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!
Thank you Donna, this speaks to exactly where i have been emotionally for a bit now.
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving indeed.
Happy thanksgiving !!!! remember you can pick your friends but you cant pick your family… or wait can you???
Happy Thanksgiving all LoveFrauders:
Last Thanksgiving was 3 weeks after I had driven the S out of my life. I remember waking up on T’Day and looking at the devastation of my life and wondering what I was supposed to be thankful for and how could it possibly get any worse? It did get worse. I lost my job and took some major hits to my health.
Today I woke up and realized how much I have to be thankful for. I’ve got a good circle of supportive friends and family. I’ve got a nice home and a few bucks in the bank that allow me to weather the economic storm for awhile, yet. I’ve been seeing a wonderful guy for 6 months (today he gets fed into the pirhana tank of T’Day dinner at my family, lucky him), and in the last few weeks there have finally been some bubbles of activity on the employment front.
I’m also thankful for all of you. When I crawled through the LoveFraud portal a year ago, I was ready to kill myself. You all were there for me and kept me going. I am so thankful for your support and friendship. You have helped me to create a new S-free life and see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and it isn’t a train driven by S).
Yes, I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
Thank you, Oxy… beautifully said. thank you for such a gentle reminder. Happy thanksgiving to you and all our LF friends. I am truly greatful to have found all the wionderful kind people here at LF!
P.S. Spirit 40- LOL at picking/not picking friends/family. My version is: “friends are God’s way of making up for your family.” 😉
Matt: you responded to one of my posts on ptsd, thank you , I also wrote back to give you some idea and I appreciate your input. Thanks again and I wish that you find a job that you love to do the universe will provide… the good can not come to us unless we get rid of the toxic, how can we find what we are looking for if we are stuck with toxicity…. I am grateful to the support provided here… its only been a few weeks and major life changes… people say they know the difficulties but they really do not….
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I woke up counting my blessings…Last year, I was with him and I was miserable but didn’t really know how miserable until he was gone and I have myself totally back.. and let me share this.. I had a real realization about myself… I have been corresponding with a man in Ft. Lauderdale for abour 2 months. We were planning on my visiting him the first week in Dec. He is retired, a former White House staff employee… and we shared photos etc and many long converstions. Then he revealed that he was recovering from leukemia and sent photos of his appearance now.. he was thin and had a gaunt appearance. He assured me that he was in remission. Being a kind person, and having enjoyed what I had with him thus far, I over looked this omission. But was thinking umm.. a sick man.. do I want to get involved..and his appearance was not of the handsome vigoruous man that I thought I was communicating with. Then he told me that because of his illness that he can’t be around germs so he inquired if I had had a recent HIV test and if I have an veneral deseases… to which I said no.. I get chk ups regularly and have nothing and am a healthy person and rarely get a cold.. BUt his question about STD and HIV was weird to me..But again being a nice, I thought he was just being precautious for his health.. as he are planning into the exact timeframe for the visit, he again asked me this.. I again told him and I am now feelingvery uncomfortable. He looks ill. He is the one with the illness not me.. and he is 61 and has never been married. I am beginning to want to blow it all off.. but I go on just thinking about it..
Then I get an email yesterday from him telling me that he is looking for a younger woman… I revealed to him that I am a few years older than I first represented. I laughed and laughed but saw it clearly.. here, me in my kindness was overlooking a major illness and a man that looked like he had HIV… and he couldn’t over look a couple of years.. when I look 10 to 15 years younger than my age and him and I am healthy and vigorous and everything good. Here he pulled out before me because in my kindness I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt…
WHEN really, when he revealed his photos after his illness and started asking abotu this HIV BS.. I should’ve said GOODBYE..
This showed me how I am so kind and open and think of othes that don’t deserve my kindness..
I woke up today.. grateful for being me. I am healthy, kind, and I have me and I am at peace. And I will not bring others into my life that aren’t up to my standards ever again. So this was a lesson and I learned it.
Style1: reminds me of a song…. forget who sings it …
Are you strong enough to be my man?……. its a feel good , are u up to my standards song…
We deserve much better…how you you find mr right when your with mr wrong…
Lessons are a good thing..
Each of us must find our own way, in our own time, at our own pace!
I woke up yesterday after a fitful night of sleep as I had posted on another article on here. I had let all those nasty emotions get in the way. Today, I woke up, put the turkey in the oven and felt a peace come over me as I sat down to read LF and what everyone had said. I know that there will be more of those days and nights and that I am by no means totally free of the effects of the P. but I also know I am on the right path and I have places to come to, like this, where everyone understands and shares. This site is my connection to sanity and peace. LF reminds me there are still people with hearts and souls, people who care.
style1, I can relate to this story. I’ve always given and I’ve been stopping lately to ask myself WHY I give and I watch who I give to as well. Your post was wonderful to read. It’s a great reminder of what we gain when we are finally free to grow and heal.
Matt, I am spending a few hours with my own family today, which should be interesting as they ex P. will be there as well. It should make for an interesting day! I like the piranhas analogy. It fits with me!
I might be down to having just the feet without the shoes, but today that’s OK. I have the feet and I can and am walking through life today. For that, I am most grateful.
Have a Blessed Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Yep,, it’s the too kind and understanding thing that gets us wrapped into things that are not good for us.. I always want to be kind.. but I don’t need to let them into my life. I do not want to be a caretaker of a man that is my romantic interest.. not starting out.. now, if a couple is together for a long while and one gets ill.. that is a different matter.. Had this man told me up front what he was dealing with, I wouldn’t have been attracted but he waited until we had been talking for awhile.. so that is the bait and switch deal.. then he pulls out on me..which is fine, in that I probably would’ve but.. I have to laugh.. he had real issues and he is concerned with me being a couple of years older but I am a still younger than he is.. isn’t that just like some guys… they have cancer, look like hell.. and want a much younger woman… No wonder this man has never been married.. and maybe why he is ill…
Anyway.. I sensed I wanted to pull out but out of that kindness in my heart gave him the benefit of the doubt..giving that benefit of the doubt is what has gotten me into all sorts of stupidity.. be ever vigilant and true to your gut and self..
and yes,,, I haven’t heard that song but it’s a good one..Are you good enough to be my man?
Here I was pondering a trip to Ft. Lauderdale to visit a sick man, whose main concern was my age and if I have an STD… LOLOLOLOO
and what is really pathetic.. he is a Yale grad and worked for three Presidents.. but what does that mean really? Nothing!
The thing is that this man was WAVING SO MANY RED FLAGS of DECEPTION, and whatever his illness is, that is a MAJOR DECEPTION.
I think the questions about HIV etc. were because he was ASSUMING that you two might be going to have sex during your “visit.” Also, it might be that HIS ILLNESS was HIV intead of leukemia and he wanted to know how you felt about HIV etc. and any associated risks.
This man is I think a bit over the top on his VISIBLE deceptions, but at the same time, I think there is so much OPPORTUNITY to BE deceptive over the internet and to “manufacture” a fake biiography that the risk of finding someone who is “healthy” in all aspects of himself who is out there waiting to meet you is pretty slim.
The statistics on available single men vs available single women aged 35 to 65 is about 10:3 with the women outnumbering the men. Plus, it is usual that men are attraced to “younger women” and that generally they have “more and younger” women to choose from, so if you are 45, the 45 year old men are looking for the 30-35 year old women, and if you take out the “losers” and the “drunks” and the rejects from the “available male pool” the ratio of good men to good women goes to more like (just an estimate here) of 100 women available for each 1 man.
I am 63, so most of the men looking at me, or considering me as a possible “catch’ would be in the neighborhood of 70+ years old. The P that I dated 4 years ago was my same age, but he wasn’t really interested in ME just another respectable wife to cheat on and keep the “home fires burning” while he was out seeking new worlds to conqueor.
The fact is that while there are “available men” out there, my guess is that most of the ones that are “worthwhile” as far as smarts, stability, emotional health, etc. are NOT having any problem finding an available pool of interested and interesting women without being on the dating sites. Therefore, my estimate is that MOST of the men on the dating sites are fakes of one sort or another trolling for a victim.
One study I read said taht 40% of the men on dating sites are currently married, so that eliminates many of them right there.
Your man saying he had never been married also speaks to a lack of committment. Though I have a very dear male friend who married for the first time at age 65 (10 years ago) that he would be a great guy and a great husband is very RARE. He did not marry because he was responsible for supporting not only his mother, but a large family of younger siblings and he chose not to marry until that responsibility was complete and his maother lived to be 98. He and his wife are very happy and he now says he wished he had gotten married earlier in spite of his other responsibilities. But that is very RARE.
I know several guys who have hooked up with female cyber-paths, my son for one, he married the woman who tried later to kill him, and several other guys who hooked up with con-women, but at the same time, except for my son, most of these guys are not someone I would want as a mate because though they are OK as friends, I see lots of problems with them in a romantic relationship, and so do other available women.
I’ve only dated one man (3 times) in teh last several years, because I am pretty picky, and this man was a widower, he is the brother of one of my long time neighbors, but on my last conoversation with him (on the phone) I realized that I did NOT want to date this man again—a red flag popped up.
Since I had NO expectations (hadn’t gotten emotionally interested until I had gotten to know him more) I didn’t have more reaction than a shoulder shrug and an “Oh, well….” and didn’t feel a sense of loss of a possible relationship.
There is a big statistical chance that I will be single the rest of my life, and it wouldn’t matter if I was 23, 32, 45 or 65, I am NOT going to settle for an UNhealthy relationship, or fish in a polluted “pool” for anything that bites my hook.
Style, I realize you are looking for and desire another relationship and I assume you want a healthy one, but I firmly believe that dating sites on the net are such a BIG risk that you are “setting yourself up for failure” to be fishing in that pool. I too would like a relationship and after my husband died I WANTED ONE DESPERATELY, but I no longer feel that NEED or that desperation to not be “alone.” I’m happy with myself now, and if one comes along, I will cautiously examine it to see if it might be a fit, but I am NOT settling for second best….or even considering people that are from a distance because it is very difficult to actually get to KNOW someone who lives at a great distance. i tis so much easier for them to keep up a phony mask, like this guy did with you, than if they live in the community where you can get to know them under all kinds of situations, meet their friends and family, and see that they are legit.
Even then, we can be hooked, as I was by a guy I casually knew for 10 years before we started dating, but because we had friends in common (including some of his secret girlfriends) I eventually got the information I needed to realize he was a psychopath. Otherwise, He would have fooled me longer and I probably would have been married to him when I found out he was a cheat.
I know I’m being preachy here, Style, but BE CAUTIOUS in any new relationship. They all give us the “love bomb” at first and it is so easy to fall for it. I DID! I won’t do it again! (Hugs)