Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The incredible, unquenchable soul-eating machine

When exactly did the soul-sucking start? It's always so unobtrusive at first. The longer we were together, the more it amped up.

I was too critical. I didn't acknowledge it when he did the dishes. I gave him a mean look. I didn't initiate sex. I didn't enjoy sex enough. If I loved him, I would have more sex. I never laughed at his jokes. Didn't I think he was funny? Other women thought he was funny. By the way, did I see he had fertilized the lawn? Why was I being so quiet? Was I mad? He could tell I was mad. Fine then. See how I am? I would rather spend time with my friends on Facebook than I would with him.

Well, actually, yes.

If I had been truly honest I would have said, “You deplete me.” Maybe I did. I don't remember. What I do remember is that I was perpetually exhausted. I constantly felt his presence, whether he was physically there or not. Wherever I went, there he was. I started leaning away from him.

It was an odd dance. I could be sitting on the other side of the room, or in a completely different room, but I would feel his attention on me. Reading me, gauging me, tapping my invisible shoulder, waiting, waiting, wanting.

For a long time I tried to fix my marriage. Actually, I tried to fix myself (that seemed easier). I went to see a therapist and admitted out loud that my marriage wasn't working for me.

I saw an energy healer, too. I don't always trust people who charge me for things I can't see, but I trusted her. She looked at me and told me that energetically, I was leaning backwards out of my body. I actually laughed at the accuracy of her statement. When she looked closer she said my husband's energy was occupying my body. It was in my core.

I knew she was right because it was what I felt. It led me to wonder, who lets another person occupy them like that?

Is this seat taken? No. Well, I'm here, but it's okay because I barely exist.

It took me eight years to wise up and kick him out of my core. I decided I needed the space, after all. I remember in one of our (futile) marriage counseling sessions he said that I never gave him enough, ever. Instead of responding to him, the counselor looked at me and told me to stop trying because I never could give him enough. No one could.

A vacuum, by definition, requires the absence of matter to exist.

I get it, now. In retrospect. That kind of void creates a never-ceasing appetite. It must be fed, constantly. Compliments, acknowledgment, attention, more attention, more more more, from anyone, everyone, men, women, dead women, children. Glom, glom, glom....it never ends.

After I evicted him from my soul, it felt so roomy in there. I would get up each morning and stretch and realize I could stretch forever. It was like moving out of a cramped apartment and into a spacious, new home. I kept walking around and opening doors and marveling at all the space. Ooh, and look at this room, what could I do in here?!

It was like being reborn. How many times can a person be reborn? It seems infinite.

Here's something. The more I settled into my own space, the bigger that space grew. I never had to stop stretching. A never-ending sigh of relief.

Freedom like that makes me want to run through the streets and shout, “Hey you, don't shrink yourself to let someone else feel bigger!”

What a wasted exercise. Shrinking oneself.

Stand up tall. Breathe. Take up space.

Occupy yourself.


57 comments:

  1. Oh I recognise that feeling... I felt like I was a ghost... All my vitality had be sucked out of me, and I was just a whisper of myself.
    Never again will someone consume me.never again will I allow it. I've learnt how to be with someone without allowing them to block the sun from feeding my soul.i won't shrink for anyone.

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    1. Yeah, there's no going back, is there? Good for you. x

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  2. "Occupy yourself."


    Oh, girl. Solid platinum wisdom in two succinct, precise words. I'm saving this post- printing it out, giving it as a gift to myself. Thank you for sharing your Truth- it just might set someone else free... you just never know.

    I was married for eight years, the first time. To an energy vampire. To an abuser. The biological father of my precious daughter. Kristin- you found a wellspring of wisdom and words in the middle of all of this; I commend you with all my heart.

    Keep writing it out. We're listening.

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  3. Thank you for this. I needed to hear it. I'm free now and I am occupying myself again.

    - Laura

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  4. Damn, why did you leave behind that Blossom gift?! It seemed so pertinent at the time you were last here ('twas no accident, they never are, are they?...)

    LOVE the vacuum analogy. And .... just wow. I know this has been coming to the front of your awareness for some time now. The way you have woven this usefully for us all is your true calling. Through your writing. Honoured to read your journey. xxx

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    1. I left it (and half my jewelry) behind so I would have to come back to Melbourne. Duh!

      Thanks for your gorgeous comment, gorgeous.

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  5. Your words are wonderful K, beautiful freeing words, painting a story that I can not only read but feel. I can feel your soul stretching, growing every bigger, as it adjusts to the loss of the confines of your controller. More power to you my love. Hugs from Perth xxx

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  6. "Occupy yourself."


    Oh, girl. Solid platinum wisdom in two succinct, precise words. I'm saving this post- printing it out, giving it as a gift to myself. Thank you for sharing your Truth- it just might set someone else free... you just never know.

    I was married for eight years, the first time. To an energy vampire. To an abuser. The biological father of my precious daughter. Kristin- you found a wellspring of wisdom and words in the middle of all of this; I commend you with all my heart.

    Keep writing it out. We're listening.

    -Ti

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    1. Thanks Ti! Our stories are similar, and I'm guessing our internal journey has many similarities as well. x

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  7. Kristin,

    I rarely comment because I rarely feel I have something of worth to add what you always so beautifully put.

    But this post was nothing if not inspiration to value myself.

    I just wanted to tell you that I feel like clapping after every post of yours that I read.

    Your story is a heavy one but your strength and courage in telling it is incredibly inspiring and although I have no kind of experiences like yours, this post in particular spoke me as a young woman forging her way in life.

    Your words are so powerful. Thank you. Just thank you. I hope the realise the amazing difference you are making for so many people in so many ways.

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    1. Wow, Sheri, what a gorgeous response. Thank you! I'm so glad you found something of value in this. I imagine there are a lot of us women that allow others to take up valuable real estate in our souls and psyches. I wish we would all learn to value ourselves more. Love to you. xo

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  8. What a beautiful post, thank you. I hope that many will read it, take it to heart, and remember your words.

    - Mel

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  9. Been over 8 years since I finished with the type of life you describe. Walking on eggshells. You just word things perfectly and I completely agree. Someone reading this - passing it on to another to read - there is no question in my mind that those words will be a corner stone in someones life. Cheers, Wendy.

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    1. I wonder how many of us have lived with this? Sad. I'm so glad you (and I) have moved on to better things. x

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  10. A brilliant, powerful post.
    You have articulated so beautifully - and are an inspiration in so many ways.
    xxx

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  11. Holy moly all powerful post xx

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  12. "It led me to wonder, who lets another person occupy them like that?
    Is this seat taken? No. Well, I'm here, but it's okay because I barely exist."
    I held my breath when I read this bit.
    Because it's breathtaking writing.
    I think we all let other people occupy us sometimes, at different levels, at different times. Family, partners, kids. Knowing when and how to make them vacate the premises and resume our own tenancy is the key. xx

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    1. Yes, we serve no one by giving others free rent, do we? I think we all need to learn to stand on our own feet (in our own truth, in our own power). xo

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  13. Quite brilliant Kristen: You deplete me, Occupy yourself. Such short phrases can say so much!

    I am of the firm belief that you know you've found 'Mr Right' when you're with someone who makes you a better version of yourself. And you do the same for them.

    If you're walking on eggshells around someone and slowly changing yourself to fit what they are demanding of you ... you gotta get out. Simplistic I know, but as you have demonstrated, at the core it is the truth.

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    1. Yes! I completely agree with what you have to say about 'Mr Right' (and feel it holds true for friends, as well). And the simplest things are often the most profound, I've found.

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  14. Wow... Just wow! You are almighty and inspiring.. Like Sheri I myself had not thought I had anything to bring to the table on your posts but this cannot be left !!
    I have not found myself in such a position from a partner but many a time with friends, but more than that.. The way ypu have written this is nothing short of amazing.. I hope your heart has soared since then!! Xxxx

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    1. Wow, thank Meagan. Thanks for taking the time to comment (and such a beautiful one at that). I've had friends like that, too. No more though. Down with vampires!

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  15. Occupy yourself and be. Amen to that.

    Some people, for whatever reasons, are true vampires. They suck the soul and vitality right out of us to fill a hole in their own hearts that is totally unending.

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    1. Yes, they can often be found in the workplace, too.

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  16. "Occupy yourself" - so simple, so true.

    You ara a fantastic writer and a wonderfully inspiring person. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you! I think the truest things in life are intrinsically very simple.

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  17. I could have written that. I don't have to now, because you have.

    This is so right, so true. An energy vampire. Dragging me back with his teeth firmly into me. Never letting go.

    Even now, I still feel the bite marks and wonder if the energy connection is still there....

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    1. I find I need to continually go back and break the connection, again and again. Habits can be hard to break, including energetic habits. But healing is always worth the work. x

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  18. It actually makes a lot more difference having your freedom out of a commitment that you're not happy anymore than simply because you feel you've been put on hold. That's why, the feeling of of being free gives a positive aura for those who had them based on the former.

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    1. Yes, we do no one a favor by postponing our happiness.

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  19. "Occupy yourself!" Love the phrase!

    I know exactly what you are talking about. I had ten years of it...
    (I am amazed at how many people are caught up in the same cycle)'

    It was the most liberating to free myself and to realise that it was me being instrumental in opening up the "space"!

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    1. Yes, it's always a dance. It takes two. The sooner we realize our own part in the dance, the sooner we can opt out. So glad you moved on to better things. x

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  20. Awesome post. Very inspiring with plenty of substance. Keep up the fabulous work & thanks for sharing.

    Peace!....with 2 fingers;)

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  21. Keep EXPANDING! Glad you are occupying yourself and finding space to do what you LOVE!

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    1. Me too. Thanks Katherine, for your friendship and inspiration. x

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  22. HOLY CRAP. Your description, that relationship, is me and my mum. I am shrinking. I am not the person I want to be, the mother I want to be, the wife I want to be because of our relationship. But you have expressed it so so well.

    I needed this. I needed someone else to express it so I didn't put it down to me being selfish, self-centred, mean. That it was legitimate and real.

    xxx

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  23. Kim told me I should come read you and I'm glad I hv. Your piece rings true on two levels for me. First I am a strong believer in 'self-ishness' bc if I don't have a strong sense of self and a way of looking after self then I cannot share with the world without leaving me a shell.

    And secondly I had a conversation with my 13 yo daughter telling her how as a 'not short person' (currently about 5'6") she had to stand tall and embrace it. Physically stand tall so that mentally she could embrace being 'not short'. So many people disguise or ignore that which makes them who they are. I hope she takes onboard the deeper lesson I was trying to teach.

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    1. I love that. As a not-short woman (5'9") with two not-short children, I can identify with that. I spent my teenage years making myself look smaller so I wouldn't stand out. x

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  24. As always, beautifully expressed.

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  25. Perfect Kristen. I come here to read what I want to say but can't because I know you will always nail it. Always.

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    1. Aw, thanks Melbo. Trust me, there are times when I miss by a wide margin. x

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  26. A friend directed me here because of your most recent post, about abusive ads (excellent points, by the way) and I just...I am sorry about what you have gone through but love and admire how you talk about it, the honesty and the lovely imagery...here, about the souls and having room. Wonderfully put.

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    1. Thank you so much, Cindy. I appreciate you coming by and taking the time to read. x

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  27. I read this when you first posted it and it was a little hard to read because I knew I NEEDED to read it and really pay attention.

    I've finally had enough. I came back today and have read this over and over this morning as I prepare to end a relationship with someone that has been soul-sucking for way too long.

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for these words. They gave me the push I needed to make a change that I deserve.



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    1. Wow. Thank you for sharing this with me. I wish you strength and love and more strength. You always know what is best for your soul (we all do -- though we don't always listen). Stay grounded in your truth (no one else's, just yours) and you will be okay. x

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  28. Amazing. Heart-wrenchingly accurate and beautiful.

    You inspire me.

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