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These are terms you will hear often in the vampire community. I’ll try to define them here to the best of my ability.
This term is derived from the belief that one can be made into a vampire, or be “turned”. Most, if not all, true vampires scoff at this idea. While role-players and movie buffs have clung to the belief that they can become vampires through being bitten, consuming the blood of a vampire or other methods, it is simply not true according to the great majority of practicing vampires. It is the generally held belief that one is born a vampire, and cannot be turned or made by any means. You either have “the hunger” or you don’t.
Dressing in black or carelessly feeding on blood does not a vampire make. It is something we have within us that makes us what we are; it cannot be given or taken away. If you ask someone you think to be a vampire to “turn” you, do not expect a pleasant or polite response. You may get lucky and encounter someone with the patience and experience to set you down and tell you the error of your thoughts, but most likely you will be scoffed at, mocked, and/or labeled a “wanna-be”.
Becoming and Awakening
These are terms used to define the state of realizing, or coming to terms with the fact that one is a vampire. Of these terms, Awakening seems to be the one most preferred. Awakening can happen at any time, but is generally experienced during or after puberty, but is sometimes not experienced until later in life. Awakening is usually when you first realize that you are different, or that there is something more to life than what you thought you knew.
There are some signs typically associated with awakening, but they do not necessarily indicate vampirism. The symptoms include, but are not limited to, increased sensory sensitivity, such as heightened hearing, smell or sight, including night vision. Many vampires experience sensitivity to and increased awareness of sounds, sights and light. It is quite common for one to notice an aversion or sensitivity to sunlight, a need to shield one’s eyes from the sun, and burning easily with minimal sun exposure. One may also notice mood swings, depression, and heightened psychic capabilities, particularly empathy, or the sharing/feeling of other’s emotions. Insomnia and increased strength may also be seen. These can be attributed to normal biological changes depending on when they occur, but they could also mean more.
If you’re experiencing these things, don’t read too much into it until you know all the facts. You are the only one that can decide whether or not you are a vampire. While others may be able to assist you in your decision, in the end it is up to what you feel in your heart and soul as to what you are. Do not allow yourself to be defined by others, you know yourself better than anyone.
As for the term of “becoming”, I can’t say too much about that. While some use it interchangeably with awakening, some consider “becoming” as the point when you actively pursue your nature and the life of a vampire, whatever that may mean to you. It may mean blood feeding, psi-feeding, taking on a nocturnal habit, or any number of other things. I will leave the definition of this up to you.