Don’t Let Me Down

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Are you happy now? Next time I’m driving.

Disappointment certainly comes in all shapes and sizes throughout our lives. For me, disappointment is complex, and it usually never travels alone. It’s always out there surrounded by a posse of emotions like anger, hurt, sadness, and probably many others that just like to linger within the group. Emotional groupies … no thanks.

Right now I’m not sure what I should feel. I’ve been surrounded by disappointment and company since July, leaving me in a constant state of emotional uncertainty.

Disappointment is slick. It mastered the skill of hovering over my mind, making its way from front to back in an instant and distorting my usually bright view of the world. I really just want to get back on my unicorn and ride some rainbows. 

WTF?

WTF? I look like an old man.

How am I suppose to react when someone I know falls from grace? When this happens to the rich and famous like Lance Armstrong or Tiger Woods we are all consumed with hearing the sordid details of their fall. We play judge & jury over coffee, around the water cooler or in the school yard. But, how do we deal with it when it happens to Joe & Jane Ordinary from our own inner circles? Someone just like you or I who decided to make choices that leaves us with that perpetual WTF look on our faces. This is never a good look for more that a few seconds, let alone months.

The story of Jane or Joe isn’t taking precedence on every network on the planet and Lord knows they’re not sitting back pondering “Would it be better to come clean to Oprah, Katie or Dr. Phil?”  They’re most likely just trying to survive the fall. Loosing everything to the average person is much different from loosing endorsements from Nike and Gatorade. Regular folks don’t bounce. 

faf06848e722c88b8f2f216f2ce6a2c4Sometime in December I read a post over at the The Byronic Man that touched on this subject, but it also stirred some serious emotions for me. At the end of his piece he presented a Weekly Question of the Week that certainly made me pause. Who out there – celebrity or scientist, writer or philanthropist – do you just really, really hope never has some image-destroying scandal?  Or even, if they are in fact awful, you’d just rather not know? My answer to this question was Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen’s actions represent my perception of humanity at its best. I could never know that Ellen was really some behind the scenes tyrant who chewed kindness up and spit it out.  I’m sweating just thinking about that possibility..ugh. 

While answering that question, I was thinking about something that was hitting much closer to my ordinary life. There was someone in my life every day for close to 3 years whose recent actions let me down. We worked together, laughed together and cried together as we fought a battle that at times felt like we were we starring in a Lifetime movie. These movies are much better when viewed  from the comfort of your living rooms. 

As with any relationship there are up & downs and we certainly had our share. Saying that our personalities are different would be an understatement, but they balanced perfectly together while we were in the midst of this battle. However, things changed  for me when the dust settled. Back in July, I found out that this person had taken a fall from grace. She managed to commit some of the same acts that we spent 3 years battling. Needless to say disappointment, along with its entourage, hit me like a ton of bricks. I was literally left stunned.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Maya Angelou.

I love that quote by Maya Angelou, but I have a difficult time believing, even when the evidence is obviously clear. Denial is easier than 7502811442_57c92e3656disappointment. I have a habit of giving everyone the benefit of doubt, always believing that they are in fact much better than what they are revealing to the world. I already know I would not fare well on a jury. 

Maya Angelou explains, people know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are. Don’t expect and you won’t get hurt…right? 

So here I am almost 7 months later finally ready to accept this disappointment. I recognize that I will continue to be disappointed—that it’s part of life, part of being human. That’s real encouraging isn’t it? Jeez!

I think I’ll start to focus on some happiness for now. Maybe I’ll grab a unicorn, find some rainbows and just … Enjoy the Ride!

29 responses

  1. Ugh! Sounds like a big disappointment. I don’t have any words of wisdom but I occasionally enjoy the land of denial myself. However, when you surface all the same stuff you avoided is still there. Good luck.

  2. Angelou’s quote is all well and good, but your colleague showed you who she was over the course of three years AND then showed you again 7 months ago. Therein lies the crux of your disappointment. Perhaps she’s disappointed in herself, perhaps not. You admitted that being disappointed is part of the human condition; so then is disappointing others.

    I’m sure that if you knew me better, I’d disappoint you sooner or later. I can only hope you’ll still be able to like me despite it all.

    1. It’s a big vicious disappointing circle.

      1. People who disppoint you can only make you a better person in the long run.

        Easy for me to say…

      2. Easy for all of us to say. I’m like a magnet to people who assist me in growing into a better person.. haha.

      3. Sadly I’m more of a disappointer than a disappointee….it aint so good on my end either…though I suppose it would be a little better if I didn’t have this pesky consience.

  3. It’s a difficult thing to face. I’m sorry! xoxoM

  4. Ugh. Am thinking of one of the best lines from a movie ever, “F@#$ him, he’s trash.” Not sure if I hit the mark or at least made you smile. Better grab that unicorn!

  5. Since I don’t know the circumstances, but know that you are chagrined by what has transpired, I guess the only comment I can make is to wish that you can make sense of what happened and take the appropriate path forward for you. You cannot control another person’s actions; the only thing you can control is how you react. So, I wish for you to make peace with what you want to do with this person going forward. We are all fixer uppers and we will disppoint someone at some time. I guess we should treat others like we want to be treated and if they cannot reciprocate, vote with our feet and move on. Best wishes, BTG

  6. Hmmm, my husband always told me I was wrong for telling our daughter not to expect to much from people so that she wouldn’t be disappointed when they revealed their true self. In this case, I don’t like being right and I’m sorry that you’ve been disappointed by this “friend”. But I know you, you won’t let this, or anything, bring you down for long. Enjoy the unicorn ride my friend 🙂

  7. You know what I can’t stand more than most other things? Hypocrites.

  8. Yes to the unicorns and the rainbows! Now to find that magic fairy dust to make everything better…

  9. What a hard post to write. I wish I could make it all go away, but, alas, I am fresh out of unicorns and rainbows. If we were closer, I would meet you and either have lunch or coffee or drinks. It is hard when disappointment hits. I am familiar with those company of things that hang around with disappointment, they are creeps. Thinking of you. Hope this too, passes. DAF

  10. Is this person still in your life? Or was their fall from grace just a little too much to handle? It’s hard to find out someone is not who you thought they were & for me it’s hard to forgive them, especially if we were struggling with a particular issue together & that is what they have been hiding from me. I would feel betrayed.

    1. No, she’s not. We had parted ways in May. The problem I’m having is the aggressive behavior that was exhibited towards people who we were battling and then she went and did the same thing. I guess if she didn’t call them every name in the book and define them as the lowest of low, I wouldn’t be so stunned. I know she’s better than what is happening and hope she doesn’t let this low moment define her.

  11. I’m not so good with the advice… Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?

    1. Of course. Sarcasm is always welcome.

  12. Being human sucks and we all make mistakes. Sometimes it’s in trusting others. I guess it’s how we rise from the ashes that makes us better, stronger, and more enlightened people. It almost has to happen in order for us to grow and ultimately learn about ourselves.

  13. I am sorry for your pain and angst. We are all imperfect, I have been dissappointed and been dissappointing, too. “Let he (or she) who is without sin cast the first stone..” Thank you – this was well written, and probably very difficult to write.

    1. Thank you for his beautiful comment. You are so very right on all points. In my heart I know she is better than her bad choices. I hope she is able to recognize it some day.

  14. He-Who always says I expect too much of people so they have no choice but to let me down. It just seems wrong to go through life expecting everyone to let you…that would make a very sad life.

  15. Ellen doesn’t lie.

    1. I don’t think she’s capable.

  16. Yes, there will always be disappointment and I’m sorry that you’re hurting. But what’s the alternative, raising the barriers so high so you never take and risks and trust in people? You’ll be safe, but life will be sterile.

  17. I also often feel disappointed by people. I think I have too optimistic an outlook on things and assume that people will treat me with the same respect that I treat them with. That is often not the case.

  18. So sorry to learn how sad you have been over this disappointment. It is a reminder of our connections and how our actions can help or hurt.

  19. This is sad.Can get how frustrating you must feel.People are disappointing or we expect too much from them.. that one’s hard to figure out. Sometimes wonder if its better to think worst of them and be surprised .Any thoughts on that? Just had this thought-No matter how good or bad the person is,they are going disappoint you,you just have to live in the moment ,be it happy or sad ..eventually you have to let go of either one of them.

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