mickey

Rejection & Loss of Identity

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Once of the last few character flaws that I consciously try to work on is the fear of rejection.
 
It’s funny….knowing this was what I wanted to work on, I found a new therapist and he ended up letting me go, because he thought I was a hedonist. Not only am I a hedonist, but until I decide to release that style of life, I’m going to continue to have issues. I basically told him that with rejection being the core of my issues, I’d have them even if I was a soccer mom. I haven’t been to a therapist since.
 
So, I just picked up a book to read that I’ve owned for a little while, but haven’t made the time to read. It’s called ‘Don’t Take it Personally! The Art of Dealing with Rejection’ by Elayne Savage, Ph.D. She writes it from her own experience, so so far it’s not academic.
 
Something struck me in the first couple of pages.
 
First of all, I find that I define rejection differently than she does. To me, abandonment is an action that someone takes, based on their own issues. Rejection is someone judging something (you), finding them unworthy and then leaving.
 
For this author, she defines rejection as two ‘specific anxiety tornados’: the fear of being abandoned and the fear of losing our identity. Wow. I didn’t realize they both fell under rejection. I still like my definition, but will play with hers.



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The one that intrigues me is the ‘fear of losing our identity’. Boy have I had that! I can remember saying, ‘I’m Dawn. Not Dave and Edie’s daughter. Not Richard’s sister. Not Sister Peek’s granddaughter. Not Mickey’s wife. Not Travis and Alex’s mom.’ Yes, I’m all of those things, but at the core of it all, I’m Dawn. And I was tired of people not remembering my name or knowing me for me.
 
Yet, today, I’m dawn of ‘Dan and dawn’. I’m Dan’s wife, Dan’s slave. And I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m also slave dawn and Rev. Dawn. I’m fine with that. I feel like I have an identity and people know me for me and for ‘Dan and dawn’. I’m not worried about losing my ever-changing identity. Or so I think. I bet there is some fear there somewhere.
 
But, understanding this ‘fear of loss of identity’ concept, helps me understand others in my life. When I read that, a lightbulb went off in my head. THAT’S what is going on!!! OH! I understand it now. I don’t particularly like it because it feels like it chisels at my identity, but I understand it.
 

I’m going to sit with this for a while. 

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