Each of us has an engine. It contains a given volume of energy, of light, of radiance. The vehicles that belong to those around us can contribute to that volume we each have, or they can drain precious resources from us – thus depleting our store, often dangerously.
I think it important to be open to, and aware of, this phenomenon: To ensure that the volumes in our individual tanks are kept topped up by our own thoughts, choices and activities – and, equally vital, to discourage, even ban, those who habitually drain us.
A one-off volume reduction is par for the course, and part of life; but, when we notice a pattern developing with particular individuals, I think it behoves us to examine the nature of that interaction.
It is, at the most basic level, very simple, and the car analogy works well: Some types of driving cause the fuel in the tank to reduce more quickly than others. Similarly, some fellow human beings drain our tanks with frightening ease. Often we can tell by the way we habitually feel after spending time on that road, or with that person. If we always, or almost always, feel vaguely depressed, discouraged, knackered or ill-at-ease in that person’s company, it is likely that we have attracted a classic Drain into our lives. If, by contrast, we usually come away on a high, feeling fizzy and re-energised, inspired and refilled, then we are in the joyous position of having a Radiator close at hand.
That given volume is an essential part of our aliveness. We can easily become ill, both physically and mentally, if its level is always hovering on the red, ‘Get more fuel now!’ line. If we feel as if another human is sucking our vitality into their own system, we would be well advised to, metaphorically, get hold of pointy stake and garlic and stop the emotional vampire in his or her tracks.
I am a woman who has willingly opened the window, and exposed my neck, to these Bats of Night. In thrall to their deadly fascination; admiring the suave cut of their red/black swirling cloaks and sharpened canines; taken in, time after time, by their sorrowful tales of the anguish of the endless life of the Undead, I have allowed them to suckle my emotional blood supply to their empty hearts’ content – and, seeing their waxy beauty in deathly slumber during the daylight hours, I have not had the heart to murder them in cold blood.
You see, Drains thrive on the vital liquid that thrums through the arterial and venous systems of empathy and compassion. This blood-like liquid does not fill them up, for nothing can; they suck and slurp and rend and tear and greedily fight over the tiniest drop because their own tanks are on perpetual empty – and they lack the resources necessary to make a permanent difference to their own supply of life’s energy.
My engine is running on empty today, though this is largely to do with external events rather than Drains. However, a known Drain – who has been out of contact for months – texted me this morning. I felt an immediate surge of panic: Knowing that I was/am already exhausted, yet feeling I should, somehow, find that tiny bit extra to top up this other person once more, I could sense the anxiety bubbling.
Then it hit me: I am under no obligation to keep my window open at night so that these mutated bats can come in for a feed. I do not have to bare my neck to these sinister be-cloaked creatures every time their coffin lids rise and they sally forth intent upon getting more blood. Let them crumble into dust, say I! Let’s lift the lid during the sun-radiant hours and expose the nasty little freaks for what they actually are: Death unable to let go, and posing as hideously grotesque life.
My texting Drain? I did what I should have done three, four, five, years ago: I deleted the message from my phone and am not going to oblige with a blood transfusion this time around. My own volume is too low to risk it.
I have given birth just the once – and only that now-grown child is entitled to refer to me as Mother. I have suckled altogether too many needy babes in my time, and the supply is now at an end!
With Radiators, you see, the feeding is balanced and reciprocal: Each person’s tank is being topped up by the other on a regular, usually unconscious, basis. With Drains, it is all one way, with them showing neither the ability, nor the wish, to increase anyone else’s volume.
Right: Pass me the hammer! Sprinkle the garlic! I’ve located the heart! The stake’s ready!
You ARE the Weakest Link, Drain: Goodbye!