Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rejection: It is THEIR Issue not Yours.

*IF you clicked on the blog disclaimers label- the entire first post is about Faith and my general thoughts on blogging about it. Skip that post if that is not why you are on my blog. The second post on Blog Disclaimers has a section under the subtitle of that heading with a brief paragraph of what this blog is about. Read that. It is probably the quickest disclaimer which applies to my entire blog. The third post (which you are currently reading) refers to my blog specifically in the third paragraph from the bottom.*

I don't often feel I fit into any box or community. Even in the autism community I often find my voice is unwanted. YET, in that, I also have made some crucial connections and wonderful friends. I also don't fit (obviously) in the NT community. I don't belong with the Athiests but I don't belong with the Religious. I don't regret these facts because the reason why I don't belong is because I have made important choices that exclude me from most groups. I also don't feel I am better than anyone in these said groups but I'm not less either and I have found a way to BE in the world for my personal worth and the worth of those around me.

There are places I belong. They involve some of my best decisions. I belong in my home. I belong with my husband and children. I belong with my best friend and some of my extended family. I belong with some childhood friends and some new friends. I belong to myself. Most of these are not groups within themselves...they are instead individual connections.  

There is the odd time I feel rejected or depressed because of the said rejection...but then I remember this: http://nakedpastor.com/2015/11/are-you-feeling-rejected/
  "If I choose to be me, think my thoughts, and live my life, but not according to the standards they require, desire, or expect, then there are going to be consequences. Why? Because sometimes this makes them feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it makes them feel superior. Sometimes it makes them feel guilty. Sometimes it makes them feel rejected. Sometimes it makes them feel exclusive. Or, does it “make” them feel anything at all? Maybe they choose to feel this way. I think so. In any case, they feel justified in feeling the desire or the need to not fellowship with or include me anymore."- David Hayward

I used to belong to many groups, many people, and many institutions. I was part of the church for most of my youth. I was part of most extracurricular activities. I led mom's groups and women's gatherings. I joined support groups and online groups. I attended every required family function. I played the game of culture by celebrating every holiday the way culture wanted me to participate. I thought if I did these things I would be accepted. I even enjoyed some of them. I also made some valuable connections. But overall, once I stepped out of these things, I found I did not miss them once I adjusted to the lack of activity in my life. I also found the people who say they are your friends or care about your eternal destination, don't really follow through on that fact. I found that as soon as my own voice became developed I was less liked. I found that when I educated myself about religion, education, personal choices, birth, health, freedom and about my own desires, some of the people I thought were my support became sensitive at best and hostile at worst. 

This was hard for someone who desires deep conversations and was naively wearing my heart on my sleeve. It came with some very tough moments. But the fact is I would not change it now. I didn't actually miss any of these things. What I missed was the illusion of importance they gave me...the busyness and the misinterpretation I had that they made me worthy. It took a few years to get over some of that ego and cultural conditioning. When Sunday came around I would feel like there was something missing...even though I LOVED my day off with my family. I felt like I SHOULD be in church and that I would miss out on crucial community if I did not attend. This forced us to form our own community. What freedom comes from dealing with people who actually want to be with you! Also, I realized we didn't have as much community coming from the church as we thought. We were not really supported anyway. We had this illusion of support because we thought we belonged. It was sort of similar to the "Adjustment Bureau" concept.

I also found out I was less sick. I used to think I caught every bug. What I did not know was that much of that sickness was attributed to sensory things or misunderstanding. I stressed out too much about how others felt. People took me wrong despite best intentions. When I stepped out of my people pleasing, got over the martyr part of serving, and realized that I am in charge of how I perceive my life- it became infinitely more amazing.

Sometimes I still feel rejected or shocked by the sudden lack of support for some event in my life. But other times I am astounded at who shows up at the right moments or how important it is for people to NOT show up so that I can come to my own rescue. I have found that the most important investment is my husband and children (and the others who may ebb and flow out of my life.) Often the very programs I thought were enhancing our relationships were sabotaging them. When the extracurriculars, school system and church system stopped dictating our life we DID have a few years of loss. We were so used to being subtly told what to do or how to behave or what makes a good life that we floundered on our own for a bit. It took us three years to stop fully attending church and not caving for some sort of holiday. We were already rebels at times in these systems but it wasn't enough. We needed to take our own life and make it what we have. I know church is very fulfilling for some people and it completely depends on the gathering involved. For us, it was toxic. For our personalities and for our own belief system and lack of control over our own brains and hearts- it simply did not work. I can not speak for you. I can only speak for me. We were not supported by our church (or the many we tried) because any time we tried to have a voice we were reprimanded.  We went through a stage where we felt huge rejection from the church community...we were no longer a part of their team and we were worse than pagans because we KNEW all the rules and chose to walk away. It was the whole "wolf in sheeps clothing" scare tactic. It used to bother me that I was considered a wolf but now I love that concept with a few tweaks to it's manifestation. I don't want to be a wolf that desires to devour anyone but I DO want to be a lone wolf that sometimes has an amazing pack beside her.  I want to run in freedom and howl at the moon. 

I still run into former acquaintances, "friends" or family or distant connections that react with superiority, control, jealousy or bitterness at the extreme success of my life because of our "strange decisions." What I find ironic, is that I do not push our decisions on them so why are they feeling threatened? Yes, if someone asks I will speak. On my own blog or with treasured friends I will SHARE my life, but I do not expect people to take our decisions as their own. I want people to make their own decisions. Yes, stepping out of church was one of the most freeing decisions of our life. Stepping out of the educational system brought even a higher magnitude of freedom and love...but one can stay in these places and have the same results. My best friend loves her kids in school. We are still best friends. The illusion many religious people have is that because they expect everyone to believe their way that of course every other brain works this way too. If I am an atheist (which I would not say I am) then of course I am going to try to convert others to atheism (sarcasm intended) because that is a religious goal. That is not how I live or would want others to treat me.

The first few years, after stepping out of church, we actually received anonymous phone calls.  I had at least six anonymous calls. I also had elders calling and friend's husbands asking to speak to me and tell me what a hypocrite I have become. All but one voice were men and while my husband was the target at times, he will be the first to admit I was the one who received the most attacks. Once I answered the phone to someone whispering "heretic." This terrified me but once I got my brave on I became angry and it solidified that I was on the right path. If these are the people who want me to reform my ways, they just bring more justification that I do not want to be reformed.

When I used to write my public blog I had an angry family member call my husband about a post they felt I should not have written. Funny enough it was a post that helped women and I received many emails about. It was also the toughest post I had ever written from a place of huge vulnerability. I also had my husband backing me up on it. That did not matter to this person. What mattered was that my husband "was not wearing any balls... and how could he allow his wife to selfishly write these things...doesn't she have aspergers or something? How can she possibly counsel people with something like that." I heard these words. I unfortunately can not forget them. I have forgiven the ignorance and misinterpretation but I will never forget how they changed me. I mistakenly internalized them. I went over and over what I could have done wrong. I doubted myself. I moved my blog. I cried. I let this person's mistaken perceptions of me rule for awhile. I took my blog private for many months before I secretly opened up this current blog. Then one day anger woke me up. Anger can be our greatest ally. The anger was followed by compassion. I realized that this particular person's beliefs and perceptions make up how they take who I am. They internalize who they are and react from their own ways' of being in the world. It's not a reflection on me- it's a reflection on their past hurts, their past experiences and how they take information. I was sorry I may have triggered a sore topic but my husband reminded me that they could choose not to read. They can choose to get on a bandwagon with others and discuss how I am a horrible person but I get to choose if this will restrict my perception of myself. They are allowed to be angry but how they show that anger depends on who they are. If we do not have strong relationships with people, attacking or making assumptions is not the way to build healthier connections. I realized I wrote that post with the best of intents to help others. I also wrote it to help myself and that is not a bad thing either. It is okay that they did not like it- I dislike many stranger's blogs and have had to stop following people who once spoke into my journey but no longer fit. The fact was, I was a virtual stranger to this person. I can't expect a stranger to understand where I am coming from. Some strangers will get it because we are on the same sync but the ones who do not are either there for a good challenge of growth or to carry on. This was an important lesson for me.

Rejection often stems from people feeling threatened. They may feel judged or envious or at a loss for how they can get to where you are without the hard choices. They may not know their own paths so may try to sabotage yours. They may believe they are on a divine path from God to deliver you to heaven. Or maybe they are not too insightful and like to follow the crowd. Maybe they are genuinely happy with that? If they are- kudos to them. It's not your life. You have your own problems with your set of choices and they have theirs. It should not be a life goal to be liked or understood by everyone. Richness is found in one or two people who understand and love deeply. Be your best advocate. I can't guarantee that this will not bring it's own set of problems, battles and wounds but it may reap the following benefits: autonomy, independence, freedom and pure love that does not come with strings or threats of hell. Rejection is their issue and not yours. Once you learn that, life becomes infinitely more bearable.

It is good to have boundaries- boundaries are not rejection of others but an honouring of both people. You are honouring your need for respect and space, and you are honouring them as person by still healthily respecting them from afar. There is a big difference between boundaries and rejection or the natural ebb and flow of life. Honour the ones who, despite making different choices or choosing different beliefs, still honour who you ARE. I have a few good friends who believe vastly different than I do. We have occasional group forums that gather speakers from all religions, beliefs and life choices that may not reflect our own. People who attend these events are a combination of believers, atheists and agnostics. Most of the time the dialogue is safe and respectful despite these facts. It IS possible to have relationships without conformity. I am friends with educators and people who firmly believe that the school system is the only way to become a fully developed adult. I laugh most of their statements off. The statements that stick to my bones make me rethink and healthily re adjust some of my own thoughts. I know what I believe and I don't need to force it on them. Sometimes I argue because it is fun to discuss but most of the time I stay silent if the relationship is more important than the issues. I am not advocating people to drop any relationship with anyone who believes or acts differently. I am, however, asking you to please not internalize any rejection you may find along life's journey. 

You are worthy because you exist.

Song choice one: How Deep is Your Love- Bee Jees (My husband and I used to have this as our theme song when we were first married because we felt very attacked about our union. People were constantly intentionally and unintenitionally breaking us down. We finally realized we belong to "you and me" exclusively.)

Song choice two: This is still our theme song. Get's me pumped every time I hear it. I'm a child of 80's rock:) "Let em say we're crazy- I don't care about that. Put your hand in my hand baby and don't ever look back."


Rae said...

I love how insightful and wise you are. I just want to hang out with you and listen to your thoughtful reflections all day. <3

Kmarie Audrey said...

awwww:) LOVE this comment and YOU. Thank you. I just want to hang out and listen to your reflections too- you help me with so many things from aspie moments to instagram ( you really helped me gain a new perspective!)

nyssa said...

amazing and wise and beautiful and eye opening and exactly what I needed to read, today. xoxoxoxo thank you for your fierce bravery and honesty.

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing a little bit because of the email I just sent you (great minds really do think alike) and after reading your post I had an a-ha moment where I realized that it isn't that there aren't a lot of things to do but that I miss the social aspect and the feeling of belonging. while I was in the hospital I met many different people from backgrounds completely different from my own and the weird thing I've noticed about being in a place where you are at your lowest and most vulnerable, is that you make instant, strong connections with people and friendships develop on the spot with many people. I think it's because those who are different are excluded or, as the case may be, they exclude themselves. When you find someone of your tribe you instantly know and I have found there is often a feeling like a missing puzzle piece has fallen into place when you meet that person. That's how I think of your friendship - we are comfortable with each other because we understand not fitting in to the crowd, being chastised for our beliefs and decisions, and questioning the norm. our town can be a very lonely place; in the 5 years I've lived here I have really only made one friend that I feel completely comfortable sharing the truth of my life (that's you by the way!) and I often feel like I'm still a foreigner in a strange land. I really didn't realize how lonely I was until my hospital visits this past year and all the amazing people that I met and are able to stay in touch with. I guess even chronically depressed and anxious introverts need some friends after all! Thank you for including me in your circle - I appreciate it more than you could imagine! - S.H.

Kmarie Audrey said...

Nyssa: oh I am so glad you loved it and it was what you needed! It did take some bravery and honesty for sure:) Thank you for respecting my voice always and adding yours to the mix. You are a brave, honest and valued member of my life team! xoxo

S.h- This is completely validating and heart melting and thank you so much. You just made my day! Yes when a tribe member is found it’s like a puzzle piece is put back into place! I also feel that with your friendship. I am sorry it is such a lonely place tho~ and yes we introverted types may not spend a lot of time friendshiping but we know who are friends are and can be comphy without a lot of time. I know you understand that and I appreciate it.
I am glad you met such amazing people on your journey and I hope you can keep those contacts.
I am so glad you are in my circle!

S said...

Hello Kmarie, hope you are doing fine. Commenting here after a long time.
Thank you for sharing this post. I have often felt like you and what you have written about your situations. A point came in my life where I numbed my senses ( which is not good I know ) and detached myself from every one else. Later on, I questioned my fears, my existence and tried searching for some paths where I could be happy , on my own in this lonely path. I am slowly getting there.
I feel very similar to you when you wrote about the choice that you have made(you wrote- "because I have made important choices that exclude me from most groups"). I too have made that choice. I would love to call it conscious living as opposed to forced living or living blindly. And I made that choice because this choice would lead me to where I want to go. I would like to be happy and not pulled down by others into their negativity . I would rather be happy than friendless. And it is always a difficult choice- to stand alone because you are searching for light in the darkness, beauty in ugliness -when others have convinced themselves that light does not exist, beauty does not exist- whereas we try finding them and if not possible, we create them.

Kmarie Audrey said...

I have so missed you and wondered where you were and if you are ok!!!! But I also knew that you will show up when you are ready or needing to. xoxox.
I have also been through a stage of detachment- sometimes it is necessary...I don't know if you ever watch the show Once Upon a time? But there was a recent episode where Regina is given something of value to do what is necessary because she can get past her emotions to do the dirty work...and my husband turned to me and said., " That is you- you will get past your emotions to do what is necessary to cause the least harm but do something very hard. You have that balance of darkness and light...maybe its why you are so isolated?" And to be honest- I am comfortable with that. I also knows it scares some and greatly comforts others to have me on their team. I guess it depends on perspective. Yes conscious living! I may stand alone but I also stand together in my alone ness with people like you- so technically I am not alone. I am separate yet together...Kind of like an avenger:) ha ha- we are together yet needing to do our work and living separately:)

creating is a huge part of fulfilled living! thanks for your comment and please update me sometime on how you are!

S said...

Hello Kmarie,
Thanks for your feedback. I was not feeling too well in the past months, went through a lot of confusions ( medicines reacting badly on me and now I stopped ) but this month, I am getting better. I have brought certain changes in my life/lifestyle. I am also thinking of starting a new blog to write about these changes. Somehow,I have this urge to open a new blog every time I go through a transition.
I can see through people and situations and I am so detached and yet I am so involved with humanity and the human cause that there are times I wish that I could be spared from feeling these two extreme kinds of feelings...
And no, I have never watched Once upon a time. I will try to learn what it is about though.
I saw that you wrote a new post today.
I am going to read it soon, maybe later today and give you feedback.
take care,

Kmarie Audrey said...

I am so sorry you went through so much pain and confusion! I hate being on medicines and suffering the reactions and side effects so I feel deeply for you.
PLEASE send me your blog link when you are ready! I understand needing change and can not wait to travel alongside you, savour your wisdom and be inspired together.
I understand those two extremes....
I think you would like Once Upon a time...it can be more graphic in the first season but its creative and magical....and it transitions into the growth of the people during seasons which I like...bad guys don't stay simply bad guys all the time...and vice versa:)
You are a dear soul and I wish you so much good!

Ashe said...

I like you more and more the more I read your blog. I had a similar background. Brought up in church, scratched my head over the oddities, quietly sneaked away, settled very happily into my own private relationship with spirituality. Except nobody really noticed I was gone. Much less had the brass to talk to me directly about it. Or try to go behind my back and attack somebody about it. I had one or two incidents where one busybody family was trying to scare my grandparents into thinking I was suicidal and promiscuous, and I made sure they knew how I felt about it. They've left me alone since then.

Some stupid part of me still wants to find THE ONE group where I can hang out and be fully accepted. Reality sets in every so often and I tailor my companionship. Get this need from this bunch, that need from that bunch, etc. I'll be glad when that drive decides to go into park.

Kmarie Audrey said...

Thanks: ) That is always nice to hear! Hmmmm I am sorry no one noticed and that you were attacked once...it is good in that situation that you said it straight.

I understand that need as it was quite prominent for a few years...Crossing thirty seemed to really change that for me. I am quite a hermit compared to my old self and am loving it. I have found where I belonged though in a sense due to the net, my little family and good friends but I also understand that need and desire...sometimes it still happens to me but rarely...I used to wonder why I never fit in any group and now I wonder why I wanted to be with people so much...I think it helps to have one person besides my hubby and kids who accepts me no matter what- that is when it changed for me...when I could be my full weird self with my best friend...and then after a few years that need disappeared. I feel lucky to know people through the net like you and such too. it is like what you said- filling different needs through different forums and groups I guess:)