Compassionate Boundaries: Refuse Blame (Seventh of Series)

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, and abuse (c)2013  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry 

SONY DSCStanding on Chelsy’s doorstep was her new acquaintance, Kaye. “May I borrow $20?” Kaye said.

“Ummm, sure. Just a minute.” Chelsy rationalized that Kaye must need the money or else would never ask her. She handed over the cash.

“Ill pay you back!” Kaye said as she ran to her car.    

Months later, the debt yet unpaid, the two women stood in the church where they had first met.  Chelsy heard Kaye say,  “Over there are some visitors. Fresh meat.”

Kaye wandered toward the unsuspecting couple. She regaled them with her sad story. “I’m divorced and have no car. My landlord evicted me because I can’t pay rent and feed my children too.”

Awkward replies of sympathy preceded Kay’s inevitable question. “Will you lend me $20?”

Chelsy watched in horror. She too had once been “fresh meat.” Since then, truth had found its way to the top of Kaye’s heap of lies and exaggerations. Turned out, Kaye will not seek work because she did not like her old job. She totalled her car driving recklessly. Her children attend private school on a benevolence scholarship. The  eviction was due to destruction of property, not overdue rent.

Kaye returned. Chelsy’s $20 loan clearly forgotten, she said, “They wouldn’t help me out. Some people just want to keep you down, you know?” 

One healthy boundary is refusing to take blame for another person’s poor choices.  Most people understand that, and hence Kaye’s need for “fresh meat.”

Discernment about when and how to become involved in a person’s life grows out of knowledge and insight. There’s no need for mindreading; all we have to do is ask.  Financial boundaries for example, probably have black and white bottom lines. In the same way, we can develop policies of sorts to help us avoid emotional responses to false guilt.

Nothing much in this world will fall apart because we take the time to pray and think before deciding  to become involved. 


Other posts in this series: Friendship (1) ; God’s Example (2)Values and Family (3) ; Self-Care (4) ;  How to Say No (5) ; Motives Beware! (6)Refer to Experts (8)  ; How to Say Yes (9)



NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.


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