I was lying in bed this morning, having a little pity party for myself. I was thinking about stupid, unimportant, unhelpful stuff, like, if I am ever free, would anyone else even want me? And then I was thinking, even if I did meet someone, he wouldn’t really want me.
And then I realized….
I am very comfortable with rejection.
Don’t get me wrong. Rejection hurts. Rejection hurts me very much. But it is a “norm” with me and so I am comfortable with it.
When I was about 2 and a half, my mom was deathly ill and I was sent away to live with another family for about 6 months. You can imagine that poor little girl would feel rejected.
Growing up, I always felt like I was never good enough for my dad. My grades weren’t good enough, even though they were very high grades. They just weren’t high enough. I wasn’t skinny enough. I didn’t run fast enough. Whatever. It wasn’t enough. Rejection. Not good enough.
And my mom. My parents had 5 kids. (I am the oldest.) My mom was busy. A lot. I guess I never felt that important to my mom. I don’t remember being close to my mom.
When I was 21, I got married, and then 5 months later, my dad died. My mom suggested that we find a piece of property with 2 houses on it, so she could live in one house with my siblings and my husband and I would live in the other and be available to help her out with whatever she needed us to. She said she would make the down payment from my dad’s life insurance money and we could split the mortgage payments.
This worked o.k. for a few years and then she met somebody and decided she wanted half of the down payment money, money that she had said was a gift, back from us and was willing to take us to court to get it. Daughter – rejected – for $45,000. Bam.
By the way, that ended the relationship my mom and I had built after my dad died. We didn’t talk for years, and even now, I still don’t feel close to her.
Meanwhile, I have lived for 24 years with a passive aggressive man, giving to him way more than he has given to me. Rejection? Ya think?
Somehow I am comfortable with this. When, on rare occasion, my daughters are rude to me, it hurts. But I don’t say anything in defense; rather I mentally make excuses for them. As in, well, maybe they have a point. Or, they’re still young yet; they’ll mature.
When my siblings come to visit or I go to visit them, I love being with them. But always in the back of my mind is a fear that they will reject me. They will see my imperfections, my sins, my lack, and they will reject me. I won’t be good enough.
Even at work, where I have done a good job and have been welcomed and have felt more accepted than I have anywhere else in my life, I still have a fear of being rejected, that somebody will find out something about me that they don’t like and then I will be rejected.
But if someone did reject me, it would, of course, be my fault.
And, yes, this plays in my relationship with God, too. I am not good enough for Him, either. He must reject me. Why would He give me my heart’s desires, the petitions of my heart?
So, in projecting my future in my little pity party, I meet some dude that I like, who seems to like me, and there is no way in a million years he could possibly, really, truly like me back. I would be rejected.
In “Why Do I Keep Doing That? Why Do I Keep Doing That?,” the author makes the case that we create our lives to continue what is comfortable for us even if it is harmful to us.
Assuming that I have done this, which it sure seems I have, in marrying someone who will keep me feeling rejected, feeling not good enough, how do I get beyond this? How do I go forward from this?
Whether I am ever free or not, how do I keep these thoughts from coming when I am with family and friends? And if I am ever free, how do I keep myself from repeating this scenario in my life? Of choosing someone who will ultimately reject me?
I think maybe the answer starts with me accepting myself, instead of believing that I am worthy of rejection. Maybe that’s a start.