Some weeks ago, I lay down in the arms of a god and asked for his comfort. He had no comfort to give, or really, it was not the comfort I was seeking. I felt broken and shattered from the last workings on this ongoing path before me and all I wanted was a few moments of safety and solitude. I didn’t find any of that. I found a conversation that punched a hole in my shaky regeneration and I was told that while the conversation itself wasn’t important enough, the basis for it and the general lesson were. I was informed I had to internalize that lesson – let it become a part of me. It wouldn’t be my salvation but it would definitely make things a little easier at some point.
Some weeks before that conversation, I began being tested at work. My boss has this thing where she tests the hell out of you in preparation for a “management” position. She doesn’t call it management – she calls it the next step in the evolution. She says that financially, it will make up for all that she puts us through. I know, nominally, what she thinks a financial reparation is like and I have to admit that I am not wholly interested in this. But the testing began and it’s enveloped my entire waking being.
After the tests began, I snuggled into the arms of a god and asked for comfort that he could not give me. More painful truths were needed before I could become more than the rusted out hulk I thought I had become. I thought that I could begin to feather out and make whole that rusted out hulk, but I’m beginning to think that it isn’t simply a matter of returning to what I once was but changing the metamorphosis so that I become something new – something still me and something else as well. But the tests began at work and I have been consumed with the razor blade tap dancing those tests have forced upon me.
And truly, I have been consumed.
It has become so much that I end up dreaming about what sort of tests she may throw upon me next. When I am not dreaming about work, I am thinking about work. If I am not think about work, someone has asked me how work went that day and all I want to do is punch them in the face. I don’t because assault just because people wants to know what’s up with you sounds like a bad idea. But sometimes, I day dream about it because in a day dream, you can do anything. And I’ve been conveniently able to put that request, “think on this; internalize this; make this a new part of you,” to the back burner.
It’s so damn easy to put off the difficult to near-impossible personal tasks the gods ask of you if you have something more obvious directly in front of you.
That’s the thing about shadow work, though. You have to figure out how to balance it with your waking life. While you are broken and shattered and bleeding from the insides out, you also have to go to work to pay your bills and feed your pets and pretend to have friends. And all the while, you have to at least try to look like a real human being without the scary face smile that you want to wear when people ask you how you’re doing.
How the hell do you balance out pain so intense that you feel like your insides are on fire every waking moment with living your life? How in the fuck do you work on transmuting yourself into the next iteration of your regeneration with painful truths building you up just as everything else in the world around you goes crashing down around your ears? How in the world are you supposed to pretend to be okay when everything feels like you are dying inside and you can’t even remotely say the words out loud or in a text conversation with people who seem to give two shits about you because the pain will threaten to engulf you and destroy you if you voice it out loud?
How even, indeed.
The burning questions, I think, often go unanswered. How am I going to survive all these tests and still be me? How the fuck am I supposed to internalize something I don’t want to admit?
One of the reasons, I think, Sekhmet chose me is because I have a complex. Who doesn’t, really? But at the end of the day, I have this intense desire, intense need to fix things. Whether I am the cause of the damage or not, there is something that speaks to me that says I need to help, I need to fix. I don’t know if she’s really the fixing deity type, on the whole, but I think she has a thing for it. It was to her, after all, that the ancients prayed to when her Arrows were on the loose. I think, perhaps, she has a savior complex, too. It may be why a lot of her kids seem to come to her damaged in some way, looking for the way to become whole again.
I am, in case you were not aware, quite damaged.
I’m working on it, though.
After my conversation with Heru-Wer, I was able to ignore it. He lets me get away with that type of behavior. So, too, did Sekhmet. I think actually most of them do. They recognize that occasionally things are too harsh and painful to full integrate and work on in one fell swoop. My problem is that I like to be able to push the limits of any such time frames provided until I am ordered, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it must be completed. I don’t know if Heru-Wer will tell me forcefully that I need to stop dicking around like Sekhmet has in the past. I do know that I don’t really want to push this one out too far.
You see, it will only get worse the longer I put it off.
I know that; I recognize it. The thing about me pushing things out and ignoring them isn’t so much that I don’t want to do it. I have delusions that one day I will be whole and winsome, ready to face the world as what I should have been before the traumas started. The thing that I’ve come to recognize is that I will never be what I want; I can only be me with the traumas healed as scar tissue. They’ll always be there but probing at the unhealthy scar tissue of a trauma that was not dealt with… well, that shit fucking hurts.
I prolong it all because I don’t want to hurt and I know it’s going to hurt. The conversation left be feeling bereft and raw. It took me most of the day and well into the night and part of the next few days before I finally began feeling a little like my [broken] self again. There was less fire as the days passed by and the stabbing heartache of that conversation began to fade. And then things got ramped up at work and I was able to ignore it some more. I was prolonging the moment when I would have to rip off the Band-Aid, rip out the scar tissue, and start the surgery that I needed so that the next round of healing would be a lot less ugly and little easier.
Funny aside – I’ve been telling one of my friends that she needs to shit or get off the pot for months now. (Actually, more like years, but whatever.) That’s been the key phrase for all of our interactions. Isn’t it funny how I can just dish out exactly what I need to hear for everyone and sundry and then bitch and moan when they don’t take that fucking advice? Yeah, I have a complex all right – I’m complicatedly fucking hypocritical.
I’m an asshole like that.
These last few weeks have been a blissful trip in ignoring the reality in front of me. I stopped harping on the painful conversation and threw myself into my work, not as if I had a choice. It took over everything and left little else beyond a sallow-faced and tire-eyed woman. I had no energy to do anything besides read my book(s), watch mindless television, and not think about anything. It was actually kind of peaceful and restful.
I also recognized that it was bound to fall down around my ears at some point. And I also recognized that I would probably fight the falling down around my ears more if I actively did something about it all. Yesterday, I received the Tower card as my daily divination and I laughed because I got the point that the divination was trying to portray: not quite that everything was being destroyed actively, but if I didn’t get the fuck on it with it, then it would be. All right – message received loud and clear.
So I sat down in front of a puzzle and built a good portion of it yesterday while watching historical drama television on Netflix. And while I built the puzzle and traded wise cracks with TH about who was really doing the puzzle (we took turns) and who was better at putting pieces where they belong (I feel that I won because I was able to build the top third of the puzzle, which was difficult since it was all blended in colors), I thought about the conversation. Not the wording. Not the feelings left over from it. Not anything in specific, but the gist of what was voiced out loud.
I have a complex about saving people.
I can see it in my interactions with people and with my interactions with the gods. I admit it; I like to help other people. It’s not something I openly admit either to myself or to others often. But I like feeling useful and I enjoy knowing that I was able to provide something that gives people the ability to finally connect a puzzle piece they’ve been poking at for a while.
If I look back far enough, I can see the thread in many relationships. I think the first time was the Christian friend, but I’m not sure. Maybe it was a natural high or maybe it was just the moment epitomized and the complex was then born. I honestly don’t know, but since then, I’ve looked for the people who needed someone to save them. I’ve failed a lot of times in the attempt, but sometimes, I’ve been successful.
The problem is that I’ve watched in recent years as failure at the attempts have become more common place. The failure may not be in actuality – it may only be my interpretation of surrounding events. And that is why these things stay with me; because I feel as if I failed and my complex doesn’t take kindly to failure, perceived or otherwise.
Heru-Wer said to me, “It stays with you so much and it burns you so much and it kills you so much because you thought to yourself, ‘I can save this one wayward lamb,’ and you attempted it with whatever means you had at your disposal. But he did not want you to save him in this life or in any of the ones preceding it.
“Sometimes, the attempt is enough to make them save themselves, but sometimes, it is only another step on the path that will lead them to bigger horrors. You couldn’t save him because he didn’t want to be saved – not by you, anyhow. You must remember this, miw, and you must accept that sometimes this path is full of failures but you must release yourself from the guilt you fill yourself with if you are to stay alive.”
Part of the reason this still burns is because of my own failure and the guilt that the failure feeds. I can remember looking at him once and saying, “I will save him from himself,” and I started the building blocks of it. It was a firm foundation that I began with but when it came to the worst of the suffering he had undergone, both at his own behest and at the behest of others, I could not save him. And so I let our connection fester until I was forced to destroy it utterly lest I drown in my guilt and shame at having failed in the task I had unwisely or otherwise undertaken.
I grieved for the loss of him.
I grieved for the loss of the life we would have built together.
I grieved for many things when it became painfully obvious that I had to skedaddle or die.
I never grieved for my own failure and I never absolved myself of the guilt of that failure, even though you cannot force a horse to drink. I gave him firm foundations to build upon and maybe he did end up using them. I think he did because all signs – all information – seems to point to the fact that the foundation I had begun has been completed and is still in use to this day. My own foundation was tied to his and I had to rip it away, but he was able to keep on afterward. I was only able to fall over ass over tea kettle, rolling down the mountainside as the pain of my guilt shredded me wide open.
I have a complex, the savior one. And I failed in that attempt as I failed in other attempts that came afterward. I am eaten alive by my own guilt, feeling inadequate for the task. Not that it was ever, truly, my task to undertake but they let me try at least.
Some nights, I wake up and I can feel the shards of my guilt stabbing at me. I can never determine which bout of guilt it is that has woken me so, but I can hope that at least with the admission to this – this complex – that I can admit that I failed in what I had set out to do with that ex-bonded mate of mine. And maybe the shards of my guilt will stab at me a little less.