It’s Not Selfish to Put Your Needs First at Times

Warning – Fake Friend Request from “Jean Riseman”
Two people have told me they received a fake friend request using the same photo on my actual page. I am looking to the left and wearing an orange hoodie. No other photos, no posts, can’t remember if they said there was a “mutual friend” listed or not.

I had no idea what to do about this, so I Googled it. I learned:

“If you come across a fake profile, Facebook urges you to report the account. You can do so by going to the profile’s page and clicking the three dots under the cover photo, next to the “Message” button.

If you’re reporting an account that’s disguising itself as another person, click “Find Support or Report Profile.” To report a page that’s pretending to be a company, click

Experts suggest also filing a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3.”

The idea of somebody reporting a fake me to the FBI made me laugh out loud! (And it reminded me of the childhood wish that I had been separated at birth from an identical twin and that someday I would find her.)

I worry that it might be somebody trying to trigger a trusting survivor. So be careful with any friend request that seems a little weird. Safest is when the person asking to befriend you has several friends who are friends with you. Then, you can figure out how they came across you.

I get friend requests from handsome older men in the military, born in the US but stationed in the Middle East. It’s a romance scam – some poor soul in a call center is paid to shower a woman with compliments, make her fall in love, and then ask for money for airplane tickets to visit her. Then, of course, they get sick at the last minute. They don’t realize that any man in the military would be way too young for me!

Other scammers are looking for a way to get personal information or place malware on your computer.


I think most of us were called selfish as children. We didn’t know what it meant at first, but we did understand that it was a bad thing to be. We came to believe that we were bad for wanting something that others had, for wanting something that would make us happy or make us stop hurting so much. We learned that taking care of ourselves, even if it didn’t hurt others in any way, was selfish.

Nobody had to spell it out for us. It was clear from the expression on the adults’ faces and their tone of voice that we had made them angry and disgusted. We were filled with shame.

Guilt is the emotion we feel when we have done something we believe is wrong. Whether we did it on purpose, whether we were forced to do it, or whether it was a mistake, we still feel guilty. Shame is different; it is our reaction to something we are, something we cannot change, like the color of our eyes.

So if wanting things meant we were selfish, and selfish was a shameful thing, we were selfish for life, and we must forever be ashamed of ourselves.

This explains why so many survivors are horrified when somebody suggests that it is sensible and right and good and moral to put their own needs first in certain situations. It feels like they are being told to do something shameful on purpose, just like in the old days. It feels as if a person they liked and trusted has turned on them and is trying to trick them into doing something shameful.

It takes tact and perseverance to explain that taking care of one’s needs is not a selfish act. How can you take good care of a baby when you are seriously sleep deprived? How can you teach your children to take good care of themselves when you are ashamed to take care of yourself? Remember, children copy your actions, as well as what you tell them to. When you say one thing and do another, it’s confusing.

I run across this situation over and over again in groups. So many people feel guilty because they are too tired or too busy to support other group members. If they don’t respond, will the world end? Probably not. The person in need has been in that place before and has survived. Chances are they will survive if you put your needs over theirs. Besides, somebody else might very well respond.

The last time this happened, I said, “I think everybody in the group should put their own needs first. Then you would be part of a group where everybody knew how to take care of themselves!” It got a good laugh.

Of course, there are exceptions. For example, in a crisis, many people will forget their needs and tend to the crisis. Afterward, there will be time to relax, recuperate, and return to whatever else needs your attention.

There’s also the situation where somebody is capable of taking care of themselves but doesn’t know how. Assuming you are in a position to help, you can either do what they are asking or encourage them to do it themselves. “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

A respectful way of offering your knowledge might sound like, “I know how to do that, and I don’t find it hard. Would you like to hear about my approach?” Not pushy, not judgmental, not harsh in tone. (By the way, an offered solution is often accepted when the problem isn’t present, simply because there is a lot less pressure.) People generally are pleased when they learn a new skill and feel stronger and more empowered when they take better care of themselves and do not feel dependent on others.

An exception that is better not to make is when the person demands something inappropriate. Then it is best to say no. This happens a lot when the other person is addicted to alcohol or drugs. It’s hard to keep the boundary in the face of escalating demands, but you are not helping the other person if you give in. Instead, you are making it easier for them to hurt themselves and hurting yourself in the process.

It will get easier if you keep practicing how to sort out when to put yourself first and when to meet the other person’s request. You will begin to see that putting yourself first is not a selfish act; it is an act of self-care that others often accept without a problem. They might even support you in your decision! Or, even more amazing, they might gain courage from your decision and start emulating you!

Upcoming Holidays

1/13 Satanic New Year
1/17 Full Moon
1/17 Feast of Fools/Old Twelfth Night/Satanic and demon revels
1/17 (?) Martin Luther King Jr. Day
1/20 St. Agnes’ Eve
1/31 New Moon

2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc/Satanic Revels
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/12 (?) Lincoln’s Birthday
2/16 Full Moon
2/21 (?) Presidents’ Day/Washington’s birthday
2/25 Walpurgis Day

3/1 Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras
3/1 St David’s Day (patron saint of Wales)
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/2 Ash Wednesday/beginning of Lent
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day (patron saint of Ireland)
3/18 Full Moon
3/21 Spring Equinox

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

1/16 – 1/17 (sundown to sundown) Tu Bishvat/Tu B’Shevat (Jewish celebration of spring)
1/12 Birth of both Rosenberg and Goering, Nazi Leaders in WWII
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
2/26 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)


You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Candlemas –
Valentine’s Day –
Spring Equinox –
Easter: personal – (for background, see Spring Equinox) –
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve –
Beltane –
Mothers’ Day
Fathers’ Day –
Summer Solstice (corrected text) –
Lammas –
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 –
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 –
Fall Equinox –
Halloween (personal) – 
Halloween (background) –
Thanksgiving –
Yule/Winter Solstice –