Friday, May 6, 2011

Parental Rejection

The Author posed the question about a person who was becoming more reclusive and socially/emotionally strange:

"...Where was the trusted person who could tell him it wasn’t a good idea, ..."

I would also ask:

Who benefited from his bad choices?
I wish I could recall which novel I read, but a central point was that a powerful figure is manipulated to the benefit of another via his bad choices.

Of course, if you don't trust anyone, it's hard to benefit from their loving/unloving advice.

Sometimes it's easier to not give advice. My older son is old enough to really resent some of my edicts (chocolate chex is the current issue). It would be soooo easy to just cave in & buy a box to get him off my case. He doesn't know enough about life to understand either my reasoning or understand the idea that he needs to trust someone else's reasoning. Many parents want to be loved by their children without realizing this is *not* synonymous with being liked by one's progeny. They cave in in order to be 'liked'.

I can easily see someone else with a weak personal security wanting to give Jackson good advice and fearing to do so, in fear of losing his good opinion. Which rejection, in an adult, easily transmits to losing personal contact.

Becoming a parent has drastically enlightened me into the idea of seeing God as a parental figure. Christianity (at least my flavor of it) teaches that God is all loving; that you cannot make God stop loving you; that Her love is always there. I struggle to recall this when I have to deal with my own children.

People find themselves in such a totally screwed up point in their lives that they cannot believe that God could still love them. They then refuse to ask for God's help, fearing an active rejection without realizing there won't be any. A real parent, admittedly, is far more likely to reject a child. Even if they weren't, the child could easily fear rejection so much that they never ask for help.

The same applies to adults. Perhaps Jackson realized how totally screwed up his life had become and feared the loss of public/friends approval, so he didn't change his path. It's better to screw up your life than to realize the decision you made to fix it actually resulted in losing your friends, even if your life is otherwise better for the change you made.

I can look at my parents (and spouse now), and realize that they may not always like my decisions or my choices. My parents probably care just as much about me loving them as they always did. Me being an adult doesn't change that (I hope). I will always desire my children's love. Consequently, I need to take the risk of them disliking me or even [esp. in adolescence] rejecting me.


Anonymous said...

I think Jackson may be a good example of how we draw people to us in life that we need, i.e. for the opportunities to learn the lessons of this life. Jackson's lessons may have included how to deal with fame, wealth, syncophants, fear of failure, or how the abuse he suffered as a child affected his life and choices as an adult. His contribution to culture is unquestioned. His contribution to life, through his children, is also unquestioned, I think. And now, his example of failure to deal with his demons has become a contribution, although that may not be as clear.

In my experience working at Orchestra Hall and elsewhere, it's been interesting to note that the people the famous "like" are the ones who treat them as regular human beings, who are normal and natural around them, and who aren't afraid to be themselves. The exceptions are the "egos." These people tend to be weak emotionally and psychologically, feel powerless, and need approval. The worst are narcissists parading as humanitarians.....

Peter T said...

"if you don't trust anyone,"
then you will fall prey to the scammers. We all have to trust someone, and if we don't trust people who love us, we will trust people who know how to push the right buttons. I saw it with my uncle Josef.