Pic. Credit: http://abqarts.com/ Photo by: Pat Berrett
At a website that Lady M is a member of a post came up, it was a post that I am certain we have all seen and read the like of before and it pointed to an old but nevertheless still somewhat disturbing concept.
The post was from someone asking to be “turned into a vampire”. Not unusual you say, seen it all before you say… very true, anyone that has been in the OVC for even a relatively short time will have read such things but the thing that caught my attention was that this post was not five years, three years or even three months old… it was three days old.
It points to the fact that there are still people, presumably young and impressionable, coming into the community who are in position of risk of exploitation, and abuse.
For many years I have watched as such requests were met with a variety of derision, scorn and insulting and sarcastic rhetoric. This does not negate the fact that if a person wants something so very badly then they will actively pursue it, often at great personal risk.
Either the message has not been getting out properly or it has been lost amidst the massed information and bewildering array of opinion and ideas along the way. It is a message that requires updating and refreshing periodically so that young people can be protected from the unscrupulous and ill-meaning so-called “real vampires” among us.
I am going to attempt, therefore, to present a synopsis of the real life of real vampires. I realise that I can not speak about the intricacies and intimacies of the nature of personal vampirism for everyone; it is a well known and widely accepted fact that everyone’s experiences are as different and as unique as the individual in a great many respects. What I want to do is put down, as clearly and plainly as I can a broad overview of the reality of modern vampires. It is a timely reminder that will only scratch the surface but it may well answer a few of the basic survival questions that newcomers will have. If it helps just one person then it will have achieved its purpose.
There are many in the community who believe that a person “knows” from a very early age that they are “different”. That they feel differently about the world than others their age. They “see” things differently and engage in different activities than their peers. This in itself does not necessarily mean they are latent modern vampires but it does seem to be a recurrent theme that comes up repeatedly when people speak of their experiences. Feeling and thinking differently may simply be a by-product of social environment and interactions with people that profess fringe beliefs about life and the world. It may come from immersion in a deeply religious community and environment, in fact strong beliefs of any nature may well colour a person’s thinking when they are constantly exposed to such things.
As an example, if you are brought up in a household; and extended family, that is of a staunch and irreplaceable political persuasion then chances are, dependant on education and exposure to other views, that you will be a lifelong supporter of that same political party without ever considering any other way.
A great number of modern real vampires have a certain knowledge, faith, belief, call it what you will, that means they simply “know” they are real vampires. It is as natural a state to them as breathing is to any other human being. This certainty of knowledge can help in avoiding a number of the stresses and strains that accompany vampiric development in those who are unaware of this “knowledge”.
Commonly, in early years to pre-teens, the psychological elements of fantasy are indelibly mixed with reality and the hardness of the real world. Childhood and youth are generally a time of games, stories, exploring the world around them, becoming socially aware and learning to interact with their environment. This melding of a number of perceptions can lead to “fairytale” beliefs such as the belief that someone can be turned into a vampire by being bitten by one, or, in the case of modern real vampires, one who “claims” to be one. It is a risky time for the youngster and a time where they deserve the protection of the community without question. I would even go so far as to suggest that the VC/OVC has a “duty” to protect the children that can’t be ignored.
The Awakening is a common reference to and popular term for, a person coming to the realization that they are a real living vampire. It is generally held to occur somewhere around the mid-teens though I, and others, know people who have claimed to have awakened as late as their thirties and as early as ten or twelve years of age. The truth of the matter is, again, is that it is a subjective thing and as unique to the individual as any other aspect of their growth and development.
Some of the causes, or triggers of “awakening” have been attributed to traumatic events involving some sort of threat or danger to the self, others have attributed it to a pre-programmed developmental stage in the vampire life, somewhat akin to puberty.
Others see it as a psychological shift in thinking and perceptions while still others see it as the psycho-physiological realization of the need for some external supplement, such as blood or energy, in order to remain fit and healthy.
Again, it is a time of risk. It is the time of “first indulgence” in a newfound part of the personality and the inevitable experimentation which goes along with having to cater to a hitherto unknown “need”. The effect on the life of the young vampire can be quite dramatic and have far reaching psychological effects as well as more immediate, and possibly dangerous, physical ones.
There are the obvious risks associated with the consumption of blood, especially the blood of another person, or donor. Blood borne diseases can be a terrible and fatal consequence of improper experimentation in explorations by the newly awakened. The psychological stresses of uncontrolled Psi-feeding can have far reaching consequences for the newly awakened Psi-vamp. The long and short of it is, if you have just awakened, believe it or not, you need help and guidance and if you fail to seek that out then you are placing yourself at great risk.
Ahhh… “turning”, “the dark kiss”, “embracing”… how many more synonyms can you think of?
Generally the wider community does not support, nor endorse the concept of turning, that is, the creation of a vampire by another vampire. I have taken part in discussions that have covered the topic and there is some knowledgeable comment on the matter to be read in some places. For example, in one discussion, not so long ago, the comment was made that after a time in a “vampire/donor” relationship the donor often begins to display vampiric characteristics. I am not aware if any donors have ever actually become self-identified vampires but it is entirely possible that in such a close and intimate relationship as this there will be some psychological melding that will affect one or both parties. The extent to which the vampiric characteristics affected the donor were reported, in that particular discussion, to have “worn off” after a period of not being in the relationship any longer.
It is a sad but true fact that, like any community or society, the vampire community has its share of unscrupulous, unprincipled and ill-intentioned participants. The best advice that can be offered here is that if someone tells you they will make you, “their one eternal love in life everlasting”, or some such thing, give them a very wide berth… they are either dangerous or dangerously delusional.
There are those who might argue the point on some pedantic level with me, some who may proclaim me a skeptic with no proof. That may be true but I will maintain, always, or at least until I see it happen and verify it with my own observations, that another vampire can not truly turn a non-vampire into a vampire except by some psychological trickery or brainwashing like pseudo-hypnotism.
I would also ask you to consider this; a great friend, and iconic community figure, Lady CG once wrote:
“Being a vampyre has never solved anyone’s problems. Learning to cope as a vampyre is JUST as hard as being a normal person… with the added complication that being a vampyre is not exactly accepted, morally in many places.
Being a Vampyre will NOT make you happier.
Being a Vampyre will not make you healthier (on the contrary)
Being a Vampyre will not give you more friends, or lovers
Being a Vampyre will not make you more attractive
Being a Vampyre will never solve a single problem in your life…
IF you want to be a Vampyre for ANY of the above reasons there are FAR better solutions.. REAL solutions for you!”
Real vampires know who and what they are, it is a natural evolution or development not the result of some movie-like tryst with a fanged ‘prince/princess of the night’. I am sorry if that disappoints you but the one thing about being a real modern vampire is you have to be realistic and pragmatic about it.
In all probability you will have started looking for answers, why do I feel this way? What do I do to control these feelings?, How do I get what I need to be well? And so forth. You will probably come to the conclusion, before long, that you have more questions than there are answers and that’s because many of the answers lie with you already, the trick is learning to recognize them and learning to integrate them into your new life.
There is a vast amount of information and resources available on the internet, in the Online Vampire Community, for you to look to for answers but you will also find a bewildering array of different answers to the same question. This is because no one has the truth figured out yet and anyone who claims to have “the truth” is simply grandstanding or deluding themselves. The cold hard facts are no one knows where vampires come from, no one knows why certain individuals become real living vampires and no one knows what the exact method of maintaining the vampiric self is. The very best thing that you can do is take in theories and ideas from several reputable sources and then see if they fit YOU. If not, keep looking. This is very much a case where knowledge is power and the more knowledge you have the easier your vampiric life will be to incorporate into your “dayside” or real world life.
Dayside vs. Nightside…
One of the most critical decisions you will face is just how integrated your vampiric life and your human life will become. Let’s make no mistake, let us be quite clear, real living vampires ARE real humans also.
Early on, in the teenage years, the “vampiric” side can be quite easily accommodated in the swirl of commonly encountered peer groups that abound. Appearing in public dressed in black pseudo-Victorian clothing with black finger polish and a shocking white complexion is a sign that you belong to a specific peer group, it will assist greatly in masking the vampiric side of your personality, the nightside.
The matter of vampiric “feeding” to maintain your health and wellbeing is another main focus during your life. Reports on the effects of non-feeding vary from individual to individual but all appear to be uniformly negative and the effects of non-feeding are almost universally held to be detrimental to the real vampire. There is, and has always been, great and seemingly endless debate on the reasons for and nature of, feeding as opposed to the consequences of not feeding but again, other than the fact that there is an almost universal agreement on the effects of not feeding the whole thing varies widely from individual to individual. What you will need to do is experiment SAFELY until you find your own balance.
As you grow older it becomes more difficult to reconcile the two sides and there needs to be a balance struck between the two. You are going to be looking to move into professional circles, get a job, get a loan, become influential and successful and simply remain safe from harassment and ridicule. This is when the decision whether to “come out of the coffin”, as it is termed, or not becomes extremely important. Coming out of the coffin can be a liberating experience and truly a courageous form of self-expression but it can also get you fired, harassed on the street, lead to problems for your family and generally make life very unpleasant. On the other hand, if you are in a certain profession, say for example music and the arts, it can be a handy boost to your publicity. It is a choice that only you can make but it is vitally necessary that you weigh up the benefits versus the consequences for both yourself and your family and friends before you make your decision.
In all probability, unless you are completely removed from all forms of computers, you will have become familiar with the VC (Vampire Community) and the OVC (Online Vampire Community). The VC is the reality version of the community wherein “vampire balls”, vampire meet-ups and House functions are held in real time and attended by members of the VC. Not all of these people are necessarily involved in the OVC and it is probably a good idea, if you are going to attend “vampire friendly” bars and clubs that you take sensible security precautions, just as you would going any place at night these days ~ yes, it’s true, vampire functions don’t generally take place during the day.
In an article I presented entitled “Crossroads – The VC/OVC; a positive power” I commented:
“The OVC can, and in many cases does, contribute positively to the development of the “vampyric” self for those who are undergoing the processes of self-awareness, or “awakening” and it is at this somewhat critical stage that many newcomers need our help, as a community, to come to terms with the changes in their lives.
Apart from the obvious “online” interactions, which are comparatively easy to maintain, there are also local events that allow members of the OVC to mingle in a social fashion. “Meetups”, a popular term, that allows real vampyres to associate freely with others of their kind, are held in many places. This can also help in preventing “isolationist” feelings in people and engenders cooperative approaches and free sharing of ideas. Unfortunately there are a great many in the community who do not have, or cannot afford, the luxury of attending such events and may be in a geographical situation that does not allow for them actually meeting with others of their kind. In this respect the OVC provides a vital link to the world that these isolated members could not otherwise experience ~ another positive approach to the problem of isolation.
These “meet-ups” also engender the establishment of community cooperation and projects. Combined efforts not only aimed at improvements within the OVC but also outside of it. Combined efforts at positive media release, representation and the like will undoubtedly benefit any community.”
There are, still, many benefits from interaction within the VC/OVC and the fact that there are also pitfalls is, in the main, overshadowed by the good people you will find that are willing and able, to give you the help and guidance you are seeking. However, be aware, like any other community or society there are also a great number of untrustworthy, snide, arrogant, self-promoting and downright miserable people to be found. People who will take any facet of your involvement and interaction and turn it into a bitter, cynical and downright offensive “insult party” for them and their associates to enjoy a laugh at your expense. Generally speaking, as in the real world, they will not bring their issues up with you so laugh it off, ignore them but know who they are and avoid them. It’s that simple.
The online community is an entity in and of itself… I’m going to admit something to you now, dear reader… I could take someone off the street and in four hours I could teach them enough so that they would be accepted as a real living vampire in the OVC.
You need to stay aware that you are looking at words on a screen, being typed by someone who is probably tens of thousands of miles away, and you have NO way of knowing whether it is the truth or not. You can check around with others and ask, “Hey, what’s with so-and-so, are they legit?” and you may get a typed chorus of “Yes”… but, is that the truth? Over time you will learn who to trust and who not to trust by watching what they do and how they do it. The best piece of advice I can offer you is trust your instincts, if it looks “dodgy” then in all likelihood it is.
The other thing you will rapidly come to notice is that there is very little decorum, manners or real civility in the OVC. That’s something you are going to need to get past, or ignore the people you don’t like from the tone of their typed material and responses, it’s a choice you’ll have to make for yourself. The OVC is highly “clique oriented” and “political” with a great penchant for dramatic, and overly dramatic, furors. The new arrival, looking for their path, would be well advised to keep their own counsel and stay well out of such matters since the only thing that ensues from them is ill-will and further fragmentation between the parts of the OVC community. By reading and watching discussions you will soon come to form your own ideas on who is, and who is not, sensible, trustworthy, intelligent and honest.
Beyond the OVC…
I once posed the question, “Where do old vampyres go?” Some people gave me comic answers, some people gave me honest answers and still others gave me deeply thoughtful replies. My conclusion was that there comes a point where the “senior”, as in long serving, members of the VC/OVC move on to other projects and other aims. Some former members of the community have found their true path through religion, others claim to have “cured” themselves of their vampirism while still others, such as myself, have, through a prolonged process of critical self-evaluation and study, come to realise that while modern vampirism may well have been a handy explanation for a long time it is not the true and full explanation of who and what they are. Many will discover they have richer lives as families come along, careers change and so forth. Some become disillusioned and tired of fighting to improve things to no avail and retire gracefully; some get thrown out on their ear for bringing the community into disrepute. Whatever the reason and result the old saying, “Nothing lasts forever” is probably one of the truest of statements that can be applied to the VC/OVC.
People come and go, as in any other part of life. Friendships are formed then drift apart, as in any other facet of life. There are undoubtedly those who were never real vampires at all but made their way through the OVC under the guise. There really is no way of telling at the end of the day and the best that any of us can do is to be true to ourselves and the knowledge of what we are, or are not.
As for where old vampyres go when they die, well, one thing is for sure they don’t lie in their tombs waiting for the moon to rise so they can creep out in the night and drink the blood of their hapless victims. Real living vampires are not immortals so it won’t be until your time comes that you’ll discover the final answer.
The importance of community, J. Reason, January 2011
Crossroads – Into the OVC, which way now? Tim B., March 2011
Crossroads – Safety first, Tim B., March 2011
Surviving an awakening, J. Reason, March 2011
Crossroads – The VC/OVC, a positive power, Tim B. April 2011
Real vampire community personal safety and privacy awareness, SphynxcatVP, July 2011
Do you think you might be a vampire? Tim B. September 2011
Differences Between “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1″ and Real Vampires, J. Reason, Nov 2011
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