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Enough of a problem to seek help?


JessicaVAM
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Just recently I had gotten into it with a friend over something just stupid. but the way I chose to deal with it was through sending her e-mails back and forth instead of calling on the phone, because I have a hard time expressing words out loud, and I begin to panic when things get heated and I start crying almost immediately when someone gets upset with me.

Well, she called me spineless for having to send e-mails instead of calling on the phone to get to the issues, and I started looking at different personality disorders and came across Avoidant personality disorder. I do understand that everyone at some point has the potential to possess some of the character traits, and even possibly all of them, but its when it interfers with social well being and their work and home life is when it becomes a "disorder." So I was going to send all the avoidant traits, and give examples of me and say how often I tend to have them to see if maybe, it was enough for me to need to seek help, or if ya'll think I am just barking up the wrong tree...

Social Inhibition: If I am invited to a party, I am the person you find in the next room where no one else or only my very closest friend, that invited me and the only reason I was there, is. I feel like I follow the one person I feel comfortable around like a puppy dog and the whole time I do it, I constantly have that nagging feeling that they are getting irritated with me for doing it. .... How often? anytime I'm around anyone I don't know, or multiple people. Even if I am with all sorts of people I know and like, I will cling to the person I feel the absolute most comfortable with.

Hypersensitivity to rejection and criticism: I have lived in the town I am in now for 4½ years and have had only one friend, and only a handful of acquantances (misspelled). If I am talking to someone I don't know, it is because they started talking to me first and I don't tell them much because I have that feeling of, I have to get an idea of who they are before I speak because I don't know what to say, and one time hit it off with another mom that had a son the same age as my son, and wanted to ask for a phone number, but was too scared that she'd turn me down and think I was weird for asking. I will not approach or call anyone that I don't know, or people who I don't talk to much, for fear that they will think "why is she talking to me." or completely ignore me. (constantly do this)

Both of my parents had to find out about my first pregnancy through e-mail because I was too scared to call and tell them. I waited until I was almost half way through with it before I even let them know. The second pregnancy I couldn't even muster up an e-mail and sent them a text message!!!!

I also get extremely upset, for weeks on end about the littlest things my mom (or anyone) says to me. 36 hours after having my second son, her first words when she saw me were "you still look pregnant." I could fit into clothes pre-pregnancy after 3 days! That hurt to the point I was upset with her still to this day, and my son is about 2½ months old. My husband is always saying how I can't take a joke, especially when its poking fun at me.

I even start to cry when I go to the doctor for something, like to get a depo shot and am told I can't have it. Once, a week before I turned 18, I was told to go to the doctor to get a shot for school, and the nurse told me I couldn't get it because I needed a parent present and just the fact she told me no was enough to make me burst into tears. I always just assumed maybe I was just over sensitive and maybe I was just not told no enough as a kid.

Is reluctant to take personal risks because they may prove to be embarrassing: All the time. I say I can't dance... Truth is, I won't try because I'm scared of making a fool out of myself and being laughed at. I don't like sexually explicit movies because I get incredibly embarrassed by sex. Even sex jokes that are to do with any woman, not just me, I hate because I feel like its a direct stab at only me.

Avoids opportunities to supervise others at work: I was once told that my store mananger was thinking of making me a manager. I quickly replied with a "I don't want to deal with people coming up and cursing me out. " And everytime I thought of how much I actually wanted to give it a shot, my mind came back with a "you can't manage people, you'll screw something up."

Also read that there was something about a history of parents being very rejectful. My mom was always very critical of me. I grew up my entire life blaming myself for my mothers bad life, why she never went to college, and why she wound up in an abusive marriage she eventual had to end. She picked at every single aspect of my image. Nails, hair, the lack of make-up, told me I needed contacts because glasses didn't look good, my teeth got compliments all the time for how straight and white they were but my mom said I needed to get them filed and whitened because they were "chalky". By the 6th grade she was on me about weight, and how fat I was getting and how I needed to diet. I once asked her for $5 and she looked at me and said "do you think you are worth $5." I was told by my dad that she said she never cared if she saw me again as long as she got the child support money. At the age of 13, she told me to pack my stuff and get out of her house because I had yelled at my 6 or 7 year old little brother for yelling at me about a shirt of his I needed to wash. (I was the one who was constantly made to do everything. My mom, sister, and brother never cleaned.) I moved out and slept on my dad's couch for a year and a half because he lived in a small trailor and didn't have enough room for me. The entire time I lived with her, I had anger issues that I don't really know how they resolved. I hit my brother and sister out of anger and the sound of their pain made me feel good. The moment they would stop, I'd hit them again to hear them cry. If I got frustrated with something, I would make myself sit in a corner, dig my heals into the ground, and cover my nose and mouth w/ my hands and hyperventilate. I would pull knives out of the kitchen and threaten my siblings with it. Once I got extremely scared because while threatening my brother, I could imagine i had killed him. I imagined how it would be to commit suicide.

I no longer have the suicidal thoughts or as bad of anger issues, but I do still get extremely mad, and have to yell to the top of my lungs to keep from physically going nuts. I have to remind myself to never hit my sons out of anger.

Anyway, thats enough of all that. I've bored you enough already.

Edited by JessicaVAM
Possibly too graphic on what i said about suicide etc.
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JessicaVAM, you have been extremely, extremely frustrated by a terribly frustrating environment. There are so many things about your upbringing that are just not fair. You should not have been put in charge of your siblings when you yourself were a child. You did not get the relationships you needed to build social skills and a positive sense of self. You were left too alone and with too much responsibility, and that has left you with anxious thoughts that are hard to shake. If you can, seeing a therapist could help you turn around some of that anger and anxiety. Is that a possibility for you? You don't have to have a full blown personality disorder to benefit from therapy.

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See, I don't know if I have the ability to go see someone. I don't know how insurance/ co pays etc etc go. And I'm embarrassed to even say to my husband that I want to go. I tried to run it by him yesterday, and then this morning he was like "are you trying to see if you are crazy again." to me. IN a completely joking manner, but now I feel stupid for even mentioning it. Does anyone know if medical insurance covers it, or do you have to pay out of pocket for at least the first visit or something????

Edited by JessicaVAM
adding more, did not want husband to see me writing on this
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Hi there,

It is good that you are loking into seeing somebody to help you. When you find someone, just call and ask if your medical insurance covers visits .Remember that it is not really a good idea to try and diagnose yourself .Leave it to the professionals. Their are a lot of things that happened to you as a child that were not ok! Being a parent now, I am sure you are very aware of that.

Best wishes to you .

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It's understandable that you are feeling fragile about even starting therapy. I remember at the beginning I was so on edge, the laughter of the receptionist talking on the phone to someone while I was waiting in the waiting room to see my therapist just about put me over the edge. Maybe just tell your husband you want to sort out somethings from your upbringing so you don't repeat them with your children. Or just say you'd like to be less of an anxious person about stuff.

There should be a number on your insurance card that you can call to ask if therapy is covered. Then do as mscat suggests & see if the therapist you select participates with your insurance.

It will be worth it! I hope things start heading forward for you soon :)

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Well, right now even if I wanted to I have to put everything on the back burner. Husband is losing hours at his job, and we've got 2 kids under the age of 2, and I"m going to school so just like everyone else right now, we are having to watch our $$$$$... wait.. maybe I should put $ since we def. don't have $$$$$ =)

But just wanted to say that I was in NO WAY trying to self diagnose. I am not going around going "you know I've got AvPD" or something. I was just wondering if maybe it sounded a little like it. Not until I go to someone who spent years learning this kind of stuff sits there and tells me, yeah you've got it, do I believe anything just yet.

I just was wondering if maybe someone could tell me if I sounded like I had a valid reason to go see someone and talk to them. Because I know they are open to anyone, but I don't wanna look like a big ol' baby walking in there and saying "hey, I know I didn't have it as rough as some people, but I"m way overly emotional so I throw things way outta proportion."

Finding My Way, did going to talk to someone help you? Also, I don't know if I'm actually allowed to ask, and I'll understand if you don't wanna say, but did you have a problem similar to mine? Or was it totally different?

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Yes, therapy helped me. I had over the top anger issues stemming from being utterly confused and humiliated by my upbringing. I was unable to develop into me. I had to have help. I still struggle with my emotions and with intimate relationships, but it's nothing like it was. The improvement since therapy and a lot of extra years growing up, is that I don't feel crazed anymore. I can still get taken over by powerful emotions that make me lose my footing, but I'm less likely to lose myself, or not for long anyway. I used to feel so constantly lost! And I did not like myself. Now when I have the feeling that I do not like myself, I know that I have some work to do, and I go to work on figuring out what's bothering me and what I need to do about it.

I hope that helps a bit. And yes, you have every reason to benefit from the help of therapy. Your upbringing was just too hard.:)

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Finding My Way, I was wondering if you had any problems w/ being really quick to start crying. I've seen in some of your posts about you saying you believe you are overly emotional, and I was just wondering. Also, is that something else that therapy could help with?

I'm extremely quick to cry. If I even sense that you are becoming slightly irritated with me, I'll cry. In school, if I went up to talk to the teacher and realized someone was looking at me from their seat I'd cry. I remember once my teacher told me to hang up my project back to the ceiling so I had to climb onto a table to do it, and looked out to see the whole class looking at me and I started bawling immediately, mumbling for people to please quit looking at me, and when they didn't I started to cry more... It took the entire class period to calm down.

That is one of the biggest issues I have with myself. I get so upset about anything with people that I"ll cry. I've had someone try to force me onto a dance floor and I immediately started crying and basically paniced and the only thing to calm me down was to get out of the building I was in. The entire time I was there, it was like people were looking at me going "what a loser. How can those people stand her." And then I felt like the people I was with who were trying to get me on the dance floor were sitting there thinking of the quickest way to get rid of me.

Once, in school, we were assigned to memorize something within a week, and I came back the next day to recite it back to my teacher to get it over with. Well, everyone came into class earlier than I thought they would, and when they saw I was trying to do what we memorized, they starred. Needless to say, the thing we had to memorize that I could recite in my sleep, I couldn't do in front of people, and cried through the end half of it and through the rest of the class period.

All through school, what I thought everyone knew me as was the big cry baby. I was constantly crying over situations I had to be put in.

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I can totally relate to being painfully over self-conscious. I wasn't a crier in school, I was a blusher, and still am though it isn't as debilitating as it once was. I would go very red & hot in all the situations you have named. Your system is set on sensitive, and so is mine. We were probably born that way.

The problem for us is that our upbringing made things much much worse!!! In childhood I was left way too alone with my thoughts and confusions about things, and simply could not develop very far emotionally. I had to have help. My parents were not going to help me, so I sought out help in therapy. It wasn't an instant thing & I had to work hard at it, but I am much more centered today than I have ever been.

Being sensitive isn't bad in itself. There are tons of benefits I get from my sensitivities. I can tune into things that others have no clue of. On the down side, when things go negative, I can become deeply, deeply affected. Then I have to go to work employing the techniques I've learned to get back on track. I am definitely still learning, but I'm doing better now than I ever have, and I know I wouldn't have gotten here without some help along the way!:(

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  • 5 months later...

Hi JessicaVAM, our early experiences in life forms our personality and upon hearing your story, it made me remember of my own bad experiences. My mother is also like yours, she got pregnant at the age of 18 and I'm only 3 months old when she gave me to my grandmother. She's not a good mother. I can't feel that I was her child. She doesn't care and I don't care too. For me, I will love those people who are also loving me. It's a waste of time pleasing people when you know they don't like you. I want to be happy and I don't want these bad experiences be a hindrance on my happiness. I also developed low self-esteem because of that and it makes me hard to relate with people. The only thing that is with me are books. I consider them a friend because the information that I have read on it helped with in dealing with myself and to other people. These are the self-help books. Another book added to my collection recently is the Fabulous Self-Esteem by Amy Twain that I think could help you. I have browsed it through www.fabulousselfesteem.com

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