The Fear of Rejection
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The Fear of Rejection.

Estimated reading time 5 and a half minutes 

A few days ago I admitted to a friend that during the past year I had been feeling scared that no one wanted to be friends with me anymore because I had a child with down Syndrome.  She laughed and laughed (and I laughed along with her) and she called me very silly. It does sound silly, and laughable, and I am able to laugh with her now but the feeling has been very real and very horrible. Sometimes even crippling.

I think it all came from a conversation I had with a friend when I was pregnant. I was about to have my first major scan and I was telling her how I did not want an amnio test for Down Syndrome. I did not want to terminate my pregnancy for that reason and was afraid of the pressure I would receive from others in my life if there was a diagnosis. I expressed that I didn’t care if my baby had a disability like Down Syndrome and that I would love him/her any way. Her response was something like this “oh you are so loving and nice but you can’t have a child with down syndrome, it is too hard. They are so loud and no one can understand them. It would be just too hard“. I am not sure if she remembers saying this and she did say kind things to me when Ariel was born, but unfortunately I can’t seem to forget it. I know how she really feels.

Does every one of my friends feel like this? Of course they are not going to admit it to me so maybe they all do….

I will keep my friends at arms length and that way they won’t be put in an awkward position of having to come out with me. 

Maybe I should find all new friends, friends who have children with Down syndrome. 

These are all thoughts that have been in my mind for the last year and it has been painful to be honest. I have not been living exactly how I want to live. Luckily I have some amazing friends that have stuck by me through this phase and reassured me of their love and acceptance. Thank goodness I am blessed with these great friends and with their kindness I have been able to overcome this unreasonable fear and let it go. I have also met some great new friends who are also very accepting and they don’t even have children with Down syndrome. 

The thing I have learnt about life through over coming this fear is people are going to accept or reject me based on many things and that is fine. It is not up to me to decide for others what they can and can’t handle. If they cant handle the fact Ariel has Down syndrome that is their problem. Not mine. 

Some days we all gotta be a bit more like Tom.

tom doesnt give a shit

A while ago, I saw a lady wrote on one of the Facebook groups for parents with kids who have Down syndrome “just because we have kids with down syndrome does not mean we are all going to be friends”. And that is so true. I have met some great people on these groups and I have already made friends with a few and that is based on our personalities connecting. It was just our little ones bought us together. The thing about relationships is you need to have common ground. I am vegan and I love running.  I like a bit of glam rock – music and style. Im a bit of a hippy chic and a free spirit. Unconsciously I am probably going to accept and reject people as friends based on some of these character traits of mine and that is life. Just because we all can’t be best friends does not mean we all can’t be nice and get along. Being kind is free so be kind, always.

The biggest lesson here for me though, is to live in the moment. Don’t fear the future or dwell in the past, enjoy what is happening now. Be present, relax and breathe, everything is going to be fine.

 

I really love these lyrics from Leonard Cohen. Stop trying to offer up perfection, there is a crack in everything and that is how the light gets in.

leonard cohen

12 Comments
  • Rachel
    Posted at 01:02h, 28 March Reply

    Lovely. And totally agree – sometimes, as hard as it is, we’ve just got to be Tom.

    • Raylene Barton
      Posted at 01:05h, 28 March Reply

      yep. I saw this Tom pic on Facebook last week and the timing was perfect for this post 🙂 Thanks for reading x

  • Mumma McD
    Posted at 02:08h, 28 March Reply

    Oh how I wish I could be like Tom!!

    I think accepting the fact that not everyone you meet is going to like you – and to stop trying to get everyone to like you – can allow you to be your authentic self.

    Personally I’m still working on it 🙂

    • Raylene Barton
      Posted at 03:25h, 28 March Reply

      yes that is it and it will always be a work in progress! 🙂

  • Kaz @ Melting Moments
    Posted at 04:12h, 28 March Reply

    It surprises me who out of my friends have been the most supportive of us. Some of the one who I thought would be there through thick and thin weren’t but the ones who were and still are, I will never forget xx

    • Raylene Barton
      Posted at 04:23h, 28 March Reply

      It certainly is true what they say. You find out who your friends are when something happens to you. x

  • Dee
    Posted at 05:43h, 11 April Reply

    what a lovely post Raylene. There’s a saying that goes ‘what other people think of me is none of my business’, so true but not always easy. People come and go in our lives for many reasons, sometimes it’s the big things that are a catalyst but maybe you were going to part ways anyway…the special people remain and support us through thick and thin.

    • Raylene Barton
      Posted at 06:56h, 11 April Reply

      Thank you so much Dee. It is true what they say that you find out who your friends are when things go down. I certainly have had some very special friends support and love me after Ariel was diagnosed and they continue to do so. x

  • Carrie
    Posted at 11:22h, 20 June Reply

    I just had a little cry on the inside when I read that. I can’t image someone could say that. But I do believe they did. I can imagine that is so painful. So many people judge by appearance and want perfection. But there is no perfection with people is there? Both myself and my granddaughter have an eye problem, and I feel it looks even more different as it is just one eye, we are unsymmetrical. I remember when I first saw a photo of Ariel, I thought she was so beautiful. I am so glad you have Ariel, as because of her we are friends.

    • Raylene Barton
      Posted at 11:53h, 20 June Reply

      Yes she said it and she has said other things about Autism that I have found offensive. This friendship has ended. But I have new friends, better friends like you for instance. I don’t notice your eye actually…. Looking forward to meeting one day in person Carrie xx

  • Maureen
    Posted at 01:31h, 18 July Reply

    I am catching up on your posts and I have been crying because I am about inclusion. not only that I think despite our abilities people will reject in general anyway right? oh bless those who have judged and you who have looked beyond and moved on. I agree I just cannot imagine why they would reject or judge you and your beautiful soul and thay scrumptious Ariel. you are just people and Ariel has D’S but that does not define her little personality. I hope that makes sense. I am doing inclusive paper this semester which will even help me understand how people can be so prejudice due to their own values and beliefs as well as culturally xx

    • Raylene Barton
      Posted at 07:29h, 18 July Reply

      your kind words bring tears to my eyes. Thank you xx

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