WHAT DO YOU MEAN
you don’t know what I need?
PREVIOUS: Unrealistic Expectations (Part 1)
REVIEW post: “Symbiosis & ACoAs”
What ACoAs SHOULD NOT expect from people – & life (cont.)
B. REGARDING OTHERS
1. Be Rescued: WE WANT too much from others, which is the WIC’s demand that somebody make up for what we didn’t get from our parents. Yes, demand. We know this because of the hurt & rage that comes up when we don’t get the care & attention we’re so desperate long for – but rarely verbalize. The bigger the disappointment, the greater the helpless rage
• This seems obvious with Compliers, by hooking up with Rescuer ACoAs, who will do way too much for the ‘poor helpless victims’
• It’s less obvious with Isolators, who don’t seem to need much, if anything. They have the same longing, if not more so, but are even more afraid & filled with shame to let anyone see how weak & needy they are. So they keep ‘starving’. And waiting – for a miracle – which they don’t deserve & don’t believe will come. But they still wait – instead of getting some of what they need for themselves
• Even harder to see is that Rescuers also want to be rescued. They’re not allowed to be given to, but under all their care-taking are the intense demands they secretly have of the rescue-ee: “…make me feel valued, needed, smart, appreciated, capable, loved … and most of all – get well so you CAN take care of ME!”
2. Symbiosis: WE WANT / expect others to treat us the way we would treat them (a symbiotic wish) – as if everyone is our identical twin. ACoAs will often say “But, I would never do that to them!” or “I don’t understand how she could have said that?!” or “They can’t really be that dumb/ mean / selfish/ careless…” or “I don’t understand how she could not like that!” etc.
• So what? They are not us! It should be obvious, but clearly it’s not: they have separate bodies, separate experiences, separate minds, separate tastes … so why do we still expect them to be like us?!
• When we think that way we’re reacting to people the same way our parents treated us – as extensions of themselves, rather than as separate beings. That’s our narcissism.
3. Mind Reading: WE WANT / expect that people will automatically know what we need & magically come thru for us, without having to ask for it! We’re not allowed to know what those needs are, & if we do, not allowed to get them met. So – we feel we have to “depend on the kindness of strangers”. We want them to do things for us that we :
• never learned, & resist doing so now, even tho there’s more help & info available in the world than ever before
• really can do for ourselves, but it would feel too lonely & sad if we did, by reminding us of the original A/A (no one to help)
• are terrified of trying / risking, since we believe we’re too stupid, incompetent, slow…AND what if we fail?
• know it will take a lot of time (process) & we’re impatient. As kids, having to wait usually meant it would never happen. So, don’t ask us to wait – some more!
• have trouble with (meeting our needs) because of a disability, like ADD or dyslexia, depression or other disorders, so we don’t make the effort to learn how to manage these disabilities. We let them continue to victimize us
4. Control: WE WANT others to be something they aren’t or can’t be (ever – or not yet), because they are pushing buttons in us, & our damage gets activated, so we’re impatient, even desperate. We’re afraid that if they don’t change we’ll be trapped with them & continue to be hurt, OR have to leave.
That puts us in a double bind: ✦ it’s painful to stay, it’s painful to leave. However, for most ACoAs, our FoA is greater than our tolerance for loneliness & sadness – so we stay!
So then we may act like:
• raging, abusive crazies – as if yelling would get thru to them
• bullying control freaks – trying to make them give us what we want
• sullen, complaining victims – expressing all our childhood powerless & hopeless feelings in the form of passive anger
• punishing, vengeful harpies – probably like one of our parents, to express our extreme frustration and anxiety
• people-pleasers – being overly helpful, solicitous, care-taking to insure we’ll be indispensable, so they’ll never leave …..
➼ We are NOT fundamentally any of these things, but when our PP & WIC get activated, we act out all our unprocessed pain
So we (silently or loudly) WAIT & WAIT, all the time desperate & in a panic. When they don’t take care of us, we hate them for not coming thru BUT also blame ourselves for not being good enough to deserve it. We get depressed, ashamed, resentful & even more hopeless. We say: “I knew it. No one can be trusted”! or “See, the universe doesn’t want me to have anything!” Can you hear the kid screaming?
5. Of Relationships – WE WANT people we like – to like us back, regardless (is Cupid in your pocket?)
• we think we’ll be able to win over that one person in the room who is giving us the cold shoulder
• that someone we feel deeply connected to will be our friend, mate, mentor… always & forever, as long as we’re both alive
• that the party, event, date, trip… with someone we love – will turn out exactly the way we fantasize / plan it to be – usually without letting the other person know what we’re expecting/ wanting!
• that someone will do what they said they would – for sure!, like, call us back, bring us something they promised, keep their word, help us out, give us some info we need… (a lot of people say they’ll do things & maybe mean it at the time, but maybe they’re just people-pleasing, or they forget, or change their mind, or get too busy)
• that if a new acquaintance is very friendly, & we spent a nice time together, once or twice, that they will make an effort to continue the association (It just doesn’t happen with some people – & it’s no ones fault!)
6. TIME: See post on unrealistic expectations about how long things should take, both too long & not long enough – “ACoAs & TIME”
NEXT: Unrealistic Expectations – UNDER