Monday, September 04, 2006

Emotional Vampires

Oh, they do exist! And, in all shapes and forms.

Today I was thinking of a former gal pal of mine who I will call Jamie. I met Jamie around 10 years ago at a very difficult time in my life. I had a major decision to make and I went to a UU retreat for a week to clear my head. We were paired as room mates.

I could sense that Jamie had some problems, but since I was a basket case myself at the time, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. And, she was there for me during this bad time in my life. I greatly appreciated her input and support and that made me a loyal friend to her.

After the retreat was over we remained friends. She was from Illinois and we maintained contact with phone calls and visits.

Let me say that Jamie has a very strong personality. She tries to give the appearance of a very strong, independent woman. It works for a while, but then another side of her appears. She is one of the most angry peopleI have ever met. Angry at what, I'm not real sure, she has a life time of it built up. She has her issues and I believe she is extremely insecure. She is also very opinionated and would strongly voice her opinions, whether they were appropriate at the time or not. After listening to another side of the story or to "reason," she would back down and try to explain what she "really meant." I know she has been in therapy on and off most of her adult life. However, from what she told me, once the therapist points out where she needs to change, she gets angry and does not return.

Let me also say that it many ways Jamie is a very talented individual. She has a wonderful singing voice, has great ideas and is very artistic. She can be a very caring woman. But, it is like she gets in the way of herself.

Over time we worked together on various committees planning women's retreats. I would recommend her to serve on the committee and would always end up running behind her, patches wounds she would inflict on other people with her attitude and vicious tongue. When things don't quite go Jamie's way, she feels threatened and she lashes out with a venomous tongue. At last she was asked to leave a committee we were both working on because of her anger directed towards a young, teenage girl who she reduced to tears in a very public place. That was the last straw for me.

Since then she has tried to establish contact with me, but I do not respond. Dealing with her under any circumstance sucks the energy right out of me. She is an emotional vampire.

At one time, I dated a man like this, too. He comes on as a strong and secure man, but is also very angry and feels like the world has dealt him a bad hand. He has the "poor me" attitude and feels that he is a good and decent man who is misunderstood and mistreated by those in his life. He feels many people, including family members, are jealous of him. When he is hurt and angry he twists facts and will actually lie about things. He will do and say hurtful things. Another emotional vampire.

Here's what I have learned about emotional vampires and how to spot them and keep them out of your life:

1. They claim to be strong, independent and very self assureed. They are quite the opposite.
2. They do not get along with their co-workers and cannot keep jobs.
3. They don't get along with most of their family, including parents and siblings.
4. They can't maintain a loving relationship.
5. They don't have friends.
6. They claim to have done nothing wrong in their lives, that it is always the other person who is at fault.
7. When angry they are verbally abusive and probably could become physically abusive as well.

It doesn't have to be a full moon for emotional vampires to come out. Religious crosses and ropes of garlic won't keep them away. It is better to identify them right away and keep them out of your life or they will suck your energy right out of you

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Animal Abuse

What the hell is wrong with people?

I read on the CNN webpage about a little 14 pound dog, Bebe, who was actually granted a restraining order from the person who severely abused the little dog.

For once, a judge had some sense and actually did something to protect an abused animal.

I know, I know . . . it's just a little dog - don't get so worked up.

I fully realize that there are millions of abused children here in the United States. And, yes, I care very deeply for them. Comparing little Bebe's abuse to those of children is not something I am trying to do here.

Still, I just don't get it. To repeatedly kick or hit a helpless dog, big or little, is disgusting.

I suspect one of the dogs in my neighborhood of being abused. Dusty is a beautiful yellow lab and my little Gracie's best pal. Dusty is very skittish around people and afraid if I reach out to him. My other dog, Lucy Lou, is like that, so I am not too concerned about that behavior. However, one time when we met Dusty he had a thin line across his back - like he had been struck by a rod. Now when I see him I always scan his body for other marks. If I ever see another one, I will call the police.

If a person abuses helpless animals, just imagine what they do to people - both adults and children. I hope those close to the person who abused little Bebe take heed and make sure he gets the help he sorely needs.