Rejection highlight insecurities, uprooting even that which was believed to be settled. The feeling of rejection to the average human can be horrifying, but for someone that carries with them unhealed wounds, rejection can be devastatingly traumatic, damning to one’s self – esteem and crushing to the soul.
My heart had been broken before, and each time the devastation led to what I can now say were mild forms of depression. The curling up in bed, not wanting to see the light of day, not wanting to talk and the only company needed, pillows, comforter, and reruns of Law and Order SVU. The experience wasn’t new to me, I had done this dance a couple times before. But, this one, this time around, this was different. The verb that best describes the impact is Crushed (His name still saved in my phone as such) But, why? Why did this affect me so profoundly? How did I get here, especially when the signs were so overtly clear?
Falling In Love
I had fallen in love? This was news to even me. I can’t say when or how it all happened. To this day I still cannot pinpoint what it was about him that I loved. There were and still are traits I admire, but I’m still lost as to what captivated me so. It was years from my last relationship and I wasn’t quite ready to be involved nor, did I plan to be, but I was facing one of the most difficult periods in my life, a time of unrest, and abandonment. Some family members, relatives and friends had retracted, not wanting to be associated with the girl that was openly speaking about being raped and “bringing shame on the family” Rejection and abandonment had become my new norm.
The charges brought against my abuser had caused a major shift, an upheaval in my life. I was afraid and often felt alone. I met him during this period and outside of a handful of people that remained supportive, he seemed to be the only person that despite how I tried to scare him away (by making him aware of the death threats I was receiving) he seemed unbothered. He was insistent on being a friend and proved to be just that during that time. We spoke often, our conversations lighthearted and free. He was a welcomed distraction from my reality. Our friendship developed fast and before I knew it, so did the attraction.
Work aligned our paths, his work ethic and dedication to his craft was inspiring, which motivated me to push harder. We were inseparable when together, and quickly realized our shared passions for helping others created a bond. Living in two different countries made it challenging, but not impossible. We formulated a schedule for our times apart, morning, afternoon and nightly check-ins, knowing I’m a bit of a worry wort, he would text or call briefly every few hours. This wasn’t the norm for me, but we tried to make things work by utilizing technology. We were mostly apart than together, but it was exciting, refreshing and new. I was hopeful.
He made me laugh! This was significant, laughing became a luxury during that span, I had very little to laugh about. Before long he was introduced to my boys, then my mom (she liked him, which is rare) and key persons in my family. I was introduced to his circle, his sister’s reaction when we were first introduced – should have been my first clue something was off, but like so many times after, the unease, the uncertainty and that annoying little ticker (intuition) would be setting off blaring alarms, but I choose to ignore and instead, accept the explanations, justifications, omissions and the lies. There were signs. Love was not blind, our unresolved traumas led us to the familiar.
Love, wanting to be loved, and accepted clouded my judgment. He made me feel normal at a point when it seems everyone was judging, pointing and staring. I became the girl, that girl I had fought long and hard not to become. I was the girl that encouraged others not to accept mediocrity, I would repeat that famous Maya Angelou line (you teach people how to treat you) yet, here I was doing the opposite of what I preached. I longed to belong, I longed to feel safe, valued, and protected. Though nothing, and at no point in the relationship I felt either of those things, I couldn’t seem to find the courage to walk away.
In my heart I knew this would not have lasted. I didn’t trust him, the entire thing was established on a lie. I wasn’t aware of that before, but after the truth was revealed. I was far gone, so emotionally invested my attempts at creating distance would only be that, an attempt. I became that girl! I WAS THAT GIRL! I was so caught up in the idea of love, partnership, commitment, and family, I was thinking about marriage and merging a family, yeah, me, married! I knew something was wrong, when I began justifying my reasons, while ignoring my gut feeling. I wasn’t ready for this, and neither was he.
There is nothing like the feeling of rejection to unearth the insecurities of an abused woman. A three-year relationship was coming to an end with no explanation. He had lost interest and checked out. I was confused, I was pained. I lost my best friend. I practically begged for an explanation, but that proved futile. Numb was the word and it made the blow even that more crushing. I replayed the what and why’s in my head, and nothing made sense. How could this be? I was devastated emotionally, triggered mentally, pained physically, and drained spiritually. Was what we shared all a lie? Did he mean anything he said?
I knew it would eventually come to an end, but secretly hoped we would have been able to work through our issues? (thing is, that only works if both parties are in agreement) My attempt at basic communication was unsuccessful, and with emotions running high I refused to accept his non-verbal cues. Though still unexplainable, I loved him. And as I mentally prepared for the conversation and the consensus to separate, I was pained. The thought of having to explain to my sons especially my youngest, why the person they bonded with would no longer be coming around was daunting, but I was preparing.
The conversation never happened. The communication just stopped and the feeling of despondency took hold. Pain, confusion, loss, disrespect, rejection, abandonment, neglect, all these feelings and emotions dredged up. This was the excavation of hurts past and present! The exhuming of buried emotions and unhealed wounds, now being uncovered and exposed. This felt like the onset of a mental break. I wasn’t ready, I didn’t see this coming, why now? I couldn’t breathe! The little girl in me had had enough! We broke! We were brought back to earlier times – a heartbreak led to all this? I wasn’t ready, I didn’t know how to cope, but the process was unfolding, and we (my wounded inner child and me) needed to heal! To be continued... Join me as I/we Journey 2 Free.
From my heart to yours with love,