When Your Best Friend Is An Energy Vampire...
Do boundaries go out the window in case of emergency?
It's a question each of us has to answer for ourselves and for me, the answer was no.
Her mother had had a significant heart attack but by that time,
I just couldn't open myself up anymore.
We'd been friends for years, practically our whole lives, but the constant judgement, always being in the wrong and in the end, finally understanding I could not trust her with anything, forced me to walk away.
I love her mother, she'd been like a second mother to me as well yet, I knew if I opened that door even the littlest bit, I'd be sucked right back into all the rest of the drama and I just couldn't do it. The bullsh*t had been going on for years, and in that time, I'd worked diligently release my anger and to separate myself from all of it. After all the crap she pulled, I was just done and that's how it had to be. Still, it breaks my heart...
She hates me and feels I abandoned her in their time of greatest need. This is not in my nature but it's also an easy entre for energy vampires to manipulate and exert control. As an Empath, I am always the person trying to help, to save, rescue etc. No man left behind, right? But not when it's detrimental to your mental health, physical wellbeing, or damaging to other relationships around you. The swirl of emotions (anger, sadness, betrayal, loss, guilt...) were crushing me and I had to draw a line.
Yeah, I said guilt. Even after all the times she let me down, lied to me or accused me of not doing things the way she thought I should, I still felt guilt about walking away.
Now she hates me. I can't change that and, even though her daughters likely hate me too, I will always love them, and they will always be my nieces. They'll never know the truth and really, I wouldn't tell them even if they asked. How do you even explain to someone that their mother is a passive aggressive energy vampire?
Nothing has ever been her fault; she's always played the victim and to say anything else would be a complete waste of breath. It was the same with her brother. Suffering complete emotional exhaustion, he and his children came to live in my home. He bled me dry financially, lied to my face and trashed my septic system (which we're still trying to fix). And when I finally said they had to leave, he told everyone I'd kicked them out of my house. It was the truth but somehow, he always neglected to mention that we'd let them live here rent free, for close to a year. And any time I asked him to kick in money (once he had a job, which we helped him to get) because now I was supporting a family of seven, he would look at me like I was speaking Swahili, and nothing ever changed.
My "best friend" is an energy vampire. It took me a long time to see it, much longer than it probably should have but there's something about the people we grow up with and those childhood memories I guess, that can keep us blinded to the truth.
Hugely possessive of me and my time. everyone in any group conversation knew we were "best friends." If there were perks to be gained from my work, it was an affront if I did not share the inside scoop, free stuff, dream interpretations or free readings for anyone she knew. You know the drill; the "I'm sure you won't mind interpreting this dream for my neighbor's sister's cousin?" Right? It went on and on...
But it didn't go both ways and boundaries were never respected. We went back "too far" for that, she'd remind me. Commitments were conveniently forgotten, reminders met with fury and whatever it was, I was always wrong. There was entitlement and judgement when I didn't handle something the way she felt I should, and there was rage. Again, and again, there would be rage when I did not conform to the rules she dictated. But, childhood, and roller skates I thought...
Time went on, her mother fell and broke her hip but, when I returned her call letting me know, my voicemail went unanswered. Eventually, I did speak with her mom and was glad to know she would be ok. More time passed and I called to check in, only to be disconnected after saying hello. Silly me, I thought maybe she dropped her phone but, when I called back it went straight to voicemail. In another attempt, while driving home from a weeklong seminar where, among other things, the importance of reconciliation was mentioned (a lot), I called again. Voicemail. Though I did eventually get a text saying I was "welcome to call again if I wanted." I had explained it was a 10-hour road trip and I would be in the car with plenty of time to talk. Of course, I heard nothing.
In my mind we were done, there was nothing more to say, unless you counted the almost daily posts on Facebook, talking about "real friends" and what "true friendship" meant. And then her mother had a heart attack and I was supposed to forget everything that happened over the last several years and stand in place as the dutiful friend.
Cold as it may seem, at that point, all I was able to muster was a text message. I simply had enough. Through this same passing of years, especially with the loss of my Twin(flame) and other significant events, I was shown over and over, what true friendship looks like, and this just wasn't it. I am an empath, a "feeler" and, we tend to move very slowly when excising someone from our lives, whereas a "thinker" or someone who is not empathic, is often quite quick to cut a cord. And while it's true we had been friends for decades, and been through so much, I knew nothing was ever going to change.
It really hit home for me when, on more than one occasion, someone pointed out that I would never let anyone treat me the way she did. That hit me like a slap right across the face and was the wakeup call I needed.
It was time for a change, but I couldn't just call up and say, "See ya!" and I did not want to deal with the drama guaranteed to be part of exiting this relationship. I had to set a boundary and it needed to be strong. I texted my thoughts and prayers about her mother's heart condition, added her to my prayer list and then, I waited. Until there it was, another shitty message. Another argument blaming me for everything, and I chose not to answer the phone. I held my ground. I sent a voice message so she could hopefully hear my love for all of them, but I just could not bring myself do any more. She railed against me, accusing me of trashing our friendship and I will admit, that one hurt, a lot. I understood where she was coming from but, it still didn't change anything, I will always love her, her girls and her mother but, I teach people every day to love the toxic people in their lives, "way the F over there" and it was time to take my own advice.
I had no desire to hold on to the anger or nurture any hatred for how our friendship had devolved and I worked hard to release it. Time and again, I had extended myself to her whole family and had my hand slapped away by all of them. But holding on to the negative emotions was only going to punish me, so I let go. I let go of all of it. I thanked the Universe for the good parts and all the wonderful memories we'd shared. Even knowing I did not want her back in my life, until her mother's heart attack, a part of me still held the door open for her, but no more.
Setting new boundaries where they never have been, can be one of the toughest things to defend in the mind. We're so programmed that this person is "supposed" to be here or it has "always been this way" and my favorite; "it's never going to change so why bother?"
To me, "it's never going to change" is exactly WHY we need to stand strong and set our boundaries! If they won't change then the only one who can change the situation is ME. I must be willing (and strong enough) to stand up for me because if I won't stand up for myself, how can I ever expect others to do so? It wasn't easy and a lot of times it didn't feel good but, I put up my wall and I stood behind it. Drama and anger may reign on the other side, but here on my side, it's a beautiful sunny day and I'm enjoying the peace immensely. I have no ill will. I wish only the most wonderful things for all of them, as long as it's on the other side of my wall.
What about you? Is there a toxic relationship you've been tolerating for far too long because, "that's just the way it is?"
I've got some spare bricks, if you need them, just ask.