I’ve through a couple of breakdowns the last being the most severe, now in recovery, one of the things I learned was to like myself again, or to be a little selfish to preserve your new-found mental stability, apparently it’s allowed who knew that saying no was healthy certainly not me.
I recently wrote here about a friendship that has to end, and it brought home to me, not only the narcissistic traits of this person, but also the mind-blowing selfishness of their daily actions not only towards me, and when I broached the subject to them, their reaction was that it is all my fault, that they act that way, they of course have never done anything that could construe not being a good friend.
I begged to differ pointing out several instances that were/are no longer acceptable to me, also explaining during my initial depressed and homeless state, I saw them as a life line, and they perhaps saw me as someone who was weak, and at the start bolstered me with hope and kindness only to slowly chip away at that structure to make me dependent on their friendship, but in their warped thinking I gave them permission to abuse me.
I’ve come across many like this through my lifetime, and they come in all shapes and sizes, some, so lack any emotional intelligence as to be bankrupt, others it appears feed off your misery, to give them and you the illusion of being your only friend, when in fact they’re your frenemy, and it brings back feelings of inadequacy which can have a damaging effect on your ongoing recovery.
What I loathe the most is to be made to feel that I owe them something and this is highlighted constantly in subtle way, which your always apologising for, and,try to repay in others way, which really is a road to nowhere it’s a debt that can never be repaid, as they play semantics over what it is that you owe them for, you see how this works it just keeps you off-balance.
There have been several instances when I’ve blown up over certain things, only to have them behave in a reasonable manner, which basically means it was all in my head, after all I’m a depressive and prone to emotional outbursts and unclear thinking, you know in your heart of hearts that it’s wrong, but for some reason you just capitulate to their way of thinking, which in turn makes you angrier and a little more impotent.
What I have come to realise is that although I am a people pleaser, I mean that in terms if some asks for help I can’t say no, however I’m not one who suffers fools at all, but do have trouble separating those who have good intent, to those that don’t.
When thinking about the alleged debts of friendship owed it is obvious to me now I don’t owe anybody anything.
Which brings me to what we don’t owe anybody:
When some one does you a good deed:
I owe you thanks for what you have done, and the knowledge that the thanks are appreciated, what I don’t I owe is a life long debt of gratitude, if you give with the intention to get motives to give weren’t that pure in the first place.
I owe you a reason for asking for help, however when a detailed explanation is required in which to beat me over the head with later, gives the message that again your intention to help is only to gain a reason in which to have a hold over me.
I may confide you in certain aspects of my life, however just because were friends doesn’t mean I owe you my privacy, you don’t need to know everything about me, and in subtle ways use it against me.
I don’t owe a reason as to why I make/made certain decisions about my life, at the end of the day I can only do what is best for me, although another view point is always valuable, but to get annoyed because you weren’t included in that process doesn’t mean you should retract your friendship.
What I owe you is respect for your support given either as one instance or ongoing, which I can show you in many ways, and when I say thank you be assured it’s from the heart, with good friends I don’t owe you for every deed, and if you’re keeping score that makes you in my mind makes you very poor in humanity, we do what we can if we can and if you can’t that doesn’t make you a bad person, nor should it subject us to acts of selfishness, because it’s thought that one is owed something.
Lastly when dealing with mental illness believe me we can’t really beat ourselves up and can live in a terrible cycle of blame and recrimination, I have learned that I owe it to myself to do the best I can, so yes I can be selfish in that.