The make up of a vampire is that they struggle to do the two things that all relationships require: Heat and Force.
Heat is trust, the feeling of safety, connectedness, warmth – the lovey feeling.
Force is truth. Us being true to who we are and bringing that truth into our relationships. Its about being real.
Safe people are able to do both of those things. It’s the dynamic of those two things that make relationships great.
Whilst there are many different tribes of vampires we can summarise them into 3 tribes:
- The Abandonment Vampires.
Abandoners use heat to start a relationship but when they experience the formation of force in the relationship they back away. The most common response of those left in the wake of an abandonment vampire is: “I’ll never have anyone who will be there for me.”
God’s desire is that we be “rooted and established in love.”
- The critic Vampires
These are the vampires that bring force with no heat. These vampires are concerned with confronting errors then in connections. They tend to point the finger outside of themselves then looking inside. They condemn people with problems.
- The Irresponsible Vampire
Irresponsibles are still in nappies. They don’t take care of themselves or others. They have problems delaying gratification, they don’t consider the consequences of their actions and they don’t follow through on their commitments. They are adult children.
Why do vampires become like this?
God did not plan for us to live in a world where vampires exist. In actual fact we are meant to be rooted and established in love with one another and in that we experience God’s love for us. He meant for us to be “in” each other just as the Father, Son and Spirit are. We are to take in love from one another and use it just as God does.
Vampires are envious people.
Her name was Sally and Sally had illness but Sally was also filled with envy. Sally experienced people dropping off meals, help with the house, money for groceries, and support. But over time it was never enough. Sally always wanted more. She expressed her heart in this way: “…I’m just in the too hard basket. To many problems. Too depressed – people don’t really care for me. They don’t make me feel special anymore.”
Every time Sally received something that met a need she devalued it. Her need for heat was insatiable because of envy. She resented the very people who were giving because she felt they could have given more. This is what envy does to our insides.
Those that try to love them come away feeling exasperated. They feel that no matter what they do it will never be enough.
Vampires are self sufficient.
His name was Bill and Bill had massive marriage issues, depression issues, and financial issues. But he refused to talk to anyone about those needs. He would sort it out. He knew the way out of the problems. He resented his wife whenever she shared the problems with friends or when she voiced a different opinion. It caused huge arguments and fights in the home. In order to cope his wife began to withdraw, isolate to keep him happy. She stopped voicing opinions but kept living with the problems.
God made us incomplete, inadequate and we have a huge shopping list full of ingredients that we cannot provide ourselves. Deep within us we hate the idea of having to depend on others. We don’t like to ask for what we don’t have. It can feel humiliating to admit at times our own impoverishment but that is how God wired us – to need people.
Many of our needs can only be met through people.
Vampires think they deserve special treatment.
Her name was Rhoda and Rhoda loved people. She loved being made to feel special, and welcome and warm. But Rhoda didn’t like it when someone else got the attention. Every time someone else was praised, every time someone else got public recognition Rhoda tried to turn the spotlight on herself by developing a new problem. Rhoda abandoned relationships when she feels deprived of the special treatment.
Need says, “I’m hungry and thirsty.”
Entitlement says, “By virtue of who I am you must give me something to eat and drink.”
Entitlement looks like this:
- A feeling that I deserve a better lot in life then I received.
- A sense that people need to make restitution for their sins against me.
- A need for others to apologize for hurting me before I will get better.
- An inability to feel loved when I’m not front and centre stage.
- A sense of deprivation when I’m not made special to others.
- Feeling that people don’t treat me with the respect I deserve.
Vampires break God’s laws and at times the laws of society.
Their names were Steve and Sally. Steve and Sally had experienced a major trauma that they shared with a few people. Over the course of time Steve and Sally began to be envious of their brother and sister in law. They were good people but why did they have to suffer and not their brother and sister in law. It simply was not fair. They were angry, hurt, resentful and envious. They began to falsely accuse people and they became overly critical of their in laws. People tried to communicate to them that they hadn’t done the things they were being accused of but Steve and Sally insisted that they had done it. They began to lie to other people, telling people untruths about their in-laws. They refused to forgive, they gossiped.
They intentionally broke God’s rules because indulging the pain of self over loving God was more important. We often see this with people breaking the laws of the land. Society owes them.
The rules don’t apply to them because their pain entitled them.
These 4 things will eventually lead to a breakdown of some sorts because they cause isolation.
Heat or trust cannot penetrate envy, self sufficiency, and entitlement. Usually when we break God’s laws and gossip or lie or take our insides out on someone else trust gets broken.
The breakdown can be in the form of:
- A breakdown in relationships.
- Emotional breakdowns like anxiety and depression.
- Behavioural breakdowns where they become violent or aggressive.
- Physical breakdown – ill health, sickness.
Vampires are also victims
Love is the product of free will but it also means that the lover is free to be unloving.
Because we are free to be unloving many vampires have been run over by the steam roller of the selfishness of others.
- First developmental need is to Bond
Kate was only 3 when she was taken into fostor care. Her first and deepest need to bond had not been met. A child knows by the age of 3 whether it is truly loved or not. Kate had her bonding disrupted.
- The person who should have been emotionally accessable to her was inaccessible.
- She connected with someone and then they were abandoned by that person leaving.
- She loved someone who was unstable.
- She experienced unloving attacks when she expressed her needs
- She was abused and as a result experienced violations on her soul that destroyed trust.
As a result Kate devalued love, she devalued trust, and she resigned herself to never loving again. She didn’t look for safe people because in her mind no one is safe.
Her soul doesn’t want to reach out because she doesn’t want to get hurt again.
- Second developmental need is to establish boundaries.
Sarah couldn’t keep love in. She grew up with a mother with a mental health issue. If she said no to her parent she experienced punishment – loss of meals; being sent to her room for indefinite periods of time, smacks. The boundaries changed depending on the day. At times she was threatened with abandonment if she didn’t toe the line. She soon learned how to look after her mother’s emotions. She behaved according to the needs of the mother on the particular day.
- A boundary less person may have experienced aggressive control – that is they were hurt if they said no.
- They might have experienced passive control – someone left us if we said no
- Regressive control – they got guilt messages if they said no
- Limitlessness – no one ever said no to them.
John is a single dad. Access to his child is confusing and depends on the whims of his ex. John wants his child to have stability but can’t stand up for what he wants. He is so afraid of losing his child that he won’t ask for what he needs or get the help he needs in establishing access to his child. Pain, isolation and disruption are part of life because of his inability to set boundaries.
Boundary less people tend to use isolating as their only limit. They will give in and give in and then all of a sudden they will just pack up and leave the relationship with no warning.
3. Our third developmental need is our ability to resolve the split between good and bad.
Bob was a business man. He was successful, he was profitable, he was in control. He knew what he wanted and he knew how to get it. In his sight he was a good man because of his success. He was right. But he was a hard man to get close to. Few trusted him or deeply loved him. He couldn’t’ do relationship with anyone that didn’t meet his perfectionist ideals. The world was seen through black and white. Anyone who fell short of his values, ideals, beliefs were cut off. They had nothing to contribute.
He had learned we are not loved when we are bad, when we don’t’ perform, when we are not successful. The ideal of what should be kept getting in the way.
- They may have grown up with a perfectionistic parent who expected them to have no faults.
- They may have denied the imperfections of others.
- They may have been shamed through people condemning their negative qualities.
- They may have experienced others as seeing them as either all good or all bad.
4. Our fourth developmental need is to mature into adulthood
Toby and Bec were a couple that had never grown up. They expected Christians to give to them and to help them in life. This meant that if you loaned them something it became their entitlement, their right, their property.
It meant you were obligated to help them with whatever they felt they couldn’t cope with – emotions, finances, the day to day of life. You had to help them with their garden, their housework, their grocery shopping otherwise you were shamed and devalued. The hard of life increased this need to be looked after. Eventually Bec’s health failed and things went from hard to harder. Bec and Toby began to talk about not meeting budget, feeling like there was no life apart from dealing with the hard.
Help was offered in the form of employment for Toby. Two days a week, volunteers to help sit with Bec to see if she could cope with a full day without Toby. Flexibility in the workplace so that should Bec need Toby, Toby could leave. The two days would give extra finance without it affecting their pension. The answer – a post on Facebook that went on and on about being pressured into going to work and not being able to fulfil the marriage vows of looking after a sick wife. In other words: “We want to be looked after please don’t make us be adults and face the hard of life. Don’t’ make us own our financial needs, our health needs, our purpose needs, our relationship needs. Just look after us!”
For many vampires they might have experienced one up relationships :
- Others who treated them as if they were children.
- One down relationships: Others who treated them as if they were parents.
- Control: others who need to be in charge of our lives
- Criticism: others who attack when we challenge their thinking.
People who have experienced this are unable to relate to safe people because safe people encourage adultness. Safe people want to bring out the best of us because love believes all things. And that’s risky because that means growing up.
Vampires also live in a world where bad things happen
We live in a world that is in great pain. Romans 8:22 says, “Creation itself is in great pain; it groans and suffers.” Disasters, sickness and death disrupt our lives and can turn us into vampires.
Trish lost her mother when she was 8 years of age. She adored her mother. There were not a lot of other resources in Trish’s life. Her father suffered form a mental illness, there were few extended family supports. So Trish became a sleeping beauty. Walking through life but not really being a part of it. Almost ghost like she was not able to ask for her needs to be met. She was always slightly withdrawn, finding it hard to form relationships that enabled her to be rooted and established in love. She lives her life under the cloud of loss. She lashes out, she abandons, she withdraws, she finds it hard to trust people.
To Love One Another
Jesus knew the hardest thing in the world for us to learn was to love.
It is not easy loving vampires.
It is not easy being healed of being a vampire.
To love means allowing the Holy Spirit to heal us of our vampire tendencies and to understand why people are vampires.
To love means being in relationships with people who can love us to wholeness.