I wasn’t going online this evening. Something, that my son Daniel just called cathartic for me, happened.
Last week, I bought a book written by Dr. Christiane Northrup. I haven’t had time to read it until this weekend – far too busy with others’ challenges. When I say that this book is the most stunning book I have read since Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl MD, and when I give you the title, you will understand why. It is called Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power.
From the moment I started reading it, my head was nodding until it almost fell off. This is a must read from anyone in my profession and others who have suffered with codependency. In another lifetime, Marion my longest American friend, would refer to such people as “emotional vampires”, so I am familiar with the term. Little did I know that it would hit such buttons all these years later, only stronger.
You have heard me bemoan how I affect technology or how it affects me. This is from page nine of Dodging Energy Vampires.
“ANOTHER FORM OF PHYSICAL HIDING SOME EMPATHS DO IS A BIT STRANGE – WE OFTEN HIDE FROM TECHNOLOGY. NOT BECAUSE WE DON’T LIKE IT BUT RATHER BECAUSE HIGHLY SENSITIVE EMPATHS HAVE DIFFERENT ENERGY SYSTEMS THAT CAN CAUSE TECHNOLOGY TO MALFUNCTION.”
At last! I have been in touch with scientists who are too scientific, for a while now, believing that I have a strong electro-magnetic field, with no response. Now I am justified in my thinking, not as I expected it to be this magnetic field as much as empathy. In addition I am a “sympath”, which is even worse. I hope she addresses that too. I will welcome it. She goes on to describe her friends whose wrist watch batteries collapse and they keep buying new watches to no avail. I noticed quite recently that my mobile watch battery has to be charged more frequent than the norm.
Then the blast. What she calls the empathy technology curse goes beyond batteries and watches to computers and the like. Sound familiar? It is the energy that malfunctions any kind of technology.
I bought an iPad three years ago. At least ten people have to make the valiant attempt to teach me how to use it and these people are professional experts. When they turn on my computer and log onto my password, it works well. The minute I do it, the password is not recognised. You think I’m exaggerating? NO, I AM NOT.
What Am I Worth?
Get the book. It is a gem and I can’t wait to read the other book about money. Without turning a page I know about me. I have NEVER been paid for my worth because I don’t tell them my worth. So many vampires have pulled their narcissistic crap and I have succumbed to saying, “Oh that’s okay, pay me what you can”. Or when I became involved in another agency I wasn’t asked, it was assumed that whatever I did would be pro bono. At that time I had some kind of breakthrough that said ‘absolutely not’. Even then I gave a list of my fees and halved it when the CEO said, “Give me your fees – we have the money to pay you.” I LOVE THIS WOMAN!
My national and international colleagues are very wealthy because obviously their self worth is higher than mine. I am amazed at myself. That’s right. I HAVE NEVER ASKED FOR MY WORTH. Surprised? I have allowed myself to be nickled and dimed to death and what is worse, I suggest it before they do. What is alarming to me is that until I started reading this masterpiece, I didn’t understand that people thought I was rich – they still do. Still putting out STRONG I suppose.
I do hours of volunteer work and have chosen wisely in that regard. John taught me that – he was a Corporate businessman. He told me to make a list of what I wanted to give and then………that was it. So the volunteer work I do today is of my choosing and I am content with it. However this book and the little I have read so far has created an explosion in mammoth proportions.
That being said, I can only read a few pages as a time – it is so incredible. I can only believe that Dr. Northrup knows me somehow as every word applies to me. Just a few minutes ago I tried to contact Epson regarding my printer. Every time I change the cartridges I have the same trouble, so I offered to donate it to someone I despise and get one that works. But will it or is this another version of the aforementioned technology curse which means it wouldn’t matter what I bought I would still not be able to control it. Honestly, were someone else telling me this tale of woe I would roll my eyes. It is a nightmare as I have so much to do and have no printer to do what is necessary.
Last night, I was so psyched up about this book as the information I read about people like me, proved that I was not simply technologically challenged. It is a reality. How real can one be when someone logs on with my password and when I go to do it, it is rejected? I know – I said it before. I just can’t make sense of it unless I am indeed technologically controlled by an energy vampire.
I thought I had rid myself of them years ago when I had an experience with a patient who pled poverty to me, but was desperate. I told her she had to pay something and she told me she could afford $10 a session. This had to be over thirty years ago. I felt very noble about this and of course she would forget the ten dollars most weeks. I was very forgiving as I know how traumatic her life was. At one visit she showed me a book she was reading and when she left, I noticed the book was on the chair, so I grabbed it and ran out to give it to her as she stepped into the driver’s side of a brand-new sports car. I gave her the book and told her it would be my full fee in future. They are canny.
On another occasion I was asked to speak at Bucks Country Community College and I believe it was on grief. I was asked to do a keynote and a couple of breakout groups. When it came to my fee they gave me a cheque for twenty-five dollars telling me the main keynoter took up all their funding and they only had this amount left. I was fuming. It was my responsibility to have discussed this before I spoke. Never again. I learned from these two examples as well as others. As most women experience, I was asked to present and was told it was me or a man who was less qualified or, may I say, even less dynamic as I had heard him before. I was not selected so that’s something that has followed me for years.
How does this come into empathy and sympathy? It is close to codependency on a spiritual level. There are a lot of other components, the most significant one being we SHOULD NOT ask for a fee since it is spiritual work. Just today I had a conversation with a brilliantly creative woman who was thinking of where I could go to present, sharing where she was going followed by ‘There is no fee as they feel the work shouldn’t be paid.” But, she continued, I would be able to network and meet more opportunities. I did that for years and the only thing I received was more invitations to do presentations for nothing.
The mortgage companies and other necessities do not see it that way. Too bad you didn’t earn enough money – we want ours. Why don’t you try it? Do your food shopping and then at the check-out tell them that you are sorry, as you thought it was free and you don’t have money. After all, we need food, so therefore it should be available without charge. Good luck with that one.
Can we get together and change this?
Women have been shamed into this way of thinking and I am sorry to say it hasn’t changed. Some of the most brilliantly creative women I know are in the same situation. Can we get together and change this? I have been in therapy so long, I believed I had conquered this. Not as far as childhood messages are concerned. I have watched men in my profession and they can be told the person can’t afford the fee. They are compassionate, but they still want their fee and they get it. So what is the difference between men and women in this regard? I haven’t worked that one out yet.
Just You Watch Me
Let’s talk a bit about childhood injuries. Many of us were told we wouldn’t amount to anything and those of us from an earlier generation were definitely trained to be a wife, mother and whatever that means to each individual. I broke the cycle by not being a stay at home mother. My husband saw to that. I worked for him from home, no payment of course. I started to gain an education, much to his dismay. I continued. If I learned one thing about me growing up was that as I faced death so many times, abandonment and all that good stuff, at some level I knew there was something very different about me and I developed a ‘watch me’ personality which I have to this day. In fact that ‘watch me’ personality is one of the reasons I became who I am today.
What else I learned from Dr. Viktor Frankl was that I am responsible. That has stood me in good stead so I do not blame others for the fact that at my advanced years I am still working. You’d think someone would see what an incredible thing that is and hire me for well paid lectures and so on. Hah! Or at least give me the winning lottery numbers.
One of the most shattering recognitions I had was the level of fear that is within these empathetic events. I am sticking with women right now as I know them better than the attitude of men. The fear goes like this…………..if I don’t accept the lower fee or ask for my own worth, I might lose the opportunity altogether.
This is rampant, especially when we are looking to our future and the way older people are treated in this country with inordinate disrespect. Nowhere in Europe can this attitude to the ripening community be found as it is in the United States of America. So there is a reality in the fear process. However, this is what I have done……remove it. I feel such relief. It is what it is and I will not allow any negativity to enter my thought pattern.
I work with women who have settled for less their entire lives, as I did until December 1980, when being asked what I wanted for a wedding anniversary by a man who had never given me anything, I replied, “a divorce”. To this day I don’t know where that voice came from and the ground was pulled under his feet. He was losing his wife, so dependable that he could work, travel, and take other women all over the world because he couldn’t afford to take me. That was an escape to freedom to me and I still responded to the energy vampire by letting him get away with ‘settling for less’. That is the very last time that happened and it never will again. This was rather funny I think. After he died recently, some of my children said, ‘You know mum, he never said a bad word about you”. My response? What could he say? He’d be hard put to find anything that he didn’t gain from me. Weird. But then – why not.
Buy The Books
For some reason I know what Dr. Northrup is writing. She is nothing short of brilliant and I ordered another book, written by her daughter, Kate Northrup, called, Money, A Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want. We shall see. I’ll read it after I finish this one, which will be heaven knows when, having recognised the vampires that need to be extinguished. I know I have gotten rid of most of them and there is more to come. Very surprising ones – yes, even to me. My life is living proof that when I kill off one, someone else enters my life because of the way I am with people. I am blessed even though I still have quite a lot of work to do.
This time it is joyful and I have a great director – Dr. Christiane Northrup. If you don’t have the book – get it. You are worth it. Although I can only read this astounding book a few pages at a time, I read quite a few last night and the adrenalin wouldn’t let me sleep. I’ll be more careful, although I have already made extreme changes. One more thing about being recognised for who you are, your talents, your capabilities – think women. Of all the agencies for whom I consult, there is one who pays me immediately when I present my invoice.