Charity Begins At Home

Watch yourself, sister.

Should you dismiss that vaguely familiar shitty feeling once again, your role in this recurring drama is destined to continue indefinitely.

Hold still for a moment.

Take an objective view of the scenario that you have found yourself drawn into.

Notice anything?

Ah, there it is.  Now you see it.

It is painfully obvious that once again you are the

Last

One

Standing

While everyone else has abandoned the one who is in constant need.

Again.

Positioning yourself for sainthood, are you? :)

Or, perhaps you are simply afraid to be perceived as heartless, selfish, merciless.  Perhaps you are blindly committed to live up to someone’s definition of a true friend.

And yet if this behavior is so noble, why do you experience a feeling of doom whenever this one particular name appears on your caller i.d.?

I’ll tell you why.

It is because without even having to retrieve the message, you already know that it will contain yet another desperate plea for salvation from her perpetual hell.

You realize that you are ultimately unable to save her from a world that she has deemed unjust, but you have dutifully continued in your attempt to assuage her hopeless saga.  You provide comfort when there is no one else she can turn to, compassion when there is no one else who can understand her struggle, and assurance when there is no one else remaining to answer her cry for help.

When did that stop feeling rewarding for you?

When did that start to feel shitty?

Was it last week?  Last month?  Last year?  Or was it during one of the several million times before this when you answered her call to no avail?

And now here you are.

Again.

There has been no change in her dire circumstances.  There has been no change in her perception of the world.  There has been no change in her inclination to drain the energy from the resources of your open heart.

Change, my friend, has at long last come for you.

I commend you on your willingness to recognize the unsettling sense of futility you experience every time you answer her call.  Fearless inventory of your emotional response is a testament to the decision to be true to yourself.  When it comes to a chronic friend-in-need, ‘tough love’ may be a theory that offers self-preservation for a so-called savior; and yet the practice of said theory can be heart-wrenching.  When you are conflicted with your obligation as a dutiful friend, only you can determine the best course that will provide inner peace throughout your continued expansion.

Congratulations, sister.  To walk away is often the simplest way to say “I love you.”

3 Responses to “Charity Begins At Home”

  1. Sylvia says:

    “Fearless inventory” has to be conducted without the opinions of others, and this is where I have always failed to go all the way in being honest with myself. I think guilt must play a big part in my willingness to take a look at how I really feel about that one friend who is constantly negative, constantly needing my help, constantly reminding me how I am the only one who is always there for her. I try to be positive, try to think that it will be my example that will help her see that she is in charge of her attitude regarding her dismal circumstances, but I always end up right down in the dumps with her. Your post reminds me that I am the one who continues to allow it, I ignore that sense of dread I feel every time I see her name on the caller i.d. because I feel guilty about what other people, especially her, will think of me when I am not doing all I can do to help out this poor friend who always seems to be at the end of her rope. When is it time to call it quits?!?? I guess it will be when I stop worrying about how I look to the rest of the world and follow the guidelines of my feeling “shitty” about every time I get that pitiful phone call. I’m not editing this, and I should, since I am a teacher by profession, for godssake, but you have really struck a chord here with the sense of charity that we are all taught is more virtuous than self-preservation. Enough already! I love reading your words, Jillian, love that sense of empowerment that your words ignite every time I read what is running through that witchy head of yours, and thank you again from all that is me for being the cheerleader you are. Your topics tap into the independent spirit we all yearn to live as without feeling guilty about the process we take to get there. Walking away is a simple way to say i love you…beautiful!!!

  2. Evie says:

    Ahhh…..my dear sister….I love you for reminding me of what I have always known. I love you bunches….

  3. Aunt L says:

    It was hard – but I did get away. Clean break. No going back. Wonder now and then – but feel 100 pounds lighter. Thought I would feel guilty (like I do about everything else), but … actually… no. You know you yourself are drowning. I was not being her friend, even though I thought compassion, care and advice was doing just that. When my family had to be witness to her drama – THAT was enough!!
    Thanks for blogging :)

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