Forgive me for getting all philosophical today but this is something that has been on my mind for over a year and I have been hesitant to put it down in writing. I was afraid to "offend" anyone but realize that if I have been struggling with this, then I am sure there are other people that are also. Maybe it will help someone else who reads this to realize that they are not alone in their struggle trying to reconcile these same feelings.
Learning to let go is never easy, no matter what the circumstance. As a parent, it is so hard to watch your children take all those needed and important independent steps in their lives, but yet, if we are good parents, we do, all the while praying that our children are not hurt in the process. Letting go of certain items that we have had for years is tough. There are so many memories attached to some of them. We need to realize that we can still keep the memories, while letting go of the thing. One of the areas that I struggle most with though is letting go of the “what should have been” when the reality of the situation is just the opposite, especially when it comes to relationships.
I am by nature a “care taker”. In essence what it means is that I want to take care of everyone and make sure they feel loved, important, included, supported and most of all valued for who they are as a person. I hate to see people hurting. I will sacrifice to help others and will try my best be there for them, even when it is difficult for me to do so due to time, finances, etc.. I will also give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong. My husband and children are the same way and that is one of the many reasons I love them so much. They too have tender hearts. It is also one of the reasons that I (and I am sure many others can relate to this) can be so deeply hurt when the realization hits that certain people that I have sacrificed so much for, don’t seem to care about anyone’s feelings but their own and how much they can “get” for themselves. They are users who will manipulate people’s emotions, using any means they can to gain your sympathy, get you to do things for them and to give them things. They expect you to always be there for them, but when you need them to be there for you, they are nowhere to be found. In the worst of cases, these people will go out of their way, after you have been there for them, to try and discredit you because they are afraid that now that you know who they truly are, others may find out the truth about them also. The last thing they want is for anyone to see them for who they really are. I feel so blindsided and betrayed when dealing with people like this. I have a hard time letting go of the “what should have been” feelings. Feelings that all people should be decent caring human beings, that there ever was a true friendship there (not something one sided where one person gives and gives and the other just takes and takes) and that all people are compassionate and can see beyond themselves. It hurts me deeply, not only because I have been used and hurt by these kinds of people, but because I see them doing the same thing to others, and I know that they too are going to be hurt. To be honest, it eats away at me. Having to reconcile the “what should have been” with the reality of “what truly is” just messes with my mind. I am slowly learning though that I have to accept that there are always going to be a few people in my life’s journey that are going to use everyone and every means they can to get whatever they want with no regard to how it hurts or effects others. I’m just thankful that most of the people in my life truly are good people that do genuinely care about others.