Fear of Rejection and Abandonment
April 8, 2013
Recently I had a bout of mild anxiety centering on the possibility that the publishing of True North could anger some people whose value system forbade openness or disclosure of family secrets. I thought about this and talked with friends to gain some insights into what my anxiety could really be about. It came down to, the fear of rejection and abandonment. No one likes to be abandoned, and in fact, in some cultures, abandonment in the form of shunning is used as a form of punishment. When a member(s) of a tribal group is perceived as a threat or source of conflict, that person may be subject to ostracism. That rejection may be for a period of time, or it could be permanent. Social groups that are known to use shunning include the Amish and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
There may indeed be people who will feel threatened by the information shared in True North. I have spoken with several who, having read the book, felt uncomfortable with it and expressed to me their displeasure with the family disclosures. One person said, “I really don’t want to know those things about your family. To think about it makes me uncomfortable.” I suppose I could have written a “nicer” book that didn’t challenge the accepted version of the “Yours, Mine and Ours family,” but as stated in the Forward of the book, I have sworn never to support that fiction again.
Having talked about my fear of rejection and abandonment feelings with friends, I actually began to feel better and understood the source of those feelings. ..which is the whole point of the book. Disclosure and openness regarding potentially unpleasant topics clears the air, releases pent up emotions and makes way for greater understanding and compassion for our fellow human beings. True North reaches out to those who feel isolated or abandoned by family or some larger social group in some way or another and reminds them that they are not alone in the world. There are people who care and are willing to help. All you need to do is be brave and reach out for help. You will find it.