Losing faith in humankind or should I say humanunkind
I've always tried to be a good person, or at least it comes naturally to me so I often find I have to hold it back. If I see someone needs help, I'll jump in and offer my help. As a result I've helped lots of people over the years - most of which have not helped me back in my moments of need. Not that I necessarily expect for everything to be perfectly balanced.
Recently I left the city to set up an Animal Sanctuary - I have worked my butt off getting this off the ground with 40 animals at present. The group of friends are a mix of vegetarians, new age, travelling types and I thought they'd be very supportive - but no - none have offered any sort of assistance even though I've made it obviously I need help. I was recently ill for a month with Kidney Stones, I put regular updates on Facebook - most of my city friends read this all the time, and no one asked if I was OK, needed help etc. I thought this was strange, so asked my closest friend out of the group, and it turned out she'd cold-shouldered me because of things my Dad had said.
I borrowed money to buy the farm from my Dad at a time when the housing market was good, and I thought I would be able to pay him straight back no problem. The market nose-dived, I couldn't sell it so I had to put tenants in. My Dad was so awful to me about this - even though I was doing everything I could to get his money back to him. He then got cancer and I did everything I could to make sure he was getting good treatment, but once I found out he was, I backed off. I found it difficult to visit him on my own because he kept upsetting me, and he used to be physically abusive to my mother and has punched me in the face, so I found one on one contact too scary due to my past and also due to my depression.
I have suffered severe depression all my life, but I have been heavily medicated and getting the farm was part of the big plan to do something I love, get away from the rat-race and live a life where I could come off the pills as they were pushing my blood pressure up really high. I also needed to leave suburbia because the neighbours were bullying me about my dogs even though other people in the street had dogs that barked - they picked on me because I was a single woman. I also needed to rescue the sheep because otherwise they would have probably been killed and I had adopted them like my pets since my pet sheep had died - they were his relatives. So there were push and pull factors for setting up the Animal Sanctuary - but I truly believe it's my calling and the animal welfare cause is such a good cause as farm animals in Australia are badly treated. So I was quite sad when my Dad didn't seem to want to make up for being a bastard to my family when we were kids (he used to go out boozing virtually every night of the week and spend all our money, also he only gave my Mum 12% of the house when they divorced and even took it to court so she wouldn't get that - so by rights the house money he lent me isn't completely his anyway).
I thought as he's getting quite old now, he would want to help me finally settle down and be happy as I've suffered depression most of my life and have never found a decent job or a decent man (mainly due to being attracted to men like him). Instead he just hassled me and distrusted me over the money issue completely - he turned very nasty actually. He could have helped me get my house on the market (he's a painter and decorator) - but he waited until very late in the game by which time the market had gone bad and I couldn't sell it.
So many things happened which were just bad luck which made things worse (mainly due to the economy over which I had no control), but my Dad just blamed me and then started talking to my mates (people I'd introduced him to) and they cold-shouldered me and stopped inviting me to social events. This is probably also the reason why NONE of them wished me well when I got Kidney Stones.
I had my Dad visit me every year in Australia and put him up for several months and took him everywhere I went. I arranged all his administrative matters and stuff he found hard to deal with. I got him his residency for Australia. I introduced him to all of my mates. Very few children would have done this and I'm pretty sure you reduce your chances of being chatted up when you have your Dad with you everywhere as men don't realise he's my Dad.
He had lots of people he could have discussed things with, but no - he talks to my mates and they stop inviting me to social events and cold-shoulder me. Now I have no mates nearby - I now have no social life. I've still got old friends thru Facebook but I don't see them and I'm not very good on the phone. My family is small, my Mum has been good thru this, but she's got phone phobia also so never rings me - I have to ring her. She knows what a selfish man he is, but my sister follows in his footsteps and she has been really awful to me over not visiting him regularly and not giving him his money back. She didn't ask me the situation first, she just plunged into blame mode. I asked her why she hadn't visited my Mum in the UK who had been ill recently when she lives 3 hours away (the same distance I live away from my Dad but I have 40 animals to look after and no partner, and very little money (she has loads of money, a great partner and no excuse). She ignores questions I put to her like this and just carries on pointing the finger at me.
The rest of my family take no interest so there's no support there - even though I've tried to keep in contact - they don't put much effort in - I have the excuse of bouts of depression that stop me contacting people because I'm either too low or too busy trying to catch up for lost time from being depressed.
So basically I'm now in a situation where I think I'm a good person, but people have let me down badly and I absolutely love animals and just feel that every time I try and have friends they just let me down badly - so what's the point. I'm getting tired - over the years I've put myself out there so much to meet people and it comes to very little in the end - I really wonder whether it's better to just be a virtual recluse. I wish I could just not expect anything from people, but what's the point of having friends if they don't treat you OK? My expectations aren't high - in fact I think they are on the low side.
I needed to get this off my chest to see what others might do in my place. It's being going around in my head and I'm affecting my life at the Animal Sanctuary.
I've stood by my Dad and made sure he's looked after both in terms of support and financially - even though I have very little respect left for him. I believe a lot of this whole thing is about him being jealous with me finding a purpose in life - he preferred me when I was a boozer and a loser - like him I guess.
I just want a peaceful life - I don't want much from anyone, I don't have big needs, I just want a bit of a social life with friends who are decent and who will come to my aid if I really need help like I would with them. I want my Dad to be happy but I don't necessarily want much to do with him. I want to pursue the cause of better conditions for farm animals and I want to build up my Animal Sanctuary and maybe use this to help troubled children. I am not a bad person so why do I find it so hard to find people who treat me right and are there for me when I need them?
Hi, this is my first reply here. I have read your post, and wanted to help if I can.
First of all, family issues are hard, especially when you add illness to the mix. You want to help them, and they feel like they will be less if they seek help outright, this situation is giving the appearance of admitting weakness, mostly inferiority. It seems to me like your father is acting out because he feels lesser somehow, when you are trying to help him, he does things to hurt you, to gain his power in this relationship. Of course, relationships are intricate, there must be many many reasons for this behaviour.
I chose to talk about this issue because you need to differentiate something about what it means to help people, or be friends with them. The truth is, everyone has problems. But when you lose the strength to hide your weakest position, people either hurt you through this position, or they just get bored and leave. I know it is tough, but in my eyes, it is best to face the truth. When you need help, you should find someone who can help you, because friendships or family will not give you real help, they will give you comfort when you can be strong and frank about your problems.
My advice to you is, focus on yourself more. And you know what you want. Don't want this Animal Sanctuary to show people you are a good person. Want it because this is who you are! And don't bother with good or bad. People are not good or bad. They are just having a hard time understanding who they are, or what they want in life. Because things are not so apparent when you are in pain.
Just decide, do you want help from someone, or do you want to give help to someone. It can't be both. Especially not when you are uncertain of your relationship. You need strong grounds underneath your feet at start. If you are going to show yourself when you are vulnerable, make sure they deserve this.
Many thanks for your reply - I am amazed someone replied - I thought maybe I waffled on too long and it got too complex - so many thanks.
Yes I agree my father is fighting fear of death and illness and fear of being less powerful and fear of a changing relationship with his daughter who has moved on with her life - this makes perfect sense - it definitely seems to me like he is acting out. I'm not sure exactly how to relate to him though in response to this knowing that what goes on on the surface is not what is going on underneath - which one do I relate to. I've always been reluctant to get too deep with him because he has always been very closed up with his inner feelings and it often ends up in an argument because he seems so unenlightened in regards to emotions and emotional intelligence and I've studied this area a lot in my life and also done tons of workshops, read loads of books etc - so I feel like the wiser one where emotions are concerned - but my Dad doesn't like playing 2nd fiddle - he has mentioned in the past that he knows best in this area because of his age - but he has spent his whole life running away from his feelings and seeking solace in booze so his emotional maturity is on par with a teenager. His frustration in this area is often directed at those nearest and dearest - "me".
I think what you are saying to don't look to friends and family necessarily when times are tough - they can't always help. I also understand that to others I look like I have my life completely under control and are somehow super human so I don't think they necessarily feel compassion for me when I say I am ill etc. They may well find it hard to relate to someone who has done something as radical as I have done with setting up the Animal Sanctuary, and yes they are probably very caught up in their own problems, which may not allow them to see when someone else needs help.
I do understand also it's hard to find the perfect friend/family member who can be there for you when you need help and who you can be there for them when they need help - so I need to accept that those I give to won't necessarily be the same people who give to me and this is just life. It's upsetting though when you've done stuff for people and they don't seem to reciprocate, but I guess it's all swings and roundabouts and if I give to someone and get back from another, then I s'pose it shouldn't really matter. I have found though in the past that some people are vampires for your help and attention and it doesn't matter how much you do for them, they never feel satiated - I really want to try and avoid these people because you feel that your time and energy is wasted helping them.
What you say about making sure people deserve you showing your vulnerability with them - this makes perfect sense and I think I do need to be very discerning here - waving my vulnerability around hoping someone I know will get hooked is only leading to despondency for me & making me feel even more vulnerable for bearing my soul with these people in the first place. I need to keep things to myself until I find someone who will be supportive & in this day and age with the internet - that can come from anywhere in the globe!
Thanks again - you have helped me put things in perspective.
You're welcome. One last thing, you don't have to relate to your father. You just have to listen to him. He is making what he wants very clear with his extreme behaviour. Don't push him, and don't force yourself to make progress quickly. These things take time. And people can surprise you, don't lose hope in the long run.
At this day and age, people still have no idea that truth and emotions play a strong role in their health and relationships. My life is full of people who are hurt because of it. I am just glad that there are still people who are searching for more in their lives, more than shining with perfectness they seem to lack inside.