REGISTER | LOGIN

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.


Comment on this article

24 Comments on "Healthy Giving"

Notify of

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!!!

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)))

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!

Thanks recovering!

Send this to a friend