Quote: Originally Posted by Imp
Life is a choice. So isn't wallowing in mire. As a friend, my advice for you to your friend is to tell that person exactly as you see it, then walk away-cut the cord. To keep being part of their depression will keep them dependant on you and those who want to help. They have to stand on their own two feet, on their own power to walk away from it, to become independant and free of it.
Some great thoughts being shared on this! The above comment caught my eye in particular, Imp – it’s so very true – the issue of dependency will never be resolved by the victim’s choices, it will of necessity have to be addressed by the ‘helper’.
I'd like to make what I think is an important distinction though. We 'helpers’ have a very difficult time believing we’re helping by turning our backs on one who is clearly suffering – even when that suffering is clearly at their own behest. It may only be the realization that we are damaging our own
well being by remaining in the dysfunction that provides the impetus to let go.
We've all heard the term co-dependency... pity mongers can't get too far in meeting their need without a willing participant to provide the pity. It really does seem to be a 2-way street when one looks at it from a distance. I've heard it called emotional vampirism... but if we're truthful, both parties are getting something out of the arrangement. The helper remains enmeshed in the problem in their own frustrated attempt to feel they've actually 'helped' the victim.... of course this need to help is never going to be appeased either, so the cycle will continue until someone breaks it.
It's a fine line between compassion and pity. Compassion I believe is a healthy response to a fellow human being experiencing a tough situation.... professional victims will take the compassion that's freely offered, and take it, and take it….while continuously escalating the severity of the ‘trauma of the day’ . This is simply another spoke in the vicious cycle. With each crisis that occurs, the response from the helper is jaded somewhat. The shock value has worn off - so, much like an addict who must continuously increase the amount of drugs they ingest to get the same high, a victim will continuously ramp up the extremity of the crisis in order to meet that need.
So yes indeed - walking away becomes the only sensible and healthy thing to do... interestingly however, this will provide the victim with ample fodder around issues of abandonment to seek pity from others…. and be assured, there will always be others to step up and have their compassion mangled into pity.
I truly wish strength to any who find themselves needing to walk away - it's not easy, and the victim doesn't usually just 'let go'... a great deal of gnashing of teeth, wailing and copious amounts of emotional blackmail are likely to follow - this is what makes it so hard for a compassionate person to actually complete the cutting of ties –threats of suicide are also not only possible, but likely in extreme cases. To anyone still struggling with making such a decision, take heart. It can be done. It just takes strength and a determination to remember who you are
when the unending spate of ugly new labels are slapped all over you and your reputation - but I unequivocally assert - it's worth it
– and labels from people who are serving an unhealthy personal agenda do not define you.
Even more important however, is to not allow such an experience to completely cripple one's capacity for compassion - there is always a place for that - it's just a matter of discernment.
Last edited by Zan; Mar 3rd, 2008 at 08:06 PM..