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#42857 - 05/04/05 09:21 PM Caring
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
I'm pretty emotional right now.

My elderly neighbor is in an ambulance outside.

While I was out on my front porch, I saw him fall backwards, striking his head on the sidewalk.

I called 911 and the EMS and firemen came right away.

It has left me shaking and in tears. Just really emotional.

I'll process this through and maybe write some more.

Caring is hard and sometimes it makes me cry.

"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#42858 - 05/04/05 10:00 PM Re: Caring
lostcowboy Offline

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 798
Loc: Rhode Island
Danny, I am Glad that you care. I hope your neighbor will pull threw. I am glad you saw the fall and were able to respond.
Now you need to try to relax from all the emotions going through you. Maybe a cup of tea, and some quiet time, meditating.

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

#42859 - 05/04/05 11:19 PM Re: Caring
RangerJ19 Offline

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 42
Loc: North Woods
Caring can hurt a ton sometimes. And it's powerful and scary.

But I just wanted to say congratulations. Seems to me that caring is brave, because it IS risky. Caring is good, because it helps us and it helps others. And Caring is needed, because our hearts and presence is needed in this life.

I'm really sorry that you're so shaken up. I'm relly glad that you cared enough to help! And I'm really happy that you're strong enough to care!

Life is worth living.
'Cause of legal issues and the fact i'm still trying to get better, I don't PM or chat w/ minors.

#42860 - 05/05/05 08:49 AM Re: Caring
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Thanks, guys, for your understanding and support.

The man who lives next door to me just lost his primary care-giver, his wife about a month ago.

She was not really a very nice person, very controlling and caused a lot of problems in the neighborhood. I'm not trying to speak ill of the dead, just explaining how it is that this guy ended up so isolated and alone and vulnerable.

He's 82, has lots of health problems and no one to care for him.

I found him sitting down in the middle of the street a couple of weeks ago. He had been trying to walk down to the bus stop and couldn't make it.

I stopped, got him in the car, and gave him a ride to the pharmacy which is where the bus was suppposed to take him.

Doing my best to be a good neighbor, I gave him my phone number and told him to call if he needed any help.

Sunday I got word that he wanted a ride to the doctor Monday morning. I got him and soon realized that he had lost a lot of weight, and was very disoriented. He didn't know what day it was, where he was going and didn't have a doctors appointment.

Today I saw him call a cab to go and cash his social security check. When he got home he lost his balance (turns out he passed out) and fell backwards on the side walk. That's when I called 9ll.

And I got very emotional about it all. I realize now that part of my emotion and tears was because I had taken on too much responsibility.

I was relieved that the ambulance had come because it had been unbearable for me to think that I had to be the one to try to 'fix' this man's life.

Intellectually I knew that a job like that is far too big for me. He needs professional help and lots of it.

Tuesday after seeing how depleted he was, I had called the state Adult Protective Services anonymously.

It was so weird for me to be calling to report suspected neglect and the possibility of this man being abused. He lives next door to me but on the other side is a crack house full of thieves, prostitutes and drug addicts.

I had a bit of what it must feel like to be the 'reporter'. It felt like I was being nosy, overly involved, like I might get in trouble for making the call--that's why I ended up remaining anonymous.

I guess I also was feeling the conflict between caring for myself, not getting overextended and taking on inappropriate responsibilities to my own detriment and also my genuine love for people that makes me hate to see people alone and suffering.

It was a big relief to make the call to APS, though I continued to worry about how long they would take to come out.

So it was even a bigger relief to know that today he was actually being taken to a hospital where he will receive medical care and hopefully some social worker will help him get the support he needs to live successfully.

In a way it is entirely possible that a lot of my emotion today while watching the EMS workers put him on the stretcher (he was not injured apparently too badly in the fall), was a type of gratitude.

Gratitude that somehow I have retained the abiity to care for others. And grateful to see how much just a little bit of caring can help someone so much.

I didn't have to sacrifice my well being in order to save him. I simply had to care enough to ask for help--for him and for me. There really wasn't any conflict between those two needs of mine.

That illusion is one that I know I carry with me from the sexual abuse in my life. I didn't ask for help or report what had happened to me partly out of fear for myself and also out of fear of what it would do to other people.

I think I got to see a living example of how that dichotomy in my thinking is fraudulent.

What is best for me is also what is best for others. And vice versa.

So feeling scared, worried, relieved, grateful and happy about the part I get to play in life today is some of the emotions that were coursing through me today.

I'm still going to hold back a bit on my efforts on his behalf. I know I have a tendency to overextend myself and I'll watch out for that. But I will also go and see him in the hospital and intervene if I feel like he is not getting conected to the resources he (and I) need.

A great deal of what happens to me here on this website is that I am learning, through trial and error, how to care for others and care for myself. I don't do it perfectly for sure. But I hope that I am perfectly willing to learn and to grow at it.

Sexual abuse made me unbalanced in my ability to love and care.

Recovering in a community of survivors like MaleSurvivor is slowly restoring that balance to my life. And that is really a beautiful, though sometimes difficult, thing.

Thanks guys, for being here for me.


"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#42861 - 05/05/05 07:39 PM Re: Caring
LostinPA Offline

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 120
Loc: Lancaster, PA
I know just how you feel when you care so much it is volcanic with emotion. That proves your heart is enormous and you are indeed a shining spirit within humanity. BRAVO!!!!!!


#42862 - 05/06/05 03:21 AM Re: Caring
RICK57 Offline

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Danny - you did a good thing. If you hadn't been there and obtained the necessary support the end result could have been so different.

It sounds as though your neighbour has some issues that could be either depression or alzeimhers related.

Your actions made a difference for your neighbour - you're the type of neighbour that everyone needs.

Give yourself some praise - it's good to care about others, it's a shame that society in general does not care more.

Best wishes ..Rik

*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

#42863 - 05/06/05 03:36 AM Re: Caring
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1798
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Danny you really are one of the good guys. I know how difficult it is to not overextend and still do what's right.

Good for you!

#42864 - 05/06/05 05:18 AM Re: Caring
sophiesdad Offline

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
Don't be so hard on yourself. There are many ways that I go out of my way to help an elderly person, especially when they're alone. I think that it's a noble thing that you did. Sometimes we take someone under our wing who is in need. I would only hope that if I'm old and alone that someone like you would be around to help me.
I'll never forget a friend of mine tell me that the one thing she fears when she gets old that she'll become "invisible". It really made me think about the fact that a lot of old people do sort of disappear into the background.
Anyway, I think what you did was wonderful. If you feel that you're doing too much, you may back off a little. Let me ask you, did any part of it feel good - in other words did you feel a little bit proud of yourself that you helped another human being in need? Maybe the feelings welled up because of the wife being overbearing and almost to the point of abusive and maybe you empathized with the way he was treated all his life?
Anyway, maybe you can be able to "step back" and try to see where the feelings were coming from.
What you did for him shows that you are a wonderful and caring person.


There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

#42865 - 05/07/05 04:35 AM Re: Caring
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
you did everything you could, because you're that sort of guy. Don't deny it, it's the truth.

The old guy has a crack house one side and you on the other, hey - he's a lucky guy!


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#42866 - 05/07/05 09:34 PM Re: Caring
Bobby Offline

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 1287
Loc: Arizona
Danny, What you did was a wonderful thing. What a scary thing to grow old alone. What you said about caring and the discussion board rang a bell with me. Having come here and met so many wonderful and caring people has actually changed me. I like to think I was always a caring person, but, I don't know, I've just been changed in some way. I really am more sensitive to other people now...perhaps less cut off/defensive. So, many times here I am overwhelmed by the caring shown to me by men who are in so much pain themselves...I have been truly touched. I am not the same person who started writing here so many months ago. The warmth and kindness I have known here has done that...thank-you. Bobby

I'm healing now, and I wasn't sure I would.

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