REJECTION 101

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               Over the past year I’ve been slowly putting the broken pieces of myself back together. This eye opening journey thus far has been painful, scary, tough and confusing at times. When I made the decision to walk blindly into the unknown truths of life, is when I faced with my biggest obstacles. I am currently in the midst of a severe storm; one in which has no boundaries. I’m being hit hard in every single direction. This storm is called rejection. And since everything has a name, apparently I have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, or RSD for short; which basically means I don’t handle rejection well. What guided me to this conclusion is the overwhelming feeling of being stagnant. I literally had to sit down and ask myself “what more can I do?” I’m the queen of self help books, and living a healthy lifestyle. I felt like I’ve tried EVERYTHING from learning how to meditate, journaling daily, changing my diet, stepping out of my comfort zone, eliminating toxic people; if you can name it, I’ve done it. So I couldn’t understand how come I’m still in the same place I started. How come I’m not getting any answers, or at least moving even an inch towards the right direction?

In the midst of having a mental breakdown, it finally hit me. I’ve been playing it safe this entire time. I’ve been doing the things that I’m comfortable with doing in hopes that it will change my situation. Yes, those things I’ve mentioned have helped me in a lot of ways, including bringing me to this point. But none of it had the power to push me forward. None of it had the strength to break the last chain that has prevented me from moving towards my greatest potential. The only thing that holds the power strong enough to set me free, is me. I’ve went in every single direction except for one, and that’s facing the fear of rejection. I’m the youngest of five siblings on my mothers’ side, and the only girl. As a child I felt invincible. I couldn’t relate to my brothers and they didn’t relate to me, which led me to feeling like the only child. In the midst of feeling like the only child, I still had people surrounding me, but no one actually SAW me. Every time I spoke they would say I was too “emotional,” which stopped me from expressing how I felt for a very long time. I felt constantly brushed off, overlooked, and discounted. Even during the holidays I felt like I was only around to babysit my nieces and nephews. They automatically assumed this responsibility for me, even without asking me. I remember being 7 and 8 years old crying so hard in my room cutting my wrist. I never cut to actually kill myself but I would cut in the hopes that someone would notice the marks, therefore they would notice ME. I use to write in my diary at 9 years old saying things like “I wish I didn’t exist because no one notices me anyway. No one cares about how I feel. My mom works all the time, and my brothers have their own kids so they don’t care about me. My father (who I haven’t met at the time) doesn’t even care about me or his family (who I’ve never met, ever.)” I truly felt rejected, unworthy and small for my entire childhood. Little did I know that I would carry this feeling into my adult life. I’ve been subconsciously sabotaging myself before I could even get the chance to blossom.  Every single time I walk into something that could potentially lead to something great for me; I reject myself. No matter what the situation may be, when I walk into a room filled with powerful people, I feel small. I feel like that little girl who is unworthy of getting attention. I feel like no one cares about what I have to say. I feel like I DON’T BELONG. I feel like I made a mistake, and I would never be enough. So when I feel this way, I automatically reject myself. I tell myself that I need to be seen and not heard. I convince myself that I should’ve never put myself in this situation to begin with. I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE THE LITTLE GIRL WHO CUT HER WRIST IN THE ROOM BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. I immediately feel intimidated by people in power.

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WOW! It took a lot for me to admit this to myself. I literally had gone back to every single situation where I felt powerless. Then I had to go back even further to remember where this feeling stemmed from. It hurt to think about it; it brought tears to my eyes because for years I tried to forget that feeling. Even right now typing this message is hard because in the back of my mind I can hear my brothers telling me “You’re way too emotional, man up!” My first instinct is to click backspace. My first instinct is to crawl back into my bubble that’s been keeping me “safe.” My inner child is currently telling me that no one cares about what I have to say, and to continue existing without making any NOISE. I am TIRED of feeling worthless. I’m tired of shrinking in a room filled with powerful people. I’m most definitely tired of denying myself access to the greater things in life. Today I’m breaking the last chain, because I AM WORTHY, I AM ENOUGH, AND I MATTER. I deserve to take risk, and follow through without having the fear of rejection. Rejection is not something to be avoided; instead it’s a step towards the right direction. If I allow myself to take risk without having the fear of rejection; I’m also granting myself the opportunity to grow. It was never because I’m not worthy of greatness; it was just because I couldn’t see my worthiness.

Here’s my advice to myself, and you: Whatever it is that’s holding you back from reaching your fullest potential, challenge it. Face it, and heal from it. In order to have the future you desire, you have to revise the story you’re telling yourself. Your story didn’t end with whatever it is that’s holding you back. You still have time to turn the page.             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Love, ELLiE

POTENTIAL

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What will it take for you to just go for it? Whatever “it” is, what needs to happen in order for you to push yourself just a little harder than you pushed yesterday? Most of us need to hit rock bottom before we have no choice but to go up. If you’re anything like me, then you need to hit rock bottom a few times before you decide that you never want to go back there ever again. My nickname should be “Crash dummie” for all of the times I hit rock bottom. I think they have a name for someone who keeps taking the same action over and over again, and expecting a different result. Yup, that’s totally me; ignorant as fuck. Well anyway, you have no idea what I’m talking about, so please allow me to elaborate…

It was a cold and gloomy night. Okay, it was really summer time, but I swear it feels cold and gloomy in this location no matter what the season may be. Anyway, It was a normal day at work fulfilling someone else dream. Once again I lost sight of who I am, which left me feeling like a mobile shell. Sound familiar? I have two words for you, Crash Dummie. I neglected the only thing that gives me life for months now. Do you know what happens when you hit rock bottom a few times? My body began to feel numb to the pain. This, my friend is called misery. As I roam the halls of this unfulfilled, cold, dark, and gloomy environment, I came across a short little nuisance; my boss of course. He frequently goes above and beyond to make another person feel small, mostly because he’s actually the tiniest little man I’ve ever met. It’s safe to say he loves to knock people down to his level in an effort to make himself feel big. By the way, he admitted to me later on that he “suffers from napoleon syndrome” so I can’t make this shit up; which I think was very big of him to admit, so cheers to you! So, all day this man has been harassing me about anything he could find to complain about. I usually just abide by whatever nonsense he says, just so I wouldn’t cause a conflict. You know being a tall female in a small mans world can be a threat on its own. But this day was too much for me. One of my coworkers accompanied me during my walk, because we were assigned to the same project. Coincidentally he doesn’t like this coworker as well, so we were essentially walking into the fire. As we made our way down the hallway, he rushed over to us and told us to “Separate, while doing the project we were assigned to do.” He doesn’t want us socializing while working, even if only for a brief moment. WOW! My coworker decided to ignore him, and didn’t budge, so I made the decision to relocate myself. As I was moving my items away from him I informed the other two coworkers, who he walked pass, that they should separate. I mean since we can’t socialize during working hours, right? Do y’all know that this man chased behind me and asked me “Do you have an attitude?!” Okay, I’ll pause the story here, because I need y’all to know that he literally ran behind me to ask me if I had an attitude. You have to be very determined to reflect your own feelings on another person, for you to chase behind them and basically ask them “Did it work this time, are you bothered yet?” I mean, that’s what it felt like he was asking. He wanted to know if his misery had company. I didn’t let him get to me, but I did inform him that I’m a grown woman, who was given a task that I was currently working on. Unless I was going against the work policy, I would appreciate if he’d give me the same level of respect that I give him. I walked off, and went straight to HQ about this incident. Later that day he came and apologized to me (which is when he admitted to having napoleon syndrome). I accepted his apology, and then he said “I see potential in you. This is why I pressure you, because there’s potential.” WHOA! This woke me up real quick out of my zombie mode I’ve been living in.

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The word “potential” burned my soul. I went home reevaluating my life all over again. There’s so much I wanted to say to him, but I couldn’t. First of all, who are YOU to see potential in ME? “Potential” is a common a word that a lot of bosses use to motivate their staff, but what that word means to me is that you think you’re better than me. It means that you feel that you have the authority to even label someone in a category. No sir, you don’t. Is this potential you see created by a checklist of qualities? Up until that day, I was quiet when he would bully me constantly. Is that where you see potential; in my silence? I’ve been a walking shell; and never stood up for myself. I allowed my self to be tormented by this man, and also constantly being stumped in my growth within the company. I’ve inquired about higher positions on numerous occasions knowing that I’m more than qualified to be considered; and yet, I’ve never even been considered. They asked a coworker of mine who’s less than qualified, and constantly late to work “are you interested in a promotion,” before they even considered my inquiry. So this man stood in my face and told me he sees “potential” in me. As a woman dominated by men in a work environment where I have to go 10 times harder to prove my worth, without being looked at as “weak, or less than.”  As a woman who deals with the heavy burden of PMDD on a monthly basis, but never ever complains, nor show any sign of weakness. As a black woman who walks into a male dominated environment and dares to inquire about a hire position working aside a group of egotistical men. As a woman who excels in a room full of men without the help of any man. You’re telling me that you see “potential” in me. Well, if you’re reading this I would like you to know that, I AM. I am already what you claim to see in me; and you’re just another obstacle on my way to the finish line. I can see why you’re threatened by me; I would be too if I were you. You don’t see potential; you see a threat. Don’t worry sir; I’m not coming for your position. My dreams and aspirations are much broader than what your small mind can comprehend. You have nothing to worry about, but thank you for waking me up. Thank you for reminding me of my “potential.” I almost lost sight of who I am.

STAY WOKE