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Old 08-12-2004, 03:29 PM
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JT
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Another Topic: Expectations

Expectations can be killers.

If we hold on to unrealistic expectations we are setting ourselves up to be victims. One example is expecting an active alcoholic to not drink. If the expectation is not met your day is ruined.

Another example is expecting any one person to meet all of your needs. That is not only a burden on the other person, it is bound to fail leaving you once again feeling like a victim.

It is way too easy to confuse expectations with needs. Suddenly you need them to quit drinking in order for you to be happy. That is simply not the case.

I had to look at my expectations early in recovery and adjust them to something that was much more real. Ward and the Beav have flaws and so do I. I had to learn what my needs were and take responsibility for making sure they were met.

Expectations can be lethal for a relationship. When we were younger Ward played sports and going to the bar afterward is part of it. I chose to make that personal...I expected him to come home...I needed him to come home....if he didn't come home when I asked him to he didn't love me. I knew he wasn't doing anything more than acting macho with his friends...I chose to turn it into much more than it was.

Thought?
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Old 08-12-2004, 03:44 PM
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My Alateen sponsor used to say "Expect nothing. Then, if you get something, it's icing on the cake."
As far as relationships go, expectations can be lethal and are often accompanied by that dreaded "if you love me then you would..." statement.
I think JT mentioned a key phrase, that being "unrealistic expectations."
If someone has proven to be a generally loving, attentive person...it's realistic to expect that kind of behavior from them.
If someone has proven to be a generally unloving, inattentive person...it's unrealitic to expect that kind of behavior from them.
I think seperating out the unrealistic from the realistic is part of the process when it comes to dealing with expectations.
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Old 08-12-2004, 03:58 PM
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That's one of the biggies Gabe...when I stopped expecting, everything I was given became a gift!

Oh and thanks...I was hanging out here like a red herring!
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:02 PM
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Ain't no way I would ever let you hang out like a red herring JT.
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JT
Expectations can be killers.
I read somewhere that expectations are pre-meditated disappointments. And when I finally processed that beyond my addict mindset and into my brain, I started examining what I was really doing. Confusing the things I needed with the things I wished for.
A lot of self pity was borne from that often repeated error. Along with many things I have to change in order to continue in recovery, many long held beliefs have to be thrown out the window.
A work in progress
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:27 PM
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Dan...the one I have heard is that expectations are pre-meditated resentments. Even MORE deadly!
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:30 PM
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Okay...premeditated disappointments that I will be resentful about later. Does that work?
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JT
Dan...the one I have heard is that expectations are pre-meditated resentments. Even MORE deadly!
Geez... Even worse than I thought. But yeah, can't afford resentments. Nope, no way. Deadly's the right word, for sure.
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:39 PM
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Yeah...

So.. I have a need and I have an expectation that I need it met.

I've felt like I've being playing this stupid game for the last 16 years. Be good... don't use... take care of your issues... and life will be good.

So.. here I sit like a little kid... needing attention... and I feel like an idiot.

I have this black ache in me...

I keep telling myself to look to myself... but I feel nothing from that. No relief.. no solace.

I suspect it stems back from the mommy and daddy thing... but I have no hope in hell of getting it met by them.

I have needs... but I should have no expectations.

So.. what's the f'n point then in being in any kind of a relationship???

EH????
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:54 PM
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Melody Beattie says that nothing will drive us crazier than expecting something from someone who has nothing to give.

When my "expectations" are about someone else filling my need, then I am bound to be disappointed and resentful. Just because I "need" something from someone, doesn't mean they will feel the need to give.

When the clouds turn grey and fill the ski, I can "expect" rain...but won't be disappointed if it doesn't happen. When my soul turns grey and fills with clouds, I better look after myself.

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Old 08-12-2004, 05:00 PM
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(((bikewench)))
Tricky business sorting out needs and expectations. Even trickier figuring out where to go from there.
We all feel like little kids sometimes...little kids who need attention.
And sometimes we can't get anyone to pay us the least little bit of attention.
Enter the black ache, which comes from the empty place.
The empty place is where our needs and our expectations come from.
And as long as we look to other people to fill those needs and expectations, we are always vulnerable and open to disappointment.
Someone told me a long time ago that happiness comes from within, not from without. Actually, I think it comes from both places.
But the part that comes from within has to be firmly in place before the part that comes from without can work.
Lots of love and light coming from me to your little kid bikewench.
Another gem from my Alateen sponsor...
"They said in the Bible that it came to pass. They never said that it came to stay."
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:56 PM
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Oh and thanks...I was hanging out here like a red herring!
Sorry about that. I am having a little trouble getting my recovery thoughts together right now. I read your post and thought it was right on target. Hugs, Magic
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Old 08-12-2004, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Magichappens
I am having a little trouble getting my recovery thoughts together right now.
(((Magic))) No problem and completely understood.
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:22 PM
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I put impossible expectations on myself and then exhaust myself trying to fill them. If it's not perfect I'm mean to myself.
 
Old 08-12-2004, 08:32 PM
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(((Everyone.. Ann.. Gabe... )))
Thank you .....

I'm gonna go off and think about needs and expectations. And detaching.
My head knows that what you say is the truth... now I just gotta get my emotions to understand.

And as long as we look to other people to fill those needs and expectations, we are always vulnerable and open to disappointment.
It feels so lonely to have to detach to that point... but there really is no other place to go is there.
Even if I changed my present situation... go through all the heartache and tearing up... I could just walk right back into another situation where I have different problems.

I gotta go do some reading.

I feel bad cause I dumped here... gonna take the "inner" child out... thanks Gabe...

I think I'll go clean the bathroom as penance.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:53 PM
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great topic. Really what I needed to read tonight. I understand, but still hurts.
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:27 AM
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Oh my Gosh...this so sad! I can honestly say that altho the concept confused me in the beginning it felt good to let go of expectations. It felt right. I was in LESS pain as I got better at it.

When I stopped expecting Ward to fill my every need and started filling them myself it seemed that whatever he did do was that much more special. When I stop expecting the Beav to act in ways that he is not capable of doing it causes me less pain. Yes that means sometimes having to see someone for who they really are and maybe for the first time. That can hurt...for a little while. But it sure beats expecting something I am not going to get year in and year out.

Today if the Beav has a kind word it is a jewel. If I expected that from him I would #1 miss the beauty of the moment and #2 spend a whole lot of time waiting miserably for it to happen.

A saying in Alanon is "You don't go to a hardware store expecting to buy a loaf of bread" It is the same thing as expecting another person to behave in ways that they never have.

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Old 08-13-2004, 05:29 AM
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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.
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:46 AM
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one of my favorite preachers used to say that expections lead us to the road to hell blessed and multiplied.....

yea and we definatly cannot buy a loaf of bread at a hardware store unless there is a grocriey store next door.

The only one I can do anything about is myself!!!! God help me to realy believe that and do something about me...
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Old 08-13-2004, 06:49 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.
I have that black ache too sometimes and what works for me right now is to come online and read these boards. I also try to make sure I'm very tired before I climb into bed, so the wheels in my head don't start when I hit the pillow. I run, work on homework, clean the house, cook for the week or watch a movie. I know that it's good to deal with these feels but I also know for me it's not good to wallow in them too long, I start to feel desperate.

I find that it's difficult to think about actually loving and being OK with myself, so when I have time to think I try to focus on the things I've always wanted to do and how I might be able to accomplish doing them. I don't expect that they will happen but I need to give myself the opprotunity to try.

that line between expectation and having goals seem a little blurry but I think I'm understanding that an expectation is limiting and a goal is an opprotunity with endless possibilities.

Hugs All!

Marci
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