Posted by: speakoutservices | May 16, 2011

It’s Not Fair: Dealing with Disappointment

What could be more disappointing than having the people who were supposed to love and protect you decide to do just the opposite?  I am not talking about a minor mistake.  I’m referring to repeated, intentional decisions to either harm you or leave you vulnerable to attack.  I often imagine my 4-year-old self living through such insane entrapment.  My abusive world was out of my control, utterly dominated, and seemingly unending.  All the reason in the world to scream:


Flash forward 44 years to my middle age self.  Completely in control now, right?  Except for the check book that needs an infusion, the gas that needs pumped, the kids who need reminded of chores, the meals that need cooked, the socks that need folded, the Facebook page that needs updated, the business letter that needs mailed,  and on, and on, and on…


I think it will be a challenge for the rest of my life to keep the intense disappointment of the 4-year-old separate from my setbacks of today.  There are still moments when I find that minor disappointments feel like the sky is falling.  The truth is that at one point in my life, the sky WAS falling.  But today, it is just a disappointment – not the end of the world.   Here are some things I do to try to get through disappointments:

  • Whine!  I can’t deny the feelings, so I have to let it rip.  I do this by journaling, writing a “what’s the matter with you for making this so hard” letter to God, or calling a friend.  But it is important that I do not wear my friends out with excessive whining – I share the good stuff too.
  • Find perspective – After a good whine, I try to think if the situation is really as bad as it seems.  Sometimes I just go back to the bare basics – I am healthy, my family is healthy, we have a roof over our heads, look at how far I have come, etc. 
  • Faith – Life experience has shown me that what at first seemed like complete crap was, in the long haul, in my best interests or provided a valuable lesson.  I have to remind myself that I can only do so much, and there is a greater force in charge of the big plan. 

Life will always leave me screaming, “IT’S NOT FAIR”, but ironically, it will also be exactly what I need.


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