Monday, November 17, 2008

Keep on using me until you use me up....

Do you usually find that it takes some sort of major event to make you realize that you've been used?

I haven't written much about this here but I've been having housemate troubles. I've rented the mother-in-law unit in this house for quite a few years and during that time, the owner of the house has begun aging rapidly.

I've always openly helped her as I believe that is what my faith and culture demand of me.

She's always had a somewhat colonialist attitude. Usually, I can blow that kind of thing off. Someone else's attitudes really aren't my issue and as long as they're not overt about it or rub my nose in it, I'll ignore it. Dust on my shoulder, as the song says.

Recently some things came to light that have led me to realize that I am going to have to move out of here soon or I'll be gobbled up.

If you can imagine someone being unable to be happy for me when something goes well, that is what I'm dealing with. A mutual friend informed me of this ~ that she is resentful of my good fortune lately. In her mind, that means I am no longer as available to her as I have been in the past because now I am expanding my life to include other people and other activities.

Something shifts inside of me when I realize a person is capable of being so selfish that she can't be happy for me. Lately, I'm having a very difficult time even looking at her. Every conversation is a strain. The very presence of her is so repugnant that I feel nausea.

My spirit of helpfulness ~ which is intrinsic to who I am ~ has been temporarily put in Protective Custody. This event has caused me to withdraw deep inside and resist any attempt on anyone's part to claim any dependence on me for anything. It doesn't feel very good because that's not who I am.

I just know I feel disgusted. I feel violated. Right now, I can't see the good in her at all. My mind is simply incapable of processing that kind of selfishness.

I'm not angry. Surprisingly. With a temper like mine. This is something that goes beyond anger. When I see her now, it is like looking at some alien lifeform. It's rather frightening that she seems not quite human.

Right now, I am not feeling compassion. I am not choosing love. I am not choosing forgiveness.

Right now ~ in this moment ~ I just want her to stay the hell away from me. I don't want that kind of spiritual filth in my energy field.



heartinsanfrancisco said...

It's about time. Your faith and culture do not demand martyrdom of you. When someone completely repletes a resource, there is nothing left to give, and that is what has happened in this instance.

It is clearly time to move on. Your work is done there. You did what you could for a very long time, but she needs to take responsibility for herself now.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I meant DEpletes. :)

flutter said...

some people are just not commendable.

Leann said...

It never feels good to be used and eliminating the negative energy from our lives is very important.

meno said...

i don't think we would be human if we were able to instantly forgive and move on. Sometimes we just need to move on.

Fran said...

It is the difference between a black hole and a mirror.

If we are mirrors to one another we reflect our sunlight back to each other. I suspect that you are both sun and mirror in a very beautiful way. At least that is how I experience you on this blog.

Black holes suck out all the light and energy. I was in a relationship with two friends and over time the dynamic grew into that, until I could no longer breathe and see.

So you are wise to consider moving- literally and figuratively - now before there is more potential harm.

Your light is bright Chani, but don't let it be tainted at all if you can.

Anonymous said...
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Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Yes, I have often found myself not realizing that things have gone south until something major happens. I hope you get it sorted out in a way that is healthful for you.

Anvilcloud said...

Some jealousy and/or fear going on there, I guess, which perhaps trump other feelings (on her part).

LittlePea said...

Good decision. It's best to take a step and and think things over for a while. Perhaps when you feel enough distance between you and the negative feelings you could maybe talk things over with her? I've been in a caretaking position before and I found that when a person is in a position of needing help and having to depend upon someone's generosity certain resentments that really have nothing to do with the caretaker come up. She may feel like she's losing a big part of you and it's turned to anger so that she cannot allow herself to be happy for you. Because your happiness is perhaps her loss.

SUEB0B said...

She is old and scared. You have offered yourself as support because of your compassionate nature, and she is clinging to you. That has to be uncomfortable. But you have a part in this because you didn't set boundaries with her. The compassionate thing to do is not to cut her off, but to communicate with her and help her understand that she will need to find someone else to help her in your absence. I think that if you do this correctly and with an open heart toward what she is facing - aging, needy, alone - you can handle it without creating negative karma.

Christy said...

Oh, this is a toughie!

Sometimes the aged are like children.

I'd try to see her as human. If she's a drain, then you have to decide whether or not to let her drain, how much you have available for her to take.

You might even ask her about it, teach her something? (Or you might insult her, accidentally....LOL)

I'd HAVE to ask, to see for myself. Maybe she could have an epiphany, maybe you could give her one?

Even if it was your last gift to her.

Anonymous said...

I think some people are so broken, that they cling to a single person as their lifeline. They resent any intrusion on that person by anyone and anything else, as taking directing from them. They are to be pitied, but it often becomes necessary to move from them as well. They are not able to give in return. They will no doubt search out another soul to cling to after you. It is a sad thing.

Amy Y said...

Realizing that you've been used is one of the worst feelings in the world. You have a right to mourn the relationship that you thought you had before you realized the extent of your being taken advantage of. I'd be very hurt and angry, too.

Anonymous said...

That kind of toxic dependency can really push buttons and bring up intense fears of engulfment, like one is being eaten like a cookie! How small and alone she must feel in re: to your bright spirit! All of your commenters have said some very wise things.

Brandi Reynolds said...

just respectfully seeing the possible reasons on the other side...

those are some really harsh words towards someone that, it sounds like, might be lonely or insecure or not in high self esteem.

I am not justifying being used...I am just saying I don't think they rank as 'filth'.

thailandchani said...

Cow-girl, I do see what you are saying. Let me clarify one thing though: I have called her toxic selfishness "spiritual filth" - and indeed it is! She is not just a lonely old woman looking for some kindness. She's manipulative, arrogant and controlling.

I would never refer to a person as "filth"... but predatory self-interest and callous selfishness.. oh, yes! I will call it that every time! It is spiritual nuclear waste.


3brainer said...

I think SUEB0B got it right. This old woman is afraid, and doesn't know what to do, so she acts from fear not love. Now is a test for you. I think you have recognized that it is time to move on, and you probably should. So you have made your decision, now help her to understand why. Avoiding and feeling resentful only brings you down. Try to remember why you helped her in the first place. Good luck.

Woman in a Window said...

Chani, I'm wondering too if the woman you speak of isn't scared of something. That said, do move on. Just because she's in need doesn't mean it is up to you to fulfill it. We all need to come toward each other respectfully.

Towely said...

Nice Bill Withers reference by the way.

Christy said...

3brainer said it so right!

Help her understand why you're backing out.

Not that you owe HER. You owe YOU.

Holding onto resentment, well, you know the old saying, it's like taking poison every day hoping someone else will die.

And I'm a bit confused about why you were ever this woman's friend at all, if she was so bad?

(Although, god knows, we've ALL done that......)

Christy said...

Sorry! over commenting.....LOL

But I see you said it was your faith that made you be kind to her, and not her goodness. That you knew all along.

You just didn't know the depth of her soul disease?

She's sicker than you thought, maybe too sick for your abilities to deal?

You definitely have a right to your feelings, of course.

I didn't mean to say you shouldn't acknowlege yourself--you've done alot.

But your faith is the same, whether she's worse than you thought or not. It just takes an acknowlegement that this is as far as it goes for you, and telling her why. I've often in my life just cut people off without telling them why because it was too uncomfortable, and I regret that.

Defiantmuse said...

Where I lived in Louisiana during high school and then again in my early 20s was basically a cesspool for people like that. Manipulative, energy suckers. It took a long time to break away from it. Even still I tend to get a bit rage-y if I think about certain things for too long. I basically found that, in the end, I needed to completely remove myself from connections such as those that pollute me. Nothing good comes from it and I could feel myself being dragged along with it.

painted maypole said...

unfortunately, I think we all often feel a bit of disappointment when someone else's good fortune means that their life will change away from us. HOWEVER, we need to put that selfishness aside for the other person. So... It's one thing for her to feel it and maybe even mention it to a friend, but if it's how she CHOOSES to continue to relate to you... that gets toxic.

Billie Greenwood said...

It sounds like a situation that needs resolution soon. I'm pulling for you, Chani. I want you to live in a healthy environment. [I've been concerned about that ever since you wrote about the abusive relationship you're exposed to: very negative energy.] Love and hugs!

nurilhakim said...
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Frank Partisan said...

That's depressing.

hele said...

I think you should follow your gut and go.

It might just open a door to sharing with someone who wants to share your joy.

My sister just told me that according to the Mayan calender we are moving from night to day and that things that have been occurring under the blanket of darkness is now exposed to the light of day. I don't know if this is true but it seems as good a reason as any to delight in the honestly of truth.

Lots of love coming your way*

Anonymous said...

I find it fascinated to contrast your previous post with this one. Your wrote in Sacred Life Sunday about the ego as a security blanket and here you have a situation where her ego-needs are overwhelming yours.

But sooner or later, we grow out of that.

I have difficulty with compassion sometimes, especially when I've been used or harshly criticized, but understanding that this behavior serves some unmet need the other person has helps me keep perspective.

I still don't like some people, but I try to wish them healing.

Which is what everyone needs, right?

Carla said...

I feel for you. I in recent months had to cut someone out of my life that has used me for many years. Actually it got so bad I had to get a no contact order which was very hard for me and not at all like my personality, but the other person just kept pushing and pushing and eventually pushed too far. But it got so I always felt contaminated when they were around. I felt exactly as you're describing it.

Jen said...

I find that often when people age quickly or even when they just plain hit a certain age, they can be come very narrowly focused and the self-centeredness can become staggering.

You need to be able to find the energy and life that you want, though. That's your only obligation to the world.