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Old 08-13-2004, 08:55 AM
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Black ache….yup that is what I have………I can do this……one baby step to a time…..I have to start being very alert and conscious of myself……..I have to figure out what my real needs are and I have to find out how to meet those needs by myself…….

I do have that inner child that wants and craves the attention I didn’t get growing up…..(that is why I need to be needed…..isnt it…….) the only attention I received from my parents when growing up is when they wanted me to do something for them…….(mainly, babysit younger siblings, or do chores)…..Yuck, what kind of message was I getting………If my husband would do that, he would love me……….He doesn’t love me cause he didn’t make dinner tonight and he knew I had a hard day…………(my kids love me for me, but my expectations of them are quite low, because they are kids) So in essence my husband get the worse of everything……I depend on him almost for my every waking breath……….I sure put a lot on his shoulders…….I want him to do for me, like I did for my parents to prove to me he loves me…..

I am really freaking myself out lately……have I hit another milestone……..or am I looking way to far into all of this??????????? Personally I think I have hit another milestone…….but am afraid that everyone else is going to think I am a freak……but it feels good right now……..
 
Old 08-13-2004, 10:05 AM
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I think you have hit a milestone breec. If you can recognise your behaviors and expectactions and the reasons for them that's a step in the right direction for sure! Congrats!
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:07 AM
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Sweeks,
You're absolutely right. No one said recovery was going to be easy or pain free. Its like peeling away the layers of an onion... sometimes we have to cry before we move on.

Hugs
Barb

PS Im in Des moines too!
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:18 AM
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Well yay osier! I think I'll add you to my ICQ list so we can chat if you want. Anyone else can feel free to contact me on ICQ too I love talking to all of you here!
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:55 AM
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That is why I love this forum so much………..It has been a long time since a lightbulb has gone off…….but each time is goes off……………..it is getting ever so slightly brighter…I think I am going to set a goal………….I am going to release some of my husbands duties………
 
Old 08-13-2004, 02:17 PM
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I really need to expect NOTHING!!!! The days I get the something I think I will eat the whole cake icing and all!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:09 PM
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Expectations.... why do I still have them? I try to communicate with him and he reads a magazine while I'm talking. We had a beautiful sunset and clouds the other night and he was in his cave and only came to look when I begged... Why do I hurt myself this way? I want to share my life :crying: I'm tired of being married and lonely.

Hugs to all of you. This board is making my life and recovery easier and I don't feel so alone all the time.
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:41 PM
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Rose...are you putting all your expectations in one basket? Your boss obviously appreciates and cares about you. Your children love and care about you. So do we and so do the people in your church and in your meetings. God loves you and wants you to learn to love yourself. Look around you and notice the people who are kind...the waitress with a smile, the person that lets you cut into traffic.

The person you have the most expectations of is not capable of meeting them.

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Old 08-14-2004, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Rose56
My expectations sure get me into trouble. Cause me more pain than is necessary. I also expect myself to be perfect, MG, and boy do I get it from myself when I am not. I am very interested in the black ache concept, and what people do for themself to ease the pain. WHen you are feeling empty, alone, and like no one else really cares about you. How do you get out of that by yourself? I have tried logic, I know in my head that I am loved, but that doesn't ease the feeling in my gut. Sometimes I call someone and it helps, but often, it is nighttime and I am alone and I don't know how to comfort myself. SOmetimes I cry and sometime I just go to bed to escape. What works for You? I will also tell you that I sleep with a teddy bear every night. It was my son's bear and I love to cuddle him.
For my "black ache", there are the things I do at the time, and there are the long term things I work on to lessen and possibly remove a lot of what causes it.

Some of the things I do at the time that lonely, depressed, unhappy feeling comes on me are read my Al-Anon literature. If I can't find something to relate to what is going on in one book, I go to another. One thing I have done for myself is to invest in a lot of lit. I pray. If my head is kicking my butt, and I can't sleep, I pray for God to remove obsessive thinking. I meditate. I may accomplish a few minutes of concentration, then have to start over. It helps to calm me. Mainly, I try to get my brain to focus on anything healthy to get it off a self destructive path. Eventually I can feel better.

The biggest thing I have learned to do, once I get through all the crazies, is to inventory my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Getting to the root of these things is the key to fixing them. There are a lot of twisted and downright wrong beliefs that I held as true when I came to Al-Anon. They caused me to get my needs met in inappropriate ways. That in turn caused me to be ashamed, and to hate myself. I would beat myself up very regularly. I didn't know why I just could quit doing the things that I was ashamed of.

I didn't know how to change myself until I began working the steps. Learning to dig beyond the behaviors and get to the root of what was going on was a new concept. One that actually worked. When I got to the root of what was driving me to do those inappropriate behaviors, I realized that I had a need that no one had taught me to meet in a healthy way. I understood why I couldn't "just quit" the unhealthy behaviors. I needed to find new ones to replace them. Just quitting old behaviors left me with unmet needs. Eventually I would have to meet them the only way I knew how. Identifying those needs gave me an opportunity to find new, healthy ways to meet them.

That was the beginning of my long term solution to the "black ache." It is an ongoing process. It works, and I am getting better. My worst day in Al-Anon today is better than my best day pre Al-Anon. I wanted relief for years from that viscious cycle of self defeating behavior, shame, and hopelessness. Al-Anon gave me the tools to get it, and I am using them. Hugs, Magic
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Old 08-14-2004, 08:03 AM
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Magic...

Way to lay it out.

Sometimes I think I want to be miserable. At least as evidenced by my allowing myself to wallow...

The black ache...

I'm actually afraid of that feeling ... ya know? It was so much a part of my life before I found the 12 steps and the people that work them... and sometimes I found it almost unbearable.

But... that was then... this is now... and I have tools... and I know they work. It just takes me a little time sometimes to remember to use them.

Thanks for reminding me.
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Old 08-14-2004, 09:10 AM
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bikewench,
Keeping my tendency to wallow in check has saved me many a time. I still go there sometimes, I just don't allow myself to stay there. I also have to keep an eye on the inner dialogue. When that gets dark, I get dark. When that lightens up, I lighten up. We are what we think, and all that.
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Old 08-14-2004, 09:14 AM
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This is a tough one, but in time, I've learned to let go of the expectations. I've come to a point where it doesn't take much to remind myself I'm only setting myself up for disappointment. Instead, let the chips fall where they may. I don't always remember in an instant, but my recovery is working. I'm always a work in progress, but the lightbulb moments do seem to happen more quickly then before and for that, I'm grateful. It sure is a long road, but a path I'm always grateful to follow.
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Old 08-14-2004, 09:32 AM
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Gabe...

wallowing...

But... I want what I want when I want it.. ya know? ;o)

I am so willful.

And I push it until I cause myself much grief and those I'm focused on.

I wish I could nip it in the bud... but.. at this point.. it just isn't in my nature. I have to twist and turn in the miserable wind for a bit... till I decide to look at things a different way.

I've been trying really hard to pull my focus back onto myself.. and I had a really long talk with my mate last night.

And he was straight for it! ! !

I connected with him like I haven't for a long time.

He still refuses to play by my rules.. lol.. but.. if anyone laid that trip on me I'd tell them to you know what... ;o)

Bottom line... I gotta resolve this issue of why I won't concentrate on my own wants and needs and make them top priority... and I have to revamp my beliefs that its selfish to do this.

I was out riding... where I do my best thinking... and I was thinking about my Mom and Dad and what I watched my Mom allow to happen in her life. So.. I guess it shouldn't be any surprise that I have an altered baseline tolerance for abuse .. eh?

But I have to learn how to give up the control.. and that's pretty much what it is.. a control issue.
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Old 08-14-2004, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bikewench
an altered baseline tolerance for abuse
Wow, just wow. That phrase says a lot. It's worth remembering that the patterns we observed in childhood can play a big part in how we live our adult lives. If we let them. That's the key, if we let them. We have choices to make. We don't have to be stale summer reruns of what our parents did. In fact, it's much better if we carve out new and brighter ways to live our lives. I'm still a work in progress on that one.
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:18 PM
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Bikewench there was a time in my recovery when I made that connection... was I pissed!!! I felt like I had been living in reaction for my entire life up until then when all along I thought I had been making conscious choices. What a blow to the old ego! I collapsed like a house of cards. It took me a while to understand that I couldn't stay there so I had to make myself get out of the pity pot and begin the slow task of rebuilding. I felt betrayed my myself...if I couldn't trust myself who could I trust??

I learned that it is only my perception that I can't trust and to this day I don't. I doubt I will ever be able to trust that part of me. We are as affected by our environment as much or more than genetics IMO.

My hopes, dreams, wishes and expectations were dashed routinely all my life but I kept carrying them around, holding them out and getting them dashed all over again. Doing the same things over and over expecting different results.

Early in recovery I did as I was told pretty blindly. I didn't accept the "expectations being premeditated resentments" party line one bit. I am a wife and a mother and should be able to expect certain things from my husband and child. Having boundaries and having expectations are not the same thing. In time I came to believe that when I expected nothing everything is a gift.

In some ways, to me, expectations are alot like trying to control...they don't change the outcome and they only cause me pain.

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Old 08-15-2004, 07:58 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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OK ladies. Tell me if I'm way off base here. I was talking with one of my friends and told her that I didn't expect anything from my H. If he did something that I thought was good, I was pleasantly surprised. She looked at me and said "Isn't that sad?"

Since then, I've been thinking about this topic. I completely understand that I shouldn't expect something from an A that is impossible for him to give. I understand that his addiction prevents him from fulfilling these expectations.

On the other hand, I expect a husband to (at a minimum) respect my feelings, be faithful to me and be there for me when I'm going through hard times.

I'm afraid that if I let go of all expectations of people in my life, I'll be taking a step backwards. If I don't expect anything of the people in my life, what does that say of my self respect?

Maybe this is an issue of defining expectations and boundaries in my mind. I do expect to be treated well. Help?
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Old 08-15-2004, 08:29 AM
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L,

That is why I said that expectations and boundaries are two very different things. Of course we have boundaries...there are things I will not accept in a relationship. I will not accept violence, lack of respect or unfaithfulness either. On the other hand I do not expect Ward to read my mind, know what my needs are, fulfill my dreams or be the perfect husband. I have a responsibility to express what is on my mind and what my needs are, to fulfill my own dreams and Lord knows I am not the perfect wife.

It is not that you expect to be treated well, hopefully you will not tolerate being treated badly.

As codependents our needs and expectations can become skewed. We expect to be the center of our spouses lives because they are the center or ours. We expect to be coddled and called and thought of constantly because that is what we do. Our expectations become unhealthy for us. We expect them to get sober and when they do we expect them to "go back to who they were". Normies can have (healthy) expectations I suppose, because their compass points north but ours points a little SSE.

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Old 08-15-2004, 09:23 AM
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Oh yeah, those CODEPENDENT expectations.
Isn't the Codie Golden Rule "Do unto others and expect that they will do exactly the same way back to you"? That one has gotten me in trouble more times than I care to think about. It took me years with Spicoli before I realized that I was expecting rational behavior out of an irrational person. Now that really shouldn't have been a hard concept to grasp. Alas, I was still in kiss the toad mode.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:43 AM
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Great post expectations, needs something in between. I needed this today. God Bless, Kell
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:38 AM
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Thanks all for this timely thread. I know a lot of what you are speaking about. My family has had expectations of me all of my life. Unfortunately for them, they were not my expectations. I have lived with guilt a lot of my life and I find that I have had expectation of my partner, which he doesn't know and could care less about. It has been a week today since his release for the hospital and this was a serious scare for him. For several days he couldn't drink due to his medications, yet now he is off of them and he continues not to drink. I am here with him, but I expect nothing from him. I am working on myself right now and that is different for both of us. I think the world of him, but I can't care what he does. He is beyond my control and am realizing that I don't want that control. Control is an outside thing, what I have to work on is within myself. There is a lot of fear, not knowing where I am going, or what will transpire yet I am embarking on it. The one thing that I know is that I want to stay and work this through with him. Find that this site has been a tremendous sense of support. I find that I am spending more time reading about the illness and what is going on in other peoples lives, does help me to deal with the moment. Another important concept is 1 day is all that I have to get through. But it is spilling over into my family relationships. My mother is a matriarch and everyone "attempts" to live up to her expectations. Yet no one can and today I found out that it is truly just setting everyone up to disappoint her. Disfunction is a hard concept to accept and deal with but I am trying to. She is 84 and in a nursing home. I try and get to see her as often as posssible, yet she makes these visits as argumentative as possible. No one care for me, I am a burden on everyone and I want to die. Guilt like this is what we are supposed to live with and I am learning that she is only alienating herself. Her own unhappiness is being caused by her inability to see that she contains the truth of her life, no one can make her happy or content if she does not choose to do it herself. Thanks for the posts all. I am reading frequently and learning constantly.
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