How I Came to be The Queen of Rejection
I've always taken things personally. If someone looked at me sideways, or said something like, "What makes you think that?" — I’d get my feelings hurt and burst into tears.
That's how I came to write Don't Take It Personally! I only wish a book on overcoming rejection had been available to me years ago. Perhaps I wouldn't have accumulated so many dings and dents along the rejection road.
what a bumpy road it sometimes was – when I was twelve years
old my mother and grandmother died in a plane crash, leaving
my father to care for me and my younger brother, Lee. There
were lots of relocations as well – from Washington, DC, to
Omaha, Nebraska, to Baltimore, Maryland (just in time for
my senior year of high school), to Tuscaloosa, Alabama (for
college), and finally, to the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm
never quite sure how to answer the "Where are you from?"
college, seventeen years passed before I returned to school
(at age thirty-five). Because I was working full-time as a
Child Welfare Worker in SF and (I was married back then) juggling
being a wife and mom, it took eleven years to complete my
Masters degree in Psychology and Doctorate in Family
Psychology. I really loved school but sometimes the journey
seemed never-ending. Something in me trusted I could accomplish
this goal, but I had to do it my way. In fact, during my long
commutes to class, I'd repeatedly play Frank Sinatra's "My
Way" on the tape deck and sing along at the top of my
eleven years in school allowed me to find my voice and my
spirit, which had somehow been lost along the way. I began
incorporating my experience as a Medical Social Worker, and
Child Protective Services Worker and began presenting workshops
and writing articles. No one was more surprised than me when
I discovered that I could use my personal and professional
"expertise" to write two books on rejection.
Take It Personally! and Breathing Room
developed from my 1989 doctoral research on the effects of
childhood rejection on intimacy. While writing Breathing Room,
I realized how much I am affected by (and also affect) closeness
and distance in my relationships. And the more I understand
about my own process, the more wisdom I can pass along to
clients and workshop participants.
While writing this "bio" I had an important realization:
My mom, who always dreamed of being an actress, put my brother
Lee and me on the stage every chance she got. I recall one
of the times she "volunteered" us to perform a skit.
To get back at her during the performance we "dropped"
about fifteen lines.
she died, I rebelled and never went near a stage again. But
I just realized that's not quite true. Fact is, I'm on stages
all the time now as a professional speaker and author, and
I love it! Just put a microphone in my hand and I'm happy.
I guess after all these years, I'm doing what mom always hoped
I'd do, but I'm doing it my way.
For more on Dr. Elayne Savage, click here.