Once you’ve lost “purpose” for someone or can’t do anything about their situation, you’ve often lost that person no matter how close you feel that you were. Often times, that feeling of “closeness” was not truly to be but, rather your own imagination as to how useful you were to them.
If someone has always expected you to be there for them in times of trouble and you have to say, “can’t do it for you”, they will hang around, hoping for the next thing that they think you can or should help them out with. Say “no…can’t do it” again and you’re going to find yourself less “close” to them. If you were to stop doing, doing, doing altogether or not giving out advice or whatever it is that they’ve become dependent upon you for, watch how quickly you’ll find out that you really may not have been close at all.
If you don’t believe me, try backing off in your own ways of course, from others and see where you’re at with them. You may be surprised to find out that you’re really nowhere near where it is that you thought you should be or were. It was what you COULD do for them that had them around you. It wasn’t for you necessarily.
Yes, we are all “Takers” in some fashion or another however, when you’ve found your phone barely ringing or doorbell not going or others aren’t seemingly caring about you, then you will know for certain that others have been “taking” from you in one way or another.
It’s clear that we’ve all come to some odd times in 2020 with Covid. Believe it or not, it has no brain and if it finds a host that will accept it, it’s going in. However, that’s not likely the case with others and if you’re relying upon someone without a brain too, my question would have to be “why?”
Again, if this written piece seems far out of field to you, find out who your true friends or where loyalties lay by telling those around you that you can’t do something for them and see where that lands you. If you’re unsure, try it again. It won’t hurt them because they’ll simply find someone who will do it for them. If you realize that they’re not around much, try even harder to stop doing for them. Chances are that they are only around you for what you can do and not you. Suspecting that this may be the case is grounds for you to test them further. Giving the wrong reasons such as “I’m too sick” or “my pet just died” isn’t going to cut the mustard. One has to say something like, “I can’t help you,” nicely of course and leave it there without explanation. Giving them explanations such as “I’m sick” or “I threw out my back” or something like that, only leads them to believe that when you’re well again, you’ll be back to doing for them and them sticking around for when you can do something for them again. Don’t give time frames. Simply say something like, “I can’t do it,” and leave it there.
Habitually being there for someone when they need something done for them or with them is harder to break. Not only have you become accustomed to having them around you and perhaps, you will feel the need to keep them there by doing for them but, they’ve also grown used to having you as their back-up or go-to person for whatever it is that they want or want done.
A lot of estrangements of adult children have taken place because the adult child now no longer needs you as they once did. Many of them are or do have others in their lives who will fill your shoes in one way or another. A lot of them don’t even realize that this is the case but, they will also blame parents or a parent for their own foibles or mental health issues on parents because they’re easy targets and always have been. When a parent can’t do anything more for them for differing reasons, they often find that their child will make them into monsters or other kinds of things that they need to stay away from being around. If they don’t do it, someone else will figure out how to gain control over them and oust you as a parent. A lot of the times, this person who also has mental health issues, will blame it upon their parent(s) and you. One way or another, your now adult child will find ways or excuses with which to estrange from you. Usually, it will be because you’ve said “no” to them or someone else that they rely upon for money, addictions or plain and simply because they want it. In other words, set up boundaries with or for them and they’re gone, don’t set up boundaries and they’re still gone to chase their tails. They don’t like boundaries or any kind. Start! Actually, you may be helping them by stopping.
I’ve always made it look easy to give out money for instance to a family member. I’ve never complained when giving it out to them. Doing so often meant that I’d have to go to the bank and cash in whatever little I had to give to help them out. However, there came a point at which I could no longer do what I had once done. Why? It came out of simply having no money left to give this person and it wasn’t a struggle. There was no more money left to give out. That ensued into a “you’re horrible” or “you don’t want to help me…woes me” type of scenario. Not only that but, I ended up being in trouble big time and in spite of all of the help that I’d given out to them financially, they took the money and ran, making me out to be some type of scary, sneaky monster who they don’t wish to talk to and leaving me in a total shambles with no money with which to do anything. That was my fault. I’ll admit it. Had I said “no, can’t do it” sooner and made it seem as it truly was, a fight to give them financial help, they only would have done this sooner.
Since that person and family have stopped talking to me, I’ve found not only do I have problems galore but, that they all have washed their hands of calling me. Sadly, the house has gone, our electronics have been taken away and no money to purchase more than a computer which was used, our only vehicle has gone and we’ve needed money to purchase another used one which is being paid for off of credit given by the dealer, our cat has died leaving us with huge vet bills, sewers have backed up into our basement due to broken sewers and money was needed to repair that while more things were tossed due to raw sewage, a huge neighbour’s tree fell into our backyard, crushing 2 fences which we have to replace lest our insurance company drop us and we can’t get other insurance, the pandemic hit and we’ve been stuck with no money. The list goes on and on but, suffice it to say that these people’s only concerns were of the family (in-laws) that live around them and talking to and helping them out as well as their now nearly grown children and gifts which we can’t afford.
I remember saying to one family member that a box of elastic bands may have seemed insignificant to some people but, those things meant a lot for whatever their reasons to the person who owned the boxes of them. Whether they rotted and were unusable or whether they were used, doesn’t matter. It was this person’s box of elastic bands. It wasn’t anyone else’s business what he did or didn’t do with them. Two and two don’t equal 5 even if that person can work it up to be in their own minds.
This is where estrangement from parents comes into play. Does it really matter if a parent or parents had to work 3 jobs to give their adults everything that they could give to them? As long as the parent made it appear “easy” to give, the adult didn’t value it all or what the parent(s) had to go through in order to give it to them. They only cared for as long as they could get something but, if the parent(s) had to stop giving it to them or even if they were still giving it to them, once they found a way to give to themselves, they blamed the parent(s) or walked away if that’s what they were going to do.
Yes, a lot of what I’m describing comes from a mental health issue or addiction of some kind. While many would love to blame the parent(s) or you for their issues, it isn’t necessarily so.
The question of, “what did you do” to cause it, doesn’t necessarily apply, nor do the terms toxic, narcissist, NPD, or whatever else they can come up with. In most cases there was no real abuse (even if they can work it up to that within their scripts or minds), nor is there any neglect. If that were to have been true, then why is it that some adult children will stay with even abusive parents and never estrange while others will walk off for crazy reasons? Does it make any sense to you? Are the ones who have estranged themselves calling those who don’t, insane? What’s that saying about the ones who do walk off into the proverbial sunset? It’s saying simply that they can so they do and frankly, there’s something wrong with them for doing so.
Don’t get me wrong. If TRUE and I mean TRUE abuse has taken place and having worked in schools as not a teacher, I’ve seen my fair share of it let me tell you, they have reason to walk out and away. It’s the way that save themselves further damage. I do get it but, that’s NOT what we are talking about here.
For those who believe that walking away is the way to handle things, think again. It’s not. It only causes more issues for you and others. Think about that the next time that you want to run away. It’s not helpful. It’s only harming you in ways that you may only be able to see down the road.
From my little corner of life to yours, be aware that if you’re doing, giving and never kicking up a fuss or keeping others in mind and what they may want or feel, try stopping it now. Try halting the gravy train slowly but surely and see who is left standing at the end. You may find that no one is left or few people are still there. That’s because they loved what you could do for them vs liking or loving you.
On that note,
Be well, stay well,
Love and Light!