Part of the problem is us.

Yesterday my dad asked me to drive him to our old house. It is usually for rent but our relatives have been living there for a while for free. After more than a month they lived there they gave the key back to dad, and he was finally able to visit the house. And he was in rage because the house was dirty and a mess.

Take a few steps back before this day. The people that my dad gave permission to stay in our old home were having problems with my other relatives and had made family dramas. Dad didn’t want to get involved with those dramas. Last month my dad had a hip replacement surgery that made him just stay at home for the whole month because obviously he couldn’t walk. There was a huge problem in his family that made two groups fighting against each other. Fighting about who’s right, who’s wrong. I asked my dad not to get involved in this. But letting my relatives live in our old house made people think that dad supported this group. He just simply wanted to put a roof above someone who didn’t have a place to stay while they were here and he has an empty house. Without wanting to be on anyone’s side. But little did he know, he signed for trouble.

His relatives had so many problems when they stayed with my other relatives. Making a mess everywhere he goes. But because my dad just could stay at home and didn’t really understand the situation as well as the truth, when both sides were telling their side of the story he just didn’t know who to believe and didn’t want to get involved. And focus on his hip recovery. 

Two days ago these relatives who stayed in our house gave the key back and told him thank you for letting them stay in our old house. They finished their job here and wanted to go back to their hometown, and said they just tried to fight with the other relatives. But when dad checked his old house and found a mess, he was really really mad. 

I didn’t try to calm him down, I only said “You knew their track record right? The kind of mess they made”

“Ya but i just wanted to help them”

“I’m sorry dad, it’s their problem to be so irresponsible and ignorant, but it’s your problem to let them in, even though deep down you knew this was gonna happen” . Doesn’t wanting to get involved in someone’s business or problem is one thing, but ignoring the signs that someone is in trouble is another thing. It’s like having so many red flags from a boy who approaches you. But you just go ahead and date him, and act surprised when in the end they treat you like shit and call them an assholes. 

I’m not saying that you should not help people. You should. You really should. But sometimes for some people with some condition by trying to help them you would only damage yourself. 

It will be better if you see the sign if there’s any from a person you want to help, observe their problem. Is it the kind of problem they continually have, is it actually the problem that they have to resolve by themselves, or is it a kind of problem that if you’re helping them it will bring more harm than good for both sides. Yes, those kinds of problems exist. If the answer is yes, maybe you should just step back and let them deal with their own problems.

I could say these things to my dad because It happened to me before, not once but a few times. Until I learned the hard way.

Wanting to help people in need is a natural thing. Sometimes you don’t need a reason to do that. It’s a good thing, really. Some people find joy in seeing other people’s safety and sound and development. But when the people you help treat you like trash or like you don’t even exist in the end. Or when you are in the same position like they were before you helped them they didn’t give any shit. It’ll burn you with rage.

It is also a natural thing when you expect them to treat you the same way. But surprise. Some people don’t give a shit no matter how hard you tried to lift them up before.

My friend said I got hurt because I expect to be treated the same. I should not expect good treatment. So? I should just be ok to be treated like shit?

In my opinion it’s ok to expect. The way people treat you shows how much value they give to you. Especially when you treat them right and help them when they need you. If they treat you like shit in return. That means they don’t value you the way you value them. They don’t have the same amount of respect that you have for them, for you. If you keep giving high value and a high level of respect to those people who won’t do the same to you. It’ll only drain you down. So the best thing to do is, step back. Cause trust me it won’t do any good. Not only they don’t value you the way you do, they might have a very low value and respect for human relationships too. 

You don’t mean that much to them as they mean to you. This is what’s hurt you. So you might as well reevaluate your value you give to them. Are they worth the energy and effort that you give them? Cause surprise you are not worth that much to them. And surprise again, it’s not even a healthy human relationship, they just took advantage of you before. And it isn’t healthy if you keep giving your best to these kinds of people.

I was once giving my best to help people. My energy, my time, and my money. Put a roof under their head, food on their plate, pay all the bills, work two jobs, and had 0 in my bank account for days to help them pay whatever they need to get them settled. Until they could stand up on their own two feet and live a safe and better life. Then I found them lying on my face. It felt like being smashed by a wrecking ball to be honest. 

Even though I had cleared the problem out. It still hurts. Especially when I know now that when I’m in the exact same position they were before, they cannot be more careless. And I feel like I’m being treated like I’m not even exist. And pain radiates from all sides.

And the things that are supposed to be a good thing, hurt you. Then you ask yourself

“What have I done to deserve this?” 

The answer is: You’ve done too much to someone who doesn’t even value your existence. Wake up!

I have bad news for you, as much as you want to blame them for your broken heart or how shitty you feel right now. A part of the problem is you. 

For not reading the signs, for letting them in, for accepting the shitty treatments again and again. And finally for not measuring their value to you.

When you complain why did someone you just give your best food in your fridge for, gave you poison in return. Well, maybe you were the one who was letting a witch come into your house in the first place and feed her. A poison from them should not be surprising. No? Okay, that might be a scary example. 

My friend once said this when we talked about this problem. 

Maybe you should measure the portion they gave you, and give them exactly the same portion. The effort, the energy, the value, the respect. So you won’t feel empty inside. Like maybe you hurt because you always try your best and give people 100% of yours, and when they gave you 20% for you, you feel hurt, small and insignificant, sometimes even stupid. Right now, measure yourself and measure others’ efforts. Match the effort they give to you. Because even a good person has boundaries and limits. 

Staying in the victim mentality is dangerous, even though maybe you were a victim of certain abuse. But after all, what’s done is done. You can’t turn back time and undo the hurt. You can only learn from it. 

It doesn’t mean that you cannot help people. But you should evaluate first whether that person really needs your help or they seem like they just want to take advantage of you. Understand their behaviour and track record and red flags (especially when they are your friends and relatives, you should know better). If you see any red flags, and repeating problems, step back and see the bigger picture. Ask yourself, is it you that should help them, or they have to help themselves first. If deep down you know that helping someone who doesn’t value you the way you do to them will only crash or break you in the end, just pack your shit and go. 

But it’s life, these things happen. It’s inevitable sometimes. But once you learn about it, I hope you know better. If you know better, I hope you will do better. And sometimes they have to break you, in order for you to rebuild yourself. Making your tolerance to shitty treatments become smaller and smaller. And realise that you are too worthy to be treated right and respected. 

Like my favourite fiction character from Grey’s Anatomy Dr. Cristina Yang said

“If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, stop accepting crap and demand something more.” 

Published by Angky Ridayana

A sun seeker and a story teller.

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