There is one thing in life I fear more than anything else. One feeling worse than any other: the pang of rejection.
It is, for me, bodily. In its anticipation, my heart quickens, my chest tightens, my shoulders hunch, I slouch, my solar plexus clenches.
And that’s just in anticipation.
If the rejection I fear materializes? It’s everything I just said, and then more. Tighter, faster, harder.
And not in a good way.
When I was smoking, it was largely my recognition that my cigarette cravings were exactly this – this feeling of abandonment, rejection, loneliness, and that, miraculously, that first drag or two of a cigarette made that pain go away – that enabled me to see a path to quitting.
I can tolerate the discomfort. God knows I’ve had to learn to.
In my years of CPOS-ness, that very sense of rejection was part and parcel of my chosen strategies for acting out sexually. As I’ve written elsewhere, one facet of paying for sex is that there is, embedded in every paid encounter, the fact of rejection but for money – rejection.
Why would I seek out, daily – multiple times daily, even – this very experience I say I fear more than any other? This experience I spend much of my conscious energy and efforts seeking to avoid?
My world view says that if I do something over and over and it causes an effect I say I want to avoid, the only person I’m fooling is myself. I may consciously want to avoid it, or, more accurately, I may consciously believe I want to avoid it, but in practice, it’s simply not meaningful to say anything other than that I want it, even if that “want” is deeply unconscious.