You know what the worst thing about being a vampire is? Garlic, crucifixes, and holy water. The first stinks, the second hurts, and the third burns.
It’s easy to hurt a vampire
At school, kids sprayed holy water at me every two minutes. I had to smear myself with vaseline all the time. I also ended up with crushed garlic cloves on my chair or in my locker every day.
You don’t have to hit a vampire in the heart with a silver nail like in the movies to kill him or her. Just shame them with little things like that all day long.
I remember a vampire other children loved to beat up. Those kids were waiting for him almost every day after school to punch him with crucifixes and put garlic cloves in his mouth.
When he went back home, he had bruises and scratches all over and he smelled like garlic. It wasn’t cool, but at least his parents noticed and finally moved him to another school.
Kids didn’t hit me with crucifixes, and they didn’t make me eat garlic, so when I came home, my parents didn’t know how bad things were. Holy water doesn’t stain…
All blows don’t leave marks
Most people think that it’s easy to tell when you are being bullied by others. Or that you have to have something special to be. Being fatter than others, having red eyes like me, or having a disability… But sometimes you don’t have anything special, and you still are persecuted. And the worst thing is that very often, it’s not even noticeable. It’s not just about being hit with crosses, garlic cloves, or being a victim of extortion.
Sometimes it’s all in the head and in the heart. People talk to you in a certain way, call you names, or put you aside… It can last a month, it can last for years… It causes a lot of pain. So much so that sometimes you just wish you would disappear.
You end up making yourself so small that you actually disappear for real, and no one really notices you anymore. Sometimes even your parents don’t see anything. They think everything is fine. But in reality, inside, you’re crumpled up like a paper ball, your heart is in tatters, and you feel all alone on Earth.
Usually, that’s when vampires start wearing a mask. Many of them will wear it for the rest of their lives. That’s what I did.
Wearing a mask for the rest of your life
I never went out without my short wig, I wore bright colors and smiled all the time, even if I didn’t feel like it.
I thought people would end up loving me. But they didn’t. I still had my two red eyes, as a reminder that I wasn’t one of them.
I tried for a long time to be “normal“, hoping that at some point, I would be accepted.
When I was thrown holy water, I pretended I didn’t feel anything. When I was called names, I pretended I didn’t hear anything. I always walked upright with my head high. But sometimes I would go to the bathroom to hide and cry…
I hadn’t yet understood that for others to love me as I was, I would have to start by loving myself.