There’s nothing that makes my stomach hurt more than when I’ve disappointed someone, or even myself.  I just want to fold into a tight ball and disappear into black space than feel the gut-wrenching ache that weighs heavy inside me.  It’s not so much a feeling stemmed from being unable to please someone, because I try my hardest never to do something to please -just to please, but from knowing I’ve let them down.  I’ve learned a very hard lesson:  I can’t live my life making someone else happy.  I will fail every time, because their happiness isn’t something I can make, guarantee, or sustain.  That is something they must do for themselves, just as I must do for me.  But, I do want to please those whom I love and deeply care about, because it pleases me to please them, and I hate when I disappoint or anger them. I love and deeply care about my friends, and hate to see them in despair, especially at my hands.

In my attempts at being open and living my life honestly, I sometimes lack a filter of what should and shouldn’t be shared.  I’m not talking about sharing secrets.  I’m talking about involving them or revealing things about them as I share about myself. I’m really trying to work on this aspect of my life, but find I often cross a proverbial border and say too much; reveal that which was not mine to reveal.  Lately however, in my crossing the line I violated someone else’s privacy, and hurt them.  Even now my throat tightens and my heart aches because of my actions.  There’s no way for me to fix the mess I’ve created, and I can’t promise that I’ll never do the same thing again, because this is the war that rages inside me. 

I understand other’s need and desire for privacy – and I respect it as much as I respect my friends.  My problem is a deep rooted conflict, one I’m constantly battling, but often fail to make much progress.  Being forced as a child to live a lie, to protect, to hide, to conceal and to deceive really messed me up.  I was good at it, because I had to be in order to protect the things I thought I needed and loved most.  When I broke free from that bondage, I vowed to never lie, to never deceive, manipulate and hide the truth – because these were not my sins to conceal or carry.  But, in casting those shackles off, I went to the opposite extreme and have spent the better part of the last couple of decades being confused, lost and not having an identity of my own – yet I did this honestly.  It’s taken this long to discover who I am – and it wasn’t a light bulb moment, but a spiral of moments piled one on top of the other, made of trials and errors, mistakes and successes, faith and fear.  But in the midst of that chaos, I found me – and I’m a complete mess.

So now, in this next phase of my life, I’m trying to piece the real me together and it’s turned my world upside down.  I’ve never been more scared in my life, but also more complete; a balance somewhere between the two extremes.  I’m not the scared, angry little girl who had to fight for survival, nor am I the suburban wife, mother and business woman who felt lost going from one thing to the next trying to discover who she was, what her purpose was in life –yet getting lost in who she was expected to be by others.  I’m both and yet something new altogether.  I’m still finding me, sewing the two sides together, and this is good.  I’m not whole yet – but well on my way.  Sometimes that scared, angry little girl still surfaces and she kicks, screams, bites, flees and hides and doesn’t share a damned thing… and sometimes the control freak takes over, pushes down the emotions, cuts off all ideas and attempts to address self to care and tend to others and spills everything… and sometimes, just sometimes …the two works together and I find myself in a medium.

I wish I was perfect.  I wish I was whole.  I wish I always made the right choices, said the right words, and did the right things.  I wish I didn’t have doubts, or fears, or irrational thoughts.  I wish I didn’t have feelings of being abandoned every time I made a mistake.  I wish I never disappointed anyone, even myself.  I’m sorry for what I’ve done or haven’t done, but I won’t apologize for who I am, because I’ve fought very hard to get to this point and I’m not going back.  I only hope that’s not disappointing, because that’s all I can give.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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One thought on “Disappointment

  1. I’ve been through the exact same thing. I grew up in a very passive aggressive and somewhat emotionally degrading environment. I grew a stubborn defiant streak as we all do as teenagers, except I used mine to (I felt) stand up for myself. Logic and reason had no place in a family where such behaviour was the norm. My relationship with my mother and grandmother suffered because of it.
    Years later, after talking to my aunt and other family members, I realized it was a pattern that had spanned at least 3 generations. I vowed to break it and find who *I* was. I spent almost 5 years alone. Literaly, alone. With only a few phone calls to very very close friends as I sought to find myself. reading, meditation, even fasting and prayer (surprise, the drunk guy who swears all the time prays! LOL) I did find myself eventually, and developed that same lack of filter that you have. And yes, some people don’t care for it much. Some of those people are those close to me.

    But at the end of the day, just as we try to accept others for who they are, so must they learn to accept us. Be who you are, be proud. too many people these days smile roboticaly and pay lip service to one another. I’m not saying be rude, but never hesitate to be honest, and blunt. I found that when you are you are respecting the other person, regardless of if they actually accept that.

    I know that’s not much in the way of advice, but trust me when i say I’ve been there. My mother passed away in late May, and I’m sill trying to sort through issues that will never be resolved and find inner peace.

    I wish you best of luck, and if you need to vent to someone feel free to hit me up on scrib.

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