Home > avoidant, book > Moutain climber, grave digger, mail sorter… I hesitate

Moutain climber, grave digger, mail sorter… I hesitate

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I read Martin Kantor’s second book about AvPD: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Avoidant Personality Disorder. His first book about AvPD was the famous Distancing: Avoidant Personality Disorder, Revised and Expanded.

Some passages from The Essential Guide:
“Negative transference resistances develop where they test the therapist, often to the extreme. They disregard proffered advice and sometimes even deliberately disrupt viable outside relationships in order to make the therapist look defective and impotent.” (p.120)
Isn’t it what I do??? Isn’t it what I do when I reject every single idea, comment, suggestion, recommendation that the therapists or the members of the group give me? I ask for help but right after I refuse their help pretexting that they don’t know me (I’m AvPD –  there’s still a guy who’ve known me for more than 3 months who told me last time: “yeah, you should talk to your friends..” Ah ah ah. What Friends?????) or that it won’t work or… I completely discard their propositions. It’s always like this. But in the same time, I keep on coming to the sessions, I keep on asking questions. So, it works. Somehow.
There are also stubborn people who react this way. I know that I am stubborn and that …therefore it may not be relevant in this case. pfff..

“Their therapists, equally misinformed about, or reluctant to recognize, the disorder, dismiss their suffering as normal shyness, reticence, unfriendliness, cliquishness, or as just part of growing up; or spotting the disorder, they tell their patients that the problem is insignificant or condone it as acceptable, justified, and even romantic.” (p.ix)
One thing is certain, both my therapists don’t like when I say that I have AvPD. They don’t believe it. I am NOT making this up!!
Remember last time when during the therapy session, I asked a question and A said he didn’t want to answer and that I told him that it made me angry?? Well, one of the therapist told me that this kind of behavior is everything but characteristic of people who are “avoidant”. >.<

“A caveat is that a personality disordered label cannot be attached to an individual unless an experienced clinician has seen the patient in person, carefully studied him or her over a significant period of time and determined if overall behavior, not just one or two examples of it taken out of, or even in, context, warrants that such a determination be made.” (p.44)
In other words, I can wait.

“Exposure therapy works in part because it helps avoidants achieve minor successes, which reduces full despair about complete social failure. Success breeds success because real accomplishment enhances self-esteem by promoting self-pride that increases self-confidence, which leads to improved functionality that further enhances motivation (for motivation comes as much from doing as the other way around. Avoids who relate at all successfully discover that relationships make them feel good about themselves; feeling good about themselves makes them feel more worthy or relating, and feeling more worthy of relating helps them relate even more.” (p.139)
Easy. ^_^
What they don’t say is that it takes months, even years. Actually, it’s a never-ending process.

“Those who recognize in a timely way that they are potentially or actually avoidant should consider selecting a profession that allows them to earn a living should their avoidance persist or worsen. These professions include post office mail sorter, writer/indexer, mountain climber, grave digger, philosopher/poet, psychotherapist who substitutes living vicariously through patients for real-life encounters, animal trainer/pet shop worker, or circus performer.” (p.196)
I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that the author made a list of professions for people with AvPD. Nice, very nice list by the way! What about grave digger, that would be perfect for me! I know that I don’t like to be evaluated. I remember oh so well when my advisor nicely suggested to observe me while I was teaching. I said “no” she answered “but I won’t be able to give a recommendation for you…”, “It’s okay”. The last thing I needed at that time was to be judged during my class. It was some times before I looked for help for my clinical depression, so I was extremely extremely depressed. I made short work of my advisor. lol And I don’t regret it.

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