I wrote Rage Awareness on the occasion of a fight between my sister and father that resulted in her refusal to attend church with us. This one is for me.
The hypocrondiac in me wanted to know if my issues were possibly the result of something wrong. The only evidence I had that something might be wrong was that:
1. I talk less than an hour on the phone for an entire year, usually to redirect calls to others, nobody has really called to ask me how I was or to invite me to anything. I usually turn down such invitations, anyway.
2. My only best friend that I had any regular interaction with moved away half a year ago. I did see a friend of mine from high school, she refused to acknowledge my presence. Most other high school friends in this area have no idea how nor inclination for that matter to contact me.
3. Few members of my family have social bones, most of us are real homebodies. I only go shopping on occasion and to church more often than that. Otherwise, I’m pretty much a hermit.
4. Here on Xanga, I’ve lost my regular commentors, and my regular rss suscribers from other countries. I do have a few others who still show up on footprints, surprisingly. I’m not overly occupied on other blogs. I visit only a few blogs and I haven’t been looking to introduce myself to a new blog.
5. I was just at my cousin’s graduation party, she was the life of the party, I was sitting on the couch wondering what I was doing.
6. I have attended the new church for the better part of the year and still I don’t know anybody my age. I think I’ve met a few people but most of them don’t really know me any better than I know them.
It’s pretty hefty evidence that as far as social things are concerned, I know nothing. Even worse, this behavior hasn’t changed for the last five years. So it seems that something is wrong. I’ve been called antisocial a time or two, so I looked it up. Fortunately, it wasn’t my problem. I have no history of acting out against authority. I looked around in the same vein and I found something called Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD or APD, for short.)
It sounds like I have APD, though not an extreme form of it; It is characterized by a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation and avoidance of social interaction. People with AvPD often consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing, and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected or disliked.
Avoiding Occupations – The last one I tried to get was as a hostess, I was “too antisocial”.
Avoiding People – People are a headache I don’t want to deal with.
Avoiding Relationships – Short definition: A long-term headache I don’t want to deal with.
Preocupied with Rejection – Most every friend I made as a kid rejected me and that pattern did not change as I grew, it only took a different form.
Inhibited in New Relationships – partially due to the upcoming move, I’ve lived here for ten years but really, I don’t think I trust new people any more than I trust old ones.
Seeing Myself as Socially Inept – I don’t think I’ve ever been socially apt in my life, I’ve moved from school to school and had new starts more than once and yet I ended up living in isolation.
Unusually Reluctact to Try New Things – I’ve been meaning to change things around, but I never get around to it. I usually find a reason not to do something new. Most of the time if I have an oppourtunity to go somewhere to do something or to meet somebody I waver inbetween going and not going. I usually manage to talk myself out of new things.
I needed only four our of seven to quailfy as a borderline avoidant. I have all seven, but I say I’m not extreme in that i’m not overly conscious of criticism, monitoring body language, or some of the other things that extreme avoidants are up to.
Some avoidants have been able to function more normally with therapy and the use of drugs. Since I can’t get treatment other than talking things out on Xanga, I’m going to have to be cautious of a secondary effect of this disorder: the dependance upon substances or depression as a result. I’m more likely to fall victim to the latter, but I hope by talking things out here than I honestly keep myself from getting worse, as if it is possible to do so. At least, this undiagnosed disorder explains much. Perhaps I’ll find a way to deal with my avoidant behavior and this social world I live in one day.