Intro to APD –– Part I

Rejection page logoI’m going to share about Avoidance Personality Disorder (APD). It goes by other names, like Root of Rejection, Rejection Syndrome, but the clinical name is Avoidance Personality Disorder. I’ve not been formally diagnosed by a professional, but I have a section about rejection issues on this website that provides the basic symptoms of rejection. Rejection is a lifelong struggle, but there are ways to cope. There is hope. Click to Tweet #amwriting #rejection #APD

My first recollections of rejection took place when I was in Nursery II at my church. It seemed a boy in class, whose family was good friends with ours, didn’t want to share riding the rocking horse with me. His mother was one of the “teachers”, although at age three, we weren’t learning a whole lot. It was mostly play time so that our parents could be in their Sunday school class. I was taught to share, and I know he was, too. So, why deprive me? And why did it hurt more than it should? Because once he saw it hurt me to do so, it gave him power. And we all know that children will look for any way possible to lord it over others. When he realized he could hurt my feelings, he did made sure to do it…all through our school years. Of course, I forgave him a long time ago, but just because you forgive, doesn’t mean you forget the pain.

via Flickr

via Flickr

But the first very painful time of rejection was after I started elementary school. I have red hair and I grew up in a state, an era, and a town where redheads were not common. “Rusty Tin Can!” Playmates of my brother first mockingly dubbed me that. All I wanted to do was be included in their play. After that, it was Ketchup Bottle, Tomato Juice, and other variances of my maiden last name, especially once a substitute teacher (who knew our family), mispronounced it. Heffel-toes being the most popular of the mispronunciations.

You might think that’s no big deal. But to me, it was. I just wanted to be accepted for who I was, not persecuted (for a person with rejection issues, that’s how it feels), for having a different color of hair or hard to pronounce last name.

I grew up knowing I was adopted from the time I could understand what that meant. I had no problem with it, but I didn’t know how my life was molded by it. I wouldn’t know until I was in my late forties, what it was that had affected me from before birth.

Eventually, in elementary school, I learned to deal with the ribbings, the teases, the mocking, and the downright insults. I was still sensitive, but grew to understand that I had to “take” it, forgive those who hurt me, and put on a mask as if it didn’t bother me.

It worked pretty well for a while. Somehow, with the love of my family and a few real friends, I got through grade school, but little did I know, seventh grade would be one of my worst years ever.

Rejection issues can be healed, there is hope for the suffering. Click to Tweet #amwriting #rejection #APD


1 Comments on “Intro to APD –– Part I”

  1. Pingback: Look Forward, Backward in December — Part I – Donna L.H. Smith

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