I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a few notable “users” in my journey through life. They are very wiley creatures and often hard to spot. Mainly because they have the ‘dodge’ down pat.
Some of them are so good that it seems no matter what they do to you (or others) they always receive forgiveness. Only to do it all again. And again. Because you see, they have perfected the ability to use your good intentions against you.
My most notable user was a woman, let’s call her A, okay? We met while working in the same restaurant and the woman was absolutely mystifying to me. She had a certain charm and wisdom about her that drew people to her and I was one of them and soon became one of her disciples. Spitting out chunks of her philosophy at everyone else in my life. Alienating several real friends, who, thank God, later forgave me my insanity.
This particular connection was years long and there were several attempts on my part to break away. Crazy as it may sound, I felt powerless to remove her from my life even though I knew I had to, I just couldn’t sever the tie. It was as though, despite all the abuses (such as constant demeanment, selling my possessions, telling others I was untrustworthy, criticisms of my goals, informing me that my dream of being a writer was ridiculous, among others) I feared I would somehow cease to exist if I broke away from her. Co-dependent does not begin to describe this relationship.
The final straw came when I arrived home (we were room mates) to discover that many of my possessions were in the driveway being tagged for sale. While I’d been at work, she took what she thought I didn’t need and was adding those things to her pile of stuff for a garage sale the next day. Something just snapped in me and I saw this woman for what she really was – a self-absorbed, conscienceless creature who would do anything to anyone to feed her need for self-importance. Someone who would never be truly happy unless everyone around her was under her control.
A user and abuser, but in truth a loser because she would never understand, appreciate or experience true friendship and mutual respect.
After that, it was easy to break away and never feel the inclination to reconnect. Although it took years to repair the many bridges I’d burned with others, I was happy to make amends to my real friends and God bless them, for their forgiveness.
And I’m here to tell you, having a person like this in your life can ruin it and you. Life is too short and too wonderful to have this type of person around. And while I’ve encountered a few others of this ilk since then, their shelf life was considerably shorter because I saw them for what they were. Moving them out of my life without a thought, which resulted in the almost instant return of my well being and joy in life.
How about you? Any of these folks in your life? If so, maybe it’s time to clean house.