Disappointment. It’s something I now experience regularly as I wait each month for signs of absence to learn if new life is occurring in me. In my adult years, until now, I had few disappointments. I experienced many as a kid.
There were a few disappointing Christmases, when presents were donated from the couple next door; months of daily disappointments during the worst days of my young adulthood, when I’d come home from school and see Mom already holding in hand a low ball of whiskey and a splash of water, the sign of a long night ahead; when Mom would let Keith back into our house after an especially violent episode between them, when she vowed he'd never be allowed to return; when I did poorly on my ACTs; when I remained in the second row of the flute section; when that check that would help ease our poverty did not come yet again.
Disappointment is very cruel. It generates feelings of sadness, melancholy, self-pity, and frustration. There is a feeling of helplessness, that there is nothing to be done to satisfy the desire, the longing for the object or the state that is to be denied once again.
Perhaps, that’s what’s so cruel about disappointment. The opposite of disappointment is hope. Hope brings promise, excitement, and possibility. Hope tricks the mind into pondering better days, visualizing that object and the subsequent joy it’s supposed to bring. Disappointment is the result of hope denied.