Rejection Issues–Healing Part II

Rejection page logoOn this website you can find the classic symptoms of rejection, or what is clinically known as Avoidant Personality Disorder. You can check those out here.

When I was growing up, I had all the classic symptoms, shy, uncomfortable in new situations where I didn’t know anyone, hard time making friends, etc. One side effect of APD I found in myself twenty years ago is what I call “info dump.”

Here’s the “official” symptom:

  • Extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations, though the person feels a strong desire for close relationships[11]

The side effect is the “info dump.” We all need relationships and to be connected. But a person with APD feels a deeper need, a deeper connection with anyone they actually find a connection with. I’ll explain by examples.

As I began to heal from something I didn’t even know I had, if someone would listen to me, I’d give them literally, an earful, but not in a bad sense. I simply talked my heart out, telling too much, sharing too deeply too quickly. I found I was listened to, but others were not sharing with me on the level I was sharing with them.

I’m finding I still have a tendency to talk too much. I just completed a ministry school training program through my church’s network. As part of the leadership track, we were to become more self-aware by surveying people in our lives in different capacities. It’s called 360° because you survey your peers, anyone under your authority, and those over you or mentor you. I sent out 13 surveys and received ten back. The surveys were to be done with complete anonymity as much as possible, unless you did them by email.

TalkA couple of the surveys said I was “chatty” or said too much in a long email. It’s hard to find balance, because of my need to connect with others I need to talk, but I’ll have to try to not share too much. Sometimes then, I’ll go too far in the other direction and not share at all, or very little. That is also unsatisfying, because especially in the case of being a church member, you don’t get to know others around you, and your leaders don’t know you at all.

I Thessalonians 5:12 says, “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you…” NKJV. The Amplified says this: “Now also we beseech you brethren, get to know those who labor among you [recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all…] I’ve always heard this in conjunction with leaders knowing who is on their team, pastors knowing who is in their congregation, etc. This may seem weird, but one reason I took both the Bible School I had fifteen years ago and the ministry school I took now was so my leaders would get to know me a little better. They only see me at a weekend service generally. We don’t spend time together. We don’t talk much. I’m not one to constantly be calling a pastor for every little thing that goes wrong in my life.

from Bet She'an, Israel

from Bet She’an, Israel

I’m just now beginning to share about this. I’ve had it since before I was born, but I’ll bet you none of my current or leaders knew that, unless they read this blog or I may have mentioned it because I want them to know. I want them to know because I want to help others now. I want to help bring healing.

If you read the list of official symptoms, know that up until about thirteen years ago, I had all but two. I didn’t avoid physical contact, and I wasn’t agoraphobic. But pretty much, I had, (key operative word here) all the others.

How did I get healed? As I stated in my last post, it comes in stages. First, I’d say it was my parents and grandparents, but especially my mother, Dorothy, who loved me unconditionally. That helped me to function on a basic level. I knew that no matter what others did to me or what I did, they loved me. That’s crucial and basic.

Then God poured His love into me at different times, even when I different realize it. Let Him do the same for you.

Here are the symptoms again:

If you have any of those symptoms, you probably some sort of rejection issue. It doesn’t mean you have APD. I had so many of the symptoms, it made sense to me, it resonated that this was my problem. I’m speaking out now because I’m healed.

One final way healing has come to me: talking about it. When I got those two really unusual, weird rejections, I wrote about them here on this blog. As the post went live, my hurt disappeared. That was a powerful revelation to me.

What about you? Do you see yourself in any of the symptoms? Leave a comment and let me know.

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