Duct Tape for the Soul for Mar. 19, 2014

Beware the Cling-on!

How many of you have had a friend, or dated someone who seemed like an emotional vampire? They depended on you for all of their approval, companionship, validation, recognition, for emotional support and love. They couldn’t seem to even go pee without involving you, consulting you or draging you along, to hold their hand! Sound familiar?

Everyone needs some type of input; you understand that. But how angry did you get, when they put you in charge of entertaining them, making sure they weren’t alone or unloved? The more you did for them, the more they begged and demanded that you should do even more, right? It’s hard to respect or treat a person like this as an equal, or even as an adult! And naturally, they expected that of you too!

What you may not have grasped is quite sad and profound; This person has an insecure and crippled soul! They exist, lacking the most basic level of self motivated competence and are overwhelmed by the belief that they are incapable of finding love and admiration on their own. Everyone at times is plagued by a feeling of insecurity and self doubt, but what you normally have would feel like abject security to these poor souls!

Even clinging to you, they seem incapable of feeling confident. Naturally, their clingy neediness drives people away, reinforcing their fears. Much like an abused animal, they drive you crazy with their pathetic displays of emptiness and pathos. You want a friend or partner, not a damaged child to relate to! Needless to say, when you get tired of their clingy ways, their neediness, and move on, you reinforce their understanding and fear that people are unreliable.

Filling up one of these humans with love and support is much like filling a bucket with a dozen holes in the bottom. It takes a monumental amount of work to support such a one, and even more to heal one! You’d prefer to avoid them all together, but you occasionally get fooled; they learn how to hide their neediness at first, and make you think they’re just more eager to be close than most people! Then, when you get involved, zap, they’ve got you!

Look, trying to heal one of these challenging beings is frankly not a job for most people; you’ll likely start with good intentions, but burn out and give up in due time. If you want to have a shot at martyrdom, without being hung or burned at the stake, this is a good path! If you are able, you’ll earn a turn at sainthood, and likely have the most profound feeling of satisfaction. I’ve done it, but there’s a reason my hair is gray and I seem more old and tired than I should!  If you’ve married one of them, you might as well understand what you’re up against. At least don’t lie to yourself. It’s a tough undertaking. If you don’t think you’ve got the right stuff, get out now, before you do more harm. You may feel like a failure, but at least you’ll be an honest one.

Jack

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