I am a big proponent of only surrounding myself with loving, kind, respectful, supporters. I am quite sure everyone would agree that this is the most comfortable, satisfying way to live. Unfortunately, I am also very certain that most of us have one or more people in our lives that we cannot remove. I have such a person.
How I allowed him in and made the poor choices that inextricably wove him into the fabric of my life is a subject for another time. The fact is he is here and only more harm will come to those I love if I don't continue to communicate at least in a minor fashion.
So how does one deal with an ugliness that cannot be removed? I have a few ideas. Remember they are just ideas that work for me.
Thankfully, I have made enough changes that I do not have to physically interact with "Bill" (sorry "Bill's" out there, no harm intended). However, he chooses to find many reasons to call me in an attempt to pull me back in which I cannot refuse without backlash to others. Every conversation is like being vacuumed from the inside out. I can truly feel my life force powerfully sucked out. It is the most exhausting sensation. Until recently, my go to reaction was anger, anxiety and depression. Obviously, I was depleted and suffering over and over again. I felt panicked every time the phone rang. Totally unacceptable!
Until I tried a suggestion. Use visualization that removes Bill's power and re-frames him in the sad condition in which he truly lives in. Bill is in his own emotional prison. Only someone impotent and terribly unhappy finds relief in exerting power and pain over another human being. Therefore, as I am subjected to his rants about his life, his woes and how he is wronged by the world, I close my eyes and see him in jail; behind bars of his own making. He is caged by unhappiness unable to walk away while I am free to the greatest extent possible at this moment.. At the end of this call I will walk back into the peaceful, loving life I have worked tirelessly to create. Within this framework, I lose nothing. Up until recently, I used visualization as a means of creating more abundance, more love for myself. But hey, now I see I can use it as a form of protection too!
I also struggle with the simple loss of time during these phone calls. And, yes, I resent that. There are a million things I would rather do than suffer his opinions. A simple solution exists but only if those you are protecting are not present. No one else need experience these life bashing sessions. Put the telephone on speaker and do what you want. Clean, cook, go through your mail, take care of your pets.......even better do push-ups, sit-ups, air squats and toe raises......anything to reclaim your time.
And finally, and possibly the most controversial suggestion, to be reserved for only an as needed basis, is to make copies of a picture of this person; and, IN PRIVATE, slowly and methodically rip up a copy, symbolically ridding Bill from your life.
To be very clear, if your relationship with your Bill involves children of any age, DO NOT subject them to your dislike! Remember your issues are yours only. Please don't make them your children's.
These are three possible methods of dealing with those you must. Try one or try all and let me know what works for you and what doesn't. Maybe you have another coping skill I can employ?? Please let me know. I take any and all suggestions.