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Author Topic: ADHS and BPD similarities. Opinion on fight with ADHS friend?  (Read 134 times)
Xola

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Bisexual
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Relationship status: LC with enNONb (31), dBPDsil (27, d12, s9, joint d3, s1) and SO's shared custody d(?)ADHDs10 (probably uADHDm or uBPDm).
Posts: 15



« on: April 28, 2021, 04:41:37 AM »

Yesterday I talked to my friend I reached out to--and it completely escalated. We talked it out and made up--which is good. But reading this

who are just like my dysfunctional family members.

and this

Others really cannot understand our own unique situations...

reminded me of that fight with my friend. I open a new thread about it, because it is too long to embed it in the other thread and a different topic.

It is from this thread:
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=349069.0

My intention in reaching out to my friend was to start to get out more from my years of social isolation and talk about my current situation with my brother whose wife has dBPD which I stuggled again with in the last few days.

We have been friends for a very long time, since school, with sometimes less contact, sometimes more. Recently a bit more, but I do think while she "gets" some of the psychological issues I face with my family and myself, having her own share of it in her life, she shows a lack of empathy with some other psychological issues. My friend has adult ADHS (I was told by her it's different from ADHS in children, but I don't know if that's true) and depression and has been in therapy since over a year. She was tested both for ADHS and other disorders including BPD. She was not diagnosed with BPD, only with ADHS, which I agree with. She is a nurse in training currently working at a children's psychiatric facility for 2 months, which she thinks is unhealthy for her and she is keen for the 2 months to end, so that she will go back to school and work in a different station. Her goal is to become a nurse for children. She is single without children.

I don't know if people on this board know about the implications of ADHS, but I noticed when signing up that this is one of the personality disorders asked about in the signing-up form, the other one beside BPD being NPD. So I researched it and found that some but not all symptoms of ADHS and BPD are the same. The same goes for NPD and BPD, which from my knowledge about and experience with NPD I think are maybe even more connected than ADHS and BPD.
I see some but not all symptoms of ADHS and BPD being the same in my SO's son who my SO has 50 % custody of and who struggles with serious ADHS. It is a very triggering experience for me, because his behaviour has the symptoms shared by ADHS and BPD. I have no previous experience with ADHS, only with children without ADHS, which has proven not to be applicable to my SO's son.
I did not see those symptoms in my friend, but rather other ADHS symptoms not typical for BPD, that I find much easier to deal with.
My brother (now pwBPD's enabling husband) was suspected to have ADHS when we were children, his treatment was discontinued or ineffective. He did get a child psychologist for some time, which I never got as a child but would have needed to deal with my loneliness and my mother's death. As a child my brother was sometimes violent, also against me, which was ignored by our father and trivialised when against schoolmates. I see some of the behaviour shared by ADHS and BPD in my brother's current behaviour as an adult, when he behaves similar to his dBPD wife (often) and when he enables her BPD behaviour (always and from the start when they met).
Now that I write it out I realise my brother often getting attention I did not get when we were children may be part of my problem dealing with my SO's ADHS son--it feels similar, I feel I have to shift my attention completely away from me in order to shift it to his son, so I prefer taking care of him from the background in a way he does not necessarily know it's me doing it, e.g. try to improve their parent-son relationship, the child's independence, his room, because I cannot give in to his more aggressive demands.

I was wanting to talk to my friend about what is going on with my brother (enNON) and why I'm struggling with it, but instead after we did talk about it a bit, before really expressing my distress and getting to the core of the topic, we ended up on a different topic that I was uncomfortable talking about at this moment - my SO's ADHS son. I told her my thoughts about something she mentioned (general structure for the child) and I brought up boundaries that I set with his son. That did not sit well with her and I got a painful guilt-trip rant from her (not really detailed or productive, more an overall rage about bad parents, trying is NOT enough, and later an unprovoked side-stab at something I do for myself and that gives me strength) which made me feel she did not accept a boundary I chose as appropriate for the situation, which did not concern her. I told her again and again every situation is different and she does not know the full situation, but she did not listen or change her reaction. Both of us were like a broken record.

I ended up revealing details of the situation to her I was not comfortable revealing--not like this, not when feeling not safe with her current behaviour, I would have liked to say those things in an understanding environment if she had been understanding--to make her understand her assumptions were wrong. I believe only one of those details (which was also not the whole truth, but I left it at that to have my peace) finally appeased her, and she felt sorry for what she had said. Not because she thought the way she had reacted was wrong, but because one detail I told her made her think her opinion was invalid as a whole, which I don't agree with. I believe one can have an opinion, wrong or right, AND at the same time be sensible about other people's feelings, aware only the people IN the situation know it completely, and that it is mainly those people's decision how to deal with it.

Later I asked her if she identified herself with the child and if that was the reason for her rant. She replied no and said the reason for her taking it personally was that she sees children at her work with different psychological issues that their parents cause or don't alleviate. Which apparently she thought I or my SO or both of us do, without her knowing the situation, other than some pieces of information I had given her a while ago, without ever having met the child or seen us with him.

I feel disrespected by her, lured into revealing information I did not want to give and into an unnecessary drama, which left me feeling worn down and emotionally drained yesterday, more so because I needed to rebuild, not the opposite.

After the conversation I think I might be wrong about my friend not showing ADHS symptoms typically shared with BPD--in that conversation I definitely saw some of the behaviours shared by ADHS and BPD in my friend.

Am I overreacting and this is a normal behaviour?

I think it might be the stress of her work combined with her ADHS (low empathy or insensibility towards some sensible topics), her personality and with her personal story (even though she denied it after the fight) and with her tendancy of taking issues with children personally (I know that feeling, I have been there and I feel it with my SO's son--it stems from feeling we ourselves were not protected as a child by those who should have protected us). It is difficult for me to see where her personality "considered normal" ends and where her personality "caused by ADHS" starts.

If anybody here knows about ADHS, is it a symptom typical for ADHS in adults (I was told by my friend it's different from ADHS in children, but I don't know if that's true) to guilt-trip others because of a boundary with others that they don't like? To overstep a boundary that is not theirs to break?

It is a behaviour I know very well from my brother's dBPDwife. To take something that is none of her business (e.g. the relationship between my father and me) and make it about herself (my SIL's relationship with her father), when we were just getting to know her for a few months.
My friend is different than my SIL because I know my friend longer, obviously she can have more opinions about my life than someone I just met. But I thought my friend felt way too entitled for my taste in yesterday's conversation, and thinking back, in other conversations we had in the past too, even if in those it had not as distinctly manifested as in yesterday's, but still upset me.

How should one react to such a behaviour, no matter if it's a person with ADHS, BPD or none of it?

I think I should have been firm and short with my answer. "I do ____ and will keep doing it because I think it is the right thing to do for me and in this situation. I have given it a lot of thought and come to this conclusion. I don't think ___ is true."

Or better, avoided the topic uncomfortable for me by saying "It is not important", when she started to ask me about it, and then changed the topic.

We agreed after the fight that it is not a good topic for us to talk about, but I feel much less comfortable being in contact with her anymore knowing the behaviour I saw. I think to give it a while and then try again, but right now I feel something has changed between us forever.

I told her she should take care of herself, with the stressful job she is doing.

Everybody who made it until here, thank you a lot for bearing with me. It took me a long time to write it all down. Writing and ordering my thoughts also helped me understand them a bit better.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 04:53:50 AM by Xola » Logged
Xola

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Bisexual
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Relationship status: LC with enNONb (31), dBPDsil (27, d12, s9, joint d3, s1) and SO's shared custody d(?)ADHDs10 (probably uADHDm or uBPDm).
Posts: 15



« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2021, 07:09:44 AM »

Clarification: I wrote "ADHS" but it is called "ADHD" by most.
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beatricex
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 252


« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2021, 12:56:28 PM »

Hi Xola,
I think people guilt trip others because they are having a sh!tty day.  We are all capable of doing it.  I think I do it less, because that's my personality (highly empathetic INFJ or INTJ), so I take offense when I see it too.  I want to be treated like I treat people.  Unfortunately, most of the world just isn't like that.  I think it's difficult to get the kind of specific support we need here.  Why there's separate threads, because even the topic of BPD is in and of itself controversial.  How to support someone depends on if they themselves have BPD, if their mother does, or if their kid does (or in my case step kid).  I have literally felt myself getting mad on that other thread cause I have walked away from my obnoxious step daughter, but there's parents over there enabling their kids, and calling that love.  Uhm, no, that's why they're still struggling so much.

I often post to the parent's thread (mom is BPD'd) and the step mom thread (step daughter is likely BPD'd) and I am in a real life support group for parents with mentally ill children.  Since my adult kid with the mental illness doesn't live with me...I'm not as cool as those parents dealing with the mentally ill person living with them.  Pecking order, see?  We all do this.  "Let me tell you about MY problem...."  "No, let me tell you about Mine."  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

A lot of people are just tired, and they come here and to group settings to vent.  They also come here with their own problems and issues.   Same goes for your friend, it must be exhausting working with kids like she does.

What if she was just having a bad day?  I think this is likely the situation with your friend?   Be definition she's your friend so I'm confident you two will work through this as that's what friends do.  There's an investment in the relationship.  I'm not sure about your question - if it has to do with her ADHD.  Maybe, but maybe not.  Sometimes people just have bad days, and friends are close, so we jump on them.


kind of rambling...I hope this makes sense.

You seem like a very nice person, i hope you get the support you need.
b
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Xola

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Bisexual
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Relationship status: LC with enNONb (31), dBPDsil (27, d12, s9, joint d3, s1) and SO's shared custody d(?)ADHDs10 (probably uADHDm or uBPDm).
Posts: 15



« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2021, 02:35:24 AM »

Hi again Beatricex,

thanks for your reply!

Overall summary - you might be right. She guilt-tripped me because of having a sh!tty day. Many sh!tty days. Yes, I would like to be treated the way I treat others, and it offends me deeply.
And I'm wounded and super-aware of that behaviour from having in the last few days mentally played back everything that happened with my Non-brother. And I wish she would have taken that into consideration and not lashed out at me when I was at my worst.
As far as working it out. I don't know how. I'm super bad at this when I think someone has wronged me. We talked about it, but where to go from here? No clue.
I'll try to keep in mind she is like that, looks for somebody to rant at (probably no matter the topic, any topic is fine) because of bad days. I think unconsciously I already avoided making plans with her whenever she was in stressful situations - which seems to just always be the case, 90 % of the time. It's really lucky when I catch her not stressed out.
Pecking order ... I feel there is no room for this in friendships.

I didn't understand which threads you talked about. I see the children with BPD thread/group, and the parent/sibling/inlaw BPD thread/group. There's a specific step mom thread?

Thanks a lot again Smiling (click to insert in post)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 02:42:19 AM by Xola » Logged
Xola

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Bisexual
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Relationship status: LC with enNONb (31), dBPDsil (27, d12, s9, joint d3, s1) and SO's shared custody d(?)ADHDs10 (probably uADHDm or uBPDm).
Posts: 15



« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2021, 09:57:55 PM »

I'm still thinking about this. More in unproductive than productive ways.

How do I defend my borders better when I don't want advice from somebody on a sensitive topic because I feel ashamed and confused about the topic, and I feel uncomfortable with the other person's reaction (venting about it)? Especially after the fact, when the other person does not re-engage? I feel I will defended my border regarding what I want advice on poorly again when a similar situation occurs. I feel ashamed and confused about the topic which makes me more reluctant to express that I don't want unsolicited advice, and that I don't tolerate another person vent about my life and concerns.

I would be grateful for strategies.

Should I
- endure the whole process of the other person venting (usually about 10 minutes long, that's when I realized I had to do something) and say "I will consider your opinion, thanks" (interrupting her made her even more upset)
- endure the whole process of the other person venting and then say I will stick to my plan (and repeat it in my head while they vent), but the other person can do what she thinks best when they are in the situation
- immediately interrupt the other person and tell them to mind their own business
- something else?

Suddenly there were so many emotions put on me that were not mine, intensifying my own emotions, and I truly did not know and still don't know how to deal with that.

Thank you for your advice!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 10:06:03 PM by Xola » Logged
beatricex
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 252


« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 09:22:49 AM »

hi Xola,
Boundaries are tricky, totally agree.

I find I have to practice on non-friends and family when trying to assert my boundaries.  Example, a neighbor of mine put up what I thought was a crappy note, so I decided to confront her.  I don't even know this person, so low risk cause if I totally flub it up, oh well, she's not my friend anyway.

It went good and bad.  I spoke my truth (good), but she did not accept it (bad or unwanted outcome). 

I think if you speak from your heart and use the "I" statements, it cannot be a total disaster.  With your friend, are you totally over this friendship, or is it still important to you?  I guess that will determine the level of effort you put into making "I feel" statements, and whether she might hear you.  Agree, that projecting one's own stuff onto another is not cool, and she was out of line with her advice to you.

b
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Methuen
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 782


« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 12:09:56 PM »

Excerpt
I ended up revealing details of the situation to her I was not comfortable revealing--not like this, not when feeling not safe with her current behaviour, I would have liked to say those things in an understanding environment if she had been understanding--to make her understand her assumptions were wrong...I feel disrespected by her, lured into revealing information I did not want to give and into an unnecessary drama, which left me feeling worn down and emotionally drained yesterday, more so because I needed to rebuild, not the opposite.
  So the boundaries we set, are actually for ourselves, to help us.  They are not for the other person, and they are not designed to be a type of negative reinforcement or punitive measure.  That just doesn't work.  It kind of sounds like perhaps you broke your own boundary of not talking to her about something you weren't comfortable with?  Does that make sense?  And breaking your own boundary may explain why you felt lousy afterwards.  You mention she "lured" you into talking, but as soon as you become suspicious about what she is doing or where the conversation is going, is there something you could say in response to hold your own boundary, but still come across as kind to your friend?

It kind of sounds like this "friend" can be a bit toxic, but for some reason you are still reaching out to her.  Am I understanding this correctly, or way off base?
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