Category: Caribbean Woman Created on Friday, 27 July 2012 06:23
Who taught you the stupid notion that you should meddle when friends and family are having a hard time? Chances are those people must know the people who taught me. They must be members of a sadistic cult that laughs behind the scene as we slip and fall into the mud of our own making.
Trust me when I say, the proverbial Damsel in Distress or the Birds with Broken Wings need to find their own way out of their problems. Never! I repeat, Never try to “Help”.
I recently met someone and the two of us hit it off and became great friends. I was never the kind of woman who made female friends easily but somehow Betsy seemed different. My guard became relaxed and I allowed time to reveal the true nature of things. She became more open and I saw imperfections. She in turn was exposed to my moody and sarcastic tendencies and the friendship held up well with those revelations. Great!
Betsy had marital problems. From past experience I learnt that it was best to listen rather than volunteer too much opinion on the actions of my girlfriend’s spouses. No matter what problems she may be having, he is still the man she is romantically involved with and matters of the heart have its own logic. Betsy shared her current challenges with me as it related to her marriage and I smiled and nodded sympathetically, offering opinions when asked and only on her behaviour and not that of her spouse. I have never met this man (he was overseas) and I believe he would have his own opinions regarding their situation. As a good friend however, I felt it best to listen with care and accommodate the venting and irrationality.
Insanity crept in one night. My disclaimer is that during deep REM sleep, certain underactive neurological pathways got bored and decided to “fire” itself. This memory pathway was related to the programming from the “cult people” who implanted the “help” program! Rousing from deep slumber that ill-fated morning, I came up with a brilliant idea. Why not assist what was “clearly” a communication problem? I would simply contact the husband in the dog house and tell him what I believed she was attempting to communicate. She really just wanted his comfort and support. Helping her to solve issues at work, as he was trying to do, only succeeded in making her feel that he did not think her capable of solving her own problems. Little did John (not his real name either) realize that he was inadvertently supporting the actions of her supervisor, who had the habit of not allowing Betsy enough autonomy and “room to breathe”. The problem at the office was now the source of discontent at home and Betsy was at her wits end in trying to communicate her feelings. Such a simple problem to solve with the help of an angel: Egotistical Me.
If I had listened to my “spidey senses “I would have heard that I too was about to make a similar mistake: helping someone who did not want my help!
I called John and we had a rather amicable conversation. He seemed to have understood the salient points I volunteered on my friend’s behalf and we ended the conversation with him vowing to listen more carefully and to give the support that was being asked for. I felt so good in the knowledge that I had helped two people who were obviously in love with each other, to mend some broken fences. My invisible badge of honour was carefully pinned to my Girl Guide uniform. Life is beautiful!
The sadistic cult people were by now laughing so hysterically that they must have fallen from their seats in spasms. Those monsters who taught me to “help” the down trodden had a good laugh at my expense as they saw the impending storm.
“Why would you think my man would leave me to be with you??” The shocking question came 2 days later. I honestly thought Betsy had dialed the wrong number!
“I knew it! From the time I began telling you that I was having problems with my husband, you seemed very happy! You told me you never knew him yet you called him telling him all sorts of lies about me, that I am depressed and cannot handle marriage anymore with him. Well I have news for you! We spoke about our problems and he was very understanding this time around and we are very much back on track. So I am sorry to disappoint you but you CANNOT HAVE MY HUSBAND!”
For the record, persons foolishly post their full contact information on the various social networks. It was easy to find John online and obtain his mobile phone number.
In this life, we all have our paths to follow. On this path of life, there are experiences we are lead to have in order to teach us valuable lessons and to understand more clearly who we are at the current time and what we can possibly do to change our current course if desired. Persons should be allowed, without interruption from helpful friends and family, to discover their truths. What I now believe is the role of the caring onlooker is to have a huge stack of tissue for the tears, a vehicle ready and waiting to carry the injured to the hospital or to even cry with our loved ones. Pearls of wisdom can be offered but only if asked and with the disclaimer that you speak from your own wisdom and experience and therefore subject to evaluation of correctness and relevance to the listener.
Never! I repeat, Never HELP!
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Tina S Mowatt is an Editorial Contributor with MNI Alive
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