On Sunday, a situation caused a pretty gnarly argument with my husband. I have been sitting with the aftermath of it for the past 48 hours and now I feel like I need to write about it to get it out (and if anyone is reading and has advice, I’d love that too! You can leave it in the comments or email me at hoidarnielle.me).

As I now know, I have had ADHD my entire life. Before finding this out, I was pretty convinced that I didn’t really have any trauma that I hadn’t already worked through. But now, as I am unmasking and coming to many, many realisations about myself, I have discovered that I have a pretty nasty unconscious habit of lying to avoid having to talk about embarrassing things. Of course, to me, because it’s unconscious and I liked to think of myself as someone who isn’t easily embarrassed, I couldn’t recognise it until my husband got mad at me for lying.

I obviously don’t want to say what the situation is because… embarrassing! But basically, I did something that I felt shame about and when my husband asked a question about it, I think I was so desperate to move away from the topic that my automatic and unconscious response was to lie so he wouldn’t keep talking about it. It was a small white lie about a topic that doesn’t really matter, but this has happened before for bigger, more important matters, so although this instance wasn’t a “big deal”, there’s clearly a pattern and I need to figure it out.

I can admit that I am embarrassed by myself. I grew up with all the opportunities in the world to make something of myself. I was constantly praised for my intelligence, I was lucky enough to be someone who enjoys exercise, and I’m also not unattractive. I could have been a really successful, healthy and well-presented woman, but instead, I fell ill and everything went to shit. Intelligence isn’t worth dick if it cannot be applied consistently, I can’t exercise enough to manage my overall fitness and weight, and I also can’t be bothered with maintaining my physical appearance outside of hiding my greys when they get too obvious.

I’m just not the person I expected to be by now, and it’s tough. But I never expected that to cause me to feel such deep shame that I would engage in subconsciously manipulative behaviours that had the potential to cause problems in my marriage. My husband is a really great guy. He has put up with a lot from me, and to think that I’m doing something that hurts him without even realising it hurts me. A lot.

He’s not embarrassed by me. He knew right from the start what he was getting into, and although I know he’s more fond of me during my good periods, he’s also still been there during the shitty ones. He’s still attracted to me, despite my lack of shits given about my appearance. So why in the flying fuck does my brain seem to think I need to hide the embarrassing bullshit from him, in such a way that makes him feel like I’m a dirty fucking liar?

Unmasking is a fucked up business. I really hope I’m able to sort this whole thing out because it’s not cool and I don’t want my husband to think I’m lying to him every time I do something shameful or embarrassing.