“She just doesn’t get that it’s over!” my eight year old said as the phone rang for the final time. It had been an on-again/off-again friendship with another eight-year-old girl.
Oy, these girls. I cringe. They are madly in love with each other one minute, speaking to no one else, then someone does something
or nothing, and voila, rejection.
Why is it those sticky lessons for ourselves land right back at our feet as parents?
I feel for her when she’s on the pointy end of that weapon, and I worry when she’s grasping the cold handle charging toward someone else just as inexperienced as she.
But experience seems to have little to do with emotion. Even as an adult I’ve felt the pain
and continue to feel it, being dropped like a hot potato, bouncing a few times and rolling to a stop before I even absorb the facts of the situation.
And rejection finds you everywhere
hey, y’all! let’s be professional writers!.
actually not me this time recently told me how the rejection from therapists’ offices in her hunt for a counselor nearly pushed her over the edge. I personally still have to psyche myself up for babysitter rejection. Facing “no” after “no,” I could have sworn I’d been blacklisted by some secret island teen girl club for offenses unknown too measly a tip? too messy a house? no good booze to sneak?.
I wonder if offerings like “just keep busy, dearie” or “shake it off” are the right route, or the right-enough route for an aching kid.
I mean, keeping busy is swell so long as it’s not to stay one step ahead of your aching heart. Then suddenly you are on that hamster wheel of life, moving and going nowhere.
Downright inspirational, I am, right??
We want our kids to rebound in life. We hope with all their hi-speed clicking they will have a new, hi-tech emotional Teflon coating. But there is nothing hi-tech about pain.
It leaves us feeling helpless if we sit in it. Or next to it. Or *gasp* smell it on someone else.
And feelings, like a three-year-old, demand to be heard. Muzzle them and they whine persistently until satisfied
or that’s what my kid always did.
Maybe the only lesson is to sit still with it, something my child is not so good at
a trait she comes by honestly.
If she and I can notice and not squirm away, maybe we both will better accept that when you open up, you will sometimes get stung.
Young or old
ish, compassion, resilience, and a greater sense of being alive can come from it after we sober up and stop yelling profanities.
And that’s all way better than living a closed-up, ignorant life without heart, right?
Do you have any helpful methods of dealing with rejection?