Sunday 30 November 2008


I have had to read through all the blogs to be sure but, to my surprise, I don't seem yet, to have written anything about rejection. It ranks up there with homesickness as one of the most painful of inner world conditions. (Illnesses may be a better word to describe their effect). People do suffer in varying degrees, no doubt, but it would be very hard to find someone who, hand on heart, could say they had never felt its force.

I confess I have it in spades: well you would, wouldn't you given my marital history and too many other nonsenses to bore you with. One of its manifestations for me is a ridiculously heightened awareness of where it may occur. For Heaven's sake, I have even been known to put in to my shopping basket a battered old grapefruit I had picked up before noticing it was clearly past its sell-by date. I couldn't bear the thought of the pain it would feel if I put it back amongst its healthier brothers and sisters. Actually, I don't do that with bananas. I eat bananas out of a sense of what's good for me and if they are squidgy and over-ripe I can't begin to get them down. Mind you, the state of a banana is much more obviously assessable than that of a fruit that doesn't have a front and back.

For years I went to a dentist who was rather far from efficient. It was many more years before I could bring myself to make other arrangements. That had to be taking the notion that he may not feel lovable enough, of being rejected, just a touch too far, don't you think? A friend with a new(ish) boy friend was telling me how easy he was to get on with, going along with just about anything. This matters because we shall spend time together over the Christmas period. The one thing he couldn't tolerate, she explained, was what she called being left out. I should explain that he is living and working in a country other than his own and doesn't speak the language. She took him to a party where nothing but the native language was spoken and he just freaked out. She was annoyed with herself for not being more observant, assuming he was just thinking his own thoughts quietly in the corner. He wasn't. He was in the corner quietly being seriously pissed off. I have had this experience myself. Actually, now I think of it, it is a doubly poisonous situation combining homesickness and rejection in the one catastrophe: a country whose tongue is closed to you and isolation within the group. Talk about Muggle. During one of the worst cases for me I had to resort to making a call on my mobile phone, tough for someone with a touch of meanness, across several countries and a bit of sea just to hear the voice of a loved-one speaking English; ironic, given his English accent is a combination of Slovak and Irish, but you know what I mean. At that moment he represented the known and the loving: the including.

My friend's fella knew that, in principle, he was with her, part of a mutual agreement, as it were, that they were an item. It didn't make any difference. He suffered. What his - and my - predicament owed to previous life experience, this is not the place to explore. Oops, I think I meant earlier life experience, but who knows, perhaps my unconscious was right, perhaps we do have to deal with rejection inflicted on us in all our lives past. Pause for thought.

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