I’ve lost most of my family and the few members as well as friends that I have left, have little want to get together or keep in much contact, for whatever their reasons. It’s not for lack of trying on my part but, at a certain point, I’ve come to realize that when I don’t make the effort, no one else does either. Frankly…I’m tired and I’ve finally come to realize that I can’t make people care in spite of trying or because I’d like them to care or think that they should.
I recently had a discussion with a couple of remaining family members and friends whom I’ve done more for than I realize now I should have done. The real issue is these family members and so-called friends who proclaim to care deeply, have taken actions to distance themselves further and have therefore, shown that their words were and are hollow. Actions speak louder than words and frankly, I have a few friends whom I’ve never met in person and done nothing for, who seem to care more and keep in touch more than those I’ve done so much for. Strangers have shown more care at times than family and friends have shown me.
I am not about to attempt to change these dynamics anymore. I’ve run out of fuel. If these family members and friends don’t have the want to have a closer relationship, there is no use in exerting any further effort or energy into trying.
I give up and concede defeat that these people have been only been in my life for what I can do for them rather than true care for me as a person. Of course, there will come many times when they will need, want and expect me to be there for them again. I, however, will not be here for them, waiting to help as I once was. I refuse to allow myself to be used and abused any longer. I have offered myself up on a silver platter and they have been partaking of the feast I serve up to them. The feast is over and, further offering of myself, laying prostrate to their needs and wants is akin to throwing myself down as a doormat upon which to wipe their feet and walk away once satiated.
Do I care? Yes, of course but, I have also come to realize that I have to have a life of my own and a right to feel good about myself. Unfortunately, I have been allowing them to rob me of my self-esteem.
As bitter as this may all sound, it’s the clearest and healthiest thinking I’ve had in a very long time. It was a necessary conclusion to have finally arrived at because by not having gotten there, I was allowing the life to be sucked out of me as well as to have hampered my making decisions that have needed to have been made. I am now freed from chains to do that, finally.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind….
When people are taking from you but, not giving back, it’s time to set them free, related to you or not.
If you can see that the people you’re expending the most energy and time into, are not making the effort to be part of your life, let go. What are you losing except your wasted time, energy, and possibly finances?
I now know that when I’m given an invitation to special occasions where there’s gifts involved, that might be the only reason that I’m being invited. If there’s no other times in which I’m being considered or invited to get together, it’s likely only because of what I can give rather than me, myself that they want around.
When visits or calls are seemingly measured by times or numbers of times and they involve a brief visit or call then, nothing more until the next time, it’s likely to be because they are hanging on by a thread to their relationship with you so that you’re available to them and for them versus a true want to have you in their lives or any form of care about a true relationship with you.
If you’re getting the old adage, “I’m so busy…”, be careful. You’ll likely find that they’re busy but, they’re busy making time for others they prefer to be with for whatever their reasons. Don’t get fooled by their platitudes or excuses. If they want to have contact with you, they will make the time. Look more deeply at their actions with others if you have the ability to see those things.
Your own children may be using you. We don’t like to think of our children that way but, if your grown children are only asking you to baby sit or asking you for money and you’re hardly seeing or hearing from them otherwise, they also fit into this category. If you don’t believe me, try saying “sorry, I can’t right now” and watch their reactions. If you haven’t heard much from them other than these occasions and, they distance themselves because you’ve said no to them, they’re showing you that they are not exceptions to those who use you.
Ask yourself how you’ve been playing into aiding these people to use you. How have you been enabling them to continue doing it to you? Have you been so desperate to have these relationships that you’ve literally invited them to walk on you? If so, STOP now. You’re not only opening the door to this type of treatment from others but, you’re also allowing them to stomp on your self-esteem and dreams for yourself. You’ve become a literal dishrag that they’re wringing out of all sense of self-respect.
People will treat you how you teach them to treat you. If you don’t respect yourself, your time and your energy, no one else will either.
Start saying “no” to people like this a bit more and watch what happens. Yes, you may lose people from your life but, ask yourself if they were ever really there for you or, was it for what you could do for them? If it’s the latter, what are you losing?
Stop being afraid to stand up for yourself and let those who are really not there to care, walk on you. All that you’re truly getting rid of is “the drainers/users”. Do you really need them?
Move on with your life, with self-respect and others will follow suit.
At least, that’s the way that I’m seeing things from my little corner of life through experience and lessons learned.