Disappointment & Vulnerability

At a very young age, I learned not to get too excited about things because disappointment will find its way to creep in, acting as an unwelcome leveling device that balances joy and sadness, thereby keeping them at similar levels.

Brene Brown has spoken a lot about vulnerability and our culture’s tendency to numb, claiming that when we numb ourselves to pain, we also numb ourselves to joy and happiness. Simply put, we lose our ability to be vulnerable, and that inability is costly. It’s costly to our relationships, as well as our view of ourselves and our ability to love and accept ourselves, as we are.

If someone were to take a poll and ask “who here is vulnerable,” I’d be one of the first ones to glance away out of embarrassment, keeping my hand tightly glued to my side, because I’m not a vulnerable person.

I admitted it.

Throughout my life, I’ve been disappointed enough times to know not to get too excited about things. If someone were to tell me I won a free trip, my response would be a pretty emotionless “cool” because in the back of my mind, I would be thinking “it’s not going to happen.” That way, when things don’t happen and disappointment rears it ugly head, I’m distanced enough from the event/situation that I can accept it without being (too) upset.

It’s a coping strategy and it works pretty well.

However, it fails (miserably) when the situation is something that I feel is foolproof, like 100 percent likely, to happen. In these situations, I let myself get really excited…and of course, when these fail, for whatever reason, I take it pretty hard.

This is the case for the past five out of six days.
(Not to mention the past few months.)

I’ve gotten really excited.
And then let down.

The fifth incident happened earlier this evening, and, combined with the rest of the week, has left me really down.

It’s moments like these where I’m reminded at how bad it is to feel this alone and unloved, and it feels really bad.

Why didn’t my parents want me enough to keep me? Or at least acknowledge my existence? If only abortions would have been legal in 1986, then maybe I would have had a chance. How ironic.

One of the hardest parts about living in a different country is that you no longer have anything to look forward to about Friday nights– you can’t meet up with your best friends and do the fun things that you have grown to anticipate.

I’ve found that this is even harder when you live in the same country and no longer anticipate those fun times.


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