People like to tell me: get over it. You just need to socialise more. You’re just not trying. You do this to yourself. There’s nothing to worry about. You’ve got to just get out there.
Like it’s just that easy.
You think if it was that easy, I’d be the way I am? I don’t like being this way. I don’t like this thing that sits on my back every time I step out my front door. I don’t like having Avoidant Personality Disorder.
Not many people know it exists and they think it’s just something that exposure will cure. Keep doing something enough and the fear will dissipate. Tell that to an arachnophobe. You touch that spider often enough and you’ll be cured. Right?
They think they can logic it out. But when are fears ever logical? A fear of clowns, of balloons, of snails, of the dark. Fear and logic are not compatible. My fear is of people and it is sometimes crippling.
And the worst is not the strangers. I imagine they are judging me in fleeting glances and passing short comment when I can’t hear. No, it’s when it strikes at people I care about.
It is the worst feeling to want to talk to someone desperately, but every plan to even try ends in anxiety. And what is there to fear? They’re your friends. They won’t be if you don’t talk to them. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Only, what if they’re already mad at you for how long it’s been? What if they no longer see you as you see them? What if they reject you, no longer want to be friends? What if… what if.
This thing holds no logic.
It’s not curable, merely something to hold at bay. It is not a wonder that when we get close to someone we latch on so desperately, afraid that if they leave it will be impossible to ever find another person like them. And for the most part it’s true. I’ve never really made my own friends - I always meet them through people I already know. And I know very few people because I have a habit of letting them go. They allow me to let them go.
It’s not that I don’t try. It just takes a hundred times more courage for me to plan out the words: “Hey, I know we haven’t talked for a while, but I still care so much for you. Want to chat a while?” That’s always the worst. The starter. The offer. The initiation.
Because I fear rejection so badly I will never speak out of term. If someone matters to me, I don’t disagree. I am terrified of people getting angry with me or upset with me.
Simple matters become a battle of nerves. Hello? I need to make a doctor’s appointment but I’ve checked and quadruple checked the number and I’m still scared I’ll dial the wrong person. Yes, in fact I am hungry but I don’t want to eat if front of you in case I look disgusting. Go over to that group of people and… no, you have no idea how much I can’t do that. Why don’t you try? It looks like fun and I really want to but I’m so scared of making myself look silly I’ll pretend I’m not interested. I need to travel beyond my hometown but because I’m terrified of missing my stop I’ll just not go to this job interview. Great, I’ve got a job but now I’ll spend half my work time trying to avoid any occupied room and hiding until someone leaves the one I have to clean.
AvPD is not something I can “get over”. I’ll never be cured and it is mentally exhausting some days. It is real and I will be battling this thing all my life no doubt. Don’t ever tell me that this is something I am deliberately inflicting upon myself because I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
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- hecallsmehischild said: <3 to you. If you have to print it out and paste it somewhere, write “Child will happily chat. If she is in a bad place/busy, she will say so, and get back to me as soon as she is in a better place/not busy.” If that doesn’t help, you still have <3.
- embodiedspirit posted this