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[this is good] omg - you are SO not a heartless bitch - lemme at anyone who says that!You just poured out your heart into this post and I'm sitting here feeling so damn close to you. This is raw and real and beautiful. wow... justwow


[this is good] NOT a heartless bitch. You are someone who has learnt, the hard way, that sometimes you have to be hard to survive. And surviving families can be the hardest thing.I have not spoken to my mother for years. I only know she is alive because my In-Laws phone her. And - I have to not care. Because that is the way it is. This is not something I will post about (my children read my blog, and they do have some limited contact with her). It hurts. Sometimes it makes me angry. But I know I cannot see her again.Life can be a bitch.But not you, Karen. Not you.


[this is good] What Bookmole said. Nope, it ain't in you.
My wife is constantly amazed at the "strays" I try to "save." And I generally keep at it, until they turn and bite me. Then I cut them loose and bid them well. I've felt the tug of the vortex enough timesto know better now.
The Force is strong in my family.


you don't have to beat anyone up. ;-)
when i refer to people characterizingme as a bitch, or as one person said to my face "the coldest person i have ever met in my entire life," it is from the past. those people only kind of mattered at the time, they don't matter at all now.
the only reason they kind of mattered before is that i was young, and i needed to lookat other people to see the reflection of myself. i need that less now. and when i need it, what i see is much more positive (like what i see in you).


thank you bookmole, it is nice to find someone who can relate to the loss of a mother. i mean, mine is not lost per se, i know exactly where she is, but even at 10 minutes up the street she is so very far away from us.
the hardest part i think is what to tell the girls. not the truth, yet. they are too young. but even at their young ages they are starting to figure out that their grandmother is not like the others.
your kids are growing up so beautifully, you give me hope that i will find a way to manage this with as much grace as you.


the vortex is bad. and stay away from the light, too.
iadmire your willingness to help with the strays, and if biting were the worst of it i might keep it up myself. but the strays i've encountered are often hanging out in the deepest ofwaters, where they can't swim and i don't want to.


[this is good]





electric firefly

[this is good] This is actually the most loving approach you can take. If you put all of your resources into the one drowning person, what do you have to give yourself and everyone else, especially if the drowner takes you under with them? Like Barry, I have been known for taking in "strays." I have recently had to provide my love and assistance from afar because if I continued the way I was, I would have started drowning myself. This is an amazing post - thank you.


thank you!
yes, i feel the same way about this being a loving approach, although there are many who would certainly argue that it is not loving at all - most notably the person being let go.
but it is at least as important to love yourself, n'est-ce pas?


Thank you thank you thank you for saying this out loud.


oh my.
no, thank you!


[this is good] Thank you for writing this - I think I needed to hear it today. :-) I'm writing the following in the first person because I don't know you ... but I do wonder if it applies. I don't think the desire to help is pathological ... but the innate belief that I am responsible if something bad happens (i.e. "If only I had ...") is really about me and my need to be important in the grand scheme of things. To feel powerful enough to have made something change ... and my reality is that I'm just not that powerful. I can change only me. The days I remember and understand this are quite liberating. The odd day when I go off on a rescue mission ... these are stifling.


karen heartless? good grief. perish the thought. karen kind and wise and strong-backboned? exactly.karen also sooper-funny (ah, barbie nation...) and lovely and witty? entirely.karen good... forgive me as I somehow lapse into yodaese. blame the profundity of the conviction-- or else barry's influence.

Nancy Mitchell

[this is good] I can't imagine anyone thinking of you as a heartless bitch.
This is a fabulous post. Not much more to say than that, other than thank you for sharing.


I hear what you are saying about feeling important, and that may have played a part in what was happening, I guess. Mostly what I wanted was a healthy mom. Failing to fix her, I set about fixing other people who seemed not quite as broken, or so I thought.
I'd like to think that my motives are more pure than they were self-absorbed, but who can say?


sweet girl, you do have a way of pumping up my ego. better watch it, or my head might explode. ;-)


well, perhapsyou should talk to your sister ;-)
thank you for the nice words, i'm so pleased this post has resonated with so many of my friends.
i wrote it for one friendin particular, i had no idea my other friends would need it too.


Like I told you today. I needed your post within minutes of reading it. It was as if you tossed me a safety ring as I was falling overboard.xoxoo


Your comment really hit me as I was working out tonight and I decided that this post could use a soundtrack.

"And I would have walked head on into the deep end of the river..."
The rest of the lyrics are here.

Nancy Mitchell

My sister has nothing but wonderful things to say about you....and as you know, she can be a tough critic! :)


[this is good] As someone who used to be the same way, I'd like to ask you to be kinder to your old self who needed to help and fix. I would guess that you were put in that role from time to time as a child because of your mom's drinking. Also, I would wager that you felt powerless a lot of the time and that later on your helping was a subconscious way to give take some control. I had a best friend who I felt I had to help through her myriad abusive relationships. Finally, I realized she didn't want help. She wanted to play out her own issues through the relationship and my helping was playing out my issues of wanting to help someone who was in trouble because no one helped me as a kid. Finally, I knew it was stupid and futile and sucking the life out of me and I stopped. I'm a very different person now. I'm there for my friends but I don't feel the need to fix anything. When my oldest friend called a couple of weeks ago to tell me that the exchange student she fell in love with turned on her and she was struggling with the angst while she should be writing a keynote address, I merely told her I loved her, to put aside her wallowing to get the keynote done and then deal with that. I didn't consent to listen to an ongoing analysis or offer to do something, anything. I've been like this a long time now but it's still a great feeling to know I've moved on.


[this is powerful] I'm a fixer too. It took me a long time to come to the place where I realized that I can be responsible to others, butI cannot be responsible for them. Big difference.


"perhaps you should talk to your sister"

?!?!?!?!? I go away for a few days and look what happens!:-( Now everyone's gonna think that I'm the one calling your heartless! Sure, I've called you a bitch a few times, but you liked it and dole it out like it's a compliment too, beee--aaahhcch! But heartless? You don't like others to know it so much, but your heart's as big and strong and alive as anyone I've ever know. love,one former rescuer to another.

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