Jean Gasho: Why I stopped being kind to relatives
By Jean Gasho | Just Jean |
Sometimes in life you become a victim of your own kindness. I am one of those people who have suffered greatly for my own kindness. I have always been too ‘nice’ and too kind for my own good.
Most people who have received my kindness in life have repaid me with cruelty.
When I first came into the UK as a teenager, I was getting a student bursary and I was also working as a carer, which was a very challenging job as I was only a young girl.
As soon as I landed in the UK and got a job, I started getting phone calls almost daily from my relatives in Zimbabwe.
I suddenly became their much loved relation. I would be given lists of designer clothes, perfumes and branded shoes. Each pay day I would take the list to town and buy things that I clearly could not afford. I would do so to keep my relatives in Zimbabwe happy. I would go to the post office every month, posting clothes and money. This was a huge responsibility and burden for a teenager. I also did this to buy acceptance and love.
When I was only 20, I worked countless hours to raise money for a relative to bring them to the UK.
I sent them the necessary documents and the money for a plane ticket.
That relative today is one of my greatest enemies, when I fall they rejoice the loudest. When I rise they hurt the most. Never once did they ever even utter the words, ‘thank you’, but I changed their life in a way nobody has ever done.
Each time I would go to Zimbabwe I would carry bags and bags of expensive branded clothes.
Some of the clothes I bought would be distributed to friends and I would go on Facebook only to see strangers carelessly posing and wearing my clothes. It was rather hurtful as I would have sacrificed financially to buy these clothes. When I would ask why they always asked for clothes as though they were desperate only to distribute the clothes, I would be viciously attacked.
Once I bought a relative clothes for their baby, I then went to Zimbabwe in the following months, and the relative told me that the baby never wore the clothes much as they were too small. I then visited their home before I returned to the UK, they were not expecting me and I found the baby wearing the clothes I had bought. Oh, the shame on their faces.
When I brought the clothes, some relatives would be angry with me for not buying them what they had specifically asked for.
I remember at one time bringing suitcases of clothes to Zimbabwe in which I was threatened, cursed and attacked for.
When I chose not to return to nursing and be a full time mother to my children, I faced the wrath of the relatives who were used to my monthly allowances. If anything they started to resent my children as they saw them as the reason why they were no longer receiving much money from me.
I brought another relative to the UK, sent them the documents they needed and again today they are my greatest enemy.
I have made sacrifices and crossed oceans for people who would never jump a puddle for me.
One day, a young woman who was a relative came to me asking for relationship advice. She had no legal papers in the UK and was dating a European man. Her problem was that the man was not committing and even though he knew that she was illegal in the UK, he wasn’t willing to marry her and help her out.
I told her to put her ego aside and tell the man straight that she needed the marriage so she could get her indefinite stay in the UK. She went and did all I had told her, the next day she was engaged.
The last day I ever spoke to her she told me that she had done everything I told her, ‘The wedding will be next month, you will be the first to get an invite Jean’, she told me.
To cut the long story short, I saw the wedding pictures on Facebook. She never spoke to me again even though the advice I gave her changed her life.
Again I once introduced a friend to one of my relatives after she had been cruelly dumped by her boyfriend. They went on to get married. To cut the long story short, shes the kind of person who would push me off a cliff if I was falling instead of giving me her helping hand.
So a few years ago I made a decision to stop being too kind for my own good. I have gone out of my way to create life changing breakthroughs for people who will never even celebrate my success.
Some people are like parasites in your life. They may be blood relations but they will be like blood sucking vampires instead, sucking life from you and will drain you and bleed you dry without mercy.
Its good to be kind, but when your kindness becomes your greatest weakness and you became a victim of it, its time to stop.
Sometimes its okay to be a little selfish. Sometimes its okay to put yourself first.
One of my English friends taught me this vital life lesson, she would see how much I was being painfully drained by everyone around me, always trying to help anything and anyone no matter what position I was in. The words, ‘no I can’t’ never existed in my vocabulary.
She would say to me, ‘Jean, you have to look after yourself and be kind to yourself first’.
When I chose to cut off these toxic people from my life and concentrate on my children alone, I saw myself excelling and reaching heights I had never reached before.
I was that kind of person who would always put other people first, unfortunately to my own peril and that of my children. My well-being and that of my children suffered greatly by me being too kind.
I once left my one year old baby for two weeks with ex in-laws who were not fit to look after my baby but I sacrificed my baby’s well being to fly to Africa to help an ill close relation. Today that relation will never even jump a puddle for me.
I will never again take the portion of my children and and give it to ungrateful ‘relatives’.
I do not help my relatives back in Zimbabwe, I have learnt this the hard way.
I am very careful on who I help and how I help
I do not send aid or money to relatives.
My priority in life is my children and my children alone.
If I am to help, I would rather help orphans and suffering people who do not have the capacity to be spiteful to me and stab me in the back.
If anything I am thankful for the vital life lessons each of these ‘relatives’ taught me.
Love can never be bought by money. If people are meant to love you, they will appreciate and love you even when you have never given them anything.
I do not care what bible verses I will be threatened with, kindness doesn’t always pay, more times we suffer awfully for it if we extend our acts of kindness to the wrong people.
I do not expect anything in return for my kindness, but I am not going to be kind to be taken advantage of.
For that reason I have stopped being kind to relatives.
You can visit Jean Gasho’s blog: Just Jean