Rejection does NOT have to be an outright lack of acceptance directed right at you. It can come through many forms, and you should be aware of those.
I recall when I was a little girl, probably a young toddler, and began to suck my thumb. How I wish I hadn’t but I did continue that habit for a number of years. My family had some grey, fuzzy blankets from England, and I recall one being on my bed. I do not know how old I was when I began to pluck the fuzz from the blanket and ball it up in a ball that I would say was nearly the size of a golf ball. I would hold that fuzz ball under my nose and suck the thumb on the same hand. My parents were upset by the thumb-sucking and tried everything then available to stop this habit, including a hot preparation painted on my thumb, adhesive tape bandaging, etc, but to no avail.
How well I remember my grandmother with her hands on her hips standing above me, and in her very English accent saying: “Get than thumb out of your mouth, it’s disgusting! You’ll be a grown woman with children of your own and you’ll still be sucking that thumb.” Those words were anything but accepting. When I married my dear Ron, I had long since stopped sucking my thumb, but I did suck until I was 16. Preparing for college made me stop the habit. Shortly after our marriage I received a letter from my mother which contained a wad of fuzz. She wrote that I should explain that fuzz ball to Ron. Was that accepting? She thought it was funny, but I did not! In reality that was hurtful!
Abuse of any kind also is a rejection of the person. Emotional abuse or words said that do not uplift or edify, certainly reject the child or whomever receives them. Physical abuse is a rejection as well; this of course differs from an appropriate spanking of a child for disobedience. Sexual behaviors toward a child are rejecting of the child as a child, and gives them an adult role which they do not understand nor are they prepared to endure.
Do you remember being laced down for getting a poor or failing grade on your report card? Do you remember being not chosen for a team or perhaps were the one begrudgingly chosen last? Do you remember hearing about a birthday party of a classmate to which you were not invited? Perhaps you remember the saying “Two is a company and three’s a crowd.” Were you the one ignored by the other two buddies?
I was a chubby child beginning at age eight. My best friend was a Jewish girl, who lived across the street from me. How painful it was each morning when we would get on the school bus and the boys in the back would holler “Here comes ‘Fatso’ and the ‘Dirty Jew’!” Don’t for a second believe the old adage, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” It’s a lie! Those names remain in your mind long after they are said! They create feelings of rejection.
It’s very interesting that in the Bible it is repeatedly written that we are not rejected. The God of the Universe loves and accepts us, regardless of our mistakes and sins. Just like an earthly father loves and accepts his son even though the son misbehaves, so the Heavenly Father accepts and loves us. Do you suppose that God wanted us to know over and over again that we are loved and accepted, because in this world, so many feel unloved and unaccepted? What a blessing He offers us!