How do we deal with disappointments?
Denial? Completely gloss over the situation as if it never happened and continue life moving forward with lenses clouded with disappointment and a sense of inarticulatable loss?
Forgetting we can feel pain and the depths of disappointment?
Broken promises.. Lost hope.. Shattered ideals?
Do we even consider we were disappointed? Or that it’s just a part of life and we need to move forward?
Have we lost our sense of worth and value and allow every unjust thing to be part of our worth-telling?
Or do you step up to the plate, fully present and aware, fully ready to deal with the concept of pain and deeply unspeakable thoughts and feelings?
About your dad never being the one you imagined him to be.
Him not being in your life, neglected at adolescence. His voice and encouragements unavailable and unaccessible.
His strength and love unfelt with the thousands of miles distance and occasional interaction.
Him showing his care through washing the dishes, moving the lawn, providing a home, but actually not there to be a part of your life process and growth.
Feeling like he never really knew you and you never really knew him.
And yet believing this was love and how it should be.
Disappointment with financial instability but unable to tell him. Didn’t want to break all that he worked for. Sacrificed for.
But growing older and living together again with a huge gap between us, I can’t help but feel angry and disappointed from all our fights. His logical but not encouraging or nurturing advice. His harsh words and one-way thinking. His lack of emotional availability.
Call it wishful thinking, call it crazy, call it needy, but to me.. It’s just a little girl longing for a loving caring affectionate present encouraging father. I think we all have this longing.
And this longing unfulfilled for years and years and years and years, it catches up to you. You stop making excuses for him. You stop justifying his lack and you start feeling the pain. The deep deep sense of absence and longing.
And that my friend, is disappointment first identified. Hard to put words but let me save you days of reflection and going back and forth from justifications and trying to understand and empathize and yell at yourself for feeling this way.
Perhaps fathers were meant to be a crucial part of children’s lives. Present, emotionally available, encouraging, affectionate, protective, and forgiving.
Sure, many people don’t have this type of father but it doesn’t mean it should be that way forevermore. We need to discuss the disappointment of our families to see where we lacked, hurt, and need to grieve to move forward with a clearer and more healthy understanding of parents and family functions.
How do you deal with disappointment?