Friday, February 10, 2006

No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't." --Eleanor Roosevelt
When it comes to online activities, I've always been more of a "giver" than a "taker." There are some trolls and bottom feeders online who come to a site, suck everything they can out of volunteer posters and never give back to the community.

I have always gone the other way. I am a giver, not a taker. Sure, I love it when I pose a question on 2+2 and get some great responses. But mostly, I'm the one giving responses, not the one asking for more. Some bottom feeders suck the blood out of a turnip, then never return.

I've been on the Internet for over ten years now. I've given quite a bit of myself to the online world, at large. I am extremely candid, and blunt to a fault. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates this.

Seven years ago I gave, gave, gave to several medical forums. After almost five years of this, and a lot of heartache, barely getting anything in return, I gave up. I walked away. I still get e-mails periodically from someone claiming I "saved their life." It doesn't seem that they could possibly be talking about me, I am so detached from the situation today. It's almost like I was another person.

Unfortunately, these acute medical condition communities seem to be populated with bottom feeders. They were just never happy. They complained, whined and cried. They took and took, then whined some more, no matter how much the "givers" helped. The chronically ill, unfortunately, seem to be weak individuals. I don't know if they were born that way, or if being ill for so long has taken the life out of them, and they simply have no spine. They cannot do for themselves, they expect everything to be done for them.

Moving from this type community to the serious poker community was a boom for me. What a switcheroo! I was constantly surrounded by "strong" individuals. Sure, there were still trolls and bottom feeders. I still "gave" more than I ever got back, but at least these people had real, strong, willful personalities. They listened! They actually respected my advice and gave back! Wow.

Lately, I have gotten involved in a community that I should have never involved myself with. They are weak; pathetic really. They suck the life out of me. They take, take, take and never give anything in return. They are mostly people with extremely fragile personalities. They need to be coddled and told how great they are at all times. If I dare say how I feel (which is all the time), they flame me all over the Internet and write hate mail. This, after having ASKED me what I thought.

So I'm making some changes. These people are not in my life anymore. I should have done it a long time ago, but a few individuals in their community are actually wonderful, strong human beings.

I have never been able to function well with an albatross hanging around my neck. I don't do well with weak people. Not only do they not get my humor, and think I'm putting them down all of the time, but they think that every reference to something negative, no matter how trivial, is all about them.

They've been bringing me down for the last two years and I should never have let it get this far. I should have cut them off long ago.

Two Plus Two has always been a fantastic outlet for me. I actually like the way it is run and the core group. Mason, David, Dr. Al, Ray, Mat and so many others have been a godsend to my life. Instead of giving back 100% of myself in return for their friendship, I have actually been giving myself to the albatross, the monkey hanging on my back.

The same goes for the pro circuit players I have met over the past two years. I could have helped people like Max, Ted, Barry, Shirley and John so much more if I hadn't felt this horrible obligation.

Just two weeks ago I was at Commerce and talking to people who really try to help me in every way possible. "You need a buy-in? Just say the word..." Those are the people I should be aligning myself with, not this horrible dead weight.

The fact is, I DON'T need the buy-in, but I love it that there are people who actually BELIEVE in me, instead of putting me down at every opportunity.

I sat down with John Cernuto at Commerce every day that I was there. I rubbed his back when he was stuck. I sat behind him and cheered him on. We talked about his recent gastric bypass operation and how he was feeling weak and lethargic. I recommended a certain type of protein that he hadn't tried yet, and how to mix it with cold coffee or have Starbucks make it in their machine (paying for the shots of espresso, of course), in order to keep his blood sugar stable, yet give him the energy and life that he needs at this time.

Talking to him, and others, who actually give BACK, made me realize that I have let the leeches take over my life. And suck the life out they did.

Suddenly at Commerce I realized that I need to be giving to back to these people. I know that three of them actually needed my help while I was there. They sought me out for advice or even just to give me pointers for play. These people are giving, as well as taking, and I need to be able to give back.

It's unfortunate that the weak minded people in the world drag down the strong ones. But that is the way it is. I've made this declaration about three times now in the past year, but always I've gone back to helping the leeches during a large part of my time. No more.

I won't explain myself or try to justify myself to the ones who can't be strong anymore. I won't constantly remind you that I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking about myself, when I seem overly critical or harsh.

You won't drag me down anymore, because I won't stoop to your level.


"Integrity is a good shield" --James Michener