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REJECTION - it's hard to swallow

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Mental illness often brings with it excess sensitivity among many other quirky characteristics. Quirky because we aren't talking about common sensitivity, we are talking about being really easy to upset and indeed remain upset for a long period of time.

Hence we react heavily to bullying, embarrassing moments, financial pressures etc. We worry and worry isn't good. What about rejection?

I suspect my mother to have BPD in the extreme and she's left a train wreck where ever she has been within both sides of my family. Every time my sister or I have had a falling out with her we also have lost other relatives or family friends. But there was one auntie that I've lost and its hard to swallow.

As a boy she was the dairy farmers wife with 7 kids, my cousins and we'd cart hay and go rabbiting. She was the warmth that filled her home. She was the stable older female in my life that filled the hole when my mother would be on her crusades against others or me depending on her mood.

See, the problem with excess BPD people when they don't get treatment (so don't take it personally) is that some gather support from other family members and before you know it you've got many of these that no longer talk to you no matter how hard you try. But this auntie (by marriage) I didn't expect to reject me. I'm 60yo she is 82yo. I've written 3 letters in the last 4 years mentioning what a wonderful auntie she was when I was young and how I understand her hardship over many years.So what is the best action for me now?

Well what I've done is write many times letters on the computer then erased them. It helps. The other thing is to imagine in your mind that these people that reject you have a limited understanding of what its like to live a life in your shoes.  How could this auntie possibly understand what its like to be a child of a very excessive train wreck of a mother that has periodically abused you and not given you a stable childhood?

Letter writing is effective. Today I wrote my auntie 4 letters, none of them will be sent. My first letter had anger in it. Comments like "I've never got between you and your children when you've argued so why are you taking sides in this family rift?" Comments of justifying my situation or more like not justifying her stance.

The last letter was much shorter and I wished her well, that she has choices in life and I do also. I wished her good health. And that I loved her regardless. Then erased that to. Now I'm at peace.

11 Replies 11

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi White Knight,

Thanks for this post. So much of it resonated with me.

I appreciated your words about mental illness can make us so sensitive to everything around us!

Maybe I won't give up the Church family just yet nor my CFS mates!

Thanks for the reminder that writing can be a very powerful healing tool.

You are so right, rejection can be very painful.

Thinking of you, from Lauren


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

dear Tony, I have to say that what you have written is what you wanted to do and say, but are you at peace by deleting them, and you know that I would never ever try and upset you.

Your auntie was once someone that you took pride in, as you were growing up, but over the years or perhaps on a single occasion 'she was got to', by whom, well who knows, but it is terribly disappointing for this to happen and then change on how she feels for you.

Perhaps these letters do reflect on what you actually want to say, but it may feel as though you're 'rubbing salt into a wound', in which case it's best to delete them.

Rejection is such an awful event which does happens so much, and it always seems as though people take advantage of it, so they rub it in, not knowing the hurt they are maintaining, oblivious of what is going on, but the person still suffers in silence.

I know that your life has been hard, but when we tell people that there will some light, then you are the classic example to be able to pull through.

I realise that once we have had depression, there is a strong chance to overcome it, but that doesn't mean we are over it totally, however what it does is to make us think what is positive and what is negative, and once this does happen, then bingo, a much more peaceful existence.

It's not easy we know, but you're a soldier. Geoff.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Geoff,

It's a habit of mine to analyse things for no real reason. My dear auntie has not contacted me for 9 years or so yet I bring up the topic in my mind without provocation. I over think things. Some say "just let it go" - I find that really hard.  Self control isn't my good point.

So the letter writing goes on as long as its erased it does good for me.  My "hard life" was emotionally hard. But many people have hard lives. I just cant come to terms of rejection.

I've always assessed myself as lacking in "street wisdom". This is my terminology. Means wit associated with wisdom that others pick up in their teens. Extremely naïve. Less so now of course.

Anyway, today was a good day and so busy in the vegie patch I didn't think at all about my auntie. Winter, bored inside out of the cold....might be my enemy.

Tony WK

What if the rejection is not real but it is in your mind? By that, I meant if someone responded in anger as a result of your action and you take it badly and dramatised it as rejection?

 I am finding it a struggle to stay as an adult especially now. I am travelling with hubby and normally, I find travelling help with managing my depression and GAD. Now, it is not working due to a number of things. I would appreciate some tips and hints on staying focus on my recovery.

Hi MG, glad you responded.

The first thing to come to my mind when you said "By that, I meant if someone responded in anger as a result of your action and you take it badly and dramatised it as rejection?" is this-

My occupational therapist in 1988 kept asking me how my week was. I'd tell him of, mainly my fears. Like "if my boss was going to knock on my door (I was on W/Compensation) or if I'd bump into my supervisor in the street (I lived a long way away) etc. My therapist asked me "are you being realistic"?

This helped me a lot because every time I had a thought built up by my imagination I'd ask me that question....Am I being real? Is it likely to happen....if not then I'm wasting my thoughts on fantasy not what is likely to occur. So when you dramatise a situation it really is a matter of not getting it in the correct perspective.

Why do we do this? How many of us dramatise matters? Well we can only guess. Some might do it because they feel insecure and want more support from others, some need a headline every day, some want more reaction from a loved one. The issue of dramatizing IMO is not the problem as there is some degree of normality in it, the problem is in the person not trying to counter it with treatment of personal improvement methods. Just like my BPD mother I opened the thread with, she isn't to blame for having chronic BPD symptoms, she is to blame for not seeking help. Help that could have saved so much hurt to not occur.

I cant tell you MG, that I am one person that takes a lot of issues on as rejection. It's like a pendulum and it swings quickly as soon as I receive a negative response. It's like my whole world crashes down. So have I done anything to counter this?

I acknowledged a long time ago that some things are ingrown and some thins can be improved. So that's where a move to a small country town started. Along with this move, a job I could live with easily (private investigator working on my own at all times) and a partner that treated me well.All these changes helped with limiting my contact with humans. Thus lessening the frequency of hurt.Introducing humour and giving people the benefit of the doubt that they didn't intentionally want to hurt me. All these things have made my life better. And of course the right medication for me. Criticism from others doesn't always mean its justified.

Beef up your own confidence by telling yourself daily how a good human you are. Love yourself.

Tony WK


Interesting topic....

i do admit I do struggle with rejection  a fair bit and am easily offended.

i also like to look Into the history of why things occur I was listening to a guy speak once and he was talking about the history of different nations and how they was founded he said most country's are founded upon rebellion and in them country's a lot of people are rebellious and like to stand up for their rights he went through along list of country's  and their history esp the county's the people in the room come from. Each country he came to was founded on rebellion then he started to go through the history of Australia and he mentioned the convicts and indigenous people and we very quickly realised that Australia was founded on rejection... Something many Aussies still live with today as the rejection did not just stay with just one generation it has carried on through many generations until this very day. I guess it is something many Aussies including myself needs to be set free of..... I know rejection is a hard thing to swallow and with  my self I can even be to scared to make a phone call from the fear of the pain from rejection. But some how I myself need to draw a line half way so that we are not walking in either rejection or rebellion. As although rejection is pretty bad the opposite to rejection which is rebellion can be just as bad.....

just a food for thought 


Sadly, when I am in the grip of anxiety and depression, asking this question ""are you being realistic"?" .....does not work. I have tried many times but I kept slipping into this dark tunnel. My loved ones are pretty getting impatient, felt helpless and mostly dreaded the whole drama scene. I felt so needy and attention seeking. 

 I have another month to go before returning to Australia so I am praying for the strength to see through this period without further breakdowns.

Hi Sparkles,

Wow, just the sort of thing I like to read so it helps me clarify in my mind how and why things come about. In my opening post I mentioned my lovely auntie that has effectively (due to no response to my letters for 3 years now) rejected me and how it hurts.

We can try to brush these things off but it isn't easy for those of us that have a dwelling mentality (for what ever reason). We cant make people love us or welcome them back into our lives ...the ultimate decision is theirs. We need to find ways to accept their decision and just remember them the way they were to us when, in my auntie's case, when I was a child. People change and she had 7 children, many grandchildren and even great grandchildren. A rouge nephew is not a priority. So rejection might be inbuilt in our personalities. The theory adds yet another possibility to the "why we are rejected" feeling.

Morning Glory, we are all different. What helped me might not help you. I understand fully. "I felt so needy and attention seeking" ....I can only feel insecurity from you in this situation. If you are insecure then you will crave attention from others. I used to feel insecure also. I had a very controlling mother (BPD) so any wonder I grew up insecure unless every moment of my life was rubber stamped by her. Of course some topics (like a girl I was dating) wasn't approved and it hurt. I so needed to have everything approved by her. Such an artificial life I led some 30 years ago.

Back to you. Your anxiety is showing. A month to go before you return to Oz. You can do this without another breakdown. I know just about anything I say wont work on you because of the depth of your issues but I'll keep trying because I've been in a similar frame of mind and clawed my way out of it. I wrote an article on this forum called "what life's like at the end of the tunnel" that might help. Try googling it.

Of course our loved ones can only do so much and the dream of a drama free life. They can only be human and that means tolerating us with problems the best they can do then that's it....it is rarely accepted by them that such toleration will be a near daily occurrence. Their ability to drop themselves into a bowl of what they see as negativity to join us, is not there. It isn't their fault. This also leaves us so alone.

Hence another reason why I'm on this forum. Because I'm among my own type.

Thankyou for sharing your life MG. Tell me more.

Tony WK

Yes, I am feeling insecure right now, mainly due to world events and in part, due to reliving the past. I have been told, to let the past go and to focus on the present. All such sensible advice and how I wished I can obliged. However, sometimes, it is just not possible. It is not so much that I wanted to cling to the past but that, sometimes, it just happened, like 'Jack in the box', it often jumps up unexpectedly, and inevitably, I foundly myself slipping into survival mode, which is altogether so frustrating. I have been living with depression and anxiety for so long, I am rather tired that it won't go away.

 If I was to tell to you a bit about my life, you would think that I am a lucky person and has little to complain about. I do try to be grateful and I know that I am lucky to be able to travel to many glamourous places that most people could only dream of. Infact, travelling has help ed to distract from the black dog, which I am grateful. the past few years, I escaped the Australian winter by travelling in Europe. It has been fun and it has it's hiccups but this time, it seemed much worse, possibly because it has been a longer trip.

Another possibility is also having to manage on a stricter budget, now that hubby is retired. Recent stock market crashed/es make me fearful of the future. Crazy, I know. I think it is the unpredictability of the future that caused these set backs. As my daughter said, I need to learn to take it one day at a time. Right now, it may have to be one hour at a time.