(Author’s Note: This post is a direct response to a post written by someone very close to me. To see the original post, please go here. I will be using lines from the original post, and when I do so, they will be represented in bold italics. I was first read the original piece out loud by the author, and had a very strong emotional reaction to it. I decided to dissect the piece to see what caused my reactions. I don’t know if I have been entirely successful in this endeavor, and at many points I am simply expanding on the thoughts made in the original post. I go into this with no specific end game – simply an exploration of the piece and my reactions.)
This piece, and my reaction to it, concerns vampires as a metaphor for dark forces in life.
They only come when invited. I feel that we all start our lives in a state of complete vulnerability and naivety, and it is bitter sweet that this leaves us open to experiences that aren’t always pleasant (as there are several situations that we are open to that are glorious, but that openness disappears once you are wounded). Being this open only becomes scary once it is used against you. Unfortunately, when someone is not aware of the dangers, it is easy to admit vampires into ones house. What is worse, is that when one is warned, one lives in fear of vampires, and one finds it hard to trust. Living a life without the ability to trust is, in itself, a vampire.
When you let in a vampire, you must force it out. Once invited, they can return at will, at any time, invitation or no. This is why it is so important to kill a vampire – otherwise the host/victim will be plagued with self doubt and fear that can return at any time to meddle with otherwise beautiful life experiences.
A Vampire may disguise itself as its prisoner/victim. Once bitten, the master need not be present for the victim to transform to darkness. The mark left on the victim is enough to remind the victim of the fear, negativity and terror that the master inflicted. A signature effect of Vampirism is to make the victim convince his or herself that the Vampire is not a Vampire. The victim has thoughts such as, “it is not a problem, this is just who I am, and there is no way around that.” The victim struggles to embellish whatever is good in their life and bury the bad from the sight of those around them, least someone else suspect. They are just trying to hold on to what does not cause them ill intentions and feelings.
“It is good enough,” is a devastating feeling, as though “this is all I can expect, as I am not worthy of more.” Soon, actions turn inward, to try to further bury the vampire into ones soul, to hide what you are becoming. It can lay there, dormant, and ever waiting for the moment to strike at the next victim.
In the presence of a vampire, your entire way of moving, speaking and being can change. Your breathing may not be natural, if it is present at all. You are under an influence that takes you away from your natural state and forces you to change for its own purpose, but to the detriment of your soul. That which pains you can lay dormant, ready to strike again when the Vampire activates or deactivates its power – this can be reactions to how you are treated or to situations in which you find yourself. The vampire struggles to thrive and survive within its host victim, and feeds on its energy to ensure the host complies.
Once the host of bitten by a vampire, It can make you engage in Vampiric acts. You end up hurting others because you are hurt, and you threaten or attempt to control those around you as a means of survival, simply because the vampire needs this dark energy to continue its own survival.
One of its signature weapons is confusion. Vampires cause the victim to feel as though you have no power over your life – you do not have the power to improve or change your situation in any way, as an attempt to do so would surely lead to self destruction. I’ve had times in my own life where it was easier to suppress thoughts that something is wrong rather than deal with them potentially getting worse.
The appearance of a Vampire may be alluring – it can be downright intoxicating; the initial feelings include wonder, attraction and giddiness, but this is followed by extreme illness. It can be dizzying, as the victim tries to eject the poison, but the poison has taken hold and is tenacious in its mission to cling, devour and destroy. Eventually, the hangover of being bitten by a vampire seems like a normal state of being. The victim is compelled to continue this destructive behaviour least he or she enrage the vampire further and be punished more severely.
Trying to help someone kill their personal vampire by lashing out directly at the vampire can hurt the host if he or she is not clear on the rules of vampirism and the motivation behind ones attack. Even if the victim understands vampirism in theory, they may not be ready to fight or be willing to believe that their vampire exists, or is even a problem. Best to leave the afflicted as they are and hunt your OWN Vampire. The need to help someone else kill their own vampire can build up in your chest, suppressing the beating of your heart and rendering you helpless. Lead those afflicted by showing your actions of defeating your own vampire; it will help to empower them to realize their vampire is real and needs to be destroyed.
If you want to become a skilled Hunter, surround yourself with other Hunters. A supportive environment is extremely empowering. It can help to open the eyes of those who have been bitten, and give them strength to demand that their life force be returned. A like-minded community can entirely change ones outlook, and help the victim realize that change is not only possible, but a much better way to live. People ultimately need to kill their own Vampires so the want for change must come from the victim. The hand that strikes the stake into the vampire cannot be forced by an outside influence and expect the strike to land exactly on target.
Vampires are masters of disguise. Most often it is [a] job, a trade, a situation, and energy, a habit, and aspect of a relationship, or a host of other things. A place or a memory can keep you in fear, and ultimately can result in the death of that part of yourself, if you let it. You need to outsmart your vampire, and one of the best ways to do that is through self love. Reflecting on your actions and why they occur can help one to destroy their demons through truth.
Hunting a vampire can strengthen a relationship. Killing one can save it. Vampires can harm a relationship by taking over the host; killing the fear that the vampire imparts can open the host to positive relations. Beauty is in its truth. Beauty is often masked by the vampire, wrapped away, and kept from the host least he or she be able to see their own potential and rebel against the dark force. Why does Dracula toss away Harker’s mirror? The mirror helped Harker see the truth, which is no aid to a vampire, but ultimate aid to a Vampire Hunter.
Stud[y] a Vampire’s past… present location and future moves – once you see the patterns in which it moves, you can track the vampire, break the patterns and kill the plague. Understanding, although incredibly important, is not enough to deal with the vampire; it can actually provide a hiding place. The victim might have a false sense of accomplishment in identifying the vampire, as though that in itself will keep the vampire at bay. The effect is only short term. You can do a lot of work to try to vanquish a vampire away with logical thinking, but the reason needs to be completely believe and acted upon to result in a vampire kill.
Killing a Vampire doesn’t necessarily yield an instantaneously positive result. Destroying your vampire will be better in the long run, but it opens you up to scary situations along with positive opportunities. Vampires thrive on the fear they instill in the host as a way to control them. You have the power, right now, to undertake a heroic act that could (metaphorically) kill you. Once you are properly equipped, take the leap. You will take hits. You will feel pain. Ultimately, it will release you from a long term burden of a vampire constantly lurking in your shadows. [F]rom that which has been lost, flowers bloom.
Much of my initial response to this piece likely had to do with identifying with the situations it alludes to that parallel situations in my own life.
Once a vampire is killed, the scars it has left still remain. They may fade, but they will always be a representation of a dark time in my life. The best way to look at them is a victory, not something that makes me marked or dirtied. I had an experience and I lived through it – I won. I defeated the vampires who have fought tooth and nail for a piece of my soul, for my life force, and I may need to rest and recuperate, but that does not diminish my victory. Self care and self love will enable restoration after fighting for my life.