‘09 April 23 A couple of weeks ago Marian was upset when Janice (our daughter) she didn’t take her along on a trip to visit old friends. She wanted Janice to drop her off at her friends place, and then pick her up on the way home from visiting their friends. She was livid when she found out that they had already left, repeatedly saying, “After all the things I’ve done for her, she ignores me.” I told her that if she wanted to see her friends that badly, that she had a car and that she could drive there herself. She didn’t say a word, but just went back to her bedroom.
Last night, Marian was again complaining of how tired she was after helping Janice do some errands, as Janice chipped a bone in her foot a week or so ago and her foot is in a air cast and she can’t drive her van. As I was making my breakfast, I was thinking of how Marian sacrifices herself to help others by being nice, kind, understanding, co-operative, etc., etc., yet underneath it all, the only reason that she is doing it is because she also expects to have the debt repaid in some way or another. In other words, she is actually being selfish as the intent is bent and twisted.
In helping others or in fighting for a cause, what you are really doing is making yourself feel good by making others happy. You need a constant source of people to enable you to feed off either their gratitude, or the gratitude and acknowledgments of others. If you didn’t have your food “source” you would not be a happy camper as you would be left to face your real issues that are being denied and avoided by focusing on others or something else. Another part of self-sacrifice is that it gives you a sense of purpose, of having value and a sense of worth and a twisted form of self-respect or self-esteem, that takes the place of self-love. It’s also part of the social mystique that encourages having a “positive” attitude and being pro-active when you feel otherwise, and also of being a contributing member to society, in other words, sacrificing the needs of the one, for the good of the many.
Self-sacrifice is disguised in many forms like duty, responsibility, honor, pride, worthy cause, being a dutiful husband, wife, child, parent, or being concerned about social rights, animal or environmental issues, etc.. Other less obvious forms of self-sacrifice are keeping busy and being occupied; where other people, places and things are set ahead of individual needs and desires. While on the surface the intent may seem loving, there is the unseen role of denial being played out behind the scenes that would quickly be exposed if the activity were stopped, but even if the person did stop doing what they were addicted to doing to cover up their real issues, they would soon find another activity to take its place.