The Webster’s dictionary definition of the word reject is: 1 to refuse to accept, recognize, believe, etc. 2 To refuse to grant: deny, as a petition. 3 To refuse (a person) recognition, acceptance, etc. 4. To expel; react against physiologically. 5 To castaway as worthless; discard. A person or thing that has been rejected.
When you have experienced rejection first-hand, there is no need for a dictionary definition, as you know exactly how it feels. Being on the receiving end of rejection can be the cruelest act you can experience and, in my case, it led to severe depression.
The beginning of my friendships were always filled with possibilities. I would dive into the relationship with much enthusiasm, always driven by the challenge of having this friend last longer than a few weeks. I was always eager to please full of energy and encouragement, going out of my way to be as helpful as I would. The honeymoon phase was always wonderful.
Then the relationship seemed to slowly dwindle down; no return of phone calls, plans cancelled, until it became painfully clear that I was not wanted. When I would finally get a hold of them again to ask why they were no longer acting like my friend, the answer was always the same, “you’re a little intense,” they would say, “you have too much energy,” or “you’re immature”. Other times I would hang on in hopes of finding out that they had something wrong in their life that prevented them from continuing the friendship. Never was this the case.
Which never made sense to me because from the beginning of all my friendships, I never made it a secret that I was your typical girl! I was honest about my personality traits and admitted fully that they were on the extreme side. I had the maturity of someone much younger then myself and was not afraid to divulge this. The average response when I told them about myself was usually, “Oh you’re just wonderful, and I love you just the way you are!” This one was my particular favorites, “I love that I can be my silly self around you!”
After so many years of this, I finally began to stay home and did not attempt to make new friends at all. I began to descend back into the way I was in high school, which was to do things by myself. I even began hobbies that at one point I had abhorred. I stopped caring about my siblings and parent’s involvement in my life. I was becoming quite the recluse.
I realized that if I did not want to be completely alone that I needed to make some effort into a marital relationship so I used all the lessons growing up from my mother to be the best house keeper and mother I could be. This worked well and I have never been without a mate. Not that they were right for me, or I for them. Once I had children, they were the only ones that mattered.
I started to believe that the day would come when my sons would grow up and not need me at all. I would be free to leave the earth with no emotional ties to keep me on it. All the analyzing to understand what I had done wrong to those who rejected my friendship and how I could have been a better friend to them, was over. I could let myself off the hook and be free from the depths of sorrow that overtook me in the middle of each night, reliving the ending of said friendships.
Of all the traits of an “Aspie,” being a “dead horse beater” was not my favorite, but I was president of the club. In order to relinquish the title, in my mind, was to be dead. I spent many sleepless nights, planning my death for when my children were no longer dependent on me. When they grew up and did what I raised them to do, become independent of me.
Empty nest is real and hit me harder then I ever imagined. Making my plans come on sooner then later is what I began to do. I tried to end my life several times, but lucky for me, I failed! I then realized that in spite of no friends, being rejected by most I reached out for help from, and no idea of what to do to feel better, I LOVED LIFE! If I wanted to do more then exist, it was going to be up to me to find a solution to begin to LIVE, instead of being done with living.
When medications did not improve my condition after years of experimentation, I found that the only thing that really helped my condition was Neurofield, and Neurofeedback. I no longer take any meds for my condition, now it is all about Meditation vs Medication. I now have the ability to be mindful, get productive sleep, understand moral compass, feel empathy, listen, understand direction, and the list goes on. Once I was able to comprehend what was setting me apart from neuro-typicals around me, I began to become mainstream. I may never completely fit in socially, but know I can pick and choose what social settings I thrive best in, giving me, and others around me, a much more pleasant social experience. There is a lot less REJECTION going on for me these days, giving me a whole new reason to live!
Being socially thwarted is something that many special needs people in general experience. As society becomes more educated about this social difference, I am more accepted as a unique individual. If it wasn’t for Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism getting so much press, most people would not know about it. When I was a child and up until my young adult years, people thought I was bipolar, had ADHD, ADD, and I was even told I might have schizophrenia. It turns out that the side affects from my condition caused sleep deprivation and that can give anyone the types of diagnosis I was getting. At long last, I know who I am, what my true condition is, and learning about alternative ways to deal with it was introduced to me at my first Autism Conference.
Something occurred to me after the treatments began working; I was beginning to get comfortable being in my own skin. My husband assured me that it was okay not to be liked by everyone, and that friendships are a lot of work. If you’re going to have one, make sure it’s worthy of your time. Why would you stop living, give up all the good things you’ve done and have yet to do, just because you are misunderstood by a few. The saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” became my personal mantra and I began to try to understand my self-worth more in depth. Now I find ways to grow, rather than merely survive. Life still has the same challenges; I am just better equipped mentally to handle them. Thanks to my Neurofield treatments, now I have the mental capacity for acceptance.