Fear Of Rejection

There has been a lot of talking going on around here and I am exhausted. Overall though I have taken in a lot of stuff, processed some things and have gotten clarity in some areas. A big one is fear of rejection. I have been so fearful of people rejecting the real me that I have mastered mirroring people without even realizing it. I had hidden myself far away and would spend time trying to analyze and read people’s patterns to try to stay on top of their likes and dislikes. I believe I did this to be able to gain their acceptance or stay observant of how they would reject me so I could be prepared.

I can’t keep it up anymore.

I am not able to do this any longer, not with the revelation of the real me that has been hidden. I am discovering new things about myself and I know that it will continue for my lifetime. I have a lot packed into this brain of mine. However, I think it is important to document how I ended up losing so much of me in the first place, the root of that would be fear of rejection. I have accumulated this fear through a life time of feeling or being rejected. I say feeling because it was how I perceived things, they may not have actually been true. I based rejection on not making people happy. If they got angry with me, I hurt them, I annoyed them or whatever, I perceived all of that as rejection of me. The things that I was doing at the time or how I was behaving was what I documented as the rejection. I will add here that my looks were a part of that feeling of rejection as well because of being made fun of as a child.

I felt like I was just being myself but what I was doing was causing problems.

I then associated myself as being rejected. To protect myself I stopped being myself fully and year after year, perceived rejection after perceived rejection I hid away parts of me. The problem is that when I begin to feel comfortable or safe, the real me comes out and I forget to control it. I then would see people’s responses and feel rejected. The reason was that I did not understand what was happening socially. If someone laughed at me I would ask why they they were laughing because I did not understand if they were laughing at me or with me. I would automatically assume they were laughing at me. Why? Lack of social understanding, I believe. The same criteria applied when I made someone angry, sad, or upset in some way. I would assume it was something I had done but I would also assume that they didn’t want anything to do with me once I made them feel this way.

I have valid reasons for feeling that people will just leave.

It has happened to me quite often where people just leave or no longer have contact with me and I do not understand why. Maybe they made it clear but because I did not understand the cues, it was impossible for me to understand. In those cases I assumed the worst about myself. I never thought it was them. I always thought I did something wrong. Another piece to this rejection puzzle is that I would usually only do this when there was a person in my life. Like one friend or a boyfriend or while consumed in an unhealthy church crowd. I would look to them as authorities to social conventions and think that I had to be wrong because the group or my perceived authority knew better than me. When I was alone, I did not have this problem. I did not become confused until I had conflicting voices with my own inner voice.

Confusion causes me fear – it also makes me fearful of being rejected.

I feel that because every time I go against the multiples or the person of perceived authority, I get rejected. I feel like I have made them unhappy. One of the worst things I could do in my mind is to make someone unhappy. I know this is unrealistic but still my heart wants to see everyone happy. I truly do and it has been the base for a lot of my desicions to the point of my own suffering and denial of self and needs. This is a huge revelation for me, to step back and look at how I have taken on identities without realizing it to ensure others are ok. I don’t “need” them to feel like a whole person or anything, I just have a desire to want to make people happy. In certain relationships when I feel that I have reached all that I am capable of, I am then finished. I can no longer make them happy so I am not needed.

However, I am left sad because I feel like a failure and I lost more of myself in the process.

I can no longer try to make others happy, I see the process now. I realize that I can only make myself happy. I cannot be fearful of rejection and allow that to govern me. I know in the past I have relied on others to guide me because I felt like I didn’t understand enough or I had too many people influencing me and making me confused. I felt that my ability to read others is way too off to trust. It is a lie. I know I have written some of this before but I have had real epiphany about how I have allowed others emotions and words to influence who I am. I see with clarity how I have trusted my wrong thoughts and have become fearful. I trusted them because I felt I could not trust my own if others did not agree with me.

These thoughts were influenced by confusion from the people in my life.

An example of things that confuse me is like David telling me that I can read people well. He said I can usually read them straight to their core and they do not like it. I can see past a lot of the smoke screens. Then he will say that I am wrong about other things I say about a person but usually these are about people that he has some direct emotional tie to. He is being influenced by his own feelings and telling me that I am wrong. We all do this, I know, but it has caused me great confusion. It has happened multiple times in our relationship and it causes me to shutdown and submit. I explained this to him and he said “Why the hell do you listen to me?” He went on to ask me why I look to him as an authority.

These are very good questions…why have I done this?

He never told me to. I assumed that he knew better so I listened to him. It is because I lost myself by mirroring him. I have managed to become another person, one that I did not know and I can’t do it anymore. I mirrored him because I wanted him happy. The mirror has broken and I am left with seeing me – no wonder I haven’t liked mirrors, I didn’t know who it was in there! I didn’t even realize I was doing it, until recently. It has been made very clear because I have been being myself and he is like “Who are you and where did you come from?” I have had the tinge of fear of rejection from others online, with family and with David, just waiting or anticipating the ball to drop so I will not be surprised when it happens. Why? Who cares if people reject us? This type of fear has caused me to become friends with the wrong people, lose myself and feel inadequate.

It’s like a veil has been removed from my eyes.

I have talked about this before but never really got it. I understand that a lot of this is my feeling unable to read social cues and people, but now I am seeing that I am able to do that. If I don’t understand a social cue, who cares? I mean really, who cares? What is the worse thing that is going to happen? A person doesn’t like me? They say something mean? They try to make me feel foolish? What is that? They have no power over me or my life. Fear of rejection is a big farce. If someone rejects us, there is someone who will accept us fully and enjoy who we are so why bother on those who do not see our value? I got sucked into identities that were not me and that caused even more insecurity and fear. I have been afraid to be myself and that sounds so foolish.

David asked me what happened to the Angel that got buried?

Where is she? First of all, it wasn’t Angel that got buried, it was Angelique. It started with my name. People, including family, making fun of my name as early as I can remember. My mom and dad both thought is was a beautiful name and it was the only one they could agree on. I should think on that. Ripping open that small nugget has revealed many others that have caused my fear of rejection. Was it done in fun? Possibly they meant no harm and many others meant no harm but my lack of understanding caused me to feel rejected. It caused me to doubt and to continue to push my trustworthy voice down and look to those who I felt had more understanding. Doubt, confusion and fear of rejection – none of these are the real me.

Though I have gotten exhausted by a lot of the talking that David and I did, he had some great things to say by the end of it all.

One thing he said to me is, “Each part of you is talented, trustworthy and capable – the only person who does not believe that is you.” He told me not to listen to him and that I should not allow his voice to cause me confusion. He also said, “I don’t know you – I don’t know what the hell is going on in your head.” Wow! He is right, I am the only one who can make my decisions and know what is best for me. Why do I not trust myself and get confused by him or others? This is not me. I may have anxiety issues or get hit with a panic attack but I am not a fearful person truly. I have allowed the influences of others and my wrong perceptions to be a controlling force and cause fear. WHAT? I am deciding to at least knock this wall down.

I may have other issues but I will not allow this fear to rule my mind any longer.


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6 thoughts on “Fear Of Rejection

  1. Alienhippy

    Hello my lovely friend, you are beautiful inside and out Angel.
    Just keep being you, who you are is amazing, lovable, talented, kind, honest open and real.
    I know exactly what you are saying here I have done this for years. What I have found though is once we master the perfect imitation of someone that we look up to or see as an authority. That is when we get rejected. I believe that no one truly likes who they are and having an imitation of self is what is rejected, that’s just my thought though.
    There is one we can imitate who will never reject us. People will always let us down we are all only human, no one can meet the needs of another and make them happy. Each person has to take responsibility for doing that for themselves. We have to look to God my lovely friend to find true happiness, while doing this we also find ourselves.
    This post is wonderful and really shows how much you are learning, you are such an inspiration and an amazing friend. One more thing my lovely….I won’t be going anywhere.
    Love you!
    Lisa. xxx :)

  2. Bruce

    Hi Angel,

    I think you have described very well what a lot of us Aspie/auties have gone through. I know I can certainly relate. It is so good to see how you are gaining strength to be yourself. I am going through a similar process, and so your accounts here are very encouraging.

    It is strange (the great minds phenomenon?), I usually don’t do outlines for posts, I just write them whole, but I have had an outline for a post in my drafts folder for a quite a while now. The title is “Fear of Abandonment,” and it is a history of the rejections and abandonment I have experienced, and how that has warped my self-image and worldview. The world appears to be a very untrustworthy place after enough rejection, or perceived rejection. Every relationship seems tentative and likely to end at any moment. And I feel I have no ability to ensure it continues, and no ability to know when it is about to collapse. No control at all, because I can’t read the cues until it is over, and even then I am left puzzled as to why it ended. I live with uncertainty, whether this is reality based or simply my warped imagination matters not. It means my life is an unpredictable risky confusion. Not a very comfortable way to go through life.

    I think Lisa is on to something in that we need to turn to the only constant, God,who, in my present view, dwells deep in my core. In other words, I think I need to find happiness somewhere inside me, and not pin my happiness to other people. People, like everything else on this planet, are constantly changing, so if we get it nailed down today – perfectly meeting someone’s expectations – then by tomorrow they will have changed their expectations! Argh! :)

    And I am very grateful that my wife of thirty-four years has stuck with me through two decades of ME/CFS, and recently the realization that I am Aspie/autie. And yet, even after all that evidence of loyalty, I can still feel anxious about where I stand or how she feels (no fault of hers though, just my own wild mind).

    BTW, I love your name Angelique! When I first met you in Bloggyland I thought you might be from Quebec, as your husband’s and kid’s names, as well as yours, could easily be found in Montreal.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, you always give me lots to think about.
    Blessings to you, my dear friend,

  3. Aspergirl Maybe

    I can relate to a lot of what you are saying, but this sentence hit me the hardest: “The problem is that when I begin to feel comfortable or safe, the real me comes out and I forget to control it.”

    I am constantly working to be in control of what I am saying or doing and berating myself when I let myself go.

    I think Angelique is beautiful, although I like Angel too. I found this site with pictures of Angeliques – thought you might like it: http://www.babynames.com/Names/namepix.php?id=4758.

  4. Angel Post author

    Thank you Lisa!

    “I believe that no one truly likes who they are and having an imitation of self is what is rejected, that’s just my thought though.”
    That is something I have never considered. I didn’t realize just how much I looked to people to give me answers, I wasn’t always like this it is so strange how events or circumstances have caused me to go into this pattern.

    AND thank you for not going anywhere!

    Love you too!

  5. Angel Post author

    Hi Bruce!

    Thank you for all of your kind words. I am also very thankful for you sharing about yourself it helps relieve some of my fears about being the “only one”. I know I am not but it is always good to hear! That is interesting that you have “Fear of Abandonment,” in your drafts. I am processing a lot of things and didn’t realize just how deep rooted this was. I think that is a good idea to write them down like that, I may do that as well to help me process better. I know I have written quite a bit on my blog about situations but I have never actually seen them as roots for this fear.

    I am so appreciative for what you shared here I can relate so much. It is especially helpful to read that you can still feel anxious even after all of these with your wife, I am not glad for it but I am so happy to know that I do not make this stuff up in my head!!

    Many blessings to you too!
    Angelique :-)

  6. Angel Post author

    Hi AM!

    I recently realized how much energy I spend on trying to stop myself from being myself and it is a lot! Add that in with missing social cues and sensory stuff it is no wonder that socializing in anyway can be exhausting. I think we need to just let go and get wild! Ok, not wild but maybe let go a bit more. :-)

    Thank you for the link it was intersting to see the many others that share my name. I like Angel too I must say. :-) I can go either way but it was great to realize that I could claim my full name as well.

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