Recently I have had to shut the door on a person who is toxic to me. I’m sure we all have had someone toxic in our life, the back-stabber, the whiner, the emotional vampire.
The person I let go of was an emotional vampire. An emotional vampire is a person who sucks all the energy out of you because just talking with them takes it all. When I googled the term “emotional vampire” I got a plethora of information. Wow. That means they are way more common than you realize. One Web site I found described them like this:
A parasite can feed off you mentally, emotionally or energetically. I refer to these people collectively as emotional vampires. And when you are around them, you may feel physically tired, drained, sleepy, weak, agitated, low, small, inadequate, low spirits, hopeless, trapped or afraid. (http://patrickwanis.com/blog/index.php/2009/06/10/dealing-with-emotional-vampires/)
What is co-dependency? A working person’s definition is when a person’s happiness lays with another person that is co-dependent. Or when a person cannot be happy unless they are controlling (or controlled) by someone else. Or when a person defines themself by being someone’s wife, girlfriend, etc. (unless it is at a function of the other person’s employment). Or when a person cannot delegate responsibility for their work, church, whatever, they are co-dependent.
Official definitions are as convoluted as mine but I’m willing to share.
Codependency—suffering and/or dysfunction that is associ-ated with or results from focusing on the needs and behavior of others. A constellation of responses by significant others, particularly family, to being involved with the dependent. (http://www.adha.org/CE_courses/course3/definition_of_terms.htm)
Codependency (or codependence, co-narcissism or inverted narcissism) is a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life. It also often involves putting one’s needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including in families, at work, in friendships, and also in romantic, peer or community relationships.Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, and/or control patterns. Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency)
How many of us have stayed friends with someone, even though simply being around them sucked the very life out of us, because they needed us. Stop. Don’t do that. That is being co-dependent. And God wants us to have abundant life. I assure you it is impossible while being co-dependent OR dealing with an emotional vampire. John 10:10 says “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The emotional vampire, even if they profess Christianity, is working for Satan, for they come to steal your emotional energy.
“But — but — they NEED me!” No, they don’t, they will find someone else to feed off of. You don’t need THEM! Let them go. [Just a note here, I’m not referring to an otherwise normal person who is going through a tough time. I’m talking about those people that always suck the life out of you. Nothing is ever right with them, everything bad always happens to them, they have endured worse than you, etc.]
Go and be sucked emotional dry no more. Selah.