Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Emotional Vampires and Self Care

Get out of my bathroom!

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January and One-liner Wednesday is: Vampires.

There are many types of vampires. I’m going to write about the emotional vampires – people or jobs that try to suck the life out of us.

After I retired, my husband said, “That job was sucking the life out of you.” (That’s my one liner unless I find one that’s more positive.)

It wasn’t always like that. But it got worse in the last five years of my 30 year career when demands became unreasonable. It was common to work through lunch and take work home – physically as well as emotionally. Never mind the emotional risks of trying to help people fight the monster of addiction – that I could understand and deal with. It came with the territory. Addiction is a vampire. There was always the Serenity Prayer and I used it often.

During those last five years on the job, I often told myself, “I’m not going to let this job kill me.” That’s a little more positive for a one liner.

I am thankful to be free, is even better.

Being in a relationship with an emotional vampire who is a person can also suck the life out of you. It can be subtle at first, and sometimes it’s obvious. Maybe the person has unreasonable demands on your time. Maybe he or she talks constantly or yells a lot. Maybe he or she is narcistic and manipulative.

If you find yourself stuck in a life sucking relationship, here are some ways to take care of yourself and save your own life:

  1. Clarify your boundaries. First do this by yourself or with a trusted friend who is not a life sucker. Put your boundaries in writing. This is as much for yourself as anyone else.
  2. Be assertive. State what you want and need. Be specific: “I need an afternoon to work on my art by myself.” or “I’ve been listening to you for a ___ minutes. I need you to (or will you please) listen to me without interrupting for ___ minutes,” or “I don’t take calls or texts between 11pm and 9am.” If you don’t feel safe being assertive, focus on 3, 4, and 5 below:
  3. Self care: Surround yourself with safe, nurturing people and/or pets. Engage in activities that add positive energy and comfort to your life. Take care of yourself in every way you can physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Believe that your health and time are valuable.
  4. Create Distance from the vampire. This could mean making a plan to leave. It could mean actually walking away from the relationship. But it could also mean limiting the amount of time you spend with the person or how much you think them. I had to make myself stop thinking about my job when I was home by using mindfulness and positive distraction.
  5. Be safe. Develop a support network and let a trusted person know your situation. If you are in a domestic violence situation, and don’t feel safe physically or emotionally, make a safety plan. Here is just one example.

Just Jot January and One-liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda Hill. For details, visit:

One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan the 27th, 2021 – Vampires | (lindaghill.com)


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Being Assertive

SOC winner 2017

Hey, it’s good to be back home again. That line comes from a John Denver song. Speaking of John Denver, I just spent five days in the mountains. The Appalachians. Sort of got lost, but that’s another story. I need to get to the prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness, which is “passive/aggressive.”

It’s a loaded prompt. Loaded with possibilities. The safest thing would be to go the clinical route. In my old job, I learned that passive/aggressive behavior is taking a dig or doing harm to someone indirectly, like putting something nasty in their food without them knowing it, or saying something mean and saying, “I was just joking. Can’t you take a joke?”

I am rarely passive/aggressive. But then often we don’t realize we are. Oh, I’ve had thoughts – fantasies about doing such and such… haven’t we all? But I usually catch myself and recognize that would be passive/aggressive.

I tend to be more passive than aggressive. Most people would say I am rarely aggressive. I’ve tried to move toward more assertive communication my whole life. Assertiveness is being honest with respect. Standing up for yourself without trying to hurt the other person, with I statements about your wants and needs. To a shy, mild-mannered person, being assertive can feel aggressive. Even saying, “I need some time alone,” or “I need you to stop yelling at me,” or “I will listen to you when you talk to me with respect,” can be a challenge. But it is possible and gets easier with practice.

Here’s another way to be assertive:

Say what you mean,

mean what you say.

but don’t say it mean.

 

Enough of the clinical. How do I work this prompt into what I really want to tell you?

I was not being passive when I submitted my story to Chicken Soup for the Soul for their book, The Miracle of Love, coming out in June. I was assertive! I believed I had a chance, even though I have submitted stories to them before that were not chosen. I figured, what have I got to lose?

And guess what! My story was selected! It made the final cut! It’s titled, “I Almost Gave Up on Romance.” Happy dance going on in my head.

Chicken soup for the soul_Company_Logo

Assertiveness can be standing up for yourself with yourself enough to take a chance on something good happening. And sometimes, it does. Just the act of submitting a story, or writing a story, or painting a painting, anything that feels good and right to your authentic self, is worth the effort, even if no one buys it. If it feeds your soul, do it anyway.

 

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Prompt is brought to us by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/04/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-7-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!