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Would like to better understand this particular avoidance


Thread starter #1
So it very regularly happens, that I will at some points feel the need to avoid messaging with people, or avoid replying to a thread of mine, or my diary. Not just here though, irl too.

When it happens I'm aware of a block or aware that I don't feel up to replying or whatnot - and it distresses me, sometimes a lot.

Now I know I get much less hooked into a downward spiral of feeling I ought to respond but still not feeling able to - than used to be the case.

But anyways I'd still like to try and understand it a bit better. Find a way of dealing with it or something.

Sometimes I'm avoiding quite a bit in other areas of my life too. So could see it as part of the general avoidance I'm doing but not always.

And sometimes the more personal the content, the more I avoid. This prolly bothers me the most.

And sometimes the more complicated or long messages leave me feeling I just can't get my brain around it all.

Any thoughts? Anyone relate?
Anyone found something that helps them deal with this?

Sometimes my inner critic tells me i must be antisocial or something.

Several people have tendered gentle questions along the lines of am I autistic?

And I don't think I am...

I suppose I've also recently realised I tend not to volunteer much of myself to others, or be vulnerable. And I think I can see that's an obstacle to getting more intimacy with others (non romantic).


I relate to all of it. It’s why I rarely comment outside my diary. Sometimes I just roll with it, if it’s nothing I urgently need to handle, but if it is, the only way I know to deal with it is to make myself respond soon as, as the longer I leave it the more avoidant I get.

I often want to comment here, but can’t.
I have the same issues B. Retreating to safety I think is a thing for me. My safety for a long time has been isolation and running to it when distressed/overwhelmed/panicked. I've not had any meaningful relationships in a long time too so maybe that plays a part for me. I also ruminate over what I'm going to type. I'm going to pay closer attention to my issues in hopes of recognizing patterns.

Thanks for asking the question, I think it's important.

I hope you find some answers B.
Yep. I'll still usually come here when I'm in avoid mode but I totally ignore everything else. I havent been on facebook in weeks and I'm kind of blowing off all the other "lets meet" conversations both on line and IRL.

I think for me it's because I'm struggling with MY day to day life - i have nothing left to give to others who are struggling with theirs. So if I just avoid them I don't have to think about it.
Yep, I get this too.

I am autistic too, as well, though.

I struggle with social avoidance on and off line. I d say it's one of my biggest issues, these days.

Lots of other things, symptoms, I've already vanquished (mind you I'm not far off half a century now) but this one? Is chronic.

Bit by bit, little by little, I'm chipping away, though.
I think, just the interal "act" of looking at it, helps. It helps to look at oneself with compassion and understanding, but this is a challenging habit to cultivate. I think it's essential, though.
And to be patient with oneself.

Little by little, bit by bit, and being observant without self recrimination, when things just seem too hard.

It's a lot of inner work, to get past this thing we all share, so if we are using up all our energy to heal, and have not much energy to give other's or to risk being vulnerable? I think that's pretty normal and understandable.
Yes I have this same issue, and I mostly identify with the not responding to texts, or emails when it really would not take much time at all. And, I don't like it when people don't respond to my texts. If it's a business text, I respond. I just force myself to and I'm more motivated, because I don't want to "be bad," Yet sometimes there is such a block. Some of the block for me might be that I'm afraid I'll make a mistake in my what I say or choose to say. I can't trust myself, and the issue of not trusting myself ties into my ptsd in multiple and complex ways. The bottom line is that things I've said or done resulted in traumatic episodes beginning early in life and carrying onward.

The other issue with the not responding, or avoiding answering texts,, or forum messages, or emails and the like is related to this:
And sometimes the more complicated or long messages leave me feeling I just can't get my brain around it all.
My brain has completely shut down on me many times. Sometimes it isn't shut down completely it's just sort of there and it's too hard to wrap my brain around it. I've wondered about the autism thing at times because sometimes I can't even respond to people, look them in the eye, when there are is too much stimulation in the room. However, i dont' think it's autism I think it is trauma brain, a type of dissociation. I can't break out of it easily and then people ask me if I'm ok, or they tell me I've suddenly become 'quiet" or "not there, " tonight is an example I was doing it again with a group of people I had met only a few days ago, and I saw one person looking at me repeatedly and I realized I had that "blank look" on my face and I was dissociating. I tried to perk up and smile and forced myself to look her in the eye. Boy, that was Hard to do. I just didn't feel connected and I did not want to feel connected to other people.

I apprecite the post though.


I do this too. Especially with emails. Texts depend on who it is.

I come here to the forum but do not reply many times, even tho I had something to share.

Sometimes it is depression. I just don't have the extra energy to invest or give away. But if it stays on my mind, and I still don't reply to an email, I go ahead and reply. Even if it doesn't make sense to me when I read it again before hitting send. It gets it off my already cluttered mind. Just to get it over with.

I liked it better when 'back in the day', we didn't know someone wanted to tell us something. It feels like it is making 'demands' on me that I can not meet. So I avoid it.
I, too, can relate. Sometimes it's a safety factor so I'm not pulled into someone else's drama or share some private info. Other times I'm just not in the mood to "talk". I might respond with something like "Can't talk now. Catch you later." It let's them know I received the message, but can't for whatever reason, get into a conversation. If the message needs quick attention, I try to get back to it as soon as I can. If it's not urgent, I sometimes just don't respond further. The secret is to give yourself permission to not talk to everyone, and consider it self-care. Prayers for discernment and wisdom.
Yes, I can relate. Sometimes, it just feels like it takes too much to respond...even if it’s responding to my own thread.

Too much of what, I’m not sure. Brain power? Head space? Energy? Emotional regulation, which is lacking? Focus? Willingness to be relational?
Sometimes, if it’s not a practical issue - like feeling too low in energy, mood or focus - that is keeping me from a thread here, I tend to ask myself what it is I’m really avoiding by avoiding that thread?
Is it connection/intimacy/being seen/other people’s compassion?
Is it an uncomfortable feeling that the thread brings up eg shame?
Is it something about myself that I don’t really want to acknowledge?
Not sure if that’s helpful. But, what am I avoiding really is sometimes a question I find useful as it makes me dig a bit deeper around what’s going on with me in that moment.
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