The hydraulics of rejection

I was rejected today. Not by a woman, but in a completely non-sexual, comprehensive, totalizing – and damning – way.

It’s striking to me – not new(s), but still striking – how powerful is my reflex in an instance like this. Longtime readers can probably guess just what it is that the news made me feel. Can you?

Here’s where my brain went in the micro-seconds after the news of the rejection: I NEED TO HAVE AN ORGASM, AT THE HANDS/MOUTH OF A WOMAN WHOM I DON’T KNOW/WHOM I’M PAYING. AND I NEED A CIGARETTE. PREFERABLY IN THAT ORDER. AND RIGHT NOW.

Thankfully, just because my brain went to those two places doesn’t mean that my body did. I’ve spent a lot of the last few hours just feeling what it is for me to be rejected in this way, and let me tell you, it sucks. My chest is tight. My mouth is dry. My breaths are quick, shallow, unsatisfying. But I’m here. Writing. Feeling. Rather than acting. As they say in 12-step-land, “Thank God.”

In the moments just before I got the news, I was talking with a friend about narcissism, about the causes of the wounds we suffer, and the remedies we seek. She was telling me about her relationship with her father, about his demand that she give him what he seeks from her, and about her confidence that she has, at least in terms of her own organization of herself, escaped her father’s narcissism.

I was telling her how far from that conclusion I am when it comes to myself, how I believe myself to be 100% of the narcissist my father is, even as I look to entirely different strategies for the regulation of my self-esteem than did/does he.

As we finished this conversation, I glanced at my phone, and saw this narcissistic wound, this soul-crushing rejection that activated all of my most narcissistic vulnerabilities.

It comes at a difficult moment. Rejection abounds in my life right now – it’s all over the place. Alas.


    1. I think the problem is not ‘expecting everything to turn up to what you wish and want’. The problem is suffering when things don’t ‘turn up to what you wish and want’. It is possible to be rebuked and not feel rejected. However, when you feel rejection, it often doesn’t have to do with the fact you were not accepted, but more with the way you feel after not having been accepted.
      I think it is not always easy to change our viewpoint on that. It takes time and patience. For me, the more difficult part was to accept that not being liked for who I am didn’t mean I was rejected, more that we weren’t meant to be together. It took me 20+ years!

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