Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday’s Child – An Unwilling Sounding Board

We’re getting down to the wire here. Just a few more left.
Ummm, dare I say, “Get ‘em while you can?”

Seriously, I’m nearing the end of the posts I had on Prozac Palace. I know some of you read them there and you’ve been very good to me by reading them again and commenting. I appreciate it.

And I wish you a very Happy Friday the 13th!

From October 22, 2007


It was expected of me that I would be my sister's sounding board. I used to listen to her whining. She’d take my time up, and it would stay with me because I felt powerless.
I stopped feeling powerless a few months ago. If she wants nothing more than to whine about problems, real or imagined, then I’ve no time for her. She has not listened to any solution I’ve offered.
She does not want her problems solved; she wants people to feel sorry for her. It’s sad that this is all she has, but she has created this world herself.

She has found a way through life by becoming an energy vampire. She will suck the life and goodwill out of anyone who lets her. She is no longer welcome to mine.
Once I’d made that decision I was able to cut conversations off after a few minutes rather than let her talk herself out. I no longer feel sorry for her, nor do I feel responsible for her. She has elected to not change. Mental illness is not an excuse for everything. Nor should it be.

Why did I listen all those years?

I felt compelled. I could hear my parents telling me that she needs someone to listen to her.
One night, back in my teens, she started talking about a problem. I said something, probably insensitive, and tried to leave the room. Mom insisted that I stay.
This scene is seared in my mind. I’d replay it each time my sibling called to unload her burdens.
My backbone sprouted a few months ago. I refuse to give her my energy and I stopped paying attention to the replayed scene.
I feel better. My energy is my own. Being from the same family unit is not a valid reason to put up with nonsense. Call it selfish because that’s what it is. I am looking after myself. No one else will do it for me.


the Bag Lady said...

These posts are really hard for me to comment on.
Glad you finally found the inner strength to stand up and not allow her to steal your energy.

Leah J. Utas said...

I understand. Thanks.

Reb said...

It is always a good thing to locate ones backbone. I wouldn't call it selfish, I would call if self-preservation.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Leah,

There are people who will suck all the energy out of you. No matter how the person enters your life, the relationship is toxic and self preservation becomes the order of the day.


Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Reb. It's important to look after yourself.

dfTerrie - That's right. Toxic is toxic.

Missicat said...

Wow. You are NOT selfish for not wanting to have your energy and life force sucked out...sometimes you just have to take care of yourself. It's definitely self-preservation!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Missicat.

Thomma Lyn said...

Oh, Leah -- how well I understand. Boundaries are crucial, and just because a person is related to you by blood doesn't mean they have license to bring you down and drain you dry. And about taking care of oneself -- again, that's so important. I can speak to varying family dynamics, but I found the greatest sense of empowerment I've ever had in my life when I realized that indeed, it is okay to take care of myself and that it's up to me to do so -- it's necessary.

Happy Friday the 13th! I consider Friday the 13th my lucky day -- they are always good days for me. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, TL. I've learned it's important to take care of yourself, because it's unlikely anyone else will do it for you.

Hope you had a great lucky Friday the 13th.

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