Dealing with Others’ Reactions

On September 15, 2003, I posted a message on the Vampiric Community Message (& Support) Board asking teen and school-aged vampires a number of questions about being outed and dealing with the reactions of friends and family. I let them know ahead of time that I might use their responses in this section. I have included a selection of responses which I feel might give other teen vampires ideas for coping strategies. Responses have been spot-checked for typographical errors, but are otherwise unedited.

The questions are (click a question to go directly to that section):

  1. What would your parents (or family) do if they found out that you are (or “think” you are, as they may view it) a vampire?
  2. Do you have a “plan of action” to deal with the situation if they do find out?
  3. What do you do to keep it from your parents (or family/friends)? How do you “play it off”?
  4. For those of you whose parents have found out that you are (or “think” you are, as they may view it) a vampire, what did they do? How did you deal with that?
  5. Have you had a friend “out” you at school or to your other friends? How did you deal with that?

Hide it, don’t flaunt it. The best way is not to tell anyone. This will decrease your chances of being “outted” and having to deal with the problem of other peoples’ reactions. As Hades_of_Methrilon put it, “Don’t show in light that which can be hidden in shadow.”

From reading through what everyone wrote, it seems apparent that many young vamps fear being judged insane by their families and committed, or worse. It distresses me that so many families are so closed-minded about their own childrens’ differences.

If any parents happen to read this, please consider that your child may not be crazy for feeling that he or she is a vampire. Take the time to learn what they really mean, rather than jumping to the assumption that your child believes that he or she is like Dracula, or Lestat, or some Hollywood vampire or undead creature; this isn’t the case. It’s not a mental disorder, or something evil or satanic.

The best — and kindest — thing you could do for your child is to be there for him or her and be supportive; learn what you can about real vampires and vampirism; and not condemn or judge him or her for being the way they are. Maintain a channel of openness and honesty so your child feels safe to go to you to talk about what he or she has to deal with. Don’t scorn, ridicule or condemn your child, but listen without judging him or her. This is the best way for everyone to deal with this condition.

1. What would your parents (or family) do if they found out that you are (or “think” you are, as they may view it) a vampire?

Disown me. I’m dead serious, they’re pretty close to it right now… But, then again, that’s if they actually had proof I was drinking blood. If I just said, “Hey, I’m a vampire!” they’d laugh. Thank god. — Day

Ack. They’d ship me back to my dad’s then it’d be back to Shepard Pratt only this time for different reasons… — Noire Fleur

They’d send me to the hospital and get me “help”, can we say lock down. — wolf child of the moon

My mom already knows. My dad and my grandparents would lock me up. — CrystalMoon103102

Give me a long talking to then send me to a shrink. — Kakurine1313

They’d not care. I’m a psi-vamp, anyway. They’d just think I want attention or I’m doing one of my crazy things, and it’ll pass like a whim. It’s not like I’d say anything. I asked for copper bracelets to increase my flow of energy, and they didn’t question, so I think if I didn’t make a big deal about it, they wouldn’t care. — seraphictorture

I don’t think my parents would believe me.. they would just think I am acting to gain attention. They would just say that I am not that “type” of person.. like there is a “type”. Plus I am a psi-vamp so I don’t think they would care if they did believe me. — NiTeVaMpGiRl

They wouldn’t believe me. They would probably send me to a shrink or something. “Get me help.” — z

Think I’m crazy and get me “help”, aka: Find some heavy med. to put me on to “fix” me. Or… I’d be kicked out of the house. They’re pretty lax about some things. Others… ack, scary thoughts. — DisgustedLife

They’d send me to therepy, or just pretend that they never found out and that I’m actually not… — asbestosV3

Well, my mom always jokes about it and doesn’t realize I’m being serious. My dad doesn’t talk to me much, and when I do talk, he’s not tuned in so I doubt he’ll find out. My nanan [nanna] knows and so does my grumpa. — Malcaius

Well I already told my mom… compared to my other 3 siblings, I’m still the “normal” one. As for dad, we’d probably have an intellectual discussion about it and if I could answer all his questions he’d be fine (he’d still talk to my therapist but *shrugs* you can’t be committed without a parent’s consent). — geekvamp

My parents don’t “know”; they joke about it/hint at it though:”Linzy, our little vampire princess.” My parents are pretty lenient with most everything though, and I just laugh it off. I’m sure they suspect things like cutting. I used to do it to myself when I was younger all the time, and they noticed sometimes, so I’m sure now they think I do all that “crazy kinky stuff” especially since I’m in a long-termed relationship. They know I’m going to do what I want; they just want me to be safe and smart about it. — Bloody Kisses

Although my parents are religious and don’t like anything they think as “demonic”, they would just think I’m messing with them, as, well, I do that sort of thing. — zuny

Have a long, long, long talk I imagine. My parents are relatively cool people, but this would be a little much for them. Hell, it would be a little much for me if it wasn’t me having to deal with it. — angelus cretus deus

Well, there’d be this big uproar, and I’d go to a psychiatrist, and then nobody would remember, or they would act like they forgot. — X Mai

Mine keep joking about me being a Vampire and it is getting annoying because they say the truth without realizing it. Every time they call me a Vampire I want to tell them it is true but I don’t think they would actually believe me. And as far as the “want to drink blood thing” that would make them put me in a mental hospital. I don’t feel like spending the rest of my life in a padded room. — jimbok

First they would yell, then take me to the church; after all that, they would probably send me somewhere far away without cable OR computers!! — nothingc

Well, my mom “knows” I’m a vampire, or she thinks I think I’m one. She doesn’t believe in vamps, you know. My mom found out by going through my computer and seeing vampire websites on the history or something (how lame is that?!), so she banned me from the internet for the longest time, and got rid of the internet at that. My mom basically freaked out, then laughed, then freaked out some more…. oh, well. — phantomroller

Send me to the shrink, or lock me up. (It *HAS* happened before!) — Gra

They would either call the police or run a stake through my heart… — bloodlick

My mother once told my father that I thought I was a vampyre because I had a blue light bulb in my room; he ignored her, thank god. A teenager with a blue light bulb, fancy that, must mean I’m a vampyre, or a satanist. Well, if they had proof, or were sure some way or another…. shrink > lots of meds > institution. It would stop when they felt it worked. — crimsonwrithe

First, they would put me back into a hospital. They wouldn’t let me see/call any of my friends, and if that didn’t ‘cure’ me, they’d kick me out of the house. Oh, and my mum would probably drag me into church, then stand me up in front of everyone and ask for them to pray for me. In which case I would pretend that I was being possessed. *cackles evilly* >;D — Raven Sakura

Well, I think my mom wouldn’t even begin to suspect that. She’d probably write it off as that I’m insane and tell me to grow-up. I honestly don’t think she’d believe me enough to send me to a shrink. — surrealaurora

Well, my parents aren’t very easy to read. They have their different moods, so it depends on when they find out, or when I told them. However, I think these are the most similar things they’d say/do if they find out: They’d say, “That’s silly, you know there’s no such thing as vampires”, or they’d send me to a mental institution. — Newlyawakened

They would all be very upset. I am the first child in all my extended family to graduate high school/go to college (and there are several children older than me), so I’m sure they would all be shocked and disappointed. I don’t know if they would take me to a mental home though. Besides, I could check out after a day because I am 18. — Rikichi

They would go completely crazy! I’d be yelled, screamed at and most likely be sent to the hospital or to a psychiatrist. — Volorian

Put me in a mental hospital, then gloat to their friends about how they always knew I was strange and suspected mental problems all along. It would also give my mom some justification for always going through all of my things and never giving me any privacy whatsoever. — Vashaneh

They’d slay me, point blank. — NIN0

Oh damn… I don’t even want to think about it. They would probably humiliate the @#%$ out of me by telling my whole family and insisting that I am crazy. They would try to send me to therapy but I would ignore the shrink and then if I continued about my ways they would disown me. Honestly, they would. — demoness08

My dad would probably cut me off from the outside world until he “convinced” me that I’m not really a vampire, and that we “don’t exist”. — beastofeve

They would likely send me to a psychiatric ward. I know that my father would disown me. — Isiaiel

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2. Do you have a “plan of action” to deal with the situation if they do find out?

Actually, I do. I know of two vamp couples that might take me in. — Day

Tell them that I was just pretending .. or it was all a joke.. or say nothing. — Jarryd

I wouldn’t even get to explain. — CrystalMoon103102

Deny it! As far as they know, this is a board about vampire books and movies. — Kakurine1313

Pass it off as me yanking y’all’s chains…or in normal people terms, as in having some fun deceiving you. — Griffaquin

Lie. Just say some silly things, like I’m getting in character for a costume I’m going to do or trying to get in perspective for a story…if that’s even necessary. But I don’t think they’d catch on. — seraphictorture

Yeah, if they find out then I would just tell them that this is how I am and if they don’t like it then they will just have to live with.. I am pretty sure they wouldn’t kick me out of the house, but they may have me go to therapy or ban me from the internet for awhile.. which would suck. — NiTeVaMpGiRl

Deny it. Or say that I was just kidding or something. Or… I could try to explain this condition to them, so they would understand me (not likely). — z

Yeah, I’d first try to pass it off on some video game or anime. If that doesn’t work, go to the therapy and act like a changed me. — asbestosV3

If they ever started freaking out or something? I’d probably just go live with my gf… she’d take me in. — geekvamp

If they see anything on the computer… I could probably pass it off as something to do with LARP… the stupid RPG crap I played for a month around a a year ago… bleh. — Icer Rose

Probably just twist around words to make them feel like fools and get me off. Good plan, really. — zuny

Well, my parents know that I study religions and culters in my spare time, so I could just play it off saying I was doing research into this blood cult thing… but no, I really don’t have a plan. — angelus cretus deus

“Wait, you thought I was serious?” — X Mai

My mother is so stubborn, if she wants to send me to a psychiatric establishment, I’ll go. If she talks about it, I’ll say, “You know, mom, I’m roleplaying each week… Who’s the freak who told you I really was a vampire? Erick? That little redheaded computer freak?” — Brks

Meh… I would try to explain it to them. Knowing them, they would kill me by “trying” to save me. — nothingc

Run away I guess… But I doubt it will happen… I’m taking every single precaution… Plus with the stupidity and carelessness of the mortals surrounding me… my identity will remain blissfully secret. 😉 — bloodlick

Yup. I grab my emergency bag (full of clothes and crap that I need), then head over to one of my two friends who’s parents have offered me a place to live. — Raven Sakura

If my parents do find out and actually accept the concept of being a possible reality, I’d probably try to explain everything as best as possible, i.e. produce a lot of reading material and visuals. And if all else fails, I could always move to Canada. That’s plan A. I could always lie to them, but I’m a big fan of telling the truth, especially because they wouldn’t drop it if they suspected anything. — surrealaurora

No, surprisingly. I should really be prepared. As of now, I’d either lie, or actually may even tell them more about myself. IF I support my facts well, I’m sure they’d understand. — Newlyawakened

Hmm.. deny it. And if that doesn’t work, continue living my life, and continue loving them. I don’t live at home anyway. — Rikichi

Yes, I would try to at least get them to understand that they have lost knowing who I am since I was at least 9. — Volorian

I don’t, but I have a plan to make sure they don’t ever find out. I have a fake diary, I make sure to tear everything incriminating into little tiny bits, and my computer is so password-protected that my hacker friend couldn’t access it. He helped me set it up so that other hackers couldn’t get on it, thus ousting him! HA! — Vashaneh

No plan of action yet. I’ve been trying to think of one because my dad almost found me out. (Eep!) — Zurala

If they find out then I will try my best to make them believe otherwise but if that doesn’t work then I will just go about my every day life and just ignore them (I do now anyways…)… It will be hard because they will publicly humiliate me. — demoness08

Go along with my dad’s lame attempt at psychology [of trying to convince me I’m not a vampire and all]. The sooner I agree, the sooner I’m let go. — beastofeve

No. That would probably be a wise precaution, though, come to think of it. — Isiaiel

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3. What do you do to keep it from your parents (or family/friends)? How do you “play it off”?

I try my best not to seem “weird”; my motto is to be as normal looking as physically possible. — Jarryd

I don’t keep a diary and act “normal” as possible. — Kakurine1313

Ooooh… Kakurine gave me an idea. As a back up plan, keeping a fake diary might be a good idea. Keep one that follows your story and leave it in your room with the door open in an obvious place with the word “DIARY” on it in big letters. If they read it, it’ll help validate your story. Because, you know, no one would lie in their own diary. — Day

Passing it off as roleplay seems like the best course. — Griffaquin

I’m frail, and stressed most of the time, so I use the excuse that I need certain things to increase energy, like the copper bracelets (see Aneria Romana), and I avoided the sun enough anyway, previous to the beginning of my awakening (I prefer looking pale, and there’s nothing outside anyway), so I just use the excuse that I’m not used to it to explain why I burn so easily and why it always seems blinding. — seraphictorture

From my parents that is not hard, because as I have said they wouldn’t believe me anyways. From my friends, well that is a little harder taking that one of my best friends believes in vampires, but I am too afraid to tell her. Anyways she really doesn’t suspect me as being a vampire, although I have talked to her about, because I am not the stereotype. My other friends it is easy…because we are not as close and don’t talk as in-depth as my best friend and I do. — NiTeVaMpGiRl

Err, well, whenever I go to this website I come in all proxied and stuff, and I make sure to delete the history and cache… And I run a keylogger to make sure they’re not trying to find me out or anything… One time my mom walked in really quickly and forced her way onto the comp…I told her that it was just a RP forum and I didn’t know how to play as a vamp so I was asking some questions… — asbestosV3

Believe it or not, if you say it in a joking manner they don’t believe you. (My cousin still thinks I’m joking.) — geekvamp

I don’t talk about it… or I just act like it’s part of being all goth (i.e. avoiding sunlight). — Icer Rose

Pretend I’m getting a perspective for a character. I tend to have vampires as a motif anyway. — zuny

My parents are cool with most of it. They let me drop out of high school, get my GED, and go to college at night. I have refrigerator in my room with a lock on it; that’s where I keep my blood. It doesn’t really affect my day-to-day life much. — angelus cretus deus

Make jokes about vampires, mostly. It makes it easier to explain away if they find out. — X Mai

Well, to “play it off” as you put it, I was caught on this site one time and (sorry) I told my dad it was a RPG site. But he’s computer illiterate, so he doesn’t know what that means, and instead of sounding stupid he just walked away (he’s like that a lot). — pagandragon

I stay in my room and do “homework” and try to act “normal”. — nothingc

Avoid them and blame my tiredness and often moody attitude on being a teenager, they always fall for it. — bloodlick

I went through a gothic phase, so the tendencies for the subject matter and such have always been there; basically I’m the odd one out, and they accept that. — crimsonwrithe

Well, I play it off by just being “curious” about it. That and I’m a bit of a writer, so I usually just say I’m doing research for a story or paper. — surrealaurora

For my family, I usually stuff all the stuff about vampires in any imaginable place and always delete my comp. history. For my friends, it’s a bit harder… Before I actually knew I was a vampire, I always would tell them about my cravings for blood… They just thought it was creepy. All I can do for them is just cross my fingers and hope they don’t look into it more. As to playing it off, I’d just say that I was working on the biggest April Fools Joke (Very cheesy, but workable). — Newlyawakened

I just laugh and agree with them. It’s not like they are serious when they accuse me. Another note: I am married (I know, so young!) and I told my husband about it. He was actually very good about it, even though he just thinks I am confused. He does let me keep most of the lights off in the house, and will wear sunglasses with me everywhere. *lol* I guess that’s why I married him! — Rikichi

Like I said, I have a diary and all that. I also have always been quiet and introverted, so I spend a lot of time alone. That way, when I beast or start twoofing, I can lock myself up in my room (or I could if it had a lock) and no one will ask questions because I’m always there anyways. I am also in good with all my teachers (I am overly academic and a slight perfectionist) so they will let me go sit in the hall to work, or go to the bathroom if I need to. The little things really help when you start freaking in the middle of class. — Vashaneh

They know I’ve been morbidly curious about vamps recently, so I play it off that way. — PsiPrincess Fullmoon

To keep it away from my parents I delete the history on the comp every time I come to one of these sites (I forgot to do that once), and keep myself locked in my room at all possible times. — Zurala

I just don’t talk about it. I also delete the history and cookies and try my hardest not to write anything about it down…they are nosy. — demoness08

Well, I blame my sleeping patterns on my being a teenager, and as for all the other stuff, I claim that I’m writing a story about “real vampires” and I’m just “doing research.” My dad doesn’t really care what I do anyway, as long as it’s not illegal. — beastofeve

Make up random excuses, I suppose. I don’t mention it to anyone, and so people in general just assume I am ill or not feeling well. — Isiaiel

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4. For those of you whose parents have found out that you are (or “think” you are, as they may view it) a vampire, what did they do? How did you deal with that?

My parents haven’t found out. I try to make sure I keep my tracks erased. — Noire Fleur

I said to them that I was better and it was just a phase and made sure to be a bit perky when I was around them. — wolf child of the moon

My mom didn’t really care. I am already weird with the Wiccan thing. — CrystalMoon103102

N/A, but I think they’d be concerned and would simply watch out for me to make sure I didn’t harm myself… Or call me crazy. Likely both. Most likely, unless I did something drastic or blatant they’d ignore it in action, and simply be concerned about how I’m thinking. — seraphictorture

About as calmly and rationally as I dealt with being gay. I told my aunt who’s a therapist and she told mom… As for dad, he’s a bright dude; he’ll get over it. — geekvamp

Hasn’t happened yet…..thankfully. I’m not sure I could deal with my parents trying to understand it right now, since I’m still trying to understand it myself. — surrealaurora

They haven’t said anything so I haven’t said anything… I hate not knowing if they know… — PsiPrincess Fullmoon

They think that I think I am. My mother yelled and bitched at me for almost an hour. She threatened to take me to a shrink. I did not come right out and tell her…she just walked in and saw the site I was on and started to add things up. She also got a hold of my folder with tips on how to deal with the Thirst. That did not go well. — demoness08

N/A. The friends who I have told are supportive and say that it makes a LOT of sense to them that I am what I am. :0 — Isiaiel

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5. Have you had a friend “out” you at school or to your other friends? How did you deal with that?

Yup. The girl actually wouldn’t have told… but her mom was listening in on the phone (dot!). Her mom reported me to the school counselor. I told him that I was dared by a friend to make the girl believe I was a vampire, but that the friend’s mom must have taken it too seriously. Then the counselor and I started talking about college and all. I mentioned that I was thinking of going to Duke. He said, “Wow. That’s a place that Dracula would live.” Very slowly and condescendingly I said, “You know Dracula isn’t… real… right?” He’s never bugged me again. — Day

Yep.. I simply laughed and sarcastically started agreeing with them. You’ll be surprised how easily it is to humiliate someone who thinks you’re a vampire.. — Jarryd

I laughed, rolled my eyes and said, “Yes, I’m a night walking vampire that will burn to dust in the sun!”. *holds arm in sun light* “See!” — wolf child of the moon

I haven’t yet, but if my vamp friends aren’t more careful they will be “outed.” They’ve actually fed at school events. Fortunately we hang with a fairly easygoing bunch; if they were told that we were vampires, we’d explain that we just like the taste of blood, and they’d be like “whatever” and move on. (When I say “we”, I don’t really include myself, but my blood vampire friends — although I do feed when I’m with them and someone opens up a cut; it’s just from my psychic connection to my blood vamp friend and a liking for the taste, so I’m kind of like a social feeder.) — Griffaquin

Nah. I don’t have many friends, I’m a loner really. And no one knows about it. One of my close online friends (whose awakening I assisted) knows, and occasionally might let something slip, but my other friends are too skeptical and would probably think it’s an in-joke. — seraphictorture

As I said none of my friends know so therefore they can’t really out me, but even if they did know and I told them to keep it quiet they would. I trust them and they trust me. — NiTeVaMpGiRl

I’ve had a couple of people make a big deal about it. For me, staying as close to the truth worked the best. I never denied anything, but I was extremely sarcastic with how I answered. Sarcasm is a wonderful thing. I get called “the creepy vampire chick” a lot now as a joke. It gets rough sometimes, though, when my friends are joking around. Occasionally I get the urge to just scream at them that I’m not kidding. I’ve only told two people. One freaked out and now refuses to talk to me. The other is just extremely weirded out. — DisgustedLife

Nope. Everyone was too busy trying to put me in hospital to care about my social life. As for my friends, they’re few and they’re trust worthy; besides, I have enough dirt on them all to bury them if they try it. 🙂 — Malcaius

As for “friends”/acquaintances, this is a part of my life they don’t need to know, and I’m not comfortable telling them. — Bloody Kisses

Yeah, I did the whole, “Yeah, I’m a vampire… I drink blood and turn into bats” thing. Basically making it sound too fictional to have any truth. — Icer Rose

I have two friends that know, and they’ve never said anything and I doubt they ever would. — zuny

Yes. A LOT of people got hurt. End of story. — angelus cretus deus

Most of my friends wouldn’t take me seriously, but my best friends would understand. — X Mai

No one’s outed me, but to be honest I have tried dropping hints to my closest friends, but not any hints you can jump to conclusions over… — pagandragon

As for friends, well, I have couple that know but they are smart enough to know 1.) if they do tell someone else, they won’t have any believers, and 2.) I would tear them apart limb by limb. So basically they keep their mouths shut for the most part. I have kept my vampirism mostly a secret. I only told my friends to warn them in case I ever had any behavior episodes at school where I lose my control. — jimbok

I have done my best to only tell people I trust with my life, and so far nothing but a joke or two, and a sly smile have gone on; no-one’s any wiser. And in any case, there’s plenty of kids that have roleplaying vampire obsessions. Should something happen, I’ll become one of those to the ignorant. — crimsonwrithe

I’ve had a few friends “notice” things, but usually I just play it off. It’s easier to just laugh with them and not make a big deal out of it. — surrealaurora

Of course I have, not for being a vampire (because they don’t know), but just for being creepy, and making the group feel down for no reason. (I’m a mix between a Psi and a sang, so I call myself a psi-sanguinarian.) — Newlyawakened

No, because I have never told anyone for they would think I was Goth or that I was a freak and they would not understand anything about this. For I would say that it is better to keep this private from them. — Volorian

Due my severe aversion to the sun, and the fact that I always wear sunglasses and sunblock and am pretty pale, I get a lot of vampire jokes and things like these. One of my friends is one of us, so she knows, but she has never outed me before. If she does, I will be severely upset at her. But no, that hasn’t happened before. Hope that doesn’t happen either…ack. — Vashaneh

No friends know about it yet, but my brother tried to tell everyone. I silenced him very quickly and got to the people he told and said it was all a sick and very twisted practical joke on him. — Zurala

If I can help it none of them ever will. They would all have nothing to do with me. Almost all of my friends are goody/goody little Christians (I can’t stand it… That’s all that there is in this hellhole of a town) and they would desert me in a heartbeat. Then they would go and tell the people at the church they attend and I would be up @#%$ creek without a paddle. LOL. I keep it on the low. I did start to go blood crazy at my friends party though and everyone thought there was something wrong with me… My friend Ashley cut her foot on a piece of glass and and she was crying and she came over to me and held up her foot. She stuck it right in my face (talk about temptation!). I could not help what I did. I just stuck my finger to it and wiped the blood onto my finger and licked it off. My friend snatched away her foot and everyone gave me this look that was like…horrible. — demoness08

At school, I’m the model student. I get straight A’s in all my classes, I’m involved in every aspect of the band program (yes, I’m a band dork), and I’m vice-president of the FCA. Or… I was. I didn’t start to experience the awakening until the very end of last school year. My grades didn’t suffer at all because I actually had more time to study, while I was awake at night. So my teachers didn’t notice anything. My friends would comment about how I looked sick, or tired all the time, but I just blamed that on the stress of everything going on in band and finals. I’m really glad for the summer, because it’s giving me a chance to sort myself out and come up with a plan to deal with everyone next school year. After that, it’s college, and a fresh start. I feel really awful hiding this from all my friends and family, but what else am I supposed to do? — beastofeve

No. Only one of my friends at school knows. If she told people I have no idea what I would do… — Isiaiel

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I’m the founder/creator/page slave of Sanguinarius.org. I’m in my early-to-mid 40s. I have 2 special kitties and a good man.

More info later.

See my website, Sangi’s Corner, for more about me.

Sanguinarius E. Sanguinarius – who has written posts on Sanguinarius.org for Real Vampires.


About Sanguinarius E. Sanguinarius

I’m the founder/creator/page slave of Sanguinarius.org. I’m in my early-to-mid 40s. I have 2 special kitties and a good man. More info later. See my website, Sangi’s Corner, for more about me.
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