Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Energy vampires or psychic vampires: my thoughts and memories Part I

I first encountered the terms ‘energy vampire’ and ‘psychic vampire’ in books, in the late 1980s. I soon realised that I had been a victim of such people for my entire life. Giving a name to a problem is the first step towards solving it. 

Since then, I have read a lot of material about energy or psychic vampires and found much of it familiar, relevant and helpful.  I now want to add my own contribution to the available body of information by supplying some details of my personal involvement with these people. My first hand, excruciatingly painful, experiences enable me to confirm much that has been written on this subject: energy vampires are indeed a major unseen influence on many people’s lives.

What are energy vampires and psychic vampires?
These terms are often used interchangeably. Energy vampires are also known as suckers, sponges and leeches. Energy vampires can be thought of as people who have lost contact with their real selves, so have no inner source of vital energy: they are forced to look elsewhere for their supplies. Most of us are issued at birth with an internal energy support system, but energy vampires for one reason or another have forfeited their legal right to this allowance or become disconnected from it, so they need to find illegitimate sources of food and fuel outside themselves; they survive by draining the people around them.

Note that this is not connected with the fact that introverts can feel drained, and extroverts energised, by interacting with many people. Extroverts often wilt when they are alone, whereas introverts enjoy solitude because it offers a chance to recharge. This is perfectly normal, and is merely a sign of under- and overstimulation.

Many energy vampires siphon off people’s vital energy just to keep going and maintain their front or image; others do it for more sinister reasons such as raising the power to get something that they want.

Becoming an energy vampire can be an unfortunate side-effect or result of illness, age, ill treatment by others and psychosis and other forms of mental disturbance. Some creative people and celebrities may well become vampires too.

Some types and characteristics of energy vampires
If what I have read is true, a few energy vampires know very well what they are; they know what they are doing and do it deliberately. I have never knowingly encountered such people. The others operate at a low level of awareness and have little or no realisation of the effect that they have on others; my experience is entirely with these unconscious vampires.

Some of them may feed hugely off just a few victims; others will take a little from many people. My worst experiences have been with energy vampires who had just one or two primary victims.

The mother and daughter pair is said to be one of the most common occurrences. Again, this is outside my experience: for me, the main perpetrators were my father and youngest sister. I broke off all contact with my father at the first opportunity; she took over where he left off.

I have encountered many energy vampires at work and other places, but in my experience family are the worst. They may already be there when we come into the world so we never have a chance to build up our strength, escape their psychic stranglehold or experience life as lived by healthy people. 

Energy vampires in one’s family are often the most difficult group to avoid; they know well which buttons to press in order to manipulate their victims; they feel entitled to their relations’ resources on the grounds of duty and responsibility. Some family members may be able to latch on because we are weakened by the attacks of the others.

Another type of vampire that can be encountered is the dominant, aggressive, possibly glamorous person. Although I have had trouble with some supporters of charismatic energy vampires, my dealings have mostly been with the parasitic, clinging, infantile, ‘poor little me’ type, who were expert users of threats, promises and emotional blackmail to get what they wanted from me.

Energy vampires are said to suffer from arrested development, and I think that this is very true: they appear not to develop or go through stages – they usually devolve and degenerate over the years - and they often shirk the acceptance of adult responsibilities. 

My father and my youngest sister both seemed to think that I was their mother. My father expected me to take care of the family; my youngest sister expected me to provide money and help and to jump to her commands. I still cringe inside when I remember the way she used to make demands on me and I would rush across town to her aid. It was a grotesque travesty: the ‘baby’ cries, and ‘mummy’ has to come running. 

The dependent type of energy vampire can drive her victims frantic with her never-ending demands and hard luck stories: again this happened to me until the person who did it went too far and I let her know that I would not take it any longer.

Their problems are always someone (or something) else’s fault. They present themselves as innocent victims of the horrible people at work and elsewhere. They don’t learn from experience. They do not genuinely appreciate what you do for them. They can be like black holes and bottomless pits: no matter what you tell them, do for them or give to them, it has no real or permanent beneficial effect.

Energy vampires are disconnected so they clutch at others, similar to the way in which drowning people cling to potential rescuers. They often talk very quickly so as to distract their prey: I have had to listen on many occasions to a non-stop list of complaints. They may appear desperate and driven. They may continually ask stupid or unnecessary questions because they need pretexts to approach people and feed and their desperation may prevent them from thinking clearly.

Some energy vampires are obviously psychologically down and out and threadbare; others so dazzle their victims and other people with their glamour and appearance, influence, power and position, money, qualifications or achievements that their deficiencies are not immediately (or not ever) apparent. I have fallen for glittering images myself, only to eventually realise that I felt terrible after being in the company of the people concerned.

I have enough remaining material about energy vampires for at least two more articles.