Last week I began to share my story about my lifelong battle/challenge with Avoidance Personality Disorder (APD). I shared my first conscious memory of trouble when I was three. But before that, there were what I call “womb issues.” Because for me, it started there. #amwriting #rejection #APD
The womb is supposed to be a place of growth, love, and warmth. For babies who are wanted by their mothers, I’m sure it is. I wouldn’t know. I can’t say that I “remember” the womb, except vague impressions, and revelations I’ve received later, when I asked God about it. I believe there is a spiritual and emotional, as well as physical connection in the womb. Again, not speaking from “real” experience, just what I’ve been taught.
My birth mother had the courage to carry me full-term and not try to get a back-alley abortion, for which I am grateful. Interestingly enough, my “uncle” delivered me. He was a doctor, married to my adoptive mother’s twin sister. He was also a photographer, taking this absolutely horrible picture of me when I was one-day old. I look like I was scared out of my wits, and I think I was.
I was small, and had to be in an incubator for days. They finally released me from the hospital after thirteen days (the longest I’ve ever been in a hospital).
When I think of my “womb issues” now, it feels like a cold, dark place. I believe I wanted out of there as soon as possible. Nothing prepares a baby for birth though, I don’t think. Being held upside down, the slap on the behind to initiate inhalation and breathing…
I went from a cold, dark place, to a very scary place, and I had no real connection with anyone. My birth mother was not around, I was in an incubator, with strangers taking care of me. On some level, something had formed within me to try to protect myself, I think. Because it didn’t appear anyone else was. I know all this may sound like drivel to you, but Avoidance Personality Disorder is all about self-preservation and protection––by avoiding situations that will hurt––like being with people.
We humans are interconnected. The more a person with APD is hurt, the shyer they become, because they have to protect themselves from further harm. To a person with APD, the hurt feels a hundred times worse than it really is, (it’s all in the perception), Wikipedia lists one of the first symptoms of APD as Hypersensitivity to rejection/criticism. I must have been crazy to have plunged into the field of writing. I think I’ve received more rejections in the last three years than in probably the twenty to thirty years before that.
I must say though, that the mother who raised me was the best. I tested her extremely hard, and she just kept loving me. Healing started through my family.
Some personality types are more vulnerable to APD than others. I don’t know why. I think I’ve said this before, but my brother had much more reason to develop APD than I did, yet he didn’t. Wikipedia says this: “Causes of avoidant personality disorder are not clearly defined and may be influenced by a combination of social, genetic, and psychological factors. The disorder may be related to temperamental factors that are inherited.”
I share all this because there is a great hope and wonderful healing ahead for those who suffer from this. #amwriting #rejection #APD