My boyfriend is a really great guy, but he sometimes makes fun of me about stuff like my job (I don’t make as much money as he does), my figure (which is not model-perfect), and the fact that I’m not as smart as he is (I never finished my college degree). I have to admit that what he says is pretty funny sometimes, but it can also hurt my feelings, too. Sometimes I think he’s kind of a vampire, and then later I think I must be crazy to think he’s a vampire – he’s just not the type. Everybody likes him, so maybe I’m just being sensitive (that’s what he always says). If he’s not a real vampire, then I should be ok, right?
You know, when a dog bites us, most of us don’t look at the dog to see how badly we’ve been hurt – we look at the bite. And yet, when most of us begin to suspect we’re being drained by a vampire, the first thing we’re apt to do is try and take a closer look at what the vampire is doing. As if the vampire can reveal to us the extent of our wounds! It’s almost like we’re saying, “If this isn’t a real vampire, then that must not be a real bite on our necks, either.” Think about that for a second: that bite that’s bleeding all over our shirt and getting sticky and hurting like heck and getting infected and pinching when we turn our necks sometimes – that’s the bite that’s not real if we decide it’s not a real vampire? Please.
Diagnosing vampire attacks is not so much about analyzing our vampire's behavior as it is about evaluating the extent of our wounds. I’m not saying that our vampires don’t have some distinguishing characteristics, because they certainly do; but when it comes to getting reliable information about whether I’ve been attacked by a real vampire or not, I’ll check the wound every time.
Here are some questions I ask about my wounds:
1. Does it hurt? What did they say or do that hurt? Do I feel mad, sad, frustrated, defeated, furious, or all of these things?
2. Have I been bitten here before? (Is this familiar, have I felt this pain before? Am I having the same thoughts I had the last time I was hurt this way? Am I trying to defend myself in the same way I have in the past?)
When the area seems particularly thin-skinned, and especially when the pain from the wound is familiar – as it often is when someone is making repeated “humorous” slights about my earning ability, my appearance, or my competence in general – these are pretty sure signs of a vampire lurking about in my life.
But only you can say whether a vampire’s been feeding on you or not – they’re your wounds. The important thing to remember when diagnosing a vampire attack is to keep the focus on ourselves and our injuries, and NOT on our vampires! I know it can be hard to break that thrall once it’s been established, but this is important. When we focus on ourselves, we’re looking where the power is, where the solution is, and (by the way) precisely where our vampires don’t want us looking.