thread: How do you let go of the hope that always leads to disappointment?

  1. #1
    2013 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    May 2007

    How do you let go of the hope that always leads to disappointment?

    Further to my thread in the BooHoo section... and without going over it again...

    My parents continually let me down in the most painful ways. They have done for... well, I've been more aware of it since I met Shel 4 years ago and started seeing them how they really are. Unless I am living out their ideas for me, they seem very angry and continually make hurtful comments, and actions, against me.

    I know in my head what I need to do. I don't know how to do it though. Possibly just not call them, since they never call or visit anyway... but then, theres in my head that they don't know that I don't want them to call, so they could call, but they don't. It hurts, even though I don't want them to call, I want them to want to. Make sense?

    I just want them to want me to be happy, I want them to see my happiness. They don't, they haven't, and I suspect that it'll be a long time before though do, if they ever do at all.

    Words of wisdom! I know you are all so clever and wise!

    I guess I could have also posted this in the Buddhist section, since I'd really like a Buddhist perspective if anyoe has one because I feel like theres something in Buddhism that will help me I just am not an expert so I don't know what...
    Anyway I do want a few different ideas so doesn't have to be Buddhist KWIM, but please remember that any reference to trust in God isn't really what I'm after

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2005

    I don't have a Buddhism perspective, but having BTDT in the most painful of ways... I learnt to accept things as they are and stop worrying about why, why me and hoping for change. It is what it is. I shrug my shoulders and I'm sorry they don't want things to be different. I made my choices, so now I have no father in my life. I cannot ever have the close relationship I think some have with their mothers with mine, but what I have is what it is. And that is enough.

    Meh. It could be worse. I could still be holding the hurt and pain that was my constant companion for so many years. Which changed nothing but my attitude and ability to be happy. I moved on instead and took a few lessons of my own. Like learning that at the end of the day, the person I could rely on was myself. And I was enough. Not to mention I had a firsthand example of certain ways of being and behaving (and treating others, especially my family) that I now know not to choose. And also, I'm not perfect. Neither are they. Sometimes we just find ourselves doing and saying things that in hindsight are not the best. And I know my parents looked at me through their own filters. They were wrong, but there it is.

    I don't know if that helps at all, hun, but you are such a wonderful strong caring person that you don't need anyone else's love and acceptance and a certain way of being treated to be whole. Name it for what it is, realise it sucks and let it go. That's the best I have for you!

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2009

    I am coming to terms with some relationships that will only ever be on the other people's terms and TBH there is not much in it for me or my family. I had hoped that things could change and that after making a big effort that other people would too. Unfortunately I have decided to include and involve people but not to expect them to behave/act the way I wish they would.
    This has made me more appreciative of the people who do care and love me and my family. So I guess I am trying to make sure that I invest in and help out the people I have to lean on rather than over invest in people who simply do not care. It has been a tough journey and I often waiver in my resolve to avoid letting these people impact me. DH often says 'no expectation, no disappointment' but I find that quite sad. Instead we value and hang out with those that love and care for us, I have left the door open but no longer hope that the relationship will improve. It is what it is and that is more about them than me. It has been a very painful and difficult process tho.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2007
    In the jungle.

    Sorry no Buddhism perspective here either, but just my own thoughts.
    It doesn't matter how hard you want it, or how much you try to change it, you can never change someone's feelings or behavior in this situation. Experience has told me the only chance you have to change it is to walk away. While you are still there letting them treat you that way they will continue. If you say "no, enough is enough" and walk away then, perhaps they might re-think their attitude/position. When they are ready they'll find you. It's so hard when you love someone unconditionally and they don't reciprocate in the same way.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    I guess you know what you need to do to move on, it's just a matter of actually taking that step. What a shame they can't see what they're missing out on. It's only natural you want your parents to care for you and show an interest - parents are supposed to do that! They're supposed to want that! You should expect and demand more
    It reminds me of my mother's shock one year when her mother actually called her on her birthday All I can say is she's a million times better as a mother (and grandmother!)

  6. #6

    Oct 2005
    A Nestle Free Zone... What about YOU?

    I haven't read the other posts - sorry I usually do but I am trying to pay some bills but I couldn't not reply to you sweet cheeks.

    The Buddhist perspective is somthing I can help you with...

    I am pretty sure you know it inside you, but I am like this too I often need to hear it again from someone else - perhaps in different words.

    Your parents are what they are. They are doing what they do. Your disappointment and pain is coming only from what you project onto them as a "should". (for others reading this from a Buddhist perspective I am not being heartless to Leash - I am telling her what IS).

    Your parents "should" phone you, be interested in you. When they don't do what you believe shows love you feel hurt, lost and let down. We all get that. From the perspective of self responsibility you need to focus on the pearl that they are handing you. Letting go of the egoic need to be loved by them is the fight of every human from me to the Dalai Lama and all in between. Building your integrity, love for humanity and your detatchment for the need for outside recognition is the hardest road on the path (IMO - at least for me it's a struggle).

    Also accepting the karmic lesson in this - this is your contract with them. What could that mean? Perhaps for you to learn this and be different for Jazz. To model this difference to others etc etc.

    I understand so well where you are. I am a motherless mother (& basically a fatherless one also!). I have struggled, shouted, slapped my head, laid my heart on a pillow and all else in between. It is painful. However, what is happening IS. Don't fight the reality. Let go of the expectation.

    This does NOT mean accepting what is not okay for you - the is an error that many make - that following Buddhist philosophy means being a door mat. Far from it.

    Be aware of the emotions that come up and talk to them. Name them. "I am feeling anger arising in me". "I am feeling abandonment & feelings of loss arising in me". "I am feeling disappointment arising in me"... Name them, know them, face them and say: Mmmm that's what you look like. I'll sit with you whilst I feel you but then I will let you pass"...

    Have a relationship with your emotions & then they won't own you. Your pain is caused by how you see your treatment as injust. You will choose to be a different parent. But send your parents love. Send them understanding. Know that you chose them and they you - this is part of your contract.

    I am sorry you are feeling this pain - it hurts and its horrible. I hope you can find yourself a way out of this so that your heart feels better.

    "If the heart is in accord with what is, all single strivings have ceased, all doubts are cleared up, true faith is confirmed: nothing remains, nothing need be remembered. Empty, clear, self-illuminating, the heartdoes not waste its energy." Sosan.
    Last edited by Inanna; July 4th, 2010 at 09:06 PM. : add on

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2008
    in my head

    I just want them to want me to be happy, I want them to see my happiness. They don't, they haven't, and I suspect that it'll be a long time before though do, if they ever do at all.
    Leasha, I'm so sorry your parents treat you this way. It says so much about them (to me) and is no reflection on you or Shel at all. I think what you've said above is so true though, we're all hard wired to want to bond with our caregivers/parents, and keep on trying to connect, even when they're hurtful and harmful to us.

    Look, I haven't been in your situation directly so I don't have the words of wisdom that come from direct experience but I wanted to recommend a book to you - sorry it's not a Buddist one - it's called 'Toxic Parents - Overcoming their hurtful legacy and reclaiming your life' by Susan Forward. If you check it out in amazon, you can read the intro and contents. It might help give you a bit of direction about how to go forward but also protect yourself. I do admire your willingness to keep trying to deepen the relationship with your parents, even though it probably hurts you every time.

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber. Love a friend xxx

    Sep 2008

    I guess from a Buddhist perspective, this is just a part of your karmic path. It is happening for a reason, and like all things, can be an opportunity to grow and to benefit yourself, your family and all beings... or to just take another spin around the samsaric cycle again!

    There are some lovely, if very difficult lessons in this one...

    COMPASSION - Firstly for yourself. Be gentle with yourself and your hurt around this. It's ok for it to hurt, and you deserve the nurture and support that you would give Jazz, were she to be feeling the same pain.
    Also, compassion for your parents (oh, this is so hard, I know... I have some difficult family members myself). But if you can step back from your expectations around what they 'should' be for you... their situation as individuals in their own right may provoke empathy and compassion. They're angry - which hurts the soul and creates ripples of karma that will follow them for some time. They're estranged from someone that they love. And if they're holding onto views that are prejudicial and grasping then as the Buddha described it, they have more than a little 'dust in their eyes'. This leads to ignorance and distances them from the joys that can come from openness, acceptance and compassion (and ultimately, if you believe it, enlightenment).

    NON-ATTACHMENT / ACCEPTANCE - This pains you because you have an emotional attachment to them. You also have attachment to beliefs around what they could or should do to demonstrate their love for you. Whilst these beliefs are based around a lifetime of social learning (which is hard to shake), and some fundamental 'true' beliefs - that people 'should' be kind and show care and affection to their children, they are still just beliefs. They can be true, but if you get too hung up on everybody living according the the rules, then you just get hurt and dissapointed and shaken around when they don't. People don't do the right thing. Waaaay too much. That seems to be all part of this big trippy cyclic lesson-learning path we're on! The reality of your situation is what it is. Your dukkha or dissatisfaction comes from your grasping of the relationship and your beliefs about what it should be. It'd be very hard to get there, but I think the Buddhist message is to find peace and acceptance with the way it is. Perhaps you could meditate on the experience of grasping at this relationship and your expectations for it. Watch very closely what your mind and body does as you thing about what you want and how it should be. How it feels that it's not that way. Just watch the thoughts and feelings without fusing with them or becoming them, fully experience it, then allow them to wash away. Perhaps a metta meditation around your parents might be helpful too.

    IMPERMANENCE - this too shall pass. Perhaps they'll continue to respond to you in similar ways, but you'll change. The moment will change. Your life will frame each instance differently until it won't be the same hurt any more. And you can put in work to change it in yourself. I guess too, that the big impermanence in this one is that they won't be here forever. So the option to cut them off completely needs to come with an awareness that there may not be an option to re-connect or heal in the future. Sorry if that's morbid, but it's just one of those truths that's a bit... well... ugh.

    Hope at least some of that made sense... just my spin on a possible Buddhist interpretation of course and from very much a lay-person. Do you have a Lama or Buddhist trained teacher to chat to?

    Big hugs to you. Hope you find some peace in this difficult situation.

    ETA - ooohh, just read Inanna's post... yeah, that!

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber. Love a friend xxx

    Sep 2008

    Double post - oops!