So it's a new year, and a chance to leave the last year behind. I know that things like new years are arbitrary, but like a lot of people I use it as a starting point for starting over, for a chance to leave behind things that hurt me, or embarrassed me, or that I dislike or regret.
2012, for me, was an interesting lesson in learning how to accept rejection and move beyond it. In facing one of the things I fear the most, and in how to handle it in a mature way.
It was this past summer when the lesson began. I discovered that someone I knew from the online forums I hang out on, someone I've met before and had nothing against, for some reason really disliked me to the point of planning a trip to Colorado to see other mutual friends and keeping it a secret. (Though not very well.) Now years ago I learned the lesson that not everyone you may like necessarily likes you in return, even if you do nothing to them except exist. I also thought that the adult way of handling that was to be honest with the person about the whole thing, especially when confronted by the person.
Obviously, I found out, and naturally was pretty damn hurt about it. I'd never been told that there was something bad between us. That the whole thing was very one sided. I don't even recall offending or pissing the person off. I must've at some point, otherwise why the secrecy? Even when confronted by me, there was nothing but lame excuses and defensive insults. Seriously? You can't simply own up to someone what you actually think of them when given the opportunity? A simple, "I don't think we mesh well" was impossible? Especially when I already know that during the many months of this trip being planned that any questions about my inclusion was blown off?
The most ridiculous part of that whole thing was that the person who didn't like me had been through a similar experience she was putting me through not long before. But I guess the world revolves around her and empathy doesn't exist in her world?
Anyway, that sucked. A lot. Naturally it made me paranoid and concerned about the online group - again. Was it a common feeling amongst the others that I was politely tolerated but disliked overall? Considering that I had joined the forums during the worse of my bipolar cycles and did some rather stupid and embarrassing things on there (just like I did in real life), I wouldn't have been surprised, but at the same time I would rather know than be ignorant of the situation. It was the same with this experience: Just tell me. Don't let me live in ignorance, because that makes me look like a complete fool, and I despise that.
I did give the person several opportunities to be honest. I flat out told her that I would rather know the truth of the situation and deal with that than not know.
Only defensive remarks.
Fine. If you can't be mature about the whole thing and want to play this high school bullshit like you never left it, go for it. I don't have time for that, nor the desire.
I had my account to the forum locked for a few days while I processed the whole thing. The crazy, bipolar part of me wanted to explode on there and go off on that woman. But thankfully the sane part of me won out on that one, and I removed myself for a bit to come to terms with the fact there are still those, even on a forum where there are a lot of very intelligent and nice people, whose growth stagnated in high school. Even when I did return to the forum, I fought the urge to go off. I slipped once, but I've moved on for the most part. I still don't fully understand what I did to her, or to anyone else involved, but I guess if they don't want to be honest with me about it, I'm not going to worry about it anymore. We have nothing but a forum in common.
I will say that the one who was honest to me about things I do appreciate. I wasn't told things to hurt me, but because I asked and I wanted only the truth. It hurt, yes, but for me it's so much easier to deal with the truth than deception.
So anyway, that was my first lesson of the year about rejection.
The second came from family. That's always fun. An uncle was moving from California to Wisconsin after losing his job, and two aunts were helping him. They were driving from California and came through Colorado along I-70, which goes from Grand Junction through the mountains and through the Eisenhower tunnel before going through the mountains some more before emerging in Denver. It's a long, curvy drive, but being an interstate it is nothing like actual mountain roads, especially on clear days when there's no adverse weather like snow.
So the group was stopping in north Denver for the night, and we arranged for me to drive up there to have dinner with them. It was going to be an hour and a half to two hour drive from my house to get up there, but for the chance to see them it was worth it to me. I spoke to my uncle in the early afternoon as they were making it along I-70 in the mountains. He told me they had about an hour and a half left to the hotel, and to give them a couple of hours. I figured that meant give them a few hours to settle down and everything once they were at the hotel. I was under the impression that I would be called once they got to the hotel and then I would give them some time to relax.
I never got a call, so based on when I talked to my uncle I waited to leave my house until around 4pm. Based on that I figured it would be perfect for dinner time when I got there (about 6pm), a short visit, and then they would go on the next day. So I loaded my son into the car, filled the car up (with money we really didn't have available to spend at the time but thought it was worth spending), and called my uncle. I told him we were heading up and when we would be there.
Now remember, since the time I spoke to my uncle in the early afternoon, I didn't receive any calls. Nothing saying, "Are you on your way?" or "We're at the hotel,", or even "We're actually not feeling that great for a visit." It took me calling them for there to be any communication.
So I call, tell my uncle I'm on my way, and how long it'll probably take me. No word about anything other than okay. I start driving, and within a minute or so I got a call back from my uncle, telling me that they were tired and going to bed. At about 4:30pm in the afternoon. Because driving on I-70 was really hard.
Wow. Thanks for letting me know before I spent money we didn't have, or before I loaded up the kid, or I gave up my whole day waiting to see people I was excited to see. Considering that they had been at the hotel for awhile by the time I called, why couldn't they have made the effort to call me and tell me not to bother long before I got ready to go? Yes, I would've been disappointed quite a bit, but at the same time I would be a hell of a lot more understanding.
I also can't help but be suspicious about their motivations. Yes, I-70 goes through mountains, but it's not a mountain road. It's an Interstate. Also there was a rather crazy trip I took up to Wisconsin/Minnesota in 2009 when I was confided to by a cousin's son that he was being abused and I got the family involved because, hey, they're family, he's there too, and we needed to protect him. (It also came out while I was staying with my grandparents that I'm a non-believer, which led to some yelling and screaming matches at their house - and I wasn't the one doing the screaming or yelling. But who knows what was said behind my back? I already know that the stupid things I did as a teen were being held against me plus personal things going on with my mom at the time. Ugh.)
And why wait until the last moment to tell me not to bother driving up? How inconsiderate can you be?!
So, naturally, I was hurt (a lot) by yet another rejection by people I liked (even loved in this case) without knowing why. I can guess, but again I know I'll never get the truth because I guess it's too "hard" to be honest with people.
I did post a bit of an angry post on Facebook without names or details. But that was it. I didn't even vent to my mom (it was her siblings and she had been the one who encouraged me to try and see them). I was trying to handle it the best way I thought, which was to deal with it, but not start anything or spread the word.
Yeah...a whole lot good that did.
I finally mentioned it in a conversation with my mom on Christmas Eve, just saying that it didn't work out.
I was informed that it was because I "blew them off".
What. The. Fuck?!
Yup, that's the story being spread amongst my mom's family. Apparently I blew them off that day. Despite me being the one initiating calls, despite me being willing to drive about two hours to go see them.
I blew them off.
That's part of the reason why I'm posting about this whole subject right now. Because the topic of rejection was a huge learning experience for me in 2012, and because I also (once again) need to defend myself with my mom's family. (A constant thing with that side of the family for several years now. It's getting really old.) The conversation with my mom dragged all of my feelings about these two events up all over again. And I decided, fuck it. I need to get this shit out of me so that I can move past it, especially since it's a new year.
I'm getting worked up.
Two days later, I'm back.
To get back to the subject, I want to move past this. I want to get over these experiences. So I'm getting them out here. It really fucking sucks when people pull that crap with others, and I really, really hate it when it happens to me. I've always had a deep seated issue with being rejected by people, to the point I can obsess over it, but I can't do that anymore. Why? Because those other people don't matter, even if they're blood relations. Who matters are my true friends, who will be honest with me no matter what, and my husband and my son. My two "boys" love me no matter what. My husband has stood by my side for almost 8 years now (8 years on January 14th!), through all of my craziness and my struggle with controlling rapid cycling bipolar II. He constantly shows me that he loves me unlike anyone (besides my parents) has ever loved me. And my beautiful little boy and his love is priceless.
So I write this all out to let it go so I can start 2013 with more happiness in my heart than resentment or hate or anger. I've also decided I am going to allow myself to let go of all my regrets from the past few years of things connected to my bipolar II, but that's a whole different story. I did receive a nice Christmas card from one of my aunts that was involved in the trip thing, and there was a nice note inside. I'm pretty sure that she may not be involved in the current gossip of me blowing them off. But anyway, I'm going to move on. I'm not forgiving (because I have no reason to "forgive" people like that), but I'm moving on, though I'll never forget.
Just be honest with me. That's all I ask anyone. It may hurt me, it may suck, but deception will destroy any relationship we may have in a heartbeat. Only cowards are deceptive.