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Gullible or Sane?

Updated on May 20, 2012
Photo by Marco Bellucci at Flickr
Photo by Marco Bellucci at Flickr | Source

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?

Have you ever felt you're too gullible?

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    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Good point perspycacious! Thanks for the comment. As long as you learn from your mistakes, it's ok. I did learn several things from this one!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      "Once fooled, shame on you. Fooled twice, shame on me." The next question: where were the initial instincts related to June, which Debbie (consummate liar though she was) was able to spin away? It seems there were two lessons you could take from this experience.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Daniel, thank you. I guess even the worst experiences in life are valuable if you learn from them. Thanks for the comments and for reading my hub.

    • profile image

      Daniel Peebles 5 years ago

      That is such an amazing story. I, too, trust what people tell me, and I have been burned in the past. But the great part is that you learned a lot about yourself through the whole ordeal, and have a better understanding of people. Your powers of discrimination and wisdom have risen up a few notches. Great storytelling. Great writing. Thank you!!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear catgypsy, June 4, 1:59 p.m.,

      You are VERY welcome. Your writing and hubs are FABULOUS. I mean that. Plus, you are right too about us not being by nature, liars. Its those, the liars, who we need to be on guard for.

      I also loved the artwork you chose for this hub.

      Keep up the great work.

      Love ya,

      Kenneth and Festus, two of your most-dedicated fans.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Thanks dear friend! I guess we all get taken in, but you wonder when you're going to be wise enough to not be. I guess that's what got me to delving into this. I think we just believe people because we aren't by nature liars ourselves.

      Thanks, as always, for reading my hubs!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest catgypsy,

      Marvelous hub. Then again, all of your hubs are great. I can easily relate to this one for over the course of my life, I cannot count the times I was taken in by someone somewhere selling or promoting something.

      I voted up and all the way. GREAT work, my Dear Friend.

      Sincerest Regards,


    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Thanks Cashmere. I did learn from this experience and that's always a plus! Thanks so much for the comment!

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 6 years ago

      Really interesting hub catgyspy. I'm sorry you had to go through such an odd experience such as that. It sounds like it's made you stronger and wiser though, more than you already were :) Great hub.