Rejection . . . A word that has the power to remind us, that throughout our lives at times, we have to accept things that are not of our choosing. An emotion of not feeling wanted, loved, or even worthy of either. It’s a feeling that can bring you to your knees, one of feeling helpless. An inability to have any effect on the outcome however hard we try. We have all been in a situation where there may have been an attraction that was not reciprocated, not being able to gain access through a door that’s firmly closed to us. It would rightly spring to mind here that I am talking about our own personal relationships, but this word respects no boundaries, it fillers in from the most unexpected quarters.
For some it’s an emotion that they have felt all their lives, for others it may be a fresh situation. No matter what it’s always painful and unwelcome. There are so many ways we can discuss the issues surrounding this emotion, but it’s always very private and for some it stays hidden always. No one likes to advertise rejection in its purest form. For those of us that have suffered abuse it presents a very different concept. I will try my very best to convey those mixed emotions here.
If you are suffering or have suffered in the past from abuse, then I guess the question raised is why would you feel rejection? Are you not getting the attention you crave? That sounds so very cold and matter of fact, but it was a question I was asked once myself during my road to recovery. Clearly the person asking was not hell-bent on causing me pain, just not fully understanding the realms surrounding my past abuse. Maybe not even seeing a place for such an emotion within my remit, which if I’m honest at the time I could see why they should raise the question.
Rejection is felt in so many ways, and for me the abuse was the rejection. Why was I treated differently? Was it because I was not wanted? Did I have no worth to anyone? Why was I dismissed out of hand, while looking to those I loved for protection? They must surly know what was happening to me shouldn’t they? If I spoke the words I knew, I would not be believed; I would be sent away, rejected. Who would miss me if anyone? I had been told by my abuser on more than one occasion that no one would even turn a hair.
This was a feeling that I carried on with me well into my late forties; just an offhand remark made by someone had the power to send me into a head spin. Things said by well-meaning friends that I always felt had a withheld meaning. Silly things like not enough room in the taxi for us all, why was I the one catching another one alone? Here today I rightly see it for just what it was, but it was a hell of a journey to get here.
My defence was to act like I didn’t care; I hid my emotions while crying silently inside. I was uncomfortable with outward displays of emotion; I never really believed them to be the truth. They were just another rejection that had not happened yet. I had the reputation of being care free, not letting anything bother me . . . That was so very far removed from the truth. What a tangled web we weave when we try to deceive! But as the saying goes, we can lie to the world but not to ourselves. I had to keep up the farce . . . because if you’re expecting rejection it could not then creep up on you. I may have struck a chord with some of you out there reading, your form of rejection may differ, and nevertheless it’s just as painful.
I have been lucky enough to crawl my way back to a place of relative peace within myself today, by the very act of finding trust and goodness in my fellow-man. The writing of my book and the common cause I share with so many. Throughout my work I have come into contact with some very brave people on journeys of their own. It’s akin to watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon, a child taking its first tentative steps. It never ceases to amaze me, at how much can be achieved with the power of that common goal.
Rejection, although painful, is one of the rich tapestries of life; it’s something we will all encounter at some point throughout our life time. But it doesn’t need to be the end of our world. As you grow through recovery at some point that light will come on for you, you will see clearly that rejection it’s something we can deal with. With that comes the knowledge that it’s not always to be expected. The most important lesson of all for us to grasp is that it’s not to be feared. Did someone not once say that we have nothing to fear but fear its self?
Yes: rejection has many guises, but you’re more than capable of surviving each and every one of them . . .
It was my privilege to be asked to write a piece for this blog. My aim whilst writing my book was to do just that, to be able to make a difference. Through the writing of my book, I have found the strength to come back from a very dark place. My greatest wish would be to impart that message to others. We can all achieve that. There is a place deep inside of us all that remains untapped, unless you reach your lowest point, and allow the soul within you to take hold.
Today my outlook on life is so very different: instead of the glass being half empty, the glass is half full. I have been asked many times about my motivation for writing this book. The answer is twofold: I had to find a way to deal with my own demons, which even after all these years, seemed so reluctant to leave. Secondly and I believe just as important was to reach out to others. It’s easy to think that you are alone in your pain I know I did. You convince yourself that you’re the only person in the world this could ever have happened to – that, in some manner, you’re a bad person, only receiving what you are due.
My dearest wish is that my book goes some way to dispelling that misconception. I also hope that in sharing my story and a chapter of my life, people with similar experiences may find some peace within its pages and the courage to heal. I would like to think that my book somehow imparts to others, the hope it gave me on its conclusion. I still struggle at times in truth to find some kind of insight, as how to heal the child within me completely. But it’s long past time that I did so she has suffered enough.
It has taken many years of my life to realise that maybe I was not to blame for everything going on around me at that time. Forgiving is not forgetting. I could say that I am now at ease with my involvement 100%, but that would be untrue in totality. So where do you go from there? Forgiveness has to be the answer.
Firstly you need to try and forgive yourself. The other side of the coin is so much harder, you have to try and make headway in forgiving your abuser. Holding on to all that pain is only creating a mountain of hate which has no real purpose. By holding on to that pain it means your abuser is still very much in control. I am not in the least saying this will be easy, how could I when I struggled to do just that myself for so long. But we have to believe that it’s possible.
So was writing my book therapeutic? The answer to that is a firm, yes. The day I sat down to write I had never been so scared in my life could I really do this? Could I revisit that dark place and come out of it the other end? It was a long hard journey but one I knew I had to take. Sitting here now I know that it has helped me enormously. Let today be the first day of the rest of your life. There is no point in looking back, you can’t change the past, but you can make a bright future for yourself you just have to believe . . . you are stronger then you think . . .