Monday, 7 November 2011

Expectations are the root of all disappointment

The title of this blog is my phrase - I coined it about thirty years ago and I have never heard anyone else saying it...  It came to me in one of those fits of clarity when one of the pieces falls into place...  It came to me when I had an awakening that my dad was never going to be like Gidget's dad.  He was never going to be Mike Brady  or the character Brian Keith played in A Family Affair; not Father Knows Best, not Ward Cleaver.  There was a seminal moment when I realized that I was unhappy because I had expectations that were not being met.

Were they reasonable expectations?  I'ts a good thing you asked that question!  Is it ever reasonable to expect someone to give more than they want to give?  Is it ever reasonable to expect someone to be someone they are not?  Is it ever reasonable to think you should be welcome at your father's home?

I wrote a blog the other day about my disappointment in my brothers not attending Eileen's funeral and I took it down because I thought I had been too hard on them.  Their reasons were valid and it is unreasonable for me to subject them to the standard of honour I apply to myself.  Yesterday before the funeral Gay Brother called me to ask me to convey his regrets which was fine, but in the conversation I told him that I have a problem with my thyroid (among other things) and he casually said that Straight Brother has also.  Straight Brother has a auto-immune disease that is strongly hereditary and Gay Brother had been tested but did not have it.  At the time I was only mildly perturbed and the conversation moved on.  Later when I was thinking about the conversation I started to be very concerned that no one had bothered to tell me.  If the condition is hereditary and Gay Brother bothered to get checked out why did it not occur to either of my brothers to tell me so that I could be checked out?  Why didn't anyone remember that I too carry the same genes and the same propensity to be affected by the same conditions?  It's just another reminder that I am invisible, out of sight - out of mind I guess.  It looks, from my blood results, like I have Hashimoto's Disease which manifests at hypothyroidism where my brother's condition manifests as hyperthyroidism.  Still, I may have been further along the road to understanding my issues if someone (anyone) had bothered to mention this "hereditary" problem to me.  Or is that just another unreasonable expectation?

Today has been physically a BAD day for me.  The pain in my shoulder when I washed my hair this morning was so bad I had to sit down and sweat for a few minutes before I could move enough to dry myself, today is one of the days when my clothes are hurting me, when any movement can stimulate a stabbing pain, when everything aches.  If I hadn't had an unavoidable appointment I would have spent the day recovering from the not very strenuous day yesterday.  At that interview today with the government I was asked when I last had a good day and it made me realize that my definition of a good day is changing.  I need to think about that some more.  What I call a good day at the moment might well have been what I would have called a bad day 2 years ago.  Are these just my expectations making natural adjustments to my situation?

If I could find a way to have no expectations would I always be delighted with what I was given?  Would every day be a good day?

(Is this secretly just another point of view on the pessimistic optimist?)

Off to see Dr McLovely now after my urgent horizontal rest.


  1. Families *deep sigh*. It probably honestly didn't even occur to your brothers to tell you about the thyroid the risk of stereotyping, sometimes guys seem to be bad at putting things together and coming up with something obvious like, "Well if *I* have this, and *you* have *this*, maybe our sister has it too..." (I know that doesn't make the "invisible" feeling any easier to take, but I've just known some guys that seem to be perpetually clueless...and it sounds like this might be what it was?) It's not unreasonable to expect to have been told about it..."and this is why we drink!", as one of my movie lines says. :P

    (And not all guys are perpetually clueless, for all the men reading this...and even the ones who are, are very sweet and well-meaning in my experience, so please don't hate me...)

    As for your expectations of yourself...yeah, they'll probably be in flux for a while. I struggled with this one myself after I first had my stroke. Just remember that you're much more than what you can do in a day, and it's more important that you be healthy and safe. *hugs*

    Hope you're feeling a bit better now...

  2. Hey Cane Girl *Smile* I always appreciate your thoughtful (and carefully non-offensive LOL) comments. I will forgive my brothers and I know how we can all forget things (like that they have a sister) but it is another little wound...

  3. oh families... (I second GirlwiththeCane's sigh).

    I feel for you, I have been invisible to my family my whole lifetime and gave up when I turned 40. I stopped making the effort (since I was the only one who was) and have come to accept that my life is much better without my expectations that I have any type of family relationship with them.

    My moment of clarity came when I had a big issue with my heart and knew right then that I didn't want any of them near me ever again. Didn't want them to know, to come to the hospital, or be around me. I was done, and this time vowed to just be done and stop banging my head and feel hurt all the time.

    I really don't know if it's possible to strip off all expectations, nor if it's healthy or even advisable. Can't tell you. I guess only you know what you are comfortable with.

    My girlfriend has a mother that continues to hurt her and it has driven her nearly insane (literally). She has fallen apart to the point that she is nearly non-functional. That is no way to live.

    Guess I expect my friends to treat me well and have some respect, and if my family can't do the same I put as much distance between us as humanly possible....

    Just know that others are in the same boat- you are not alone.