Being A Follower, Not Leading Your Life

J. Harris

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How this can cause disaster for you.

LOST

Have you ever been lost in someone else’s life? Doing what they said and following every need they had until you no longer existed. Becoming something you’re not, only to please them in every way possible. They being so bored with themselves that they had to DO SOMETHING to keep themselves interested.

"Clinically depressed" was the label but it didn’t show up until years later and neither did "schizoid-effective disorder." I had no experience with those labels nor mental illness of any kind.

I was sort of flailing around with life because I was totally lost as to what to do with myself. I was trying to find answers with a group I belonged to, but they had gotten to be too difficult and demanding. I had to find some protection and someone who could handle them better than me. I don’t want to mention this group because of retaliation, but everyone knows them. They are supposed to be a church, but instead they are money-hungry fools that destroy lives.

I took care of this person for almost twenty years along with the mental illness and abuse he decided to dish out for me. I felt I had no choice and this is what I had to do. My mother’s best saying was, “you made your bed, no lay in it.” She would have been proud.

MY EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE INTO HOMELESSNESS

"Why would anyone want to be homeless?" you ask. I didn’t mean for it to happen or want it to happen. It never crossed my mind that I would end up the way I did. A multitude of items can be to blame; circumstances, financial positions, robotic abuse, a questionable relationship, putting trust in another, and all kinds of red flags that were never seen.

I mentioned robotic abuse above. Do you know what that is?

A desperate, powerless feeling you have with someone who has control over everything that you are. You are being victimized and you don’t know it and that is the sad part. You qualify it to be love and care, but in reality, control is the mechanism in place. Control of what you say, who you see, where you go and what you do and when, is the real problem. You have no voice and no rights.

The homeless situation came about ultimately because of financial abuse and poor self-worth, his and mine. When something, anything, occurred that was great or outstanding there was a problem of it being inadequate. A negative opinion and an angry attitude always followed, so that you felt insecure and threatened. Once, you were ultimately squashed into a small ball of nothingness, it was all good for the other guy because he knew he could control you. Some people would call this the blindness of love, and on the inside it felt that way. Love. You did not want to lose the person that you had set your life up with since you were excruciatingly shy and the other person was excruciatingly loud and verbose. You wanted to feel protected and have him take the lead so you would not have to worry. But with that attitude you were never respected; you were weak and lonely, feeling abandoned most of the time. You had no family you could talk to and forget about friends. This feeling or circumstance could also be labeled Stockholm Syndrome or capture-bonding. If you Google this term it will say, “Strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” People, his family, told me to watch out and be careful, but I did not want to hear it. He couldn’t be that bad, could he?

Where will I start this tale of ignorance and bliss?

I met him in 1987 in Duluth, Georgia. I had known his brother for about six or seven years because we went to the same social organization. No Facebook back then. You actually had to go somewhere to talk to people. Inevitably, he showed up one day and I met him and we clicked. That started our relationship that lasted eighteen years. He had moved back to the U.S. from London and didn’t have a job or a place to stay yet, so I let him in. Day to day life was fine for a while. I was working for a property manager and he showed up one day in the same office. He actually knew the guy I worked for so he now had a job. He was a manager of operations. I worked in accounts payable and receivable. It occurred to him one day that he had to change everything about the whole organization. This put employees on edge. There were about eight office personnel, six people in maintenance, and 12 people staffing the restaurant.

There were three partners and two did not like him. The partner that ran the restaurant threw him out one afternoon. I was surprised, but no one would tell me what happened. I wanted to keep my job, so I didn’t ask anyone on staff. This led to bad feelings all around. Because of mismanagement of funds the entire operation closed down after about a year. He and I were asked to manage a hotel in Anniston, Alabama, by one of the partners. We moved from Duluth/Atlanta area to Anniston. What a change that was!

Heart of Anniston Inn, Anniston, AL

This was a one hundred-year old hotel in downtown Anniston. A small town where everybody knows your name and your business. I took care of the books, front desk reception and room assignment, while he was organization manager. No matter where I worked I was the support person and it never failed that this was assumed to be my job.

The owner would come in once a month to check on everything and we would give him a rundown on the place. He could see what the deposits were and what units were rented. We did a good job. We also kept the hotel clean and maintained. The owner usually siphoned off funds for himself, but somehow he didn’t do it with this property. We wouldn't let him.

There was one problem though. There was a maintenance staff person that held resentment towards the owner so he started to sabotage our work. For instance, we found pillow feathers dumped in an ice machine. And we had a flood from an upstairs laundry and found that the drainage hose was pulled out of the drain pipe so that it flooded the office and reception area. We knew who was doing it, but could not prove it. He left because he knew we were onto him. I caught him in the hall one day and when he saw me he jumped to attending to something.

All the hotel staff were fired before we got there which caused resentment towards us through no fault of our own. We did our best work there because we also lived there. About six months later his sister came in with auditors. Boy was that surprising! She wanted a part of the assets that location was receiving and needed proof that everything was current and honest. Apparently, the owner was a shyster to her and she couldn’t believe that he was actually making some money. We decided that because of the audit and the family situation, the place was not for us any longer and decided to open a kiosk in a local mall down the road. which we named, “Alexis, Beverly Hills Accessories”. TBC.

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I usually write about a lot of subject matter from my own personal life to animal behavior. Everything in between. I have been writing for over two years but have always been a writer and avid reader. I lived in Atlanta, GA for sixty years then moved to South Florida and it was a huge change for me. I write truth as I see it in hopes it will help others.

Plantation, FL
840 followers

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