Thursday, September 17, 2015
Getting Used to Rejection
Is Rejection All That Bad?
I've thought about rejection too. There is a battle within myself, where I just want to be me, and don't want to censor my speech so much, but then there is that fear too where you think, "I have to keep my mouth shut or these people will hurt me." One gets weary of walking on eggshells and wishing they could just be themselves and not be hated or rejected. I'm tired too of people talking to me like I am a child or like they have to "correct" me.
So sometimes I think, "Should I just be me, and let the cards fall where they may?" or Should I keep trying to censor and walk on those eggshells for protection? Sometimes I feel like the balancing act is going to kill me and I actually waver between the two places. The artist part of me feels like saying to hell with it all, and letting everything hang out. That is the happier me believe it or not. Some may say that has already been done on this blog but the part of me that wants to be safe, feels like crawling into a hole and talking to no one and living as a hermit. We can't expect to be everyone's cup of tea but who wants to have a long list of enemies too?
I actually envy the people like my husband who aren't afraid of rejection and don't let the opinions of others sway them. More happiness can lay in that route even if it is a risky one. How do you get to that place of not caring what others think? It's a better mode to be in. Self-censorship for writers and other artists can suck. Our happiest moments are together in the way that we don't have to hide anything from each other. My husband doesn't realize this was one part of his personality that absolutely pleased me. I saw something I wanted freedom in too.
Rejection always hurt me so badly. I spent years where no one loved me at all. One therapist called it emotional deprivation syndrome. I suppose an informal name for those who grew up without any love but didn't become attachment disorder orphanage types. I remember being four years old and thinking "No one loves me!" and what a sad feeling that was. This feeling of course lasted for years. It would haunt me even far later in my twenties wondering why I didn't have a boyfriend yet, and why did I have to be so alone unlike everyone else? Obviously my mother put a long line of people before me. I just didn't matter. I used to wonder, "Why am I number 56 in a crowd?".
At the same time us ACONs were not taught to be alone. We were rejected but told our acceptance by others meant everything so we didn't even enjoy our solitude but saw it only a cross to bear. In other words we were trained to scurry and beg while having doors slammed in our faces. Sadly for many of us the lack of a loving mother or parental figure left us without a basic human block of love and comfort which forms a foundation in babyhood. When I was in my 20s, I was afraid to be alone at all. I had been trained to think that the measure of my life was my acceptance and status in life and being defined by other people. As I grew older, I did not mind being alone. The me of today will spend hours alone even willingly, to sit and think. It is sad, that I worked so hard just to have people around me in my life. This of course led to more rejection because people fled from the desperation and neediness.
The me of today doesn't want to work anymore. I'm tired. Relationships only work out in a spontaneous fashion and the forced ones are doomed for absolute failure. My going no contact was part of this not wanting to work anymore. I knew in my heart the family barely tolerated me and loathed me. They never smiled and all were annoyed when I phoned or called them. It is useless to leave yourself in any one way relationships, this is something every ACON needs to learn since we were trained to be the ever giving one in the one way relationship with our narcissists.
I knew intellectually going out into the world trying to be liked was the easiest way to get your butt kicked. It's true, if you go out with a "Please like me" face and stance, that is the soonest way to get kicked in the teeth. Vulnerability calls out the wolves. This is something many of us overcome but then there are new hurdles. You then meet the people who want to turn you into a project and don't see you as human but just another charity. Rejection in various guises sometimes never seems to end for the ACON. How do some seem to be loved so naturally why so many of us hungered for it?
Lately I think just take the rejection. It is what it is. You aren't controlling it. Get used to it. I can't be one of those people who conforms. It's not me, it's impossible. Rejection can be a noose around your neck, that tells you that you have to be someone else. That sucks. Why bother? I never have had a situation where I have managed to change someone's mind about me. If you are rejected, it's game over. Walk away. Don't be the puppy begging for a pet, because you are more likely to get a kick.
It's so sad, I spent so many years trying to overcome rejection, but it was wasted energy. It gave my rejecters too much power over me. Why should I give in and go cry and become this boring person they seem to demand me to be? If I woke up and became the daughter my mother wanted, I'd be my sister and nothing would be left of my real soul. I can't be someone else, it isn't working so what other choice do I have but to be me? To be authentic?
Joan in her article above mentions self referencing. I just started doing this two years ago. Where I ask, "What do I like?" "Who do I like?" "What do I feel?" It's turning the world on the axis. I don't walk around criticizing anyone either. Unless they kicked me in the teeth like the narcissists and project friends talked about on this blog, it's not something I get into. I don't go around trying to use or hurt or control anyone. One thing I noticed about the most real people is they let others be real, they aren't always about criticizing and telling you what to say and do and telling you to conform.
I loved how Joan mentioned Jesus...."There was a fella nailed to a cross that never did anything wrong, so I don't expect much either.
That one stood out to me. Jesus obviously was "rejected". What did He do wrong? Nothing. He was sinless. So even if Jesus Christ Himself couldn't please all those people who do I think I am?
Joan is right we need to separate ourselves from the big mouths of our narcissists. I ask myself why did I give all these people a place to judge me like they did? Even the project friend had many troubles of her own and not what one would call a perfect life. So who was she to call me a selfish human being? How selfish can someone be that has managed to be married almost 20 years? Is it fair for someone who has been divorced twice to judge someone concerning their selfishness? Would a man put up with me if I was the most selfish being on earth? The day she said that, I went and told my husband, I know I can be selfish at times because I am so sick, but I had to survive. He told me I was not selfish. My mother judged me for being fat, and screamed at me for gaining and not losing weight. I had a severe rare illness putting hundreds of pounds of fluids and altered fat cells on my body. It wasn't my fault. So what did she know? Nothing.
This is one thing we have to do is break down their rejection. Who are they to reject us? We need to look at them. Are they perfect? Do we have to accept their opinions? No, we do not. Our narcissistic parents made us think our criticizers were our gods, and we were to measure everything by their values and standards. What about our own standards and values? Many who reject me, I do not agree with theirs standards and values towards life. Many seem to only care about superficial things like status and wealth. I am not like them so will they be pleased by me? It is doubtful.
I am realizing to be happy, and to come out of depression, that there is a common thread on the days I am happier as opposed to the sad and depressed days. I am happier when I can be authentic. I am happier when I can talk about things and not be judged or told what to say or not say. I am happier when the people pleasing meter is shut off. I am happier when I can explore my Aspie interests and the rest. I am happier when I am not worried about rejection and not worried about people pleasing and not thinking something is "wrong", "bad" etc with me because so many people rejected me. Who were they?
I have realized what an absolute source of happiness my marriage is, because I can be me in it. Sometimes I think even that is rare in this society. When you grow old in a marriage and even hit a rough spot, the love can grow to a certain place when you realize that this is a safe place for you to be you in and him too. Where one sticks together through thick and thin. No rejection but someone who truly loves and cares for you. Doesn't it mean something to have known true love during one's human life?
So there are people in this world who do not reject me. The ones who did and do reject me can hurt us, but Joan is right we can survive it. We both can see beauty. Our narcissists did not. I don't mind being rejected by someone who cannot see beauty.