Today's writing prompt from Jeff Goins is disappointment. I think every single one of us has lived with disappointment over one thing or another. It is inescapable in this world in which we reside.
One of the earliest disappointments I remember was my Mom marrying my stepdad. I thought he was mean and awful. He would verbally abuse me and my Mom would tell me to ignore him. I was disappointed that she would allow him to treat me that way.
I was disappointed when my Mom was never there for my dance classes or dress rehearsals. My stepdad was there in the lobby taking pictures, so he was in charge of getting me there and home most of the time. I was disappointed that work always seemed more important than her children. Especially when she sent me an email saying that she was sorry that I could not understand that she had to look out for herself and work all of the time. I felt like a child again, unworthy of her time and love.
When my Daddy died when I was 13, I was disappointed again. I was disappointed in God, that He would take my Daddy, but leave my verbally abusive stepdad. I couldn't understand why He would take a good person and leave a bad one. A couple of years later, a teacher explained to me that when someone has completed the plan God had for them here on earth, He calls them home. I am not sure if that was 100% theologically correct, but it sure made my hurting heart feel better.
When my brother started drinking, got involved with drugs and started stealing from my mom & stepdad, I was disappointed. When he was not willing to admit that he had a problem, the disappointment grew. The drugs & alcohol turned into drinking cough syrup to get a high. The stealing turned into stealing their identity. When they pressed charges, I was disappointed in them. That disappointment was definitely misplaced. When he got out of jail the first time and we opened our house to him and he was abusive to my kids and I did not find out until years later, that was disappointment. When I found out he had abused my kids and I missed the signs, I was extremely disappointed in myself and filled with shame and regret.
After my brother repeated the same mistakes with stealing and drugs and returned to jail, I was disappointed again. When he asked family to throw a party for him when he was released, I was disappointed again. Yes, I was glad he was released, but a party after 3.5 years in jail? I just could not grasp the idea.
A few months after he was released from jail, he was telling us that he was extremely sick and he looked terribly sick. He told us that he had developed epilepsy due to head trauma from falling in jail and he was having major pain and stomach issues. He looked horribly ill. He told us that his family doctor had ordered some scans and told him that he had a mass in his head. Then weeks later he told us he went to an oncologist and was told that he needed to do a full body scan, because brain tumors usually don't originate there. A few weeks later he told us that he had gotten the news that he had pancreatic cancer that had spread to his brain. After not seeing him near as often as I should have when he was in prison, now I thought I was losing him. More regret. He told us that the doctors said he had 3-6 months to live and they couldn't do anything.
We had moved to Texas from our home state of Louisiana where he was, so we went to visit just about once a month, because I did not want to regret not seeing him as much as I could during his dying days. He would look terrible one visit and decent the next. I think we all were living in a constant state of turmoil. If my Mom called, I thought she was calling to tell me that he was dead.
About 5 months into him saying that he had cancer, my Mom, uncles and aunt, started asking him for proof, because they felt like something wasn't right. I was naive and so disappointed that they would treat him that way, because I believed him! I would text him or talk to him e very day, checking up on him. Some days he sounded fine. Some days he would say he couldn't text because his phone was too blurry or he couldn't talk because of headaches or slurred speech. I was disappointed on those days and wondered if he was getting worse.
He finally agreed to let my Mom and uncle go with him to the doctor and ask any questions they wanted. I was still disappointed that they were questioning him. I was still babying my brother and believing him. He disappeared the day before they were supposed to go with him to the doctor. I was so disappointed in him that day. I had had a dream several years earlier that his life was going to end in suicide. He called me a day or two later and told me that he was fine and just needed some space to himself. His speech was clearer than I had heard it since he'd been out of jail. I almost felt like he was reading from a script. There was no stuttering or slurring, like we had all been accustomed to. He texted asking for my address. I have it to him and begged him to not do anything stupid. He was found two days later. He had overdosed on insulin. He left letters to my Mom, sister & uncle. No note/letter for me. He had asked a cousin for her address, too, but she never received anything. I was so disappointed that I did not matter enough to him to get a note. I was disappointed that nothing I said or did was enough to change his decision on ending his life. I was disappointed that I had trusted him and believed him when none of it was true. I believe he came out of jail, planning on putting his family through the most excruciating pain that he possibly could. I am disappointed in myself for playing along with his scheme and not seeing through it and dragging my family back to Louisiana every single month. I am disappointed that my family is ashamed and tries to keep it a secret.
I am hoping to find a group that is hurting from verbal abuse &/or losing a loved one to suicide and be a light of hope to them in their darkness.