“The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one's narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one's desires and fears.”
- Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
“Mama, Mama, help me get home
I'm out in the woods, I am out on my own.
I found me a werewolf, a nasty old mutt
It showed me its teeth and went straight for my gut.
Mama, Mama, help me get home
I'm out in the woods, I am out on my own.
I was stopped by a vampire, a rotting old wreck
It showed me its teeth and went straight for my neck.
Mama, Mama, put me to bed
I won't make it home, I'm already half-dead.
I met an Invalid, and fell for his art
He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart.
- Lauren Oliver, Delerium. From "A Child's Walk Home," Nursery Rhymes and Folk Tales”
Somehow I managed to surround myself with acquaintances who were nothing like me. I have never had a problem with understanding belief systems different than the ones I hold. These people would've had a problem with me had I come completely clean with them. I think it was suspected and known deep down - what I really was, but it was never addressed. I lived like Lot - not necessarily in the middle of bestiality, pedophiles, incestuous relationships, rapists, and the like...at least, as far as I know. But I lived in the middle of people who would execute me and my loved ones should a literal war of opinion ever occur.
I'm not a doctor but my intuition, observation, research, and common sense tells me that all of these individuals likely suffer Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Oddly enough they herded together quite well - though jockeying for position. I know my loved one (my daughter) is beautiful, majestic, noble, loyal, and a joy to be with. These sheep, in their herd mentality, would look on her disapprovingly. They would disregard her, mock her, and have an overall visible disdain for her.
I believe in vampires.
“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
-Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays
“Let's face it. We live in a command-based system, where we have been programmed since our earliest school years to become followers, not individuals. We have been conditioned to embrace teams, the herd, the masses, popular opinion -- and to reject what is different, eccentric or stands alone. We are so programmed that all it takes for any business or authority to condition our minds to follow or buy something is to simply repeat a statement more than three or four times until we repeat it ourselves and follow it as truth or the best trendiest thing. This is called "programming" -- the frequent repetition of words to condition us how to think, what to like or dislike, and who to follow.”
-Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Even in the midst of having the life sucked out of her, she made a stand to resist being a follower. By remaining individual she was subject to ferocity. Refusing to bend to their will she was victim to mockery, jealousy, "sticks and stones", and even hate.
I have to admit that, at one time, I too misunderstood her needs and my senses were dulled by a spell - preventing me from being an advocate or even a protector of someone so very near and dear to me. We all know a vampire can't come into your home unless you invite them in. I invited them in. I hope she can forgive me and I hope she knows I've crawled out of darkness.
With me by her side, I plan to arm her with garlic, crucifixes, wooden stakes, and bucketfuls of sunlight. We shall ride fearlessly into the sunset dousing the ground with holy water watching it burn away all evil - all death - standing in the way of life.