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HELP! i'm pathelogically STUPID and it's ruining my marriage!! - Page 3

post #41 of 46
Wow, you sound so much like me. I was also a straight A student in schools, but quite unorganized and undisciplined. Forgetting things, forgetting people I've met a few times already, get lost over somewhere I've been to 6 or 7 times before are all very "normal" for me. I'm also naturally clumsy and can lose my balance without any reason. Don't even talk about this reflex thing. I still refuse to drive (I do have a license but don't feel I can really handle a car.) because I think I'll be a road hazard to others.

I also became pregnant unplanned. I had such a hard time adjusting to my new role. I don't think I felt like a real mother (and stop being afraid of my baby) until my second baby was 3 months old. My kids sure run into things, push each other, eat non-food stuff... with me only saying "don't do that" at distance. I think I'm just way more laid back than most people.

Fortunately my husband knows me and doesn't have very high expectations. If dinner is served before any of them is howling from hunger, that's good enough. Our home is never too clean but we rarely have anybody coming to visit us anyway (probably 3 - 4 times a year we have people over). I can spend hours cuddling and kissing my babies instead of doing any houseworks. I did develop a lot more sense of duty since I got married. We'll eventually learn and manage.

Mostly I think you're quite normal. You're just that kind of person. Definitely use whatever device to help yourself to remember things, but don't put too much stress on yourself. Multi-tasking is just asking for trouble for people like us. If I stand in front of the stove and watch whatever I'm cooking there's no way it can burn. Use timer for the oven, rice cooker for rice, slow cooker is also good, things are still fine even if you let it cook an hour too long. I have a palm computer to beep at me for important stuff. Sometimes I write some family updates in e-mail and send a copy to each extended family member. Saves a lot of time and long distance money. I suppose there isn't much that can stop you from dropping things, other than getting unbreakable stuff or use cheap dishes that can be easily replaced. If you can baby-proof your home better, lock up stuff and pad corners and put away sharp objects, you can worry much less about protecting your baby all the time.

OK, maybe I have some underlying problems as well. I always think if I can sleep better I'll be much more useful. As a mom of a baby and a toddler that's not very possible. No doctor can help me with that.

Just relax, people probably think about your way less than you think they do. If anybody asks, just tell them you try your best but that's just the way you are. Of course I've never been involved in a religion and don't really know. Do people really have nothing better to do than sitting there and criticize about how imperfect the "minister's wife" is? At most they'd say you're a clutz, so what? Nobody can say you're a bad person because of that. Life goes on.
post #42 of 46
Originally posted by strugglinmama
[Bmy dad however... whew. i should have known not to tell him. he's just not into this kind of stuff (he was pretty against my home birth, and almost mocks it when i tell him about alternative therapies, etc.. though in spite of all that, he still loves and supports me). so anyway, i was just so exhilerated and happy that i wanted to share even though a part of me was saying "don't do it". and of course he immediately said,
"you don't have that. listen to me, you just take your issues and blow them up so big that... look at me! i was your age when i came to this country, i was raised in a broken home, and i didn't know a soul here, with just a few dollars in my pocket, and i was scared and anxious, but you just have to pick yourself up" and blah blah blah....[/b]
That's interesting! It sounds like your dad is a little scared of anything that might be wrong with HIM. Once you get over being upset by his behavior, that's all good information for you.

My best friend's mom could never stand it when she was in a bad mood. It turned out that my friend's grandfather had committed suicide! her mom was traumatized. My friend didn't figure it out until she was a lot older. Not that such a terrible thing has to happen in your family for a parent to react that way. But you might have some interesting things to learn about your dad.


but now i'm hyper anxious about telling my dh. if he thinks this is just some kind of excuse for me to hind behind i'll just die!! he's always been like "if you just put your mind to it then..." which is exactly what the book says ADD adults have had to listen to all our lives, but deep inside we know it's not about that! i'm so scared he will blow it all off!! i'm even afraid to share this thread with him, afraid that he'll think i've misconstrued some things in my favor, or that i'm not owning alot of responsibility for my own actions, etc.

this is really killing me, bc dh is truly my best friend, i just have to tell him! i know that if he would jsut accept it for a moment, he too would see me in a whole new way, and maybe, just maybe his patience threshold would increase just from sheer mercy (which, to his credit, he has a ton of). any advice? any tactfulness anyone can suggest?
Well, nothing you have written here sounds to me like you don't take responsibility for your actions. I think it's okay to tell your life partner that you are troubled by your inability to live up to your expectations for yourself.

I do want to caution you about self-diagnosis with ADD. It seems like the kind of thing you would want an expert to help you with. It might be the right answer. Maybe the way to do it is to give your dh the book. You can tell him that you have had these issues on your mind and you wonder whether this book could explain some of the ways you haven't been able to pay attention to more than one thing at a time. (Is that an okay way to summarize what you said in the OP? I was thinking: "Well, how is she supposed to focus on walking slowly and not breaking dishes and also remember to call all the relatives?")

Maybe your dh will say, "Oh honey, you aren't so clumsy" or something like that. But after you finish crying and feeling better (that's what I would do!), still ask him to read the book. He knows you well and he might say, "Oh yeah, that does sound like you." then your next step is to see a pro who works with adults with ADD to figure out how to deal with it.
post #43 of 46
Strugglinmama, I just wanted to add that there are a lot of "disorders" (or states of being) that over lap or act like adhd. In fact, the further into my research I got the more it seemed like for some people, adhd is simply a collection of symptoms, not a separate disorder in itself. Obviously, the adhd medications work wonders for many people, so there is no doubting it is legitimate for them.

However, these are some disorders that can look like adhd (some have been mentioned above): depression, hypothyroidism, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction, anxiety (a big one for me. It's hard to think straight when you feel like you're going to explode with worry all the time), bipolar disorder.

You want to get yourself feeling good and working efficiently, I understand. You should. But just remember that no one is normal, including your husband and the elders at church and the young women who may or may not be looking to you as a role model. Everyone has their quirks and imperfections. Freud said, "Every person is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a great or lesser extent."

As far as your dad's reaction is concerned, it is very typical of people from a certain generation. Many of our parents and grandparents grew up prior to when the whole field of psychology blossomed and became a way we think about ourselves. People didn't do a lot of introspection. If you misbehaved, you were bad, stupid, lazy or evil. Also, that kind of psychology thinking was for crazy, abnormal people. If you were unhappy, you were expected to pull yourself up by your bootstraps (whatever the hell that means).
post #44 of 46

Re: thank you fellow mothers!!

I'm so sorry to be responding so late, hope I can still be of help!

Originally posted by strugglinmama
i know he loves me, and that he doesn't think i'm stupid, or an airhead, or anything like that, but i know he thinks i do often *behave* carelessly, or lazily.

Other people's expectations are soooo hard to live with, especially if they are subjective. Everyone has different standards, and that is fine, and it is fair to expect compromise on those standards when two people choose to live together. But to assume that there is necessarily something wrong with the other person just because they do not meet your subjective standards is just not right. For instance, my mom gets upset when my kids' hair is not washed and combed, or if they are wearing a piece of clothing with a food spot on it or something, or if they have dirty toenails. : From my perspective, though, her worry about this is absurd. I mean, who do my children really need to impress? Does she think God really cares about these things?

So to him, going by his standards, your actions *appear* careless or lazy. But I would think it would be spiritually dangerous to make that judgement. Both of those words imply that you are making a conscious choice to be that way, as in, "I am going to be lazy and to hell with you if you don't like it!" This is a lot different from thinking to yourself, "I don't see the value in doing such-and-such and my time would be better spent doing something else that *is* valuable to me."

i'm stuck in a role-model position for the young women, and i could be just like "hell with it, this is who i am", but he does so much counselling for our community, and he really helps people, and i don't want anyone saying anything about dh (like "how can he help us with anything when his own wife is so dopey?"). i feel stressed about that, i want him to look good, to shine, and i just feel that i don't really help that.

You cannot help other people making judgements about you. It is not your responsibility to conform yourself to what others would like you to be. It is your responsibility to treat people respectfully, and with love. You describe yourself as "very nice, loving, fun-loving, caring, generally positive kind of person." Why shouldn't that be good enough for the people your husband serves?

my husband is very patient, but he's bo (born organized, flylady term), and super sensitive spiritually to all that energy stuff they talk about in feng shui. so when the house sucks, he's really irritable and not himself.

Oh, this is totally me. And my husband is totally the opposite. But you know, I just had to remind myself that *I* chose *him*, he didn't force himself on me. So it really is unfair for me to expect him to change his basic way of being, which is by the way just as valid as my own. So *I* take responsibility for things being the way I like them. I don't expect him to make it that way for me.

i'm trying to change to make him happier, more comfortable, more sane, but it's really not coming from deep within me.

If it's not true (and I mean in the sense of real, genuine) then it's only going to be a superficial fix and won't work for you in the long run. This is not your fault though. You just have different ways of being.

i always hated routine, totally undisciplined, and was really an 'artsy' kind of free-spirit person in high school, and college for mom's sake just kind of... well, was not healthy.

Agreed. Just a comment though, on the word "undisciplined" -- it seems like in this culture we have a tendency to believe that if one way of being (left-brain) is good, the opposite (right-brain)cannot be good and is therefore saddled with judgements like "undisciplined, lazy, air-headed", etc. Which is just hogwash. They are both valuable and valid ways of being, and good for different things. I'm sure that you can think of several derogatory ways to describe your husband that might be used in a culture that did not value his tendencies.

i really think this is true. when in my care, my baby does fall occaisionally, get a little dirty, maybe a little bored, since i'm trying to multi-task (which i really suck at) to keep the house running at a bare minimum ... but i don't believe that it is a cause for concern in terms of serious danger.

Then it probably isn't. There is nothing wrong with falling, as long as it's not the kind of fall where serious damage could be done (like down the stairs), in fact it's ideal to allow people to make their own mistakes when learning something new. Dirt isn't bad, in fact it strengthens the immune system. Boredom isn't bad, it encourages people to cultivate their own creativity and initiative, which is stifled when everything is provided for them.

As for the multi-tasking -- that is a skill that is considered valuable in our culture. But not everyone is genetically wired to be good at it, because it has not always been a valuable skill. Life was once much simpler in some ways. You had to be on the look-out to make sure that a lion wasn't coming to eat you, you had to find food, you had sex, you tended to your baby, but usually only one thing at a time! To me, the fact that multi-tasking is stressful to me doesn't mean that *I* am inferior, it means that the system that I'm expected to plug myself neatly into is inappropriate! Our lives are really quite complicated, but partly because we make them so. Do they have to be?

is there such a thing as "too much love?" bc when i got married, i was in love so much, and i had my entire soul invested in loving this man, that i couldn't function in doing anything else.

I think that's absolutely normal. You are very lucky, some people never feel that. And remember, God made you able to feel that way for a reason. Shouldn't it be a thing to be celebrated and thankful for? (Anyway, you probably don't literally mean you couldn't function in doing anything else? Surely you managed to remember to go to the bathroom, bathe, and put food in your body? )

i guess having a baby was supposed to bring me out of my non-funtional high state of 'being in love'.

Hmmmm. You know, having a baby is something like being in love, at least as far as the hormones in the body go. In both cases it is normal to be flooded with oxytocin ("the love hormone") which causes a change in consciousness, which is why a lot of women report feeling "absent-minded" in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. A different, positive way of looking at it is that it puts you in a higher state of consciousness, a more spiritual one, and at the same time more in tune with the primality of mothering. This is a good thing, but some people who haven't experienced it may have a hard time seeing the value in it, especially if it takes you farther away from what they consider the "right" way of being in the world.

i still have 'issues' about being a mom at this point in my life. pregnancy was unplanned, and even dh was bummed initially bc he worried if i would be able to handle a baby on top of not being able to handle a house. we both felt i should wait a few years, let me finally get to go to school and study what *i* wanted, and become who *i*wanted to be, but it wasn't meant to be. i got pg and pretty darn depressed throughout, and i would have dreams that the baby would miscarry, and i would actually secretly hope (Lord forgive me!) that the baby wouldn't come. i was that scared. i was scared that dh would love baby more than me, that i would never have private time with him again, and that i would never figure out who i am besides someone's mom, or someone's wife, or someone's daughter. (maybe that's my western culture speaking. i know plenty of folks from eastern culture who would not relate to that statement). also, motherhood is really hard for me, ds was super colicy, in the 2 years since he was born we've had sex maybe, 5 times *total*. i feel like the load of motherhood is bringing out all kinds of bad things in me, like anger, impatience, super irritibility, i even started using bad words, mumbling them to myself everytime something goes wrong, which is all the time, and the worst thing, a super-selfishness, for example, when baby sleeps, and i should be cleaning up the tornado wreck in the kitchen, i just want to escape and watch some sappy movies till i pass out.

A lot of us have dealt with this. It is really, really common, believe it or not. I agree with you that our western culture sets us up for this. It is SO hard to be a new mom in our culture, it a hugely difficult transition for most of us. But that doesn't mean that it will always feel this way for you. It takes time to make difficult transitions. Things will get easier. Your life will start to feel like something you recognize and like. But part of making this happen, I think, is in letting go of feeling responsible for fulfilling some culturally-mandated "ideal" of what your life should be, and finding your own natural, instinctive way to being a mother and wife and a person in your own right.
post #45 of 46
I just wanted to chime in and say you are not alone. I am another person grapling with almost the same things you are. Its seems as if its alot more common then we realize.

Ok, I just read through the messages and I gained alot of insight from all the posts. I am going to try implement some of the things I've read here.

But the most important thing seems to be just accepting yourself for who you are and realizing that its ok if you are not like everyone else. Just deal with the what you want to improve incrementally. It might take a life time but if you find away to change your attitude about it , it should be easier.

post #46 of 46

Sorry to post so late....

I also wanted to say that I can understand where you are coming from. I have been struggling with a lot of the same things you are. I would like to share my thoughts as someone who has been there and is working through it, finally. Maybe some of this will help you, just know that I am not trying to offend.

From reading your posts, it sounds like you care a lot about what people think of you. There is a point of caring too much, though. Your husbands position must be putting a lot of pressure on you to conform to who they want/expect you to be. Please understand these few things:

~Not everyone is going to like you, and that is OKAY.
~You need to know yourself, and then you won't try so hard to change for them.......you are a beautiful person with your own gifts to give and they will see that once you are comfortable with "being" yourself.

Maybe if you keep a goal journal, you could write a plan to try to accomplish your goals. Each day/week you could do ONE thing to get you closer to that goal. When you write it down, you will be able to see the progress you have made and not feel like such a failure.

Also, motherhood is hard. After ds was born, I didn't feel like myself. It has gotten worse throughout this preg and now that I am almost 38 weeks, I sought counseling and found out I have PPD. I already feel better bc I know what it is and I am getting help for it. I know it is hard to go to a doc when you do not have insurance, but maybe you could call around to therapists and see if you could talk to them for a discount or work something out. If you do have PPD, it is not something you should push aside. Also, you don't have to have medication for it, there are other ways to work through it.

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