Emotional vampires leave you drained
- Published: 09 October 2010
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They wont be wearing a black cape or rise from their coffins at night. They may be harder to stop, but emotional vampires are everywhere, sucking away your life and positive energy, writes Lynda Renham-Cook.
10 October 2010
In fact every day you come into contact with a vampire and even now there may be one in your life who is seriously bleeding you dry, not devouring of your blood but your emotions.
“Emotional vampires will not suck your blood but will leave you emotionally drained”, says one victim who asked not to be named.
“They behave in a non-human way in that they lack empathy, and are unable to feel what you feel. This makes them unpredictable, as they do not respond in normal ways, often switching from one persona to another leaving you completely confused. The basic responses that you would expect from another human are not there, leaving the victim questioning themselves and wondering what they have done to cause the situation.”
Worse of all you don’t even see them coming. They wont be wearing a black cape or rise from their coffins at night. Emotional vampires are with you in your workplace.They also socialise with you every day.
The only difference between the blood sucking vampires that we read about and emotional vampires is that the latter suck all your positive energy.
If you feel tired, defensive or emotionally drained then the chances are you are in close contact with an emotionl vampire.They will present themselves to you in a manner of guises. Often they will represent themselves as the victim and may attempt to control you with the use of guilt, They will exploit any weakness they find in order to control you.
Albert J. Bernstein, has written a book on the subject titled Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry. On his website, Dr. Bernstein characterises personality disorders as, "Those strange mental illnesses that "drive other people crazy”
The particular types that he describes include Anti-social, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Obsessive-Compulsive, and vampires. Bernstein describes these people as not just annoying people, but darkly seductive emotional vampires who draw you in with charm, beauty, talent and pulse pounding excitement.
Then they drain you – not of blood but of every last drop of emotional energy. As we can see from the following testimonies these people do in fact show all the above qualities and in some ways become your dream person. But they quickly change into the person of your worst nightmares.
Michelle met her emotional vampire when she applied for a loan extension on her insurance policy. Sam was a wealthy successful businessman and belonged to a club for people with high IQ’s and was proud of that.
Michelle now is convinced that Sam has severe Narcissist Personality Disorder, NPD. Although she had known Sam briefly for 26 years, she had never had such close contact with him before. This is Michelle’s story:
How I fell in love with a narcissist
I called Sam’s office to ask for a $400 loan from my life insurance policy in November 2008. I confided in Sam after just a few minutes. I told him I had developed Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and that my son had been diagnosed with a mental illness, and that as a result, we both live on Social Security disability income.
I often wish I could go back to that day but then I realize I didn’t do anything wrong. I said no, over and over. But it was that phone call, along with his persistence afterwards that led to me having a relationship with Sam.
I agreed to meet him and the relationship took off from there, He made me feel better than I had felt for a long time. Sam made it clear that he was sexually interested in me. I was concerned about him being married but he told me he and his wife lived separate lives.
He was extremely seductive and kept saying that he could help me in life, such as paying me a lot of money to let him photograph me. As time went on Sam literally begged me to believe he loved me.
He did the house chores, because of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, telling me it was because he loved me. Later, he said it was only so I would be rested enough to have sex. He told me I was everything to him and his greatest fear was losing me.
Then, I told him I needed to get back to living a normal life and wanted him to take care of his own life so we could eventually share one together.
Then everything changed. He seemed to no longer trust me. I wore make-up to my mother’s birthday party and he resented that. He said I never wore it for him. He kept me hypersexual. He was always trying to arouse me and it worked. It also fatigued me so much that I could barely do anything and this upset me.
He constantly indulged in fantasies, which left my head spinning. I never knew what was the truth and what was a lie. My family were so happy I had found someone, how could I tell them the truth about his lies?
He was proud when he lied. I hated it when he lied to his wife. I didn’t want any part of that and told him. Sam said he felt rejected. Another time I told him I needed to rest on a day that he wanted to visit and again he said he felt rejected making me feel guiltier.
He said feeling rejected was something he could not handle and he changed, becoming cruel to me. He never acted like he loved me again. He sent me emails describing nude women’s bodies and how they turned him on. He offered me money to be one of them.
He offered money for sex if I could set aside all emotions. I was so incredibly sad and truly confused. I didn’t know what being a narcissist meant.
I was still in love with a man who had abused me and I wanted him to stop. I wanted him to say he was sorry and maybe I wanted him to still love me. I knew I’d never trust him again.
Afterwards I wondered was it revenge? Why else would someone be that cruel? For what reason would a person do what he did? I still can’t get my mind around it, not really.
Why tell me he wanted to spend his life with me? Why not go out and find a woman who wanted to be a mistress, or who wanted to be videotaped having sex with him, or who wanted all that I did not want. Why did he choose me? Why tell a woman you have loved her for 25 years, even if I was dumb enough to believe this? Why?
He said I put him off me when I became angry for the first time. I thought it was altogether absurd. He twisted everything around and confused me. Mostly he kept me sexually aroused, which distracted me quite a bit.
I did defend my dog, however when she jumped onto the bed in the place where he slept when he came here. He had gone to the bathroom. I saw him come back and just push her off the bed. I suddenly thought this is my bed, this is my home. He felt entitled to many privileges in my home and I didn’t even know where his was.
Again, he said I had made him feel abandoned and bereft. Six months later he still spoke of that night and how I kicked him out of my bed.
The man was cruel. He discovered a trauma I had as a child and would bring it up out of the blue. I would have flashbacks.
The last time he came here he spoke of his father being murdered when he was ten. He twirled around in his chair with an ugly mean voice and asked me if I wanted to know who did it.
I didn’t have time to answer when he said, “A f*****g schizophrenic!” I thought maybe that was it. Revenge. Maybe because my son has this illness Sam wanted to get back at someone.
I was a single woman, at low ebb who fell for the charms of a Narcissist. The more I let him know I was not going to be a mistress the more he let me know he wanted to leave his wife.
One day he said he wanted to live with me the rest of his life and the next day he began treating me like a prostitute. I was in shock at the sudden change and all the new crazy stories he told me.
He is a smart man. He plays games he says. He says all he can do is play when it comes to relationships. He played with my life.
She not only found herself deeply involved with a sociopath but actually married to one, or so she thought. Mary's story The Bigamist is a shocking, terrifying account of one woman's struggle to understand the mind games that were being played on her.
Mary recalls her first impressions of her bigamist husband:
I met Will Jordan through an online dating agency and he came across as a considerate, thoughtful, intelligent man. He was utterly charming and was very interested in me.
At first I was holding back as I was quite happy with my life and really only wanted a relationship if it was going to be adding to my already good life, so he set the pace. He was the one who would contact me and wooed me, literally.
He was very romantic as well, sending a dozen roses to my place of work as well as texts/cards expressing how he felt. It was overwhelming and I liked him, so I let my guard down and started to care. We got engaged within a few months and married two years later in 2002.
I asked Mary if she had been aware of personality disorders before she met her husband.
I was not aware that sociopaths really existed, and that was my undoing. Even when things started to go wrong and the lies started to emerge, I didn’t understand that someone could literally be without conscience or remorse – that someone could just lie without reason or empathy for the person they profess to love.
During the time Mary was with her husband, he failed to be with her at highly emotional times, like the birth of their babies and other important family occasions, even disappearing for long periods of time, returning with the most amazing stories.
In fact at times he sounded like a modern James Bond. On speaking with Mary I found her to be a highly intelligent woman. What made her believe these stories? Obviously, like most people, I felt the need to ask Mary this and how she rationalized his long absences.
“When the relationship had started to develop and we were engaged to be married he ‘came clean’ with me about his work. He told me that I did not have to believe him and that the evidence would be provided and just to listen for the time being.
Then over a couple of hours he sat down and told me that he worked for the US intelligence service, how he had been recruited, what his job was and how it worked.
Meantime my phone was beeping with ODCI relay texts with no return number and he showed me around the ODCI website (Official Department of Central Intelligence – more commonly known as the CIA).
It was hard to believe initially but he had asked me to listen. I listened, and the more he showed me the more sense it made. As the days and weeks progressed I had contact from other people, saw documents, and money but he slips, and the proof he had mentioned started to pile up.
He even carried a gun under his coat. Now his long absences made sense and I was sucked into the story for the next five years, unable to tell anyone or talk to anyone about what I was now involved in.
Later on in our relationship he told me that he had been seconded to British intelligence working with John Prescott in the then Deputy Prime Minister’s office. I went with him into his Westminster office, and the security guards chatted to him on the way in, he did indeed work there.
It was all a lie though – all the evidence fabricated. Even the job in Westminster was not what it seemed. It turned out that not only had I been into Westminster but so had his other wife and five of his fiancés in 2005.
Will Jordan had been using this story to manipulate women out of their money, even impregnating six women to tie them to him and make them more malleable to his manipulations.
Will Jordan was arrested in 2002. He was jailed for five years for dishonesty offences, failing to register as a sex offender and illegally possessing a stun gun.
Mary now works as a full-time author and trainer and devotes herself to helping others who find themselves in similar situations. I discussed with Mary her future plans.
Writing The Bigamist was incredibly cathartic as it helped me understand what had happened and why. Wonderfully it has also helped other people through opening up the subject for discussion. I try to write back to everyone as I know what they have been through, and I understand how it feels.
Because of the responses I received I am also working on starting a website called The Phoenix Forum which will be a resource for people who have been victim to a sociopath. Then, sometime next year, we are planning to run workshops for people to help them both identify and recover from a sociopathic relationship.
It is estimated that 1 to 4 per cent of society are sociopaths and each sociopath can affect hundreds of people in their lifetimes - which means even if you take the lowest estimate of one percent then you are actually very lucky if an emotional vampire has not abused you.
The most important thing is to allow the victims to realise that they should not be ashamed of having been conned. Sociopaths – also known as emotional vampires – like Will Jordan are very good at what they do, and anyone can get caught by one.
Lynda Renham Cook is associate editor at The Scavenger.
Image: Artwork by Kate Da'Casto. Copyright Kate Da’Casto 2010, used here with permission.