I'm not sure how to preface this blog post so I'm just going to jump right in.

I have known abandonment and rejection my entire life, starting as far back as I can remember. Abandonment from my family, rejection from family and friends. When I was growing up we would go to my aunt and uncle's house to celebrate Christmas with my dad's family They lived in an old, two story, farm house. The upstairs of their home had four bedrooms and a bathroom. One of our (my cousins, sister, and I) favorite things to do at their house was to play barbies. My cousin who grew up there had the greatest collection. The best place to set up our Barbie play area was in the bathroom. We would use the tub and sink for pools, etc. My sister and two cousins would, without fail, always lock me out of the bathroom. I would yell and cry and beg them to let me in. I would give in and be a tattle tale. Even that didn't always work. I would get retribution for telling on them, more name calling, more locking me out until they got bored and decided they didn't even want to play barbies anymore. That's when they would let me in. They would talk off on their bikes when we went camping. They would swim away form me at the lake. They would sleep together in a tent and not ask me to join them.

At that age it never occurred to me that those actions and experiences would have a long term affect on me. When I was in elementary school I remember being as young as 9/10 and having to chase my friends around at recess because they would run away from me. They would huddle up and decide on a number or a secret word and then they would all disperse and I was dumb enough to chase them. They would set me up to say "naughty" words and then tell the teacher what I said. I was the last one to be picked at recess or during gym class. I never had a partner to turn to when the teacher told us to "pair up". I was excluded from sleepovers and birthday parties, yet I always invited those girls to my sleepovers and birthday parties. They weren't running away and abandoning me 100% of the time, but it happened often. I tried to tell my mom what was happening but she never believed me. My teachers never believed me. Hell, my older sister didn't even believe me. There was also one time, in 6th grade, when I was walking home from school on a Friday and I took the long way. Who I thought was my best friend and another girl were walking behind me, ("best" friend lived a couple of blocks away from me, the other girl was spending the night at her house). They started yelling "who's your best friend?!, you're mom?!" and throwing rocks at me. I never started running but I did pick up the pace to get home faster. When I got home I was crying and told my mom what happened. I think she believed me, to an extent, but she didn't do much to better the situation. The rejection continued through junior high school and was probably the worst at that point. Junior high is already an awkward time for everyone, lets add bullies into the mix. See, I had been getting bullied for YEARS and didn't even comprehend what was happening. When my sister would haul off and kick me or hit me at school in front of her friends everyone laughed and thought it was funny. I never got to talk about how all of that really made me feel. Instead I laughed along, tried to fight back, and kept it all to myself, buried it so deep inside that for years it never surfaced. Well, folks, it has begun to surface. It is not pleasant, the memories have caused nightmares, and I have some feelings of resentment about it. Do I still love my sister even though she beat me up? Yes, I do. She didn't beat me up out of hate, she did it because I was her annoying little sister, she was showing off, or I stole her "thunder". Did I turn some of that anger of being beat outwards? Of course I did. I would sometimes pick on my brother, I would provoke my sister, I would say awful, mean and hateful things that I didn't mean. I would tell my parents they were the worst parents in the world, threaten to call the cops on them if they spanked me, and run away (only to come back a short time later). I imagine I said some pretty  nasty things to my friends too when they were treating me with so much hate and disrespect. It was the only way I knew how to protect myself when I was young. In fact I'm positive the response I would get from them is "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". I have grown up and let me tell you, words hurt me. They hurt me so bad. I don't forget words, or what people say to or about me. I grew up being taunted and teased and made fun of for so long that there was no way I would truly forget those words. I thought I could forget about it at the time. I have been proven wrong. It has also made me more aware of the words I chose to use. Because I am human I make mistakes. I say hurtful things at times, and immediately regret it and am apologetic. I don't use words to intentionally hurt other people.

In my adult life I continue to deal with and struggle through being abandoned, rejected, and excluded. The entirety of my dad's family abandoned me years ago because I am different from them. They don't speak to me, they don't care how I am or where I am or who I am. They don't ask about me, they don't try to contact me. I have accepted this and while it likely subconsciously bothers me, it is not something I chose to dwell on. I never get any joy out of being around those people so I do not feel like it is a huge loss. I prefer to live my life without their judgments, anyway.  I am not close to any of my "best friends" from high school. The ones I spent every single weekend with, endless hours on the phone with, took countless road trips with, went to my first parties with, made promises to never replace each other with, and went through major life changes with. This isn't their fault. People grow up, change, move away. What does hurt me about this is when my 10 year class reunion happened two summers ago. A plan was made to use my parent's backyard as a gathering place to eat, drink, catch up, before going out and about downtown. The morning of the reunion someone in my class changed the plans. I was offended by this and spent a portion of my evening standing across the road from a group of my classmates watching them talk and laugh with each other before going home and not telling anywhere where I was headed. I don't know if anyone noticed me standing there, but if they did they did not acknowledge me or invite me over. I know I could've joined them, it was my class reunion, but I didn't feel comfortable. I took it personally that they decided my parent's yard was not a good enough option to get together. Again, rejection. Rejection that threw me right back into the middle of high school memories.

I could write about several instances like that. This post is meant to bring awareness to how your actions can so deeply affect others without you even realizing it. I know that some of those times in grade school my friends intentionally bullied me and left me out. I know my cousins said and did some terrible things on purpose. There is also a fair amount of times I have felt rejected and abandoned and that was not the case at all. It wasn't done to intentionally hurt me but I interpreted it as such, and that's what matters. I am trying to get better at seeing the good that can happen when someone chooses to reject me. It will not be easy and it will not happen quickly. But try I must.
Must remember this. (Or it's try harder. JK Rowling submitted many many many revised and edited copies of Harry potter to publishers before getting it accepted...):


Popular posts from this blog

The Bump


Breaking The Silence