I was reading back through your archives and a thought occurred to me: Is it possible that we could be our own worst vampires at times? Some might call that internal editor inside an inner demon, but I think your vampire definition holds (holy) water here too. I mean, when we listen to that voice, it drains energy and light from us, right?
What do you think?
Thank you for this amazing question. It's a real can-of-worms opener for sure! In fact, I'm going to have to take it in 2 parts.
I have heard that "it is the part of ourselves we refuse to look at that rules us," and for me, that's always been the case.
The nice thing about our vampires is that -- even when they live on the "outside" (as in unhealthy or draining relationships with others) -- they lead us inevitably to the task of self-examination. After all, how can we tell our vampires what we want if we don't even know what that is ourselves?
That is totally the upside of having insatiable, bloodsucking friends -- they force us into relationship with ourselves.
For instance: Before I could revoke my invitation to an old boyfriend I'd broken up with who was stalking me after the breakup, I had to know what it was inside of me that was allowing him to treat me that way. Why was I putting up with that crap? What was I afraid would happen if I told him clearly to knock it off?
In my case it turned out to be fear, mostly: fear of hurting him, fear of defining myself without him, fear of financial insecurity, and mostly a big, fat fear of making a mistake -- because what if my decision to leave him was a mistake? What if I'd just been crazy on the day I'd left him and I would one day regret it?
On some level (and by that I mean the level of myself I refused to look at) it seemed like a good idea to keep the door to that relationship slightly ajar...just a little insurance in case I ever wanted to walk back through it, you know?
Problem is, you can't close the door to something and keep it open at the same time.
So there was this price I was paying -- a little premium on that insurance policy, if you will -- and that premium, of course, was my sanity. I was confused, in pain, and starting to get pretty freaked out about being followed around and ambushed by him all the time.
Sheesh. It was getting so I couldn't even walk from my car to my house at night without wondering whether he going to jump out from behind the bushes.
I blamed my vampire for that, but the truth was that I hadn't been clear with him about wanting to end the relationship for good and all. I'd been telling him that I "couldn't" be with him, and that left the door open because it's not a clear statement of my will. It also let me off the hook, too, since I'm not responsible for what I can or can't do -- I'm only responsible for what I will or won't do.
I can't swim.
I don't want to swim.
I can't go to the game.
I don't want to go to the game.
I can't have a relationship with you.
I don't want to have a relationship with you.
See the difference?
Before I could revoke my invitation and close the door, I had to take responsibility for my own will -- and to take responsibility for my own will, of course, I had to know what my will was.
Which brings us back to...?
You got it: self examination. I had to make a decision to shine a light on the part of myself I'd refused to look at that was ruling me: my doubts, my fears, and my insecurties -- you know these guys: the inner vampires.