Had an interesting conversation recently. Because of the nature of this conversation and the following blog, I’m going to do my best to keep the identity of the person a secret, but they know who they are… so this one is for you.
The leftovers that are not consumed when one is done with the main meal. The remnants or pieces that are left behind when done with the main work. The excess or surplus.
I once commented on my time in the Navy with saying “It’s amazing what the human body is capable of adapting too.” in response to someone asking me how I could just get used to high seas, bad weather, and the general condition of military life. And it is. The human body is capable of so much more than we can even imagine. The mind even more so.
But what happens when you adapt to a situation so much that you start to believe that it is all you are worth. That the good life that others live, that the happiness that they enjoy, that the fulfillment that they achieve is just for them. That you are not worth the time, the effort, or love. When you think that the best you deserve is scraps.
The part that sucks about this mind-set is that you get accustomed to it. A player who sits on the bench, desiring to play, soon becomes happy just being able to sit on the bench, their mindset being one of, “At least I get to wear the uniform” or “At least I’m on the team.” Inside a more intimate relationship, the person starts to feel more like, “I’m not good enough for better,” “This is the best I can do,” or even worse, “I deserve this.”
Then comes the real suck. Not only have you finally decided to accept the scraps, thinking somehow it can’t get better than this, you start to feel guilty because you aren’t happy with it. This is where the slope turns more downward and the slipperiness increases ten fold. When the guilt starts, you question everything. Why you are in the relationship, how can you make it better, how can things get fixed, and whether or not you really do deserve better. Another great one that shows up is the thought, “what about the other person and what they are going through?” The guilt slowly tickles at the back of your brain, feeding into your already destructive mental pattern, whispering to you about how horrible of a person you are for even thinking those things or holding that other person to such a high expectation. You begin to encourage yourself to ‘stick with it’ or ‘push through’, building that false hope that things will get better… one day.
You hold on, because the guilt acts like cement. You dig in, because you know it can’t be this way forever. You shut your mouth, because you know it will only makes things worse. You stop asking for more, because you know you will only be disappointed. You hunker down into survival mode. You settle.
And scraps become the main course.
It’s a horrible place for a person to live. Nope.. not live. Exist. Because the reality is, you aren’t living here, you are just existing. Bouncing between struggling to accept what is given and feeling guilty about wanting things to change, you somehow make it through to another day, setting your sights on the thought that tomorrow is going to be better even though you know it won’t.
It’s a depressing cycle. Probably because it is a form of depression (I’m not a psycho-person, so I won’t say it is or it isn’t). I do know it sucks being in this cycle from personal experience (no, I’m not the friend I referenced earlier, I just can totally relate).
For me… when I am here feeling like all I get are the scraps, I hold on to what I know to be truth. Most often, what feel like scraps tend to be miscommunications or the hecticness of life. Sometimes, it truly is the other persons fault, not being intentful toward you or being so wrapped up in themselves that they just overlook you.
I don’t have the answers. Wish that I did. I’m not so sure there are any pat answers when it comes to this kind of stuff. I’m not really sure who Pat is either or why she gives answers to stuff.
So, I guess the reason for writing this is to bring to light that there are people who are living on scraps, who think it is all they are worth, who think that it’s the best they are going to get. If you are the person living on scraps, hang on. There are others out there just like you, trying to figure it out too. If you are, however, the person causing someone else to feel this way, I hope this at least makes you stop and realize you are doing it. If not…well…
May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits until you do.