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What Do We Owe

My life is chaotic. HGBF and I are moved into our new digs...and have 6 kids living with us. They are 19, 18, 17, 17, 16 and 11.

One of the 17 year olds isn't mine nor his. A friend of my sons...who got kicked out..and I offered him a bed and a fridge to raid until he graduates from high school (which is right across the street from us). The mother is a drama queen of the highest order. She has the magic paint brush where she rewrites history. She's a maximizer. She's a bully. There was physical abuse.

I have not done anything to keep her from her son. However - the environment there is caustic and I believe she is very unstable. She changes her mind a couple times a week on if she wants him home or wants him to stay gone.

She sent me a text yesterday and told me that I "owed" her. The woman's instability and grandeous thinking...and sense of entitlement...got me to thinking (after I turned off my phone).

What do I owe anybody?

We talk about being doormats - about redefining and/or finding ourselves ..but I never looked at or reflected on this aspect. I have operated under this default thinking that I owe people I'm in relationship with...any type of relationship.

I stayed well beyond the expiration date because I "owed" it to my X to keep "trying" as long as he was willing.

I "owed" him my fidelity even when it meant nothing to him.

I walk around most most of my life feeling like it is one great big to-do list because I "owe" everybody. My Job...my kids...my parents...the stranger on the street who needs $5.

Unlike my prior self - I'm not posting this story after months of reflection. I'm really wondering from you guys...especially the ones who are out and recovering...did this come up for you? Where did you land?

What do you owe others?

NOTE: This excludes the honest days work for an honest days pay :)
LadyAnalyzer LadyAnalyzer 41-45, F 14 Responses Aug 15, 2012

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In love and passion, one is neither a borrower nor a lender - one gives and receives. If this is not the case, it ain't working right. It is that simple. It took me years to learn this and when I did, I knew I did not owe anything, I never did.

Just a point of clarification LadyA ;-) The Tao Te Ching does not talk of owing anyone anything. It speaks of harmony with self and the Universe. There is no owing because we all come from the void. It does speak about putting down one's burden and flowing towards the choiceless choice - if that makes sense. Be well.

I love you. I haven't actually read it...I'll add it to my list :) I was poking at Ron because the door was wide open. HGBF has read it though...and he recommends it highly as well :)

From my read, the dramawoman owes you. Just sayin'...



Princess PerhapsWeShouldArmTheLittleChap

Oh, and I have to throw in this quote, from the currently MIA VaguestBaby:



“…But with that taboo utterance, we stagger into the heart of the co-dependent problem we all share here:



We feel that we OWE them something because they have (possibly) suffered.



That's nuts. They have suffered, that's very sad, but this owing thing is not rational. And they feel you owe them something too.



Then you rate your happiness and worth as less than the refuser.



And then you end up here.” - VaguestBaby

wow...see..I missed that in my own in and out relationship with ILIASM. It's so right...(of course).

I saved it because it's soooooo right.

"...wondering from you guys...especially the ones who are out and recovering...did this come up for you? Where did you land? What do you owe others?"



I say "no" a LOT more. Especially for requests to volunteer. I even say no to LNG and the world doesn't end.



What LNG and I owe each other is mostly set out in our cohab agreements - the public one and the private one. A lot of it is summarized in my previous post about "Safe and Secure Relationship".



Reading list:

Codependent no more - Melody Beatie

Claiming your self esteem - Carolyn M. Ball

Homecoming - John Bradshaw

Getting to Yes

Getting Past No



Specifically about dealing with bullies: Take the Bully by the Horns - Sam Horn



There's a book waiting on my reading pile: The Power of a Postitive No



As for your teenage rent-free "boarder" ... He's free to leave any time, right? WTF does drama queen think you owe HER?





LadyA, I send you the most positive and supportive thoughts for happiness in your new relationship and new household. Hugs!

Thanks Chai....adding to my reading list....got a big flight coming up to the Phlippines...might knock out one or two :)

And yes...he is free to leave anytime. She is free to come get him anytime. The state law won't allow for the police to remove him (he's a legal adult) but she can come remove him.

I don't think you owe anything to anybody but yourself. But you are certainly a hero for letting this teen into your house (from what I read below) and allowing him to finish his schooling - it may well be the saving of him. Good on you for being a caring member of your community.

I don't think it's a hero thing...I think it's just my personality. I'm pretty accepting and come from a huge family - so people coming and going has always been part of my life. My brothers have lived with me as adults, my X's family lived with us, different kids have stayed with us for short amount of time. It's not co-dependency. That part anyways. It's more that I recognize how much I have been given - and letting the kid sleep on the blow up air mattress and raid my refidgerator really isn't that big of a thing. My hope is that dramawoman can pull it together and he's home by Christmas to a better situation. The event that precipitated his departure from his home had been building - but it was the first time things had gotten physical.

Then you have a hero personality, IMHO.

There are many people who, knowing what you know, still would not do what you did.

You can downplay it all you want, the results are still heroic.

You are like the person who happens to be under the building when they see someone fall and rushes to catch them. Not everyone will rush to catch that person.

Nothing to do with allowing yourself to get co-dependent - I would also separate this one act from the rest of your story.

You know you will always owe everyone and everything if you act that out. Do for you and yourself only. Caring for the teen is a very noble thing to do for him. However is that your personality type to do for others and not yourself? Take a look at that possibility.

I THINK you owe yourself (and you're paying that debt) understanding WHY you feel this way. I have a feeling it will be greatly liberating.



Make sense?

You owe yourself some love and respect.



Stay Strong & Good Luck

You owe yourself the truth about yourself.



Tread your own path.

Oh sure. Make it sound so easy in just 7 words.

You owe God your obedience to His law.

Oh Ron...I should have expected this from you but yet...I was surprised. I give God/Allah/{insert diety here} a lot of gratitude. But if you could be more specific please...is this the law in the Christian Holy Bible (the new testatement or both?), the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita, The Book of Mormon, The Suna, the Tao Te Ching...which religious text...and which interpretation?? Now you will want to make the argument that some of these religious texts don't hold God's law...but maybe we should find a cave and go pray about it zealously...and then we can write some scripture about it.

You know I'm giggin' you...hopefully. *MUAH*

Your cave or mine?

As part of my process - I have set some much healthier boundries. For example, dramawoman. But - I had to remind myself that I don't owe her. I was surprised that I felt like I did...and wonder how it is after all of the work I've done...that this is still an issue for me.



Just off the top of my head - I was thinking that I don't owe anyone anything (outside of minor children). I owe it to myself...to be truthful..to be genuine..and for me..kindness is a huge part of who I am.



I think my kindness got bastardized somewhere along the way and morphed into this sense of debt to others.



I don't take responsiblity for others feelings (anymore) - but it still really impacts me when other people are hurting or in need of help that I think I could provide. I want to help. I'm a fixer.....still. After 5 years...I'm still a friggin' fixer.



URG!!!!!

Read up on co dependency. It is not good to live with such a problem in life.

Oh I have read up on it...HGBF and i were discussing this last night. How is it you understand it, see it, change it...to find yourself slipping backwards in certain situations...at least now I recognize when I'm doing it. This "backslide" has at least maybe highlighted a root cause. Or another root cause as the case may be....

What do we owe others?



If we confine this to adult persons (and not one's minor children) I think we owe the other person(s) honesty about what we will or will not do for them. And not waffle on that - to the best of our ability.



I generally do not possess a feeling that I owe people - never have. And I do wonder where that feeling comes from for those who do continually posses a feeling such as you described.



We owe it to ourselves to set healthy boundaries (bearing in mind that everyone's boundaries will differ) and not let our lives turn into one big TO DO list - if you don't want to live in such a manner.

LA, I am so glad that you are out! I am proud of you!



As for the "What do we owe anyone?" question. We owe no one anything. It is ultimately our life.

I know you didn't want deep reflection on this, but I have come to this conclusion after months of inner discovery. The conclusion was that I am a "fraud." I wasn't real. Everything I did was in response to what someone asked me to do. Or what someone expected of me.

I thought that I was genuinely a nice guy. But, I think it was easier for me to go along to get along. It required too much of me to stand up for what I wanted or needed. I ended up with basically nothing because of this.



I hope this rambling has made sense. But, really, we do not owe anyone. If you want to do something for someone else, then go for it. But, if you do it out of duty or obligation, you are shortchanging yourself out of precious moments in your life. You will ultimately the one who pays the price for that.