Issue 10... Wow! We've made it a long way, reader. We're at double-digits! I've been trying to find new words and ways to express how I feel. (I'm sure you can relate). That's when I realized that there's something about rejection that we all know but don't speak of. It's almost like if we say it, it'll feel like we're 10 years old again and saying a swear word for the first time. It feels bad.
Only because we think it's bad.
I intend to put that unspoken common knowledge into words. If you need to take a moment before we dive in, close your eyes and breathe.
Okay. Let's go.
When Rejection Gets Abusive
Abusive rejection. It almost sounds and looks extreme in the black-and-white, sans-sarif font. Except that's what it is: extreme.
The word abusive means "engaging in or characterized by habitual violence or cruelty." (New Oxford American Dictionary). The word that I want you to focus on is habitual. Mentally highlight it. Habitual.
A Lifeguard for the Habitual
Have you ever had someone who is emotionally dependent on you? I have. This person had me on speed dial in 5-week increments. Every five weeks, they drowned in the current of their situation. And every five weeks, I was CJ Parker from Baywatch coming to save them from the deep waters. It became habitual. So habitual it occurred on a net-35 basis.
It was only a matter of time before this person got frustrated from their habitual pain. As all frustrated individuals do, they began lashing out. Remember "rejected people reject people"? That began to ring truth. They started saying harsh words to me. Unfortunately for them, I'm pretty confrontational. That being said, AFTER I had performed verbal CPR and revived them, I told them I refused to be talked to abrasively. I'd get blocked for the next 5 weeks. Then when they started drowning again, I was unblocked for the life-saving procedures. This emotional-lifeguard inservice that occurred every 5 weeks became habitual.
Refusing Abusive Rejection
I don't know if it counts as a rejection if it didn't sting like one, but I do think blocking someone every 5 weeks after they help you is the same as rejecting. The habitual cycle of this person's clock-in turned into an abusive cycle of rejection. Whether or not I initially realized it, this person's blocking did take a toll on me. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't live up to my role for this person. I felt like an impostor.
After about 5 months of this ongoing cycle, I stepped back and realized the toxicity of it. Where I was opening my hands and heart to offer healing, all I felt was hurting. I hurt for many reasons. I hurt because their pain was now mine. I hurt because I wasn't good enough to help. Most of all, I hurt because even my best wasn't enough.
Moral of the story: you've got to refuse abusive rejection before it becomes habitual.
I know its hard. Especially when it is a loved one. But if I can do it, you can too,
All the Peace,