Family members and friends can sure lay a good guilt trip on us at times. They may even blame us for their problems. It's a terrible burden to bear. I've had the unfortunate displeasure of experiencing this for my self over and over again. No matter how much explaining I do, I just can't run away from being the bad guy! I am selfish. Yes, I admit I can be selfish at times. But I believe this selfishness is necessary. I am selfish with my energy... and I have perfectly good reason to be.
I'm an empath. I am super sensitive to my environment. I absorb energy all around me whether it's positive or negative (and everything in between). I can even feel energy through a phone call, text and email message. If someone's energy is toxic I must walk away. This may be considered selfish but it's a necessary selfishness in my opinion. A selfishness that protects my mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical health and well-being. So why is this so terrible? It's not! And I refuse to allow anyone to convince me otherwise.
The following is a true story. It's a story I've been meaning to tell for a while now. But it's a story of a situation that has caused me a lot of pain and suffering. Therefore, I've stayed away from writing about this subject to protect my own energy. Just connecting with the negative memories can be harmful to me. But, I'm stronger now... so I think I can handle writing about this situation and sharing it with the world. Perhaps this article may help others who have had similar experiences. So here goes...
I have a very close male family member... let's call him Fred. Fred and I always got along very well. Fred was almost like a best friend to me ever since I was a baby. We both had a great deal of love and respect for one another. At times Fred would ask me for my opinion on important life issues and he even took my advice although I was much younger than him. Our relationship was very peaceful. We never seemed to have a problem. I would visit Fred on the weekends and it was always a great visit.
One day Fred met a lady and decided to marry her... let's call her Joanna. At first everything seemed to be okay, but pretty soon after their wedding, Joanna's energy started to affect me in a very bad way. As it turned out, she was very insecure, controlling, manipulative, territorial, angry and hateful... She had been married previously and I believe she was harboring a lot of negative feelings about that marriage. She was also a social worker... perhaps picking up a lot of negative emotions from her clients and not properly clearing them off of her. Regardless... she always seemed to have a problem.
But Fred was blind to all of this. According to Fred, Joanna was the most wonderful, loving, giving and thoughtful person ever. Joanna was a saint. She could do no wrong. And Fred would be sure to tell me this over and over again. In fact, Fred was quick to let me know that any nice thing that he did for me or any nice present that he purchased for me was Joanna's idea. He was hoping this would make me like her. But it didn't! Quite the opposite... It made me wonder if Joanna was doing all of Fred's thinking for him. It was annoying actually.
I tried to get along with Joanna. I really did. But as much as I tried, her turbulent emotions and the fact that she had a problem with just about everything kept throwing me off. I could feel her judgemental thoughts and I knew she was saying bad things about me to Fred when I wasn't around. I felt it coming off of Fred's energy as well. Joanna was a professional social worker and I was sure that she had given Fred her psychological analysis of me time and time again. I played dumb but I felt everything.
Deep down I also had this gnawing suspicion that Joanna had some type of nefarious agenda... I thought it was weird that after Fred and Joanna started dating, Fred's mother and brother died in the same year. In fact, right before Fred's mother died, Joanna was visiting her all the time at the nursing home even though her and Fred had stopped dating for a while. And even more bizarre, Fred's brother had died in an alcohol rehabilitation center that Joanna had recommended for him. We were told that he died of pneumonia, but he was found on the floor foaming at the mouth. It appeared that foul play was involved, especially since his insurance had just run out. Supposedly Joanna had told Fred not to worry about the insurance running out and that he didn't have to pay the accumulating fees. Well, that didn't work out so well! This was all a red flag to me.
Then, to make matters worse, right after Fred's mother and brother died, Joanna gave Fred an ultimatum for marriage. Fred was so sad about losing his family members that he didn't want to lose Joanna as well, so he went ahead and married her. I kept warning Fred about Joanna. I was convinced that she had something to do with his mother and brother's death. She may have actually physically orchestrated the deaths or her thoughts and energy were just poisonous enough to indirectly orchestrate the deaths. I believe it's possible that Joanna may have been dabbling in some type of black magic and placed a curse on our family. To me her energy felt like a plague of some kind... An insidious plague that no one else had detected except for me (and my mother actually). My mother knew something was wrong as well. She would actually say that Joanna murdered Fred's brother.
Regardless, Fred misunderstood my warning and took it the wrong way. He thought I was saying that Joanna actually physically murdered his mother and brother. Then Fred told Joanna that I said this. Joanna actually defended herself by saying that Fred and her were both out of town on vacation when the deaths occurred. So she couldn't have murdered them. How timely that they were both on vacation when the deaths occurred and that the vacation was Joanna's alibi. It was very suspicious that she would even say such a thing in her defense. I wonder who planned these vacations? I never asked.
Then come to find out, Fred's brother's wife and children were supposed to get some of the inheritance money after Fred's brother and mother died. But somehow Fred's wife Joanna advised Fred not to give as much money to them as he was supposed to. Eventually Fred's brother's wife hired a lawyer and was preparing to sue Fred. That's when Fred decided to do the right thing. But in reality he still didn't give them as much money as he should have. After this incident, Fred's brother's wife and one of her sons stopped communicating with Fred altogether. Understandable! This was a very unfortunate situation that wouldn't have happened if Joanna wasn't advising Fred about financial and family issues.
The stress of the whole situation was making me sick. I started to suffer from physical and mental health problems. So at some point, Joanna seemed to convince Fred that I needed to be admitted into a psychiatric facility. I was too much of a threat to Joanna to stay in Fred's life. Ofcourse I didn't check into the psychiatric facility that Joanna had recommended for me. I wasn't about to end up drugged and dead like Fred's brother! My spider senses were up though. It was apparent that Joanna wanted to get me out of the way. I was too suspicious of her. She had removed Fred's brother and his mother...Naturally I was next in line!
I just so happened to decide to move far away to go to school in Buffalo, NY. I started getting stalked by an ex boyfriend in college so Fred allowed me to trade cars with Joanna. My car was a bit too flashy. Joanna's car was plain enough that my ex boyfriend wouldn't be able to find me so easily when I was on campus. So one day during a snow storm I was driving back home from college in Joanna's car. The car slipped on some ice and I ended up flipping over in the middle of a highway. The car was totalled! But thankfully I wasn't harmed. Not even a scratch! I was lucky to be alive. But flipping over in her car? If that's not a bad omen I don't know what is! Just being in Joanna's car was bad energy!
Then one day Fred brought Joanna with him to pick me up from my mother's apartment. One thing led to another and Joanna ended up calling the police and pressing charges against my mother for physically assaulting her. My mother never even touched Joanna. She was just trying to get Joanna to leave her apartment. Joanna was holding the door open and egging my mother on. She wanted to get my mother to hit her. She had a way of getting underneath both of our skin. On one occasion, I was convinced that Joanna was trying to get me to hit her. Thankfully I exerted a great deal of self control. I was aware of what happened with my mother and I wasn't going to fall for the set up. But yes, something was terribly wrong and the situation seemed to be getting worse and worse. Fred continued to be as blind as ever.
I eventually moved from New York to Los Angeles... but the drama still continued! I would email private messages to Fred but Joanna would respond. They shared an email account. There was no privacy whatsoever between Fred and myself. I tried to ask Fred to get a private email address but he refused to do so. Eventually Joanna and I started to exchange some terrible emails. This could have all been resolved if Fred had just listened to me and got a private email address. Even one of his close friends agreed with me about getting a new private email address, but Fred still wouldn't listen. Eventually Fred banned me from emailing him altogether (and Joanna) because the emails were getting so bad. So I started mailing Fred letters instead. But this really didn't solve the problem. By this point I had been labeled the bad guy. I was the cause of all their problems!
Unfortunately, I've had many bad experiences with Fred and Joanna over the years. Vacations that had gone terribly wrong, getting blackballed from Joanna's family and so forth. I will not recall all of these bad memories in this article. The worst part though is that Joanna had put a real strain on my relationship with Fred. It had become more and more challenging to maintain a positive one on one relationship with Fred. Joanna was always getting in the way somehow and causing a rift between myself and Fred. Understandably, I had decided that I wanted nothing to do with Joanna.
But Fred kept asking me to try to get along with her for his sake. It would make him happy. So out of love and respect for Fred I made an effort. But it was bad. Joanna knew just how to push my buttons to get me to react in a bad way. I wasn't meditating at all during this time so I was an easy target. I would become engulfed with rage and even blow up at times. Joanna would twist my words and actions in order to make me appear crazy and unbalanced. This would continue happening over and over again and there was nothing I could do about it. Fred always sided with Joanna. I was trapped in a very disturbed energy and it was continuing to affect my health in a bad way. Throughout this whole ordeal Fred and Joanna portrayed themselves as the victims and I was the bad guy. At some point Fred started blaming me for his marital problems with Joanna. This was a terrible thing to be told!
But interestingly, I wasn't the only bad guy. Joanna somehow convinced Fred that most of his family members and friends were bad guys. In fact, Fred once had many friends. But since Joanna arrived on the scene, Fred stopped contacting many of them. He was finding reasons to eliminate everyone from his life. He had isolated himself. He was now completely dependent on Joanna. The only friends he maintained were the ones that Joanna liked... The ones that seemed to go along with her control agenda. It was very concerning. I got in touch with one of Fred's best childhood friends only to find out that Fred wouldn't return his phone calls anymore. He was convinced that Joanna had something to do with this. Ofcourse she did! All of Fred's decisions were being orchestrated by Joanna! Sadly, Fred wasn't even the same person anymore. Fred and Joanna had somehow merged into the same being. Fred's identity had become her identity. It was beyond troubling.
Over time I started meditating, changing my diet and becoming a more balanced individual. I was finally finding peace within myself. I started to forgive everyone who had hurt me and did me wrong. I even decided to forgive Joanna. So in an attempt to be a good samaritan, I decided to contact Johanna and leave her a very diplomatic and heartfelt apology on her voice mail. I apologized for all the years of bad blood between us and I forgave her for what she put me through. I even cried. I was cleansing myself of all the negativity so I could step away from the situation in peace and just move on with my life. I also knew that this apology would make Fred very happy... which it did!
Joanna returned my call and left me a voice message thanking me and telling me that I could reach out to her anytime. I decided it was best not to call her back...to leave well enough alone. Things had ended quite peacefully and I felt that if we started talking again things could go sour pretty quick. Well, come to find out, since Joanna was unable to control the communication between us, she decided that my apology was a selfish apology and not authentic. So she didn't accept my apology after all! She told this to Fred and ofcourse he agreed with her... so once again I had become the bad guy!
Enough was enough! I could not continue dealing with this lady, family member or not! Her energy and the whole family dynamic was literally destroying me. So I walked away for good... Ofcourse I became the bad guy again for walking away! So I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't. My life, my health and my energy is very important to me and I noticed that it improved greatly since avoiding all contact with Joanna! But although I was making the best effort to avoid Joanna, she would still purposely do things to get under my skin...even from thousands of miles away. I would call Fred up on the phone and Joanna would be in the background laughing while I was talking to him and saying little things under her breath. Or she would snatch the phone away from him quickly to say something to me and Fred would struggle to get the phone back from her. She was acting very childish.
I started asking Fred if he was alone when I called him. If Joanna was in the room I'd ask him to step out of the room or call me later when Joanna wasn't around. A few times Fred left the room to speak with me and Joanna purposely followed him into the other room and started asking him to ask me questions. Fred actually started asking me Joanna's questions as if he couldn't see what she was doing. This lady would just not leave me alone. She was always trying to get a rise out of me. Fortunately I did well and managed to ignore her. I didn't acknowledge her at all.
Unfortunately though, the drama still continued... Fred started dealing with treatment resistant depression. His psychotropic drugs were no longer working for him. He was getting all types of conventional brain treatments to no avail. Joanna started calling me and leaving me voice messages to help her with Fred. I would promptly delete her voice messages. I refused to connect with her energy. I would then call Fred and ask him what he needed. Fred didn't seem to have a problem with this.
But then one day I called Fred and Joanna picked up the phone. I immediately hung up on her. Turns out that Fred was in the room with Joanna when this happened. He was actually in the process of getting a treatment for his depression. Well... Fred became enraged about this and left me a voice message about how upset he was. I didn't want to call Fred back for fear that his wife would answer the phone again... so I mailed Fred a letter explaining, once again, why I refuse to deal with his wife Joanna. Fred became infuriated! He left me a horrible voice message which actually contributed to me becoming physically sick that week. The energy was so bad! He called my explanation “bullshit” and rejected everything in my letter. He rejected my thoughts and he rejected my feelings. In reality... he rejected me...and so once again I became the family villain!
Sadly, I may just have to walk away from both Fred and Joanna. I can't seem to be able to maintain a decent relationship with Fred without Joanna somehow getting involved and destroying it. I've accepted being the bad guy for a long time, but in reality I'm very tired of it. I'm tired of the unjust persecution, the blame and the oppressive energy being directed at me. I'm tired of the blatant disrespect. The disregard for my feelings. It's just not healthy. I'm a good person... Just terribly misunderstood. It's unfortunate. But this situation has become beyond toxic for me. I cannot continue compromising my energy trying to make everyone else happy. I must look out for myself. No... this is not selfish. This is self-love.
No, my friends, we cannot continue subjecting ourselves to negativity... family or not! At some point we must be brave and break the vicious cycle imposed upon us. We have all been endowed with free will. We might as well exercise it. Walking away from people we love may be hurtful, but sometimes it's the best option. Eventually Fred will see that I'm not the bad guy he always thought I was. At least I hope he finally realizes this. In the end though, does it really matter what Fred thinks? I will not allow other people's distorted thoughts and views of me to get me down. I know the truth and that's all that matters anyway. I can't live other people's lives for them. I can't make other people's decisions. But you know what I can do? I can live my own life and I can make my own decisions. And If I decide to walk away from a bad situation then that's just what I'm going to do!
Can you relate to this story? Are you dealing with family drama that's affecting your health in a bad way? Are you getting blamed for other people's problems? Please feel free to share your story in the comments section below. Writing is very therapeutic! Peace and blessings!
Jennie Haiman is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!