Friday, October 19, 2012

Who can you depend upon?

I got to thinking this morning about how many people I can really count upon and the result was surprisingly smaller than I had thought.  For years I have been the one that people turn too when they need help or a hand to get them out of a situation.  However when I look back at how many people have actually been around to help me when I needed a helping hand, it was less than a handful.  Now to me this is remarkable because I would have thought that there would have been a lot more people. Especially when you consider the amount of people I have helped in my past, and how many people still come to me when they need money or things to help them get by. Just the other day I got a call from a friend that still lives in Atlanta who asked me if I would be able to give him $50.00 for a boost card to get his cell turned back on.  Another, friend asked me over the past summer needed to have a cell phone, so I sent him my old Samsung Admire phone and put it on my Metro account so that he could have service.  You know he only had the phone for a week before he lost it. Then he expected me to buy him a new one, but I honestly didn't have the money for that.  What I did do however was when he got a new phone I did allow him to put it on my bill.  Then on July 20, 2012 he disappeared, never heard from him again.   Even my parents have let me down, when I left Atlanta they told me I could come stay with them till I was on my feet again.  Well, here we are 8 months later and because my step-brother is coming down, I had to move out. I wasn't prepared didn't have the money put up for the move and just by chance found someone that was willing to take a chance on me and let me use their place.

It always surprises me when someone agrees to something that you need then backs out at the last minute.  Like it wasn't a big deal in the first place.  Just this past week I had asked my dad if he would drive me down to Ft. Lauderdale to get a king size bed and box spring with rails from a friend of mine.  He said he would as long as I paid for the gas.  Now, my friend has pillows, comforters and sheets for the bed as well as pots and pans that he wanted to give to me.  I knew that for the most part I could fit the bed and stuff in the truck along with all the other stuff.  But he also has a dresser and mirror and a sofa that he needs to get rid of too, he told me I could have all of the stuff, considering that I was living in a place that has no furniture.  I thought this was a great opportunity. It shouldn't cost me more than $50.00 to and from there to get the first load of stuff. Of course I would have to make a second trip down to get the rest of the stuff that he wants to give me like the dresser mirror and sofa.  I thought it was a great opportunity. My father looked at the pictures I sent him of the stuff and told me that he thought I should look on craigslist for something I could buy locally, and save myself some money. Unfortunately, he doesn't stop to realize that I will still need to pay for the stuff and my friend was giving it too me for free.  Either way I would still have to put gas in my father's truck to get the stuff whether it was bought on craigslist or if I drove to Ft. Lauderdale to get it.  So where am I saving money. I honestly think in the long run driving down there would be the best thing and get the bed. At least I wouldn't be sleeping on the floor anymore.

Why do people do that? Why do they say what they think you want to hear? Then back out at the last possible minute?  Is it because they think that by telling you at the onset that they will do something will make you worry less?  I am not sure what the real answer to this is, but I would rather someone be upfront with me and tell me that they don't want to do something then to tell me sure I will do it and then back out.  Wouldn't you?  Life is too short folks to lie to others, there is no good reason whatsoever that I can see to hold back the truth from anyone. Sure it might hurt them initially but they will get over it and see that you were only trying to look out for them.  I am a firm believer in trying to help out others, and do the right thing, so why not be straight with me from the get go?  Life is hard enough without having false hopes.

False hopes is what telling someone you are going to do something for them and then backing out at the last minute creates.  It honestly isn't fair to the other person that has been counting on you.  How many times have you been the anchor or shoulder that others have leaned upon?  If you are like me a lot! But here is the thing when push comes to shove it is only you who is going to do for you.  Really there is no one that you can totally always rely upon.  It is sad but true, when I was down and out on the streets of Atlanta there was no one that I could even call because even my so called best friends wouldn't take my calls because they felt bad because there was nothing they could do to help my situation.  But, the truth of the matter was, I wasn't looking for them to help me out of my situation, I just wanted an ear or shoulder to cry on. To brainstorm with to come up with workable solutions to my dilemma. See, I realized that I got myself into the situation that I was in and it was my job and duty to see myself clear of it. I wasn't looking for handouts, and I wasn't looking for someone to get me out of my own mess.  It would have been nice to just have someone there I could pour out my heart too, to listen to me. That alone would have been enough.  But, even that wasn't too be found.

I have a very close circle of really good friends and they are the ones I know that I can count on.  Probably out of the circle there are only 3 that I would ever ask to borrow money from, but the rest have been there for me to hear my cries, pleas and just listen.  That are what friends are supposed to do for one another to listen. They aren't there to bail you out, if they can and offer that is great and wonderful, but it really isn't their responsibility to clean up your mess for you.  Only you can do that for yourself.  But there has to be a balance somewhere, there has to be some give and take in a friendship as well as a relationship.  You can't be expected to do it all alone.  Unless that is the way you have it all planned out.  See, when I got sick with cancer I had a group of friends that I hung with and all of them went through it with me. They were there all the way through, came and seen me in the hospital, held my hand when I was sick and all of that. Those are the people that I count as my support network. They are the few that I know if I call them today they will listen without judging me, as to what my problem and situation is. They will listen, offer words of advice, encouragement, but it is up too me to use that advice and profit from it.  On a few occasions I have had to borrow money from some friends, and they were there for me. But times are different now, the economy is harder, and people don't have the extra like they used to.  My friend Daniel for instance, I called him while I was on the street in Atlanta, just to talk to him, to listen and have him listen to me and my situation. Which he did.  He said to me that he wished he could help, but he was financially strapped himself.  Let me tell you this, I wasn't asking him for help.  I had just needed to hear a friendly voice and have someone listen to me.  But he felt bad because he wasn't in a place to help me.  That is okay, because I didn't need it.  I just needed him and his support. Which I got.

As far as all these others, I am tired and I have been there for everyone for so long. I have helped so many people in my life, that it is now my turn.  I want to find someone that I can care about and depend on. Someone that puts my needs and desires first. Someone that I can call on to help me out when I am stressed or trapped.  I can't help anyone else like I used to, and I honestly don't want to anymore.  I was the one that all those people in Atlanta and some few here in Florida came too each month to help them out of a bind they were in financially or emotionally and I gave of myself, but NO MORE.  I have to once start thinking about myself and putting myself and my health needs above that of others.  It is the only way that I am going to survive right now. Everyone else is going t have to learn to fend for themselves.  You know who you are. The ones that hit me up every month wondering if there isn't some little help I can give you.  The answer is I am in a place and situation where I cannot even help myself, so no boo as much as I love and care about you, I can't help you right now.

But, it is sad that out of all the people I have helped to support, given a place to stay and food to eat can't even help me out. Can't pick up the phone and call me and tell me that everything is going to be okay.  I am not sure I even have one friend that I can count on at this moment who would be able to honestly say, I got your back. Because I don't think anyone actually does.  Even my parents I can't count on them for help, I was helping them, I was buying groceries each month and then I was also paying the electric or cable bill to help them get caught back up.  But when I need help or want them to do something for me, they either say yes they will and back out at the last minute or they just don't answer.  That isn't right. But honey it is a fact of life, that no one has your own best interest at heart but you.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B