Trigger Warning: This piece contains themes such as self-harm and suicide.
I recently wrote about the lessons I would teach myself as a young sanguivore. After writing that, I wanted to delve a little into what I experienced growing up and sharing my personal story. I felt this would be better served as its own article.
I came across the Vampire Community when I was young. The years all seem to blend together, but I believe I was around 12-13 at the time. I first started to experience blood-thirst around the age of 12. It was around the time of a pretty traumatic event in my life where I was being stalked and harassed by an older man who made me genuinely fear for my life and look over my shoulder at all times. This situation eventually resolved itself, and to this day, I have no idea if it was some sort of ‘trigger’. What followed was far more long-lasting and terrifying for me.
It was around March-May 2003 when the blood-thirst started to first become pretty bad for me. In the beginning, I wondered if it was a normal part of puberty that no one ever talked about, you know, like periods or being gay or whatever. I was having to contend with realizing I was gay at the time too, but that absolutely paled in comparison to the issues with blood. I had no idea what the hell was going on. I asked my cousin if she dealt with it too and her reaction was mostly “whoa, wtf?”… My very first exposure was some vampire chatroom that I’m pretty sure no longer exists (nor do I remember the name), and while it focused on fictional vampires and vampire fans, it attracted several who identified as ‘real vampires’. Real vampires? What? I found the anonymity of the chatroom useful in venting my ‘urges’ at the time, namely pretending to bite people and engorge on their blood. I did some further research on ‘real vampires’, then put it out of my mind for awhile. I was raised an atheist and skeptic. The initial findings of my research turned up a lot about Houses, Courts, and a lot of spiritual, metaphysical and supernatural explanations that were contrary to my core beliefs and perspective. I didn’t feel like this was a place for me and so I tried to cope on my own.
Fast forward to 2004. The blood cravings had gotten worse. At this point, I was in the midst of deep depression and my health had plummeted. I was run down, my immune system was starting to fail me and I was getting sick all the time. I couldn’t cope with it. My digestive system was messed up, too. It was at this time that I met my first donor in high school. It started in drama class; I was your typical emo kid with heavy eyeliner, jet black spiked hair with bangs. She approached me at random and asked to give me a tarot reading, as she said she could sense my energy was different. I agreed. Over time, she wanted to know what was ‘different’ about me and I was desperate for a friend and someone to come out to. I felt so alone. So, eventually I told her. I didn’t know much about what to call myself or much of anything at this point, so I fell back on ‘vampire’. We became close for a time. She wanted to help me, and would do kind gestures such as bringing me in lavender oil to try and help with my persistent insomnia (which I later had diagnosed as ‘Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome’). On our breaks at school, we would sneak out behind the mobile classrooms to try and draw blood. She was super into the vampire aesthetic and liked to call me ‘oni’ after the Japanese demon. Meaning well, she insisted I borrow and watch the Interview With A Vampire and Queen of The Damned movies, thinking it would somehow help me learn more about my ‘vampire’ self. It didn’t. It just made me feel even more like I was into some weird sh*t, losing my mind and that it was a deep, dark secret that I could never tell anyone about. Before I had dental work, I had extremely pointy teeth and I am also very pale. Regardless of me keeping the whole blood bit close to my chest, I was still taunted for being a vampire in school. A certain group of people would target me calling me a ‘vampire lesbian freak’. Honestly, perhaps they weren’t too far off the mark. At this point, I honestly began to believe I had gone insane and that it was an inevitability that I would hurt someone. Perhaps kill them. I felt the thoughts I had made me a monster, and so I began to self-harm. At some stage, I did cut ‘MONSTER’ into my right thigh. Because of these marks, I excused myself from PE class so none of the other kids saw the cuts. I would sit in the shade, staring at my fellow students exercising, imagining their heart thudding, their swollen veins, and me charging them and tearing into them for their blood. Then feel like a piece of sh*t for it. Eventually I had to part ways with my donor, and school didn’t end well. I became reclusive, anxious, depressed and suicidal. I came out to a girl who I thought was my best friend, only to realize she was a controlling, nasty piece of work. My last hurrah from high school was having a huge fight with this friend at a party, then being found on the floor near the woods, my jeans and shirt soaked in my own blood after having cut my forearm open with a dirty piece of glass I found on the ground.
2005. Re-enter the VC. I’d left school at this point, and had become a total recluse. I felt I was a threat to people in general, I didn’t want to live and had no intention of planning for any sort of future. I locked myself in my bedroom for the better part of a year. The same issue arose as when I researched the VC the first time. My issues had escalated to the point to where I could hardly eat. My mum would bring food to my room, I’d wait for her to leave and then flush it down the toilet. I was constantly exhausted. My health was so poor that there were weeks that I didn’t bathe or leave my bed. Again, I couldn’t find any answers that satisfied me. Most of the content available at that time discussed psi feeding. This was just not a concept I could wrap my head around. To me, this was a physiological problem and I was still naive enough at the time to think that perhaps it was a known illness, just a rare one that I’d have to do research to find more information on. The idea of needing energy was so far removed from my being unable to eat, blood cravings and other issues. I found some good information on SphynxCat’s site, perhaps one of the only ones at the time. Sanguinarius.org was useful to me as well. I entered the Sanguinarius IRC and while they sympathized with me, Sangi told me I was too young for the room (I do not blame her for that by the way, she had good reasons). So, I moved on to Meetup.com and the Vampire forums there. I would post about sanguivory as a physiological state of being and potential medical condition, but that sort of thing was just not common back then at all and it received a lot of criticism. I wasn’t old or wise enough to be able to articulate myself or my thoughts properly. It was all new to me. I clashed with some members on the site, which I accept was partly because of my attitude back then too. But there was a lot of stuff on there that was really ‘out there’ to me. To clarify, I support anyone’s beliefs and right to have them. What I mean is that as an atheist and skeptic, this omnipresence of reincarnation, me being a reincarnated Egyptian Goddess, energy feeding and whatnot, it was too much and it didn’t fit with my views of the world. It left me feeling despondent that this is all there was when I was hoping for concrete, medical information.
I tried to psi feed, I honestly did. I was so desperate for help that I was willing to try anything. It did nothing for me, and the prevalent theory at that time was that sangs were, in a sense, ‘psi on training wheels’ who needed to take in energy through the medium of blood. That didn’t jibe well with me at all. I needed non-theistic, pragmatic perspectives to blood drinking. Being without that pushed me to the brink of despair. It’s not easy thinking you’ve completely lost your mind and questioning your own sanity. After a couple of years of searching for answers and finding nothing, finding no one I could connect with, feeling like these medical angles were a lost cause, I decided to take my own life. I raided the medical cabinet and took bottles and bottles of pills, everything I could get my hands on. I regretted nothing afterward. The only reason I’m still here is because I was a dumbass and got annoyed that it wasn’t working quickly enough, so I drank toxic kitchen cleaner hoping it would poison me and make everything go along a little faster. Turns out it was an emetic, and I began violently throwing up. My parents heard, found me on the floor and an ambulance promptly rushed me to the ER.
Suffice to say, things got better. I learned how to cope in time. The suicide attempt was a slap in the face for me to get my shit together and to resolve to never let that happen to me again. It was a rallying call for inner strength I didn’t know I had, and I vowed to do better. Over the years, I learned more about sanguinarians and being a sanguinarian through sites like SphynxCat’s and through teaching myself. I began to network with other sanguinarians offline, to teach them and provide them support when they needed it; whether it was about twoofing, finding donors, needing to vent, or even buying them groceries when they were hard up on cash. I tried to teach those I came into contact with in the general public about sanguinarians. It’s always interesting talking to a couple of people in Waffle House at 2am about blood drinking and why I did it. My own views began to refine and solidify. It turned out that a lot of these offline sanguinarians actually perceived their condition through a physiological, pragmatic lens as well. It wasn’t such a big deal anymore. The VC seemed like another world entirely. These ‘med sang’ people were always there, it just seemed like they had no presence online for whatever reason. Many years later, it seemed very wrong to me that such a big segment of people existed that had such little representation online or ways to access others over the internet. If people joined, things would still have been mostly the same as when I was despondent all those years ago. Then I met some awesome people, we put our heads together, and here we are today.
If the Med Sang Community had been around when I was younger, it’s highly likely I wouldn’t have spent so many years wishing I was dead. I would have learned to deal with my condition in a pragmatic way. The availability of these skeptical, non-theistic points of view nowadays is crucial to reaching a portion of sangs who cannot subscribe to metaphysical points of view and perceive their need through a physiological lens and grounded in the material world. This does not mean undermining or attacking metaphysical beliefs or practices; we just perceive our realities differently and nowadays, I hope we cultivate a culture of mutual respect.
‘Med sangs’ can now focus on providing pragmatic and useful information to educate, to help sangs to take blood safely and minimize risks, support, and provide the community and companionship I desperately needed all those years ago. Dealing with this is never easy and the availability of this information is imperative for the mental stability of young & older sanguinarians alike, their safety, and healthy development as a human being.
I hope by sharing my story, some out there realize they aren’t alone and that it may help in some way.