As empaths we need all the resources and knowledge at our disposal to stay healthy and learn about the dynamics of emotions and energy exchange, that is why I was so pleased to come across the new book by medical doctor and empathic wise woman Christine Northrup : Dodging Energy Vampires : An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships that Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power.
It is already confirming a lot of things I have experienced and explains well the biological changes in stress hormones that we produce in relationship to being in toxic or draining relationships with others when we are very open to love and care as empaths and most especially those of us who never got a lot of emotional needs met in a healthy way in our families of origin.
I am just going to share a bit of it in this post to help readers. This extract concerns how empaths in believing they should always work to help, heal or show support to others often stay stuck in detrimental relationships which cause us not only psychic and psychological pain but also increasing ill health or susceptibility to auto immune difficulties, weight gain and/or loss and other diseases.
If you’re in a relationship with an energy vampire, the question is: Why don’t you get out? Why don’t you speak up and protect yourself?
As I mentioned, many empaths do get out. They see the problems and ditch the vampire pronto. But for those who don’t there are two main reasons. First, you are naturally compassionate and caring, so you may simply miss the red flags. That can happen if you’re not paying full attention to your intuition and the circumstances surrounding you. And second, your wounds have created in you a powerful desire to be accepted and an overwhelming belief that you shouldn’t hurt other people’s feelings. And for old soul empaths, there is a third things that keeps us stuck: We truly believe that our love and caring can heal other people – in this case, the vampire. And although we may see the red flags, we believe that things will be different with us – that those other people who hurt the vampire just didn’t have the skill and compassion that we have.
While our initial response to the inevitable ill treatment of us in anger, hurt, and disappointment , we quickly squelch these natural feelings and replace them with guilt – something we learned to do in the past, either way far back in another lifetime or in childhood. Or, more likely, both.
We make the mistake of thinking that energy vampires are as sensitive as we are. We don’t want to risk hurting their feelings, so in order to protect them and their feelings – and because we are so good at solving problems in all the other areas of our lives – we keep giving them our energy and draining ourselves rather than risk standing up to them, standing up for ourselves, and owning how angry, hurt, and disappointed we really feel. And then ending the relationship.
….trying to convince them to get help and to change their ways…..is a dead end street.. because they don’t change. What has to change in every single relationship with an energy vampire is you.
The lack of self worth and need to be accepted and need to be loved that many of us have makes us a perfect target for energy vampires and the darker parts of human nature. (This what we most need to work to change in order to heal the toxic pattern.)
Christine goes on to explain also how the Buddhist concept of sending love to those who hurt, angered or betrayed us is also not useful for empaths, something that has bothered me in the past when I have read up on Buddism and also when I was in AA. The appropriate response to these kind of feelings should not be to work harder to forgive those who upset, distress or abuse us or don’t want to change or seek a true spritual or psychological solution or healing. Really who we should be loving and praying and caring for is ourselves and those other kind, supportive, emotionally healthy people in our life who actually give to us rather than drain our energy or suck away our life’s blood continually.