Originally Posted by BoringGuy
That's too bad; that's their choice. We will never have the opportunity to know their side of the truth, therefore the only person we can empathize or sympathize with IS you.
Well, if it helps, John said that my telling of the story sounded very fair and accurate to him. So to some extent you can assume you've had his side of the story.
Another thing that's too bad is that you seem to be concerned with everyone else's social and emotional welfare and they don't seem at all concerned with yours. Is that a motif that has always been a feature of your personality and relationships? You try to take care of everyone around you and the less concern they show for you, the more you reach out and try to defend their position?
Lol! You have no idea how funny that sounds to me. No, I'm not a bleeding heart or a martyr.
What I do have is a combination of a rough origin story and a strong character. And of course, I know myself - which makes it easier for me to see others for who they really are.
I have plenty of experience with not being cared about - alcoholic narcissist mother who viewed her children as status symbols and accessories; disinterested father who lived vicariously through and idolized his son; spoiled older brother who was physically abusive and never learned what limits were (and is now paying for it as an adult who self destructs in life). And not for one second of my life have I internalized any of it, though for many years as a child I was depressed by the abuses and neglect I experienced.
I was blessed to have a wonderful Grandmother who saw me and my life for what it was, and she made all the difference in the world. Because of her love at a young age I knew I had value. Because of her confidence in me, I had the strength to face adversity, to lead when no one might follow, and to say no to people I loved. I was 11 when I knew I couldn't depend on my parents but that I was strong enough to get through, and I did.
I don't need to be needed, or fear abandonment. I don't show compassion to others (even to people I dislike) because I fear what they will think of me if I don't. I show compassion to others because that's the person that I am. That's who I choose to be.
When I look at Sarah, John and Mike, I don't see villains twirling mustaches, or universal victims who aren't responsible for their own choices. I see people, with all of their strengths, weaknesses, scars, hopes, and feelings.
It's been said that if I had a super power, it would be to show people exactly who they are.
So no, I don't think it's a problem that I can empathize with them and see what's been going on that lead them to where they are - to know how difficult their lives have been. It doesn't mean they made all the right choices. It means they're people, just like you and me. And I think being able to see others for who they really are, and to truly know ourselves, is a goal we should all strive for.
But I agree with you, John and Sarah can't really see me and my needs right now. They are drowning in a stormy sea, and they can't see that they've broken my legs.