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I want to start off by saying that I am 100% sure I have an undiagnosed personality disorder called avoidant personality disorder. And I've had it for a very long time. I remember going to social events with my parents when I was younger and leaving human interactiotive situations to do things like the dishes or wiping down counters or putting away food simply to stay away from people. I still do it to a certain extent...and it's easy because nobody wants to do that stuff so I've always felt securely invisible doing it...

When my dogs came into my life I somehow felt empowered. And I urned for human interaction with those who shared my enjoyment (although I got it in extremely small bouts through training). I still very much struggle with the people in my life who 'hate' my dogs (I.e. My mom, most of my inlaws, close friends who have allergies/asthma) and I even struggle with people who tolerate my dogs(i.e. My dad, BIL). I am Muslim so the struggle for me stretches out to extended family (i.e. Grandparents, aunts, uncles cousins...and extended Inlaws) basically anyone who adheres to a similar culture...

So to keep people at bay from my 'perceived?' personality disorder my dogs have been my crutch. I recently had a baby who is now a little over 2 months old. He's a sweet baby but I will not lie, things are difficult with respect to meeting his needs. The problem I have is people want to come see him. And I feel like I am unadjusted with respect to taking care of him, my dogs, my home, groceries, etc etc. while I want him to have social interaction I feel completely overwhelmed. If people come/stay over it is unbearable for me to watch them scorn my dogs and lifestyle (while I am still struggling to juggle it) and gawk at my baby...use him as an excuse to 'invade' my home and tell me to get rid of my dogs because I feel overwhelmed. Not everyone tells me to get rid of them...but nobody knows how to care for them or will learn to do it...and I don't want them taking care of the baby so I can take care of the rest of the stuff in the home...

I feel overwhelmed. But is it fair to abandon animals for people? Is it fair to abandon animals who I feel kept me somewhat sane for several years but now I have a difficult time managing because of a baby? I don't think I could live with the guilt...what do you think?

So, I can't seem to find a balance. I am perfectly ok I think? hiding away in some cave. Whithering away because of my insecurities and disdain for family, friends or people in general. I don't know how to not want to be selfish. I don't know how to cope with people (in general?) so I constantly fight the urge to cut everyone off. Which is probably why I am completely estranged from most of my family and likely on the verge of being that way with my inlaws as well...

Advice?
 

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I certainly understand the Cluster C personality disorders. My father is definitely a "Dependent" with a little "Avoidant" and my sister and I may have inherited some of those traits. My mother is a covert narcissist.

However before you think to much about the "avoidant", please check out this personality type: The Highly Sensitive Person by the author Dr Elaine Aron.
Comfort Zone Blog ?

About 20% of the population is this. My daughter and I took the test and we are both HSPs. A house full of company and relatives will surely stress you out if you are one.
If you take the time to read about this, then maybe you can present some literature to family. This will sound much better than a "personality disorder" even though there is nothing to be a shamed about having any of these tendencies.

There are many good qualities about HSPs, your probably appreciate and enjoy, art, nature and are most likely more in tune with your animals.

Reflecting back on my own pregnancy, I just wanted quiet time to heal from my cesarean and bond with my babies. I hated having visitors at home and in the hospital. It sounds like you need a bigger bubble and need to put up some boundaries. If your family really wants to help, they can drop off meals, get groceries for you. For those who have asthma, you can visit them. This will also put you in control of the visit -you can leave after one hour.
 

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Awww, big hugs to you.

"And I feel like I am unadjusted with respect to taking care of him, my dogs, my home, groceries, etc etc. while I want him to have social interaction I feel completely overwhelmed". Most new mothers feel this, these feelings are normal.

" The problem I have is people want to come see him". Is it possible for your husband to set up set visiting times so you can 'rest'? People dropping in all the time and unexpectedly I think contribute to you having a lack of control, especially when they are criticizing you and making you feel inadequate.

Do you have a daily routine? A routine is empowering. If this area in your life needs help, check out FlyLady, she's awesome!
FlyLady.net
 

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I certainly understand the Cluster C personality disorders. My father is definitely a "Dependent" with a little "Avoidant" and my sister and I may have inherited some of those traits. My mother is a covert narcissist.

However before you think to much about the "avoidant", please check out this personality type: The Highly Sensitive Person by the author Dr Elaine Aron.
Comfort Zone Blog ?

About 20% of the population is this. My daughter and I took the test and we are both HSPs. A house full of company and relatives will surely stress you out if you are one.
If you take the time to read about this, then maybe you can present some literature to family. This will sound much better than a "personality disorder" even though there is nothing to be a shamed about having any of these tendencies.

There are many good qualities about HSPs, your probably appreciate and enjoy, art, nature and are most likely more in tune with your animals.

Reflecting back on my own pregnancy, I just wanted quiet time to heal from my cesarean and bond with my babies. I hated having visitors at home and in the hospital. It sounds like you need a bigger bubble and need to put up some boundaries. If your family really wants to help, they can drop off meals, get groceries for you. For those who have asthma, you can visit them. This will also put you in control of the visit -you can leave after one hour.
Yes, Elizabeth Aron's articles are really great. I consider myself an introvert, as well as a HSP. To the original poster, you are dealing with many changes in your life! Try to enjoy your new baby and ask your husband for help when you need it. Perhaps you can limit visits from others to help you cope. Some talks with a good counsellor may help you - I have talked with someone before, and it helps to have fresh eyes look at your situation. Be kind to yourself! Keep in touch here, too! :hug:
 

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Hi Zeeva,

I just had a baby too...he is now six months. I think I may have responded to one of your earlier posts.

I know that I felt overwhelmed, especially in the earlier months. I'm an introvert as well so all the family visits, especially from my in-laws took a lot out of me. In fact, my sister-in-law is coming for a few days this week.

How does your husband feel about the dogs? Is he willing or able to help? Maybe there is someone in your neighborhood who wouldn't mind walking the dogs every once in a while. How are the dogs adjusting to the new baby and routine?--dogs can be very resilient and adaptable...they might be able to adjust just fine to having a little less attention right now. Have you spoken to your OB or your doctor about how you are feeling?

I don't have any particular advice to give you...just be good to yourself. I don't think you should feel guilty about how you are feeling...it's a huge adjustment and very hard! Whatever decision you make about the dogs, I think it should be up to you and your immediate family, not the extended family...just my opinion. And if you trust them, maybe they could occassionally help with the childcare duties if they don't feel comfortable with dogs...though, I know you said you'd rather not do that.
 
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