"Biting Back takes a compelling look at self-care, setting boundaries, and protecting ourselves from friends, loved ones, enemies, and sometimes even ourselves. Written in a page-turning and warm style, Claudia’s refreshing addition to the self-help shelves offers empowering solutions to effectively remind us to stop inviting troubleinto our homes and souls." -- MELODY BEATTIE, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF CODEPENDENT NO MORE


Those Vampires Closest To Home

Madam Slayer,

You make it sound so simple, this vampire-slaying thing. But how many of us have vampires that are our mothers, husbands or life-long friends? It's not so easy to revoke an invitation to someone you can't totally write out of your life. In that case, do you have some suggestions about how to detach, keep good boundaries and elevate the relationship to a higher level, without a total revocation? Or is it more that the revocation happens on an inner level within ourselves even if we are still in relationship with a vampiric-type person?

Thanks for considering.

Simply Sucked

Practical vampire slaying is about getting into the light where we can see what we're doing, where we're at, and who we really are. It is pretty simple (as in not complicated), but it does require a bit of willingness, honesty, and dedication -- and it takes practice. It also takes knowing the rules.

One of the first rules of PVS is to forget about rehabilitating the vampire, and start rehabilitating ourselves. What that means in terms of any blood-draining relationships we're involved in (but not ready to be done with -- for whatever reason) is that we must be willing to take the time to look inside ourselves and find our bottom, and I mean our very bottom, line. You mention the word "boundaries," which evokes an excellent image, not unlike an image of the "thresholds" our vampires have to cross before they can suck our blood. Our task is to know exactly where our threshold is (what specific behavior in our vampire we find draining), and what we are willing to risk to defend it (defending our threshold could be mean the loss of an image of ourselves as "nice guys," for instance, or angering the vampire and possibly others). But I think it's possible to maintain a relationship with someone and know exactly where the line is for ourselves about how intimate we will be with them. If talking with them about how we raise our kids, for instance, always ends in a distinct feeling of anemia for us, then we might consider drawing the line (threshold) there. We must be willing, however, to submit to the consequences of this decision -- there can be a good deal of squawking by hungry vampires when the threshold is moved; still, we know our thresholds and respect them, since the first rule is (as we all know!) "A vampire cannot cross the threshold without an invitation from the host." And it's always, always true.
When we live in the light and humbly admit our limitations (know our thresholds, and especially ourselves), we no longer feel the need to apologize for them or for ourselves. This way we are in much less danger of wavering when the vampire tries to talk us out of what we have brought into the light about ourselves and know for certain. It seems that the truth really does set us free after all.


moonpunter said...
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Senor Cheeseburger said...
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Feemus said...

Ah--so one doesn't have to wear sensible shoes to be a practical vampire slayer.

But if I get rid of all the unhealthy relationships--who will I have left??

The Practical Vampire Slayer said...
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The Practical Vampire Slayer said...

Buffy herself had at least two vampires she wasn't done with, if I recall correctly, and she was even sleeping with hers!

PVS is not necessarily about getting rid of the vampire, you know -- what it's really about is living in the light where we can see what we're up to...you know, so we don't have to see ourselves as victims anymore. It's about power. Responsibility. That stuff.

Feemus said...

Ah, I see.

Buffy was a bit of a vampire, herself, in those terms, perhaps. Just a bit.

Aeshema the Fury said...

I agree with your views and would like to sign up for your newsletter...

Seriously, what an awesome blog. I personally HATE vampires but I never thought about them being actual people in my Real life. Well, except that Van Derrigas guy, but he gave it away when he tried to bite me the third time and he wasnt drunk...

Perhaps I've said too much?

(I came by way of Dwight. I leave by way of *click*)

The Practical Vampire Slayer said...

Hey Aeshi,

I keep trying to answer this and it's giving me a hard time -- anyway, thank you so much for this comment. And I don't have a newsletter yet, but there is The Topic of the Month on my website, www.practicalvampireslayer.com until I get it together for a newsletter or tip of the month or something to send out.

Thanks, toots! pvs

and p.s. Dwight is a uniter!!

funforager said...

I haven't been by in a while and this is growing and getting really juicy. I am so grateful for this way of looking at resentments and recurring difficult people and thoughts. It helps me immensely. Especially the part of taking it to the light.
Keep doing what you're doing. Can't wait for the book.

Viagra Online said...

I don't know how do people can believe in vampires I think it is just to scare people.