I don’t expect my friends or family to understand how it feels like to wake up in the morning and feel hopeless about life. I don’t expect them to understand how hard it is to live in my own skin and be happy with my own life choices. I don’t expect them to understand how hard it is to battle my desire to harm myself. I don’t expect them to understand how hard it is for me to not think of all the different ways I could kill myself.
But in saying that, I realize that even when I don’t expect anything from them, that in itself is an expectation. When expectations are unmet, it creates stress, unhappiness and tension. I realize that my not having expectations from them is a false feeling. It’s a feeling I’ve given myself in order to keep myself from being disappointed. Yet, it is still an expectation.
I expect my friends and family to at least care to ask. I expect them to at least educate themselves on what I’m struggling with. I expect them to at least be there for me.
Yet, I don’t verbalize these expectations. I expect them to know. I realize I’m also part of the problem.
However, that said, I have been talking about my experiences. I have posted many things about the things I go through. So in my mind, shouldn’t that be enough to exemplify what I expect?
Last night, I had written a Facebook status bemoaning all the grey hairs I was finding. It was part humor and part anxiety – I don’t know why but I’ve always been afraid of growing old. Probably because I don’t want to become irrelevant the older I get. The response from a friend was, “You turned 30, not 60. Chill out”. Which is all and fine – funny and admonishing at the same time, even.
I laughed at it until I realize that a deeper issue lies in the comment – one of ignorance to my condition. The comment was not out of malice – this was after all, a friend that I knew had been there for me – yet, I couldn’t help but read deeper into it as a response from someone who didn’t fully understand what goes on in an anxious person’s mind.
Yes, I shouldn’t dwell on the fact that I’m aging. That bit I agree with. But I’ve heard the words “Chill out” before when I spoke of my desire to die and I’ve heard those words from people who are supposed to care. I guess that’s my first mistake – to assume that people are “supposed” to do anything.
Maybe that’s why things are so bad for me – I assume and expect too much from people who are “supposed” to care.