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.