn’t heard from him in a while, until a few days ago when he texted me, “Morning,” with the sun emoji. I was missing our days of romantic texting, so I responded back with the same message.
Friends and family have warned me about contact like this. Their advice? Get a new phone, get a new number, then delete him from your phone book – and your life. Unfortunately, as easily as my ADHD emotions can be riled up into a tantrum in the heat of the moment, they fade and I forgive. I’ve spent most of my life being easily able to “kiss and make up” even after major relationship slights.
So I fell back into the habit of saying hello by text, then calling and emailing once a day with the hope that we could go back to being friends. He responds with emojis, but never to letters or my unanswered calls. A couple weeks ago, my car broke down. Out of habit, I called him frantically for a word of support. Instead I got his voicemail over and over. He sent the cold, matter-of-fact response via text, “At work.”
I don’t understand how someone who used to be a good colleague, good friend, and whirlwind love could cut off contact and reduce communication to a few words and graphics. Is he even human? Did he never really care? Or maybe he cared too much?
It’s always been so easy for me to forget appointments and birthdays. Where is the ADHD power to forget when I want to erase someone from my memory and move on?
Updated on May 1, 2021