Friday, June 24, 2011

Ostracism and social isolation

Oh another week and lots to do. There was one article that struck me and stayed with me since last week. It is entitled Ostracism Causes Lingering Pain in the Brain and written by Dr. Amen. As a survivor, I will admit that in the past I had an abnormal fear of this happening in my social settings. In the present, I just feel a lot of pain when this happens. At the same time, I have learned that if people do not want me in their lives, it is their loss and not mine. However, at the end of the day, the pain is still there. After reading this article, I understand why. As a survivor who is an adult, I am so glad more and more is coming out about this form of abuse. It is like my own feelings are finally being validated. Yes, they are real and yes, it is a serious problem.

Our society teaches us to “suck it up” and “don’t worry about these things” and that this behavior is a “fact of life.” I have also said many times that our society is not well and now more than ever we are seeing this. It is hard to deny because it slaps us in the face on a daily basis. We can say these things do not bother us and throw these other excuses around or we can admit that we are not allowing ourselves to be human. It is human nature to want to be accepted and included as we are wired to be social beings.

According to this article, ostracism cuts deeper and lasts a lot longer than any physical pain. It is like a form of bullying that does not leave bruises on us. Also, there are three stages in ostracism and they are the actual act of being excluded, coping and resignation. Man, can I relate to these. During the first stage, people have learned that they have been left out and are hit with the harsh reality. The pain is there and is real. So, instead of moving on, many times we move to the second stage to cope. During this phase, we start acting out in ways that will garner acceptance. It is like going against what you believe or selling your soul to these people in some respect. I see a lot of Queen Bee’s use a lot of bargaining during this phase. This is why these abusers have so many followers. They do not want to be excluded. However, if still being excluded and have been coping and getting nowhere, people will generally turn towards aggressive means or they give up completely. This is known as resignation. If the person has tried hard enough and still cannot get that acceptance, they take it into their own hands or just move on. I believe this is where school shooters come in. They have tried, worked hard, followed, sold their soul and done everything but still nothing changes. So, they take things into their own hands. Folks, a person can only take so much until they snap.

As I have been healing, I have learned to seek healthy relationships and people who accept and not reject me. This meant getting toxic people out of my life and keeping them out. It meant learning healthy social habits and staying away from people who do not want me. Are their times when I wanted to be accepted? Sure! I am human and more times will crop up. However, I have the wisdom now to know the difference.

If anyone is dealing with this and has done so in high doses, please seek a kind and accepting therapist. In the meantime, please try to love people as they are. We are so hardened these days and we want people to be just like us. That is impossible; no two people are alike. However, we can go back to the golden rule. Treat others as we wish to be treated. Something to certainly think about here.

1 comment:

nan said...

You look like a sweet lady that this type idiot LOVES to destroy. Keep your head up and be strong. You don't need them. Look at them as the outsider, not you.