Gullible or Sane?
Which Am I?
I recently got involved in a disturbing situation. I became friends with my neighbor and her daughter. June, the mother, my neighbor, is in her seventies and her daughter, Debbie, lives in the same town and is my age (in our fifties). I genuinely liked both of them very much and June and I watched out for each other and helped each other out.
To try to make a very long story short, as time went on and we became better friends, Debbie started telling me things about her mother that were not very pleasant. Things she had done to her as a child, things she was doing now and things she complained about. All this was going on while her mother was spending time out of town, with her son, who was very ill. Debbie was so upset about her brother being ill that she was having extra trouble dealing with her mother's actions.
Ok, here's where the gullible part comes in. I fell for her stories hook, line and sinker! I had no reason to believe she was lying and felt terrible for her. So much so, that her mother and I stopped being friends. Her brother passed away and things got even worse. While all this was going on, Debbie tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of pills. I got so wrapped up in trying to help her that I listened to all her stories and complaints.
Let's cut to the end. I eventually realized that things she was telling me just didn't add up. I started to doubt her stories and also began to feel used. She was such a proficient liar that it took me awhile to realize this. Her mother and I had a long talk and became friends again. When Debbie called and asked me to lie to her mother for her, I said no. I had decided I had to choose "sides" and chose June. As time went on, I learned that Debbie had always been a huge problem in the family, that she thrived on drama and attention, to an unhealthy level. She attempted suicide again just recently and is now officially "mentally unstable" and going to a psychiatrist.
When I realized how taken in I had been, I couldn't believe I was that gullible. I never fall for scams, I'm very cautious about things and am not easily fooled. As my brother likes to say, "I was born at night, but not last night." I felt like a fool and worse, that I had underestimated my ability to not be conned. I was gullible! I had been completely fooled by a very clever con artist. How could this happen to me?
But a funny thing happened in the middle of all this beating myself up. I had the thought that I could never think the way Debbie was thinking. I am, above all, not a liar and would never even begin to tell such stories. My mind would never go there. I firmly believe that when someone lies to that extent, they are mentally disturbed. So maybe I wasn't so gullible as I was just sane, for lack of a better word. My mind was not in that sick place. I couldn't realize she was lying because my mind doesn't work that way. It was a foreign thought to me, one I just never considered anyone would do.
It's the same thing as watching the horror stories on the news about people doing unimaginable things and you wonder how anyone could do something so horrific. I finally realized that any sane person could not possibly ever understand that kind of mind. Our minds just can't go there. So the next time you feel gullible, think about it for a moment. Are you truly gullible or just sane?