I have invited vacuum cleaner salesmen into my home with the promise of a new t.v. or a trip to Disneyland and when I didn't purchase the vacuum, I didn't even receive the 'free' knife set!
I have bought weight loss plans that promised magic weight loss and the only thing that got lighter was my wallet.
I thought, smugly, that I was beyond getting tricked, hooked, hoodwinked. I can spot a 'too-good-to- be-true' a mile away. Wrong! I just fell in a trap...again.
The feelings that arise from these experiences are, for me: Anger - How dare they! Humiliation - I can't believe I fell for that. Guilt - I should have read the (really) fine print and ultimately sadness followed by wisdom (hopefully!). Now that I'm older and have 'enjoyed' these experiences before, I cycle through these emotions faster. My current 'incident' is not a 'huge' thing in the big picture that is life, but that is an 'earned' perspective too.
At the root of all of these experiences, as I see it, has been hope, some may even say naivete - a wanting to believe. I sincerely want there to be gold at the end of the rainbow. I want there to be shortcuts, a pill that will fix it, him to be 'the one.'
The sad part is that the shysters that market slyly to this part of me, to us as people, make it a heck of a lot harder for those that have something of real value to sell.
Am I a victim? At one time I would have said 'yes, absolutely!' Now, I don't think I am or have been a victim. I entered into these 'agreements' somewhat like one might enter a pool - head first, eyes open, feet first, eyes closed, but at the end, you're in the pool. At some point I chose - I entered. A victim is one who has no position to negotiate, no power, no choices - they are vulnerable and dependent on others for their survival. The rest of us chose to participate in the scam somewhere along the line.
So, what did I learn this time? I learned that I am a 'believer,' that there are no guarantees, that not everyone (very few in fact) have my best interests in mind. Should I be cynical, paranoid, bitter? How about optimistic, forgiving, resilient? Well, that and more, is for me to choose.