Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rejection Defined

Have you felt the effervescence that comes with acceptance?  Man, that's a good thing.  That feeling is difficult to duplicate.  Acceptance, as hard as it is to chase and find that feeling, I think it becomes even more elusive once you've felt rejection.  People in all situations deal with and reinvent what it means to be rejected.  For some, it's the scorn of a lost love --talk about pain.  There's something people are not readily seeking to replicate.  Some people come about rejection in ways that are less than normal.  I've seen the show The Wire a couple times.  My favorite character on that show is known as Bubbles (and I don't remember his character's real name, if it was even revealed).  Bubbles was a flawed individual in that he had a severe drug problem.  He struggled through the entirety of the 5 seasons.  In multiple instances the character could have taken a different path that might have lead to sobriety, but it wasn't to be.  On one occasion he was giving the police tips about specific drug dealers and they were returning the favor with ten or fifteen dollars, which is enough to get someone high.  Bubbles actually wanted them to help him, but they wanted him to support the cases they were building.  That's an odd, and life-threatening, type of rejection.  Another time Bubbles was trying to get clean and was staying in his sister's basement.  However, she would not let him climb the stairs because she didn't trust him to stay clean, so he had to stay in the basement and ultimately returned to the streets and the drugs.  (SPOILER ALERT: Bubbles gets clean.  Pretty sweet ending to his story.)  Bubbles' story is not completely unlike Josh Hamilton's story.  Josh's story is one that most people know.  Number one draft pick.  Drugs.  Jesus.  Baseball.  Home run derby.  All-Star.  Relapse.  "Quit."  Angels.  Relapse.  That pretty much sums it up.  Seriously.  Josh has been loved, that's for sure.  But he faces rejection, too.  Upon his return to Texas in an Angels uniform Josh faced a lot of rejection, which I wrote about here.  Josh's latest relapse would not be public information except that he gave himself to the mercy of MLB (and subsequently leaked to the media).  I thought the commissioner would reject Josh (and technically he did, but the MLBPA and an arbitrator disagreed), but he was allowed to resume playing with no penalty due to legal jargon.  Then came rejection I really didn't see coming.  Now, I don't love the Angels.  I don't root for the Angels, ever.  They are the second to last team I would ever root for (Cardinals are last --devil's advocates, you ask me).  The owner of the team, Arte Moreno, who just doesn't make good decisions, decided to take umbrage with the fact that an addict was attracted to and had a brief skirmish with a drug.  Maybe he doesn't understand how addiction works.  It's not something one recovers from.  It's a day to day, and for some, moment to moment work of concentration on doing the right thing.  It takes a lot for someone in Josh's shoes to keep his head straight.  Apparently Arte thought Josh left his addiction in his twenties (he's 33).  After two years with the team, the Angels decided to basically dump Josh.  Rejection.  It's gotta freakin' hurt.  You know?  I know people say things like, "He's famous and that comes with privileges that should be taken away and blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc."  Yeah, okay.  I prefer to care about people, even people I don't know on a personal level.  People's souls are what matters, and souls are personal and private things.  Hate and vitriol toward someone no matter how famous can hurt.  Hopefully Josh is fine.  Rumor is he was traded to a team in Texas.  I wish him well, really.  And that began before he was traded to Texas.  And before he signed with the Angels.  And before he left Texas.  And before he was traded to Texas the first time.  I'll move on.  This spewing of thoughts isn't about Josh.  It's about rejection.  I think the worst type of rejection is when person A wants to and thinks they're supporting Person B who, apparently, doesn't want your help.  The misconception by Person A is that Person B is doing something that is inherently wrong.  Person A thought they were doing something out of love.  Person B may not have wanted help.  Maybe Person A should have done nothing.

If you think you could be Person B* in a situation such as this, reassess.  There's a difference between nefarious acts and misinterpreted support.  These are not the same things.  Do not confuse them.  It's a painful thing to think you're supporting a dear friend only to find they didn't want your help and think you were trying to hurt them, then for them to reject you for exactly that.

*The original "Person B" will most likely never read this and, no, it's not my wonderful, supporting wife.

    • the spurning of a person's affections.
      "some people are reluctant to try it, because they fear rejection"

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.  1 Thessalonians 5:14

1 comment:

  1. Great post. And yes, being person A can be difficult. Thank God that he can restore people and relationships despite the hurt that they both feel. Just like with ARod, the penalty has been paid-- time to move on and move ahead. I hope Josh Hamilton comes back 100x better than before (although not when they're playing the Yankees). :)