My profuse apologies for not having been around to read or comment on your blogs. I have been a horrible blogger
Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
for the past couple of months. For some reason I just couldn’t muster up the energy to post anything interesting so just didn’t bother. I’m sorry for that. Also, I have been trying to market my online shops more through social media which is super time consuming. If I had the money I’d have someone do it for me but if I did then I wouldn’t likely be designing for sites that pay you a pittance but I digress.
Today is Christmas in the Western world where Christianity is the predominant religion even if not practicing. I, myself, am not religious and never have been but do observe Christmas the way most secular sorts do. When I was younger I used to look forward to Christmas because I got gifts from other people. Giving was a chore and seen as a downside but now I am the opposite. Since adulthood I have seen Christmas as more enjoyable when able to give to others. Receiving just isn’t as satisfying as it once was. Given the fact I am unemployed I don’t have much money to work with for gifting but I managed to pull it off.
Giving is more satisfying for me, as I mentioned above so what I have to say might seem to contradict that. My dad (whom I live with) has a “friend” who only ever phones to manipulate money/food/cigarettes from my dad. Although my dad is on a fixed income and pension this friend of his mis-manages his own income and ends up piling heaps of guilt onto my dad so he’ll provide him with whatever it is he wants. Generally, this is a combination of groceries, cigarettes and cash and no hope of ever being paid back in any way whatsoever. He will also suggest suicidal ideas but has no plans or actual fortitude to follow through on these “threats”*. These are merely tools in his arsenal to guilt trip my dad into being the ‘supply’ for said ‘friend’ (read manipulative leech).
Now I have met this guy and he is not the worse person I have ever met but certainly not one I wish to have in my life. Yet my dad needs my help to do a lot of things because he’s mobility impaired, which means I end up getting dragged into being a part of my dad’s enabling of his ‘friend’. It really makes me angry because I can see through this guy but my dad is not able to say no to him. I’ve even bluntly told my dad this guy is using my dad and manipulating him and he’s being an enabler. His response is he thinks God will reward him for his “good deeds”. In essence, he thinks he’ll win brownie points with God and a spot in Heaven. How do you even argue with someone who thinks they’re earning their place in Heaven? I don’t wish to be disrespectful of his beliefs in any way yet I can’t help thinking he’s just using that as an excuse rather than admit he can’t say no to his manipulative ‘friend’.
My conundrum is what should I do-if anything-in this situation? I dislike holding so much negativity toward an individual and dislike watching my dad participate in unhealthy relationships. Yes, he’s a grown man but he has poor judgement when it comes to the people he lets into his life. I find myself frustrated and unable to change my dad’s behaviour with manipulative people like his “friend”. Maybe I just need to learn to let go and allow my dad to make the mistakes he’s going to. If he wants to waste his money that’s his choice. It makes me annoyed to see him behave the way he does but I am not his mother or parent. Perhaps the lesson for me is to release myself from the need to control. Although I am not a controlling person I do find myself wanting to control situations when I know things aren’t “right”. As someone who wants to see fair treatment of everyone it gets under my skin witnessing my dad with his ‘friend’ taking advantage of my dad’s good nature and poor boundaries.
What have you done to deal with family behaving in a self destructive manner, or even just behaviour that is not very healthy? Do you stand by and watch them “fall down”? Or do you try to convince them they’re erring? This is a behaviour pattern my dad has had his whole life so he’s not likely to spontaneously ‘grow out of it’. I suppose it is just something he has to go through and I need to learn how to let go more.
That’s it for now. I’m visiting my sister and family tomorrow for Christmas. Today I just lounged around. Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday or Wednesday if you don’t celebrate anything this time of year.
*Having attempted suicide myself a few times serious enough to be in the critical part of the I.C.U. and depressed for many years, I feel I have the right to make comments regarding suicide-so please no comments on my “attitude” or lack of compassion!.
©Natalya Lyubov, 2013.