Disappointment

ID-100175191.Stuart.MilesHaving been wounded by betrayal by the one whom I gave my heart to (my husband) I am finding that I am reacting to actions of others and exaggerating the hurt when they act below my expectations, although they would never intentionally cause me pain.

This is compounded by my mother’s death as my mother was my rock and I am expecting others to be a substitute rock for me. When I discover that other people are not as strong as she was or not as supportive of me or accepting of my limitations, I am seeing that as betrayal, rather than me accepting other people as flawed individuals who try their best but do not always achieve the strength of wisdom that my mother had.

So minor incidents with loved ones upset me and I begin to hear those annoying voices in my head again ‘you are not good enough’, ‘you do not matter’, ‘you are are hopeless’. However, after brief reflection I realize they are voices springing back from the betrayal and are not the voices of disappointment at this time.

I recognize the difference.

Disappointment is when others voice displeasure at something I have done or not done. This is different from betrayal where there is a lack of respect for me as a person.

Disappointment is when a loved one cannot put my interest first as they have other obligations, goals and loved ones as their priorities. This contrasts with betrayal where my interests are completely disregarded.

Disappointment is when I realize that a loved one does not share all my values or beliefs, rather than betrayal when a loved one does not accept me for who I am.

Disappointment is when someone cannot eliminate my pain and discomfort. This is not betrayal which is broken trust.

Disappointment is when I am expecting loved ones to be strong for me.
Acceptance is the slow realization, that it is I who must be strong.

In dealing with disappointment, I have come to accept my loved ones for who they – both their strengths and weaknesses. Disappointments stem from differences of preferences or unrealistic expectations. Preferences can be negotiated or compromised. Expectations can be re-framed into something more realistic.

Acknowledging my disappointment, and with it sadness at the loss of my expectations, provides me with an opportunity for personal reflection. I may then accept the situation for what it is, accept others for who they are, and focus on realistic goals for my future.

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