Expectations – Do They Set Us Up For Disappointment?

I received a birthday greeting from someone from the blog this week, this woman’s relationship ended one month before mine and she was saying how much the blog helped her to heal. Five years after D day and this is how she closed her message; it brought tears to my eyes;

“My peace is now profound.  I do so enjoy my life now and am still very happily single and doing so much with it!”

Read that again and really soak it in. Do you understand why those two lines made me tear up? 

Some people never attain inner peace, I am not even sure most people know what inner peace is; they are so focused on finding “happiness”, waiting for someone else to bring them joy, being disappointed over and over again when people don’t live up to their expectations. It is impossible to find peace while you are waiting for other people to give you happiness, your worth, your reason for being here. My ex used to blame me for him hurting me; one of his favorite lines was, “If you had no expectations you wouldn’t be disappointed”.  Eventually I stopped having any expectations of him or anyone else and I went numb inside. I shut off all feelings, oh sure it still hurt when he didn’t come home at night, but I stopped expecting him to be home. If he showed up, great; if he didn’t, oh well. His sister even said to me, “Aren’t you pissed? where is he? how can you just calmly sit there? I would be losing it if it was MY boyfriend.”

I had learned that to react only meant I would have to deal with more gas lighting,  more blame shifting, more word salad and just might get me a punch to the head; but worse than any of that…… I would be told how little value I had and that no man would want me or put up with what my ex had and my soul could not take it.

What was the point to getting angry? nothing ever changed and more importantly;  I was not prepared to leave. I felt my happiness, my very existence relied on my ex loving me and me pleasing my ex. Him showing any kind of approval or acceptance had become my life support. 

Is it possible to have any relationship and not have expectations? I don’t think so. We all have expectations of the people in our lives and they of us. The secret of having expectations is to not let them ruin your inner peace. 

My ex used to use another Dr. Phil Type quote, “No one else can be responsible for your happiness.”

Also a very true statement, but it needs clarification. NO, no one is responsible for your happiness but they can be responsible for your unhappiness and if you find you are consistently unhappy with someone it is your responsibility to not let them ruin your happiness. When my ex said his actions should not affect MY mood, it was a cop out. He was taking a true statement and twisting it to suit his purpose. 

It is true that no one can make you feel worthless unless you let them. A victim of a narcissist doesn’t see it coming and by the time the N is making them feel worthless they are so far down they can’t see the sun any more. But once you know what you are dealing with you have to break the spell and save yourself. It is hard, dang hard, I know and I remember having long talks with myself for a couple of years after leaving him. You are breaking an addiction to his approval, it is going to take time, don’t give up.

Keep reminding yourself that you can not control him or his actions, only your own. You can not fix him, only yourself, to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results is a sign of insanity. 

Before my ex I was an independent woman who took shit from no one, male or female. ( I had a long fuse, but once I reached my limit I was not wishy washy in defending myself and sticking to my guns) Everyone who knew me was waiting for me to have my fill and kick him to the curb; I was waiting for me to have my fill and kick him to the curb, walk away. It never happened.

A common lament of victim’s of a narcissist is, “I am not the same person. Will I ever get the old me back?”

The answer is “No”.

It is not possible to sleep with the devil, LOVE the devil and ever be the same again. BUT you can be a better version of yourself, you CAN find inner peace and a whole new life.

When I met my ex I had high expectations of everyone in my life but I worked very hard to exceed the expectations of the people around me. My self worth was very much wrapped up in the approval of others. I loved to entertain and cook for people but the torture I put myself through making sure the house was spotless, the meal was perfection and I was the epitome of a perfect host was not worth it.

Because of my own high expectations of myself I had given everyone who knew me a false sense of who I was. 

I also drank a lot!! because deep down I am a shy person and needed the liquid courage.

To put it plain and simple; I was not living true to myself, I was living up to other people’s expectations of who they thought I should be and who I thought they thought I should be. But one thing for sure, I was not living true to my core self. The only way to ever have inner peace is to be living true to yourself.

People have asked me how I can have inner peace when I am homeless and my life is in such turmoil. Inner peace has nothing to do with your outward world; it has to do with what is going on inside. For the first time in my life I am living true to MY standards, what is important to ME, and by MY moral code of conduct.

Some people don’t like it, they expect me to still jump through their hoops and live according to their rules. We all have to abide by common courtesy rules and have respect for other people’s rights and possessions. I am not talking about being like a narcissist and ignoring everyone else’s rights or just doing whatever we damn well please any time we damn well please. There is a happy middle ground.

It is not narcissistic to live according to your own standards and not accept bad treatment. 

I am not saying to become selfish to a fault, only to stop looking to others for your self worth, learn who you are inside, accept who you are. You ARE a good person, and if you find something about yourself you don’t like, you can change it. No one is perfect, NO ONE, everyone makes mistakes, everyone has some baggage. You are not defined by your mistakes or other’s opinion of you; only you can decide your worth.

I have always valued my reputation, even after my ex and I split I was proud that my reputation was intact. Well, he set about destroying that too and with some people he succeeded in changing their view of me. I struggled with that, a lot!! but when it comes right down to it, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it except live MY truth and carry on.

Like someone wise person said once, “What other people think of us is none of our business.”

What gives a person inner peace is living true to yourself no matter what other think or say.

That my friends is probably the hardest and greatest lesson I have taken away from being with a narcissist.

 

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