"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


The Vampire Thrall

thrall (throl)n.: a semi-hypnotic state brought on by interaction with the vampire which results in our heightened suseptibility to suggestion from the vampire.

My friend Angel was just telling me that one of her vampires showed up at her house quite unexpectedly the other day and asked her if she’d like to go to a street fair with him and his kids. She’d just had a miserably draining encounter with him (and his kids) the day before and it was still fresh in her mind, so when he asked her, she was able to tell him no -- but what she couldn’t understand later was why she’d even considered his proposition. “The weird thing was that I was actually thinking about doing it!” she told me. “Why would I do that, especially when I’m still sore from the last time he bit me?"

Answer: She was caught in her vampire’s thrall. He showed up suddenly and without warning (a favorite vampire tactic, famously employed by salespeople and by people who try to sell religion door-to-door, too), made eye contact with her, and bingo: there she was -- in his thrall and once again highly susceptible to his suggestions.

Vampires are notorious for this -- I mean, we all know that you're never supposed to look into a vampire's eyes, right? And yet the whole thing baffles me a bit...what is it that happens when we do?

Could it be that the vampire's eyes reflect our own indecision?

We are most vulnerable to our vampires when we have not yet taken the time to clarify for ourselves who we are and what we want in our lives.

Could it be that the power of the vampire's thrall lies not so much in the vampire's will for us, but in our uncertainty about what our own will for our lives is?


jjdebenedictis said...


Welcome back! How did the rewrites go?

claud said...

Hi Jen!!

Well...okay, I think. I am waiting to hear but only sent them off on Monday so we'll see. I'm expecting they'll be more work to do, though!

How are YOU???

M. said...

Hooray, everyone is back now!

This is going to be the bestest summer ever.

claud said...

Hooray is right, M. It was getting awful quiet around the blogs there for a while...

Jaye Wells said...

Welcome back!

claud said...

My old pal Jaye! I read with great absorbtion your account of the RWA...too cool. Thanks for that report. Then I was at Target yesterday and saw Nora Robert's name on a book and thought about what she said. Isn't that cool how that works?

Jaye Wells said...

She is the coolest. Maybe she'll give me a cut of her royalties for pimping her.

Dancer said...

Thanks for a great post, as always, Madame Slayer.


Feemus said...

I know I'm late in chiming in--hey, Claud.

I think that the whole nature of "reflection" is hard to comprehend, which makes us so vulnerable to those who pretend to reflect ourselves back to us: Does reflection present us with a picture of who we are? Or does a reflection present us with a picture of what we think is reality? And are we so enticed by the latter that we make ourselves vulnerable to anyone whose representations accord with our own?

Does that make sense???

claud said...

Hi Feem!!

Saw you were back (hooray!) but didn't chime in on your last post which was hilarious by the way.

As to your comments I think when we refuse to look at certain parts of ourselves (preferring instead to keep them in the dark), those parts become fair game to our vampires who have no trouble seeing in the dark at all. It has been said that "it is the part of ourselves we refuse to look at that rules us," and that is certainly my experience -- it is amazing how some of the tiniest whispers of doubt I have about myself can become masters of all I do. I think vampires are happy to take advantage of those little whispers in the dark, too -- exploiting them to their fullest advantage sometimes.

jennifergg said...

I love this post, and your comments about it too, Slayer.

I think your suggestion that it's our own uncertainty that is key. I love me my vampires: mostly because they take me on such a wild ride. Which means I don't have to do the driving. It's a terrific distraction from my own life, and the work I'm meant to be doing, which is, after all, WORK.

Inevitably, the wild ride loses it's appeal for me, and I realize I need to be driving my own life's choices. Thanks for helping me navigate!

claud said...

Ha! And YES, Jen, they do get to do the driving, don't they?

But of course one of the troubles with vampires is that once they've been invited in, they can come and go as they please...unless we revoke our invitations. Or slay them entirely.

I should write a book about how to do that, ya know? :)

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