What do you do if you believe you were dealt a pretty bad hand in life?

You deal with it in a manner that seems “normal” to you. At least at first.

Then you learn from it, and if you so desire, you find a way to create something unique and help others.

Everyone has their own “normal,” and in much of our lives we are in a bubble. In our childhood we are in a bubble, until we get together with friends and say “yeah, my mom does that too!” However, when really traumatic things happen kids don’t tend to talk openly about it – it just becomes “normal” and they quietly attempt to cope and suffer.

The same is true for relationships. Most adults don’t get together and compare notes about their marriages. If things are really great they tend to just be happy and talk about something else. If things are really bad, they don’t want to compare notes because it is, actually, their marriage and was their “choice.” Not referring to people who perpetually complain about a spouse, however.

There comes a time in which you realize that things were actually very difficult, not normal, and as you say in the question, you were dealt an awful hand.

Then you realize you developed a number of skillsets to help you cope – a raised awareness, an additional amount of understanding for those in the same situation, a strong desire to figure things out, perhaps a way to express yourself. Perhaps more empathy than most people have.

If you have been dealt a hand that seems to be a “bad” one, then I’d suggest the following:

  1. Analyze and figure out what is out of the norm, “bad” or just not right.
  2. Seek help in some form whether it be from a professional, or friends, or perhaps just the awareness makes a big difference.
  3. Understand that everyone has challenges – some far more than others. Don’t resent those that have been dealt a fantastic hand.
  4. Take stock in what skills you may have developed in response to this. Yes you can certainly develop bad habits, increased unfair sensitivity to certain things, but if you’ve sought help and try to understand then at this step what you have left may be some pretty interesting skills.
  5. Use those skills to express yourself – in art, in writing creatively, or in explaining something from a perspective that others simply don’t have. It doesn’t mean you have to become a teacher or evangelist and try to change the world… but if you do, for the better, then why not?
  6. Finally, create your new normal – this time the normal that makes you happy.