Acceptance and Rejection… more thoughts

I really would like to pick the brains of psychological professionals, regarding this topic. It’s such a huge problem which affects so many aspects of our lives, including our past, present and any future we might have. It’s a huge factor in whether we have self-confidence, or not. Whether we do well with a challenge, or not. I’m really struggling with how to write about this, so maybe I’ll just wing it. Maybe it’ll form some sort of intelligent banter along the way.

Rejection. Can you remember when you were first hit with that overwhelming anxiety, associated with the fear? When you met someone new, for instance, and wanted to hide in a hole, instead of confidently extending your hand and introducing yourself? It’s difficult for me to pin point the first time. I know I was a little girl, but I don’t know when or why I became unsure and scared of rejection. I honestly believe it began prior to school years, as a little child or even a toddler. All I remember throughout school, is being afraid. I wonder if it starts from our parents or siblings treatment of us? Oh lord, THIS could definitely buy some psychologist that new yacht he’s been dreaming of!

We can fake confidence…sort of. We can fake a smile. We can fake anything we need to, generally. But, what we can’t fake our way out of, is our – very present – poor self-esteem. We can’t fake looking like we are confident, when we are laden with a lack of confidence. It shows in our body language, our stance, posture and even in the way we walk. It shows in how quickly we look away, when someone looks into our eyes…even for a second. I can fake being “ok” when I look someone in the eye, especially when I am first meeting someone. I know how to act, but I quickly feel examined and “unworthy”. I feel threatened, quickly looking away, and have a difficult time maintaining that eye-contact, naturally. Why is it so hard to trust that we are likable? Why is it so hard to understand that it’s ok if someone doesn’t like us? A fear of rejection stemming from our early years, translated to a type of self-loathing, later on. Somewhere, somehow, it changed.

This is exactly, and I mean EXACTLY what so many Narcissists and Sociopaths zero in on, when choosing their subject. It’s not just our lack of self-confidence that shows…it’s our innate fear of rejection that they see. When they see that part of so many of us, they know we will do ANYTHING and ENDURE ANYTHING to keep from feeling or being rejected. What we think of as “love”, is actually our OWN FEAR OF REJECTION! When we met the Narcissist/Psychopath, who was right there with everything we needed… Love, Affection, Attention, hugs, kisses, presents and so-forth, that translated to us as ACCEPTANCE (Aka: love). He/she gave us everything we’ve ever wanted, going way back to when we were children.

I’m taking breaks in between these posts, as it’s very emotional for me to think about. I have to examine myself while writing these, which is not an easy undertaking.

I would love to hear your ideas. I do realize that in adding your thoughts, you will also be delving into the painful task of self-analysis. You’ll have to remember difficult times in your lives, too. Remember, you aren’t on the chopping block, here. You’re already accepted. Don’t worry 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Acceptance and Rejection… more thoughts

  1. I have a fear of rejection and abandonment…as a child my parents were divorced, my mum wanted us to stay away from our dad, but our dad hadn’t done anything to hurt us, she was hurting us by telling us to stay away from him and for him to stay away from us! When she met a man (a long distance lorry driver) she would go with him in his truck and leave us kids for days at a time, I was the one who had to step up and look after my siblings, who were very badly behaved (I was 14/15 and didn’t know how to cope) It ended up with my brother being taken into care…he still blames me for this and says it was my fault he was took into care! At 15 I went to work in a factory so I could earn money to feed my siblings and because the man who my mum was with use to say ‘I was a bone idle bum’. He was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive to my mum, myself and my siblings, he drank alcohol every day. He use to touch me sexually and try to kiss me open mouthed (yuck) I still cringe at the thought! I told my mum this yet she remained with him!!! I guess he told her I was a liar………
    Your right it’s not easy writing this down and I too have to stop and take a break. This is why I am an easy target for narcs, psychopaths etc isn’t it?, omg it is very painful to think about and to link it all back to our childhood

    1. Thanks for commenting, Fiona 🙂

      It definitely sounds like you were handed a lot of responsibility, for your very young age to handle. You were wonderful in the way you handled so many hurdles. It astonishes me that your mother would leave, without allowing you even the slightest support while she was gone. You should never have had to take on any of the rolls, which were dumped on you. Yet, you were able to see what needed to be done, to the best of your ability, and took care of your siblings as well as yourself. For that, dear one, you should be very proud!

      The lives we were given, definitely affect us as adults. Sexual abuse is one that we will never be able to forget, including the disgust and filthiness we felt.

      The abuse we suffered as children, affects our demeanor. It affects the way we appear to others, and how we respond to mistreatment, or “perceived” mistreatment. Some clam up, and crawl into a type of imaginary hidy-hole, to escape the rush of anxiety it creates. Others lash out, while still feeling the hurt. There are those who find it almost impossible to step out into the unknown, for fear of anger, resentment, mistreatment or failure. Others relish in the challenge.

      I realize that, in realizing this fear, as well as how all-encompassing it is in our lives, it can feel very hopeless. Nothing is hopeless, especially when realized and brought into the open (mostly to yourself). It enables us to fight and conquer that fear in the coming days. Breathe deep, and don’t be defeated. You are stronger than you realize!

  2. I worked hard to look people in the eye. I knew eye contract was important. Then I had a heart-to-heart with my NM, not realizing what type of person she was yet, and asked her why guys thought it was okay to take advantage of me. I was in my teens, late teens, I think. She told me it was because of my bedroom eyes. I couldn’t look anyone in the eye again for fear they’d see my bedroom eyes. Never mind I was sexually abused when I was four or five. A four or five-year-old, or even a pre-teen doesn’t have bedroom eyes. I’ve forgiven her for a lot of things… that isn’t one of them, yet. I still want to rail at her for that one. You’re right; it’s one of the signals predators zero in on.

    1. Hi Judy 🙂

      Normal parents can say things that wind up hurting us, without meaning to. For instance, my mother taught me the “Golden rule”. Simple, right? Expected training for an absorbent mind, from parent to child. To this child, who has always over-thought and taken to heart, everything ever said to me, I twisted it into “You’re a bad girl, ‘if’…”, and “allow atrocities to avoid hurting another”. I lived with a lot of guilt, growing up. It definitely hurt ‘this’ little girl. My mother meant it to teach me about integrity and compassion for others. Not as a way to create the martyr, in the end. Yet, I became the martyr because I didn’t “matter”.. only others’ emotions, feelings, etc. mattered. it was the “right” thing to do. After all, I couldn’t stand the thought that I hurt another’s feelings. You get the idea..

      In the case of your mother, who could seem genuinely caring and loving at times, and then turn around to become the self-serving, manipulative monster..even toward her own children, I can only imagine the tight-rope, teetering feeling you’ve had to endure. You probably have beautiful eyes. That doesn’t make them “bedroom eyes”. Your eyes are (as I can imagine) show love and caring toward others. They are the window to your soul. They allow you to view the world around you and imagine a beautiful place, which you can express to your readers. Nothing to be ashamed of at all! Your eyes should bring you joy and pride (which I’m sure they do). They are a gift for me, yourself and others. 🙂

  3. I asked my counselor. I told him I felt like I had a target on my back. He said, you do. Great. (Please read that with lots of sarcasm.) My mother feared me yet said she loved me. She feared me because she was so insecure she responded negatively any time my father said anything kind to me. If my mother can’t love me, why should anyone else? I struggled with self esteem, I still do. One of the interesting things about finally taking karate is I feel like I am taking that target off my back. I admire your courage for looking at the hard stuff. Thanks.

    1. I thought I had a target on my back, too. I was told the same thing… that I do! Ugh!! It’s taken a lot to realize where the target came from, and why. Your mother is a little spoiled child, who is completely self-serving. Your mother didn’t /doesn’t know what love, is. To her, it’s all about her, and nothing about anyone else, unless it benefits her in some way. It’s very hurtful when, in your case, your mother couldn’t understand or feel real love. It’s hurtful to the little child, growing up wanting that same love. For me, my mother loved me (I believe), but was too busy serving whatever man in her life (including my brother), that I was left in the dust. Same effect. We were left with that need, never being fulfilled. We try to fill that need somehow, while never expecting it to last or be real. We expect that same rejection, throughout our lives.

      Good for you, for taking a direct approach, to riding yourself of the target! Karate isn’t easy. I don’t know if I could go that route. Our challenge at this point is to figure out how to combat that fear, and pushing through it, ridding it of it’s power in our lives. I’m proud of you, Ruth!

      1. Thank you. My teacher is amazing. I told him at the beginning that I have PTSD. He treats me with respect and lets me set my pace with encouragement to keep going. I’m not sure I would have done so well with a different teacher. It is sad when parents can’t meet the needs of their children. To me, taking back my power is learning to meet my own needs in a way that is healthy.

  4. Fear of rejection has a direct relationship to “attachment” issues as explained by Dr. Craig Childress in his series on severe parental alienation. How with a personality disordered individual it is not actually rejection a victim experiences but a deep fear of punishment and being tortured by that individual. There is no loss of love, because the personality disordered individual is incapable of love, only “hostage” taking and torturing a hostage who resists until they do not resist anymore.

    1. Hi mj 🙂

      Fear of rejection, I believe, is at the root of all relational fears we might have, in some way or another. I’m looking at this as from a potential victim’s standpoint, or the root cause of being targeted in abuse. When someone has had a normal upbringing (which I also believe happens less than we realize) where the child grows up being validated, and loved by his/her parents, and later finds themselves in a type of “hostage” situation, as depicted by your comment, a fear of punishment, in that case, can stand alone without the fear of rejection being at the root. Its directly relational as to cause and effect.

      In the case of a seasoned abuse survivor (having already lived with and through it), the love I speak of, is what is perceived by the victim, in that situation. We have an almost irrational view of what love truly is. We link love with acceptance, and fear losing that. We (many of us) live with knowing what rejection is, to our core. We also link elation at receiving acceptance (or perceived acceptance), with being “in love” with the abuser. I don’t know if I’m making much sense. The loss of love, or acceptance, is what we fear and ultimately feel, when rejected by the abuser. What is so hard to understand is that we were already rejected by the abuser, when he/she came into our lives. It was all a cruel, malicious game of cause and effect for the abuser, when he targeted us. I’m looking at the root of chronic abuse in our lives. Usually, as I have found, those who have been victimized by a Narcissist or Psychopath, have previously been abused as children, in one form or another. I, personally, grew up with abuse…and had been taught (though not specifically or intentionally) that abuse = rejection. I was bad and somehow deserved the pain I felt. I now know that was a horrible conclusion I came up with. No one deserves abuse, for any reason.

      Thank you for your comment and input 🙂 I’m only just analyzing this, and realize that there are so many different ways to look at this root-cause of chronic abuse, or being targeted for abuse. I appreciate this very much! Thank you 🙂

  5. I will share with you what I’ve come to discover. Fear of rejection is a misunderstanding with the self. It results from seeing our self as incomplete without the validation of someone else. It’s the mistaken belief that we are not okay unless someone else says we are okay. We are complete and whole as we are, as we were when we entered this world and as we will be when we leave it. Most of my life I carried this misunderstanding with myself and it caused a lot of pain and heart break. It led me into some traumatic relationships. Now, with distance, perspective and age I understand my mistake. No one else is responsible for how I feel but me. I am the world through my own eyes. It exists no other way.

    In making this statement, this is where people tend to slam on the breaks. But if you sit down and really look at this, quietly and honestly, I think any arguments against it will crumble. For anyone who suffers from fear of rejection, low self esteem, co dependency issues, etc. it’s imperative to become really experientially aware of this and should be of the utmost importance above all else. Because without understanding this there can never be any real peace or clarity regarding relationships with any other people in your life.

    This takes some committed self reflection, but not in a way that creates stories around the past or projects fears into the future. You have to let those go. They really have no relevance in this moment. You must not fear what you find within yourself nor judge it. Just let it be there. Hold it as you would a new born infant. Admire it regardless of how ugly you think what you find is. Find a new way of dealing with yourself. Look at your own beliefs, all of them, and see if they really truly hold any water. If there is even a glimmer of doubt, it’s a good indication that your belief is false. And we all carry a sack full of false beliefs about ourselves and the world.

    This is the process of entering into a very sacred marriage with yourself. Through this you realize you don’t need acceptance from anyone but yourself. Acceptance of others isn’t never a certainty and it can change. But this wholeness, once you see it, will not. Other people are struggling too. We’re all swimming in our own existential muck so holding someone else who lacks proper clarity or wholeness accountable for our own stability is really madness when you look at it. The truth is, none of us require anyone else to be okay. We cannot be okay if we can’t do it on our own. Then, when you finally realize you can do it on your own, that you are complete and require no one else, you are free to share and enjoy relationship with others.

    1. Hello Jean 😉 You have actually hit the nail on the head, in the direction my mind has been going through all of this. I couldn’t have possibly worded it better, myself! You are 100% correct, here. Acceptance begins and ends with ourselves. A misguided and misunderstood view/conditioning is set into place, throughout our lives. That conditioning has incorrectly turned our focus away from our own power for happiness, and displaced that same focus onto another. It’s the retraining of that thought process, which is going to be a tough road. At least, that’s how it feels right now. As with any step I have ever taken, any challenge or learning experience.. it all begins with the first step.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

  6. I have just discovered your blog through another one that I am subscribed to and really like what I have read so far. Thank you for your posts, I look forward to reading more as time progresses. Best wishes from here in NZ.

    1. I apologize for the length of time it’s taken me to reply to your comment. Though I have internet again, my computer is now having some issues. I appreciate you looking in, and leaving a comment. I know how difficult it can be, just being in the place of a ‘victim’ of psychological abuse. It’s a difficult road, but very wonderful as well, this road of healing :)… I wish you peace in the coming days. Feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to reply in a timely manner. Wonderful to meet you!

      1. Hello once again. I have been away from my blog for awhile so I had to revisit your page again. I must start reading it again as I have just finished my undergraduate degree. I am sorry to hear you are having computer troubles, keep in touch when you can and we will communicate when we are able. It sure is a difficult road at times, one friend thought I was completely healed after not seeing me for a while and my reply was “am I?” I am not so sure, I have my good days and bad days and some are real stinkers but I know that I am much more healed now than what I was a while back. Wonderful to meet you too and I hope to see more of you on here soon. 🙂 Best wishes to you!

        1. Sorry my brain is a bit foggy… I came in here recently, gosh my apologies… I was on here but via my tablet sorry about that. I am using my desktop today. Keep in touch and please excuse my foggy brain today. 🙂

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