ACoAs & Being DISAPPOINTED (Part 1)

empty promises I CAN’T TRUST ANYONE – I’ve been disappointed too often

PREVIOUS: Anxiety & T.E.A. #3

QUOTES: “Longed for him. Got him. Shit.” ― Margaret Atwood

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope & expectation.” ― Eric Hoffer

DEF: The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure to manifest of expectations or hopes, with the focus on the outcome, rather than the poor choices one may have caused the failure – decisions / actions that got one there

• Decision Analysis studies many different topics, including Disappointment – its causes, impact & degree to which individual decisions are motivated by a desire to avoid it.

FROM the Regret & Disappointment Scale:
“The emotion most frequently studied by decision theorists is regret, the counter-factual thoughts that create emotions – when realizing or imagining we would have had a better outcome if we’d decided differently.

Regret depends on a Choice made in the past which led to an unfulfilling action – later causing  counter-factual** thinking.
And the intensity of regret depends on – whether suitable alternatives were available (to the person at the time) but were not chosen.
**Counter-factual thinking is picturing one or more outcomes different from what actually happened. It’s when we obsessively think  ‘If only I had… What if it hadn’t….”

Psychologists & economists have been investigating the relationship between Regret & Choice since the early 1980’s. The emotion of disappointment is also based on counter-factual thinking : when we keep wishing events had turned out more to our liking.

Although regret and disappointment are different emotions, they’re both generated by comparing “What IS” reality with “What might have been”.(MORE….)

ACoAs have very intense reactions to being disappointed (D) – either with outright rage OR deep depression, depending on the strength & importance of the unfulfilled needs, and how long we were deprived of those needs.
This to be such a big issue for ACoAs, which tells us how constant & overwhelmingly abandoned in PMES ways we were as kids – first & foremost by our parents, & then by everyone else who let us down.

• We needed them to be there for us, to encourage, guide, protect, validate, mirror, love…. & they either did these things sporadically, incompetently or not at all.
Constant, endless disappointment in our caretakers (also teachers, relatives, baby sitters…) has left us with a very big wound. It’s one of many wounds – & some of us have buried it so deep, we don’t evedisapponted catn recognize it when it happens again in the present.

To be disappointed we must:
1. have a need ( + desire, wish, dream, hope….)
We may not even know we have a particular need or wish, because we were not allowed to have them, or if we did, we were told in many ways, over & over – that they were not legitimate, were selfish, were dumb….
AND must :
2. (secretly) expect that need to be met.
Since we’re still not allowed to have them, we not aware that they’re always in the background. We still have needs, just by virtue of being alive. But since they go unmet – they can never go away, like being hungry but barely eating anything if ay all – OR eating empty calories & harmful foods / chemicals…..
For many of us, the greater a specific need, the more desperate we become – waiting for someone else to do something for us we should be doing for ourselves or can learn how to
and must :
3. not get that need met : We can track deprivation of need, hopes, wishes….  by the intensity of our reactions when we don’t get something we (unconsciously) longed for, actually asked for or tried to get in some indirect way.

❥ HUMOR from Grant Sniderdisappointed


NEXT: ACoAs & Disappointment – Part 2

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