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Thanksgiving—count your blessings

By Ox Drover

I’m sure we have all heard the old saying, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” This “old saying” is true, though I think it is made up to inspire some guilt in us for complaining about the small things we lack and make us aware that we are fortunate to have the many blessings that we do have, which many others are not fortunate enough to have.

Another one I remember is, “Eat your vegetables; there are children starving in China.” I always wondered why I couldn’t just send the hated vegetables there instead of eating them. It would solve two problems: I wouldn’t have to eat them, and the kids in China would be grateful for them. My son D has turned this phrase around to joke, “Drink your beer, there are sober children in China.”

All jokes and platitudes aside, however, the feeling of gratitude for what blessings we do have is, I think, an important concept for our healing. The encounters with sociopaths, sometimes for decades, have given us a feeling of destitution and emotional poverty. The thing that we prized and valued most—the love that we thought was shared between us and the sociopath—turned out to be an illusion. We have lost this vision of the relationship we thought was so important.

When my kids were very little, if one had a birthday, we would get the other one a “consolation present.” It was never as big as the birthday boy’s present, but it was a token to show that the non-birthday boy was not forgotten. One year when they were about four and three, we forgot to get the non-birthday boy something, and so my mother wrapped up a nice new shirt in a package, since the non-birthday boy did like clothes very much. When it came his turn to open his package he was all smiles, expecting some sort of toy I am sure. When he saw that his expectations were dashed and he had clothing, however, his little face fell. He had not gotten what he had expected. I was gratified, though, that he looked up, almost ready to cry I think, and said the most pitiful “thank you” that I have ever seen a child force from his lips.

Our expectations of our relationship many times turn out to be like my son’s expectations of what was in his package, very disappointing. Sometimes even devastation follows the exposure of the one-sidedness of the true relationship, with emotional, physical and/or financial abuse as well.

Walking down the street and seeing another couple holding hands, we may start to have a feeling that only we are alone, only we don’t have someone who wants to hold our hand. This feeling of “poverty,” of “not having” what others have, I think, fuels our feelings of worthlessness, abandonment and sadness, and the loneliness of wishing we had the relationship we thought we had. We feel deprived of what we deserve by someone else, or feel that maybe we don’t deserve more, or that we got what we deserved and if we had only worked harder, we might have managed to make it come true.

I think those feelings of deprivation, those feelings of poverty of spirit and soul, tend to drag us down further into the abyss of failure—a failure that keeps us from appreciating what we do have. A failure to appreciate just how important we are, and also a failure to appreciate that we have escaped the clutches of a bad relationship, even if that escape was painful.

The appreciation of ourselves, of our unique value and worth, is important to healing. To appreciate ourselves, I think we need to look at ourselves on this (U.S.) holiday of Thanksgiving and to enumerate and validate the many things about ourselves we do have to be thankful for. We need to count our blessings, and assess the many valuable characteristics that make us who we are.

Even if we have lost our “shoes” we still have our “feet” and while we may feel that we don’t have “as much as” someone else, we still have something that cannot be taken away from us, and that is the unique spirit that is ours and ours alone. The unique spirit that can be grateful and give thanks to the universe for new opportunities to expand that spirit in new ways we’ve never before explored.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



126 Comments on "Thanksgiving—count your blessings"

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  1. Spirit40 says:

    Thanks one step…. I think I should also change my #’s … will be moving soon too that should help! a new place … new start…Thanks everyone….=) EB, One step…… time for some zzzz’s hopefully….



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  2. Rosa says:

    Witsend:

    Yes, I talk to my Mom everyday about the situation with my brother’s wife. We both love that child very much.
    I have given her info. to read from this website, and I have read parts of books to her. So, she understands what a sociopath is. And she knows her DIL is one sick puppy.
    Her boyfriend….that’s another story.

    I have also given my brother info. to read, but I am not sure how much he has read, if at all. He seems to have moments of clarity, but then he slips back into the FOG again.

    And, like I said, my Mom is clueless about her boyfriend.
    He proposed marraige during the first 6 weeks of dating, thinks he’s still in high school, gave her a STD, and tried to get her to put all of his Christmas purchases on her credit card, because his credit is no good.
    How many red flags do you need?
    The guy’s a freaking sociopath.
    But, she still thinks he’s sweet.

    She almost threw him out once when he moved in with her, which was his ultimate goal. She told him he would have to move back to his place, or it was not going to work out. So, he moved back to his place.

    He does not have cable at his place, because he watches TV at my Mom’s house. He loves to watch TV at my Mom’s house, showers there, sleeps there.
    I am glad they are not living together, though.
    (My eyes are rolling here).
    She complained about him to me a few times, and I told her, “He’s showing you who he really is here. Ditch him. His ‘I love you’ talk is bull shit.”
    Then, she gets annoyed with me. It’s the classic triangle situation we always talk about.

    It is not a coincidence that my family members are attracting these types of personalities, either.
    There are traits within my family that make us prime targets for sociopaths.
    One example, I was raised to put others before myself. I was told that it is gracious and classy to put others first.
    “It shows good character”, I was told.
    That’s all well and good, unless you are dealing with a sociopath.

    The bottom line is I am the only one in my family who is educating myself on personality disorders and working on my inner landscape, so I do not fall for these types of predators again.

    It’s very difficult to get other people to become aware and look inside themselves if they are in denial about whether they even have a problem to begin with.

    I will do whatever I can for the child caught in the middle of this mess, and I will leave the rest up to GOD.

    ~I do not have the book YET. But, I will probably get a gift certificate for Christmas. Anyone who knows me knows I love to read.



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  3. witsend says:

    Rosa,
    It is hard to help anyone become “aware” of this, if they have not encountered it personally….That is what I am finding in my circle of friends and people I come in contact with.

    I think alot of it has to do with television. Almost everyone watches TV to some degree. And almost everyone has seen a dateline show or a 20/20 show that portrays a very “sick” individual who is a pedophile, domestic abuser, serial rapist, child abuser, well you get the picture….And even in many of these severe cases the word sociopath or psychopath is rarely used to describe these individuals.
    Occasionally you hear the “word” used in murder cases. And sometimes on shows such as law and order.
    Until people can “hear” this disorders NAME over and over again to define these people that are “high profile”
    cases that make the TV headliner shows….It is going to be hard for them to ever understand the concept of the “Sociopath Next Door”.

    I think most people can swallow this when trying to put a label on a serial killer….But old Joe who lives down the street who abuses his wife and kids (and fits the criteria of an S/P to a tee)…..Well he’s just got a “drinkin” problem.

    I think it is even difficult for many to find a counselor or therapist that has GOOD background in these disorders.

    I guess that is why so many people educate themselves here at LF.
    We really do have our work cut out for us if we want to spread the word.



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  4. Spirit40 says:

    Wow in hindsight…. it seems like a ridiculous and vicious planned out methodical thing to do to someone, my P met his so called friend (a gay man) at work they both worked at a hotel years ago 2002….when he convinced me to move down here (he needed rescuing) I did and it quickly turned out badly he was married to a bi-sexual woman, and not sure what delusions he had but…he wanted me to marry his friend for money so that his friend could obtain a green card…. well of course I did not and then we ended up moving again…. out west where it got worse and I did end up with a restraining order on him … and fleeing ….yes this should have been a huge RED FLAG but as stoopid as I was then… did not see the whole picture of the manipulation con…..I really need to find a therapist who deals with these narcissist/P’s…. the last one as I wrote before did not and told me to stop calling him what he really is because I finally figured it out.
    I am also going to speak to an attorney..if anything for my peace of mind….



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  5. witsend says:

    Rosa,
    I just wanted to mention that when I looked at amozon for the book I told you about…When a stranger calls you mom.
    It was very expensive. . I wanted to buy my own copy.

    However if you google the title, I found the author has a website and the book can be purchased for 24.95.

    Just wanted to make sure that you saw this.



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  6. Rosa says:

    Witsend:

    Thank you for that information about the book!
    I saw how expensive it was on Amazon, and I have never paid that much for a book.
    So, I was hoping I could find it somewhere for less $$.



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  7. witsend says:

    Rosa,
    Thats why I mentioned it! Gosh I have never even paid the 24.95 price in the last few years.
    Usually I buy a creased pages or gently used book and they are so cheap on Amozon…

    I do NOT know why this one list on amozon as so expensive?
    However it is worth the 24.95 price in my opinion. As the info I read in this book isn’t stuff I have read in other books.
    And I really think it might be helpful in your situation with your niece being so young.



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  8. one_step_at_a_time says:

    TO EVERYONE! UH HUH, I MEAN YOU!!!

    I went out with an old friend last night, someone I hadn’t seen in over 30 years.

    Although I didn’t mention my experience with the spath, it did intrude on my consciousness from time to time (including my asking a few times, ‘oh, what do you mean by that’? LOL).

    On the way home from a really nice evening, I thought about the fact that i feel hopeful about my ability to recalim the deep place that is the fertile ground where the spath planted her seeds. And I wondered why I feel hopeful now, given how despairing I had felt just recently.

    And it is because of Lovefraud that I feel hopeful. Because of the people and the knowledge here. This is an outrageously intelligent and ‘with it’ crowd. And a compassionate, by and large, risk taking, writerly, curious, artistic, creative crowd. MY people. duped and healing. f*cking warriors!

    I AM GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL. THANK YOU; EVERY ONE OF YOU, THANK YOU!

    Best,
    one step



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  9. libelle says:

    One,
    same to you, and you are welcome! ((((Hugs))))

    Seems to me you left the “sh%&/*ç@t” part of the experience and reached the fertile grounds where the MANURE is very helpful 😉 ! Might you flourish and be prosperous!

    Congratulations and celebrations!!!



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