Acceptance and Rejection

I’ve been thinking about several things (as always), over the last few months. The most prevalent of those has been, “validation” and “trauma bonding”. I could go into what causes the trauma bonding, but what I really want to touch on, is the other side of it. What else keeps us stuck in abusive relationships? The trauma bond is a huge factor in that, but before the bond takes hold, I believe a fear of rejection is the initial culprit.

A fear of rejection, I believe, is the cornerstone to trauma-bonding. in abusive relationships, whether that be in a family – between child and parent, or a pseudo-romantic relationship, is something we are conditioned to, as children. Emotional abuse, or being repetitively unaccepted by our peers, can create a fear of rejection. Sometimes, it’s so deep-rooted, it’s hard to combat later in life. When we are repetitively told that we aren’t “good” enough, in whatever way our families or peers choose, we become hurt. We feel that rejection, deep down. It translates in our psyches and hearts as, “I’m so stupid…”, “I’m unlovable…”, “I’m always unwanted…”, “…unappreciated…”, ugly, stupid, bad, not valid, “I don’t belong…”, etc… The list goes on. After time, we become a victim of self-rejection. We are always waiting, and preparing ourselves for what we are used to. It’s hard to accept that someone might actually care about us. So hard in fact, that we create scenarios which would produce the same effect. We worry. We second-guess another person’s intentions, or expect them to change from “good” to “bad”. It’s what we are used to. It’s what we expect. Sometimes we respond incorrectly to something another says or does, because we are so sure we will be rejected or treated poorly. But, that’s another story which I’ll touch on, later.


Those of us who are conditioned into a fear of rejection, HATE rejection! It’s horribly hurtful, from any source. When we are in love with someone who is continuously rejecting us, it’s unacceptable to us. We cannot accept what is happening because it’s directly opposed to what we are craving… ACCEPTANCE… When we are the child of a parent who is rejecting us, or who is abusing us emotionally, it creates the same feelings and responses as those who are being rejected within a relationship. It creates in us, every single time, the feeling that the world is falling out from under our feet. We panic, trying to hang onto whatever sliver of hope that “maybe, this time, they will finally love and accept me…”. It’s that hope that keeps us hanging on. We need to be accepted by those who are supposed to love us. When we are forced to go without that feeling of closeness throughout life, we crave it MORE, as adults. It’s almost an addiction. It’s a base-human need, in order to fully thrive in life. Our psyches know we need it. Our hearts know, as well.

I want to post this as it stands, but will continue in another post, later. There is so much to this, that I believe we all need to consider. Feel free to add your thoughts as we go along.

6 thoughts on “Acceptance and Rejection

  1. I live that condition each and everyday which keeps me depressed and anxious.
    You’d think after all the good things people tell me, I could be brainwashed…..again.
    The pain I live could then POSsibly sub-side.
    Maybe old dogs can’t accept new thoughts. (?)

    “They say” that if you look in the mirror and tell yourself good things about you, works.
    I don’t LIKE to lie.
    It’s a GOOD trait but in THIS case, isn’t.

    1. GayeLynn, every person with that initial debilitating fear, absolutely lives life as depressed and anxious. It’s exactly what that particular fear creates in us. it’s also what keeps us stuck in abusive patterns and relationships, initially. That is, aside from actual Trauma Bonding. It’s what precipitates the bond. It’s what drives us to prove that we are wrong about them. How can we accept that we are being rejected, yet again? We fight it tooth and nail, trying to find some reason to believe in the abuser, just so we can “feel” accepted. It’s such a terrible trap, yet one we were taught via repetitive negative conditioning when we were younger (for many of us), or for others, the abuse went on long enough, that we are now afflicted with that same fear of rejection.

      I’m only just touching on the vast expanse this particular factor is, as it pertains to those of us who are living it.

      There are no magical ways to get away from that fear, other than to recognize it first, then figure out exactly WHEN it began for you. Most of us can only pinpoint the fact that we were children, at an indeterminate date and time. It just “happened”. Boom, one day we learned to be afraid of being rejected. We truly don’t know what it feels like to be accepted, not because we have never been accepted, but because our damaged selves lack the ability to accept it for ourselves. We are used to rejection, to the point that it becomes all we see.

      I’ve been there too. I still struggle with it when i am embarrassed by someone, or when I am talked down to. The day I started standing up for myself, was the day this particular fear started to subside. Understand that when you stand up for yourself, it not only includes others who might be cruel or hurtful to you, but it also includes YOU! We are our own worst critics and adversaries. We can also be our own best allies. We unknowingly continue the abuse we suffered at the hands of another, by repeating the same shit over and over to ourselves. You don’t deserve that, any more than any one else, GayeLynn.

      By the way, the person I see in your picture, is beautiful.

  2. Rejection was one of my greatest fears, until I became a writer. I had to get over my fear of rejection. 🙂 I discovered my greatest fear is being wrong, which is only a variation of rejection and produces the same negative tape.

    1. I have always been afraid of being wrong. In gradeschool, high school and so-forth, being wrong is exactly what I thought was bringing out the bullying. I’ve always been a little different than others. That was also something I had always hated. I don’t look at many things, or express myself in the same way as others around me. I have always been teased for it, or given that stupid “stupid” look, or had been physically attacked. When we are confident in an answer we might give, for instance, only to find out (sharply) that we were wrong, it brings embarrassment, feeling “stupid”, etc. I think being afraid of being wrong goes hand in hand with a fear of rejection. Personally, it’s hard for me to separate the two. That negative tape sure holds on tightly, doesn’t it?

      I’ve been trying to re-record that tape, over the past few years… It’s helping. 🙂

  3. I remember in high school realizing there was nothing I could do to gain my mother’s acceptance. The sad thing was other relationships I expected rejection and with that expectation I would interpret behavior as rejection even when it wasn’t. People make mistakes and sometimes say things that hurt, it doesn’t always mean they are rejecting you. I still struggle with this…I am learning that a lot of other people do too.

    1. I can kind of identify with you and Judy, though my Mom wasn’t really abusive. She just wasn’t attentive, and I always took the back burner (my feelings, needs etc.) to my dad and family pets. I never had any closeness with any of my family, while growing up. That is, except for a short time…my brother and I were best friends for a while. In high school, he joined the ranks of the others who were bullying me, joining in a little later (after she moved in with us) was my step sister. My day began and continued with bullying and ended with being “not good enough” for my dad and mom. I always wondered just what was wrong with me.

      You’re right, Ruth, So many people can identify with this. Some have moved on, past the fear. Or maybe they have been able to move on, in spite of it? I wish I could pick their brains a little bit, to see what makes them tick.

      Those of us who are living with this debilitating fear, really do think “rejection” first, when someone says something that we perceive as hurtful. People are created different. Different intellects, different hearts, different drives and dreams. Of course there won’t be many who speak or think exactly as we do. What we perceive as hurtful, might be perceived as “nice” by the person speaking to us. It’s a daily reminder, to try to keep from feeling offended or rejected, as a result.

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