Monday, November 15, 2010

What do you want from me? - Expectations

I spent the afternoon with a friend yesterday and she talked of how she feels she has disappointed everyone in her life. She feels she is not a good friend, mother of wife. She said her aunt has been expecting her to call her an visit her regularly since her husband died and she just hasn't had the time. She lives four hours away.

We want to be loved and admired by the people that are important to us and even loved and admired by the people that are not. This is a slippery slope and ultimately a no win situation. First you have to start off as a mind reader because most relationships that I have been in no one is clearly communicating their expectations of me and sometimes those expectations change on a daily basis.

I still think I can read minds because as a child I became very good at analyzing a situation and performing in a way that was pleasing to others. This part of my personality went into over-drive after my mother died and I tried to be the daughter my step-mother wanted me to be. I dressed the way she wanted me to, I spoke the way she wanted me to and she still despised me. I know now it wasn't about me.

It made her happy for the moment and then she was mad again. I would regroup and reinvent myself and it worked for awhile until it didn't. This set me up with a pattern that I repeated in my alcoholic marriage and every relationship until the program.

I have been in a life long string of relationships where I get left. What my step-mother taught me was that I would never be enough. Every time someone leaves it makes me think that maybe it is true. What the program taught me is that it is true. I will never be enough for someone else, but I can choose to be enough for myself. I can do what is right for me and live in peace or I can try to meet the expectations of others and hope for the best.

Being the best person I can be, Step 11 takes care of that and accepting that as being enough is the only way for me to feel like enough, at least for myself. I want to be loved like everyone else, but what life has taught is it is impossible to meet the expectations of anyone or even the expectations I put on myself, for that matter.

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