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A study in loneliness and rejection

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  • #428010
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels:

    (I am adding the boldface feature to the quotes in this post): “A study in loneliness and rejection... Lately I feel everything is a rejectionI feel totally rejected by society…  if I really go for something I want.. I get rejected even harder by others, things get even more crazy. It feels like the world is against me. I’m old enough that I don’t even cry anymore, its internalized…I’m so sensitive and reactive to things… I want to write about it and then I think ‘who would want to read that?‘… I write my own ideas down and disregard them, I somehow can’t formulate anything coherently or smoothly, even in art I was never satisfied with what I did because it just didn’t have the right effect. But not being able to turn left or right.. that fear of choice.. it’s mind-blowingly hard.. if I could figure that out maybe something would move forward?“- -Rejected by society, rejected by self

    <section class=”bg-blue-050 py-rem56px” data-identity=”page-header”>

    <p class=”font-normal text-rem19px leading-rem32px text-gray-800 bp900:leading-rem34px max-w-body undefined” data-identity=”intro-text”>Cleveland clinic. org: “Rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is when a person feels intense emotional pain related to rejection. The word ‘dysphoria’ comes from an ancient Greek word that describes a strong — if not overwhelming — feeling of pain or discomfort. Though RSD isn’t an officially recognized symptom or diagnosis, it’s still a term that experts use in connection with recognized conditions. While rejection is something people usually don’t like, the negative feelings that come with RSD are stronger and can be harder to manage or both. People with RSD are also more likely to interpret vague interactions as rejection and may find it difficult to control their reactions…</p>
    <p class=”font-normal text-rem19px leading-rem32px text-gray-800 bp900:leading-rem34px max-w-body undefined” data-identity=”intro-text”>”Emotional dysregulation happens when your brain can’t properly regulate the signals related to your emotions. Without that ability to manage them, it’s as if the TV volume control is stuck at a disruptively or painfully high level. In effect, emotional dysregulation is when your emotions are too loud for you to manage, causing feelings of being overwhelmed, uncomfortable or even in pain...</p>
    <p class=”font-normal text-rem19px leading-rem32px text-gray-800 bp900:leading-rem34px max-w-body undefined” data-identity=”intro-text”>”The key symptom of RSD is intense emotional pain. That pain usually has to be triggered by rejection or disapproval. However, people with RSD often have difficulty describing what it feels like because it’s so intense… Instead of losing control of their emotions outwardly, some people with RSD may turn their feelings inward. This can look like a snap onset of severe depression…</p>
    <p class=”font-normal text-rem19px leading-rem32px text-gray-800 bp900:leading-rem34px max-w-body undefined” data-identity=”intro-text”>”The condition seems to happen most often in people with ADHD… people with ADHD commonly have trouble processing information from their senses. It also makes them prone to feeling overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights or sudden changes in what’s happening around them. The brain of someone with ADHD might not be able to regulate pain-like activity, which would explain why rejection is so much more troubling and painful to someone with RSD…</p>

    </section>

    <p class=”text-gray-800 my-rem16px text-rem19px leading-rem34px” data-identity=”paragraph-element”>”Therapy can help a person learn how to process and manage feelings so they’re less overwhelming. That can help a person with RSD feel more in control of their emotions… Your provider can recommend treatment options and guide you on what you can do to help yourself as you learn to manage RSD…. Adults with RSD are more likely to experience anxiety, depression and loneliness“.</p>
    <p data-identity=”paragraph-element”>Worldofthewaterwheels, is this quoted information potentially helpful in your study in loneliness and rejection?</p>
    <p data-identity=”paragraph-element”>anita</p>

    #428011
    anita
    Participant

    Resubmitted (hoping to clear the excess print):

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels:

    (I am adding the boldface feature to the quotes in this post): “A study in loneliness and rejection... Lately I feel everything is a rejection… I feel totally rejected by society…  if I really go for something I want.. I get rejected even harder by others, things get even more crazy. It feels like the world is against me. I’m old enough that I don’t even cry anymore, its internalized…I’m so sensitive and reactive to things… I want to write about it and then I think ‘who would want to read that?‘… I write my own ideas down and disregard them, I somehow can’t formulate anything coherently or smoothly, even in art I was never satisfied with what I did because it just didn’t have the right effect. But not being able to turn left or right.. that fear of choice.. it’s mind-blowingly hard.. if I could figure that out maybe something would move forward?“-Rejected by society, rejected by self

    Cleveland clinic. org: “Rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is when a person feels intense emotional pain related to rejection. The word ‘dysphoria’ comes from an ancient Greek word that describes a strong — if not overwhelming — feeling of pain or discomfort. Though RSD isn’t an officially recognized symptom or diagnosis, it’s still a term that experts use in connection with recognized conditions. While rejection is something people usually don’t like, the negative feelings that come with RSD are stronger and can be harder to manage or both. People with RSD are also more likely to interpret vague interactions as rejection and may find it difficult to control their reactions…

    Emotional dysregulation happens when your brain can’t properly regulate the signals related to your emotions. Without that ability to manage them, it’s as if the TV volume control is stuck at a disruptively or painfully high level. In effect, emotional dysregulation is when your emotions are too loud for you to manage, causing feelings of being overwhelmed, uncomfortable or even in pain...
    ”The key symptom of RSD is intense emotional pain. That pain usually has to be triggered by rejection or disapproval. However, people with RSD often have difficulty describing what it feels like because it’s so intense… Instead of losing control of their emotions outwardly, some people with RSD may turn their feelings inward. This can look like a snap onset of severe depression
    ”The condition seems to happen most often in people with ADHD… people with ADHD commonly have trouble processing information from their senses. It also makes them prone to feeling overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights or sudden changes in what’s happening around them. The brain of someone with ADHD might not be able to regulate pain-like activity, which would explain why rejection is so much more troubling and painful to someone with RSD…
    ”Therapy can help a person learn how to process and manage feelings so they’re less overwhelming. That can help a person with RSD feel more in control of their emotions… Your provider can recommend treatment options and guide you on what you can do to help yourself as you learn to manage RSD…. Adults with RSD are more likely to experience anxiety, depression and loneliness“.
    Worldofthewaterwheels, is this quoted information potentially helpful in your study in loneliness and rejection?
    anita
    #428024

    I would say, its like someone who feels like they are in a battle, trying to communicate, trying to get by, trying to stay strong, There is really no choice if you want to survive in the world as it is. The difference is that i am highly sensitive. Trying to navigate social communications is like a minefield to me.

     

     

    #428029
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Worldofwaterwheels:

    Thank you for the explanation. I will reply further after you respond to my longer post of today, if you will. Please take your time and if you choose to respond, do it at your convenience, when you are calm enough.

    anita

    #428036

    Hi Anita, well being a soldier means to stay tough and fight an enemy in a physical way. The symptoms i feel of my life, are in the end, physical.. exhaustion, tension and stress in my body. I dont want to go off on another tangent but another factor can be hormones and changes im going through (menopause). I feel im aware of all these possibilities but i just wonder why everything feels so difficult for me when other people are much lighter.

    #428037
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels,

    I can relate to a lot of what you are saying, because my mother, although not a narcissist, made me feel bad about myself and criticized me a lot, while at the same time presenting herself as a good mom and a martyr. My father was her enabler, so to speak, because he wouldn’t protect me – his main goal was to keep her anger and sadness at bay, to keep the “peace” in the family. He never demanded her to go see a counselor and deal with her own issues, but minimized the problem and gaslighted both me and himself that things aren’t so bad.

    I can imagine that with a narcissistic mother, emotional abuse is even more severe, because she is also in competition with you and is trying to pull you down, being jealous of your successes. There is a great youtube video about narcissistic mothers and the damage they can do to their children. The title is Signs your Mother is a Covert Narcissist & How to Recover, by Barbara Heffernan.

    The sad truth is that being raised by a narcissistic mother (and I am assuming an enabler father?) does a lot of damage to the child, because it ruins both the child’s self-esteem and also trust in other people. As Anita said, the first “society” you knew was your family, and if you felt rejected by them, and even bullied, it would make sense that this is how you see the world now in your adulthood, and encounter such experiences as well.

    Our core beliefs about ourselves and the world develop based on those early childhood experiences – because that’s the “world” that we know and that we get socialized into. So we see everything through that distorted lens.

    I totally understand your pain as you go through life and encounter more and more of the painful experiences, because they probably make you believe that you will never get out of this nightmare, that you will never have it going for you.

    My suggestion is to take a step back and realize that indeed, you grew up in a nightmare, but you don’t have to keep living in one. And that there is help. There is healing. And that you are capable of healing.

    Apart from finding a therapist who knows how to deal with victims of narcissistic abuse, the first step in healing is always self-compassion. Try to have compassion for the little girl that you were, being deprived of true love and tenderness, and being manipulated by a mother who only cared about her own needs. Have compassion for that little girl who, like every other child, was in a huge need of love and appreciation, and received so little.

    You can help yourself and help that little girl get what she needs. With the help of therapy, you will be able to slowly but surely meet your basic needs. Maybe you can start with self-care: do something that soothes your body and soul, something that you enjoy.

    It can take years to recover…to meet someone compatible to me so i can finally relax a bit more, enjoy life more..ive been like a soldier for so long, there is no mistake when people say this.

    You don’t necessarily need to wait till you meet someone to relax and enjoy life. Try to relax your body in a warm bath, try to create for yourself small, simple experiences of relaxation, and try to enjoy and savor those moments. Start small, with something that you can create for yourself, not waiting for others. That would be a part of self-care, and so crucial for starting to meet your basic needs, both physical and emotional. It’s a long road, but it starts with self-care and self-compassion…

    I hope this helped a little… I am rooting for you, Worldofthewaterwheels!

     

    #428052
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels:

    A soldier as you mean it: “someone who feels like they are in a battle, trying to communicate, trying to get by, trying to stay strong, There is really no choice if you want to survive in the world as it is… to stay tough and fight an enemy“- the World is the Enemy. An enemy is not to be trusted. An enemy is to be survived, not to get close to.

    More about being a soldier from your earlier posts: “I’m worried about my survival….being..  bullied and targeted… for no real reason… I’m an attractive polite and kind woman who has had a lot of bad things happen to her, I didn’t complain…Guys seem rude and aggressive… .what it is that sets it off? being nice? saying hi? Because I don’t understand it… I’ve often looked in the mirror and wondered…do I have a dumb expression? is it the shape of my face somehow? my body?… I’ve managed to survive this far, mainly by finding the strength in myself…no drugs, no therapy.. just hanging in there“- an Enemy that bullies and targets the innocent, an enemy that needs to be survived.

    The results of the battle, from your most recent post: “The symptoms I feel of my life, are in the end, physical.. exhaustion, tension and stress in my body“- War is draining, exhausting.

    Trying to navigate social communications is like a minefield to me“, you wrote yesterday. Pervasive, persistent and enduring distrust in people is akin to living on a minefield, to being at war: being hypervigilant to verbal attacks by others,  being inclined to misinterpret benign remarks by others as hurtful or threatening, being suspicious of others’ motives, believing they’re trying to hurt your feelings when they aren’t, etc. This makes intimate relationships and close friendships impossible, and it makes workplace relationships difficult.

    It would be nice to believe other people go through this but I know, it’s not the case for a lot of people and they are just chemically/behaviourly different than I am. There are people out there who do not get depressed like this and don’t understand it… I notice when I hang out with some other people that they have light minds… there may be some sad stuff or difficult stuff, but they are not weighed down, brush it off quicker and move on… I just wonder why everything feels so difficult for me when other people are much lighter“-

    – I think that other people are lighter and more resilient than you (brush it off quicker, etc.) because there is someone in their lives that they trust. For humans, as for other social animals (dog, coyote, wolf, etc.), trust in others (not in all others, but in some others) makes positive, trusting social interactions possible. It is the positive, trusting social interactions with others that keep us lighter and more resilient in the face of difficulties.

    Alone for too long, the social animal’s neuro-chemistry really changes and the animal becomes sick. A dog that’s left alone for too long becomes anxious, depressed, lethargic and aggressive.  A dog that has plenty of social interactions wags his tail, is affectionate.. lighter. A social animal is not meant to be alone; you are not meant to be alone.

    You physically survived your abusive childhood, but your trust in other people was lost along the way, and mistrust took over. Most likely, one group of your negative adult-life experiences with other people was the result of their wrongdoings; a second group was the result of your misinterpretation of others’ expressions, words an actions, and the third group was the result of your expressed mistrust in others turning them off to you, leading them to reject you.

    Healing as much as is possible for you, I believe, will take identifying these 3 groups in your life, past and present.

    anita

    #428053

    Hi Anita, i didnt see there was a second page and started answering before i read the rest!

    Thanks for the description of RSD, it does sound like my experiences..i guess that you would say you have to find the root cause of the sadness to stop from overfeeling? Or does that make a difference? Do i just continue with the same experiences because it is how i am made up. For instance, i could say, Well im a scorpio, a water sign and people will immediately roll their eyes because this is typified as someone who is intense, emotional and deep or mysterious. What you identify with in your head though is what matters and it takes enormous will power to convince myself that i can be something else.

    Hi Tee, it sounds like a similar family experience to mine. There was no violence, no shouting even but my mom was always at the top and my dad often seems incredibly weak. I know that he comes from a similar experience with his mom so its perhaps not surprising but it was a negative effect on us kids growing up. We basically learnt…that bullies always win. My mom could victimize herself easily with him being very apologetic. I believe in fact many people have grown up with this dynamic either way if they had two parents. Inevitably, with two people there is a push and pull of competition with each other and affection.

    That “dual” mentality, my subconscious being from that background and my consciousness knowing what is in fact right, is very difficult for me. I get tired easily by my thoughts going left and right trying to work it out, the uncertainty wins. And in social situations i often dont follow what is going on, the subtexts below the talking. I reckoned, if i was “nice” in life, id get by but that is far from the case! you get crushed by the people who are out there looking to win against other people. I feel like there is always a lot of jealousy around me and i cant control it, how others react to me, but it ruins everything. I often feel angry that other people are rude, mean or wonder what their problem is. I know what it is though…they want attention. Maybe my childhood has made me cold, unreactive…but then again, i have to defend myself against what i perceive as possible danger right?

    I do try to do the small things, and have been. Its not always successful, but ive been conscious of just being kinder to myself if possible. Im well aware theres no such thing as the perfect childhood. People i will come across will have been through stuff. I just want to be able to function enough to have friends, a relationship. It felt lately like everything just fell away. I got resentful about friends not answering my texts, not able to meet. Then tired, then depressed. Not a big surprise.

    Thanks again

    #428060
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels:

    I am glad that you located my previous post that included the RSD information (when I submitted my post for you two hours ago, I assumed that you read the previous but ignored it).

    I don’t know if you noticed my recent post, the one I submitted a couple of hours ago (it starts with: “Dear Worldofthewaterwheels: A soldier as you mean it:…”).

    I will get back ton your thread Fri morning (it is Thurs almost noon here) and reply further to your most recent post and to anything you may add to it before I return to you).

    anita

    #428079
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels,

    You are welcome!

    There was no violence, no shouting even but my mom was always at the top and my dad often seems incredibly weak

    Indeed, there are similarities with our families, although there was yelling in my family – my mother couldn’t control her emotions and she would have angry outbursts at my father and me. When I became a teenager, I started yelling back, so there was conflict.

    But my father never wanted conflict and he tried to appease my mother and calm her down. He allowed to be yelled at and insulted. I think he suppressed his own anger and numbed himself emotionally. I guess that’s how he could stay mostly unaffected by her insults and accusations (I mean, he could go about his life, he had professional successes and was respected at work. Just not at home).

    But for me as a child, my mother’s constant complaints, bitterness and misery were devastating. I grew up in it, and it formed me. I never felt good enough and no matter what I did, it couldn’t make my mother happy. She too blamed everybody else (specially me and my father) for her unhappiness. She fits your description very well: “My mom could victimize herself easily with him being very apologetic.”

    The result of it all is that I grew up believing I was bad and that there is something terribly wrong with me. Similarly like you believe about yourself: Its like there is something wrong with me and i cant put a finger on exactly what.

    A bit more specifically, this is what you said about yourself:

    i do loathe myself in the sense that, i cant seem to put a foot right..just nothing works out for me. Like i seemed to discover, oh! im a dork…not a creative nerd. A real loser who can only fuck up.

    The false core belief would be: I am a dork. I am a loser.

    I am guessing it has been formed based on many instances of being put down and ridiculed by your mother. Or compared to others. It has been formed based on your mother’s general attitude to you: that there is something wrong with you.

    First your mother believed you were not good enough, and was sending you this message, and then you started believing it too. It became your “truth”. Because as children, we believe our parents, they are our mirrors. Their behavior towards us tells who we are and if we are lovable and worthy or not. And if they say bad things about us, if they mistreat us, we believe them. We always blame ourselves, not our parents.

    When we grow up, we still have that same false core belief working in us. And we sort of attract more of the similar experiences of failure and embarrassment. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Basically, if deep down you believe that you are a failure, you will indeed fail. And I think that’s been happening to you all these years.

    ***

    You have another set of core beliefs, which is about other people. You believe that everybody is jealous of you and nobody wants you to succeed. I think that too is the result of your mother being jealous and competitive with you, even to this day when she isn’t happy when you achieve success but goes silent.

    These are your experiences (in your adulthood) of people being jealous of you and trying to undermine you:

    When i really did well, there was always someone in the crowd visibly unhappy and it would bother me.

    There has always been someone more accomplished vying for my job, or next to me or coming up behind me. Always a boss who wanted more and made me feel like i wasnt enough. A boyfriend who needed more of something i didnt have. I never mastered a corner of the room for myself that somebody else couldnt do. So therefore i feel fairly worthless.

    You get crushed by the people who are out there looking to win against other people. I feel like there is always a lot of jealousy around me and i cant control it, how others react to me, but it ruins everything.

    I often feel angry that other people are rude, mean or wonder what their problem is. I know what it is though…they want attention.

    When you read the above examples, does it apply to your childhood as well? Because my guess is that you’ve experienced something similar in the relationship with your mother, even as a child and young adult, and that’s where the main wound stems from.

    The main false belief in this area of your life (area of relationships) would be: People want you to fail. People want to hurt you. People are not to be trusted.

    This unconscious belief is what directs your relationships and how you see people. And that too becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    As Anita said, there were for sure instances where people wanted to harm you and take advantage of you. But there were probably also instances where you misinterpreted their intentions, or where you approached them with mistrust, ready to defend yourself (i have to defend myself against what i perceive as possible danger right?), and they didn’t like it.

    My take is that a part of your experiences (not all) is based on these false beliefs that run in the back of your mind, and attract such events. I am writing this not to dispute your reality, but to tell you that there is more to experience, that there is a broader reality, in which not everybody is out to get you, and in which you are not a dork but a wonderful and creative person.

    These false beliefs were created due to repeated negative experiences with our parents, but they can be reversed, with healing.

    What do you think of all this?

     

    #428080
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels,

    I just want to slightly rephrase the second set of  false beliefs, since false beliefs are always expressed in the “me” form:

    People want me to fail. People want to hurt me. People are not to be trusted.

    #428102
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels:

    You wrote earlier: “Trying to navigate social communications is like a minefield to me“. I’m thinking that given the complex nature of the communication on your thread, it’s better that you will communicate with one member at a time, not with two (or more) members at one time. It will make it simpler for you, I hope.

    I read Tee’s reply right above mine, it is insightful and so very well written, and I hope that you continue to  communicate with her. Sometime in the future, if you’d like my input (here on this thread or in another that you may start), please let me know.

    anita

     

    #428593
    anita
    Participant

    It’s been 18 days since you last posted, how are you, Worldofthewaterwheels?

    anita

    #428637

    Hi Anita, Hi Tee, Thanks for your messages

    Its been a while and ive been seeing a therapist.

    So far, not really getting much further, just talking about feelings. Its tiring to dredge through thoughts and try to make sense, i so wish i wasnt in my situation…The therapist is talking about the emotional child state and the rational adult state..fair enough. I think she feels im trapped still in my early adolescent child state when it comes to relationships. Im tired of looking to my parents as a source of my problems..even if they fit a picture, they have been supportive through this. I know you might say its perpetuating a certain pattern in my life but right now..i have no one else really around me.

    im aware that losing my work (which i strongly felt a sense of worth through) has had a terrible affect but its also the way it naturally seemed to play out so unfairly. I lost my main job and then due to similar circumstances changing the market, my second job decided they would not continue working with me…they had given me enough notice and i just drifted to the finish line going through the motions. …. After i lost this side job i just sank into a big depression and felt cut off and isolated from the social circle i had (my work colleagues).

    My attempts last year to widen my circle of friends and meet someone to date also were painful and unsuccessful…depressing again to think of. I have a hard time with social stuff and often find myself feeling attacked by others, i guess i come across as too soft with others but its not in fact how i am…in any case, social interactions are like a minefield of intentions, game playing and hierarchical domination…i read so much into it that in the end id rather not try! Dating used to be pretty easy…now it seems the guys i met were distant, not compatible or just plain looking for a quick connection..not my thing.

    Therapist and family both saying just take your time and be kind to yourself. I just find that really hard…i feel myself getting frustrated and angry all the time. I want things to work NOW. Small things going wrong in the day have almost sent me over the edge…. I dont really know how to get out of that negative spiral. I get upset and just think this is fate, im failing in every way. Then i try and take a breath, take a break…get so tired by the problems and overthinking that i cant do anything productive.

    I cant let go of the need, the feeling i need, to achieve things..to compete and do well compared to others. By contrast a friend of mine who also left the same company has been going from strength to strength, business going well, even meeting a nice guy online. Im not talking about lover forever..but just that its going well is a real sting to me…he has even helped her get a project doing something she always wanted to do.  Im never really jealous but now i just felt really like life is giving to other people and not to me..I was happy for her but at the same time she seemed to be rubbing it in my face. She and I used to hang out a lot but now she´s too busy most of the time (or not wanting to meet) and tells me casually about things she is doing (with others). Finally i just got angry about it and stopped replying to her, i know its childish but im going through a really hard time and have this sinking feeling that we are moving apart naturally and i should move on.

    I can see there are others who feel this way, either lost their purpose or have been mutely going through the motions, feeling stuck. Im now at another crossroads in my life where i have to make some big decisions and im frightened to do the wrong thing. Im aware that you can´t in fact “make the wrong move” when life is a question of trial and error anyway (and so, to give myself a break) but my fear is still there.  I dont want to be in this situation, if i look at others they seem fortunate. I also just dont have faith that what i put my heart into will be a success, ive seen so much disappointment that i cant bear any more.

    So im not doing much…just day to day stuff and feeling uneasy about time passing but unable to shake the depressed feeling. I dont know if any of this introspection will lead anywhere.

     

    #428638
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Worldofthewaterwheels: Good to read back from you! I will read and reply Thurs morning (it is Wed evening here).

    anita

     

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