Friday, April 15, 2011

Emotional Vampires

"When encountering emotional vampires, see what you can learn. It's your choice. You can simply feel tortured, resentful, impotent. Or, as I try to do, ask yourself, "How can this interaction help me grow?" — Judith Orloff

Over the last several years, there has been a lot of talk about Emotional Vampires and although I never knew the terminology, I knew the signs and the results of being around such people.  It's not only not pleasant, but very draining on anyone's mental, emotional and physical well-being.

I've lived with people who were extremely pessimistic and negative in their outlooks on life, literally sucking dry anyone who stayed around them for any length of time.  But what of people who are so deeply and religiously convicted to the point that they have a completely different demeanor that instead of being joyous because of their belief and love of God they have become doom-sayers and very unhappy...even to the point that they are angry?

I live with such a person, someone who I have watched go from a very optimistic and happy-go-lucky individual to someone who has become so moody, so obviously miserable and in turn, it is making the rest of us miserable as well.  

I know that she doesn't see it within her, I don't think she realizes just how much she has changed...not just because of bringing religion into her life, but also because of the man that she now calls husband, who dictates her every move. 

I struggle daily with maintaining a postive sheild against the both of them, and some days, I know I am too close to faltering...not giving in, just exhausted in the attempt to block that negativity from doing harm to myself and her children.  She is completely unaware that her children have drifted away from her...almost at every turn, she is yelling at them over the most minute things.  They come to me and want me to explain to them "why" mommy is so mean, "why" she is mad, "why" she yells so much...etc.

What do I say to them?  They are so young and innocent in their understanding of what can I say...when even I don't understand?

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