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Radical Kindness

I was watching “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” last night, about the life of Fred Rogers (of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood television fame) and it struck me what a revolutionary Mr. Rogers was.

Maybe it’s the divisive awful times we’re living in, but to see someone preach kindness and live kindness was positively radical.

It’s easy to snark about Mr. Rogers — where to begin — the zip-up sweaters? the moldy puppets? the trolley car? — but there is something completely disarming about a person who was boldly, unashamedly kind.

And NOT the goopy kind of kind, of platitudes and “bless-your-heart-ish-ness” — REAL kindness. Being present with someone. Having hard conversations. There’s Fred Rogers discussing assassination in 1968. There’s Fred Rogers discussing divorce — decades before the conscious uncoupling and the Don’t Tell the Children diktats of modern psych. There’s Fred Rogers sharing a foot bath with a black man in an age of segregation.

So what does any of this have to do with our Fun Friday Challenge? Well, at the end of the film they ask people to think of someone in their life who was kind to them, who accepted them, who encouraged them. Some people tear up, some people smile. And I thought, I NEED A KINDNESS REPORT TODAY.

You out there in the field, report back some kindness in your life. Kindness you witnessed, kindness you performed, kindness someone showed you. It can be random, it can be your grandmother. Heck, maybe your co-worker bought you a muffin. Tell me about it.

Today, when everything feels a fucktangle of injustice, let’s honor Mr. Rogers. Who’s got some goodness to share?

TGIF!

Ask Chump Lady

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  • One of my best friends recently searched out and found homes for four little dogs belonging to an elderly neighbor who had to move into a care home. She went above and beyond, and my heart swells with love for what she did. Not only did she help four sweet doggos who were losing their entire universe; she also helped to put to rest the worries of the elderly woman who had to give up her beloved companions. That’s some radical kindness right there.

    • where to begin?

      Since the DOCTOR left me after I had encephalitis and was cognitively impaired, my older children drove 4 hours north along with 2 of my sisters who flew across the country to CA and they all packed me up to move to the east coast.

      Yet another sister’s husband drove me across country with my dog in a moving van, and I moved in with her for 4 months while trying to heal. I was shocked by the DOCTOR’s cruelty (one example was his posting on FB about dating “the love of his life” just WEEKS after separation from his wife of 35 years and before I knew we were really divorcing…).

      So as shitty as he was – and I am STILL surprised by it – I was helped by my family, and my children and some very close friends who let me vent for a year…

      Finally, my THERAPIST – I’ve had some in the past (I realize only now that literally all of the therapy I got over the years was due to my marriage not meeting almost any of MY Needs, and my struggle to stay happy despite a selfish dishonest man as a spouse. I just didn’t see it, I was ALL IN and loved him or who I thought he was.

      Only with a smart, articulate therapist was I able to see how little I had been getting from my marriage and she’s the one who asked me this question – **

      OF ALL THE THINGS YOU FEEL YOU’VE LOST FROM THE MARRIAGE’S END, (eg travel abroad, live in another country, have a lovely home and actively be in the future grand children’s lives, write, ETC)

      WHAT CAN YOU STILL DO OR HAVE, IN SOME FORM??

      THIS^^^^ was the most valuable question for me to answer.

      I went back to school to get a teaching credential and now I’m living in Europe teaching English and I’d never have been able to do this if I were still married to the DOCTOR>

      I now see I’d never get the “turn” I was promised. He would always have gotten all the turns.

      My THERAPIST has made me see this^^^ and other hard truths. These are the things that remind me that despite a badly broken heart and a neurological setback, recovery is possible AND I’m starting to let reality sink in, that I am better off now than I would have been if we had stayed married.

      What I thought I was losing with the divorce, were in fact, mostly things I’d never have gotten.

      So now at least, I I’M TAKING MY TURN and love teaching and love living in Europe.

  • I was already divorced, but still crying and seeing a therapist nearly 2 years out. The therapist was a poor fit, but I was such a mess I didn’t realize it then. After a particularly bad morning session, sobbing, I drove to work, wanting to drive into an 18 wheeler. My co-workers saw how distraught I was, and as a recovery room nurse, they actually had me sit out the day, and they took care of all the patients. When I got home and called up a friend, she had her dog “play” the dog’s little piano and “sing” to me. That totally made me laugh and cheered me up. And I quit the therapist.

    • For the flip side of a therapy story…
      My therapist saved my life. She continues to push and pull me through my post-divorce depression towards a life worth living. Over the past 8 years, she has made herself available to me nights and weekends and over her vacations. When my sons were worried about me, she met with them (with my permission) to come up with a plan for all of us. She has made me face some very hard truths and doesn’t let me squirm out of uncomfortable discussions but it is all done with such gentleness and kindness. Her caring has allowed me to realize I am worthy of love. To have someone cheer you through your highs and totally support you during the low times is the best gift anyone can offer.

      I was blessed to have another person who demonstrated kindness throughout this process. My (second) lawyer went above and beyond kindness when my broken, torn but angry-as-hell soul needed a reminder that there were amazing people out there.
      She was a bulldog attorney with a heart of gold.
      She protected me, didn’t take anyone’s crap, held my hand, put in endless hours without fees and wouldn’t settle for anything less than she thought I deserved.
      At the final hallway negotiation, when we were all but done with a great settlement, she abruptly told me not to sign. She went to the other side of the hallway, came back and said “You just got an extra $75K because I decided you and your kids deserve a vacation…now you can sign!”.

      After cutting out anyone on the fence between me and Switzerland, my friends are the greatest cheerleaders I could imagine. Their kindness and patience continues to be the earth beneath my feet!

        • Recommendations are the best way to thank someone like her. She has done the same for every person I have sent to her.
          She isn’t kind and fair and fights for her clients – that is why she is so well-respected.

      • I’d love a Friday challenge/ question about what was the best exercise, question or book – besides Chump Lady – from either a therapist or anyone else who provided a therapeutic role in your life.

  • My brother and his wife. My mom has a plethora of health issues and can be a difficult personality. I’m 7 hours away by plane and my brother is a 10 hour drive. Two years ago, my brother and his wife drove 10 hours to pick my mom and her medical equipment up. They then proceeded to drive from Colorado to the redwood forest. Hours on the road. At each stop, they assisted my mom. At the end of the trip they dropped my mom at home and drove 10 hours home. They drove a couple thousand miles just so my mom could see the redwood forest.

    • That is so beautiful, Out West!! What precious people your brother and his wife are! And to have them show that tenderness is, well……for once I am speechless.

      The reason your account touched me so deeply, is that I am over 700 miles away from my elderly parents and I am not in a position to move to be with them. Or even visit. It is my brother who lives with them and is their caregiver. It allows them to stay in their own home (of 40 years) and have a pretty full life. If not for him caring for them, I do not know what I would do. And, he does it willingly, kindly and without any resentment.

      He is also a chump, divorced for many years from the devil herself! His account would make all the chumps here hate her for him! What he went through actually makes my situation look like a walk in the park.

      So, I guess that is my kindness story for today. Having a fellow chump brother so lovingly, willingly and kindly care for our parents when I am not able.

      Love all the accounts of kindness this great Nation is sharing today.
      Kindly ForgeOn!

      • Forge On
        And that brings us to the crux of life. Love for those we love. Many hugs to you and your brother

  • At my local post office, a employee said, everyone deserves to be happy, my exs Swedish friends fell for his crap, they knew he drank too much, snorted too much, never brought the kids anything. Still they stuck up for him. Some people realise the truth, shame on the rest. Actually my daughters school, think I’m a amazing mum, said I’m incredible.

  • In my darkest days of divorce, my neighbor that I barely know cut my lawn without saying a thing; the couple across the street shoveled my snow; my friends sent me books on how to cook and what to do when things fall apart; and flowers; and another friend invited me into a circle of women who meet every week for breakfast–they have become my tribe. I saw a whole new level of kindness and realized it was one of my ex’s glaring deficiencies. When I started dating this was precisely the quality I looked for and found, in a man, who glows with it.

    • Thank goodness for people who show those levels of kindness in our darkest hours, as it tends to balance out the sheer selfishness of those that we depended on in the first place. As I read about the acts of kindness that you have received, I am reminded of all of the kindness that I have been shown. <3

  • My 85 year old dad. When I went through my divorce, he came and stayed with me to shield me from my awful X, as X would not leave marital home. Dad hugged me when I cried and told me it would be ok. He is my hero.

  • My roommate in college. A defensive lineman who made running backs scared to death on Saturday. He had the image of the Ultimate Badass…..but he was a teddy bear.

    He had the kindest heart for children. When the Girl Scouts sold cookies, if there were 3 girls he bought 3 boxes. 12 girls….he bought 12 boxes. He became a wonderful math teacher.

    Cancer took him away at age 38. At his funeral it was spoken: “If a child needed a pair of shoestrings, he bought them a pair of shoes.”

  • A much younger colleague caught me weeping in the bathroom and didn’t press for details – just handed me a tissue, gave me a hug and said, “I’ll pay for a round of drinks or dinner if it will help.”

  • My mom passed away much too soon and quite unexpectedly. She was the backbone to our family and LOVED her grandchildren more than air. My son has no grandparents now and an Uncle Dad for a co-parent.

    Luckily, my next door neighbor is a retired guidance counselor and has become a great friend. Without a word, during my divorce, she stepped in and let me lean on her like I would a Mom and she always makes my son feel like he has a special “granmom neighbor”… she remembers his birthday, she picks him up from school when its raining… and she brings me flowers when she knows I’m having a hard day as a single mom.

    Can’t imagine my life without this special lady and neighbor. Thinking I’ll tell her today and get her some flowers “just because”.

    There are angels among us.

  • They’ve been having trouble with the office temps and had been excruciatingly cold for a week. My new husband came home with a heated throw blanket to keep me warm at work. Never had anyone done anything so thoughtful in my life!! You’re right CL, there ARE good ones out there.

  • A moment of kindness that will never leave me – when a male friend, driving me to a post office during the worst devalue/discard time, opened and held our garden gate for me. Such a tiny thing but it almost made me cry as I hadn’t felt seen or respected for some time. It taught me that even the tiniest kindnesses can make an incredible difference to someone’s day.

  • I have a friend who turned out to be the first one to follow me on Instagram and Twitter… I can’t remember how we got in touch, but she is an avid hiker… tests products for ultra-light camping… a die hard. She quit her job to hike the Appalachian Trail. She’s hiked the trail of Jesus from Nazareth to Bethlehem, she’s presently planning a trip up Mount Everest.

    We were to meet up when she was on a hike through Glacier National Park and I’d planned to join her for some of it on The Continental Divide Trail…And then the ex blew up my life. She ended up not going to Glacier anyway and I ended up looking for a full tome job… for which I still receive no bennies let alone paid vacation.

    Shortly after is when she went to the Holy Land. I asked her to light a candle for me at the tomb of Jesus and to please say a prayer for me there.

    She not only did that, but sent me the candles that were lit. We barely know each other… and she did that.

  • My beloved elderly neighbor. She was out on her porch when I pulled into my driveway after losing my job almost 20 years ago. I went over to her and broke down crying and she hugged and comforted me. As the coming months went on she would have her grandson mow my yard. One of the many kind things she did through all the years.
    It is now almost the two years anniversary that she has been passed away. I think about her all the time and I miss her terribly. People who are good and have a positive effect on your life are always with you.

    • “People who are good and have a positive effect on your life are always with you.” Thank you for that reminder. I needed that today.

  • I have said it many times, on many posts in the past, that kindness is the most important thing in the whole wide world to me. My Mother taught it to me, on her knee, as a very young child, indeed, as a newborn. She continued to demonstrate this gift to me from her wheelchair, which, because of a childhood illness, she was confined to for many years of her life.
    Thank you CL, for giving me an opportunity to relate some favourite thoughts on KINDNESS.
    My Mother taught it to me, and Jepp Tess showed it to me.
    When I first mustered up the courage to do a first posting here, in CN, Jepp Tess reached out to me, even offering to make personal email contact with me through Tempest. ( I am always thankful to Tempest).
    As a Chump, who alone, carried everything of the pain of betrayal, that DDay excruciating, and all that goes with it, shit stuff pain, on coming here, to be offered someone’s heart in how Jepp Tess reached out to me, well that is beyond kindness.
    Thank you Jepp Tess, thank you Tempest, thank you CN.
    Thank you CL, for making all this possible.
    As usual, I can’t say enough about kindness ( and respect)!
    CN.YOU.GOT.IT
    👍❤️👍

    • Peacekeeper, a few months back I responded to a post in CN forums, I can’t remember what I posted.
      You also posted a response on the same forum an you mentioned me in your post, and it brought me to tears. You said I was thoughtful, it was so nice to hear. Thank you,
      I alway enjoy reading your posts even before you said those kind words.

    • I would like to give a HUGE shoutout to Peacekeeper as a source of kindness: there were dozens of times that she supported me in the forum. A kind word of validation and empathy made all the difference in the past three years to meh.

      I try 24/7 to pay it forward.

      Love to you my dear friend😘😘😘

      • Hear hear!!!! She is a peacemaker/ peacekeeper.

        I too, have been a recepient of her kindness and good will!

        🍻🍸🍺🥂🥃🍷🍹🍸

        • Dear Brit,
          Dear MotherChumper99,
          Dear kintsugi,

          I am an easy “crier”
          True words, and , today, on reading your kind words to me, kleenex sales are way up.
          I have not posted many replies lately due to overwhelming family happenings.
          BUT, each one of us Chumps have overwhelming life happenings, every person in the world does. Just the way life is.
          To be able to come to a place of harmony, peace, and love, well that in itself is a miracle, a true miracle.
          The fact that kindness and respect dwell in this special place is such a blessing to me.
          I feel overwhelmed with your KINDNESS.
          Thank you!
          ❤️❤️❤️

    • I envy you, peacekeeper. My mother is a disordered alcoholic and neither kindness nor forgiveness were in her vocabulary/wheelhouse.

      • unicornomore,
        I am so sorry that your mother possessed those traits.
        I read your posts. YOU are a true inspiration to all CN.
        It was never easy for you. The overwhelming obstacles you have overcome, the difficulties, the unfair happenings your life has encountered, still, you have come out a very very strong person.
        I know you are a professional in a demanding, critical care area of nursing. Your life has a deep meaning.
        I am so happy you have met and married a remarkable man who appreciates you for the remarkable woman that you are.
        How sad that your mother, ( and your first husband), missed your exceptional character. Truly, their loss.
        I always respect and admire you unicornomore.
        I also worked in the nursing profession and I know you and I would be very close if I had been lucky to work along side you.
        Sending you many hugs,
        peacekeeper

        • Peacekeeper, thank you for your kind words. There are moments when I look at my life and the sucking black hole that exists in the spot where I might otherwise have memories of sharing life with people threatens to suck me into it, but then I remember I only have a part of the single life I was given left and know there is nothing to be gained from dwelling any more on that, but it did hurt so much.

          There have been times when I was sad to reflect that they didnt like me but then I reminded myself that they didnt even know me.

          I bet we would have been chums if we had shared some 12 hour shifts. It feels good to be understood.

          • Oh when I said “single life” I meant that we each only get one single life to live, not that Im single…like you said, I have been blessed with a companion for this part of my journey…he is a silly goose, so he suits me well.

            Now that my life is good, I find that younger women at work who have no idea of my history often get snippy in ways that indicate petty jealousy…if they only knew what I went through to get here

            • ((((unicornomore)))),
              (Hoping this makes some sense),
              (this is one nurse to another nurse talk, and I do not mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. Please forgive me if I do, I am sorry).
              I just had to reply to you that I hope these younger women never have to find out what you and I and others on CN have lived through and survived.
              Nowadays if something like this happens to them they are not of a generation who would feel they have to keep everything inside and keep striving to make things right.
              I am just trying to say there is so much more acceptance and so much more help for people who reach out. There is even a CL, CN.
              I am NOT saying it is easy for a new Chump now days. No way, is it ever easy.no way.
              As a Chump who confided in no one I just believe it has to be easier to a degree anyway.
              Unicornomore, having worked in many different hospitals and critical care areas in my path, as I am sure you have also, we have met with some very strong and opinionated people. Deep friendships are formed in the nursing profession, especially on those long 12 hour night shifts. When I meet family of a fellow work mate I often tell them, ” I know all about you.” We mostly have love and respect for each other, but being human we have those who understand more and those who get it and are kinder than some others.
              i do understand what you are saying. Just smile, stay firm, and hope these younger nurses will never have to survive what you have lived through.
              💞

  • A good friend flew up and spent three days with me before, during and after the divorce mediation. I so appreciated the support during that really rough time.

  • Me. *I* am kinder. I was softened by my experience. I mean, I’m still petty af, but I can really be with others in their pain and struggle. The kind of pain that people try to talk you out of or run away from. I’m present. I’m who I needed.

    • “I’m who I needed.” … That’s awesome! It’s a good thing for all of us here to keep in mind in the future. Though we may not be able to pay it forward in Super Woman style like CL has done, remembering that even if we each can make the difference in just one other person”s life who’s going through the infedility saga (even for just a day, or even a moment) by being who we needed when we were at that stage, the world will be a better place! Thanks Ms Mechete!!!

  • I can only think of one done for me… something someone did from the kindness of who they were, without any outside motivation and not for themselves in some way:

    December 2001

    My fiance (first boyfriend, we were in college) and I were not doing well. He was a confused, depressed man-child and couldn’t handle any adversity. We weren’t good for each other and fed off each other’s struggles and depression. His family could tell. The tension was palpable. His mother was hating me for not lifting him up and told me I was selfish for dealing with my own stuff instead. Her quiet mouse of a husband would sort of calm her during her rants, touching her arm just-so and almost-inaudibly telling her to be more gentle. I lived on my own, was going to school, had three jobs, and had just enough gas to get me to/from my 3rd job until my next payday… and that pay was spoken for.

    On my way to work, at 5am (ski resort from 5-8am, first class at 9am, half an hour away), an ENORMOUS deer jumped in front of my car, bashing everything up so badly that I could barely even see out of my windshield… and I’m damn near 6′ tall. My hood was basically a pup-tent, fluids were pouring out, and everything was smoking. I was able to limp it the 1/4 mile left to the resort, where the grooming crew stopped all the leaks and sort of straightened my hood. Very nice of them… but they did it because the pervy foreman wanted in my pants.

    At the end of my shift, I saw my fiance’s father standing by my car with a tow truck. He said he’d have my car towed to a shop in their village and brought me to school. He didn’t say a word; he just asked me when he should pick me up and turned on the radio.

    Later that day, he brought me to the shop, where they had my car functional. They said it won’t ever pass inspection again and you might not be driving it for more than another month, but it will get you around if you’re careful and do x, y, and z to it before you drive it anywhere. They told me that my almost-FIL had apparently spent all day working on it in the shop, doing what would be illegal if the shop guys did it (but the owner was a friend of his) so the bill would be just for parts. It came to $40 and change and I STILL didn’t have even that. They said he thought that might happen and so, they’d bill him. When I pulled into their driveway, he met me at the door and said, simply, to not tell the family what he’d done. They didn’t know he’d not gone to work… he’d just been passing by on the way to a job site, saw my car smoking in the street, and had spent the entire day helping me.

    His son broke up with me just a few days later. Fiance’s mother had spent weeks trying to convince him to break it off. Fiance’s father, of course, knew.

    The car lasted another 3 months. Horribly, but it got me from A to B.

    The mother died a few years ago from brain cancer. The fiance went on to have a horrible marriage with a classmate (and I found out later that he’d been seeing her for the 2 months prior to him breaking up with me), long and bitter divorce, and got into a horrible accident that almost killed him and left him in the hospital for months with what they thought would be permanent brain damage. He was and is an idiot and his mother was evil. Poison. No one save him was sorry when she finally kicked it. (Who has end-stage brain cancer for EIGHT YEARS?! Satan, that’s who.) If I came across her grave in a cemetery, I’d spit on it.

    But that precious husband of hers? I would pay for his headstone. I don’t know if I’ve come across a kinder man. Ever. I see him in public very rarely and his eyes are so kind still. He just nods with the suggestion of a smile. A beautiful soul, for sure.

    • Wow!

      Please let him know someday what his kindness meant to you. He must have suffered a lot in his life and some validation would be so good for his soul.

      What a beautiful account you have written. So good of you to have acknowledged it.

      • He’s the sort of man who feels embarrassed when you thank him too much… the first thank you is embarrassing enough.

        That’s what the nod is for. It says, “Please! No need… I see you… I know. We’re all just trying our best…be happy.”

        He is a great man. Once he’s past feeling embarrassed by praise, I will be sure to heap it upon his memory. <3

  • I was an overwhelmed new mom with postpartum anxiety flying from Seattle to Chicago. I’d had a traumatic delivery and I was active duty military working long hours surrounded by senior officers with stay at home wives and my husband had a 2 hr one way commute and things were very hard and we were very alone. There I was alone in the airport bathroom with a baby covered in poo and every move I made just smeared it around. He was screaming, I was juggling bags, evidence of my failures was mounting. A woman didn’t even ask, she just came to the changing table and said, here let me hold his legs up, you wipe him off. She was there with me in the poo. A stranger. And then she was gone. It’s 15 yrs later and that kid is 6,2 but I try to find ways to be there with people in the poo.

    • I love this story!! Thank you for sharing. It reminds me of when I was a young mom flying standby with a newborn baby from Hawaii to Florida. Longest day ever. Mid a 6 hour flight the woman next to me asked if she could hold my baby so I could have a chance to go to the restroom. I had been holding him for over 12 hours because I didn’t bring his stroller. That 5 minutes was so appreciated. While all the other passengers were giving me dirty looks for a crying baby, she helped. Never forgot that.

    • I like your point about how it was never your “turn.” That struck a chord for me. On the rare occasions where I did demand a “turn,” he made it unpleasant. My choices were always to let him be having “his turn” or to suffer for daring to insist on one for myself.

  • Labor Day weekend this year, my daughter and I went to church and I was okay until the music started and I was thinking about how my now XH, then STBX and OW were in a town that he and I used to go for weekend getaways (we had gone there for our last anniversary) and the I started crying. Trying to keep composure I hoped no one noticed, when I felt a tap on my shoulder and a kind elderly woman handed me some tissues and said “I’m doing the same thing today”. Her kindness was so unexpected, it actually made me cry more because someone was being so kind to me. We had to leave early because the floodgates had opened up, but I will never forget her being kind to someone she didn’t even know.

  • This happened years ago but, I still think about it today. I’m the youngest of 7 kids. Growing up, and even still while I was in college, my Grandma would tell me that I was the special kid of the family. She would then tell me all the things that made me special and wonderful. She sadly passed away when I was 24 (let’s just say, more than a few decades ago, lol). A few years later at a family gathering, all of us kids were reminiscing about our sweet, yet very spunky, late Grandma. This is when we all discovered that she had told each of us that we were the “special one” and made sure each of us feel that way and believe it!!!

    While we had always known our Grandma was a wonderfully kind person in so many ways, we were amazed that she had made it one of her life goals to make each of her 7 grandchildren feel special. For obvious reasons, it was difficult for our parents to do that.

    When my Grandma died, she didn’t leave much in terms of money or possesions. She left her Mark in the hearts of so many people by her seemingly simple acts of kindness in helping others feel good about theirselves. Joyful tears are coming from my eyes even still right now , almost 30her warmth, love, and kindness. Now that”s a true legacy to leave behind!!!

  • In the midst of dday and Switzerland friends and not knowing my reality, I continued to go to work keeping it all inside. No one seemed to notice anything which made me feel even more insignificant. A causal coworker on the evening shift pulled me aside and said… I can tell that something is really wrong with you and if you need a friend I’m here for you. She never mentioned it again. Two weeks later I called her and simply said… I need a friend. She has been an awesome friend ever since and I’m so grateful she reached out to me.

    • @Magneto I loved Mr. Rogers because he was so kind and friendly and not scary, but the ALL the “people” puppets in the Land of Make Believe scared the pants off of me, so I can relate to this 100%.

  • A stray neighborhood cat showed up at our house a few weeks ago. She wears a worn good collar and bell. No tags. We’ve spent the past 2 weeks contacting the local shelter, putting up found cat ads online, reaching out to the local moms groups with her picture. No one has claimed her.

    This past weekend, I came home to several amazon boxes on my front porch from an old friend. She was a single mom to little ones many moons ago. We can relate on the hardship and trials of poverty after being left by our spouses to raise little ones alone.

    The boxes contained a litter box, a giant container of cat litter, cat toys, a large bag of cat food and a nice mess free food and water dish. I am calling our local animal shelter today to see what services they can offer at their clinic (rabies shot etc). The cat was a TNR (trap, neuter, release) as indicated by her ear.

    My oldest, who is so high strung and anxious, has seemed to bond the most with the cat. It’s nice to see her finally relax and stroke the cat on the top of the head.

  • I live in the town where Mr Rogers grew up. I pass under a bridge on Route 30 almost everyday that says “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood”. I took my kids to Idlewild park and rode the trolley car through Mr. Rogers neighborhood of make believe. We visited the Adams memorial library which he (and Arnold Palmer) played a big part in funding. I read his books to my kids and encouraged them to watch his pbs show. But in 2000s it was hard to compete with sponge Bob. I remember watching his show as a child and thinking he was such a nice man. I wished he was my dad. My own dad wasn’t mean but he was disengaged and an alcohloic. My mother was and is a controlling narcissist. So seeing a kind man on TV that was nice to everyone was a welcome outlet for me.

    So now in my 50s and trying to think of something nice someone has done for me is difficult. It’s kind of sad that I can’t think of anything. Since finding out my whole life was a lie -I look at people differently. The life I knew and the people I thought cared about me are all gone.

    All I have left is my daughter. But she’s all I need. She’s kind and sweet and she loves me. She shares her life with me and tells me I’m a great mom. So right now it’s her. In her 16 years of life she truly has been the only person who has shown real kindness towards me and it’s genuine. She doesn’t want to use me or hurt me. I’ve modeled behavior for her that has taught her not to accept cruel treatment from people who say they love you. I’m teaching her to watch their actions and not just listen to their words. She has a kind heart and will not tolerate abuse. I’m so grateful to have her in my life.

    • @strongwoman — Remember how you are feeling during your time of sorrow & trial. Take note of exactly what someone else could do for you right now that would make things even a tad bit better. When you reach meh, or are further down the road in your recovery, use that knowledge to help someone else in a similar situation. As MsMachete says above, be the person you needed for someone else. Just think, if each of us on this site did even one kind thing to help someone else like us down the road – WOW, what an amazing overall impact that would have! That’s all it would take for a huge impact = each of us helping just ONE other person going through the same even just ONCE! ☺

  • My story;
    I teach in a rural area, where people do not necessarily vet their pets. A local family had 5 BIG mix dog puppies, and the mother was attacked by what they believe was a coyote and killed. 5 big dog mutt pups that this family could not afford to feed, let alone take to vet. The one they insisted on keeping contracted parvo.

    Two went to a no kill shelter (BLESS THEIR HEARTS!) and a teacher in my building took one, a large female, named her Shadow. Shadow lived eight or nine years with her, I forget, got walked daily, had pet sitters come in when her “mom” was too busy.

    Because of a limp, my friend took her to emergency vet a few days ago. Instead of the expected ankle sprain, they found bone cancer.
    They humanely put Shadow down after a happy, healthy life. What a wonderful gift that teacher gave that pup.

  • I was having a really bad day during the devaluation phase of my marriage… but as usual I was pretending everything was ok. I had a work meeting with a surgeon that Ive known for a while. At the end of the meeting, he shut his door and said I know you are in pain. I can see it in your eyes. I gave him the shortest summary I could. All I said was “my husband thinks I’m everything that’s wrong with the world.” He looked like my words actually hurt him. That was enough right there. Just to have a man listen and hear me and feel my pain with me without yelling was deeply comforting. He said “Whatring, you are everything that is right with the world.” That got me through some of my worst days. Just thinking back to what he said to me.

    • That reminds me of a few weeks post DDay when I was telling a mutual friend couple that ex and I were in marriage counseling and I didn’t think it was going to end well. I was telling them that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore because of everything that I had been doing wrong. These people had known us for years, they traveled with us and we had the same number of kids the same ages. I didn’t mention Schmoopie at that time (although they figured it out on their own later). The wife of the couple looked me in the eye and said “You have been a good wife”. I can’t tell you how much I needed that little bit of validation at that moment.

      • >>>”You have been a good wife”

        Such a simple thing to say to friend, but it’s so powerful and comforting.

  • Ive had a lot of kindness shown to me especially since separating.

    The friend who when I found out for sure the affair was happening, I text her and said, can you come, now? She was there a short time later and spent several hours with me going over the whole thing and was there for the awful months that followed.

    The friend who when I was having a down day delivered a gift basket with my fav wine and choccies, a grocery voucher and a petrol voucher amongst other things, the acquaintance that delivered a card and hairdressing voucher to my mail box.

    The two besties who when helping me move out of the family home to hand over to ex, heard me when I said I need this to be done today and helped me clean and sort and empty so I didnt have to come back the next few days and wallow in ‘my’ empty home.

    I had a lovely casual acquaintance gift me some money from her mothers estate. She and I had gone through a similar journey in losing our parents, albeit her a few years past me losing mine. We talked all through and supported. She gifted me as I was travelling with my mother and she wanted to give me a small gift to share with my mom from her mom. to say thank you for the love and support we share on our journey losing parents. Mom and I drank a toast to her and her mom and shared a lovely dinner with grateful thanks for the kindness of people.

    There’s been so much kindness in my life since ex left it. He wasnt kind at all, Ive come to realise. But most people are to some degree and many go over and above to help someone when the chips are down

    • PS: sorry if most of that sounds ‘financially’ kind. While many of my moments were due to something like that, it wasnt the money that I was grateful for but the fact that people were so thoughtful and KIND….

      • @meh.twain – Thank you for your posts. You reminded me of an amazing act of kindness I was shown.

        Just a few days after Dday, I went to a scheduled dental check-up. I was in a dog but attempted not to show it. When the Dental Assistant simply asked how I was doing, I lost it spilling that my husband had cheated on me and walked out on me and my kids for the OW. She was very empathetic and having someone just hear me say it out loud helped. The whole thing occur in just a few minutes. It was also the first time I had met this Assistant.

        A few days later, I received a note in the mail from her with a small gift certificate to Pizza Hut. The note said, “Take your kids out for pizza. Things will get better.” I was so very surprised that someone I had just met for a few minutes would take the time and effort to do something so very kind! Her act of kindness made me realize that there was still good in the world during a time I needed to be reminded of that the most.

        In our financially obsessed and motivated modern society, sometimes a small financial act of kindness can have a huge impact. I will remember that in attempts to show kindness to others going forward.

          • I am at the beginning of my road – DDay 8/6 (didn’t disclose I knew), he asked for divorce 8/10, and he finally left the house 10/5. Because I have been the bread winner and get to keep all the bills, pay him money and pay for much needed repairs to our house so we (14 year old son) can stay in the house I am very financially concerned….and I bet all of us didn’t have it easy financially at the beginning.

            Let’s face it, our EXs are entitled, and are takers; they have no concern for us / their children—they just want to move forward in their new life.

            So these random acts are noticed and feel like a balm to our souls. It doesn’t matter the amount of the gift, or even if it’s an action vs money. It’s the validation that we are worthy of a gift of any kind.

            My husbands parents offered to take their grandchild after school. They offered to do this for free. They don’t have a pot to pea in, they go to food banks…..struggle with covering medication costs when in the ‘donut hole’…..and they offered, they were going to provide a snack and offered to give him dinner.

            I’m giving them $25 a week and providing apples for an after school snack….dinner is with me. We need connection and sharing food provides a bit of time to disconnect and be in the moment with each other.

            My point is they made a serious offer, they were willing to help — and they are HIS parents. I have no resources here – no local family to help (mother on oxygen/ wheelchair) , no friends. There thoughtfulness and consideration of my immediate needs are so very much appreciated.

            Your post is not about the money, it’s about you sharing when folks touched you soul…

            • Silver Anniversary,
              Your son will always remember the time he spends with his grandparents, and their kindness toward him and toward you.
              The gift of their time and their love is priceless!
              ❤️

      • So true. In 2003 I had a phone call from my sister that my mother was having emergency open heart surgery. I live 1000 miles away, so booked a flight from St Cloud MN to the twin cities airport (so we didn’t have to deal with traffic) and then on to NJ. It was very foggy that 6am morning, and the plane wouldn’t land in St Cloud, so we drove like mad to the big airport, where I missed my connecting flight. I waited all day in the airport, reached NJ at 9pm. When I got to my mother’s house I was in shock. She became a hoarder in the 2 years since I left. Truly, stacks of stuff to walk between. I went into the bathroom to pee, and when I flushed, water sprayed at me from somewhere. I heard a knock at the door, and there was an elderly neighbor standing there. I collapsed in her arms, crying. She just held me and let me cry. Then she brought me to her house where she fixed me a plate of food, and told me she’d bring me coffee and breakfast in the morning. She made supper for me every night. I can never thank her enough.

  • Back in the 80’s, a certain well-known chain of banks got busted for deliberately rearranging customers’ deposits and checks so that the poorest of the customers would almost always see a bounced check each month, with resulting fines and charges. (They did get found out, denounced, and fined). But while this was still unpublicized, I was a bimonthly victim of this unethical practice. I would carefully watch my account, deposit my meager biweekly checks, and every month be told I had bounced a check and had to pay.

    One month, I started to cry about this frustrating circumstance and my two elderly neighbors listened to me as I poured out my grief and frustration at never being able to be in the right, no matter how careful I checked and planned. Neither one had been able to graduate from high school. They got up, went to the bank, and came home with the cash in hand— the fees and charges being returned to me. They also said the bank manager apologized for the “mistake.” When I asked how they had accomplished this, they said they had walked in, asked to speak to the manager, and demanded that their life savings be withdrawn and given to them on the spot and that they were never going to do business with that bank again. When the manger asked why, they told him, “We don’t like how you treat our young friend,” I will never forget those lovely, loving people and how they believed me and stuck up for me.

  • Where to begin? There has been so much kindness and so many kind people. My sister, who flew out to be with me repeatedly after the discard, found me a new place to live, found me my puppy, and continues to be my rock. My college roommate who also flew out to see me, then flew ME to see her so I could be part of a family celebration during a long weekend. A former coworker who flew cross country and just sat with me while I sobbed. A friend I barely knew who invited me to concerts, movies, street fairs, what-have-you. My coworkers who supported me and offered to be references for me after my narc ex-boss trashed me. Multiple friends who called me, face timed me, and/or sent me funny cards, wonderful letters. My sister’s M=mother-in-law who sent me the most delicious soup (and a soup bowl and spoon) because she’d heard from my sister I wasn’t eating. The soup turned out to be the only thing I could ingest without getting sick and probably saved me from collapse. So many others. I am so lucky and so grateful.

    I have a beautiful quotation on my refrigerator, spoken by Gandalf from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings:

    “Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…small acts of kindness and love.”

  • This process has really made me realize who the good people are in my life and it floors me every time someone extends a kindness when i feel like such a burden

    My sister gave me half her savings account so i could retain my lawyer (happy to say i am almost done paying her back 🙂 )

    When i first left my stbx a friend sent me a care package because she lives out of state. It included margarita mix (my favorite) and a cozy blanket (she said to give me a hug since she couldn’t)

    Another gave me a bunch of baking dishes, pots, pans and assorted kitchen things when i had first moved because i had nothing

    Another friend offered to go to Al-non with me since i mentioned that was something i thought might be beneficial and just the offer was a beautiful kindness

    Two of mine showed up on moving day with a moving truck, wine and pizza because i had mentioned i would be moving by myself with my suv and wasn’t sure how to get the furniture out of the house (and these were friends i haven’t seen in a year)

    One of my goals has been to keep helping people during this time where i feel like i am asking so much of others. I’ve gone over to my friends house who just had a new baby and cleaned it top to bottom, have been babysitting my sisters kids so they can have date nights and just make sure that when someone reaches out to me with their issues i listen and engage in the conversation to the best of my ability. I really believe that keeping connected with the helpful parts of myself that are healthy (while practicing my new boundaries) has been extremely beneficial in moving forward.

    my stbx continues to complain that none of our friends have reached out to him and my sister put it well “you lived a life of kindness so people are happy to return your kindness during a time where you need it, he didn’t so he shouldn’t be surprised when they dont” and while i don’t think karma is real i do believe people understand who you really are and act accordingly…

  • I was having a bad day post grocery shopping with two babies that cried the entire time. When I got to my car I started crying and decided to go to the McDonald’s drive thru and buy myself a Coca-Cola Classic, I’m still bawling in the drive-thru and the person in front of me noticed and bought me my Coke. It cost $1, it happened years ago, but it affected me enough that I think about it often, that a stranger cared enough to help me and now I look for opportunities to do the same.

  • My Aunt(mother)…she listens to the horror that kills her inside because she knows I need her. Putting yourself through pain for someone you love…because they need you.

  • My cousin K – she’s been my life preserver. She’s has been there for every phone call, every crying jag, has offered me refuge, was my safety net when my mother passed away, dropped everything to be my side when my mom’s health become serious. I don’t know what I would have done without her. She’s kind, she’s compassionate, she’s funny and she’s been stood by me through all this.

    Her husband died 7 years ago from a massive heart attack. She was just 43. When the divorce/bad shit first started, I was crying about losing my marriage and husband. I felt bad because she lost her husband and best friend. She immediately tsked tsked me – my husband died, yours left you, they are not the same.

    We were close growing up as we are only 6 months apart in age and lived close to each other. She was and is the sister I never had. We didn’t spend as much time together the last 25 years. I moved an hour away, she got married and started a family and then I married the X and helped raise his two kids. But, that time and distance has made no difference.

    Our love and respect for each other has never left. I would go run through fire to save her. I am thankful every day that she’s in my life and that I am part of hers.

  • About two weeks after Honey moved away, I was in Walmart with my one and a two-year-old in tow, and I had a panic/anxiety attack in the checkout line. It was one of those self checkout lanes and it kept saying it didn’t recognize what I had scanned. I just started sobbing and I was getting so angry and yelling ridiculous things like ‘Ok? why not? Why not the machine too? I don’t have enough going on!’ Everyone was staring. I was beyond the point of getting myself back in control. Then I started hyperventilating. This massive 6 foot 10 linebacker of a man who worked there walked straight up to me. I broke down and just said ‘I’m so sorry I’m having the worst day of my life.’ He put his hand on my shoulder and said ‘It’s OK. You got this.’ He scanned his key card to clear the way, walked over to my children, and started playing with them. Then he asked me if it would be OK to give my 2 year old a treat. I said yes and he pulled out a wrapped rice crispy treat, pulled open the packaging, and gave it to my little boy. I’m sure it was his for his break or something. In my darkest moment this human saw past the behavior that others might mistake for entitlement and met me at my deepest need. I thanked him endlessly and I have never forgotten him!

  • I was lucky when I divorced, I had a good job (still do). But I got stuck with ALL the marital debt; long story. I was determined to NOT sell the marital home, it was the only home my boys knew.

    Anyway, I was literally living paycheck to the Tuesday before payday. I worked at a business that was only 2 miles from the state line and there was a station 5 miles away that had the cheapest gas around. I was there every time I needed to fill up. It was the day before payday and I go to get gas, $75 worth, and my card was declined. I was so embarrassed and upset. The man running the register whispered to me, “You were nice to me when I was sick, I will run it tomorrow.” My tears turned to happiness. Something as simple as being nice to him when he was sick and I didn’t remember treating him, turned around and he “paid it back”

    I will aways be grateful to him. Something that minor, years later I still remember his act of kindness.

  • So many that are kind in my life it is hard to know what to mention. These two stand way out in the post DDay hell: 16 months after DDay, my Dd3 who was 16 at the time had her third suicide attempt — she had become suicidal after X abandoned the entire family for his young whore and his parting shot was shouting to me and kids that he hated every minute of the last ten years of our family. My daughter had taken 17 Xanax and a fifth of vodka. She was on lockdown in the ER while we waited for a hearing to have her committed. I hadn’t slept in 48+ hours but needed to go across floating bridge home to help my youngest daughter. My friend from the YMCA asked what he could do to help. I told him I needed him to meet me, drive me back, wait in hospital away from where I was bc crazy X kept coming in and out and raging and my daughter didn’t need further drama, then when daughter was admitted I needed him to drive me safely home- I was afraid I would crash. He did all that- waited 6 hours in the cafeteria away from the ER without any complaint. She was finally admitted to the behavioral unit and at 3 am he took me home. My daughter had 18 months of DBT and is doing much better. That wonderful man became my boyfriend and my love. After dating 2 years we moved in together 6 months ago. He shows me and many others kindness every single day. I’m lucky.

    The second is my dear friend icandothis18– we talk and text every single day. She always answers and never tired of giving support. We are alike in so many ways. We are just months apart in our Ddays. We get it at the deepest level. She is the sister of my heart.

  • Last year was the first Christmas I would spend without my SBXH of 16 years; only with my children, as I have no family at all on this side of the world. I was very intent on making a beautiful Christmas for my girls, with all the traditions we always kept, and somehow, the most important thing for me was to have a Christmas tree ready for them, when they came back from their father.
    However, nothing that was part of this “getting the Christmas tree” project went according to my plan:
    – I don’t own the car, and the bus driver refused to take me on the bus with a Christmas tree in my wire shopping cart. I had to walked that tree home for an hour from Home Depot in a snow storm;
    – I was so intent on having the tree ready before the girls came back, that I bought it too early and the tree kind of dried up by the time the Christmas came;
    – I left all the ornaments and the stands in the marital apartment, when I had to move out, and somehow, I could not find a suitable stand in any store;
    – I ordered ornaments online and the package was delayed.
    So I was kind of sad and discouraged that the tree would not be ready for the girls on time; somehow, that tree became extremely important for me.

    Well, as I was taking Uber back home from a grocery store, the driver, who was Muslim, started talking to me and we talked about the holidays.He told me that although a Muslim, he put up a Christmas tree for his children every year, and I shared my failed Christmas tree story with him.

    When we arrived at my building, and after bringing all my groceries in, he told me to wait, ran into his car, came back with a box of Christmas tree ornaments, handed it to me and said: “This is for your children’s Christmas tree. Merry Christmas!” And before I could even said thank you, he was gone.

    As I was standing there with the box of Christmas tree ornaments, as a newly single mom, betrayed, tired, discouraged, tears were actually streaming down my face, because I was so touched by this unexpected kindness. I can still recall this beautiful moment.

  • I though of someone else that showed me a kindness. My brother killed himself 30 years ago. I don’t remember much of the days that followed or of his funeral service. I do remember one person, W. We were acquaintances in high school having just graduating a few years back. She came to my brother’s service and was so kind to me. She hugged me and allowed me to cry on her. All these years have past and still remember her. When Facebook became popular, her and I became FB friends. I let her know that her act of kindness impacted my life. I hope I have paid forward the kindness to others.

  • Well, because of my impending divorce we had to sell the marital home we spent 20 years in. You know how much stuff you accumulate in that amount of time?! My then husband had already left the home and left me to the cleaning, packing, showings, you know the work! Three floors of house and many many years of items. My real estate agent told me in all the years of her selling homes, she had never seen things go wrong in so many ways with one house sale. If you can imagine it……it happened. The house finally sold and thankfully I have a support system of friends that not only showed up to help me move out but when the sale fell thru at the very last minute………..they showed up again to help me move back in. And then two weeks later, the house sold and they showed up again to do it all over again!!!!!!! I cried so many tears in those weeks and they showed up, someone different each day to help me through the trauma. I did not know that such kindness existed! I am truly blessed!!

  • After I left my first cheater, I was in graduate school working on my PhD. I had two small children. I received $0 from their father. I was making about $11,000 a year as a T.A. I needed to take a research trip in order to finish my dissertation. It was critical to examine those papers and they were not digitized nor would the library photocopy or scan them because they were too fragile. I was desperate to get the money for a flight and hotel room for two weeks. My university had a policy that their T.A.s were not allowed to moonlight at other jobs. But there was another university less than ten miles away so I picked up a section there to teach. I also let the word out that I would grade papers for cash (Ummm also, technically not allowed). There was a professor that virtually everyone hated and everyone was terrified of. We’ll call him Dr. Meanypants. He was known to be harsh, rigid, and exacting. One day he saw another grad student hand me a stack of papers. He called me in his office and asked me why I had papers from someone else’s class. I told him. He said, “I have a friend who works at Down the Road University and I know you are teaching a section there. Explain to me why you are breaking rules that WILL lead to expulsion from this program.” I burst into tears and told him everything. I begged him not to bring a .complaint. He looked at me quizzically and said, “Leave those papers on my desk on your way out.” he waved his hand toward the door as if to dismiss me. I cried all afternoon and evening waiting for the call from the Department Head or the university ethics board or I don’t know what authority. The next morning in my office mailbox there was an envelope from Dr. Meanypants. Inside was a cursory note that he had money left from a grant. He needed information from the university library where I would be doing dissertation research, and could consider the enclosed cheque payment for retrieving it while I was there. He added that he had arranged for me to have a room at the university while I was there free of charge. The cheque was just enough to cover my plane ticket. I checked when I arrived to do the research and was informed by the bursar that the room had been paid for by one Dr. Meanypants. There are angels among us and they are rarely the glib sparkly people.

  • I love Mr. Rogers and consider him a great American.

    Truly kind person who helped when I needed it most? You, Tracy, – dear Chumplady

  • Our third nanny was kind. Unfortunately, she was only with us for about 7 months because we moved across the country and she had too many ties to where we had been living to move herself. She was always kind and selfless but not in a doormat kind of way. She did it in an assertive and confident way. She wanted to be kind and so she was. She was a Christian who practiced what Jesus preached but wasn’t preachy herself. She treated others with love. She was always very kind and patient with the kids. She didn’t tell them what to do, she persuaded them by softly and quietly and kindly telling them over and over again why the needed to do something until they finally did it. I never had the time or patience for that but she did and I admired her for it. She was also accommodating and helpful beyond what was actually required of her job. I was unexpectedly in labor (3 weeks earlier than planned) with our third child on Thanksgiving day and wasn’t sure when I might need to get to the hospital. We had originally planned to head to my MIL’s place for dinner 1.5 hours away. Instead MIL brought dinner to us but it took a while for her to get there. Meanwhile, our nanny came over for several hours on Thanksgiving day, interrupting her own preparations, in order to be there in case we needed to make a hasty exit to the hospital. She wouldn’t let us pay her for her time saying that she was doing it as a friend. I finally at least convinced her to take an extra pie home when the MIL showed up.

  • I thought of another one. My car broke down one evening on the south side of Chicago (timing belt broke, I wasn’t going anywhere). I had no cell phone at the time. I walked up to the local gas station and asked if I could use their phone after explaining my situation. They let me use their phone to call my husband. I also called AAA but they would not be able to tow me very far. The owner of the gas station then told me she would call her friend the tow truck driver to tow me home. She drove me back to my car and sat with me until the tow truck driver showed up to make sure I got on the road safely. The tow truck driver made sure to get me home. These people didn’t know me from eve but they went out of their way to help me out. Not only that, but they were black and I am white in an area that has reason not to trust white privilege. All they saw, however, was someone in need and they helped. That was twenty-three years ago. So many people are down on south side Chicago because bad news gets the press. There are angels living there, however. I know because I have met them.

  • Reading all these acts of kindness brings both a smile and tears to my eyes. There is so much good out there to remind ourselves of when we are struggling and feeling down. I feel blessed to have had so many acts of kindness bestowed upon me when I needed it the most. I realize now that what I perceived as the saddest time of my life forever changed me into a more compassionate, stronger person. It changed the course of my story.

    Embrace all acts of kindness you witness around you and use it to propel you forward during the darkest of days.”You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.”- Josh Shipp

  • My kind and wonderful young co-worker, Aiden. I am 55 years old, and while I am very fit and strong, moving out was daunting. I couldn’t have received better help than this young man’s kindness.

    When I finally was able (financially) to move out, eight months after D-day #1, during which I discovered yet another shmoopie- I mentioned to Aiden that I had found a place and was ready to rent a truck, but needed some help with the heavy stuff. Without blinking or hesitation, he said “just tell me when and where and I’ll bring a friend or two to help”. We work in a grocery deli, very physically demanding work. Aiden also has a full load of college courses and a lovely young wife. To volunteer his time and effort like that was just kindness beyond measure. The move went smoothly, and Aiden even wanted to come back after his work shift, later that evening, to put my bed together for me so I could get a proper night’s sleep. I thanked him for that, but assured him I’d be just fine on the mattress on the floor for a bit. Still, he and his wife came back the next evening and put it together for me. They are both treasures beyond measure.

    The icing on the cake, was after the move,when Asshat came into the store one night when I was off work for the day, and he sought Aiden out to “thank” him for helping me move. Didn’t introduce himself, but Aiden knew who he was- and Aiden replied, “yeah, no problem. She really needed to get away from that jackhole soon-to-be-ex husband of hers”. I am told that Asshat stammered for a second and practically ran away. LOL.

  • Here also is my own lesson in kindness and selfishness and maybe a little karma story. In college I was involved with an asshole who told me I was “too nice”. I made the mistake of letting him influence my thinking. It was Halloween day and I was at the store looking for a witch’s hat to go with my costume for that night’s college dorm party. I got the last one on the shelf. It was too small, but I figured I could pin it on or something. Then a woman in the store came up and asked me where I had found the hat because her 10 year old daughter needed one for her costume and she couldn’t find one anywhere. I said it was the last one, sorry. She asked if I would be willing to part with it. In the back of my mind I remembered asshole’s words and thought “I don’t owe this woman anything, I am going to keep the hat and not be ‘too nice’”. I told the woman “sorry, maybe you can make something with construction paper”. She begged for another minute or so before she gave up and headed to the arts and crafts section of the store. Then it was like a bolt of lightning struck me and I realized just what a bitch I was being. Here I was a twenty year old woman denying a 10 year old girl her Halloween costume because some asshole told me I was “too nice”. The hat didn’t even fit me and it would fit a 10 year old perfectly. “Do I want to dress like a witch or do I want to be one”. I kicked myself in the rear, went and found the woman who was still in the store and handed over the hat. Boy how she beamed. She was so happy to have finally found a hat for her daughter. She was so grateful. She offered me a ride home (which I didn’t need). Seeing her happiness made it clear that I had made the right choice. Meanwhile, I collected some construction paper of my own thinking to try and make myself a hat. At check-out I saw another hat, the exact same style as the one I had given up on a display at the front of the store. I was able to buy that one. And guess what, it was a larger size and it fit perfectly.

  • Gosh, there have been so many acts of kindness bestowed upon me since my ex dropped his bombs on me. One came after I was served with divorce papers the day before my birthday as I was leaving for a trip abroad. I thought the process server was the airport driver. I came unglued. I cried on the way to the airport and on the connector flight to the international airport. I sat next to a sweet college professor from San Francisco. He noticed my distress and talked to me. He told me he had experienced something similar and that he knew it was painful. He ordered 2 glasses of wine. He proposed a toast to happier times and new beginnings and gave me his Bose headphones to listen to during the short flight while he DJ’s some “Toto”. When we got off the plane, he gave me a hug. It restored my faith in humanity and made me realize if I see a person in distress I will be one to reach out.

  • A few weeks after D-Day, on my birthday, while 18-yr-old DD was dealing with her own misery regarding Fucktard, AND recovering from a super-bad arm break (3 hours of surgery, pain, and drugs, DURING HER FIRST WEEKS AT COLLEGE), she sent me a playlist recommending especially this song by Mumford and Sons (Timshel). I cried and still cry that she could be so kind and concerned for me in the midst of her own pain.

    https://youtu.be/xBOKZFPTmeQ

    • that song is so beautiful–I cried and cried, but they were sweet tears. Thank you so much for sharing it with us

  • A very fitting topic going into the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

    It has been my in-laws who have extended tremendous kindness through out the last year and a half. The year 2017 was about DDay and a heart-wrenching pick me dance. The year 2018 has been about learning to be on my own after my STBXH left me to be with the OW.

    His family has been incredibly supportive. Coming from a strong Catholic background, they have really stuck to a strong value system that puts family at the core. First, the parents and all the siblings/spouses made it absolutely clear to the ex that they would never be able to accept this OW into their homes. Since then, there is a silence around the topic of this relationship. When he attempted to bring it up by spewing lies about the nature of the affair and his affiliation to this woman, they were all aware of his lies and shut it down. His relationship continues to exist in secret, and he even keeps the OW away from the kids.

    Second, between all my sister-in-laws, each has ensured regular contact with me through phone calls, emails, texts and visits. I continue to get invites to bbqs and pool days to get all our children together and hang out. All of us women got together for lunch recently, as we’ve done every year. I went camping with my brother-in-law and his wife in the summer. Actually, they all see me and the kids way more often than they see my ex, as he’s gone a bit underground. I continue to get invites to all the family holiday, which I attended at first but now find to painful when the ex is in attendance. This Thanksgiving is the first family holiday I will not be joining. They understand but feel saddened.

    Third, despite our commitment to Catholic family values, every member of the family has provided their support in the legal separation process. They are not pressuring me to just wait and wait for him to come around. They understand why I am initiating a divorce and pursuing an annulment in the Church. Of course, everyone hopes for an incredible redemption story, but they know that it would need to be sincere, difficult and lengthy in scope for it to be remotely true. They see their commitment to family now as being a support system to me in my parenting of the kids.

    Fourth, despite the impending divorce, they have all let me know that they will not divorce me. I will always be considered family. I will always be the mother of the children and be held with regard. I will always be an in-law (even when it’s no longer law). In turn, I know I will always refer to them as my in-laws too. I will always maintain a familial friendship tie to all of them, keeping in touch, getting together, honouring my commitment as godmother to two of my nieces/nephews. My children’s relationship with their father’s family will be strong because of my commitment more than his will ever be.

    My STBXH family was a difficult one to be absorbed into when I was first married. They are initially very reserved people, very careful. It wasn’t until the premature birth of my second child that I finally felt that I was fully accepted, as they really rallied around us during that difficult time and were impressed by how I handled the crisis.

    Some have warned me that the tide on this goodwill might change one day. Perhaps it will. But in the meantime, I acknowledge their kindness through the most difficult time in my life and thank God that I was blessed with this rare show of support given the circumstances. Despite the deep sadness and outright resentment I feel by how badly disappointing my husband became in our marriage, I don’t wish him ill. I pray that he smartens up and grows up to recognize that his family consists of good people who love him and want him to do what is morally right in life. That is not a bad thing. That is loving. Real, true love.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone. God bless.

  • My husband had just left me and our daughter. I was 3 months into 5 months of chemo for breast cancer. It was the middle of winter in Minnesota. The GM of the company I worked at at the time is friends with my neighbors. He told them what I was going through. They then started snow blowing my driveway every time it snowed. When summer came, they mowed my lawn. BTW – this all really pissed of my Ex. He told me more than once that he wanted me to hire a service. He could not stand that people were helping me.

    There were many instances during my cancer treatment where people were kind:

    •  A coworker started a GoFund me for me (which the ex said I should be thankful to him that people were giving me money)

    • At Christmas my extended family decided to forgo exchanging gifts and instead give to me how they could–some gave money, some brought frozen meals, etc.

    • My parents neighbors and their family decided to pool all the money they would have spent on each other for Christmas and send it to me.

    • My book club created a sign up schedule to visit me after surgery.

    Life-threatening illness can bring out the best in people. Unfortunately they can also bring out the worst. I’ve had plenty of examples of people being jerks, but I choose to hold onto the light and let the kindness of others shine brighter than the darkness. Also, my neighbor still snow blows my driveway and mows my lawn a year later. Some of the kindest people I know.

  • My wonderful neighbors. We had just moved to a new town, new part of the country, new job – and I knew literally not a soul in the town. Two weeks after my XW declared the marriage over (ILYBINILWY), which I was confused and scared, I walked across the driveway to their house, walked into the kitchen and just started crying. Before this I had had maybe three conversation with them, about recycling collection and mowing the lawn and superficial neighborly things like that.

    My neighbor gave me a huge hug, made me coffee and they talked me down for a couple of hours. They are two of the kindest, most considerate, generous people I have ever met. I would have abandoned my white elephant of a house long ago if it wouldn’t have meant moving away from them. We’ve had innumerable dinners together since then – whole families or just the adults – gone to movies and theater and on trips together. A lot of people have been sympathetic, but the two of them single-handedly kept my faith in humanity intact during this whole shitstorm. I love them both.

    (Of course, when my XW found out that I was talking to them she accused me of deliberately poisoning the neighborhood so she could never return. Because no matter what, it’s always about her. What a git.)

  • I’ve been lucky to witness multiple acts of kindness in my life. A few stand out

    My mother’s best friend. She didn’t drive and lived in the next town over. When I was in first grade, mom broke her leg. While she was in the hospital, her friend took the bus to our house loaded down with meals so my dad didn’t have to cook.

    My Aunt. She was divorced from my uncle, my mother’s brother for many years. When she found out my mother was in the final stage of cancer and needed someone to stay with her during the night, she volunteered to spend a couple nights each week with her. At the time I was managing my mom’s care and caring for my newborn son and 2 year old daughter.

    My children’s swim coach. My daughter had brain surgery. What was supposed to be two weeks in the hospital tunrned into a month. During that time their coach made sure my son had transportation to and from practice everyday. It was wonderful to have some normalcy in my son’s days.

    • wcchump,
      Angels, in your life, just when you needed them!
      I am so sorry for the sad loss of your Mom.
      YOU are a very loving daughter to have taken care of her, ( with tiny children this was not easy).
      It was such a kind gesture of your children’s swim coach to help when you were certainly on emotional and physical overload with your daughter’s surgery.
      I send many hugs to you.
      I am certain you are a person who deserves such kind acts.

      Xxxxxxxx
      peacekeeper

  • After 6 month of wreckonciliation, and the ex moving out, I fell into my deepest hole and mishandled every opportunity to stabilize myself and quit being a chump. I was on a half-assed auto pilot and not sure of how I muddled through the normal day to day task to survive. Other parts of my life suffered through that period, including my work.

    I showed up and did the minimum, and sometimes less than required, and barely kept from breaking down in tears everyday. After a couple of weeks, I stumbled across this site, and began seeing a path to mightiness. I decided to open up to my boss, (I have worked with her for over 10 years, and we good friends), and explain to her why I had been quiet, withdrawn, and why any of my work may have been substandard over the last few weeks or months.

    After I told her what I had gone through, and apologized for any of my failings at work, she made me stand up and hugged me and shared that she had been in a similar situation, (not the cheating, but played for a chump in other manners). She had not been married , but lived with high school sweetheart for 18 years, and had three children. She had been emotionally abused for years, and finally decided she had to get away from the situation before it destroyed her. She described alot of the same emotions and thoughts that have been running through my head. She told me how she has fought to keep things as normal with her and the kids, all while dealing with an ex that was an alcoholic and emotionally abusive partner.

    She became a confidant and the best sounding board to share my struggles and slowly arriving triumphs
    with. She never did anything other than reinforce that there was nothing wrong with my, and I would survive…..and I am surviving. I could never repay the kindness she showed me, but I will try my best by being as kind when I see someone in need of an encouraging word, a pat on the back, a shoulder to cry on.

  • “Truly kind person who helped when I needed it most? You, Tracy, – dear Chumplady”

    Yes, Tracy aka CL had to be cruel to be kind sometimes to get my attention and action, but her kindness was what made the biggest difference in helping me get out of a bad marriage and into my next life chapter. I also want to shout out my best friend who lives across the country from me but offered to have me come and stay with her and her husband as long as I needed to with car, room and meals provided. I didn’t take her up on her offer due to family obligations but her kindness in making it helped me to realize that I was not alone. CN also helps me to feel less alone. I know there is a whole world of kind people there who share my spirit!

  • Being financially strapped going from two incomes to one. I have struggle to help my son through college. This past semester we faced him having to leave school and come home because I just could financially afford it. Long story short the partners of the company I work for agreed to fully sponsor (tuition, books and living expenses) my son for his last three semesters of college. This was an act of kindness that I would not never expected in a million years.

  • I was dusting my books yesterday, which is a source of resentment for my STBHX.
    I started to feel anxious and panicky. The voices in my head started yelling at me….too many books!!!…..clutter!!!!…look at all the money you spent on books!!!!…etc!!!! The voice of my STBXH who doesn’t read. Who acts like a new idea has not entered his mind since middle school.

    I realized this morning most of my books, which I read and refer to and attempt to incorporate the ideas of, are books on SELF IMPROVEMENT. Parenting. Recovery. Spirituality. Money. Health and fitness. Business.

    One of my most treasured, and autographed? By Mr. Rogers.

    I thought I married someone kind. I didn’t. I married someone PRETENDING to be kind. My daughter’s elementary school had a “Do Good Be Kind” campaign last year….I ordered extra t-shirts for her and me. My husband asked if I had gotten him one. No, I didn’t. He usually expressed irritation if I bought him something so I stopped a while ago. I soon found out he was having an affair when he asked me if I had gotten him the “Do Good Be Kind” t-shirt. (?!!!)

    I think practicing kindness (what would Mr. Rogers do?) is a good focus for me right now in my healing from infidelity. Toward myself and others. It’s probably the only quality you need to focus on for fixing your picker (for picking ANYONE to be a part of your life in any role).

    I was feeling deep despair yesterday over how my husband’s betrayal has damaged our daughter. I know Mr. Rogers talks about how to help children with real and difficult life experiences. Today and yesterday I have gotten tremendous positive feedback from my daughter’s teachers about how well she is doing (they know about the affair and divorce). She and I are having honest conversations about our feelings; I think this is the only way to go.

    For my own future, if I ever get involved again, I will keep in mind one of my favorite movie quotes from “About Time”, when the father makes a toast at his son’s wedding:

    “We’re all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind. And this is a kind man.”

    And to quote Mr. Rogers:

    “One of the first things a child learns in a healthy family is trust.” – Mr. Rogers.

  • When my 18 year old daughter was raped, her boyfriend was pressuring her to immediately report it be to the police instead of comforting her first. She was totally overwhelmed. A guy friend of hers called her and she started sobbing. Without asking questions, he told her he was on his way. He lived an hour away and was a broke student. He cashed in soda bottles to get the money for gas. But he was there to comfort and listen without pressure. She married him 18 months later. He has proved his worth so many times in the years since.

  • I am blessed with a kind daughter-in-law.
    Tracy wrote about the vulnerable the other day and dear DIL is a school teacher and I just love the way she frets and worries about her vulnerable little ones.

    When D-Day and divorce came around she made a point of treating me out for a wonderful weekend. My son and SIL live in a tiny house, when I visit they insist I have their bed and they sleep on sleeping bags (only about twice a year, for a few days hehehe).

    I think my students are pretty kind people, but they were certainly very and disinterestedly kind to me AND patient when D-Day and divorce came around.

    All of my old friends also to the time to make me feel so much better.

    The only (huge) disappointments came from from sparkledick’s family (with the exception of one niece; coincidentally she is very smart). I still feel physically ill when I remember these awful people.

  • A proper time to say thank you Tracy and all others on this website.

    Your courage to share your stories does not go unnoticed. I did not experience infidelity, but the wisdom given here has helped navigate myself through my break-up and was critical to healing and recovery.

    I think I’m on the younger age of the spectrum here, 24.. I mention it because I’m grateful to have learned and continue to learn from you all. This caliber of relationship advice is hard to come by – I’m very lucky to have stumbled my way here. The energy and learning to master the UBT has been kick ass.

    Thank you guys!

    My favorites:
    Trust that they suck
    No kibbles
    No contact, no contact, and no contact.

    Happy Friday and Happy Hearts to you all… ❤️

    • I know Cool Guy !! Can you believe how funny and fabulous chumps are? The people here are absolutely amazing and I’ve read stuff from the best writers here too. Even though I’m at meh I still read her almost every day. I tried to become a patron but I can’t get the site to accept the password I have so will to get on that. What is being said here can apply to every day life as well. Thanks for your comments.

    • CoolGuy, great insight. Tracy’s blog is an act of kindness. I don’t know How she manages her time!

  • I need to go on record as protesting the “moldy puppets” characterization of King Friday, Daniel Striped Tiger, and the others. THEY ARE NOT MOLDY PUPPETS. NOT!

    A colleague of mine in her 70s had a bad automobile accident. Our faculty assistant, on her own time, went to the totaled car and cleared out all the victim’s belongings before the car was towed away. She also made sure that the victim got back to the doctor for a follow-up check the next day.

  • When I found out my beautiful husband who I had loved with all my heart was really a cheating lying thieving piece of shit I had a nervous breakdown..ON THE JOB. I should have taken FMLA but I didn’t even know to do that. I cried in front of my coworkers and I cried in front of my clients. I basically hid under my desk and cried for months. Both of my coworkers hugely stepped up to cover my lack of being present. They were unwaveringly kind to me. They never called me out on anything and picked up the slack.

    • And these are the people you keep in your life! After my marriage fell apart, I almost dropped out of school (I’m a law student–obviously later in life). I unraveled in front of a kind professor who dared to ask how I was doing after I’d asked for an extension on an assignment because of life circumstances. After crying in his office and saying aloud “I don’t think I can do this, I think I need to take some time off school.” He, with resolve and intensity said, “No, you do not. If you leave now, it will be incredibly difficult to return. You need this now more than ever and you’re too good a student to walk away. You can do this. Let me help make this semester easier.”

      And he did–helped rearrange some commitments and deadlines, reduce assignments, etc. Most importantly, he had faith that I could muddle through. I am so grateful for his kindness, as intense as it was at the time. And he was right.

  • Leading up to my D-Day, I grew more and more unable to deny and numb out the intuition and red flags. I cried every day at the thought of going home, there was so much anxiety gnawing at me from all the misdirection and gaslighting. I was drinking every day to try to find some level of calm, but inevitably I’d end up crying myself to sleep nonetheless. I started submitting way-too-detailed, increasingly desperate prayer requests to my church- into a void of millions of other desperate souls. I was so alone with no one to talk to. (No one safe or sane, anyway)

    I was shocked when the lady who always greeted our family at the door pulled me aside one Sunday and let me know she prayed for me and invited me to her home for coffee. She checked on me each Sunday and texted me through the week. When the ex ran away, she met with me for lunch and comforted me.

    When D-Day came shortly after and I immediately started preparing divorce documents, I was shaking but didnt want to unleash the depravity I discovered and the cussing/ugly thoughts I had on this lady from church. I begged my “friend” to come over. She refused-though she pressed for the gory details as gossip fodder. I told the other lady very vaugly what happened and how alone and upset i was. She texted back, “im putting on my shoes. What is your address?” It was 930pm. She stayed with me for a few hours, listening to all my details and back and forth, lifting me up, until I was calm.

    I will never forget her kindness during that time to me.

  • And another post. Karma seems to work really well for my parents. They have been kind to many people in their lives with no thought of reward, but funny how grateful some people can be. I don’t know if everyone they have been kind to has responded with kindness in return for them and/or others but many have. Just some examples. For years, they sponsored a foster child in Peru. They kept in touch after she came of age. A number of years later they visited Peru and this girl became their hostess and guide. They had a marvelous time. They were also “faculty parents” to a Japanese student at the university where they worked. They helped her assimilate and invited her over for holidays etc. Again, years later when we all went to visit my sister who was working in Japan, this girl’s father insisted that we come for a visit then toured us around, put us up in the nicest traditional hotels and dined us in the nicest traditional restaurants. He refused to let my parents pay for anything. Another time they helped a lost French woman at O’Hare find her gate (O’Hare is confusing even for English speakers). A year later when I went to study abroad in France she and her family became like second parents looking out for me and giving me the chance to visit with the natives. I guess that time I am the one who benefitted from my parents’ generosity. I hope some day I am kind enough to someone to have that someone pass that kindness on to others.

    Ex also received kindness from strangers. He flew to Poland on a Polish airline early in our relationship to meet up with me during spring break (my architecture class was working on a project there). A polish family befriended him on the plane which was delayed by eight hours due to snow (after everyone was on board). When they landed, this family showed him around Warsaw and then bypassed the long line at the train station and presented him with a first class ticket to the city where we were to meet. They accepted no money from him for the ticket. Somehow, however, he could never remember that act of kindness when he was bemoaning always giving more than he got. I guess it only counts if you get back from the same people you give too. I don’t think it always has to work that way as long as the kindness is passed on one way or another. He also received plenty of kindness and generosity from my parents over the years but that didn’t count either as he paid them back by taking their daughter off their hands for twenty years or so. Besides, any specific acts of kindness towards him (birthday/Christmas checks, grad school loans etc.) were really for me anyway as far as he was concerned. It couldn’t be because they loved him too.

  • A few months after D-Day, I found out my landlord had stopped paying the mortgage on my apartment building, and that the bank was foreclosing and we all had to be out. I had no job and two kids and didn’t know what to do.
    A woman I met through church and who’s son was in school with my daughter, heard about our troubles and told her husband to BUY A HOUSE FOR CARRY ON AND HER KIDS TO LIVE IN. Which he promptly did. He came with a truck, and his sons, packed my whole home up, while she followed behind with a Dyson because my vaccum gave up the ghost, and they just took care of me from beginning to end.
    This same friend mentioned offhandedly that the Post Office she was working at was looking for help and I jumped right on that and now I have a job that pays enough to support us. I didn’t have to go crawling home to my parents, or beg friends to take us in. Three years later I still rent the house, still work for the USPS, and I reached MEH so long ago I don’t even remember when it happened!
    This woman owed me nothing, and yet, she gave me practically everything.
    Talk about nice 🙂

  • A friend called me and asked if I want to do anything the night before my birthday. I already had plans to go to a concert alone. She moved heaven and earth (and I moved seats) so we could go together at the last min. Small things are not small, and I am glad now.

  • I really liked all the comments. Happy way to end the week. Thanks CN! Thanks also to FindingBliss her kind words and encouragement have made the way easier.

  • I love this post. Just goes to show that lo and behold, CN is not a bunch of whiny shrews, despite what haters may say. In fact, if given half a chance, we are absolutely bursting with positivity and appreciation.

    I just watched the Mr. Rogers documentary a couple weeks ago, and cried through it too. I have very distinct memories of being a kid and hearing him say repeatedly, “I like you just the way you are.” I was little, and I had no reason not to believe him. I felt loved and seen. It really resonated with me and even as an adult I never doubted my worthiness, for lack of a better term.

    I always think of my best friend. She was the first person I told, with tear-filled eyes, in the conference room at work I pulled her into. She validated me immediately by affirming my ex’s pattern of shitty behavior: “I’m sorry to say I’m not surprised.” She helped explain what was going on to our friends when I didn’t have the energy. And she called people out for being Switzerland when I didn’t have the energy for that either. I felt so supported by her the whole way through.

    • Your are so blessed to have this friend…the first person I told…I think she feared that I would make a move on her man once Cheater left (I would never have done such a thing) and ended our friendship. That hurt.

      I went to work and told the Lactation Consultants…they are a group of wise old kind owls. None of them ever suffered from infidelity but they stuck right by me.

  • I was 5 months out from DDay, 1 month out from a short hospital stay for suicidal thoughts, and very nearly ready to tell STBX that I was done with the marriage. I decided to take my 3-year-old and 7- month- old across country to see my family by myself. Of course, there were flight delays and at one point, the toddler was in the stroller close to having a meltdown, the baby was propped up in an airport seat playing with a cracker wrapper, and I was mixing a bottle with one hand while holding him up with the other.

    A 20- something woman traveling with her boyfriend leaned over and said, “You are an awesome mom.”

    In their private conversations, STBX had told OW that she was the best mother he knew. It was the single most hurtful thing I’ve ever read.

    I don’t know if that young woman in the airport knew how much I needed someone to say that to me, but I will always be grateful. By the time I got home from my trip, I was 99% ready to file.

  • I would just like to URGE anyone reading this to run to see the Mr. Rogers documentary ‘Would You Be My Neighbor?’. I barely knew who he was but had heard his name of course. This was the most heartwarming documentary I have ever seen. I must have told fifty people to see it, including the popcorn girl at the theater!

    • I am friends with Mr Rogers biographer who often tells sweet stories of him that are never told outside her circle. She was close with him for a long time and still keeps in touch with his widow. I feel special even being one degree of separation from him. He was the real deal.

  • To Fred Rogers, the greatest evil is “people trying to make you feel less than you are.”

    Why cheating hurts so much. Why I consider it evil. Cheating says “you are/our family is worthless to me.”

    But we are NOT. Our children are NOT. We have partnered with and some of us had children with people who are not capable of kindness. Who don’t understand they are the authors of their own unhappiness. Whose failure to do the right thing proves it. I remember the night of DDay, when my “husband” told me the cheating accomplice was “kind”, yelling that “kindness doesn’t hurt people”.

    Mr. Rogers is one of my role models. My hope is that one day I can be considered as kind as he was. Maybe that’s why my marriage is ending?

    I am feeling paralyzed today. Maybe I am just tired from walking through hell, single parenting in a house that looks like a bomb went off (because a bomb did go off), having my core ripped out by stealth attack without anaesthesia, not sleeping very well, crying, panic attacks, gripped by terror about my future, morning trips to CycleBar and two nights a week at karate to try to stay sane, talking and thinking and processing the biggest trauma of my life while having to stay engaged with the person who inflicted it on me, fueled by soup and yogurt and Ensure and an occasional ham sandwich (thinly shaved Swiss, light mayo, iceberg lettuce).

    Thanks to Chump Lady, I have Mr. Rogers keeping me company. I rented the movie and it’s on its third play today. Just to remind me there are still crusaders for kindness in the world even though I didn’t get lucky enough to marry one.

    • Hang in there Velvet Hammer. I do believe that kind people are admired and appreciated by most even if there are some who can’t. You will be fine in the long run because you have no reason to hate yourself. You are a good person and that makes you better than so many others.

  • Clarification:

    Maybe my marriage is ending because if my aspirations are to be kind I can’t be married to someone who is capable of the cruelty required to cheat….

    • Once we see what people are capable of, we cannot unsee.

      Took me a minute to realize the implications of this fact.

      • NANC, it took me 12 years to realize the implication of that fact.

        I look back and realize that my optimism was fucking DELUSIONAL.

        • I hear you. And from so many angles–optimism that they can change, optimism that they are who you think they are and this was a blip, but most devastatingly optimism that you can “get over it.” This last one wasted so much of my time. Like I could ever get over betrayal, when it’s so against my value system. Sometimes thought we need to reach exhaustion before we realize this.

  • My team teaching partner is one of the best people I know. She is the type of person whom I could call at 3:00 am in an emergency, and she’d throw on her clothes and drive out to help me. She had to spend the school day today working on special ed paperwork, so I taught my classes with a sub. She made sure to stop by in the morning with coffee and a doughnut for me. She is the embodiment of kindness, and I am grateful to have her in my life.

  • My current man-friend is incredibly kind. He’s an old flame from my college days. Since we reconnected, organically, after my split from my ex, he’s done nothing but accept me for who I am, work to convince me that who I am is exactly right, and encourage me to follow my dreams and accomplish my goals. Bonus that he has always respected my boundaries without any pushback, even when it wasn’t exactly what he preferred.

    After recognizing the incredible value of self-acceptance, I’ve been extra attentive to others who are going through personal crisis. Lately, I’m reminding people alot about how great they are, and why. Turns out, people sometimes really need to hear that.

  • I loved reading these today! There are two recent incidents that pop into my mind.

    1) I travelled out of town and was staying with friends last weekend and I was an emotional mess Sunday evening. My BFF had been out visiting others and when she returned she brought some leftover chili, which I refused, because I was too upset to eat. BFF does not ‘fuss’. After talking a bit more she just quietly got up and warmed up a bowl for me, put it in front of me, and then… she came back with a handful of corn chips and sour cream!! It was so small and silly, but it meant the world to me and I told her so. She said “I made it special for you, with looove” <3 It was exactly what I needed.

    2) Returning flight, I was at baggage claim just waiting, stepped outside for a few minutes, and this rather frazzled looking woman said something(?) to me, and I just replied, 'no thank you'. A minute later she is sprinting for the train, with many bags, but I see a leather backpack on the ground with a laptop sticking out of it. I yell "Hey Lady come Back!" but she didn't hear me. Luckily, an airport worker walked by and I stopped her, pointed to the bag and quickly told her. She stopped the train, found the woman, and she came sprinting back, tears streaming down her face and grabbed her backpack. She was too frantic to recognize me, but airline worker and I gave her a loud cheer on the return trip to the train. Phew! I was grateful to be in the right place at the right time, in order for her not to have the rest of her trip SUCK! I can only imagine that awful sinking feeling when she realized she'd forgotten her most important stuff! Omg, poor thing.
    I think Karma was quick to turn it back to me, a few minutes later I went to pay my parking garage ticket and my credit card was declined…(?WTF), but it did allow me to use another card that I wasn't sure was gonna work… All fixed now… good grief!

    KINDNESS makes the world go 'round.

  • I am “collection” agent for a company. Most of, if not all at this point, the customers have become more-than-customers to me. I know their names, their children, what they do, etc. One has recently lost his fiance, and with her death also lost her daughter who had to go to live with her father. We had spoken once or twice over the last 3 or 4 months, but he had not followed up in action with what he had spoken. I sent a couple of business-type letters, but heard nothing. I called and got voice-mail. I even told my son that we may have to go to his home to see about him. I reached him by phone yesterday morning. From my own experience and those I’ve read here, I only said “I’m calling to check on your heart and your health.” There was silence…probably for only a few seconds, but seemed like much longer. He said…”nobody, in my whole life, has ever asked me a question like that.” Until I lived through this divorce, I would have never known what happens to a heart when it breaks…when it’s really broken. Until I stumbled upon this site, I had no idea the enormous scope of heartbreak. I’m thankful for the “friends” here that I will never meet.

  • Three weeks after DDay/separation, my college sorority sister drove 8 hours each way on Presidents’ Day weekend with her 8 & 14 year old kiddos to be with me on my birthday. She stopped on the way & picked up a dozen gourmet cupcakes bc she knew my girls wouldn’t have baked me a cake.

  • While away, I was attending a charity Gala event, for a group that provides dream bedroom makeovers for children with life threatening illnesses. Projects usually encompass much more, such as sibling rooms, yards/play areas, etc. Anyway, I volunteered as a designer/project manager with them when they first started 5 years ago. My other “BFF” organizes and executes this Gala each year. Her daughter had stage 4 lymphoma at 14 and was one of the first recipients of a room makeover. We didn’t know if she was going to make it, but, thank God she did. We’ve been paying it forward ever since… The goal last Saturday was $150,000. The receipts far exceeded that goal, again. These people give from either their wallets or their hearts & hands with labor, love, and KINDNESS.
    These people are my tribe. <3

  • I had very few people in my corner…I could not tell my parents – ever… and on Dday, I learned my only sibling was also a cheater. I had a few work friends who would listen, but most of my real support was online (including a now 13 year friendship with our own Patsy)!

    Of the people I know in real life, my Cheater’s youngest sister stuck with me through MANY weepy, desperate, endless, phone calls with me wailing over her brothers behavior. She was right there in it with me. (The older of his sisters is a cheater who published a book about having sex with randos while she was still married and is all sorts of fucked up)

    In April, Im taking the younger sister to Paris.

  • I hope you do not mind, CN but here I am again with another act of kindness that left me breathless.
    When my daughter ‘s husband passed away, not long ago, his body was cremated. There was a visitation and funeral.
    Later she was to return to the funeral home to pick up his ashes.
    Some time passed and I would think about she didn’t ask me to go with her yet to pick up his ashes.( we are very close-I just expected to accompany her).
    Well, one day she called me, telling me she had gone and brought her husband home and placed his ashes in the den on a shelf by his favourite chair.
    I felt so sad imagining her going all alone.
    “It’s ok Mom,” she said, ( she is very strong). Then she went on to tell me that the funeral home lady told her that if it didn’t work out bringing his ashes home, she could bring him back and she could store them there at the funeral home. This lady was aware there were two little children at home and for her to say this to my daughter, thinking it might be too hard, well, I was speechless, breathless, at the kindness of this extraordinary person.
    I know this act of kindness gave my daughter extra strength to do what she had to do.
    Kindness dwells amongst us. For this I am truly grateful.
    (I know my daughter and I will never forget this kindness).

  • My 12 year-old grandson who gave his cell phone number to his aunt for her 7 year-old son (his cousin, also my grandson) so that the cousin who was being bullied could call the 12 year-old anytime. He said, “I want him to know he’s not alone, and I know how that feels.”

  • I found out today that my divorce is FINALLY final. I texted the news to a number of people, including the women in my therapy group. One woman, who I don’t know all that well, immediately texted back, “I’m here. What do you need, a hug or a high five?” Sometimes kindness comes from the most unexpected sources.

  • I am tearing up. I am – and have been – surrounded by so many kind people that I don’t know where to start.

    The people who gave broke me a job, and took a chance on me, and mentored me through the rough first few months because they could see my potential.

    The colleagues who bought me flowers when I broke down and wept at work during the first discard.

    The landlady. The kind priest. The truth-telling person. The great psychologists and counselors. The members of my family who really surprised me with kindness when I needed it the most.

    The people who believed me when I told them my fiance had beaten me up badly, more than once.

    I try to pay it forward, but I don’t think I can ever repay even a fraction of it.

  • My mother drove me to my lawyer’s appointments. Despite the fact that she is a totally insecure driver, who never ventures out of her beaten path! I was too shattered to drive. For her to drive us downtown was a feat of heroism.

    • Awww, that is a true act of heroism! My mom didn’t learn to drive till I was probably 6 or 7 years old. She grew up on a small English island, so nobody drove. In the US, she did learn, but was never a ‘confident’ driver. Bless her heart, she did really well, in spite of the car culture of America. But driving into the city would have been earth shattering for her. <3

  • Psalm 37: fret not yourself over evildoers….trust in the Lord and do good.

    Words I live by.

    My neighbor, 73 on October 11. Fled Guyana with her four sons, leaving her abusive husband back when women didn’t do that! She has been my pillar and rock. Prayers, food, sound advice, commiserations, all round support and understanding.
    Then a lady in admin at law school. I went to her office. She asked me how I was and while I intended to tell her I was fine , when I opened my mouth , go my horror I burst I to tears! She told me to have a seat. Then offered me a sweet from her sweet jar…she said sometimes we need to sweeten up our lives. Then she proceeded to let me know that I was not alone. She has since died but i will always remember her kindness.

  • I was moving out of my tiny house and into my new one, and it was winter so the front yard had gotten weedy. My friends came over and had a weeding party with me. The pulled out 5 or 6 full sized trash bags of grass and weeds from that yard (I had no idea it had actually gotten that bad).

  • My friends have been amazing through the shit show I am dealing with with my cheating husband. An old friend I had not spoken to in 5 years happened to resurface around that time. He now calls me daily to check in, has taught me Buddhist psychology and meditation techniques to get through my pain. My best friend from college invited me & my girls to join her family on vacation this summer in Maine which we did and had an amazing time. And an old friend in London who I had not seen in a decade re-introduced me to another friend who had gone througha divorce recently. This woman, who I have only met once about 20+ years ago, immediately took my call and has offerred to be on my safe list to call or next at any time of day or night if I am feeling lonely. People are really wonderful if you reach out and open up. I feel so lucky to have good people in my life

  • On reflection with time – and drying the tears – I remember:

    When I finally left my cheating, abusive fiance, I went to ground – I was flat broke and so ashamed, and actually, NO ONE helped me. My friends went Switzerland on me, but because I was so young, I didn’t know the meaning of the word. I was the bad guy who had ruined everything, after all. To be honest, I didn’t really want to see anyone much, but there was almost zero help of any kind.

    That was a year of misery, till a relative did a hugely kind thing and took me on a holiday with her, because I’d had such a shitty year. And that was around a year after the breakup.

    I am also very aware that things have really changed for the better, for me and for women generally. I wonder if such an awful thing would happen now – I seem to know young women with much better support networks.

  • @chumpdom I hope you’re reading this, sweetheart! See how much kindness there is in the world!

    Love to CN today x

  • * when my ex and I refinanced the house, the title loan lady must have seen somethimg I did not. She put on the title that nothkng he did not paid into the house entitled him to anything. He went after the house early on,in court and could not get it at all

    * three strangers broke my kids out of the car on a hot summer day when my ex left them,there.

    * I am blessed enough to work with homeless Veterans and they nearly always hold doors open for me.

    * my 75 year old next door neighbors pick my kids up from school for me when I have work

    * my sister and mom send me cards to pick me up.

  • You, Chump Lady.
    Starting this, keeping it going. It’s no mean feat.
    The time and energy you’ve invested !
    The huge change you have made to the narrative of cheating.
    The spotlight you have helped to shine on NPD/ cluster B.
    The hope of recovery.
    And every CN who is here for each other.
    Kindness begets kindness.
    We’re on a roll people!

  • I have been having a health challenge lately, and due to the convalescence ordeal, have had to use a runabout cart in the local grocery store. I went to the market two days ago and was gifted on every turn with help and cheerful encouragement. That was so kind of everyone, and I was truly grateful.

    I hope to be able to pass that same kindness on as I go!

  • Radical kindness was exhibited by all my friends who circled wagons around my family after a former member bailed. None of my friends ever made me feel like the extra wheel. Radical! One friend forbade her kids from socializing with the ex when they visited our town. One friend (school program coordinator) snorted disdain at the ex when he volunteered to chaperon an international field trip with the school. Yeah, right. Disneyland “Dad” was thwarted. No, that chaperon spot was reserved for the PARENT who did all the volunteering with the program and who did NOT step out on her family with some dumb twat. My parents were kind enough to put up the retainer for my divorce attorney, and wouldn’t let me pay them back.

  • My ex wife and I had great friends who’s daughter was our daughters same age. They attended school together as well as dance and basketball etc. they’re still best friends today at 21 years of age. After my ex cheated and left I assumed they would still be friends with her also since we’ve been so close for years. I later learned the wife basically told my ex she needed to reevaluate their friendship and cut her off. Since then I’ve learned from my daughter my ex has tried several times to reconnect with her old friend but she refuses to reply. We on the other hand are still great friends and I’m always welcome there for birthday celebrations and the awesome Super Bowl party every year. I really value them as friends, I don’t have many but they’ve been extremely important to me and my daughter through this hell neither one of us expected.

  • I was super sad and always had puffy eyes from crying. I was always crying. We were at a sports game watching my son. I was sort of just staring trying to hold back tears. Anyhow, a fellow team mom came over to me and struck up a conversation about something random. It broke my crying jag that day. She looked beyond my puffy tear filled eyes and just started up a conversation about the team or something. Everyone else that had seen me so sad never asked nothing. They probably avoided me. Anyway, that dear lady passed away months later unexpectedly leaving behind 2 school age children. Bless her for just talking to me and ignoring the obvious! Sometimes thats all it takes to change someones mood…conversation!

  • Tracy,

    Thank you for writing this post. Glad to see that you see his brilliance and thank you for recognizing him with this touching post. Mr. Rogers meant A LOT to me and now I watch it with my autistic son. He loves it too. Mr. Rogers was a sage and a wiseman in his own right. We need people like him more than ever before.

    We also need more radical kindness. Back in 2013 and after a genetic illness I was born with almost killed me, I made a pact with myself to try to be an influence for good in this life and to center my life around noticing the needs of others (even strangers) and meeting them. Being human, I am deeply flawed. However, I do try. One time I gave a brand new coat to a homeless woman. It was a coat I had saved up for (for several months) and was wearing it for the first time on a 20 degree December day. The homeless woman wore only jeans and a hoodie. I took off my brand new coat and asked her to try it on. It looked like it was tailored to fit her body. So, I asked her to keep it and she did. She said she didn’t know how to repay me and I said I was so happy just to be in the position to give the gift of warmth.

    Another time, I was in Trader Joe’s. They had beautiful hyacinths for sale and I bought several. As I was selecting them, an elderly woman (who could hardly walk) smelled them and talked about how happy they made her. Her husband said they couldn’t afford them. I grabbed a bunch of them and purchased them. I told the cashier that I was going to give several of the hyacinths to the couple. The couple was in another line. My cashier went and told the cashier in the line of the elderly couple that I had bought the hyacinths and that I would be giving them to the couple. Other people were watching as I did this. I approached the elderly couple and I explained to them I had noticed that the wife wanted the hyacinths but they were not on their grocery list. I told them I bought the hyacinths for her because it was easy to see they made her happy. To say this elderly couple was flabbergasted is an understatement. The wife started crying. Finally the wife said, “Today is my birthday. I didn’t think I would get any kind of present.”
    I said I was honored to help. Then she told me she also suffered from tremendous pain and showed me some sores on her arms and red spots. She explained that her family doctor ignored the painful spots. I took a look and they appeared to be a serious case of shingles. I wrote down on a piece of paper the medication that treats shingles and gave her instructions on how to bring this up with her doctor so she could get formally diagnosed and treated. She cried again. I told her I was so sorry she had a painful condition. She said, “I wasn’t crying because of the pain. For the past 10 years, I have been certain God abandoned me. I have been so sad because God abandoned me and I have been asking him for a sign that he still cared. I got my sign today. Praise God for sending an angel to help.” Lots of people were watching by that point and about 20 people followed me and gathered by the exit to the store. An African American woman said they had all been watching and wanted to join hands and pray. So I joined hands with 20 strangers. Each one talked about an ailment or a family member who needed help and all of us prayed for those people. These strangers assumed I had what they called “the spirit of God” with me. I assured them that I was just like them and there was nothing special about me. But I was still happy to pray if that is what they needed. That was a very surreal experience and experiences like this have happened ever since. For the record, I do not attend any religious congregations. My mom’s side is Jewish and my dad’s WASP through and through. I am “spiritual” and meditate and pray daily, but refuse dogma of any kind. I believe that the only thing of value we have are the good acts that we do for others when there is absolutely nothing for us to gain personally. I don’t believe God or a higher power is giving me gold stars. I simply believe the way we get through this life is by truly seeing the humanity in others— seeing past labels— and especially doing acts of kindness for people who are marginalized or who have absolutely nothing (such as homeless populations). Seeing suffering in others, whether human or animal, is very painful to see and I attempt to be a voice for those and a protector of those who are often overlooked. I have always been this way, even as a child. However, after my genetic illness got very serious, I began to put more focus on what I could give to others while I am here on earth. While I am NOT perfect and would never claim to be, I attempt to hold myself to this standard. Someone must intentionally live a life that neutralizes the more base instincts that are present is some humans. I am not perfect but I am intentional about life. May not always succeed, but I won’t give up on trying to be better and do better to others and to the planet and all it’s inhabitants, including all the beautiful flora and fauna with whom we share this beautiful planet. Each day I wake up and ask God/higher power to put people in my path who I can help in some concrete way. (Most of the time it doesn’t involve money or material items. It involves intervening in people’s lives in ways that affect an enormous change.) It’s my way of giving back more than I take while here. I don’t expect others to do it. Everyone has their own personal path. This is my path and I do try, even if I don’t succeed.

  • Thank you Tracy for this wonderful blog and everyone in CN for posting all of these wonderful things. I cried as I read them over the weekend. There truly are good people in this world.

    I was lucky enough to have to have a great group of friends to help me through my ex husband’s affair, the loss of our house, the kid’s changing schools, the separation and finally the divorce (7 years later – thats a story in itself). Some were my longtime friends and others were his longtime friends who jumped ship when they finally were told of all the awful things he did to me and my sons. They were there when I showed up on their doorsteps crying hysterically. They were there when I needed help running the kids to their activities. They were there to listen and they were there to trash talk him when I needed that too. I have often said that I will never be able to repay them, and they all answer that I don’t need to. They were happy to help and know that I would have done the same thing for them. I also had very understanding bosses and a young coworker who offered very sage advice whenever I needed it.

    I will be forever grateful to all of them. I will be forever grateful to CL and CN too. The wealth of information and support is overwhelming and the sarcasm is just what you need to make it through the day.

    Kindness. It goes a long way!

  • I found out that my husband has been cheating on me on Saturday. I went to the Library to get some books on the subject. The internet was down and the Librarian asked me what the subject matter was . I said ‘cheating ‘ … ‘infidelity’ I just found out. She looked at me and said “Knowledge is power. Here are the numbers. Let me walk you up there and if you need anything come and get me.” I found the books . They were all about working it out and I sat in a chair and cried ..

    • Mary sweetheart, so sorry. Such a terrible blow, hugest of hugs to you. The Librarian was right – knowledge is power and yours is just waiting for you to grasp it. Please keep posting and reading here, Chump Nation has your back. Please give us an update and all the best to you lovely. Love x

  • Oh Mary,

    I’m so sorry. How awful for you. How awesome the librarian is. You deserve a thousand of her. Know you deserve better. Find someone to talk to. Read the post here. ((hugs))).

  • I sing “It’s You I Like” by Mr. Rogers to my kids almost every day. Even though it’s written for kids, this song helped me get through some really dark moments at the end of my abusive relationship with my cheating STBX. Mr. Rogers is a beautiful reminder that there are people who like you for who you are, not just pretend to like you for what you can give them.

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