Hypothetically Speaking

(Originally posted September 21, 2010) Let’s speak hypothetically for a while, okay? So hypothetically, you’re in your mid thirties and your life is just great. You have a great social life, you’re involved in a few charities or social groups, hold a few positions in some of them, and you are even dipping your toes into politics. You have loads of friends and even a few fans and a great dating life – trouble is, you have a bit of a secret. Like most secrets, it is something that could threaten to bring the whole house of cards crashing down around you, because, well – quite frankly, you like in a reasonably conservative place, where people don’t take kindly to anything that is different to themselves. The secret? You’ve been living a double life, because you discovered something about yourself that nobody else in your Day Side existence should really know about you – you’re a Vampyre.
You’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping this side of you, the Night Side, away from the Day Side – so the only folks who know are your donors, who think you have a blood fetish and don’t know your real name or circumstances – and your romantic partner, who does. But you can trust her, right? Love conquers all, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?

Trouble is, things went wrong and it ends sometime later on a sour note. One or both of you is hurting and now holds enough private and confidential information so that if she wanted to turn nasty – she could out you, sabotage your career in social activism, and sink your young political career in its tracks as well.

But she hasn’t done that yet. And the key word here is the “yet”. Instead, it hangs over your head like a sword, hovering – and you never know when it may fall. Occasionally you get a brief email, asking you to remove references to you under your Vampyre name, and her, on Vampyre forums. Seems she thinks that being associated with vamps is bad for her booming pole-dancing slash fetish-modeling career. And who knows, maybe it is? Regular folks tend to like that darker side just as long as they think it is all smoke and mirrors, fiction and fantasy – but people who actually drink human blood?

It is so nice to oblige her of course, deleting all the evidence linking you to an unpleasant past – but you keep having the feeling she would like to remove you from the real world too, and wondering what her next move might be. You also worry about the day you do make it big, when perhaps you have a lot more to lose – and you might get a phone call or email asking for something in return for her continued silence…

We all make mistakes, and guess what – you can’t erase the past. And perhaps unfortunately, we real-life vamps can’t bury these mistakes as easily as the fictional ones we all like so much. Pity. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

But you can learn from your mistakes. We all can.

What would the consequences be if she were to out you? People who bother to take note would think you’re nuts for one. You would lose your social standing, your professional career would be placed under scrutiny, you could even lose your job and source of income. You might lose some or all of your friends, but something tells me that is the least of your worries – and if that is all you lose, you should consider yourself fortunate. Some folks take this sort of revelation very seriously. Even if you look at it in this light, there are more serious consequences for folks like us living in the darker parts of the world, where people even SUSPECTED of being witches are murdered on a daily basis, what could I say about being Vampyres?

Many folks believe that education about vampyrism is the key to acceptance, and they are right – but the flip-side of the coin is the shadow cast by history. Five centuries ago, people did believe in vampires, albeit viewed through the distorted lens of religious fervor and institutionalized ignorance and superstition. Five centuries ago, Mundanes believed in the fictional mythic versions of us as surely as they believed in God – and to deny the existence of vampires and weres was considered heresy by the Church, and a crime. They believed in us – and they hunted us, along with witches. It wasn’t known as the Burning Times for nothing. What guarantee is there that should they start to believe in us again, another similar genocide wouldn’t follow in future? None. Secrecy is all we really have, and we’re trading it away on some fluffy “guarantee” of acceptance and equality from people that won’t even accept their own children as equals if they happen to differ in any way from their set ideas of “right” and “wrong” or who to love. Can we trust people like that? Should we?

Can you see why disclosing to people you know IRL is a bad idea? You never know how they may react. They could react with outright rejection to blatant hostility. And even if they seem “fine” with it, things could always change later.

I hope you all learn from this, and if you feel you need to disclose, weigh it against the questions:

1) Is it really necessary?
2) Can I go without telling all or some or none info?
3) Do THEY really need to know? Do I really need THEM to know?
4) What will it change?

I’ve had something similar happen, for other reasons – and I lost every single friend I had at the time on that account. Of course, a few years later, some of them came crawling back when they realized I was still the same person, and that I was carrying on without them, and wasn’t going to “change my mind” because of their absence.

I haven’t lost anyone due to coming out of the coffin yet though, mainly because I’m still technically in it.

I have two ex gf’s who know, but they are vamps too. They might not tell for any particular reason, but if they did, I would be the one who would have to deal with the social fall-out and repercussions, not them.

Some Mundane friends know I have a “fascination with Vampyres” and a few donors think I’m a bit of a wild chick with “a bit of a blood fetish”.

Some at my Wiccan circle know that I’m a vamp, but they don’t know my real name, or where I work, or where to locate me other than by a mobile number or email address.

I don’t let it worry me anymore. If friends leave, I find new ones. There’s plenty of people out there, and always room for more friends. Nobody is completely irreplaceable in life. And nothing lasts forever.

Val

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