The hot genre right now in young adult literature is ‘Vampire Romance.’ Unless you have been living on a deserted island for the past three years, I’m not sure how you could not have heard of the books Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. Written by Stephenie Meyers, Twilight is about a teenage girl named Bella Swan who falls in love with a “17 year old” boy (still after 100 years) named Edward Cullen, who just so happens to be a vampire. For me, it’s just a typical day at work.
This happens to be “Twilight Week” and I dare say that tens of thousands of teenage girls (and boys) are getting ready for the release of the new film adaptation of Meyer’s first book, opening on Friday, November 21st. The premiere, Monday night in Westwood, CA…was one hot ticket. The book, Twilight was released in the Fall of 2005, and teenage readers (and adults) have been crazy about it ever since. Yes, I am going to see the movie….it’s sort of expected.
A more adult Vampire Romance series is written by Lyndsay Sands. It begins with A Quick Bite and ends with (currently) Vampire Interrupted. (I hope she will write more.) These books are funny, sexy, and sarcastic. While Meyer’s characters (spoiler) wait until their wedding night to consummate their love, Sand’s characters give into their desires with fervor and frequency….it gets quite steamy. These books are delightfully witty and addictive. I would LOVE to see these books turned into movies.
The genre of Vampire Romance is not new. In 1976, Anne Rice’s books became hugely popular with the Vampire Chronicles beginning with An Interview With a Vampire. At some high schools, there two factions of kids, those that love Anne Rice and those that love Stephenie Meyer…a type of “Rice vs Meyer” debate.
Some students have sided with their favorite main (male) character in the Twilight saga…there are hot debates between “Team Edward” & “Team Jacob” as well as T-shirts that boldly proclaim their allegiance. (For those not in the know, Jacob is the underdog, literally…werewolf from the Indian reservation of La Push, WA.) Whatever side they are on is not important, just as long as the students are reading.
The author Charlaine Harris’ books have prompted the HBO series True Blood. I will freely admit that I am hooked on True Blood. I have not read the books yet, but the first three are on hold for me at my favorite book store. (Warning: On the TV series, the “F-bomb” is dropped, frequently.) The actor who portrays “Bill” has got to be the most handsome vampire I’ve seen. Sorry Rob, but my first born is a year older than you.)
But really, this post is not about vampire romance novels. It’s about a trait of the Narcissist. I finally understood (Emotional, my word) Vampirism after I read Marie-France Hirigoyen’s book, Stalking The Soul- Emotional Abuse and the Erosion of Idenity. This book is a validation for anyone who has been abused by a narcissist. Last year a friend found this book and recommended it to me. She read parts of it over the phone to me until my copy came. That’s a true friend. This is the first book I’ve read re: abuse and Narcissism, where the author did not blame me, the victim, for the situation I found myself enmeshed in. This book was an epiphany to me. Advice when reading? Keep that yellow highlighter handy.
Up until this point in my recovery, I had not read about Vampirism as it could apply to the Narcissist. Webster’s Dictionary defines Vampirism this way: Vampirism: n. 3. the act or practice of preying ruthlessly on other people. Preying on others, seeking them out, ruthlessly…without pity or compassion…that would be the N. While N does not bare his fangs to suck the blood out of his victims, he does suck the life, the joy, the motivation, the personality….from them.
The following are quotes from Stalking The Soul specifically the section on Vampirism. There is so much good material I wanted to share, I had a hard time knowing where to stop. The book is so good; You will have to order it from Amazon yourself. The author’s words are concise and accurate, I found myself often saying, out loud…Are you talking about the N I knew?
The partner doesn’t exist as a person but as a prop for a quality the abuser wishes to appropriate…
Abusive Narcissists intensely envy those who seem to posses what they do not or those who simply enjoy life…..They attack the others self esteem and self confidence in order to increase their own self worth…they appropriate the others self worth…
They try to destroy the happiness around them…they undermine simple relationships because of cynicism and their incapacity to love…They impose on others their dark vision of the world and their chronic dissatisfaction with life…
Their critical sense is highly developed, so they spend lot of time criticizing everyone and everything; this allows them to remain all-powerful; “If others are worthless, that means I must be better than they are.”
They dampen the enthusiasm of the people around them, seeking foremost to show that the world and its inhabitants are evil and that their partner is also bad…One sees in abusers wild infatuations followed by brutal and irreparable rejection….
People around them don’t understand how someone can fall from grace in the blink of an eye for no apparent reason……!!!
Validation! Thank you, I’ve never understood the fall from grace either.
How are these individuals so alike in their dysfunction? After reading posts from so many women, (statistics show that more men are narcissists than women) I’ve entertained the thought that they ALL must have graduated from the same Alma mater…but they certainly could not have been in the same dorm….there wouldn’t have been enough mirrors to go around. I am only able to joke about the N now because I am away from him. Everything about him was poisonous.
At the end of this so-called friendship my self esteem was slowing ebbing away. I was only capable of mirroring the shell of the human being I had become. Like Dracula’s bride, would I have become a Vampire like him on the third bite? Would Van Helsing have had to ‘stake’ me? The Narcissist continued the various types of abuse that he inflicted upon me on a daily basis. Some days he might throw me a bone, with a kind word, or sometimes I got a glimpse of the man (Pretend guy) that was my friend. (idolized). But that was soon gone, as he sucked the last drops of humanity from me. The strange thing is, when I look back on those years, the photos I see of my self, I look normal…but I was far from it.
I finally figured out that the N wanted the beautiful qualities (human) that he saw in me. He set out to appropriate all things positive. Slowly, over the course of many months, he drained me of the very things that made me, me. The good news is that I have slowly gotten my identity back; but I will never be the warm, trusting, kind soul that I once was. Maybe that is for the best. I think it would have been simpler if the N had been wearing a T-shirt that said “Beware – EVIL.” Perhaps he was, maybe he had it on under his “sheep’s clothing.”