Sunday, March 12, 2006

What’s Mine?
What’s Yours?
Theresa Chaze

It’s my belief that ever person you meet in your life is a lesson. Sometimes they are teachers; some times they are the lesson. The later sometimes appear in your life simply as a test of your ability to keep your boundaries. There are people, who for whatever reason, are incapable of taking responsibility for their lives. No matter what errors of judgment they make, it is never their fault. Instead they make excuses or place blame on outside influences, not in attempt to learn or grow from the experience but to elicit sympathy and pity. They don’t seek help because they don’t want it. They would prefer to host pity parties so they may lure others into their web. They are a unique kind of vampire. Not only do they steal energy, but they dump their emotional waste wherever they can find a person who will accept it. When dealing with this type of individual your challenge is to be able to strong enough not to get caught up in the game.
Through an acquaintance I was introduced to one online. She asked me to talk to her friend; I will call him Alvin. I had been involved in a discussion within an egroup that we both belong to. I didn’t understand why she and Alvin thought his AIDS meds were so dangerous that he quit taking them. She wanted me to talk to him; I was in the middle of lunch, but agreed, thinking it would be a short conversation. She connected us in an online chat with audio and video from his end only. His computer set up was bigger than I had seen. He had most of the bells and whistles available. He was definitely a computer geek. Which these days is a very good thing. He seemed intelligent and computer knowledgeable. Which confused me even more about his stance on the drugs which could not only extend his life but improve the quality.
The conversation started not with the AIDS meds but with how abused he was not only in his childhood but by the medical professionals in his area. He claimed the only AIDS doctor in town sexually abused him and the police refused to get involved. I don’t know if that is true or not. There are still many areas in the country who do not have the knowledge or wisdom to deal with alterative lifestyles or the challenges that come with them. I suggested he move to an area that would be medically beneficial for him. His brother, who was also HIV positive, visited with the idea of moving in, however he immediately returned San Francisco after investigating the health care of the area; the health standards were significantly better there. Although he said his brother invited him, Alvin didn’t want to move.
The topic suddenly jumped to his inability get a job because he couldn’t get a driver’s license due to a childhood incident. The accident caused him a brain injury which caused sudden and unexpected loss consciousness. I suggested he have the tests run again to prove that he was healthy.. He told me that the condition was still active and that is why the doctors wouldn’t medically approve him. Personally, I think that is a very good thing not to have someone behind the wheel who could pass out and lose control of the vehicle. I suggested buses or cabs for transportation. He didn’t to wait for a bus and cabs were too expensive. Okay, if transportation is limited--work inside your home. He’s a geek; do a geek job--computer programming or repair. He complained that they didn’t make as much as they used to. He also didn’t want to build a home based business. He didn’t say why, but changed the topic to how terrible his life is and all the medical symptoms that go with it. I pointed out that if he took his meds his life would improve and he could get a job, which would help build his self esteem and contribute to an over all healthier life. He told me I was a heartless bitch and I didn’t know what I was talking about. At his point, he got angry and cut his mic, but he continued to type.
You see where I am going with this. Every positive suggestion that was made he found an excuse to shoot it down. This short conversation was rapidly turning into a cold lunch and a pity party. I simply wasn’t interested, so I started turning it back on him. I accused him of giving up. His response was to get angrier. I knew nothing about him or his life so I had no right to judge. He was right. On the reverse, he knew nothing about me, so he had no reason to care what I thought. I didn’t know him and after our conversation I didn’t want to. At this point I blessed him and went to warm up my lunch so I could finish it. From the other room I could hear him instant messaging me, but I ignored him. I finished lunch, straightened three rooms, checked in on neighbor’s dog and took a shower. Every now and then I would look in. He alternated between accusing me of be cruel and asking me to help him. At one point, he declared he was going to block me from his system. He kept talking for almost an hour. After I dried my hair, I went back to the computer, but I only briefly read the garbage he was dumping before I blocked him from my system. A while later, the woman, who introduced us, contacted me to chastised me for upsetting him. Before she could go into the details of how badly I hurt him, I blessed her and blocked her from my system.
He wasn’t looking for help or support, but another person to feed off. When he didn’t gain what he wanted through pity, he tried guilt and anger to achieve access to my energy. He couldn’t succeed because he couldn’t engage me emotionally. By not allowing myself to be bonded to him by pity or angry, I escaped without being harmed. I was sorry that he was ill and that he had other terrible events in his life, but it wasn’t up to me to fix them. Sometimes the best way to help is to not get involved. For a while I asked why me he had contacted me? I’m not a medical professional; in fact I have very limited medical knowledge. The contact person and I only knew each other from the online group. It’s not like were are close friends. The only thing I could come up with was that he was a boundary lesson for me. Alvin didn’t want to be healthy, he wanted lunch. Sympathy, pity, guilt and anger were his way of leaching on to others.
A friend of mine was not so lucky. Myriam met a vampire through her work. The woman was having difficulty starting her business. Myriam, being the kind hearted woman she is, offered to help her build a website. It was a mistake. Over the next few weeks, her unreasonable demands and expectations were enough to stir Myriam’s anger. But being an honorable women, she felt the need to keep her word and finish the site. However this was not as easy as it sounds. The women kept changing her mind about what she wanted. Instead of immediately confronting her, Myriam became emotionally engaged; the woman caught her in her vampire web. Soon after Myriam started to become physically and emotionally ill. Existing challenges with depression flared and was magnified by exhaustion and physical pain she couldn’t account for. Even after she ended the relationship with the vampire the symptoms continued. It was only after seeking help from a psychic healer was Myriam able to free herself. The cords were removed and Myriam set new shields. . However the vampire moved on to others in the company. Since the attacks are on a non physical level and can’t be proven, she can not be dismissed from the company without legal ramifications. Instead Myriam is helping others to release and shield themselves from the vampire’s tentacles.
Once she was free, Myriam could look at the relationship and the person with a little more objectivity. There was more involved than just the energy drain; in fact the vampirism was merely a symptom of other personality and emotional problems. Myriam believes that the vampire might not even be aware of what she is doing to others, but instead it is coping defense she developed over the years to deal with other challenges in her life. Many times vampires have physical, emotional or personality disorders that have not be addressed therefore go untreated. Instability in hormone levels, physical or sexual abuse, and addiction are only a few examples of what could lead to a person to become a vampire. Anytime a person loses the ability to restore themselves they risk becoming an energy leach. In my case, I would not be emotionally connected either by pity or guilt so he could not tap into me. Myriam, on the other hand, knew the person before the attack began therefore she was a level of trust that the vampire used to gain entry. This doesn’t mean that you should barrier yourself behind high walls and be afraid to trust, but that you should be select in what kinds of relationships you will allow in your life. It the relationship is not positive and healthy, it should be terminated.
What is a vampire? Normally there is a free exchange of energy between people; however when the energy moves in only one direction and is taken without permission that is vampirism. Frequently during healings, energy flows in one direction, however it is shared with the full knowledge and free will of both parties. To steal another’s energy is detrimental to all involved. Although the initial rush is wonderful for the vampire, it keeps him or her from dealing with the reasons behind their inability to restore themselves. Eventually they will no longer be capable of rebuilding themselves and will be completely dependant on others. As long as the attacks are temporary, the victims can recover; however long term relationships will lead to physical, emotional, and spiritual illness as the person becomes drained beyond their own capacity to heal themselves. The more frequently the person is fed upon, the more open they become, making it more difficult for them to escape as they sink to the same level as the vampire.
So how do you know if there is a vampire in your mist? They don’t have a “V” stamped on their forehead, nor do they have long canine teeth. You can’t point them out of a crowd by just looking, unless you are a very gifted psychic and know what you are looking for. Instead you see them by the wake they leave behind. Chaos, anger, illness, and exhaustion is what follows them. They create drama to heighten the emotions and connect as may people as possible. They don’t look or present themselves the same. But the results are similar. They walk away energized, while everyone else is tired, depressed or ill.
The old saying once bitten, twice shy is how you should deal with a vampire. Until you have bitten, you can’t for sure know that is what you are dealing with. However once you have the encounter there are steps you can take to protect yourself. If at all possible, distance yourself from the person. In Myriam’s case, it was more difficult; they both work for the same company. In mine, there was no problem at all: I simply blocked him from my computer--end of story. The best defense is to take care of yourself--eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and respect your own boundaries. If it feels icky, it probably is and it’s time to hit the road jack. Openly confronting the vampire will only lead to defensive and angry behaviors. Many of which will give the vampire another reason to attack you. However if you don’t allow yourself to become emotionally involved either through compassion or anger, you should be able to walk away without renaming yourself “lunch”. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel compassion for others, but be honest about the situation. At one time or another everyone feels sorry for themselves, but they don’t get stuck there. Everyone has their personal challenges and they look for solutions both inside and outside the box. Vampires don’t want solutions; they don’t want their situation to change. The bottom line is they do not want to take responsibility for themselves for whatever reason. Instead they blame others and expect them to fix the problem. However the reality is that the only ones we can fix or change is ourselves. We can offer support and encourage others, but we can not solve their challenges for them. When we cross the line and try to fix them, we deprive ourselves and the other of the life’s lesson. So the best way to deal with a vampire is to play the cards we are dealt and let others do the same. You can give advise on the game, but in the end we are only responsible for the cards in our own hand.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My Mother’s Daughter
Theresa Chaze
The women in the young girls lives become the template for who they will be as they grow into adulthood. Whether they intends to or not mothers, grandmothers, aunts--any woman who plays an important role it the girl’s life will be her teacher and mentor. It’s the older women’s example that teaches the girl how to deal with life’s challenges. In this case the old saying, do what I say, not as I do doesn’t apply. Girls watch and mimic the actions of the women in their lives, therefore it’s essential that they present themselves to be capable and strong individuals.
Independent and strong women are more likely to teach their daughters to take control over their lives and to honor themselves. In doing so, they learn to expect to be valued by others and are more willing to walk away from situations or people who do not respect them. They are also more likely to defend themselves and others from people who would deliberately due harm. These girls grow into self-reliant women who take control over all aspects of their lives. They are able to depending on themselves to meet their needs and able to develop healthy relationships that are based on equality. It is true that no person is an island. But if a woman has learned to be self-reliant, it is easier for her to ask for help without thinking less of herself. It’s not they do not make mistakes or have challenges in their lives, but they are more able to cope with them without giving into despair or depression. Strong women meet life head on without excuses or blame. Taking responsibility for her actions, she chooses to learn from her mistakes instead passing on the guilt to others. It’s easier for her heal emotionally because she is able to release the injury and move on. Sometimes frustrated, sometimes angry, sometimes every other emotion that can be named, she still finds the lessons behind every challenge and expects the best out of life.
On the other hand, those women, who fail to stand up for their rights and are continually subjugated by others, teach their daughters that they also don’t deserve to be respected. By not standing up for themselves, they teach by example that women don’t have value and deserve the harsh treatment. Allowing their daughters to grow up in this environment, they help erode the girl’s self-esteem even before she has a chance to build a strong emotional foundation. They don’t know how to respect themselves so they have a tendency to draw people into their lives who will reinforce that self image. They quickly learn to be safe or to get what they want, they have to be the “good girl” or the “obedient daughter. She is never to have her own opinion or ask for what she wants because that would make her bad and she would deserve to be punished. Fear of disapproval and of physical harm keeps her from expressing her true desires. Girls who grow up in such situations frequently are unable to care for themselves and will be continually needy. No matter how much healthy support she is given, it will never be enough. She will always think the worse of herself, because she never learned how to depend on herself. Instead of being strong from within, they look to others for their self worth and will do anything to keep their approval. It is an self-supporting cycle. The more a she needs to be supported, the less she is able to do so for herself. Eventually she becomes totally dependant others for all the necessities of life. It is also a way for her not to take responsibility for how her life unfolds; if others are in control, then she can not be blamed. When others hurt her, she excuses them and ignores her pain; to confront it could mean dealing with the source and risk facing the realities of her life. Instead she will burying the pain, leaving it to fester and poison the rest of her life. Being unable to deal with the pain makes it impossible for her to heal. When she looks toward the future, she expects the worse for it is all she known. Until she finds the strength or is forced to stop denying her pain and deal with the root cause, she will never truly find peace or love.
Both situations are generational with the level of self worth and independence being passed from mother to daughter because they know nothing else. In the first case, this beneficial. Each generation opens the door to the next to reach higher and loftier goals. However in the second, the spiral continues downward until a woman has the strength and courage to break the cycle. By doing so she heals herself and clears away the emotional debris for the next generations by provide an alternative way of life. There are no quick fixes--no magic pills or wands that will suddenly great positive self-image. The only cure is the long, hard work of peeling back the layers of pain, anger, and fear until you reach back to the root cause and begin to rebuild by facing old beliefs and ways of life. It’s like stripping the layers of an onion to reach the core. Sure you can use a knife and cut away, but then you have pieces. So is it when the treatment doesn’t work with all aspects of the personality. Drugs are not a cure all. Nor is psychological therapy. Prayer is helpful, but so is group therapy. It took years and in many cases generations to create the behaviors . No one remedy will be a cure all, nor will it be done over night. In addition, the individual’s healing process is unique. There is no one path that leads to salvation. Every person must take the journey themselves. Loved ones and professionals can help, but until the woman admits there is a problem and finds the courage to face, she can not heal her self-esteem and become the wonderful woman she was born to be.