Nothing and I do mean nothing upsets me more then when a person is taken for granted. I hate it when I see someone verbally and emotionally abused by an ungrateful recipient. The most common people taken for granted are nurses, doctors, and caretakers. It drives me nuts when someone just expects that someone will take care of their needs. Yes, a nurse and caretaker are paid to do a job, that doesn't mean they don't deserve our respect and be grateful for everything they do for us.
Sometimes though caretakers do these jobs more out of love then for money. I speak from experience. I've written in Damaged Merchandise about being a caretaker for my ex-wife as she battled with breast cancer. I gladly did it. “Through sickness and health.”
There came a time though that medically the sickness ended, yet it didn't die. There are some people for whatever reason don't want to get better. I can understand it. Last year I got to be on a first name basis with numerous nurses and doctors. They saw me at my worse and they also saw me get healthy and get strong.
It was at this point that I could return to being sick and stay the center of attention or I could stay the course, stay healthy, and start living life again. I was treated so wonderfully when I was sick. I had people who would shave me, bring me meals, help me shower… they were there for everything I needed. My wonderful girlfriend, now my wife, waited patiently by her phone and twice a day, I would text her asking her to call me. We'd talk for 20 minutes and by the end I was ready to go back to sleep.
She never complained that I was interfering in her life. Whatever she was doing, she'd stop and take time to talk to me. It still puts a tear in my eye. It was so beautiful and something I still cherish and never took it for granted.
I look back at that time and know that the best gift I gave to this wonderful lady and to the nurses and doctors was to get better. To not stay a victim, looking for sympathy for what happened to me.
In reality, what happened to me was a wonderful miracle. I got to see how much I was loved, not by people I expected but from others who genuinely showed concern for me. And to this day, none of it has been taken for granted.
I think anyone who has been taken for granted can appreciate how special people can be and how much they can help if we have the humility and the gratitude to let it happen. It's those two traits that separate the wonderful souls from the toxic dead beings that always want more.
When I think of being taken for granted one story always comes right to the front. It was over ten years ago. It was the winter and at the time I lived in the country, there was huge snowstorm and I couldn't go to work. So I started shoveling snow. The driveway was 40 feet long and 20 wide, plus all the sidewalks. On a good day, I could do it in about 45 minutes. But this day, the snow was wet, heavy, and one foot deep. I took a couple of breaks and had it done in two and a half hours. I went inside to warm up and was greeted with just one question. “Did I get the mail?”
Our mail came to a post office box that was about five blocks away. No way was I walking down there and until just recently I couldn't even get the car out of the garage. I really felt like whatever I did, it wasn't enough. I had become a very codependent caretaker. My confidence was gone and self-respect left along with it. All because I was taken for granted.
It is a very touchy subject to me. The gifts that are given, that are never acknowledged, no thank you's – nothing. These same people then get upset when the gifts stop. Where did these toxic people come from?
This holiday season show your gratitude… don't let anyone even think they are taken for granted. You don't need to give that special someone an expensive gift… just let them know they are a valuable part of your life.