My Struggles To Find Acceptance Here In The Midwest…

Four years ago, in early August of 2014, I wrote an article about how much I loved the area I had just moved to here in the Midwest. It didn’t take long after that though for my opinion to change, as these days, I struggle to find acceptance here, mostly because of the constant rejections, criticisms, and judgments I continue to face.

While I have lived in many places throughout my life and made many friends and acquaintances in each of those areas quite easily, life has been overwhelmingly difficult in that department for me here in the Midwest.

For whatever the reason, I have been a magnet for people to dump their projections on me. I’ve been told I don’t try hard enough to make friends and yet I’ve also been told just as much that I try too hard to make friends. I’ve been told I’m too intense and yet I’ve also been told I’m a little too boring. I’ve been told I act better than everyone else and yet I’ve also been I don’t act confident enough. I’ve been told I’m too personal and yet I’ve also been told I’m not personal enough. I’ve been told I can’t be trusted and also been told I’m too trustworthy. The list goes on and thus, I’m sure you can see the dilemma I’ve faced.

So many people have had such strong opinions of me in this area, all differing from each other. That’s uniquely different though from how easily I was able to make friends and blend in all my former places of living. I was reminded of that when I visited my best friend in Massachusetts recently. There, people I hadn’t seen in a long time made sure to take the time to come out and see me, while others I met for the first time on that trip, wished I would return to their community so they could draw closer to me. All in all, I generally felt more embraced and connected during my seven days there, as compared to the last four years here.

For whatever the reason, I’m just not well liked here and that’s become overly apparent not just to me, but also my partner. He has seen me try over and over and over again to make friends and witnessed me work diligently on trying to become an unconditionally loving, non-judgmental, and fully accepting person. But, in the process, still seen far too many people viciously attack me, talk behind my back, avoid me like the plague, and treat me like I was one of the worst people that could have ever come to live in this area.

The number of rejections, criticisms, and judgments I’ve received here from his family, from the recovery community, and from other social circles I’ve tried to be a part, have been staggering. Yet, I never faced anything quite like this when I lived in Massachusetts, in the Washington D.C. area, in the Eastern Shore of Virginia, or in New York, each being the places I formerly called home.

So, what’s different?

Besides the fact that all those other places were on the East Coast, the only other things that have changed dramatically are how focused I am on my recovery now, how dedicated I am on growing my relationship with God, and how much I seek to rid myself of all low vibrational behaviors. Yet, if any of those things were truly placing me in a position to be rejected, criticized, or judged, wouldn’t it have followed me back to Massachusetts when I visited there a few weeks ago? They say you are wherever you go. Yet, for the week I spent back in Massachusetts, I was overly loved, embraced, and accepted, three things I miss incredibly here in the Midwest.

In all honesty, I haven’t felt like I can be myself here, as being myself has only led to alienation with far too many people. I don’t know what it is about me that creates such polarization here, but I’ve come to the acceptance that my personality and make-up just doesn’t work that well in the Midwest. Regardless, I know I’ve done my best and am inclined to believe that maybe I’m just meant to spend more time alone here than with others.

Maybe that’s why God brought me here to the Midwest, to an area where I was always meant to spend more time in solitude, reflecting on my life, connecting more with Him, and learning to be ok with me just as I am, even when much of the rest of the world here has seemingly not been totally loving accepting of me.

While it has hurt immensely to be rejected, criticized, and judged as much as I have here, to have been unfriended and blocked on social media as many times as I have here too, and to have been left off of a number of party invitations and get-togethers here as well, I believe there is one who has never treated me like this whatsoever and that’s God. That’s because I believe God loves me just as I am and sees how hard I’ve tried to become a healthier individual, a more loving person, and a more caring being of Light.

So, in the end really, while I’ve struggled to find acceptance here in the Midwest, and faced as much opposition as I have for whatever the reasons, when it comes down to it, I think the only acceptance I truly need is from God. And when push comes to shove, maybe that’s all that truly matters anyway…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson