Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 47: New Remedy for Rejection--Self Care?

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn
is unconditional love,
which includes not only others
but ourselves as well.
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Inspirational Song
Somebody Ease My Troubling Mind
Sam Cook

Boost Me, Don't Bruise Me
So I've had a rough last few days. I'm still feeling unsettled from issues between me and Hubby last week. I have never responded well to criticism or rejection. Some people get negative feedback and use it to be inspired and prove themselves and do better. I am not one of those people.

When I feel rejected and criticized (internalized as they don't like me), I withdraw. I want to go to bed earlier and sleep later. I want to comfort myself with food. (In the last 3 days, I've unsuccessfully tried to lick my wounds by swallowing mini candy bars from the work candy dish--3 Baby Ruths, 1 Butterfinger, 1 Nestle Crunch, 1 chewy candy--2 iced brown sugar poptarts, a Chick fil'a sandwich & cookies & cream milkshake, a cheeseburger with cold fries--I ate every one--and a large peanut butter cookie.) I want to cry and cry until my head hurts and my face feels distorted. Tell me I'm bad and I believe you. And I stop participating at all; I just roll over and pout. It's not pretty and I'm not proud of it. But it's been my pattern for about 46 years.

I do much better with positive feedback. If you use a little psychology, you can get me to improve on something you feel critical about by finding some little thing about it that I do right. With praise and encouragement, I would likely lick the floors clean for you. Tell me I'm good, and I'll get better.

Perspective & Good Advice
Today was therapy day. When I told PhD2 that I had no impact on the world, that I had no close friendships with people I could actually spend time with, and that no one would really miss me if I was gone. I said I didn't know why I bothered trying to lose weight because I'd been fat all my life and there was no way I would ever be thin, what was the point in spending my whole life trying?

He wisely responded that he could understand why I felt sad, scared, and angry, but that he thought my perspective was off and that I was "painting everything with black brush" and that when I got pulled back together, I would realize that what I'd said wasn't true. And it probably isn't.

Earlier this week my friend, Christine, checked in with me. I'd had a really hard day and told her I wished I had somewhere to go and let all my feelings out. And she said to call her whenever I wanted that she would "drop everything." Wow. Not many people say that. And not many mean it or would follow through. But Christine is someone who would. That makes me pretty lucky and loved.

And sometimes one person caring about you is just about all you need. Thank you, my friend, Christine. You save me.

And PhD2 told me that even though I felt crappy that it was really important right now for me to practice self care. I asked him what that looked like, and he said, "what you'd been doing before this"--meal planning, counting calories, pursuing some creative interests, reaching out to others in blogger world. . . swimming some, contemplating getting in more exercise and making more connections with others.

PhD2 said he knew it wasn't my pattern and that made it hard, but that I needed to boost myself up so I would have balance and perspective and self confidence to have the hard conversations that happen in marriages and to have the poise and self confidence to be able to own the criticisms that are true and recognize the ones that are not.

It sounds right an sane and reasonable. . . but awkward and not so easy.

Chasing Rejection
This past Mon. was the birthday of the boy I loved through junior high and high school. It was one of those unbalanced loves. He was happy to be my great friend, but we never dated. I always wanted him more than he wanted me. I followed him around a lot. I wish this had not been the most central relationship during that vulnerable period of my life.

I've kept in touch with him over the years. And some years I call him on his birthday. If I don't reach him and leave a message he never calls me back. When I do reach him he thanks me profusely for calling him, asks me to keep doing it. His wife usually sends me Christmas cards.

This year I sent him a note on Facebook on Friday. . . taunting him a bit because he never read and responded to the story I sent him that I wrote and that he claimed he wanted to read.

On Monday I called and sang a voice message on his cell phone.

I tried 2 more times after that, not leaving messages. I thought he had tried to call me back because I actually had a message from his phone, but it was likely an accidental redial because I swear the message sounded like his phone was in the washing machine.

Today, I left another message on Facebook.

I guess I am done. I don't know why I chase rejection, just asking to be bruised.


  1. First of all, Sandy, it takes my breath away that you feel this way about yourself at times. Someone who offered her love to me while I was at my low point in the hospital with fresh veggies & fruits to make me feel better. That made me feel very good to know you thought enough of me to make the offer.
    Secondly ... I unfortunately react the other way with rejection ... I attack which may be worse ... I'm not sure because then I take victims along for the ride.
    I guess either of our ways is unhealthy for our emotional health.
    Thirdly, oh my lord ... I've never heard someone voice it this way "chasing rejection" ... but that is EXACTLY what I've done this week as well. It's one thing to be rejected but when we actually go looking for it ... OUCH. Why do we feel the need to punish and hurt ourselves?
    I have nothing to offer you by way of wisdom as I'm wounded too but I can offer up empathy for how you feel and of course big, engulfing {HUGS}.

  2. AWWWW..Its going to be alright Hang in there, you can do this deep down inside of you, you know you can!! Sorry life seems bleek right now, but always know it does get better...I hate it that you are feeling this way, the things you say on here touch so many!! Myself included we all have these days... I know I have had mine!!
    Hang in there...You can do this!!

  3. Until you can find your own faith in yourself again, trust in my faith in you; I know you to be a loving, warm, endearing person with the strength to weather what life throws at you with grace and a sense of humor. Also trust that life really isn't as bleak as it seems at times, and that "black filter" over your lens will be removed soon.

  4. There is so much of your post that I could have written myself. I hope you are feeling better today.

    Hugs to you.

  5. Let me tell you something, you're special and you do matter to the world. You might roll your eyes and not believe that---but it's very true.
    I hope you'll go back and read my day 327 post. You need to destroy those tapes in your head my friend, seriously.
    You're an inspiration and your story and your transformation has the power to change peoples lives...Sandy---it's right here for the taking. Grab it---it's yours and you deserve it.

    My best to you always,

  6. I love you. I'm always and forever thinking about you. Don't ever forget that. You are one of the coolest, most interesting, smartest people I know. xoxo

  7. Sounds like you have some of the same tapes in your head that I have. You've got to destroy them! Reverse that imaginary filter in your brain that keeps out the positive comments and lets in the negative. Turn it around so that the negative comments can't get through. Don't allow anyone to keep you from taking care of yourself. You are an inspiration. Keep going. Hope you will be feeling better soon.

  8. This path always has twists and turns and hills and valleys. I try to use the valleys to gather speed for the next hill.

    You do matter, Sandy, and don't you dare believe otherwise. You need to ignore that bad wiring that feeds you such poor information and that need to chase rejection the same way I need to ignore that bad wiring that tells me that a bowl of Cheetos would make a dandy breakfast.

    Clear your head and get back on the track.

  9. Oh Sandy, I've been away from reading blogs as I've travelled across the continent to be with my hubby. I've not read what the criticism is (and will get to it shortly) but please be assured of MY faith in you. Don't beat yourself up non-stop about a lapse. You are such an organized, kind and loving person. Remember that. Pick yourself up and take a deep breath and start again. It's not easy, but as far as I can see from the comments here above, we ALL care about you and are routing for you. the biggest (((Hugs))) from me, Jo xxx

  10. Hi! I just found your blog and I feel like I relate to this post on so many different levels. I hope that things are looking up for you. Hang in there

  11. I always relate to what you say... but this last part was like I could have written it. I have a certain someone that I chased for more than a decade, and occasionally I fuck myself up over it still. I won't write my book on it but a couple of months ago I sent him a facebook message kind of rehashing some of the rejection that he chose to inflict in spite of my feelings. Anyway. You are not alone!

  12. Just found your blog... Love it!!!

    I see myself in your blogs - my feelings that I could never connect between my head and paper (much less saying them!).

    Thank you so much for helping me identify with myself!


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