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December 15, 2017
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Second Stage – My Story

{ I’d like to preface by saying I need to do a new article or update this. I wrote this in ’09 and a lot has happened since then, some of which I’m still making sense of. That said this is what I went through AT THE TIME. Its one of those articles I’d really like to update for a Revised Edition of Practical Vamp}

A friend recently contacted me looking for articles and info on a stage some Vampires go through, affectionately called second stage, or “Vampire Menopause”

I wondered why so little has been written on this considering how many people seem to relate to the topic when its brought up on boards and chats. I mauled the topic over and have come to the conclusion that for the most part the rather unusual physical aspects of this occurrence make the topic a bit hush hush, since in recent years the community as a whole has leaned towards presenting the physical aspects of Vampirism as normal and mundane and shying away from anything that might be misconstrued as fantastical or metaphysical in nature. Second stage, for those who experience it, seems to be anything BUT normal or mundane, and I suspect for that reason its seldom discussed openly, but mostly relegated to private chats and discussions among those who’ve gone through it and those who come desperately begging for info when it hits them
Shunning the topic doesn’t make it go away, and doesn’t make it any less real to those who experience it. Its baffling and its frightening, and with so little guidance on the topic most Vampires are left to deal with it alone or face the fear of being called a liar or role-player. Second Stage is REAL.

First let me say that ANYONE, Vampire or not, who experience drastic physical changes needs to see their health care provider. It could be second stage… or it could be a serious medical condition. Don’t take the risk. Get it checked.

I went through Second Stage in my late 30s. I’ve heard of people going through it younger but the majority of those experiencing it seem to be 40ish or older.

When I first started to deal with it, I honestly had no idea what was going on. Initially the things that were happening to me seemed unrelated. It was only when all was said and done and i got brave enough to bring the subject up with others that it became obvious that there was a pattern involved and that phenomenon was mostly confided to Vampires and most often experienced by women, though many men have also said they have been through it.

Second stage takes the form of a series of odd physical occurrences that seem to go through ones body one system at a time over a period ranging from about 3 to 7 years, depending on the person going through it. when its over the person is physically and permanently altered in many aspects including metabolism, rate of ageing and many other aspects, as well as the amount of blood they consume, if Sanguinarian, which appears to go up drastically.

Many people experience some, or all of the following:

Skin: for myself this was the first really drastic event, though order of occurrence seems to vary Vampire to Vampire. My skin peeled from head to feet, like a snakes, over a period of weeks. I hadn’t gotten a sunburn and there seemed to be no explanation for it. When it was over my skin was much paler and much more UV sensitive. I now avoid UVs at all cost, whenever possible.
All the UV 70 sunblock in the world doesn’t really seem to help much. I can get sunstroke in less than 30 minutes, even in the shade on a really sunny day.

Circulatory System: This phase was, for me, marked by a sharp increase in my blood pressure over a period of a few months and what appeared to be a couple of minor heart attacks. It was terrifying – in fact, this for me was the scariest of everything i went through physically as a Vampire. My Doctors could not find a reason for it. In the end they put it down to stress, put me on medication and a nitro inhaler and felt I’d have to be careful to keep my stress levels down as much as possible for the rest of my life. A year later i was fine. There are now no signs at all that anything ever went wrong. All the scarring they said the attacks left on my heart, initially, is now gone. All i was left with was several rather baffled but pleased physicians.

Appetite and Metabolism: I thought i had developed Ulcers when this first started. I developed, rather suddenly, a number of food intolerance’s to things that i had hither to, consumed on a regular basis. Oddly one of these was garlic. It was a little embarrassing… i mean come on… a Vampire who is allergic to Garlic? That’s about as cliche as it gets! I have since talked to a number of other Sangs who have developed this “intolerance”, which leads me to believe that the whole “Vampires can’t stand garlic” myth may have been rooted in reality, though greatly overblown over the years, as myths frequently are. While my tolerance to “normal” foods became less, my blood consumption went up, a lot. where I had once gotten by with tablespoons with sometimes weeks between feedings, my need jumped and stabilized at about 4 ounces every 7 to 10 days, which also varies Vamp to Vamp. I got quite thin. Where I had carried some extra weight in my childbearing years, it all fell off me like I was dying. In fact, people who knew me stopped me to see if i was sick. My appetite dropped off drastically. While i was eating less, i found myself drinking more blood when i could get it. I arranged for more, making up the difference with animal blood, since i knew I’d never find a donor to keep up with my pace of consumption. Instead of getting sick, i was getting healthier! I stopped getting flu bugs, and started to avoid getting colds. I took up weight lifting on a more regular basis than i used to and i muscled up at light speed! It was incredibly awesome. My weight eventually leveled off to fluctuating between 135 and 140 pounds. My blood consumption has remained steady at about 4 ounces / week or ten days, and as long as i consume enough i don’t seem to get sick much. I don’t crave grains or starches like i used to, though i do still crave fats in the cold of winter. I do still occasionally crave fruit, but my body seems to respond best to large amounts of protein and blood. I go with what works for me.

Vision: My eyes and vision still fluctuate as of this writing, wildly sometimes. Some of my issues are normal ageing and others can’t be explained so easily, even by my optometrist. When all this started my vision was 15 / 15, better than normal. I could always see fairly well in the dark and could read street signs up to 3 blocks away, at least the larger signs. While i now require reading glasses, since, as my father says, my arms got too short to read the paper, the trade off is that my distance vision has become even better and my night vision is awesome. Daylight hurts my eyes and i avoid it or wear shades if i have to be outside or driving. On the other hand, I see almost perfectly in pitch dark, and starlight is enough light for me to see as well as most folks do in daylight, making me an excellent companion for camping or power failures. See? there is a silver lining to just about everything!

Hair and Nails: its rather nice to finally be able to grow really long hair and nails. I’m not sure when in the process this happened for me, but where i used to have shoulder length hair and broken nails i now have hair almost to my waist and i can actually grow nails that look manicured. Both now grow very very quickly I’m fast approaching 50 at the time of this writing, and while my contemporaries are struggling with ridged nails and losing their hair, I’m growing my hair out and admiring my claws. When i do break a nail i no longer sweat it. I’ll have it back in less than a week.

Ageing: Somewhere along the way i stopped looking either young or old. its odd. No one ever knows or really guesses how old i am at first glance, anymore. I don’t know how long this phase will last, but at my present age its very flattering to still be called beautiful and even ageless. Not that i think I’m actually ageless, not at all, but i do seem to be ageing more slowly than my peers. Since Vampirism runs in my family i smile and say “Its genetic” and I’m not lying. Some people just seem to age differently than others. It could be coincidence, but this does seem to be a trend with those who go through Second Stage. Almost everyone I know who has gone through it is ageing “gracefully” so this seems to be another silver lining to the cloud of getting through it. I hope it lasts. I’m enjoying it while it does. Years from now I’ll write a new article and let you know how it goes.

These are just a few of the more noticeable changes I went through. There are many others and having spoken to others who’ve been through it, everything varies a bit, Vamp to Vamp. What we have in common, when all is said and done, is an experience that ripped through our bodies one system at a time, changing us irrevocably for what many would consider the better, though it sure doenst feel like it at the time we are going through it. I know, myself i thought several times i was literally going to die. The above instances are not a complete list. Additional changes reported by others who have gone through it include: Developing a powerful “presence”, magical / metaphysical abilities greatly increased, self control enhanced, increased mood swings, increased incidents of “shifting” and many others.

I do realize it doesn’t sound at all mundane, and for many reasons the Vamp Community as a whole seems to shy away from the topic. That said, for many of us who’ve gone through or are going through it, Second Stage is real. For those who have to deal with it it is drastic and often terrifying.

If you are a Vampire who thinks you might be going through Second Stage, know you are not alone. Here is my advice:

– See your doctor regularly.

-If you are Sanguinarian, try to increase your availability of blood and your consumption if possible, since it seems to help a lot.

– Get more physical exercise if possible, as it helps keep “hunting instinct” under control
-Relax as much as possible and know that “This too will pass”

– While I will not advise you to NOT discuss this with others, be aware that its often treated with great scepticism by those who have not experienced it. Fortunately there are more and more of us willing to discuss it, and if you can find a group with older vamps in it to help you, the support does make it much easier.

-Remember that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and most of us consider the changes to be positive ones once the worst of this is over.

Every Once in a while a Vampiric Ageing Conference is held in the Online Community. Make it to one, if you can. If you can’t make it to one, you can find a log on Sphynxcats Real Vampire Site or Smoke and Mirrors Support Board, so you can see what others went through and how they coped.

You will get through this, and the results will likely please you. Support is out there in the guise of those of us who have been through it.

In the meantime
Stay Well
Stay Fed
Stay Together

Lady CG
Dec. 2009

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