How to Get Over Rejection
How to get over rejection – when all you yearn for is for your loved one to embrace you again?
How to get over rejection – when you feel that you’ll never be okay until your precious one returns to salve your wounds and make you whole again?
How to get over rejection – when all you want is for the pain to stop by gluing yourself back to your partner to rid yourself of the searing pain of separation?
How to get over rejection – when you think that you must have done something wrong and desperately want to put things right?
How to get over rejection – when you want to engage and prove your worth, so as to become desirable again to your loved one?
How to get over rejection when you’ve invested so much?
Carly a 38-year-old owner of a day-care for prekindergarten children had always dreamed of having her own home and family with the man of her dreams. She had invested a lot in her last romantic relationship and was shaken when her boyfriend Conan swore she was “it” one minute, and then went AWOL the next. After the agonizing roller-coaster ride, he dumped her and supplanted her with drugs. How to get over rejection when she thought everything was going well? Was she living in another world? How could she not have known? How to get over rejection when she stuck it out for so long and still felt invested with the hopes of a committed future?
After several disappointing romantic relationships, Carly was about to give up hope when she met the perfect person. Jeremy, a 32-year-old Disc Jockey talked about her beauty, her goodness, and about wanting a family. They had fun together when they went out, making Carly feel special and attractive. He was so attentive – exactly what Carly needed after her yo-yo relationship with Conan. She fell for him and imagined that he would marry her and set up home to start a family. Then she could safely leave home and be separate from her mother. But within a few months Jeremy was talking about her being a burden and spending less time with her. He kept breaking up and then making up until he finally ended the relationship, and went with another woman. Carly’s insecurity flared up – she escalated her attempts to please him, tempt him and promise him whatever he wanted; putting up with his indiscretions, helping him with his business start-up -hoping to keep him close.
How to get over rejection when you have created a dreamy vision of life with your partner?
Carly couldn’t accept that Conan had soured on her. She hadn’t done anything to hurt him, instead absorbing the hurt that he shoveled on her. Anything to keep the attachment feeling secure. But the pain of separation by being dumped as something worthless seared her heart and soul. When the pain became unbearable, she tried to feel strong by distracting herself with at work and tasks at home. Soon she got exhausted and felt the ache of loss, the rawness of the separation and the fear of being lost.
Carly comforted herself by imagining Jeremy calling her, coming back, holding her and telling her how much he missed her. She remembered Jeremy smiling at her, holding her hand, stroking her hair, putting his arm around her, and promising that they were made for each other. The fantasy kept the relationship alive inside her. She was filled up with the imagined relationship rather than feel empty and depleted when she tried to be strong. Sometimes Carly imagined Conan, her previous boyfriend giving up the drugs, and coming to rescue her, recognizing his mistakes and wanting to make amends.
How to get over rejection when being rejected makes you feel dirty, lost and invisible
Carly couldn’t concentrate on driving to and from work, nor on the job when she got there. It was as if she had been cut adrift and put in a strange world that she didn’t know how to navigate. It was as if she were an infant expected to survive in a rough adult world.
And that’s exactly what happened to her when she was little.
She was abruptly weaned from the breast and from the bottle onto solids while a baby brother took up mother’s attention. Those sudden ‘rejections’ gave Carly her earliest experiences of painful separation and desperation to reunite which she insisted on doing by pushing baby brother away to get on mom’s lap, and later by having melt downs when her mother took her brother to her work, leaving Carly behind.
Carly was traumatized by her early experience of rejection via her abrupt early weaning off the breast and having to compete with another sibling so soon after her birth. She carried it with her into her adult romantic relationships and was unable to wean herself off her attachments that mimicked those with her mother. Despite going to college and setting up her own business, Carly had never left home. Staying close to her mother was important, especially as her brother had left, got married and had his own family. Basically, Carly was trying to undo and mitigate the trauma of her early weaning and intrusion of her sibling – having mom all to herself now.
How to get over rejection when you are attracted to those who are bound to reject you?
Carly didn’t stay in relationships with men who were nice, caring and stable. She didn’t experience that thrill, that suspense and energy with predictable and reliable men. It wasn’t satisfying if it was so easy to be loved.
She was attracted to those who appeared loving, reliable and mesmerized with her, just like her mother seemed when Carly was born and breast feeding was easy. But when feeding was uncomfortable and another child arrived, Carly found her mother to be unpredictable and unavailable. In order to survive; she had to be remembered and adored as she once had been. The powerful need to reunite in that special way was now engulfing Carly in her adult romantic breakup with Jeremy. She couldn’t ‘get over’ the rejection anymore than she could change her life history. She cycled between feeling strong and active by being busy to a state of longing and visions of reuniting in a loving embrace to ease her pain.
How to get over rejection and learn to fall in love with non-rejecting partners
The devastating experience of romantic rejection is an echo of the terrifying rejection in early infancy and beyond. In order to get over it and be attracted to more stable, reliable and nurturing lovers, Carly needs to have an experience where she can safely trust another person to be available, interested, accommodating, reliable and focused only on her. She needs to have those early months and years restored to her in a more nourishing manner so that she can feel safe enough to separate and reunite in a more regular fashion rather than with the desperate manner she currently engages in. Individual relationship therapy within a solid therapeutic relationship will do the job.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.2019
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