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Watch out for this defense mechanism

You are involved, say, with a pathologically self-centered personality, perhaps a narcissist or sociopath?

That is, he wants what he wants when he wants it, and he’ll do whatever’s necessary (his entitlement) to get it, or take it.

Key diagnostic trait: he reserves the right to punish you when you obstruct his agenda.

Now here’s the thing: in the heat of the moment, you may actually be pretty good at confronting his abuse. Maybe you stand up for yourself pretty effectively? Maybe, in the moment, you’re even pretty good at setting limits and challenging his nonsense?

So then what’s the problem?

The problem occurs when you step away from these incidents.

In stepping away from them, you potentially risk enacting your own form of compartmentalization, by which I mean that, while in the moment you may address his abuse with some backbone, yet beyond the moment you effectively “drop the ball” by failing to process, and own, the greater pattern.

It’s a case of our seeing the trees in the forest just fine, yet somehow, defensively, ensuring that we fail to see the forest through the trees.

I’m referring, of course, to a kind of defense mechanism with which some—not all—of us may be familiar?

As I suggested, strategically this defense mechanism deploys a form of compartmentalization, while tactically it assumes forms of denial, minimization and avoidance (of reality).

What precisely is the function and, more importantly, the danger of this defense mechanism?

Its function, I suspect, is to prevent us from connecting the dots; that is, our failure (defensively) to connect the dots enables our avoidance of confronting the greater pattern that underlies the series of incidents.

So long as we address the “abusive incidents” separately—as discreet events—thereby defensively ignoring their wider pattern, then we can rationalize more easily our “staying in” the relationship with a kind of pseudo-dignity and pseudo self-respect.

To be clear, we achieve this self-compromise by reframing the abuse as a series of brushfires to be troubleshot on an ongoing basis, much like a manageable chronic illness.

And especially if, as I’ve noted, we’re pretty good at this—somewhat effective, that is, at confronting these brushfires on a case by case basis—then it becomes easier to compartmentalize in the manner I’m describing.

The danger, of course, is how this defensive process—in its reframing of the exploitation as a series of disconnected, but manageable, events—supports our denial that the relationship has, in fact, been globally and fatally compromised by the exploitation.

This highlights, yet again, the basic conundrum of defense mechanisms: the protection they confer is so often exceeded, unfortunately, by their cost to our well-being and, sometimes, integrity.

(My use of “he” in this article was for strictly for convenience’s sake, not to imply that females aren’t capable of the behaviors discussed. This article is copyrighted © 2009 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)



225 Comments on "Watch out for this defense mechanism"

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  1. Kathleen Hawk says:

    Actually, it’s not quite that easy. The mental work has to percolate down to the emotional level. Which usually brings a few more surprises, because until I actually let go, I don’t discover what else is attached to that little drama. Sometimes it turns out I have to process something deeper, and sometimes it turns out that I’m really done with something and I have fresh air and sunshine in a part of my mind that used to be dark swamp or all thunder and lightning.

    But I wrote that mostly, because I’ve been trying to figure out how to show the actual progression to letting go.

    I don’t think it’s possible to let go until we’re able to love what we’re letting go of. (And I probably didn’t write that well enough into the process.) So we really can’t grieve and let go while we’re still in the angry phase. We have to get to the point of realizing that our anger can’t change the past. The past is what is troubling us. And the nature of that trouble is that we lost something we loved.

    In this case, I loved the dream. I also loved playing my part in the dream. There was all the garbage that I had reason to get mad about, but now I’m looking at something else. The things I loved and lost. And now, looking at them with the experience of anger in the background, I have more insight about why I lost them, and the fact that even though they were never really true, I was true to myself. What I loved, I loved.

    That’s why I held up the lie in one hand, the dream in the other, and finally came to understand that the outcome was…well, not there. Not what I hoped. At this point, the grief makes sense. I’ve been through the anger and learned that it really was about bad luck, other people’s issues, me being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I’ve been through the beginnings of grief and understand that I really did lose something that meant something to me. So I’ve got a reason to feel sad, a real and logical reason that allows me to cry without feeling bad about myself or having any other complications to the feeling.

    It also allows me to realize that continuing to fight this loss is not productive. It’s past and done. I can’t change it. I’ve even gone through a great deal of reacting and thinking about causes in the angry phase, so I don’t need to keep searching for causes. I laid a foundation in the angry phase for the lessons I’m going to take away. But at that point they were defensive, reactive.

    In the process of grieving and letting go, they become less emotionally changed. Because I’m not seeing through anger, and eventually not even seeing through overwhelming sadness (because that tends to loose its intensity once we give it our full attention), the lessons begin to seem like what they are. Experiences that changed how we think about the world and maybe how we think about ourselves. Yes, we were true to ourselves in what we loved, but maybe there is reason to reconsider why we loved that or how we go about getting it.

    I didn’t take that sequence into the next realm of processing. That is when we begin to bring the learning back into our dealings with ourselves, thinking about if there’s anything in us we want to change in order to create the next chapter of our lives.

    I hope this makes sense. The processing in that last post was genuine. I really did need to sort out this stuff, because I don’t want him in my head that way. But I wanted to do it here, because I’m trying to figure out how to make the sequence of processing more clear.

    I know, I’ve heard here that everyone doesn’t process in the same way. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I observe what’s going on here, and there are still parts of it I’m trying to get clear about. Especially the way other people experience the transition from anger to grief, or anger to letting go.

    BTW, there is a really good series on PBS right now called “This Emotional Life.” I haven’t seen it all, but what I’ve seen is very interesting. Last night was the third one (though they’re rerunning it at various times). It was narrated by a psychologist from Harvard who was way too arrogant and academic for my tastes (well, he’s from Harvard), but there was lots of fascinating information it it.

    In last night’s episode, there was segment on the man I took forgiveness training with (online). It was a very good explanation of the process, and why we do it to stop letting anger rule our lives. I found the training really useful when I got to that point.

    Kathy



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  2. OxDrover says:

    Kathleen: QUOTE—
    “And maybe, finally, no more reading his stupid stories, so I don’t have to go through this again.”

    Kathy, I think maybe in a way, this reading his stories is BREAKING NC, like looking up his page on Face Book would be or reading an e mail he sent to you even though you don’t RESPOND to it, by taking in information FOR OR ABOUT him, it is breaking NC.

    As for you “feeling sorry” for him being such a “failure” when he could be such as “success” with his talents (if he had an understanding of emotions–which as a P he doesn’t) is giving him “rental space” in your head.

    I know that when I have PITY for any of the Ps that have hurt me, I am still giving them a part of myself.

    When I give them hatred I also seem to be giving them a part of myself.

    Sure, anger is a STAGE in disconnecting from them. Anger is a normal and JUSTIFABLE emotion generated by injury to us. But of course though it is natural, normal etc. we don’t want to STAY in that anger state FOREVER, or in hate forever.

    Pity is also a “natural” emotion that is generated when we see another human who is disabled, injured, etc. and it is a good emotion as it motivated the “Good Samaritian” in the Bible to stop and help the injured man on the side of the road. The other people who passed by HAD NO PITY on this man, they had indifference to some other human’s suffering, and we sure don’t want to be like those people were. We want to FEEL PITY when someone is injured, because it MOMTIVATES US to help that person.

    However, we also have learned (I think and I hope) that PSYCHOPATHS will “hook” into this natural and good emotion and PLAY IT FOR ALL IT IS WORTH. They are NOT deserving of our pity because their deficiencies are not something that we can “help” but MANIPULATIONS to appear “pitiful” so that we will be moved to allow them to continue to manipulate us.

    I think, for what it is worth, that PITY is a good emotion, and I don’t want to lose my pity for the downtrodden and injured, but neither do I want to FEEL PITY for those who would abuse me.

    QUOTE KATHLEEN:

    “Oh yeah, I’m kind of letting him back into my life again, aren’t I? Well, duh. Okay, I’ve had enough of this. He’s a jerk. He writes stupid stories. None of it has anything to do with me anymore. Let’s get back to my life.”

    I have to keep reminding myself of this above quote as well, Kathy, because if I let myself, I let my PITY for someone’s problems over come my logical self that realizes these people are RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN INJURIES, and I am NOT responsible for their injuries, and I cannot help them because all the “love and money” I would pour into them would be pounding sand down a rat hole, it isn’t going to help them, but it WILL DEPRESS ME.

    As you know, I am going through a “tough” time right now with realizing some things about a Non-P son that is less than I would wish in wisdom and and impulse control, and also dealing with the P-son in prison and getting through a re-hash of the emotions and behavior that he targeted me with and trying to keep him in prison….I know I have to do it, but it is sort of a “breaking of NC” as well because it drags out the pain, the emotions, the memories, and so on that I would rather not concentrate on.

    I think at least in my case, though I generally do a pretty good job of “having a life” that dredginhg up these old things can quickly put me into the abyss of “pity party” and “anger” and slow down my journey toward healing and having a good life. It takes away my logic and replaces it with emotional pain and pity for myself, second guessing myself, and all the other flip flop emotions I felt back when this was FRESH.

    If you figure out a way to “fix” this, let me know! LOO



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  3. geminigirl says:

    Oxy. I think Pity is the wrong word here, what we dont want to lose is our COMPASSION. Pity is a useless emotion on its own,
    most disabled people will tell you they dont want our pity,pity makes them feel way WORSE. Its acceptance, empathy and compassion that they like and that s helpful to them.And I think that Anger is good as long as it doesnt develop into malevolent RAGE. Im finding myself very angry with my daughter, but more lately with MYSELF for going on enabling her for 30 odd years, when clearly she was not going to say sorry, mean it, and show me by her actions she had changed.
    Anger will rise to the surface to let us know something is very wrong, and we need to pay attention to our gut. I think acute depression is only anger tamped down and down,-like a pressure cooker it will BLOW one day! And thats good, and healthy.! Likea suppurating boil, it comes to a head, and bursts and pus goes everywhere!{Not a pretty analogy!}As far as processing these emotions, it takes as long as it takes. As Kubler Ross says, the stages of grief, denial, anger,hurt, guilt,self pity, and finally acceptance, all take TIME to process, and we swing between one emotion to the other.Spaths dont appear to have any conscience, empathy, remorse or guilt, its like their brains lack that vital wiring that makes us fully human.I think we are WAY to hard on ourselves, God is more forgiving of us than we are to ourselves!How we lash and flagellate ourselves with false guilt, with endless “If onlys”.Love, GemXX



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  4. Twice Betrayed says:

    Kathy: “I could have hired two dozen rental guys to charm me for a year at a villa in Costa Rica,…..”
    I have one question: When do we leave? 😉 ahahahahahaaaaa!



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  5. pollyannanomore says:

    Kathy thanks for your encouragement – I have written some shorts, but unfortunately don’t have the technical skills to make them – I am meeting with a group of film makers soon so maybe that will change. I do feel a real need to express this in some way. I am writing a book about the aftermath – it’s more about me and this processing than what actually happened.

    I don’t want you to feel bad about what you wrote – I don’t think there was a lack of compassion there. There was realism there and brutal honesty with yourself. You are miles ahead of me in healing from all this and to briefly go back to where you were to s how a path for the rest of us showed that you have compassion in bucketloads – you have it for people who deserve it this time around. We should always maintain our compassion, but be choosy in who we offer it to whether in person or in heart. There is nothing wrong in seeing the humour in a situation or expressing your frustration with something – that doesn’t equal loss of compassion.

    I had a flash about your story – I am wondering whether it is you who needs to write. I know for myself, I was avoiding the pain of rejection for myself by supporting him even though I knew he was a hopeless cause – it reminded me a bit of parents who live through their children’s lives and encourage the children to pursue the dreams they couldn’t.

    So you are a marvellous writer – what short stories would you write if you were the published author? The themes of darkness irritate you – what do you want to write? You are so correct in saying these relationships are a mirror for us. I supported him because I was too scared to pursue that for myself so when he failed despite my support, it hurt like hell, because it meant I also failed by proxy.

    Pity is arrogant in my mind and shows a looking down on someone from above, whereas compassion in its true sense is loving understanding. I don’t want either of those for the P. He is not worthy of them. I don’t know how I want to think of him in the future. I don’t want to associate anger, fear, depression, despair, sorrow, pity or compassion or love with him. So at the moment he is a blank that I can impose the particular wave feeling of the day or hour on as I cycle through rage, anger, sadness, regret and all the other fine emotions I would like to forget.

    I think it was Oxy? who referred to pity being a motivational emotion. This motivation to help is called a ‘motivational displacement’ in educational terms. It means we take our motivation away from ourselves and place it on a person we love and we use our powers to help them in any way they can to achieve their goals. It’s a beautiful concept. But I can honestly say I don’t get this feeling for everyone I pity. For example, I share a mix of pity and disgust for parents who are (and I am stereotyping here!) lower class, no education and treat their children as objects.

    I watched a group up the street yesterday = the adults were all standing around a car while music blasted from it with explicit lyrics. Children ran around in nappies dancing to it. I pity those children and feel disgust about the stupidity of the parents. But my fear of them would stop me from intervening unless there was direct evidence of abuse happening. I don’t have any evidence they don’t feed, clothe and look after their children, but I equally believe they don’t engage their minds or relate to them as equal human beings with rights. They are stupid people who care for their own wellbeing only. So that’s a bit of pity that doesn’t include a motivational displacement. I very much doubt they would appreciate me sticking my nose in and telling them what the children need from them.

    Kathleen = one thing from your previous post about the writer. It showed me and probably others too that you still have your struggles with this. That was a very brave thing of you to do – again it wasn’t about him – it was about you and your feelings around this. You are human. At times I have wondered if you are like an ancient Greek temple or some otherworldly sage come to give us the path – you have such wisdom about all of our confusion and pain. So thankyou for sharing it with us and thankyou for sharing your analysis of processing today. You are a model of someone who has such huge self awareness and honesty – even when it hurts you, that it is inspirational to me. I hope – sincerely hope I get to that place. And I am sorry if what you are reading here is triggering you – that can’t be easy when you thought you were right out of the woods.

    So this is a waffley post! I think compassion is a beautiful thing and am glad to have recovered mine – it was a bit scarred and scared after the P. However I am not indiscriminately compassionate now – this is part of what got me into trouble with the P in the first place. I measure up and look at the situation to decide ‘does this person deserve my loving understanding or not?’ Compassion can lead us to sacrifice ourselves for someone else – it is more than just a warm fuzzy feeling that resides in the heart – it calls us to action to right wrongs and make situations just. I want to know my actions are for someone who deserves them and more than that – that they actually need my help. I have a tendency to rush in and take over in my efforts to please.

    Other people are capable of handling their own lives in most cases so my compassion can take smaller actions such as listening and being present with the person, spiritually companioning them through a tough time, or asking them what they would like from me. Most of all though, I am using my compassion for myself at the moment – it is a salve to my soul and allows me to forgive myself my stupidity that got me into so much trouble. When I am much better, I can share that compassion with deserving others – not with everyone!

    Oxy – I have read that book The Games People Play – brilliant book and I so recognised a few of the dynamics present in the relationship. I also think checking out fb was breaking nc and that’s why I suffered the consequences of being upset about it.



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  6. Kathleen Hawk says:

    Oxy, I must be doing a terrible job of expressing myself. That was my way of dealing with it. Going through the process. I just did it in front of everyone.

    Regarding the word pity, I never suggested it was the same as compassion. Pity clearly seeing that this person is less than you in some way. It may not be their fault. They may be disadvantaged or have some other reason to have fewer resources. But pity is a valid emotion. If we say “oh, you poor thing,” we’re also saying something about ourselves, speaking from a position of relative superiority, even if it’s just the objectivity that comes from not being inside their suffering.

    I think that this is why the concept of pity raises so much confusion. If we’re better off than they are, isn’t it our ethical or spiritual responsibility to share what we have and bail them out? The Good Samaritan thing you mention.

    The operative question is whether we’re “”obligated.” And my take on it is that we’re not obligated to help, if it infringes on our own ability to survive. So, can we feel pity and not help? Of course, we can. It makes us uncomfortable, perhaps. If we turn away, we may feel like we’ve acquired a bit of karmic debt that we need to work off by giving to charity or doing something like that when we have something to spare. But if we can’t feel pity and be conscious of our own needs at the same time, our only option is to block pity from our emotional system, and that creates risk of us becoming heartless in the face of other people’s suffering. Sometimes, we have to feel and not doing anything about it.

    As far as you being emotionally destabilized right now, at the risk of sounding insufficiently compassionate, have you considered that it’s actually a good thing? Instead of denying or stuffing it, you’re processing the blow. You’re doing it on the spot. You’re sufficiently comfortable with processing it that you’re sharing it with us in real time. You’re reaching out for support. You’re doing all the right things to work through it.

    You seem to be surprised you’re having these feelings. You said that you got knocked off your position of feeling like you figured everything out. And you’re talking about being in the woods again, as if this is something bad. Oxy, sweetheart, this is life. We figure life out, and then lie throws us another challenge. If we really did figure it out, we catch it and toss it back without even noticing. But if we still have something left to learn, we feel boinked by the cosmic skillet and we have to go through the process again to learn that smidge of lesson we didn’t get last time.

    Maybe what you’re learning this time is that you’re not invulnerable. Than any time you try to accomplish anything, you risk disappointment, loss and pain. So here you are, working through your ouch-y to figure out what the lesson is. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my wonderful minister, who used to say, “God, I know this is a lesson, and I’m ready to learn it, really I am, if you’ll just let me know what I’m supposed to be figuring out.” Midstream in the learning process is always a kind of hell. And it’s usually not because we have to be in pain to learn, but because we’ve got our heals dug in, resisting it.

    You mentioned that I was breaking NC. Don’t I know it. (See item #7.) Didn’t you read my bargaining with that lesson. But I invested all that money in his writing. It’s the one thing I might be able to get back for it, knowing that he at least is turning out meaningful work. I have a right to see how my investment came out.

    Yadda yadda. So that’s the lesson. If I give him head space, I just get something else to be mad about, and my reward is to go through yet another round of processing. And it’s entirely in my hands whether I want to keep doing that or take (yet another chunk of) my life back. Or put another way, do I want to keep feeling like a victim, or put my attention on things that actually make me happy or feel like I’m accomplishing something. Other than clawing my way back to emotional stability.

    GeminiGirl, I agree with you about compassion. And I’m generally cheering when I reading your posts these days. You have moved so far from the days when you were asking people if you were entitled to feel as hurt as you did.

    I mention that because the precursor to feeling compassion for other people is to feel compassion for ourselves. To accept that we did the best we could, at any time in our lives, given what we knew and what we had to work with. And that we deserve kindness, understanding and acknowledgement — from ourselves first. We are our first judge, and usually the only one who can judge us, because we are the only one who knows the whole story. (Unless you want to count God, and I look at God’s attitude toward me as a guide to how I feel about myself. God forgives me, but God also wants me to learn, so I don’t keep suffering needlessly.)

    The concepts of pity, empathy, sympathy and compassion are not clearly differentiated in our language. But my understanding of compassion — feeling for another person’s condition in a pure way that isn’t tangled up with any other demands, including fixing them — requires the same level of acceptance of myself. I may want to fix things in me or for other people, but that’s not driven by compassion. Most often it’s driven by my discomfort with my own feelings. I feel embarrassed or guilty or upset with the general psychic noise around me, and I want to make myself more comfortable.

    True compassion respects another person’s circumstances and is humble enough to also accept that this may have nothing to do with us. The world is full of beauty. It’s also full of suffering. Often they are related. And sometimes, the best thing we can do is to simply observe and feel our feelings.

    You wrote about depression being suppressed anger. And how it may finally explode. If that is finally happening for you, you’re going to be hell on wheels for a while. You might consider alerting your husband and your adopted kids that you might be a little snappish for a bit, but it has nothing to do with them. They just might want to give you a some space right now.

    I suspect you’ll get through this fast. You’ve been working up to it for a long time, and all you ever really needed to accept (you already learned it) was that you didn’t ask for this, you didn’t create it, and there was never anything you could do about it. So you really can let yourself off the hook, and just start letting go of any residual demands that it be different now. You are so close already, and have been for a while. If it was up to you, it would all been different. It just was out of your hands.

    Affectionately —

    Kathy



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  7. OxDrover says:

    Dear Kathy,

    You are right about the “semantics” in English of Pity, empathy and compassion being easily confused.

    Probably compassion is a better word for what the “Good Samaritain” felt for the injured man on the road, but though he was NOT “obligated” to do anything and he had not caused the man’s trouble, he was moved to do something to help the man without any thought of reward for himself, he was altruistic completely, whereas the others that passed by had no pity or compassion or empathy, but felt themselves “too busy” or “too important” to help someone less fortunate than they.

    The same lesson, I think is taught in the story of the “Rich man and Lazerus” the begger at his door. The rich man had no obligation to help the begger, and from the way I read the story didn’t even notice the man begging there, even to feel pity, compassion or empathy. He didn’t kick the man, just ignored his suffering, and failed to even give the better the SCRAPS from his table, or to tell a servant to throw him the left overs from the table.

    I do NOT want to be so callous that I cannot have compassion on others, or to not have empathy for those that are truly suffering—the psychopaths have no empathy, and though the “rich man” and the ones who passed by the beaten traveler had failed to have compassion, empathy or pity enough to motivate them to help they may not have been psychopaths, because even those of us with empathy, compassion or pity sometimes fail to ACT on those emotions for one reason or another.

    Sure, I am vunerable to being “blind sided” or “hooked” or “fooled” BECAUSE I love, I do have empathy, compassion and pity (not using pity as an arrogant looking down on) for others who have less than I do, or who are injured. I AM willing to share what I have or to stop and pull someone out of a ditch—-I no longer pick up hitch hikers though, because I perceive there might be SERIOUS danger to me involved, but I will pull up beside someone who is broken down on the freeway, and make a phone call for them from inside the safety of my car. Or I will call the highway police and notify them that someone is broken down. If there is a wreck, I will call 911 and if it looks like medical assistance is needed, get out and do what I can immediately, but I will NOT give unprotected CPR to ANYONE I don’t know—I keep a mask in my car along with other safety equipment including gloves and bandages. So I both offer assistance AND protect myself in a logical and safe way. But I can’t imagine driving by a woman broken down on the freeway or a man for that matter that was in obvious need of help and not doing what I could (without endangering myself). I wouldn’t want to be the kind of person who could view DISTRESS and not take action. I wouldn’t want to pass by someone in ACUTE need and not even give them a thought.

    I realize I can’t solve all the problems in the world by giving a few bucks to a homeless person or calling 911 for a woman broken down on the freeway, but in my life I have “Entertained angels unawares” when people stopped at the wreck I had and offered assistance when I lay there pregnent and with broken bones, or when I was nearly homeless and someone offered a word of comfort….I cannot repay those people directly (or the people here on LOVEFRAUD who have offered me support and comfort) but I can “pass it on” to others in need.

    Like you said to Gemini, “it would have been different” if I had control over the outcome, but I don’t have control over anyone except myself.

    I realize that loving someone and trusting someone is a RISK and the more we love and the more we trust, the MORE RISK of hurt. But I sure don’t want to be without the ability to love or the ability to trust someone else. How awful that would be….heck, if I was like that, I would be like the psychopaths because they can’t love, and they can’t truly trust, because they think everyone is like them. I know everyone is NOT like me though, but I am glad that there are others who can love, who do love and who DO trust. I’d much rather live through the pain of betrayal than to have never have loved or trusted at all. Thanks, Kathy.



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  8. geminigirl says:

    Dearest kathy, dearest oxy, Kathy, you are quite right, I think I am finally getting there!And your also right re the long suppressed anger.Im learning to set boundaries with everyone now, not just my spath daughter. I may have mentione d that I have been doing voluntary work every friday and every 2nd Monday for 2 years now. Well, asa volunteer, as you may know, you have no autonomy, no decision making powers, you basically have to do what your told to do, ie, “put up or shut up.”‘Some weeks before xmas I was getting seriously pithed off with the paid team leaders of each group. This is a respite care centre for old people with dementia or alzheimers. the old people themselves werent the problem, but the overbearing bossiness, “HOT and COLD’ behaviour, and mood swings of the woman who runs the Friday group were really getting to me. One day, i suggested we take them all outside in a shaded outdoor garden they have for a bit of fresh air and sunshine, which they badly need for Vit.D.”No! I make the rules, and I say they are staying inside!” was her reply to me.On the Monday, I was asked to do a collage mural. which as an Art teacher of some 28 years in 3 countries was no problem for me. I was asked to do a beach scene.I was cutting out some bikini clad pics of young girls, for the front of the mural, when the leader said to me,”Oh no, that wont do at all! You will have to choose pics of girls in full one piece costumes, we dont want to inflame the old men!’ I couldnt believe my ears. What rubbish! And even if they had gott a thrill out of it, so bloody what? they get little enough pleasure in their lives!I wrote to the head office, voicing my concerns, they rang me back ery “understanding ‘ and “shocked, and horrified’ at what I was putting up with and suggested, asa valued volunteer, I take a few weeks off tillxmas, and go back in the new year.
    Well, my friend, June, who is also a volunteer there, rang me up last Thursday evening, to check if I was going to be there. itold her Yes, but the next morning I hada sick feeling in my gut, -I KNEW nothing would have changed. Oh, maybe they be all over me like a rash for a week or two and then it would be back tothe high handed, “hot and cold” treatment. I immediately wrote aletter of resignation,again giving my reasons, and saying Id remember the good times Id had, but I wouldnt be back. And I wont be back. Also, just like Oxy , David and I had these friends around our age, They have a female black poodle, Jasmine, very like our male black poodle. They have asked us, over and over to look after her for us, the longest time was for 2 and a half weeks. They never bothered to bring any dog food or biscuits for her, and we never bothered to ask. Then recently, we asked them to take Bobby for ONE NIGHT, and they rang us at 10 PM that evening to say he was crying and could we come pick him up! After one day!David even drove to the station recently as they had locked their keys in the boot,{trunk}, and they needed him to go takea spare pair of keys, so they could drive their car home from the station. I sent them a Xmas card, but intend to just quietly fade out of their lives, as its all one sided, and Im sick of it. Its amazing , now Ive set that boundary with my daughter,Im suddenly aware of how Ive been allowing other people to trample over me,and this time I WONT STAND FOR IT!! This Mama is mad now, so watch out! I hope I never lose my compassion, but I wont be a patsy or an enabler any more to people who are too lazy to do things for themselves,
    THIS WORM HAS FINALLY TURNED!!So watch out all you selfish p—ks out there!Love, your feisty gem.XXX



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  9. ErinBrock says:

    Gem:
    I have seen in myself…..the setting of boundaries…
    Redetermining what we will take and what’s worth it in our lives…and WHO is worth it in our lives….
    I think the process involves ….at some point….the reevaluation of all our relationships….
    I see a lot of us doing this…..
    I do believe it’s something we SHOULD be doing and is healthy for us…..we should just take it slow…..
    I guess….we could ax everyone for all the things we have been wronged for…..
    But again…re evaluating and ‘teaching’ people how to treat us is maybe key.
    It’s all about balance!

    XXOO



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