Relationships? at what cost?
I thought I’d start my first journal piece by touching on a very popular, yet controversial topic. I’d again like to touch on the subject that anything written in this journal, is purely based on my research and experiences; Though this post is mostly aimed at my experiences tackles mostly ADHD issues, I’d like to think that this article will also help other individuals regardless of mental issues. Keeping a healthy relationship, is difficult no matter the individual and with the divorce rate spiking up in our society, it is important to note that every individual is different, and whilst they may not have been or never will have been diagnosed with a disorder. They may still have tendencies that are associated with a disorder. I’ll give you an example. In the UK, to be diagnosed with ADHD you must fit a certain criterion of chronic symptoms. However, there are individuals who have similar symptoms but do not qualify to be diagnosed with anything. Every Individual is different, we all have different strengths and weaknesses and I hope this article will prove useful to you.
So… a relationship… what does it entail? Two individual members coming together to fulfil their emotional needs? Two individuals coming together to expand their agenda? Different people have different ideas of what a relationship might be. I’ve come to learn, that for a relationship to be successful, is Foundational Communication. What do I mean by this, I mean expressing to another individual of whom you seek to be in a relationship with, your idea and definition of what a relationship might be before you even seek to begin your journey together. I’ve come to find, that if you both have different ideas of what this is, it will present an inherent problem further down the line. Relationships, are primarily based on compromise, but a person should know what that compromise will be before they commit to one another.
I must admit, that in my previous relationships, even more so before educating myself on my disorder… I was often assessed as the “Villain” … What I mean by this, is that individuals tend to speak to their close ones about their relationships. If those close ones, disagree with the actions of the opposing person… this will have a very big impact on how the relationship might progress. For me, the biggest problem in relationships… was certainly, the need to be controlling. Now before, you jump on the “Villain” bang wagon, let me explain. You remember in my first post, where I mentioned that individuals with ADHD were born in the wrong time frame? Well, that has a big impact on our relationships. Now, Vivid imagination is a common symptom of those diagnosed with ADHD. Though, it’s severity, affects different people in certain ways. For me, it is one of my biggest strengths and weaknesses. You see, a vivid imagination, does not only affect Positive and creative ideas. Often, when your brain is uncertain about an idea. It also affects how you will imagine that scenario. Let me explain, a Neuro-typical brain, might walk down the road with their partner. Perfectly happy, no worries and that other partner, may seem the same. But in my head, when this has happened, it hasn’t been the case. You see, my brain is programmed to be in a dangerous environment. Whilst you may be walking down the road and seeing positive things, I am often scanning the environment for danger. I often swap places on the road with my partner, I like to walk on the side that is closer to the cars. If I sense that an individual may be under the influence of drugs or may be particularly hostile, I always step in front and make sure I am the first port of call to danger. While my partner may not notice these things, they are happening in my brain. I see everything, and whilst this may seem like a small obstacle. I assure you, it’s not.
So how does imagination come into all of this? I won’t go into a lot of detail… but close your eyes and imagine something incredibly horrible happening to your partner. Now, for people with ADHD, we live that over and over in our heads. We have a smaller Pre-Frontal Cortex. When an idea comes into our heads… it relives itself, over and over in a very vivid manner. When are you out drinking or in a very uncertain environment… we don’t see the fun that you’re having. We only see that danger that is in your way. In our primitive days, any uncertainty, would get you killed. Our brain, tricks us into thinking that we live in those times. Usually, we don’t act on our instincts, or at least I don’t. This means that by the time you get home the next morning, we have relived every single possible horrible scenario in our head… over and over… and over again. We might not be the same person by the time you come back the next morning, because, for you, it was just a night of fun… but for me and for others like me, it wasn’t that at all. It was watching you go through something horrible, repeatedly… but when I say watching you, I mean Vividly watching the scenario… that’s right, our imagination is so vivid that often, the trauma becomes too much. It doesn’t help, that we have all, at some point, watched horrific movies. Those horrific movies, give imagination a worst face. Watching those things, often, gives you a scenario to imagine and makes things worst.
So how did I overcome this problem? EDUCATION! When I knew what I was dealing with. I simply laid down some communication rules, often explaining to my partner that I would feel this way, and it could not be helped. It is, a neurological disorder… which cannot be “Fixed” in any way. When I’d done this, I’d found that often… my partner, would often calm me down, and work out solutions to this and many other problems we had. We found that by communicating at some point during times of uncertain scenarios helped a lot. And often, a simple text, explaining that she was okay and there was nothing wrong, fixed the issue. This is not the same with every relationship, like I said, communicating with your partner before commitment is important… someone may not want to compromise and deal with that. It is better just to communicate and let each other know before you go down a path.
Don’t confuse what I am writing with being Gender and/or sex biased. This is not what this is, an individual with ADHD and the same issue, could be a woman/male or non-binary. This is not by any means, an excuse for people to use the idea of a disorder to control their partners. This is simply my experience; In fact, with psychological intervention and Medication… I am often able to control myself and be happy for my partner that she does whatever she wants, and so she should. We are all individuals regardless of how we identify ourselves. Everyone is free to do as they please, and in most cases, I cannot help what happened in my previous relationships because I cannot change the past. I will improve the future!
So, we’ve touched on all that is “bad” in relationships with ADHD… so is there no upside? Of course, there is. We can’t regulate our emotions properly, this affects the bad, but also affects the good. We become so happy and excited to be with you but being with us is always a pleasant experience when were happy! We are quite literally, the people you see in the movies. We do all that for you, and when it’s good. It’s amazing. We do anything and everything for you. We sometimes “Hyper-Focus” on you… which may be annoying… but well, annoying is a big part of every happy relationship!
What do I want you to get out of this?
I want you, to read this story and not just think about ADHD. Every disorder and every trait an individual has, plays a big part on how we act during our relationships. Whether that be ADHD or a “Neuro-typical” we all go through struggles sometimes, and the best thing for us to do, is to find a solution with our partner, should we wish to save that relationship. We shouldn’t act on impulsive and do something we might regret, simply because we bottle things up. Enjoy your relationships, but most importantly, work on them. Know that every individual is going through a struggle and be there to help them. Or you might be the one who needs help, if so, reach out to your partner. Let them help you. Disorder or not, your Brain is a very important organ and a big part of who you are, so make sure that you are treating it right. Don’t bottle things up! COMMUNICATE!