Years have passed, but you still feel the rejection, when you recall your 6-year-old crush?
That crush: your feverish passionate eyes, the corny note, with the little flower draw?
You still feel the rejection, with an emotion attached, a physical reaction of some sort: frustration, anger, shame…
Memory is a memory: you might recall it with a laugh and it does nothing to your body and does not alter you mentally.
But if you recall “the event” and you still feel some sort of physical discomfort, a lump in the throat, a knot in the stomach: is trauma. Most likely trauma of abandonment.
If you get easily triggered, and overreact in a way that doesn’t match the severity of the situation, especially because it belongs to the past still: it might be trauma of abandonment.
Having A Low Tolerance to Frustration (of Rejection)
Ok. Rejection sucks. It's very frustrating. It’s emotionally painful.
Nobody enjoys being rejected. We all want to feel loved and appreciated.
But rejection happens. And one must be able to move on from it.
One can lie and say that has moved on, but:
- If exists some shame behind that feeling of rejection,
- If it has developed some sort of resentment, that one still holds on to,
- If there are feelings of wanting to revenge and wanting the person to suffer in some way
this must be said: there's a need to overcome that feeling of rejection...
And worst of all and most likely: the real cause might not even be the situation you recall that caused some shame or resentment that fuels some feeling of revenge.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg.
The real cause, of being unable to deal with rejection in a mature and healthy way might be abandonment issues.
What? “Abandonment issues?”, you must be asking, “How come if I was never even abandoned?”
Trauma of Abandonment
It’s of no use to compare emotional pains: it’s a very personal thing.
And trauma? Is an emotional response to a negative event that is that’s distressing, disturbing, or painful,”
It hurts how it hurts to whom it hurts. We all have our own very individual paths, and two individuals can go through the same challenging situation, and show and feel/register in distinct ways: no one can dictate how magnifying or emotionally smashing it is for the other. One feels the way one feels.
So it is with emotional pain.
The trauma can occur during your embroidery phase, in our mother's belly: whatever she feels, we feel. If she is stressed, if she does not want the child: it affects the way the brain circuitry is being formed.
And after being out of the belly: if the mother is emotionally unavailable to us, narcissistic basic needs as a child: the trauma of abandonment can be engraved. The biology of a loss.
Sometimes trauma of abandonment can be transgenerational: as a learned behavior.
Having the parents as role models.
We can have the trauma of abandonment due to many circumstances. Here are some examples:
- Divorce or separation of the parents,
- Death of a close relative
- You were left to cry when scared/hungry/frustrated as a child,
- We complained, and searched for help from gown ups, about some situation or person causing anguish they minimized or didn't even bother to listen: we felt left out in the cold
- You were discouraged to express your true feelings, otherwise “mommy doesn’t love you anymore”: and you learned to suppress them. To grant “mommy’s approval” and guarantee her love remained available for us.
Here “mom” is mentioned, but it can be the father, the older sister/brother, an uncle, or whoever was supposed to assist you as a child.
In any situation, we feel helpless, not supported, and unprotected.
And so we develop coping mechanisms
...we grow and continue with the same coping mechanism, eventually transformed into another shape or form with one sole purpose: to protect us, emotionally, from similar pains of feeling abandoned and on our own. Some coping mechanisms are unhealthy as hell.
Preventing us to evaluate situations from a broad perspective, and reacting accordingly.
Preventing to develop a good relationship with ourselves, eventually feeling unworthy of love or never feeling confident to be ourselves with the fear of not being accepted (again), and being rejected (again): so we mask who we are. And tend to fall into toxic relationships
Prevents us to have a healthy relationship with others because we don’t trust, we need to have control over the other and that might manifest through developing a narcissistic personality, possessiveness, or excess jealousy.
The range can be vast.
The Many Faces of Abandonment
Narcissists are so much attracted to people-pleasers, as the other way around.
Is a toxic relationship where one gives and the other takes, emotionally.
Is not an equal give-and-take. Narcissists and people-pleasers seem to be the opposite.
Apparently. Some experts in the (psychology ) area say that are two eggs in the same basket.
Grew up in similar environments, lacking the same: just used the opposite coping mechanism.
One develops a need of giving, in hopes that the "love" of others won't be taken away from them.
And by giving, they believe that are avoiding the pain of feeling in lack of love.
The other develops an egocentric personality to avoid the void of lack of love and uses the love of others as a resource.
Both deal with the abandonment issue: just deal differently with it.
The trauma of abandonment can show up with many faces:
- low tolerance to rejection: that leads to resentment and frustration. Nothing good grows from those lower vibrational energies, but destruction. Self-destruction. Not doing anything constructive, destroying others instead of really building yourself. Too much waste of energy.
- people pleaser behavior: in reality is a sort of self-abandonment because you are not respecting or fulfilling your own emotional needs: you are prioritizing everybody’s needs but yours.
- fear of abandonment that leads many times to tolerate toxic and abusive relationships
- addictions: as a coping mechanism to tune out or dissociate with any situation that resembles the original trauma
- Self-sabotage: that's related to a low tolerance to rejection due to the fear of loss (work, people, things): don’t even try with fear of losing and being unable to deal with the loss. And lose without even trying.
- Eating disorders: these are coping mechanisms to compensate for some emotional pain.
- Codependency: this s related to narcissism, people-pleaser behavior, and fear of abandonment.
- Fear of intimacy: which is related to fear of abandonment and it’s a form of dissociation: you’re not there. You don’t show or share your true selves. And by doing that you are protected from feeling abandoned if the person leaves. That can put you in a cycle of unfulfilling relationships. And that causes pain anyway.
Back to Rejection: How to deal With it? The Ghost of Rejection
If the ghost of rejection haunts you and prevents you from taking calculated risks, emotionally or professionally, or, prevents you from having healthy relationships because you breathe and taste resentment: you should consider looking for professional help.
If its’ due to childhood trauma, a professional will help you bring those suppressed and subconscious feelings from that hidden place to the conscious mind: only then those can be addressed, properly.
Here are some home-made tips to deal with rejection:
#1 Get to the root: aknowledege the feeling of pain (horror to rejection)
When you go to the root of that bitterness of rejection: you’ll find some shame to be addressed.
When is said here go to the root, it doesn’t mean you should remember all the time. You‘re already doing that: through your implicit memory, through your body records of emotions, if they are strong.
Getting to the root means: forgiving yourself.
But first, you have to love yourself.
#2 Love yourself first. Forgiving yourself will come naturally.
If you felt rejected, and are dealing with subconscious abandonment issues, you feel shamed and unloved.
And the very first person you have to love is yourself.
If you feel shame, most likely is because you blame yourself for something. And you feel unworthy of love. And the reason you feel so much resentment is because the person or situation that made you feel rejected, is just reminded and reinforced (in your mind) how unlovable you feel you are. That is a cruel perception. You are being cruel to yourself.
Especially if it’s due to past events, that might not even be your fault.
Once you embrace and love yourself, forgiving yourself will come naturally. And resentment for yourself will also fade, naturally.
Resentment for others will have little room to breathe. And you’ll find more emotional room and energy to create good things for yourself and for your life.
#3 Analize What was your role in the rejection and take accountability from now on
Was it a job that was denied? Was it a relationship?
Analyze what was your role in it, the rejection.
Was it a job position or an interview? Check if that’s what you really wanted, or if you were prepared enough.
Define a new course if you concluded that was not the right path for you and go for it.
Do you need other skills? Go get the skills, and persist in your aim.
Take the lesson, say thanks, next.
Was it a relatiosnhip? Someone didn’t love you the you believe you deserve? Just make sure you love yourself first, and then find someone who loves you with the standard you place yourself. This is not about social status or physical attributes. We’re talking about a deep depth here, not ego stuff, vanity, or showing off your “ trophies”.
Maybe you were rejected because you weren’t valued or just you were not ready for each other,
When you know your true value, there’s no place for resentment. You go and find someone who values you the way you do yourself.
Does someone want to leave? Maybe they are doing you a favor.
Is not as if you are perfect and wonderful with no flaws: is just that the energies to form a couple should match. If there's no equal give and take: someone’s already at a loss.
And that’s toxic. Someone’s rejection might actually be a good thing here.
#4 Reframe the emotion attached to the rejection
Reframing is absolutely important.
If you do have a nasty relationship with rejection in a way that poisons your life: should be addressed.
How do you know that you have an unhealthy (toxic) approach to rejection?
By the (eventually low) quality and (eventually little) fulfillment you have with your present relationships.
When we hold on to past resentments, we pass on behaviors and attitudes to the relationship that follows.
We do have a tendency to repeat patterns until we learn whatever lesson we need to learn, grow from it, and enrichen ourselves and our next relationship. Taking it to the next level.
Reframing the emotion might be a good strategy to cut the cord with that old trauma emotion, and teach your body to feel in a different way when addressing some uncomfortable event that made you feel rejected.
The first thing if you have to remember anything do it as an observer, an outsider: that you are no longer the participant, you don’t have to feel the unpleasant emotion every time it comes to your mind. And when you do: do it as a viewer. Distance yourself, emotionally.
After that: take another perspective, other then the hurt one.
Did you feel less loved in some situation? That doesn’t mean you are not lovable: it may just mean that that person was not able to see your true value. You are worthy of love
Someone did do something horrible to you? The horrible person is that other person, not you. The shame is not yours to carry. Be proud of yourself for having dealt with difficult situations and carry no hate in your heart. Carry yourself proudly, from within.
Do you feel that somehow you failed some job opportunity? something better and more aligned with what you really aim is in that new path you are taking. Always remember that obstacles are simply redirections. Is not the end of the journey: is the beginning of a brand-new one.
Have to deal with the death of someone close, a dear one? Religions apart, spirituality helps here. Try to think that the body perished but the spirit remains somewhere in the ether. And from that somewhere, that person has a broader perspective of 3D life and is certainly watching over you, guiding and protecting you.
Those were examples, and there are really challenging situations that will need professional help to be addressed.
The goal here is to see things from another perspective and, even more, important of all: teach your body to feel differently, when dealing with some painful memory.
It should only be a memory without emotions attached: just keep the emotions of the good ones.
Getting Better Every Day
References and Related Posts
The Trauma Of Abandonment | Dr. Gabor Mate
If you have Abandonment Issues, this is THE CURE (WATCH THIS) / Aaron Doughty
Hey! I'm Eunice Veloso and you'll find more about me on my About Page
Antoine Lavoisier, 1789
The Law of the Conservation of Mass