It’s morning. Do you know where your soul is?

A conversations over coffee and musings about the lives of others.

This morning I met for coffee with my brother’s friend James.

James is one of those people I find extremely obnoxious, but we have a connections through my brother Andy and through some shared experiences. We all have friends like James.

When he isn’t just hanging out with old friends, James is a psychiatrist to some pretty well known individuals. He is good at giving people ways to find normalcy in their lives. That is their normal. Everyone has his or her own normal, they just have to find it. The same goes with inner peace and contentment. James gives his patients the tools and teaches them how to use those tools to keep healthy.

As I drove to his house, through one of the more exclusive neighborhoods in the city, I passed a home I’d once been in, years ago. The house belonged to a wealthy man. I’m talking insanely wealthy. A friend of mine was his executive assistant.

I was there for a party. He was lovely and friendly. I’d met him before and he remembered me. My friend adored him. He was a good man.

Unfortunately his ex-wife, his narcissistic daughter, and his psychiatrist only saw dollar signs. They poisoned him with their demands and their bad advise. It was never about him. People who cared couldn’t get through to him. The women took and took from him, stabbing out pieces of his soul until one day he killed himself.

“There is a special place in Hell for them. No, really, Jewels, the reservations have been made,” James told me as he poured me a second cup of coffee in his well-appointed kitchen.

I believed James, because like me, he is a Vampire. He lives with one foot in death’s door at times. He knows what it is like to grab up your own soul and hold it tight. For unlike Regular Humans, Vampires can’t give away or trade our souls, but sometimes there are those who try to come up from the depths of Hell and steal them away.

“And to think,” I said, “people call us ghouls.”

“They’re such hypocrites,” said James.

We had more coffee and talked about our friends, our work and books we’d read over the summer. I looked around the beautiful kitchen. Too bad not much cooking happened in it. Most Vampires don’t cook much. We do, but not much. I don’t need to explain why.

James made a lame joke about cooking and I laughed. Then he smiled with a sexy bit of fang and said, “Let’s go upstairs and fuck.”

I smiled back. “You know I’m married.” Yes, that is the reason I don’t see much of James.

“Right, you’re married to the most handsome Vampire in the world, but come down to the dark side with me this morning. Nobody will ever know. Mix it up a little.”

“Oh James,” I said, “even if I was single I’d have to say no. It isn’t going to happen. But thank you for the coffee. It was delightful.”

“At least I can try,” he said taking my hand and kissing it.

Now I’m home, taking a break from my work, sharing my morning. I’m also wondering if anyone is mourning still for the lovely man who was driven to his death by demons who took the form of friends and family.

I look at my old dog sleeping on the cool tile by my feet. I hear a hawk outside. It is a calm space where demons are not allowed. I will not let them in.

Close the door if they knock, even if they look like someone you know.

Beware those who have already traded in their souls at the expense of others.

OK everyone, have a nice day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

What my kids were talking about last week – Acceptance.

We had a full house this weekend. Most of our activities centered around no activity and just talking with each other. Most of it was fun, but some of it wasn’t.

My brother Andrew is here with his two cats. The orange cat Nimrod and a new teeny tiny black kitten he calls Josephine are tearing around my house with my two cats. Of course my calico Gloria is none too pleased about it.

It was nice to have everyone here to share the fun and relax together. It was a good way to end the holidays and start off 2015.

My eldest Garrett (a freshman) left last night to return to college. Winter quarter starts today.

We talk almost every single day and text but he is still 400 miles away. Somehow I fool myself into believing it isn’t that far since we’re still in the same state.

Once again the subject of suicide and acceptance came up. That includes just fitting in. Both of the kids (18 and 15) brought it up a lot.

The death of transgender 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn was tragic. All of the teens are talking about it. They’re comparing her experience with that of teens they know who are “different.” Those “different” kids include some of teens in our life.

Our local community is still mourning the loss of a 12-year-old boy in Folsom, CA. He was bullied by classmates for not being masculine enough. His parents changed his school and the bullies followed. They eventually pulled him out of school but the bullies followed him online and into his outside activities and other parts of his life. Why did he have to leave the school? Shouldn’t the bullies be the ones to have to go away. Shouldn’t their parents be the ones to have to scramble around and find a place for their children? They were the ones who failed, not the parents of the sweet boy who liked cheer leading.

Their crime was being different. Their crime was not hiding who they were.

Many people can’t understand the level of pain and despair these young people were feeling. I wish someone had been there to convince both of them that things would get better. I wish they could have known that success would have been their best revenge. But when you’re young your world is small. Your parents and school are your entire world for the most part. If that world turns into Hell sometimes it seems there is no choice except to get out anyway possible. It is a pain that is unimaginable.

I know that feeling. I’ve been there. It wasn’t for the same reasons as the young people I mentioned here. It passed without any physical scars, but the brand of being different always burns.

I have a post written about a girl Garrett met in his dorms who was different. She was alone and sort of lost. She was defiant and didn’t trust anyone. He reached out to her. I don’t know if it will help her but time will tell. He just let her know she wasn’t alone. But I’ll save that for later.

The cruelty of intolerance is an evil I can not understand or explain. As I’ve grown older and my world has grown larger I have become more tolerant and more understanding. I embrace difference more not than I mistrust it. If I don’t know about something I try to find out about it. I’m not perfect. Yes, there are people and beliefs and lifestyles I don’t approve of, but as long as they are happy and not hurting anyone I’ll let it go. I would never push someone towards death because their beliefs and lifestyle don’t match mine.

Because of this I’ve always been open with my kids about everything. In return our discussions have even changed my mind on some subjects. They are skeptical about bull shit but open and accepting of others. I never want them, or their friends, to feel like like is hopeless and that their lives don’t matter. I will never let anyone make them feel that way.

I can’t protect them from everything but I can always let them know that I am here for them, no matter what.

We have friends who are transgender and gay. We don’t love them any less. We don’t try to change them. Why would we?

We know straight boys who are called gay and girls who are called dykes because they don’t fit into the mold. They express themselves in happy healthy ways but some asshole always has to say something.  What matters is our hearts. What matters is that we can laugh together and share our stories and our lives. It matters that we love. I don’t give a crap how you dress or what is under that dress. OK, I want you to wear a stylish dress, or pants, or shirt or hat… but that is another post.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

I’ll have more Modern Vampire stuff and bad poetry later this week. And remember all of you parents out there PLEASE talk with your kids and really listen to them. Don’t just judge. And fight for your kids. FIGHT for them. Know your kids. Love your kids. Listen to them.

This is Oscar. He is my cat. He is really cute.

This is Oscar. He is my cat. He is really cute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another note: I write about what I hear teens talking about. I write about what they tell me. I lost several WP followers the day I posted this. I don’t know if it was this article, the fact that I post a lot, or my bad poetry (see previous post.)  I could just be my bad editing (I don’t edit.) I just hope it isn’t because my defense of people who are different. Many of those I love are considered “different.” They’re happy. That makes me happy. I have also had suicides in my family. It was for other reasons but still… it is never a good thing. Bullying is never a good thing – not for ANY reason.
I mean, not that it matters that someone stopped following my odd and silly blog. I unfollow blogs too for various reasons. Sometimes I think the writer is an asshole. Sometimes I’m just not that interested and can’t keep track of it all. But I’ve unsubscribed to a few blogs and gone back then wondered why I unsubscribed.
I just hope if you unfollow it is because you think my stories and my Vampire viewpoint are stupid, not because my opinions on social issues make you uncomfortable.
If you feel you’ve landed in the wrong place just look around this blog and explore before you unsubscribe. You might find stuff you hate but you might find more that you like. You might even laugh out loud. Do the same with every blog you read. You might be surprised. And if you end up unsubscribing that is ok too. xoxox Juliette

Grief, Death and Rare Fragile Hopes

When we were children, my brother Valentine and I were fascinated by funerals. Mind you, we’d skipped most old time traditions of Vampires living in places where dark crypts led to hidden stairwells that surfaced in your Vampire parlor.

We didn’t live among the dead. We lived among the living and like good little California children we appreciated anything fresh and locally grown. For we were thriving in the Modern Vampire community during the California Gold Rush, or for Val and I it was the end of the Gold Rush and the beginning of a Civil War and then expansion.

My brother Andrew often sang at these events with his angel like voice and sweet smile as he ushered the dead on to a better place. Val and I often wondered what place could be better than where we were right now.

We’d been told that the dead were sleeping. Asleep in a nice fancy box with flowers and music sounded lovely to us. It seemed odd that everyone was so sad. Finally my mother, realizing that we were so off track, explained to us that the dead were not coming back. Their hearts had stopped forever. Their souls had departed and they were gone – forever.

We were horrified. It was then that she sat us down in dark cool evening and told us that we were different from other people. We were Vampires.

“But can’t you turn our dead friends into Vampires like us?” We asked our parents that question pulling on their clothing with tears in our eyes.

Our parents told us it would be wrong and impractical. They said the dead wouldn’t understand.  Our older brothers already understood this, but we were still sad. Why wouldn’t everyone want to be like us? It was the last time we’d be so innocent and unknowing.

Yet, as we grew old we realized that we would also experience loss. That of our Regular Human friends and even that of our own kind.

Tonight my daughter told me of a girl, in the next school over. She was a girl who had classes with friends of my children. The girl liked the same music as they did. She was sweet. She had friends.

She took her own life a few days ago. She was only 16.

Just like back then, I can’t make any sense of it.  It is hard enough when one leaves due to old age or illness, or even an accident but a suicide seems to be more of a shock. It is something we can’t explain or feel enough grief or guilt or shock over.

I’ve known too many who have gone that way and heard of too many. Especially with the young it is tragic beyond words. I don’t judge, only mourn those in so much pain and so little hope.

We can only find comfort among the stone angels in the old cemeteries and in the warm embrace of those we love, and even then, it still makes no sense.

I told my children that if they ever see someone they think might be out of hope or at risk to GET INVOLVED. Ask if they need help. Tell a teacher or counselor or principal at school. Let those at risk know that there is a future. All things pass and good things are to come, no matter how grim it may seem now. No matter how bad the pain is, there is help.

Wishing you all love and light and the warm embrace of peace.

 

~ Juliette Vampire Maman

 

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That was not my friend

Let me remember

My friend

In my own heart

With my own memories

And the love

I had.

Don’t tell me

What was said after

How other said he was

Stories of things

I don’t want to hear

Because that was not

My friend.

The long years make things softer and memories not so jagged, but sometime those dusty file drawers in one’s brain get lodged open and make a line directly for the heart. I can’t take more in those drawers or in my heart.

As my children grow older I know that their now sparkling and new file drawers in their brains are neat and ordered. Their hearts are light. Over the years the dust will fall. I think of the young people, or anyone who saw that burden on their hearts as too much and the sadness and pain seems so overwhelming. So in honor of your love, remember those who passed in darkness with light, and love and hope for those you will meet one day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Moth

Teen Suicides – I wish I had a real answer

It is sad that my 13 year old daughter talked about suicides for about a half hour last night. She wouldn’t shut up about it but then again, she needed to talk about it. But what was scary was how she was so matter of fact about it. But she was also passionate and angry about it.

This isn’t the first time she talked about it. All of the kids talk about it a lot. It is common conversation with kids. But usually not with kids and adults. They don’t share this information or their concerns about suicides with their parents or teachers, especially not with their parents because they don’t talk to their parents about anything.

There were attempts or actual deaths at several local middle and high schools. Some schools have more because of their culture of bullying.

We’re on the border between high school boundaries, and thank goodness we’re in the boundary for the “nice” school. Sure there is bullying there on some scale, but it isn’t a huge part of the student culture (like the other school). With 2,500 students they all aren’t going to get along or be nice.

 My son says there is a strong anti-bullying theme in his school’s culture. I hope he is right and it isn’t just wishful thinking.

The other school is smaller and (according to kids and parents I’ve spoken to or overheard) there is a huge girl bully culture. The school is ruled by a gang of girls who pick on other girls with no mercy. I personally know of at least two girls who ended up homeschooling because it.

Anyway, that isn’t exactly the point of this post (ragging on a school I’m glad my teens won’t attend.)

I’m not worried about my kids. They’re strong. They’re alphas. They don’t bring negative attention to themselves. They aren’t bully bait. I’ll pass on the Vampire stuff here because they go to school with all sorts of kids and that is not the point of this post either.

The point is…

Too many children, and I mean CHILDREN are resorting to suicide to solve temporary problems. It is tragic. It should not be happening. It needs to be addressed. And for every high profile case you hear in the news there are dozens, I expect hundreds of cases you don’t hear about.

I don’t have an answer. But first and foremost school administrators need to stop with the “shake hands” bullshit and kick bullies and bully culture out of their schools. They need to ask, “Why are so many kids dropping out to be homeschooled?” Gee do you ever consider it is because your school has an unsafe hateful environment?

Parents…raise your kids not be bully bait. Don’t let them be timid. Don’t over protect them. Let them know that if they act weird other kids will make fun of them. They can act weird at home. And TEACH YOUR KIDS NOT TO BE A BULLY.  Teach them to not be friends with bullies. Teach all kids to put the bullies on the bottom of the social scale not the top. Teach all kids to protect the weak and timid and shy and small and fat and different.

But then again my daughter said some of the girls at the “other” school are bullied “just because”. Just because they dated someone that the head cheerleader liked or went to a different Middle School or plays the tuba or usually for no reason except that they were breathing and taking up some of the bully’s sunshine.

But death isn’t an option. High School lasts 4 years then it will be all over. They can start a new life. They can do better and say “I’ll show them all”. I know it is hard.

And often times parents don’t even know what is going on with their kids. They don’t know their daughter had sex with a couple of guys because she wanted to fit in and feel loved. They don’t know that because of that she is now being slut shamed and terrorized. Open your eyes. TALK WITH YOUR KIDS ABOUT UNCOMFORTABLE THINGS.

Like I said. I have no answers. I guess it all goes back to deliberate parenting. Raise your child so they won’t be bully bait. But also raise them not to accept bullies. Raise them to be aware and raise them to protect others. Raise them to listen to their peers who might need help or need a friend.

And tell them that it is ok to tell an adult about things that are going on at school. It might save a life.

I don’t have an answer for this. A close friend of mine was bullied without mercy as a child but took the attitude “one day I’ll show them all with my success”. And she did. Unfortunately not all kids have that inner fire and toughness.

Anyway, it was sad, too sad. I wish I had a real answer. I really wish I did.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

More on this subject on this blog:

Listen to Teens – an important message from a teen

My kids don’t care if you hate their music for no reason – they care if you hate for no reason.

Bullies and Jerks

If you have any other links please feel free to share.