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Thursday, July 17

A Different Tie That Binds



Solitude

a survey of how rejection has set off a chain reaction, ultimately leading to depression


“Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” ~ Romans 15:7 (NASB)

“Rejection creates a feeling of being unwanted which then reduces self-esteem.  The more intimate the relationship in which rejection is experienced, the greater the damage done, and the more challenging it can be to overcome the effects.” (Arene, n.d.)

Common knowledge in my small family tells of my maternal biological grandmother being the initial rejected. My mother did not have the privilege of knowing her biological father thus neither did I.  But when my Caucasian grandmother knew my Afro-Caribbean grandfather, my mother was conceived.  We don’t know what became of my grandfather.  But the idea of my grandmother keeping her brown-skinned baby girl was rejected by her family.  I haven’t decided which drove their disapproval: conceiving a child in adultery, the color of my mother’s skin or both.  I would be hard pressed to not acknowledge the racism of my extended family as having an influence and especially after their  visit to Philadelphia years later.


In either case, my mom was adopted by a friend of my grandmothers--this is the woman I call “grandma” and the rejection continued.  My mom would be rejected again and again by her adoptive parents as they would ship her to and from a close friend’s home.  At that time, however, I would like to say my mom preferred  it over the cruelties she endured beyond rejection at the hands of her new family.  Although my mom proved to be resilient, those cruelties in addition to rejection did affect her as it would have ill effects on our relationship in the future.  But first she would be rejected again.  


I often wished to be a fly on the wall to witness the events leading up to my father’s departure.  He rejected both of us and before I was born.  There was never a reconciliation.  Maybe not even a second thought.  I like to think  his rejection has not significantly injured me.  That is, compared to others who I relied on in one way or another.   Yet I am aware  I may indeed have daddy issues.  Especially in terms of marriage and parenthood.  For example, will I have a difficult time trusting my trustworthy husband? Or will I be jealous of my children?  For now, I don’t worry about it as much.  After all, I can barely remember his name.  


I also have no early memory of my time with my mom in Florida before going to live with my grandma at the age of 3.   And just as my mom was shipped to and from a friends home, so was I.  Except this friend was married, had an adult daughter that lived with her and an adult son that would come by now and again.  I honestly remember spending more of my time with my “caretaker” than with my grandma.   At the time though I did not feel rejected.  I thought it was normal.  I always gave her the benefit of the doubt not knowing of my moms experience until years later. Today, I am sure that my initial insecurities sprang from this consistently inconsistent routine.

Always spending summers with my mom, I returned to her permanently at age 9.  However, it wasn’t until my teen years that rejection would sprout in our relationship.  Through it all, I did not know how to express my feelings and I don’t believe my mom wanted to revisit the ghosts of her past to help me make sense of them.  Could my inexperienced brain at that time understand the pain that she was carrying?  I’ll never know.  But I often wished she would have tried me.   

Source:  Arene, C. (n.d.). The Most Important Step to Overcoming Rejection. Retrieved March 6th, 2014 from http://www.4therapy.com/life-topics/family-relationships/divorce/most-important-step-overcoming-rejection-2661

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