Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm a slow learner what with how crabs act in a bucket


In the last little while I have been betrayed by people I thought were decent - thoughtful people. People I'd invested time and energy in because I thought they cared about me the way I cared about them.

I'm the person that seeks out a new person to help acclimate them to the neighborhood/ward. I invite them to activities, introduce/help them to make friends, organize group events and do my best to provide everyone with fun and entertainment.

I'm the one that draws people out - let's them share their stories and feel important. I find it my responsibility to help people feel good about themselves. I guess you could say I know what it's like to be new in a ward...and I don't want people to go through what I have gone through. I'm one of those people that find that it's my responsibility to get out there and get to know people - even if I'm new.

So it's especially hard on me to find out that in the end these people identify how easy it is to abuse my good intentions by simply taking advantage of me. Stupid me for allowing it.

I have a problem with blinders. If you're nice to me I will tolerate most anything you have to say or do...until I wake up. Once I feel betrayed...it's over.

Recently I had a friend that turned out to only call if she wanted something. This "friend" would complain about her husband, her kids, people in the ward/neighborhood and ask me to be company on errands for her. She asked me to babysit for her when I was explosively pregnant - but never returned the favor. It became a HUGE joke that whenever I had a call from her it was only ever to ask for something. I stopped answering the phone - I was totally disappointed and upset about being badly used.

I had another friend who I had also been someone I had sought out to help and do the neighborly thing to help get acclimated to the area/ward. I introduced her to the friend in the paragraph above and it turns out they decided I was easy to use and then screw over in the end.

So what I don't understand is...as I look over my life...I can't remember one instance of a friend seeking me out. I can't remember one boyfriend who I didn't ask out first. It's very hard to think of many activities in the ward I'm in that I've ever been invited to. I'm always inviting and organizing activities... and people love to come...but with the exception of 2 women who occasionally spearhead activities...it's all me.

Not to mention my RS pres has a vendetta against me because she thinks I'm an idiot.

Thinking through this made me wonder. What is it about me that people don't feel a need to reach out to? Why am I cursed to be "alone"? Alone in reaching out ... alone in creating fun GNOs... it's like that quote about leadership ...the loneliness of it all. I didn't ask to be so... Or am I just a really bad judge of character? I treat people the way I want to be treated...so when they treat me like doggy-doo - I figure that's what they want back...the end.

Things like this make my friend SW awesome. I invited her to go to tea with me and my girls. I have done this with many folks in my ward. I paid - like I usually do. It wasn't a big deal - she only ordered tea and scones. It was nothing. The very next day I had this gift bag on my front door. In it was this glorious tea pot with a satchel full of tea. We had talked about how much I love tea and how I want a cute tea pot...and she thoughtfully did something so fabulous for me. It nearly made me cry. I have never once had anyone do something like this for me. I've taken numerous people out to tea and paid for them - and have yet to have them do something like that for me. So to have my friend SW do this... was monumental. It made me realize that there are people out there like me... I found one. It's so nice to be on the receiving end for once.

6 comments:

La Yen said...

I feel almost the same way. Except for the seeking out--that is still so scary for me to do. I am making an effort to do more seeking of people, but I am just so sick of being burned.

Have you read "A Heart Like His" bu Virginia Hinckley Pearce? IT has made a big difference in the way I look at people.

I am in the weird position of, in the aftermath of a burning, the friends of the ex-friend are all trying to be friendly with me again. And I am unsure how to handle that. Any suggestions? I didn't even know how to do this in Jr High, so I am completely at a loss now...

Bek said...

Queen, I am sorry to hear that. After all that has happened in the last year, I feel that everyone thinks that I am THAT friend (the user--but to be honest I didn't ask anyone for ANYTHING...I just dropped out of life).

You are such a treasure, so I don't get it. Ironically after we met for the first time, my life exploded (and you know the basics). So, it had nothing to do with you...just life.

I hope you find your special mom friend. We ALL need them...

cabesh said...

Oh Bonazza....I feel it! I'm still in favor of creating our own little "dream neighborhood/ward". You're on the top of the list!

Love you lots and lots!

Queen Scarlett said...

la yen - it's just obnoxious when people are like that... I just get annoyed with myself because I keep forgetting that so many people in the world are totally inconsiderate.

I have the book - I just haven't cracked it open yet. I guess I should read it. ;-)

Dude... I hated jrhigh/highschool - I didn't survive well with all that cattiness and crap. I was too straightforward...and maybe that's why I have a problem now - i can't fake it. If you figure it out - let me know.

bek - there's a big difference between dropping out and using folks. ;-) HUGE. Dropping out to deal with family first - is priority. It's not even that I don't have "mom" friends to hang with... it's that it seems I have to start things... and do the ground work...and it's tiring...like - anyone else want to take the reigns once in a while???

cabesh-YES when can we join the dream ward... because I think I've learned all the lessons I need to in mandated wards... ie. people suck, gospel true. ;-)

compulsive writer said...

"I didn't even know how to do this in Jr High, so I am completely at a loss now..."

That about sums it up for me too, La Yen.

Queen, I'm sorry you're feeling hurt and used up. That bites. While I have been blessed with a handful of friends who are spoil me on occasion, I also know how it feels to be used, to be betrayed and to be the odd man out. I have a lot of friends 10 years old than me and a lot of friends 10 years younger than me and they kind of tend to hang together because they can. Sometimes I wonder what happened to all the 40-somethings?

I used to be the instigator in my ward too (I'm still often the designated shower planner). But as my kids got older I find I'm just too busy.

I'm sorry I don't have any answers, but I'm going to have to find that book and give it a read, too. In any case, I am glad you found a friend who gave back. I know that means a lot.

blik said...

I love this new blog. It's fun reading your rants and thoughts. I know that feeling. You'd think people would consider it so rude to always be the one asking and never giving.... it happens WAY too much in wards and it's sad. You are amazing and have a gift...making others feel included. It takes time to weed out and find those great friends :) You have a gift don't let the mouchers ruin it. :) :)