The Psychic Vampire
An arsenal of fears has shaped my behavior. I’ve been abused and abandoned so many times in my life that I always feel betrayed, powerless, and vulnerable. I can’t shake the belief that I’ve been deprived of true love along the way, so when I do manage relationships, I see myself as flawed and unwanted, which means I prefer to live in a state of self-imposed ignorance. I can’t take the concept of self-awareness seriously because I have no clear notion of what it means or how it can be actualized. Since I can’t imagine ever getting the love I need, I can’t trust myself to fulfill my own needs in healthy ways.
This explains my predatory behavior. I’m a survivalist preying off others’ weaknesses, a desperate victim of my own thoughts. I’ll find you in an unlikely place and seduce you when your defenses are low. I’ve learned to be a perfectionist, a beguiling presence, in this regard. Maybe you’ve recently lost someone or hate your job. Maybe you’ve been alone for too long. It doesn’t matter. I’ll find you. I’ll examine the pain and sorrow in your face for details, but I’ll also seek a soft, forgiving presence in your eyes and use these qualities against you when the time is right. I’ll ask you if you need some company. Once you open that door, you’ll find it difficult to remove me from your life. I’ll become the unwelcome guest you can’t live without because you’re operating on a similar frequency without even realizing it.
As the glow of our initial romance fades, I’ll seek pity from you since I’m the perpetual victim. I’ll detail every one of my ailments and family problems repeatedly while assuming the guise of the heroic survivor. This means you’ll feel the need to take care of me since I can’t seem to take care of myself. Remember, I chose you carefully. I’ll also strip you of your sense of goodness by making you feel guilty for not anticipating my needs properly or understanding the pain I’m suffering. After all, I can’t feel good about myself unless I feel like I’m better than someone else.
After a while, you’ll be constantly exhausted without fully understanding why. You’ll wake up tired and anxious and struggle to maintain focus on your job. You’ll be easily distracted and feel the burden of every task put before you. You’ll be drained in an unsatisfied way, like suffering from the aftereffects of a dangerous controlled substance, or from ingesting too much refined sugar.
I’ll teach you, too, how to feed off negative attention so I can better control you. I’ll cause problems and create unnecessary interpersonal friction on purpose to get attention. I’ll pick fights incessantly, which means our issues will repeat themselves in a never-ending loop no matter how hard you try to help me or resolve our problems, mainly because I don’t want our relationship to work in a healthy way. I want angst, drama, and anger, not healing, kindness, and useful intention. I want attention from the problems I fabricate, no matter how much I protest the opposite.
I’ll also turn your friends and family against each other, then pick sides and feed off your energy when you side with me and against someone you previously liked and trusted. Remember, too, that I’ll throw you off guard by striking when you least expect it, with no provocation. When you walk into a room in a moment of weakness, I’ll attack you over something obscure and insignificant, but I’ll make the issue seem grave and essential. Your guilt will make you grovel before me, and of course I’ll grudgingly deign to accept your apology, but only after extracting a price of my choosing, one I’ve thought about for a long time.
I’ll use everything you say to me against you sooner or later, especially what you tell me from your places of vulnerability. You’ll probably never understand that I don’t care about your pain. I can’t even feel it. How could I? I’m a force of passive-aggressive martyrdom married to narcissism, a machine designed to win at all costs, something you can never rescue no matter how hard you try. In fact, you are the receptacle for my resentment, and I will scorn you for doing things I never asked you to do in the first place. You’re always welcome to beg me to stay when I threaten to leave, though. I suppose you probably will.
We’re both dissociative, you know, barely in our bodies most of the time. I wonder if we’ll ever learn to accept ourselves and find ways to fulfill our needs on our own terms. This would probably mean trusting ourselves to do what we think is right while committing to understanding our personal identities in authentic terms. Someone once told me that when we learn to accept who we are, we’re able to behave like the people we know we would rather be. Then the world wouldn’t seem so scary, and we would find time to nurture our better instincts, the ones that make us happy. Maybe so. I would have to think about it.