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Friday, February 15, 2013
The unsatiable Energy Vampire
Hunting for prey
I came across the the term "Energy Vampire" in some article some years ago and wished that I had been aware of the danger involved in a relationship with an energy vampire much earlier before too much damage had been done. I wished I could have turned back the time and saved myself from the destructive power,- that poetically said "almost sucked the life out of me".
I guess writing this article is an attempt to help me come to terms: I cannot change what has happened and it is no use to cry over spilt milk. Life has to go on. It is humane to err. Blah, blah. And so on.
But I also want to warn others not to make the same mistakes I had commited, and save themselves from the dangerous energy vampires.
Huh, but what is actually an energy vampire?
It is easy to define what an energy vampire is: somebody who sucks out your good energy till you are left with less or without much energy to live your own life.You are left feeling exhausted, drained and depressed since the other person feeds off your energy.
However, from my own experience, we tend to either ignore these physical signs of discomfort or are hardly aware of the warning signals our bodies (and minds) send off since we are not always in tune with our bodies. Even when we know or feel something is not right, we cannot easily pinpoint the underlying causes of these problems, especially when they are very close to us, as it happened to me:
He is coming to get you!...
I have known X for a long time back when I still lived in Indonesia. We were close in some way but not that close since we were not on the same wavelength.
But when she also came to Vienna and married an Austrian, it was the most natural thing to do for her to contact me. We met once a week and soon I realized that she was not happy with her marriage, her husband, her in laws and her life. I had met her new family members and I could understand why she was not the happiest person in this universe. She was disappointed with her husband whom she thought would have been able to achieve more in life if only he had worked harder.
Her mother in law was a very dominant personality who supported them financially and demanded favors in return, understandably. Life had never been easy for a foreigner with no good job. Those were her main lines and stories to tell.
Me & life stories
Me, I liked listening to life stories. Any kinds. I thought by listening to others' stories I learnt to avoid the mistakes they had made and became smarter myself without wasting my life away. I also felt more superior since the persons in need usually asked me for some advice, something I gave freely and readily for others since I was the type who liked "case analyzing and problem solving" approaches and to play a rescuer. Admittedly, it was good to have this feeling of "I am luckier than thou".
Looking back, I realize that all the combinations above had made me an easy target of energy vampire.
Though I felt exhausted and drained when I met X, it had taken me years to put two and two together. I always thought that hormones or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, the bad weather, wrong foods and other things were the ones to blame.
As time went by, I couldn't help noticing that X talked even more about her own problems than before. She was not in the least interested in other things or people that didn't fit to her internal world, and sadly I belonged to this uninteresting category. So when I tried to talk about ordinary things like vacation and what I did,she immediately steered the conversation towards her own and only subjects: her own life and problems. When I tried to give her some advice, she would hardly ever follow them.
Slowly gone were my superior feelings, replaced by the feelings of anger and frustration. I gradually realized that she just needed me to let off steam by treating me as her emotional trash can. Not a single day passed without me thinking of her problems and life since we kept in touch by phone and mail on almost daily basis. I felt stupid for having indulged her and given her support while actually I needed all the energy I had for myself since I had been feeling exhausted and washed out. All these years while trying to fix her, I neglected my own life and needs. I was doing some serious thinking and evaluating our unhealthy relationship when I came across the life saving article on "energy vampire". Suddenly everything clicked. The discomfort. The distress. The tightness in the chest. The disappointment, anger towards somebody unknown. The helpless feelings.
Those had been the signals my body and mind sending me for years. The more problems the vampire was facing, the more energy she drained from me, and the greater was my distress.
After this 'revelation' I wrote to X and explained the whole situation to her. I wanted a more balanced relationship based on give and take. I wanted to be listened to, not just had to listen to her all the time. I didn't want her to use me as her emotional trash bin only.
Unfortunately this 'plea' fell on deaf ears. She didn't change and still bombarded me with her stories and laments which made me ask myself: "Do I really want to stay in touch with her now that I know who she is: a very vigorous energy vampire who can suck me dry?" The answer, though painful, was a big NO. I couldn't take it anymore. If I wanted to get my life back, I had to say "NO!" I decided to avoid her and at the end, I had to tell her I could and would not see her again.
More than 1,5 years has passed since I had written to her. I have been feeling much better and calmer ever since. I have, more or less, won my own life back. I don't spend most of my time morosedly thinking what I can do to help her anymore. I can refocus on my life, goals and more importantly myself.
Of course there is some guilty feeling for not being there for her that is nagging me sometimes, but I hope it will pass eventually. She will soon find easier preys, that I am sure. I feel sorry for her next victims, but it is not my life task to rescue everybody. Besides who knows IF she has probably changed to the better though I am not sure it will be the case. From what I heard from others, she just sounded the same to me. I suppose it is hard to change especially when we are already set in our own ways.
Sometimes I was wondering if in fact I was not only a victim but also a villain who sadly and unintentionally led her to the wrong path by acting as a too accommodating amateur pscyhologist who failed to set boundaries and put a stop before things got worse to feed my ego?
I don't know. One thing I know is that though by severing the ties I am finally free from the vampire herself, my struggle is not yet over. I still have very deep regret for not recognizing the signs and ending the relationship sooner. I am still furious with X who makes me feel resentful towards her instead of having compassions for her who has not been so fortunate in life and love.
I hope this feeling of regret and anger will somehow pass eventually and I will be able to enjoy my freedom without any regrets.
For our live video clip on "how to fight the energy vampire and win back your life" click on this link!
My messages: Observe the warning signals your body sends you Walk away from energy vampires,whoever they are.
Try to get together with positive thinking people so you will be surrounded by positive energy
In a relationship don't forget to give and take
Live your life to the full!
Thank you to those who have never failed to give me comfort and support whenever I am feeling low
A Special thanks to my 'new editor' Barbara W, you are the kindest soul I've ever met!