Gross title, I know... but follow along with me for a bit. I've got something I need to process. Basically a leech is a parasite that attaches to their host and feeds off their blood until they become full, at which time the leech detaches and falls off to digest... until it's hungry again. Have anyone in your life that fits that description?
Ya'll, I've worked for people that fit this description, had coworkers that fit the bill, and have even had some people in my personal life that defined this type of creature. The people that will bully you... then when they get their fill - they will go away for a while - only to return again when they need their fix. People that will suck the life out of you... by either monopolizing every encounter or by having an opinion about EVERY. THING. The people that are extremely difficult to be around if you are trying to "rise above it all" and do your best to get through life.
I think often the most difficult to deal with are those in authority positions that are of this personality type. I recently worked for one, and believe me - it was like a seriously abusive relationship gone wrong. This particular person bullied me to the point where I physically became ill in their presence or even at the site of their name/number on my office caller ID. It was terrible... oddly enough - the first 6 months I worked for them - they thought I was so sweet, wonderful, and loved that I just kept to myself and did my job without much supervision. After that initial period... like with many relationships... the very things that were my initial strengths became my biggest weaknesses in their eyes. Those were the things that were wrong with me - and that was even verbalized on many occasions. It got to the point that I seriously began to think that something was wrong with me... and eventually it became a situation where the only thing I can compare it to is like an abused pet. The kind of animal where when you reach out to touch them in love and affection - they shy away in fear because they've been beaten up so badly by others.
In other situations - it's just more of an annoyance where people monopolize the conversation, relationship, and everything else that comes into play. I grew up with one of these people... loved her dearly, but everything we did had to be what she wanted to do... where she wanted to eat, shop, relax, whatever. Eventually, she became so spoiled as we became adults that the relationship started to suck the life out of me, and I couldn't do it anymore.
Coworkers have been the same - only it's more of a situation where in their attempt to climb the professional ladder - they step on you, belittle you, and ignore your experience.
After almost 33 years in dealing with people like this... and believe me - there have been people in my life for the entire 33 years that in some form fit this bill... I can see some serious effects in my personality. I am completely different in real life than my "online persona." Online, I am free to give my opinions and say a lot of the things that I wouldn't dare say to anyone... and not really be bashful about it. I don't need to apologize for my feelings and thoughts in this format.
In real life however, I've become very reserved for the most part. I worry about what everyone around me is thinking, feeling, how my presence effects them, every small detail. (Yes, I sweat the small things!) I have a really hard time stating my actual opinion. I often can't speak at all to people... I become unable to catch my breath because I'm so worried about how my words will be perceived. I can't make decisions about where I want to go or what I want to do, in fear that it's not what the other person wants to do. This has become a bit of a joke with John and I - because I literally can't chose a restaurant to save my life. Good Lord, don't tell me - "we can go anywhere in the city... where do you want to go?" because my mind will go completely blank and I can't think of a single restaurant. It basically has to be narrowed down for me to about three places... and then sometimes I can choose... or I'll eliminate one option and force John to choose the final decision.
Odd, but a little insight into who I am... and why I am that way. I was laying in bed last night thinking about some of these people that have crossed my path and left an enormous impact on me in a not so necessarily positive way, and felt like I needed to write about it. More baby pictures and fun to come soon! We're off to get Tyler's 6 month exam and shots at the doctor... so I'll give some details about it when I can.
In a way, it's almost better that you are so reserved in person. People like the ones you describe like conflict and can sometimes be very argumentative. If you've ever engaged in a conversation like that, you know that it gets you nowhere fast.ReplyDelete
The tongue is a fire...you have a built-in gift to never let yours flame. The flip-side of that is that people can easily mistake that as a passive personality, which I know you're not.
The beauty of that, though, is that you have nothing to prove to the people that are doing this.
Think of it this way...a leech attaches itself because it's hungry for what the source has to offer. I have no doubt that your capabilities, sensitivity, generosity, personality and upright character are of great appeal to many around you. They don't know how to be/have those same qualities, so they'd rather steal them away from you. It's a twisted idea that sensible people like us know doesn't work, but just as your goodness is ingrained in who YOU are, so is their ignorance.
Great post! I have also been attacked by leeches a few times, and I know exactly what your talking about when you say that you became a different person because of them. I changed too. We are both armed with salt now so that they just roll off!ReplyDelete
Yes! Just to let you know, you aren't the only one. :)ReplyDelete