Personal Stories

I’m Done

Photo by Samantha Garrote on

I’ve always been one to give help when needed. I often did too much and spread myself too thin. People would ask me to do something and I’d roll up my sleeves and tackle it. I’d do for the community and others to my own detriment over the years.

I always felt like that’s why we’re on this planet. If we can’t support each other and help each other up, then what’s the point?

Pretty much sums up how I have felt. Now, I’m just done.

I don’t write stuff all the time patting myself on the back for what I do. Someone I knew on Epinions once used to do that with regularity, trying to show what a great person he really was and get some egoboo. For as much of a “Christian” as he claimed to be, nearly all of his actions went against what it says in the Bible about bragging and boasting. That is one reason I don’t pat myself on the back.

I’d at least not to be raked over the coals, though, when I help. So for the first time here, I’m going to talk about some of what I’ve done for people up here.

When I lost my daughter, I went to a local suicide support group. I haven’t been in a while, bit the first meeting I went to they told me I was going to lose most of my friends. I didn’t believe them, of course. Well, two of the people I was closest to at the time are no longer my friends, and they are both people I did a hell of a lot to help because I was so grateful for their presence in my life. I have close friends now, but they are different than the ones I considered my closest friends back then.

“BJ” was nearly young enough to be my daughter. We worked together and had a lot in common. I can’t tell you how much i helped her with financially because I never kept track. She asked me for something and I gave it. I paid her physical therapy bill when she was “injured” so she could continue going (there’s more to that, but I don’t want to go into it). After my daughter died and we were trying to figure out who would take care of my Dad, she volunteered to move in because she wanted out of her house she shared with her parents and brother. She paid no rent, ate food I bought with my father’s money, and I was fine with that as long as I knew someone was at least supervising my father that he wasn’t alone in the house. She stopped wanting to hang around with me because she got “new” friends and I was disappointed but reasoned as long as my Dad had companionship and supervision he needed, I wasn’t going to rock the boat. In six months, the only time she made any time to hang out with me was a few minutes while she was in the store trying on clothes. There was one “close friend” that abandoned me after my daughter’s death.

What ended that was her new boyfriend. He was older than I was. My father was old-fashioned and we’d talked about how he didn’t like it when Melinda was there and she had her boyfriend stay over. We were talking about it in the context of finding someone else to stay there when BJ couldn’t. She damn well knew she should not be sleeping with men in my father’s house. But there she was.

I did a background check on him considering she knew him 2 weeks and was having him sleeping over at my father’s house. It turned out he had a record and was on parole. In addition, he had a history of conning people out of money. He was a deadbeat Dad who owed child support and had taken a job under the table so he wouldn’t have to pay it. This is who BJ chose to bring around my Dad, who was in his 80’s with memory issues. Who was always offering up his own money to pay people for stuff. He was an easy mark for just this sort of thing. I exploded. Maybe I overreacted, but to this day I don’t think so. BJ had even asked me to put her on my father’s Discover account so she could do his shopping. I usually did it and it was a bit of a strain as this was after I’d had my brain injury and was trying to balance everything going on. The smartest thing I ever did was refuse to do that. She moved out after I exploded at her and that loser. She has never once even tried to pay anything towards all the money I helped her with. Never once tried to “clear the air” or anything like that. She took what she could and when I said “no more” she walked away.

One of my daughters lived with my dad for a while. I had other friends who were losing their home so I offered them the same deal – you can live there and watch over my Dad, maybe help him with cleaning and cook for him, and not have to worry about rent. My father passed away a few months later regardless. They were in the house, and I would rather have someone there I could count on – someone I could call on if I needed something, especially since my spouse was still working away from home. I let them live there rent-free for 6 months and then only charged them $450 a month, what the taxes and insurance cost me to have the home.

You guessed it, they couldn’t even manage that. For a 3 bedroom house.

I let a lot slide because “Ben” was one of the people closest to me after my daughter died. He was the first one here, other than the police, and he had to come from 15 miles away. He went with me to that first survivors of suicide meeting because I needed someone to hold my hand. Both of them were working and they still owed me about $4,000 in rent. And I was still trying to help him wherever he needed it. His girlfriend actually took my husband’s car after a fight one night and went chasing after Ben. She was drunk and crashed it into a tree. We refused to press charges for her stealing the car and made sure the police knew that because she had enough issues already. She moved out with no attempt to take care of what she owed in back rent. Ben made some headway, but then began giving her money again and was supporting her in her new home before paying what he owed in rent. I finally evicted him from the house, but we remained friends. He promised to pay me what he owed me (over $4,000) and I still haven’t seen a penny.

Flash forward to this pandemic. We were still friendly. He had been out of the house for over a year and he and his girlfriend still had their junk in the garage and on the property. I didn’t ask him about the money, but I did ask him about emptying the garage and getting their stuff off of the property. I know neither of them were working for at least 8 weeks of the pandemic. Not once did they bother to take the time to come over and clean out the garage. Not once did he even message me about it. In fact, I haven’t heard from him at all since mid-April.

We started in May cleaning out the garage. I’m sure word got around to him in this small town and he’s ticked off. I don’t care anymore. I went above and beyond and all I got was kicked in the ass once again. It cost us money and time to empty everything from the garage. The dump actually got ticked off at us for how much stuff we were bringing there and there were items we had to pay to get rid of.

And now we come to yesterday. Well, it really started a while ago. I’m in a number of local groups on Facebook. One of them, whoever created the group abandoned it and it had no owner, no admin, no moderators. I got a message from Facebook probably 8-9 months ago that “As a member of (this group) we’re looking for someone to take over the group or it will be archived.” I stepped up because I didn’t think it was a big deal. Well, there were over 100 pending members. There were posts that had been reported and not dealt with (this was probably what got it flagged by Facebook). I cleaned up all of that and pretty much just let it go on.

It’s a local group, and especially with the pandemic, people are angry about people from out-of-state coming here and using our beaches and facilities when they don’t live here. There have been a number of stories written about how bad it is. This caused a flare-up in the group. A number of people messaged me asking me to make the group more friendly; that it was making the town look bad. So I did that. And I got raked over the coals for it. People started making up stories that I didn’t even live in the town; that I was impersonating someone else – all kinds of crazy stuff. I tried to clarify who I was and it got worse. Finally, I just ignored it all and let it cool off. The people who had messaged me about making it more friendly messaged me back and apologized. Several people left the group over how I was treated. But it calmed down.

Then two days ago someone lost his shit because he got a political mailing in his mailbox and felt the need to blast it all over the group. I did nothing and let the ranting go on. A few people reported the content and the arguments that were happening. I left it all up and explained I wasn’t going to do anything because this is how you wanted the group – if you didn’t like what you see, scroll past it and file the information away for future reference (that’s what I do usually). Well, once again people were up in arms about who I was and what was I doing. The truth – I wasn’t doing anything. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to face an inquisition every time this happens. I left the group and it was archived.

And they are still making up stories about me. The biggest perpetrator the first time around said this about this last round:

Nope, not how it happened at all. Thanks for the slander though! I never shut off comments on the thread. I never weighed in either way what I thought about the thread. If I had left the group when people said they didn’t want an Admin or moderator a few weeks back, it would have been archived then. I was the one telling everyone else just to scroll, but this piece of work is straight-up lying about what happened.

So I’m done around here with trying to help anyone. Don’t bother asking cause my answer from now on is NO. Just like I didn’t give a shit anymore that the group was going to be archived when I left because I’d rescued it once already, I don’t give a shit about anyone up here anymore. I’ve spent most of my life trying to be a “helper” only to get kicked in the ass for it time and again.

I’m done.

10 replies »

  1. Geez, that sounds like a torrid time!! Sadly, some folks take advantage of the kindness of others and others just are not satisfied unless they throw little school yard tantrums like a three year old. Stay Strong!!!

  2. I’ve learned to say no to being helpful. It’s hard because it’s my nature but after some crap 14 years ago in San Jose I’ve learned that being nice is not what it’s cracked up to be

    • Sadly, I thought there was something to the “small town values” for a long time. It fell like it when the kids were in school. Lately I’ve come to realize people here will act nice to your face and put a knife in your back worse than it was when I grew up. School was horrible, but our neighborhood growing up we really had each other’s backs. Not so here.

  3. Small towns are a double edged sword – on one hand there is a sense of community and a “we’re in it together” feeling. The other side is that everyone is up in everyone else’s business and the rumor mill works overtime. So sorry you were taken advantage of. I go out of my way to do random acts of kindness but if there is money involved I just refer them to the local charities or church groups. I hope the rant was able to release the anger and that you will be on an even keel tomorrow. Sounds like there was some bullying going on!!

    • Yes, it was very helpful. One of the things that ticked me off is there’s enough information about me and my family out there if they’d google my name. Even if they didn’t know me – it proves I live here. Why should I be subject to an inquisition when I did them a favor not letting the group be archived in the first place? Now it’s done and when they ask for volunteers for stuff it definitely won’t be me.

  4. I am so sorry for all that has happened to you. Learning t say no is one of the most difficult things, because we have been brought up to say yes, to please, to do the right thing. But you are at the stage of having to look after your own well being and you are doing what is best for you. I hope that the friends you have now all support you in this. Good luck and best wishes