Hi everyone! I am brand new here, thanks for this resource and for being awesome.
I have attention deficit disorder and a lot of baggage attached to the knowledge that I don't have my ***** together. The leap from "I have failed at one thing" to "I'm a total failure oh f**k" is a small one for me. I just started treatment (like 3 weeks ago) for ADHD and "Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety and Depression." Not yet medicated and we've not really got down to business in therapy, but this is a situation that needs answers sooner.
I moved in with a new housemate a month and a half ago. We've been setting each other off in a lot of ways and it seems to be mostly, if not entirely, my fault. Right now we are sitting at the kitchen table for the third straight hour because I hurt him unwittingly and he wants (a) something to heal the wound and (b) a way to prevent recurrence. I am kind of in panic mode because I have no answer and he doesn't want to walk away without one. I feel like we're going to sit here for four more hours until there's a huge explosion and then it'll be worse than it started.
I have a puppy, and when we moved in, I was an a**hole about her destroying things. Around $200 worth of his stuff got destroyed, and I hadn't offered to replace it until he sat me down and confronted me. I have now replaced it, but due to poor time management and brokeness, it took over a month. When he confronted me, I panicked and didn't have an answer for how I'd repair the emotional hurt and prevent a recurrence. We went back and forth for 5 hours with me sitting huddled in on myself and him getting more and more frustrated with my lack of response. He said things like, "I had more responsibility when I was twelve." When I heard him call me on the 0103 at hand, I heard, "You are an awful person and are ruining everything and there is no hope for you." I still feel that way, and I am panicking before we even start to talk.
It has taken me a month and a half to replace some of the things that were destroyed, and meanwhile he's felt hurt by numerous other things, including the way I present ideas for solving things. For instance, today, he wanted to know what I could do for emotional triage and making him feel cared for. I suggested making him lunch. He said, "That wouldn't work because we have different comfort foods and cooking styles." I kept going, saying I could try to cook something the way he liked it. He said our basic cooking methods were different and he didn't want to do that. I kept trying to find a way to make it work. He feels as though I don't respect his ability to say no, and that it ceases to be about making him feel better if he says no and I keep going. That makes perfect sense, but I don't even see that I'm doing it until too late.
I guess how it feels to me is like the ceiling is springing leaks and threatening to fall in, and I'm taking everything I can find and stuffing it in the holes.
This makes him feel like I just want to make him be quiet and go away. I want the feeling of crisis to go away, not him. I've basically been in a rolling panic for a month and a half and hurting him with my ill-considered words and actions. I know that if I could just find my way to a healthy thought process where my brain works maybe I could actually come up with things, but right now these problems seem impossible.
When I panic and can't think of anything, it's taken as a "f*ck you, this is yours to deal with, I don't care." When I say I need some time to think and he agrees, it needs to come with a deadline, so he doesn't feel like he's left hanging. That makes sense, but I'm generally still panicking the whole time in between. When I come back with still no ideas, it's just building on that.
I've been doing things to try to show that I care, like cleaning out the coffee pot so it's ready for him in the morning, packing him lunch (which he requested), writing out and illustrating poems, sitting and being a sounding board. But I don't seem to be able to be a decent person.
If anyone has ideas for how I can catch myself about to say something dismissive, or about to press on with an idea he's already rejected, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm feeling lost and like an awful friend and awful person.
Love and peace,