Ostracism usually involves feelings of abandonment and rejection. When rejection is severe, it can feel like a knife through the heart. Some describe ostracism as "social death," a metaphor for how badly a person can feel on the inside. Rejection and abandonment cause severe emotional and physiological reactions within the human body and make some people feel like they are going crazy. When someone you deeply care about rejects you, you're likely to experience a loss that involves a grieving process. Grieving in this way is a common, ordinary experience. It is similar to what we go through when a loved one dies. Be patient with yourself and permit yourself to grieve for as long as needed.
- Abandonment.net by by Susan Anderson LCSW - "Are you suffering a recent break-up or a lingering wound from the past? Having trouble finding someone or getting a relationship to last? Uncertain in your present relationship or feeling a loss of love? Help is available for abandonment survivors as well as therapists."
- Susan Anderson discusses five stages of abandonment: Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage, and Lifting (S.W.I.R.L.). Books by Susan Anderson include:
- "Recovering from Rejection" by Bob Livingstone, LCSW - www.boblivingstone.com
- Stages of Grief and Loss - The Kubler-Ross Model - It is believed by some people that the experiences of rejection and ostracism take people through stages of grief that are similar to losing a loved one. The Kubler-Ross Model helps explain various emotional states and that can provide relief and better understanding. The model has both critics and supporters.
- From Rejection to Self-Esteem - ReceiveHealing.com