Those who have ADHD, Bipolar Disorder or other Personality Disorder continually tell us what it looks and feels like from inside their box. They say they are tired of everyone telling them it’s not normal, which it is for them.
They tell us, on the outside of their box, to accept their behavior as absolutely normal, which it is for them. Yet, those of us who are close to that person have to deal with the consequences of their behavior also.
Unfortunately, they never seem to be aware of the cause and effect, the relationship between their behavior and all of the resulting drama. They never seem to have a clue that other people have to deal with problems created by them.
I Can’t Blame Them
Those with ADHD may look at this post and feel intense emotions of being misunderstood or unjustly accused. That is not my intent. But, their behavior requires all the people involved to make adjustments. At some point, they must become aware of how their disorder affects others or they will continue to destroy their relationships.
My intent is to help those with a personality disorder to become aware of the fact that it’s not easy
for other people to deal with their quirky behavior.
Who Really Cares?
You may ask me “Why is your bucket so full?” and “Why should you care, anyway?”.
This story is up close and personal for me. My husband, Larry, and I have been married for 21 years and have been together for 24 years. He is a great guy, a musician, as some of you have figured out from Facebook. I can truthfully say that life with Larry is never boring. He’s a lot of fun and a very loving man, but he does have ADHD.
After a few months of being together, he did something impulsive that I couldn’t understand. I shook my head…”He didn’t just do that, did he?”
Lately, I’ve had to deal with several people who have a personality disorder.
ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Narcissism, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.
One I worked for was such a perfectionist that if one space was misplaced, he would become extremely critical and demeaning.
Another was always manipulative. Diagnosed with ADHD in childhood, he did not receive treatment. Instead, he developed a communication style of saying only whatever got him what he wanted and when he wanted it. In adulthood, he wouldn’t listen to anything that he did not think of first or contradicted any of his thoughts. As a result, he was very manipulative and narcissistic.
Still, another wouldn’t or, perhaps, couldn’t listen. She blamed other people for everything that wasn’t exactly the way she wanted it. She focused on fixing the blame instead of fixing the problem that her lack of communication likely caused.
Hence, my full bucket…
The bright side is my husband and I have learned more about each other than a lot of couples. We’ve learned each other’s strengths and how to help each other “work-around” difficulties. We have gotten to the place where we can really have fun together.
After about three years of being together, I was more than ready to call it quits, but I didn’t. We both had a faith in God that pulled us through the most difficult times. Eventually, I went back to school and got a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior.
I began to understand more of why he did the quirky things he did. We began working on what we call “WorkArounds” that helped us deal with his behavior. I will go into these “WorkArounds” in subsequent posts.