Expectations and the half-billion dollar lotto

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

I don’t normally by lotto tickets because the odds of winning are so powerfully against winning. Yes, I know “someone eventually wins,” and “if you don’t buy a ticket you don’t have any chance of winning.”

When the payout on the recent Powerball got so high though—a half-billion dollars—like lots of folks I decided “why not?” I bought a $3 ticket and let the computer pick the numbers for me.

The odds of being attacked by a shark are 1 in 11,000. The odds of being the lotto winner are about 175 million to one.

On the way home, my son and I fantasized about what we would do if we won the half-billion dollar payout. We decided we would take it in one lump sum rather than a yearly payout. Two days later, when we had the drawing on television, we got out our ticket and compared the numbers to the Powerball numbers, and of course, we did not win! We were mildly disappointed, but we were not crushed by losing. We expected to lose. The odds against us were just too high, so that we didn’t expect to win.

Expectations for my son

I think many times in life our expectations are what cause us problems. Expectations, versus reality not measuring up to the expectations, cause us grief many, many times. I can think of several times when my expectations were very high for something to happen, and when it did not happen, I was crushed, because I expected it to happen.

Back when my son Patrick first started his criminal career, I could “see down the road,” even without the benefit of a crystal ball, that if he did not stop the way he was headed, he would wind up with a criminal conviction. That would totally demolish my expectations for him of a college education and a successful professional career. From the time Patrick was a little kid in all the gifted and talented classes at school, I expected that he would be a “big success” in life. His IQ was in the top half of the 99th percentile. My little darling was a genius and could have done anything he wanted to successfully.

As I saw my expectations for his life slipping away, I still held on to what I now call “malignant hope:” The hope that somehow, some way, I could find just the right words to say to him, to get him to “see the light” and to “change” his behavior. I couldn’t let go of my own expectations for his success.

Obviously he did not share my expectations, and in fact, fought tooth and nail against anything I wanted him to do ”¦ study in school, quit stealing, quit running the streets at night.

Job expectations

Other times I have had other expectations that did not come to pass. I had a job that I dearly loved and would never have voluntarily quit. But it was down sized to part time and that forced me to quit in order to obtain health benefits for both myself and my husband with another job. I was devastated because I had expected that I would stay at that job until I retired at 65 or 66.

As it turned out, though, it was a godsend, because shortly after I left the job I loved and took a “weekend option” job that I really didn’t like, but it was only two days a week (Saturday and Sunday) and full benefits, my beloved stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. My part-time job allowed me to be with him throughout his treatments and his subsequent death 18 months later. That was time I was able to spend with him, and ended up being some of the best months that he and I spent together. Quality time. I am grateful.

I also lost my husband about a year after I took the weekend option job, and so I was able to spend more time with him before his death as well. For that I am grateful. At the time I lost the job though, when my expectations of being at that job I loved were quashed, I was devastated. Before long I was actually glad that my expectations were not met.

Expectations and pain

As for my expectations that my son Patrick attend college and become successful at whatever job or career he chose, I finally realized that he had been successful at the career path he had chosen. Not the path I would have chosen for him, but the one he chose for himself.

I don’t consider a criminal who gets caught a high percentage of the time and goes to prison a “successful” career. But for some reason that I am unable to fathom, Patrick considers himself a success. I guess if I could have a bumper sticker it would say, “My son is an honor student in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.”

When we expect someone else to change to meet our desires, when we expect them to quit doing what they are doing that hurts us, themselves or others, our expectations are what cause us pain. We must learn to quit expecting things to happen that are not going to happen. It doesn’t matter if it is winning a lotto drawing against all odds, or if it is that the person we love will “see the light” and quit behaving in a dysfunctional manner. We must accept reality, and expect what is likely to happen.

I used to have a sign in my office; I wish I still had it. It said, “I feel so much better since I gave up hope.” I didn’t know at the time just how right that sign was.

Since I gave up hope that my son would change, I no longer have unmet expectations. I no longer hold on to that malignant, cancerous hope that ate at my every thought during every waking hour. I accept the fact that he is not going to change.

I may buy another lotto ticket some time, but I won’t expect to win. If I lose, I will not be crushed by the losing because I am going to keep my expectations real.

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So many women are afraid to do what you did…leave and go out on your own and make it. You are one of the bravest women I know! Truly! So hold your head up. It will be a better day tomorrow. HUGS.


To clarify about “Never, again,” I would like to say that I’m going to work hard at never being an easy target, again.

I’ve read many, many stories by seasoned and well-recovered LoveFraud readers and contributing authors of their continued brushes with spathy. Just because I’m working towards recovery will not make me immune to future contact with spaths. So, I’m working hard on developing a Zero Tolerance for bad behaviors, whether they’re spath, or not.

Brightest blessings



On Joseph: We forgive to clear out our hearts. But it doesn’t mean we get back into the pig pen with them. The one that has done wrong has to show contrition and earn our trust.

GOD can see in mans hearts. Us on the other hand can watch actions/results and compare that to their words. Actions speak louder then words.

All things work to the good to those that love the Lord.

And yes he is the only one that is in charge. Thing are less concrete then we would like to believe. We have the ablity to believe anything. Even things we know to be untrue, harmful to ourselves and harmful to others. But in believing it we act as if it is true.


Ox Drover

Truthy, that ZERO tolerance is where I am at as well. It doesn’t have to be spathy to be UNACCEPTABLE to me. I do not need or want anyone in my life who is irresponsible or dishonest. At the first sign of that, I’m gone.

Spoon, you are so right….forgiving does not mean restoring either a relationship or trust. I guess a person COULD regain my trust if they had betrayed me, but it would be a long and difficult road for me to ever trust someone again and like Joseph, I would have to SEE that they had repented and changed their way of thinking and acting.

The old saying “shiat on me once, shame on you, shiat on me twice, same on ME” is very true.

Jesus told us that we can tell what kind of tree a tree is by the fruit and if the fruit is rotten, the tree is rotten…not that even a good tree won’t have a few rotten apples in the crop, none of us are perfect, but the majority of the crop should be good, if it isn’t, then the tree is not one in which you want to trust.

There are times to give “second chances” and times to NOT give second chances, and we need to be wise enough to see the differences. That isn’t always easy.


OxD, that’s where I’m at with forgiveness, too. I was taught to “turn the other cheek” and ALWAYS forgive when someone asked for it – even when they didn’t ask for forgiveness, it was to be granted because it was expected and would save us from a fate worse than death.

With regard to forgiveness, i believe that it is strictly for my benefit to forgive, if I choose to do so. I don’t feel that I will ever forgive the exspath for his crimes and sins. No, none of us are perfect, and that’t not the point. Deliberately scamming someone and maliciously discarding them would warrant forgiveness IF the perpetrator were truly contrite and remorseful. However, the exspath’s own actions have clearly demonstrated that he is not contrite OR remorseful, on any level. And, what tops this off is that he has now aligned himself with a religious organization, recently. This is the most agregious actions of all because anyone who agrees with the teachings of this organization would step forward, take responsibility for their actions, and make amends.

So….yeah….I’m all about forgiving MYSELF for my shortcomings. My vulnerabilities and failures to maintain strong boundaries allowed for my exploitation. I didn’t deserve to be exploited, but I may not have had these experiences if I had been an emotionally healthy and secure human being.

Brightest blessings


”“ I have heard people say in the past that someone can’t MAKE me mad; I make MYSELF mad by the way I react. Really? True or not??


How this works is [I’ll use the “LOOK” that cause the person to feel “LESS THEN”] Someone looks at them with the “LOOK.” The brain in a blink of an eye compares this “LOOK” with what is on file. And when it gets a match it fires the emotional trigger which cause the person to FEEL the same feelings where the “LOOK” first became the “LOOK” when they decided it meant that they were “LESS THEN.” So this person is reliving EMOTIONALLY that moment when they decided this “LOOK” meant that they are “LESS THEN.” So now this person FEELS like the little kid whose parent made them believe that they where “LESS THEN.”

First problem with this is that when they where a kid they came to this erroneous belief that they where “LESS THEN.”
Second now they are automatically reacting to situations that have nothing to do with the events that created the trigger in the first place. The person who gives the “LOOK” may have eatten something bad, had a thought about something that they did like. Which has nothing what so ever to do with the person that now FEELS “LESS THEN.”

How can we stop this? Try and force others not to give the “LOOK?” Naw that would take too much energy and time. So we go to what we can control and can effect. The trigger – the memory of event where this happened and the meaning we gave it.


How did I do this? Cause this is something that I had a problem with. Well at first all I did was is jump all over the person. How dare they treat me that way. Had a guy say one time after I chewed him up one side and down the other – hey all I can think of is I just stepped wrong and got a shot of pain from a toe I stumped this morning. Guess I made a face because that is about when you started yelling at me. Any way next I started just walking away. Boss would give me that “LOOK” and I would leave get myself back under control and go back and say ok what did you want. First time I did this it took a lot of explaining. Then I tried not to react to it. A hit and miss. If I was in a good frame of mind I could pull it off. If not I would go right to chewing them out then stop and walkout. None of it worked. Had a problem with flash anger too.

So what changed. I learned a few things and came across the technique for blowing out the memory. I’ve posted it many times. Works every time.

So on the “LOOK” I went and had some one trigger it. Knew a person that I could piss off and she would always give that “LOOK.” I anchored it. Went to the truck and ran the technique on it. Left came back a couple of hours later and pissed her off again. She gave the “LOOK” No reaction. I grinned an apologized for pissing her off and left. I did know that I could find this feeling without someone triggering it just wanted to make sure I got it.

Did the same thing with the flash anger. Had to run the technique on 2 or 3 things to get rid of it.

Later had a few of the things I had killed start coming back. This was corrected when I learned that with a belief there is a vocal statement that goes with it that had to be dealt with. And that fixed that.

I did most – 95% to 99%- of the healing with the technique.

A lot a stuff I did back before I cleaned out all of that useless garbage found out was all backwards. They made me mad. They hurt my feelings. Look what they did to me. If things were wrong it was every bodies fault. When I got rid of the triggers and was no longer being controlled by them. I didn’t blow up at people but if pushed can still get mad. But it is a choice not a knee jerk reaction. People don’t hurt my feeling. If I haven’t done anything to cause this person to act this way then they are just being a jerk. Then I begin to understand that they were just reliving some emotional crap from their past. There are a few people in this world that can hurt my feelings. They have earned to be there.

As long as the trigger is there it will effect me.
I can’t control what others do.
We judge ourselves by our own action. And so do others judge themselves by their action.
Feelings come from me.
What others do has more to do with them then me.
I am not responsible for other peoples triggers. And no one is responsible for mine.
I define me. What others do defines them.


Note Truthy I do hope you forgive him. Not for him. But for you. The way I see it as long as they could effect me even from a memory then I still had to deal with their crap.



As Gomer Pyle said. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me.



hmmm, I didnt know that was a Gomer quote.


All I can remember from Gomer is “Sha-Zaaaamm!” And, “Surprise!…Surprise!…Surprise!”


‘skylar’ wrote:

“Spaths manipulate our perceptions. My spath knew exactly how to make me feel like my life was worthless and I almost fell for it. I was saved by recognizing that HE was pulling those strings.

This is also the reason why spaths are all paranoid. They know that they manipulate other people’s realities and they assume that everyone is trying to do that to them. In fact, they are SURE of it. They are constantly trying to defend against being fooled.”

I was told by a therapist to watch for my gf to ‘project’ her bad behaviour onto me.

She regularly would accuse me of accusing her of cheating!

She asked me how many people I had killed.

She had her car taken apart to have it searched for ‘tracking devices’ that she thought I had planted.

She accused me of rigging her telephone so that I could eavesdrop.

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