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September 4, 2013 / Dale Melchin

Emotional Vampires

 

 

Burne-Jones-le-Vampire

 

In ancient folklore vampires were unholy creatures who fed upon the life esscence typically in the form of blood of living or other undead creatures.  The folklore predates the Christian Era.  The Romans, Mesopatamians, and even the Chinese as well as others had stories of vampires. To create the frame work for this post we will be using the King of Vampires.  Count Dracula.

The story of Dracula originated with Bram Stoker.  I personally have yet to read the story.  I will need to do it during a time where I don’t intend to sleep for an extended period.  I’ve heard it is truly a horrifying story and the black and white movie doesn’t do it justice.

According to the Stoker text Dracula is a centuries old vampire, sorcerer and Transylvanian noble man.  He claims to be of Szekely stock and descended from Attila the Hun (Wikipedia).  The details are obscure, but he fought the Turks during the Ottoman campaigns near the Danube.  He evenutally dies and comes back as a vampire and lives in Castle Dracula.

The narrative in the novel tells us that Dracula had schemes of world domination.  Looking infect the world with the curse of the vampire and make us his servants.  Dracula is kept at bay by garlic, the Crucifix, the Holy Wafer, Holy Water, Silver and iron weapons, and was defeated by a stake through the heart, as well as sunlight.  He is eventually destroyed by one of those means.  I don’t want to spoil the novel for those of you who haven’t read it.

Now, the reason why I bring up traditional vampires instead of the sparkly, marble, morons that have been forced upon is that it is very relavant to the areas of self-help and therapy.  We live in an era of modern vampires.  Now don’t worry about it, you aren’t going to get attacked in the middle of the night by some demon possessed idiot who sold his soul to the devil in this life coming back as a vampire.  No, the vampires of this era is much more subtle.

I’m talking about emotional vampires.

Traditional vampires generally live off the blood of their victims, either killing them or also turning them into vampires.  Still killing them, corrupting the soul and causing a demon to live along side their consciousness.  The other consequence is  that when the vampire finally does die its damnation for the victim as well.

Emotional vampires are a little different.  They are mortal beings who more psychological vampires rather than spiritual or physical vampires.  Emotional vampires live off the emotional force of others, draining them of their emotional well being and infecting their victims with the curse of pessimism.  Pessimism is a modern curse of the vampire.  Fortunately, the modern version isn’t as final as the traditional version.  The power of choice can overpower the curse, even if it is done with brute force.

The best way to cure the curse of the emotional vampire within yourself is to do the following.  Separate yourself from said vampire.  If you can’t do this physically (because you work with them or they are family) do this emotionally.  Train yourself to be detached from what they do and what they say.  They are not your master, even though they would have you think they are.  The next thing to do is to do self care.  Validate you own self based upon what you do.  You are intrinsically worthy, even if you don’t do what the vampire says.  The next thing to do is to read literature, and do things that make you independent of the vampire.  That will keep them out.  But it will not combat them.

The rules of combat against emotional vampires

The rules of combat against emotional vampires are very similar to that of traditional vampires.  And they are all effective.  The first thing you need to do is expose them to the light. When you do this, they are driven away. If you consistently do this, they stay away, usually permanently.  But sometimes, you have emotional vampires who are particularly persistent.  For that more extreme measures are required.

If they continue trying to assault you, defend yourself with the garlic of goodness.  If you exhibit goodness regardless of what is happening to you, they will find the neck of your emotions less attractive.  This is a defense.  They can still grab the twine binding the garlic and remove it from you.

For more active measures use the silver sword of truth.  This is a lot different from the Claudius Spiritus which is used to combat demons.  The silver sword of truth can be used to behead the emotional vampires of the lies they believe about themselves.  You have to let them know what they are doing to you.  This is generally best done in personal, single, unwitnessed combat.

 

And I don’t mean this with an actual sword.  The sword will be forged from your words, your insights, and your new found freedom.  And yes, this person has been nothing but trouble to you, you still have to couch your use of this weapon with a general care for their person hood.  Remember, they are not an actual vampire, they are still mortal.  When you are combating an emotional vampire, you are essentially combating their negativity and trying free them from it.  But sometimes sharp words are necessary to get the job done.

Ultimately if they don’t want to leave their negativity behind, you have to drive a stake into the heart of the problem.  That is the relationship, not the person themselves.  Now this is very tough.  This may be a person that you have known for years and you have shared a lot of memories.  The only way to potentially kill the vampire is to kill the relationship with the vampire.  The negativity slipping into a person’s consciousness is what turns them into a vampire.  Killing the relationship, especially if you were an important one will hopefully make them realize what the lost, and by extension kill their negativity, kill the vampire, and bring the real person back.

Sometimes, it doesn’t always work.  You have to be prepared for the cost of a lost relationship.  Ultimately, you will recover as you see you own emotional well being increase as a result of not having this person in your life.  There lack of presence in your life will help you spread your own wings and become your own person.

Be warned.  This person could be a significant other, a long time friend, even your parents.  To put it in context I want to say this.  If you are married, invest the time necessary to fix the relationship.  If you are the child of parents who are not abusive, take the time to address the issues.  If they are not true vampires and are just imperfect beings as we all are, you can generally fix things.

 

So as not to make you paranoid I will give you the characteristics of emotional vampires, in addition to the means to combat them.

1. They put their needs first in the relationship.  Regardless of what kind of relationship, they always put their needs first, and fail to recognize yours.
2. If you differ with them, they will first use charm and charisma to convince you of their rightness.  Sometimes they may give you some incentive to subordinate your will to theirs.

3. If that doesn’t work they will utilize social punishment in some for or another to coerce you into doing what they want.  It could be a subtle as making you feel bad or as overt as emotional abuse or even physical abuse.

4. They may disappear for weeks, and then call you when they need you.
5. They may play the victim and ask you to rescue them.
6. They may get aggressive if you don’t pay attention to them for extended periods.  Part of this is key to ridding yourself of them, is to leave them alone.

I realize this post is an extended allegory.  I hope you get the point.  Be proactive in your relationships; avoid those who are a drain on you.  Keep those in your life who are of mutual benefit, both to you and to them.  That way, it isn’t one sided, it is two sided.  The pie is bigger and everyone benefits.

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