Need wears many faces. It is usually, or many times does become, also a form of control. One’s health is the primary need which binds and ties those around us in a daily dance of ‘helping’ ‘caregiving’ or assisting the needy one in doing what it is that they’ve chosen to do.
It seems that it’s just an accident – health has been damaged, there’s been an accident, someone has some type of deficiency physically or mentally. Often enough it is the actions of the needy one which has brought on the condition; and it is ALWAYS the series of life choices, occasionally destiny, which has landed them where they are in a position which must be constantly supported by others. Then those unfortunate enough to be around get locked in to some type of servitude, whether or not there’s been (or can be) any free choice in the matter.
An indentured servant. Unpaid most of the time, unless there’s a power play about housing or support. Interdependence often forms an inequity of roles . . . one or more doing most of the giving to the central figure in the scenario. A feeling of usefulness may become frayed to the breaking point -- tattered and torn -- after many months/years of expectations and demands with time and life energy going only toward the taker's requirements.
This is a severe, widespread life condition and someone must lose the larger part of their life to the cause. Clearly seeing this is not so easy at times, as it morphs into many different forms, especially if the ‘user’ is clever at setting the situation up and executing it well.
Being helpful is great. Doing for others is divine. Caregiving is so essential . . . even at best, this entire country at least has marginally efficient techniques/solutions for most of it. What to do?
If you are the giver, do be aware that your role is that of servant. Now, spiritual guides tell us that this is required of us, to be a fully good human being. Are there limits? Should there be guidelines which take into account the quality of life of the giver, as well as the taker? Is the taker not only infirm and needy, but controlling? How can this be determined and what questions do we ask to accomplish that?
It’s a life conundrum. Whether you are the giver or the taker, continued happiness, safety, comfort and quality of life depends on understanding exactly the position currently occupied, and remaining clear about the well-being of all parties concerned.