Rustynail wrote:I agree with much of what you wrote, however, for me, I'm not sure that courage was the biggest stepping stone. I found that insight was the key turning point. By insight I mean a very profound understanding of why I had the problems I had and how to go about changing for the better.
Yes I agree too...insight is crucial, but I meant to imply that gaining insight, or wanting to, is also a form of courage. But you are right, gaining insight is half the battle.
The problem with many avoidants is that they also avoid insight or any attempt to understand why they don't make relationships work, or why they are socially shy when in fact they are often just as capable and attractive as anyone else, if only they would believe it.
But for me the one of the most damaging aspect of AvPD, and this is not often discussed, is the damage they do to others too! The damage is sometimes the result of sudden withdrawal or distancing without an explanation or rational reason. Other people they either depend on, or they tentatively form relationships with, are often dismayed and hurt by what they see as inexplicable escape and avoidance by someone they felt they had connected with.
As with all PDs, avoidance can not only harm the sufferer, but can also do harm to others who invested time and emotions of their own, only to be rebuffed for reasons entirely unconnected with them. As benign as Avoidance Disorder sounds, it is no different to the other PDs in that the sufferer, in usually a passive-aggressive manner, denies, avoids, sabotages and subverts perfectly good relationships and friendships leaving others hurt, dumfounded and confused.
Part of my own "recovery" from extreme shyness was the realisation that in some ways it is a protection and escape that impacts on others, who are doing their best to integrate and encourage the shy person to take a full part in life.