Friday, November 16, 2012

Getting Real with author Cathy West

Rejection – The Unwanted Guest

Ever had somebody show up at your door uninvited?

Depending on who that person is, this can be kinda cool, or really awkward. When my kids were little, we lived in a constant state of toys on the floor, dishes in the sink, socks stuck to the curtains…you get the idea. If anybody stopped by, it was most likely another Mom with kids in tow and her shirt on backwards. It really didn’t matter what my house looked like. She was here to see me. To let our kids play with abandon, whilst we caught up over coffee. If my mother or somebody from church stopped by, now that was a different story. I’d spend a frantic few minutes rushing around, tidying and trying to remember if I brushed my hair that morning.

I am not a neat freak. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t have one junk drawer. I have several. Yet it bothers me when people come to my house and things aren’t perfect. Why is that? Why do I prefer to put on the mask that says everything is perfect rather than telling it like it is?

Why? Because I want to be liked. I want to be accepted.

I avoid rejection at all costs.

But…you say…aren’t you a writer? Yes. Yes, I am. God does have a sense of humor.

Once I began the search for my birth mother, it didn’t take me long to figure out where all these weird and wonderful feelings came from. The minute I saw that space on my adoption papers where my name should have been -

Unbaptized  ****** 

The last name was my birth mother’s surname, but I knew it was not my own. Not the name she wanted me to have. They may as well have written bastard. It’s an ugly word, but it speaks to the depth of feelings that slammed me that day. Rejection moved in, shoved all logic aside, rearranged everything I knew about myself, settled in and waited for me to feed it.

And I did. For days.

I wrestled with that image of myself as a newborn, laying in a crib. Who held me? Who talked to me? Who fed me or comforted me when I cried? The nurses at the hospital, I suppose. I wonder what they thought of me, this tiny abandoned baby with no name. Unwanted. Unclaimed.

Someone who has never felt such soul-deep pain cannot possibly understand it. I still don’t fully understand those feelings. Why now, as an adult, mother, wife, did I suddenly want to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep? Why did I ache for that baby? It all turned out okay in the end. I was given two loving parents and a wonderful home. What did it matter how that happened?

It matters because it did happen. And I needed to acknowledge it.

If you want to overcome rejection, accept it.

There is nothing I can do to change the way I came into this world. I accept it. I see it now as part of God’s plan for my life. And I know that in the deep places, the recesses of my memory where that first small seed of rejection was planted and allowed to grow, something else was placed there.


God knew who I would become. He knew who my parents would be. He turned a hopeless situation into victory. He created a family. He had a plan and it was good. I am forever grateful for His loving hand on my life.

And those feelings I dealt with all my life, and still deal with? Sure, they show up once in a while and I invite them in. Sure, it sucks to read a nasty review of my writing. It hurts to hear that a publisher doesn’t want my next project. It’s sad when a relationship crumbles, when people reject you and choose to walk away. But this is life. This is how we learn. This is how we grow. I process what I’m feeling, but then I move on to things that make me feel good. My family. My friends. Pictures like the one above.

When I find myself drawn back to that dark place, I back up. Fast. It doesn’t always work. Some days I give in, open the door and have a chat with my old friend. That unwanted guest. But we don’t have that much to talk about. He doesn’t stay long and I am glad. He doesn’t belong here anymore.

I am no longer threatened by rejection. I know it will show up again. And again. I don’t welcome it, but I refuse to run from it.

I have lived through it.

And I have survived.

What about you? Have you ever felt rejection so deep you thought you’d never get over it? 

Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at

OakTara Website:

Amazon Links:

Hidden in the Heart

Everything Claire wants seems to be beyond her reach…

After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills, and wonders if her own life is worth living. Adopted at birth, Claire is convinced she has some unknown genetic flaw that may have been the cause of her miscarriage. She must find a way to deal with the guilt she harbors. But exoneration will come with a price. With her marriage in trouble and her father refusing to answer any questions about her adoption, Claire begins the search for her birth mother. For the first time in her life, she really wants to know where she came from. But what if the woman who gave her life doesn’t want to be found? For all
those who have loved, experienced loss, and lived life’s roller coaster.


  1. What an incredibly moving post, Cathy! Thank you for sharing your story and some hope! Rejection is something universal, but very often we feel alone with those defining hurts. A nice reminder here of how to emerge from those tough times stronger. :)

  2. Thanks, Amy! It's definitely not easy to navigate these experiences, but I believe we can allow them to shape us, make us stronger and turn us toward more positive times.

    1. Difficult to remember sometimes but we weren't promised an easy life... just one where we didn't have to go through it alone.

  3. I shared your post on my FB page, Cathy. Your question about experiencing rejection hits a nerve with everyone. Thanks for being courageous enough to talk about it honestly -- and with hope.