–by guest writer, Anslee
“Language is difficult. It’s especially more difficult when we place more importance on labels instead of explanations, and even worse when some labels have expectations to fit a certain status quo.
In the Greater Vampire Community, we often tire of this argument or that. The flavor of the week is fought tooth and nail because our experiences shape our reality, our identity.
If we ever wish to truly “bridge the gap,” it will require some much needed research and understanding, instead of furthering a divide between the camps as is the case currently, to be quite honest, almost any and every year I decide to check in.
For a moment, think about aspects of the VC that grinds your gears. Think about the “Others” that you dislike, because maybe they are representing a version of vampirism that doesn’t fit with you. Maybe they did something, or said something that sounds wrong to how you would have described it.
Some of the most common gripes amongst the blood drinking varieties, for example, are about tropes such as, “I feed for energy;” “I feel high after feeding;” “It feels electric.” These statements are often seen as misrepresentative at best, and plainly delusional at worst.
But could our real problem be that we lack the information on what is going on, and people are just using the words they understand to describe their experience?
I wonder if even those who are vehemently against using such statements actually may experience something similar, but describe their own experience in a different sets of words and therefore thought to be experiencing something entirely different, or unrelated to those “others.” How can one who feels high from drinking blood sit in any sort of spot in reality? They’re just turned on by it, or addicted, right?
Well, first and foremost: no one truly knows the entire be-all end-all of what constitutes as “vampirism.” It could be multifaceted and remain so unless or until one understands it in more than one way. Who am I to say that it is only physical or only metaphysical for one person or another? My own opinion of how reality works doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and neither does yours. Allegory of the Cave, anyone?
The fact is that we do experience things, they are actually experienced with our available senses, and those experiences are valid whether we think they are “logical” or not. We may not always understand how we or anyone else experiences everything, but the way we describe these experiences and our own understanding of them is very important to how our experiences are perceived by others… how dare you describe something in a way that makes sense to you!
We have to remember that even in the most similar of people, there will always be differences. If you go looking for differences, you will find them.
Where does that leave us now? In the near future I hope for more compassion, and more listening. More leaving our shoes at the door, and becoming an active participant to a way of understanding where people are coming from instead of just jumping to conclusions and enabling a game of disparagement.”
Anslee is a writer and member of The GVC.