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post #1 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Long, but could use some impartial advice

Sorry folks, this may be a little long but I'm kind of at a crossroads here and could use some impartial advice about the whole thing. I will apologize in advance for this long rant, but would appreciate any thoughts or advice you could offer. To understand the issue, you would have to know a little about me and my past, so here goes.

As a child, I didn't get a lot of attention or encouragement from my mother. She had lots of mental issues (bi-polar) that were not addressed and I got the brunt of the disease. I grew up with a very poor self-image and was a very sad child from the time I could remember.

As a young adult, I looked back over my childhood years and remembered the pain, loneliness and despair, and how I was treated. I resolved in my mind to be as kind as I could be ALWAYS to others, to give where I could give, to love always, to be forgiving and kind, and to help in any way I could.

Over the years that has led me to do many things. I've given money to people to help them whenever I could. Heck, sometimes for friends I've even borrowed the money to help them. Not loans, mind you, but gifts. I've given my time, my love, my all. I've given away horses, horse trailers, saddles and other tack, furniture, property and a house. I've tried to love others the way the Lord loves me.

My mother now lives with me, and I love her. Funny thing is, my sister who she was so crazy about, won't have much of anything to do with her. When she needed help and wasn't well, I was the one that took her in.

My father left us when I was 3 years old and never looked back. He never had time for me. He did visit about once a month until I was about 12, when that stopped. But when he got sick he called me and I came. I took care of him the last couple of years he had until he died. I loved him no matter what.

And I'm not regretting anything that I did. God has blessed me indeed and I have chosen to try to bless others. But at 53 years old, I'm now facing a crisis in beliefs. You know, most of the time I have helped people, they aren't even really all that appreciative. In fact, the more I gave, the more they wanted, seems like. Long stories there. But recently some things have happened that have really taken me aback and I find myself not wanting any thing to do with anyone, and really wanting everyone to go away and leave me alone.

My ex-husband left after a 20 year marriage, because he found someone younger and prettier. He was my 2nd husband. In the aftermath of that disaster, 10 years ago, I remarried my first husband. Who really wasn't interested in me, just liked the security I represented. After 10 years of trying with him, I quit and my divorce was final June 28. Relationship failure.

Then a friend I have had for 24 years, who I thought was as close to me as a sister, walked out of my life without even a goodbye. All because her new lover is jealous and doesn't want her to have contact with me. Now this is the man who is mentally and physically abusive, who I have gone and rescued her from endless times, once literally at gunpoint. I have given her thousands of dollars, provided a home to her quite often when she had nowhere to go, fed her, clothed her, etc. And she walked off without even a goodbye.

Another married couple wanted horses and I said I would keep there horses while they put up a fence. That was 9 months ago and still no fence. When I told them they would have to move their horses, I wasn't going to board them for free anymore I got all kind of grief. They were "crushed" that I would do this to them. Weren't they just my best friends? Why, they would do anything for me, how could I do this to them? Etc. etc.

Point is, these are not that unusual of situations, people being people. But they have all come at once, within a period of say, three months. Along with some other type things from "friends" that I won't bore you with.

For the first time in my life, I don't want to help anyone. I don't want to interact with anyone I might have to help. I don't want to hear sob stories and problems and try to resolve them or advise people. I find I just want to be left alone. I don't answer the phone. I don't answer voice-mail messages. I am weary beyond words and I don't know how to come back from this precipice. How do I find a balance? I don't know how to do this.

You know, I chose the name "silent one" because that's what I am usually. I quit trying to tell anyone my problems, because I found out a long time ago that people really didn't want to hear what I had to say. Most people just want you to listen to what they have to say. So I have listened. I have heard. I have helped every time with all of the resources at my disposal.

I am so tired.
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 11:32 PM
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You should be tired.

Just a suggestion... continue on your current path of not giving your things and yourself away, and get some counseling for assistance on why you do that.

Best wishes.
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 11:43 PM
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You are a very nice person. And there are people who want to listen, and people who care. Try to put a limit on how much you will help a person. Let them know that you will only help them if they are willing to help themselves. Don't put yourself in danger of losing your home or your life if it only means your friends will reap the benefits and go back to their old ways. It hurts when you can't help someone, but they have to make the decision to help themselves before they can be helped at all. Good luck with all of this, and believe in your heart that you will be rewarded with the greatest gift for your kindness and love, and that is eternal life that is promised from our God.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 11:45 PM
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Agreed. You should be tired. When you give, and give, and give.... you'll eventually run out of fuel. Be selfish, and don't feel guilty about it. Take care of yourself; others will survive without you having to sacrifice yourself. Plus, the friends you make when you aren't just giving yourself and your things away all the time, are friends that will be less likely to be the type of people that just want to use you and suck your resources dry.
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-06-2012, 11:49 PM
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Silent one you should look into codependents anonymous.
Its free and will help you understand and change your need to 'help" so many others.
Being used as you have is never a reason to excist.
You deserve better.
Understanding your probelms and its origions is the first step.
Seeking help is the next.
It took you 53 years to come to this reality.
You will not change overnight. Take your time. regain control of your life that you have allowed others to have.
You are the problem but also the solution.
Your still young and from that picture still attractive.
You deserve to have people in your life that like you, not fr what you can do for them but, for just being you. Shalom
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-07-2012, 12:26 AM
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You've spent more time giving to others already than most will in their entire lives. Give to yourself a little. Give yourself forgiveness, and time, and perhaps even a little professional help if it feels right. You have borne the burdens of far too many people in far too little time, no wonder you are tired. You are allowed it.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-07-2012, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your kind words and support. I am struggling to find some kind of balance, I guess. I know how I'm feeling right now is not the best thing either, I'm not the type to "stand off" everyone like I have been. I have never done this and part of me is amazed that I'm doing it now........

dbarabians, I will check into codependents anonymous and see what its about. Is this some kind of syndrome I have or something? I thought it was just a resolve to help others whenever I could, is it a psychological problem or something? I have a therapist but have never really discussed this much with him, he is a psychiatrist who mainly makes sure my meds (bi-polar here too) are correct.
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-07-2012, 01:08 AM
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Ok, so while I was writing up this novel quite a few good responses were posted. I'll post it anyway on the off chance it may help.
Sit down and get comfy... it's a long one ......

I don’t know if this will help, but I went through something similar. While I didn’t give for quite as long as you, nor to the same financial depth, I did give very deeply and in many ways.
I was also taken for granted and taken advantage of.

I got to a point, like you, of not wanting to give, but at the time I didn’t understand the depth of my emptiness. Nor did I know that the reason I couldn’t give not one more little thing was because my giver was broken.

After I was able to get through the low/worn out/emptiness I was able to look back and gain some perspective....

It is like a checkbook, (no pun intended) and you start out with XX certain amount of money, or givability.
So, as life is being lived you are writing checks. Emotional checks, mental checks, love checks, and of course monetary checks.
Life is good and you are doing what you believe is right. Someone needs something? Hey, no problem… you have it covered.

You keep cruising along because there is plenty in the balance for giving. Whatever is needed, you give.
People keep asking and you keep giving.

Then, one day a check bounces.
Huh? What happened??

You sit down to try and balance the book, and that’s when you realize that it is gone.
Well how could that be, you wonder.
So you dig further and that is when you see you gave it all away.

While you have been writing checks and giving wherever it has been needed, nothing has been coming in. Up until that moment you never thought it would run out.
You never thought you actually needed deposits to keep going. I mean yeah, that’s the way a real bank account works, but this is about the heart, life, and being human. This about giving and doing the right thing. Right?

There have been no deposits.

All this time you have been writing those checks, and writing those checks, and giving and giving, but no deposits.
No one has been depositing into your life the way you have been depositing into theirs and the account ran dry, just like a real bank account.

You have $0.02 left. That’s all.

When I hit that point, I realized that I needed to hang on and guard that measly $0.02 because if I didn’t no one else would. That my life was worth more than just “How much can she give.”

Yes, people got ticked at me. They were definitely mad when suddenly I didn’t have what it took to fix their problems anymore. I mean how could I be so selfish as to not fix all their problems??

Uh huh, the one time I asked for something back, something as small as please don’t make me responsible for their life or have all the answers, and suddenly they didn’t know me or I wasn‘t worth their time.

I took some time, I reflected, and I worked on my deficits myself with God's help. I mean I‘m a pretty awesome person (now) and I was able to take some time, go do some things just for myself and with myself, and make the deposits I needed to fix my balance.

For me, it was traveling, reflecting, hiking, and seeing some places that humbled me and reminded me of the bigger picture.

I also learned that I was every bit as deserving of having deposits made into my life as the next person. And balance is important. I still believe in giving to my utmost, but I have to have deposits too for balance and I‘ve learned to recognize when I am low and how to re-fuel.

No, it wasn’t a time of “me, me, me” but a time to re-find the purpose in life and how I fit it. I don’t know if religion or beliefs factor in to this for you, but it did for me and it was another area I dug deeper into.

So if you read all that and are still awake, kudos for you!

You are empty (and I mean Empty!) right now, but please take heart that you will find the deposits that you need and that balance is out there to be found.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-07-2012, 01:38 AM
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You mentioned loving others the way the Lord loves you, so I'm going to assume you're a Christian.

It's wonderful that you've made an effort to love others :) you sound like a very nice person.

Jesus did give a lot of time helping people. Please don't forget though that He would also withdrew from the crowds of people to be alone and pray. Even though they didn't want Him to He knew that in order to do what was best for everyone He had to renew by spending time with His Father. There were also times when angels came and ministered unto Him.

He was the God of the universe in human form, and even He took time alone, despite the people's wishes. He took time to renew. He let God replenish His strength. He let the angels minister unto Him.

Maybe it's time for you to sit at the Lord's feet like Mary did in the Bible. Her sister, Martha, was upset because she wanted Mary to help prepare dinner. Martha told Jesus to tell Mary to help her, but Jesus said not to worry. Only one thing was needed and Mary had chosen what was better.

Sitting at His feet... adoring Him. Even though there was work to be done.

Work still needs to be done... but I think you've taken your turn with that and need some time to renew and not worry about anything else. Let your Lord take care of it and just love Him and let Him love you back.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-07-2012, 01:46 AM
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srh1, beautifully said. SilentOne, the Lord loves us all but he doesn't call each person to try to rescue everyone else. There are a number of times when Jesus said to be wise about whom you give to. ("Shake the dust off your feet," "pearls before swine" and "Be wise as serpents, innocent as doves" come to mind.) You need to be wise. I also suspect you are deeply depressed. And... honey, you can't make people love you by giving them stuff. Never going to work. So get well, get help for the depression, and be still with God.
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