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By | November 20, 2009 24 Comments

Healthy Giving

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

By Ox Drover

Thirty years ago I met a special lady, she was my next-door neighbor’s sister-in-law. She had grown up in Italy during WWII. Her father was a “slave” to the government and worked for them. In exchange, he was given at least a limited amount of food. He loved his children and gave all the food to his children. As a consequence of giving all the food he had to his children, he became very weak and unable to work at full capacity. His masters informed him that if he continued to give the majority of the food to his children that when he became unable to work, all food would be stopped, and not only he, but his children as well, would starve.

This lady remembered watching her father cry as he ate, knowing that his children were hungry, but knowing also that by keeping up his strength, he might be able to save not only himself, but his children as well. I remember thinking what a terrible choice this man was given, yet knowing too, that he did what he did to save not only himself but his children as well.

This has been one of those stories that has stuck with me forever, one I will never forget as long as I have two synapses that communicate with each other. I realized lately though, how much meaning this story has on several levels.

One of the “common themes” among former victims seems to me to be our capacity to “give unto others” the resources of all kinds that we have. Story after story on Lovefraud tells of a former victim giving money and time to their abuser to their own detriment. Not just “sharing” what they have willingly, but giving everything to others, who willingly take, not caring at all that their victim is literally “starving” themselves in order to provide resources to the psychopathic abuser.

I am sure this father in the above story would have willingly given all the food to his children, and willingly starved himself to death in order that they might live. Unfortunately, his death by starvation would have only, later, precipitated the death by starvation of the very children he sacrificed to save. It was only by retaining enough food to keep himself alive, even though the children were still hungry, that they all could live.

Looking back on my life and the stories of other former victims, I see so many similarities to the way we have given to those we loved, but to the point of our own starvation, at which point, we were discarded by the psychopaths, who moved gleefully on to the next caring victim.

Caring and sharing is a good trait in loving and compassionate people. The Bible and other sacred works advise us to be “giving” and “compassionate” people, and to share our good fortune with others who are “in need.” I never found though, that any of these writings advise us to give the last morsel of food, the only coat we have, or to move out of our homes into the snow and invite others to move into our homes while we freeze to death in the snow.

I never found an admonition for the followers of Jesus to give money to those who are too lazy to work, or to house, feed and support anyone who could but wouldn’t work. I do find exhortations, though, that we should work with our hands so that we will have resources to share with those “in need.”

Depriving ourselves of the necessary things in life in order to supply abundant things to those who will not “help themselves” to the limit of their abilities is not, in my opinion, a good use of our resources.

Whether the “things” we give to others are our financial resources or our time, when we deprive ourselves of the resources necessary for a healthy life in order to give to another, and we deplete ourselves to the point we become “broken down” or “starved” and can no longer take care of even ourselves, we do no one a favor.

I can’t even completely imagine how that Italian father must have suffered with each bite he took, but he did what he did because it was the best thing to do. I would also imagine that his guilt at eating the food he did must have given him incredible pain, but all of his children and he and his wife survived the war.

In order to help others, we too much feed ourselves first, and take care of our own needs. It isn’t a crime to be good to yourself, though I know I still have trouble at times doing just that, being good to myself.


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Lace

Yesterday was the first time I wrote on lovefraud & would love to part of your threads as I have found your articles and stories very helpful. The problem is that I am in London so the time difference makes it difficult. I have just begun to realize that it is ok to take care of me first. My p got the kids a dog over the summer so that he could go away on holiday with his new victim and the kids would still think he was super dad. I work full time and did not want a pet as it would not be fair. (as I said yest) he will not leave,no matter how I try to get him out. He got the dog without asking my opinion on the matter. Anyhow, six months pass and the dog is huge,kids lost interest&he doesn’t do anything with it-yesterday I had enough and today have given the dog to a good home where it will be looked after properly. This is the first thing I have done for me-and although the kids may hate me for a bit-they will see that it was the right
thing to do. I feel so much better now and hope this will be the beginning of doing what’s right for me and my children.
Thanks again to all of u & will catch up with you all tomorrow.
It’s funny how I feel as though I know all, but I do-and I hope that soon I too will be free!X

Lace

Quick question-when does the feeling of shame go away? The shame of allowing myself to have this done to me& the shame of not being able to control my life? I went back to university a few years ago and got my degree-how can I be so driven and so foolish at the same time? How the heck did I end up like this? Loved what oxy said yesterday-I feel so much better now that I’ve given up hope-that just about days it a-how sad! Sorry to ramble, I just feel so stuck!x

Ox Drover

Dear Lace,

Welcome to LF. there are others here in the UK and austrailia and Europe, so there is a big time difference in some of our lives, but that’s okay, we may be asleep when you write us or vice versa, but we catch up!

GOOD FOR YOU! I’m glad you did what was right by not only the dog, but by your kids and by you! Especially you!

If children are not old enough and willing enough to be responsible, the consequence is 1) you take care of it 2) you give the animal away to someone who is willing and able to care for it.

I don’t think the kids will hate you, but if they want another pet, you might get something they CAN take care of and WILL be interested in enough to care for with you monitoring the animal of course.

Maybe you should get the kids a huge dog that can live at DADDY’s house. LOL or get them a set of drums or a buggle to keep at daddy’s house so they won’t be bored while there. LOL

Again, welcome to LF. Tell as much or as little of your story as you want and feel comfortable doing! Glad you are here!

Lace

Meant to read “that just about says it all!”The mistakes are because I am using my cell phone as it’s the only way he can’t demand to see what I am doing!

Lace

Thanks oxy, daddy lives here as he won’t move out. He used to have his own place because he’s an alcoholic and I didn’t want kids around him when he was drinking-he stays sober for yrs then drinks for months. He’s sober now but I didn’t realize that the reason he slowly moved in here was because his house was repossessed. Fool that I am thought he’d seen the error of his ways.lol! I said no dog, but he got one anyway! I do t know how he paid for it-don’t care either as I gave it away for free. Now he’s here & has no intention of going even though I know he has another woman. I just don’t get it. I think the reason he’s stayed sober this long is because he doesn’t want her to see anything other than the fantasy he’s presenting. He lies constantly-I used to fall for it all! X

Ox Drover

Are you married to daddy? If not, have a court order to evict him, not sure how that works in the UK. If you are married to him, can you file for divorce and get him evicted that way?

Does he work? If not, does he sponge meals and money off you? Looks like a good way to show a court he is a mooch if he has no job.

I think I would personally figure out some way to get the bloke out of there! I am sending you my worm wishes for a P-free life!

Maryjane

I know with my guy when I began to feel suffocated and stressed that this man was not good for me. I was too much too soon. In the first month, I am visiting his very ill mother in the hospital, ado doing things for her.. I am a caring person and I don’t regret caring for this dying woman.. but I felt put upon, exhausted and it wasn’t right in that, I had just moved into a new house and should be happy and focusing on myself. He did help me but I soon saw it was to ‘get into my life’ to set it up so that he could move into my property as he was three months behind in his rent and eviction had been stared. I found this out the exact day that he moved in.. and finding it out.. I never trusted him. We were doomed.. and I should’ve kicked him out.. but oh, how he told me that he loved me and his mother was dying.. this man lived in my house almost a year.. and I was rarely happy. Sure there were some good times, but everything about his life made left me with a feeling of exhaustion…. he was like some heavy burden. Sure, I lived my life and took care of me.. but since he has been gone now almost a year…I really realize that I was living his life.. I had let him and he connived to get me focused on him, his burdens, his children, his traveling. I cooked amazing dinners, washed his clothers. He came home to a perfectly kept home.. and I had no rights as a wife and few benefits.. He took me out and helped me around the house..but I felt little real affectionf for him It was his manipulation and his continual telling me how much he loved me and how great our life was going to be that kept me in this thing. He would call last at night when he arrived places and want to talk to me until he go to his hotel room It was obsessive. I was tired and wanted to go to sleep.. but I talked.. then finaly, I said at 11:30.. I am off the phone and into my nighttime peace.. that man would’ve had me jumping through all his hoops. I am so glad that he is out of my life. SO GLAD!

Jan

This blog entry was validating for me. Thanks for the insight.

Ox Drover

Dear Jan,

Thank you, I am glad that it resonated with you. I don’t think I will ever forget the lady from Italy, or her story or the story of her father’s sacrifice for his children. It touched me in a very deep way. I can only half imagine how he must have felt.

I realized though, that there was a moral in that story, that could apply to me (and others) in that some of us will continue to “starve ourselves into our graves” in an effort to “give to others” to the point that we have nothing left to give, and that is defeating all the way around.

Spirit40

Post reminded me of both my parents my Dad was in WWII for Italy and my mom must have lived in Italy through it…. We give until we have nothing left…. they take every ounce they can get and leave before the going gets tough… he thinks he will be back…well 40 is the new 30 so I will be taking a longgggg break for myself and I plan on visiting some family in Italy this summer… I need the break I hope the universe is listening I need a vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! recharge the dead battery…..need a jump start…..

struggling

Thanks Oxy, this is a real eye opener for me. I use analogies a lot and have tried to explain some things using analogies similar to this…someone starving for others and how they will die and then what will the others do ?
In my case I think they’ll do just fine, they won’t starve when I’m gone. I couldn’t quit though, with this story though, it shows me that even if I weren’t being ‘taken advantage of’ I’d still have to do for me to be able to continue to do for them. I guess I knew this all already, but didn’t want to let go for fear of being alone and unable to take care of my boys alone. Plus if I quit sucking arss then we’ll be ‘on our own’. (of course, I am already alone, lonely, afraid, blah, blah, blah.) I have more going on then just the xp, I think I’m stronger where he is concerned but the rest? I have a real hard time with that, it’s all just too much sometimes.
But this article, This is very validating for me. It validates what I have tried to say about needing some of my needs met as well as others.
Thank you

Sometimes I get this knot in my throat and my eyes water over and I just want to unload my thoughts here, but then I remember that so many of my details would expose who I am to the p and others that might come through here. The p is very dangerous to my sons safety and mine, but he would use that boy to hurt me, I know. So I don’t want to provoke him to that, I want him to feel safe and bored where I’m concerned so he’ll loose interest and fade away from our lives, including my boy’s life. Not that I won’t fight him legally if he makes that necessary.
It doesn’t seem fair that I can’t open up and ‘tell all’ I could really use the release.
I’m tired of walking this world like a ghost that no one hears or sees. It’s very very lonely.

Ox Drover

Dear Heaven bound,

I can relate to your feelings about walking like a “ghost” but I have learned to validate MYSELF. Actually, the “details” of what you went through are not what is important I think. I think that what is important is that you have FACED EVIL and looked it square in the face and overcome.

In some cases telling someone (who has never been around a P that they knew what was) it would be more believeable to tell them you were abducted by aliens and get them to believe you than to tell all the REAL DETAILS which ARE true.

Each of the Ps has used/abused us heartlessly….what difference does it make WHAT THE DETAILS ARE? Not a lot really, abuse=abuse=abuse, that’s the bottom line.

They took and we gave and gave and gave. Now we know that they are takers only and that we have settled to only give to them for nothing in return. BUT we ar eno longer willing to give to those who are parasites like a tick on a dogs ear….sucking our blood adn infecting us with whatever emotional trauma they are carrying like an insect vector spreading disease with every bite.

Take care of YOU, and take care of your chiold/children and don’t let the disbelief of the rest of the world, or his appearance of normalcy hurt you any more. You make YOURSELF while! Be good to yourself. A good life is the best revenge! (((hugs)))) and God bless.

struggling

Oxy,
No the details aren’t really important, but then it does do some good to be able to talk about it. I see everyone here talk about this or that, that happened and sometimes I’d just like to do the same. I think it would let some pressure off. However, you make a great point … the details really don’t make a lot of difference, abuse=abuse=abuse…

I’m trying Oxy to take care of me and my boys, but I am stuck somehow. I feel so hurt at what all I gave up and lost that my boys deserved and needed.

I’m so upset with what the devil has been aloud to do. I know that God knows what He is doing and that I shouldn’t be upset about this, but I can’t seem to help it. I’m upset with me for feelings that I shouldn’t be having.
It’ll be fine though.

Thank you Oxy for your response, encouragement, and for HEARING me.

Thank you for taking the time to post to me.
(((hugs))) to you too Oxy, I needed that! I need all those I can get!
God bless!!

Ox Drover

Dear Heaven bound,

Back when I had to flee for my life, leave my home, 99% of my possessions and my community in order to be safe from the atttempts on my life, I felt terrible that I was being chased out of what I had worked for, my refuge, my home. I ended up buying an RV trailer and lived in it up near the lake on some friends’ property. I was safe there, “Hiding in plain sight” about 35 miles away from my home.

But you know, just like David hiding from King Saul, there was a lesson there for David and a lesson there for me too. Material possessions, no matter how hard you worked fo rthem or how good they are are NOT what is important in this life. I realize now I could live in a cardboard box under a freeway and be content and happy, and live in the biggest finest house in the world and be the most miserable.

I’ve been pretty wealthy and I’ve been very very poor, and everywhere in between, but material lthings don’t bring security. There is an old “blessing” often quoted about “May you have JUST enough” and I think it is right on. too much material wealth I think tends to make people complacent and too little makes people anxious and fearful.

Anything we have from health to material wealth can be gone in an instant. Nothing\ but change is permanent and that’s a fact.

The apostle Paul advised the early Christians to BE CONTENT whereever they were. Even if the were slaves and there was NO hope they could become free, be CONTENT and don’t be discontent with what ever your lot in life is. I think that is very good advice. too many people grieve over things they can’t change, whether it is being short, or being poor, or this or that. I don’t mean don’t ever try to better your “station’ with education or wahtever or a better job, but what Paul meant and I mean is to accept those things that you cannot change. don’t depend on wealth or health or anything that can be fleeting but to depend on your own inner strength and peace. Don’t let outside forces destroy that.

I depended too much on my own abilities (arrogance and pride) rather than depending on my faith in God to run the world. Since I quit trying to run the world and fix my P son and so on, the world is still spinning, and I’m just along for the ride. All I have to do is do my part, and God takes care of the rest.

I learned to pray not for some specific thing, but to pray “God let whatever is best, in YOUR wisdom happen, and help me trust that it IS for the best even though I can’t see it right this minute.” (“All things work together for GOOD to those that love the Lord”) There was a time when I wanted my son out of prison and for him to come home and us all to “live happily ever after” but I never prayed for that thing to happen unless it was “for the best” in GOD’s opinion, not mine.

I can look back now, 20:20 hind sight and see that a lot of things that at the time they happened seemed like a “bad thing” but in teh end turned out to have been a blessing because something good wouldn’t have happened later if the “bad” thing hadn’t happened first. Keep your faith strong! Faith in yourself and in God. ((((hugs))))

struggling

Yes, I am doing my best, you know every since i was a little girl, I’ve leaned on the Lord for what was best. I messed up this time, I prayed He would let me have this man as my husband. OOPS. If it was not for my youngest boy, from this marriage, I’d beg to take that one back.

You just can’t know how much this post from you speaks to me…I started to tell you on the last post some things but then deleted it. Details you know, but your post spoke to me so well concerning it, that I had to go back and look and see if I had really deleted those things.

Yes, I too pray not for my desire, but for God’s will, because I do know that that is what’s best. But you have reminded me of some important things. I’ll be praying!

Thanks Oxy. Thank you so much!
You have really helped me!

Ox Drover

Dear Heavenbound,

I’m glad I was able to speak kto your heart and say the words that would help to comfort you. Sometimes I felt so alone, so like Job, seeming that I had lost “everythign” but in reality I had lost nothing of earth shaking importance. I still had so many blessings.

I spent some time in 3rd world countries and saw so omuch REAL poverty—poverty where there was not enough food, clean water, or shelter, where paarents had to bury their children that had starved to death in a ‘city dump” and it broke my heart.

Sometimes I feel “guilty’ for all the blessings that I have, that we as a country have, a clean bed to sleep in—even if it was in a shelter would be more than so many people in this world have. To have even basic food, clean water, medical and dental care, and “we” take it all for granted. Losing most of it, even for a while made me realize a lot of things, and one of those things is to COUNT MY BLESSINGS.

Oh, I griped about the raini this summer, all summer, but you know when a bit too much rain is the WORST thing you have to gripe about, your life is pretty well blessed! I tend to focus on the things I wish I had instead of being grateful for the wonderful blessings I do have. I would hurt for the insults and wounds from my P-son, but in the end, this whole thing turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because other wise, my son C would still be married to the P-X-DIL, and who knows, she might ahve succeeded in killing C if it hadn’t been like it was, so I look back and thank God that IN THE END I am better off than I was before all this chaos and crazymaking. I am not having to deal with my egg donor, and my son is free of that woman, we are all healthy, and hve a roof over our heads.

That doesn’t mean that my “tuition” to the school of hard knocks wasn’t painful or paid for in emotional “blood” but whatever it cost, it was worth it, looking back. I am P-FREE. That’s pretty doggoned wonderful if you ask me.

skylar

Thanks Oxy for the reminder to take care of ourselves. The constant need to give is what makes us P-supply. But it’s a habit to keep doing it. Reminders really help.

Your point about people believing in aliens rather than the bizarre behavior of a P is soooo true. I, myself, wouldn’t believe me if I didn’t have recordings to remind me of what he said. I’m sure I would just slip right back into thinking what a great guy he is.

struggling

Oxy,
I’ve never been out of the US but then I’m glad I haven’t had to see such horrors, It is heartbreaking.

I’m afraid I tend to get focused on the things I wish I had as well, and yet I have so much…I really don’t know what gets wrong with me, I mean, I really have been so blessed, I have so much, I didn’t get it the way I planned, but God gave me the chance to enjoy it anyway and I’ve wasted an awful lot of time that I should have been enjoying and counting my blessings. God really is an understanding, loving God, if he weren’t, He’d have zapped me good by now.

You’re right,,, p-free!! That is wonderful!!

Thank you Oxy!! I hope you have a great day!
God Bless!!

Ox Drover

Dear heavenbound and Sky,

It isn’t just in 3rd world countries that there are horrors of want, there are plenty here in the US, it is just that6 most of us don’t get a chance to see them here because they are hidden in more widely spaced areas that we seldom visit. But I think because we don’t “see” them every day we tend to forget that they exist, and so we tend to compare our “poverty” with the people we see on TV or the people we see down the street in their new home, or big cars, etc.

It is just human nature to think that way, and to mourn the “loss” maybe of our money, house, etc. to the giving it or having it stolen by the P–but we ARE blessed compared to many so we need I think to realize that, but also to realize that our possessions are NOT who we are. The Ps are hollow inside and material possessions ARE who they are, but we hve more inside us than that. We are better than that.

We should not judge OURSELVES and our WORTH by our financial state. sure, lots of people judge themselves and others by how much money they have or how “successful” they are, but OUR WORTH should not be judged (especially by ourselves) by WHAT we have.

I think the psychopaths are described in the “love” chapter of Corinthians when it ways if you have this or that and have not LOVE you are as a “tinkling cymbal” Without Love, no matter what you do or have you are NOTHING. That is the state in which the psychopaths LIVE and have their being. What they ARE.

We must value ourselves, take care of ourselves, because WE ARE IMPORTANT to those who DO love us, even if that is ONLY ourselves and our creator. We must take care of US and not feel guilty, and count the blessings we do have and the fact that we did SURVIVE the encounter with the EVIL.

I know it may sound trite, or trivial, or that I am just saying “get over it” but I’m not, it is HARD WORK to harnass our emotions and feelings to take care of ourselves, to count our blessings and recover from the devestation done to us by the DECEPTIONS we have discovered. To overcome the addictions to the fantaxy that we “saw” so clearly as “real”–the psychoopaths ARE THE LIE, just as “Satan is the father of lies.” If we have a faith that helps us do that USE IT.

WHATEVER a person’s philosophy is, whatever their belief system is, that can be a GREAT WEAPON in overcominjg the devestation that we feel. Our expectations, our beliefs form us, and if we actually BELIEVE we are “poor” we will feel poor, if we believe we are blessed we will FEEL BLESSED. Feeling poor and oppressed makes you THINK poor and oppressed. Feeling blessed makes you have a different pattern of thinking. Conditions may not have changed but your ATTITUDE will have changed and that will make all the difference in the world to how you think, feel and heal.

And BTW, I fall off this “positive attitude” wagon once in a while myself, it is human nature to do so, so don’t beat yourself up, if you throw a pity party for yourself every now and then either, Just work toward staying on that positive road as much as you can. The longer you are on it, the easier it does become, but it is always some effort to stay there. ((((hugs))))

Cat

Ox,
Timely article, once again! I haven’t been to LF in a couple of days and I sure have missed it! I draw such strength from this site. For a very long time I gave and gave, to the point where I was starving emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically and mentally. I had a counselor ask me one simple question:
“What are YOU getting out of this?” My life started to change from that day forward. The answer, of course, was a huge NOTHING. I was so used to making sure he didn’t get angry, so caught up in the games he played and so used to the “dance” we both danced to, I had lost myself. I started seeing differently then and I started taking care of ME and my son first.
Possessions are nothing at all compared to peace of mind. When I finally got away from him, I flew myself and my son across the country and had a place with an air mattress, a TV, some kitchen essentials and the clothes I had put in our suitcases. That was it. And we were happy! There was peace and my son saw only a happy mother. He didn’t even miss his father.
Like you, I’ve had plenty and I’ve had none. None of it means a thing compared to that peace of mind.
That counselor asked the perfect question at the perfect time and I’ve always thought God had a hand in that. I believe he is working furiously to help all of us.
I learned so much about myself and know today I can make it through anything. I’ve learned, too, the importance of setting ego and pride aside and asking for help. It’s why I’m here on LF. We don’t HAVE to do this alone.
I love all the comments on this subject. Thank you everyone.
God Bless….

Spirit40

Hi everyone,

” The Ps are hollow inside and material possessions ARE who they are, but we have more inside us than that. We are better than that.”

He said thing like “if I loose everything and have to start over so will you” well I am and yeah it really sux but its just stuff I will be able to replace or not if I want…. the things that I bought him such as a Vehicle , that I had to sell to PAY MY BILLS, MY RENT, yeah I sold it , I paid for it … and now I have to consolidate into a one room studio that I can afford for myself and my child while he thinks he is working on his alcoholism? yeah right I hope they dual diagnose him this time… I feel like calling them and talking to the psychiatrist…. but would I be wrong? or would I be outing him? again ?

I actually like the new beginning … I get sad sometimes.. the kitchen table is sold gone, it was my coffee morning hang out check email spot. Now Ive moved to the couch so what… I like stability, I like routine… .. I like the dala lamas description of the P’s …. they dont have well developed human lives… and conscience our responsibility to one another… and obligation to care for our families… how come they dont get it ? My most precious santuary my comfy bed will be gone tommorow .. I am a little angry about that… its hard to get used a new sleeping area…..but I will survive!!!

Ox Drover

Dear Cat, TOWANDA for you, sweetie! That is the spirit! The Bible asks us “what would you exchange for your soul?” (paraphrased) and it is so true, would you giv eup all your material possessions for peace in your soul? I used to think no, but now I know YES!!! In a second! It would be cheap at twice the price! Peace of mind, of soul is THE most important thing in the world, and Like spirit said “I WILL SURVIVE” and I might add, THRIVE as well.

They can’t take our peace if we don’t let them. they may be able to take material things, but we can GET THE PEACE in our hearts that they cannot take away—just by being away from them.

Puts a whole new depension on material things.

I remember sitting in that RV trailer up on the lake, with my 7 changes of clothes, my dogs, my lap top, a few kitchen essentials, a few of my favorite books and a few DVDs and realizing that I didn’t need or really want for anything. The living area was small, but easy to clean and I was SAFE and secure! What more could anyone want? It was a good place for me to “hide out” and to heal. I spent a great deal of time there crying over my losses of the “love” I had thought my egg donor and my P-son had for me, but the material things were not grieved over.

I have now moved back into my home, of course, but at the same time, I realize NOW that I could pack a suitcase, leave and not look back if I had to. That is a liberating feeling! I’m not “tied” to material things any more for my security. I too will survive! We ALL WILL! We are not empty and shallow shells, we have a soul and are able to love! Love others and love ourselves. (((hugs)))

recovering

OxDrover — I wholeheartedly agree with your words: Depriving ourselves of the necessary things in life in order to supply abundant things to those who will not “help themselves” to the limit of their abilities is not, in my opinion, a good use of our resources.

Terrific article with great insights!

Ox Drover

Thanks recovering!

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