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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Lala, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    I've been thinking a lot about rejection. In thinking about my life I realized there have been relationships, romantic and platonic, in which I have been rejected...clearly the person did not love me or couldn't handle the emotions involved and so they pushed me away. Yet in many of these situations I hung on, refusing to accept the rejection, even though it was apparent to everyone else that it was over. In looking back I don't even like these people. They proved to be disloyal and often emotionally immature, yet I still feel stung...I still feel rejected and hurt by their words/actions. In fact one ex-friend still works at my job. I am neutral towards her. I initally had a lot of anger towards her when she abandoned our friendship (for selfish reasons), but now I am relatively indifferent. Yet, when I am in her presence I still have the lingering need for her to "like" or "accept" me. Why is that? Why do I so strongly feel the need to still be accepted by those who have rejected me and have proven themselves unworthy of my love. I am typically a very strong, confident person...but I sense that this strange dynamic plays an important role in my current TMS symptoms. Can anyone relate? Does anyone have an insight into the psychodynamics of rejection?
    honey badger likes this.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Lala,

    I can relate. I feel like rejection is another form of abandonment. Even if you are not consciously bothered by being around your former friend/co-worker, it might be getting to you at a deeper level. Every night on my way home from work I have to walk by the house of a friend who was once my best friend but we have drifted apart and it bothers me sometimes, to the point where occasionally I have even gone a different way. Oddly enough, I intentionally have been pulling away from her.

    Feelings are not rational. We can also have conflicting feelings simultaneously, like you might dislike that former friend and yet also miss her or miss the closeness that was there before.

    I think the key is to just let all of those feelings be there--you don't have to act on them or work it out with these friends--just let all of that stuff have a home in you. I am finding that the discomfort is not the feelings of sadness or loss but that belief that I have to be happy/positive all the time and have to resolve my feelings about people, situations, etc.

    You may also find that as you work on TMS you find new and supportive friendships without even trying. It's like the "law of attraction" in action :)

    ~ Veronica
    honey badger likes this.
  3. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Yes, I agree...i actually came upon the word "rejection" through journaling about abandonment...and for certain situations the word "rejection" felt more appropriate. Yes, I think with the work ex-friend on some level I still miss her/our friendship...but I can't help wondering why I seem to be a glutton for punishment in some of these situations...why do I seek the approval of those who have so blatantly rejected me. Is it because the rejection has so wounded my ego or made me so insecure that I can't face it? That by somehow winning their approval again (though totally irrational and unrealistic) I would negate the intial rejection?

    Maybe you are right, maybe I need to stop trying to figure out why and instead just accept that I have (and have had) conflicting feelings about rejection in my life and that the little girl inside me so desperately wants to be loved (or maybe its my super ego?) that sometimes she just tries to hard to get it...even from people who aren't so nice.

    thanks for your support...and yes, I've made some new and incredible TMS friends : )
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's probably just that you hate to give up on a friendship. I'm that way.
    Some friendships need little or no nurturing. They're just always there.
    Others need lots of care and even then we may not be able to save them.

    I think it's natural for everyone to want to keep a friend. Maybe just remember the good times with
    the ones who have drifted away.
    G.R. likes this.
  5. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Rejection does seem to have a different meaning from abandonment--rejection feels more like a value judgment. Sounds like a good topic for reflection or journaling.
  6. Susan

    Susan Peer Supporter

    I like to remember the unconscious is not rational. Therefore, these two issues or feelings may have a common cause.

    I can link all my own feelings of rejection and abandonment to my earliest life memories of my relationship to my mother. I wanted her to notice me, pay attention to me, accept me as I am. Those feelings come up now related to others in my life. Luckily, I can usually see the source or core of these feelings.

    Journaling about these feelings and their relationship or difference can help u der stand them better. Good idea.

    Onbts likes this.
  7. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    It's the same for me as Susan. I had a pretty narcissistic mother and a very absent father. For me both rejection and abandonment led to the same belief as a child--"it must be something wrong with me that I am unworthy of love, I'm not good enough to be noticed and valued." For a good part of my adult life, I actually picked friends or relationships that had this element in them. Whether that was Law of Attraction at work, or some deep need to work through those situations I don't know.

    Now as an adult I certainly believe I value myself and my relationships are all positive, but it still lurks there under the surface. I had a friend get upset a couple of years ago because she didn't like my beliefs about how our thinking creates our own reality. I could pretty well see this was her problem and not mine, but the fear of rejection if I wasn't who she wanted me to be came right up very strongly.

    I guess when we are so little abandonment could literally mean the end of us, so those fears are wired in pretty deeply.
  8. Susan

    Susan Peer Supporter


    Guess we are not unique. My biggest insight about wanting to be noticed by mom came a few weeks ago when I felt that emotion and knew where it came from. What was amazing was that within a minute of getting in touch with what was going on emotionally with me, i got a call from my husband checking in and letting me know where he was and when he would be home. That call took away the sting of the past and made me realize how far I have come in attracting the most significant other I could have now in my life who is so complete in every way as a person and who pays attention to me in appropriate ways. My past work on myself drew in this wonderful complete person who has so healed me. While the distant past remains a part of me, emotionally healing in my most personal life has occurred over the past 22 years. My husband is an amazing gift and by doing our emotional work, such a gift is available to us all.

    Early wiring is there always it seems and we can also thrive in our most intimate relationships in our life now. Being aware of what is going on emotionally is so important. That is why the work we do in healing from TMS is effective. Forgiveness of self and others becomes a pathway forward.

  9. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    Lala ~ I can totally relate to the rejection issue and a feeling of still "wanting to" or "hoping to" make it right. I have an ex-friend who I was very close with during a difficult time in my left a few years ago (my icky mid-life crisis), she got intoxicated one night and physically assaulted me. I was so shocked and stunned. A few months later I even gave her another chance, but could not get past that one night. Yes, I miss the closeness that we had at one time, but sometimes, once a line is crossed, unfortunately there is no going back.

    Terry ~ Wow! We could be sisters! Your parents sound exactly like mine!!! I have those very same feelings and they do run very deep. When my buttons are pushed, I can get to a place of despair so dark that it is frightening. It's almost like all progress I have made goes out the door and I am again starting at square one.
  10. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    yep...definitely exploring it with journaling....your right it does feel more like you are being judged when you are rejected.
  11. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Lala-- I've been journaling on it too, though I haven't been that successful yet at reaching the earliest emotional memories of it. But it's made it clearer for me why rejection by someone I don't actually think that much of, or rejection for some ridiculous reason, still can hurt deeply.

    Honeybear-- I have a feeling our family is rather large! I have a book reserved at the library called "Will I ever be good enough? Daughters of narcissistic mothers." Don't know much about it but the title sure rang a bell. I'll let you know if it's any good.
  12. jilana

    jilana New Member

    Terry and Honeybear- sadly I'm also in your family of narcissistic/absent/neglectful parents :(
    Im finding that many of my issues are about abandonment that I thought I had resolved but that little girl is still mad and has every right to be. Lately it's been helping to tell the pain "I love you anyways". Telling isn't it?
  13. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    Jilana ~ Last night I read a post of yours about the pain being the little girl inside's temper tantrum. I really liked that and already put it on a sticky note. Thanks for that insight! :)

    My mother has been cleaning stuff out and recently gave me some pictures...one of which is of me on the last day of kindergarten standing with her in the front yard. I start crying every time I look at this picture. THIS is the little girl who is throwing this tantrum...this 18 1/2 year headache and chronic pain...the little girl who wondered why daddy didn't love her because he was never home and who wondered why mommy was always too busy to notice her. The only way I ever got any attention and love was to go above and beyond with my chores and then take my parents on a tour to show them. On my dish week, I wouldn't just do the dishes, I would clean out the cabinets or the refrigerator and only THEN would I get a pat on the back. No wonder why I now strive so hard to keep my house clean. Funny thing is, this is not a new revelation to me. I have understood this for the past 20 years. What is different now is that I know I need to let that little girl inside let those feelings out so that she doesn't have to rage me with pain anymore.
  14. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    I identify with a lot of the comments in this thread. Rejection is one of the most difficult feelings since it means you feel both shame and loneliness. It also affects your feeling of safety since it's hard to feel safe when you aren't supported by other people.
  15. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    It sure sounds like clinging on against all reason when rejected does relate to an underlying deep fear of abandonment that we inherit from our infancy and early childhoods. That obsessive compulsive tendency to cling to a relationship against all reason also seems to hearken back to our earliest childhood personality traits and are probably linked to primal survival instincts in the mother-child union. I guess you just have to recognize and confront those feelings and traits and see them for what they are. No real easy way of not feeling that way as long as insight keeps you from being overwhelmed.
  16. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Lala - It appears that you've hit upon a key ingredient of TMS. Ironically (maybe it's not coincidental) I was thinking about rejection and abandonment this morning as I took a walk on the beach. As I walked on the beach today I started to cry as I realized the severe trauma in being abandoned and then rejected by my dad after my parents divorced. The little girl in me wanted my dad back and was unknowingly enraged by being ignored after my parent's divorce. Just when I think I've cleared some past emotions, they come up out of nowhere.

    I share this much to ask others here. Have any of you had family trauma's during your childhood or in the teen years? My guess from this chain of responses is that many of us perhaps did have such early life traumas.
    So Lala, perhaps the loss of friendship is a "trigger" to the loss of a parent, grandparent or guardian (or someone important to you in your childhood). When the rejection happens from a friend not only is it a judgement that you are not worthy of their friendship any longer, but it serves as a trigger to the early life event when someone like a parent ignored, abandoned or rejected you. So then, you're in that dynamic of trying to gain the parent or guardian's approval.

    Just some thoughts. There's some really good insights on this thread. Rejection might be a bigger issue in this TMS diagnosis.

    Thanks for bringing this up - it helps me to see that others are dealing with this too. Maybe we're talking about the human condition in general.

  17. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tons of it. My parents tried to get divorced the first time when I was 6 or 7. Then, again when I was 11 (at the start of puberty, oophs!)

    Think stormy childhoods, as Dr Sarno observes, are a common feature of the TMS personality. Later on in life, when traumatic events inevitably occur, they recall those old buried emotions surrounding abandonment and rejection, and then we go TMS symptomatic. Other scenarios are of course possible, but this is one common sequence leading to TMS and other chronic pain disorders.

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