The Rusted Hulk.

We all have darkness in our souls. I often wonder if that’s what the ancient Egyptians meant when they talked about the isfet that can infest a person’s heart. Maybe it was the darkness that can infect the soul and overtake it with bitterness, rage, and screams of futility. I don’t know if that’s really what they meant. I probably will never know unless I ask someone more knowledgeable and willing to teach me the tricks of that particular trade. On the days when I am more in tune with that darkness in my soul, I think about isfet and how you’re supposed to correct it so that you’re living in ma’at. I don’t have an answer for that, either.

Maybe one day I will, but today is not that day.

When I started this most recent batch of shadow work, I knew how it would end. Technically, it’s ended and the outcome is what I had predicted. The thing about me is that I’m predictable. I know myself well enough to know what the bottom line is, at least as far as I am concerned. I knew I would come out of it more wounded than I have been in a long time; hurt and alone; angry and sad. I am all of these things. The bitterness that I washed myself in for weeks is over now; it’s simple a mixture of sadness and regret, horror and pain.

Yesterday, when I was looking at the newness of myself after this most recent work, I saw myself as a rusted out hulk. I was like one of those old metal jungle gyms, shaped into a rectangle or square. The bars had broken due to years of disuse and were rusted, daring anyone who touched them with their threat of tetanus. I felt as though someone had taken a melon baller and ripped out my insides, dumping them for someone else to have. Nothing could fill me but sand and the darkness of my own soul. I still feel empty and yet, I also feel as if I’m still bleeding.

I am raw with it.

When I started down this particular brutal path, knowing what the ending would be, I asked others what I should do here. There was talk amongst my most trusted advisers and someone said that I should write about it. I write about it all often enough, but how many entries have I started about this particular batch of pain and suffering only to delete the thousands of words strung together? How many new entries had I written in my head, demanding that I release this all into the atmosphere because if I didn’t, I would end up drowning in the minutiae of the suffering that I had forced myself into? How many times have I heard a keening wail shouting throughout the darkened corner of my mind, unable to release and vent the anguish I was going through?

I bought a journal; I write in it sometimes. Most of my entries are nonsense. I don’t know if they’re particular prose like, but they’re raw… just like me.

In an attempt to wrest control from what’s happening around me, I assure myself that I am simply depressed. It’s just that time of the year and things have been rocketing out of control around me for the last few weeks. It’s only normal to feel like crying because you don’t like what dinner is. It’s only normal to feel as if the world is ending around you, but everyone keeps moving around as though they don’t sense it. It’s normal to feel as if everyone can see deep into your core and know that you are damaged and broken. It’s normal to be depressed because it’s just that time of year and it’s been so long since I’ve really sunk into a deep depressive phase anyway.

But I have to admit that I can tell myself anything I want to; it doesn’t necessarily mean it is true.

When the world around me, or rather deep within me, is full of isfet, I try not to look at it. Poking at it will only uncoil the snake that’s roosted itself within me and make it destroy me as thoroughly as Set kills A/poop each morning. Only in my particular case, I won’t be revisited the next morning and the next: it’s a one-time destruction and there will be no attempts; it just would be. Once the flames are out, I will be nothing but the rusted out hulk I’ve metaphorically announced myself as, my insides scooped out with that proverbial melon baller.

Maybe that’s why the ancient Egyptians really feared that particular serpent. It wasn’t so much the unmaking of the world that they feared but the unmaking of the veneer they had slathered over themselves to make it easier to live with the consequences of their realities.

I suppose you could say this particular batch of shadow work has made me a bit maudlin. Understatement of the fucking year.

I was pretty sure that I knew who I was and what things were going to be like before I started this little adventure. I just knew that this and this and this would be my life. I’m a complacent motherfucker; as much as I talk about all the things people need to do in order to stand up for themselves, I am that asshole that will only stand up for myself when I’m backed into a corner and have no choice any longer.

I stayed with my ex-husband for nearly seven years, not out of any other reason than because I always whispered to myself in the dark of the night that I could leave whenever I wanted if I so desired to do it. And it wasn’t until I was backed into a corner, knowing full well how this could and would turn out if I didn’t fucking do something… It was only then that the inner sense of self-preservation kicked in and I burned my house to the motherfucking ground, laughing while I did so.

(Metaphorically speaking. Please, no one think that I’m a pyro or something.)

As I was forced to look at myself form each new discovered angle, I found more within me than I had ever thought possible. And as I looked at myself in that mirror of shadow work, the bit that makes you stare so deeply into yourself that you can memorize the road map of where you’ve been and where you’re heading, I found myself horrified that I didn’t really know myself at all. Everything I thought I knew about who I am and what I wanted was thrown out the window with hardly a second thought. There was no laughter and no self-preservation here. I was forced to look at myself and all I found was a gaping, bleeding wound that just won’t fucking quit.

I don’t know if that’s the worst part or the best part about shadow work: in the aftermath, you only then realize how much you thought you knew and how much you didn’t know at all.

I keep trying to figure out how all of this works out in the end. I knew what the end result of this particular little adventure was going to be: I knew I would come out of it more wounded than I have been in a long time; hurt and alone; angry and sad. I am all of these things. The bitterness that I washed myself in for weeks is over now; it’s simple a mixture of sadness and regret, horror and pain. I am all of these things and I am more because there were parts of myself that I didn’t know and had no clue how they would merit in the end game. I knew I would be all of the above things but I’m more than that.

Chernobyl's Atomic Legacy  Explore #8

Chernobyl's Atomic Legacy # 8 via Flickr

I keep coming back to that image of a rusted out hulk, left forgotten and hollowed out into nothingness. I keep thinking of all those hours I’ve spent, looking at what has since become of Pripyat, the city that housed Chernobyl and its subsequent atomic disaster. I feel like the physical reminder of those images of a place forgotten. There is mystique in that place, something that I don’t have. But the images, the intensity of those images, fills me with something that makes me feel like we are kindred spirits, Pripyat and I. We are both on the same fucking page: lost to the annals of history, a minor footnote in the future that’s to come and the thousands of years that have since past.

I keep trying not to be fucking prosaic with all of this; legit. I keep falling into patterns that end up in that written fucking journal I talked about above. That white notebook that I keep hidden from the world in my purse, waiting for the spare moment when I can jot a few notes down and look them over later. I wrote the truth in that little beauty yesterday and I felt destroyed all over again for the truth of the words I used. I wanted to do nothing more than sit and stare, but the world keeps knocking even when I feel like I’ve been hollowed out and used up.

This week, while I tried to handle all of this with no one to talk to, I kept coming back to this entry that Devo wrote last year, around this time. I have come back to it a few times since she wrote it, but it’s been in the last few weeks that it’s made the most sense. She talks about burning her house down in that entry, something that I can appreciate and understand the reasoning for. While I don’t think burning down my house is particularly what I need to do, I know that I need to do something more than just writing in that white little notebook, hoping that someone will recognize that I am hurting and need help.

Help that, let’s face it, I would probably refuse to take because that’s just who I am: dichotomous and hypocritical, that’s me.

How many times has someone posted somewhere that they’re available if I need to talk and I ignore it? How many times have I received private message from people asking if I’m okay and I brush it off? It’s easy enough because they’re people I only know through the power of the Internet, so I don’t technically have to respond. I can ignore it and then the pain that I am living with isn’t real because no one in my reality actually sees how much I’m hurting.

What’s even worse is that I don’t know if it’s just the shadow work that makes me hurt or if it’s the conscious decisions I’ve made in relation to it. I decided on something clearly – I drew more than just a line in the sand, I fucking blew that sand up like I was the demolitions expert to the stars. There it is, I told myself, after doing it. I made a clear and concise decision. And I’ve been in the middle of my pain-filled world since then. I don’t know if it’s the buried truths of who I am that this shadow work has made me face or if it’s the simple fact that I’ve cut myself off to the point where it feels like half of my soul is missing. I am lost and alone, now, and it’s because I thought I was doing what was in my best interest.

I am so miserable that I want to scream for it. I want to sit in the bathroom, surrounded by the darkness both within my soul and in the room, crying while listening to the most depressing music you can possibly imagine. (I’ve been listening to something by Lana Del Ray on endless repeat for writing this entry. I’m sure she’s one of those singers that I shouldn’t like because she’s done something terrible and ageist or sexist or genderist or whatever, but the song man… The song speaks to that open wound within me and I can’t stop.)

On days like today where I can’t hide how much it hurts, I think about the darkness that festers in my soul and how best to scrub myself from it. Or maybe, the whole point in this is that it is part of the cycle of ma’at with its shades of gray and I have to learn to live with this portion of the isfet in my life. On days like today, I wonder at the isfet that infected my heart and whether or not it will damn me or be my salvation.

But truly, on days like today, I want nothing more than to have someone hold me tenderly as if I’m made of glass and even the hint of a breath in my direction will destroy me utterly and they know this instinctually and they don’t care so long as I’m not alone on a day like today.

Do Not Procrastinate Or You Will Suffer the Consequences.

I’ve been pretty busy on the mundane front lately. I have had a lot of things to get done with this ever-looming (if slightly imaginary) gong heading towards me. I had to find a job. I had to get Christmas all settled. I had to get certain rants out of my system. I had to do a lot of things that just… you know, were there and needed to be dealt with before I could get into anything further. The thing is that even while I’m busy putting off the big stuff – posting about it, more or less – that doesn’t mean that the minor set up isn’t going on in the background. However, I got my ass handed to me this weekend regarding my “need to be mundane for a while” procrastination front.

The lesson: don’t put this shit off or else the consequences will be dire.

One of the things I’ve been heavily ignoring is that I’m not quite finished with the ex-husband stuff. I like to think that I am, but I’m legitimately not. As far as I can tell in the astral travels with Hekate, we’re nearing the end of our tumultuous and excessively many past lives together. The most recent escapades in the astral have been heavily blocked from my conscious mind, per my request, because these are the hardest lives. These are the lives where we tied our souls together; the ones with children; the ones where death together or at the hands of one another have happened. These are all the lives that we’ve been building up to while we traverse through the so many, many times we’ve tried and completely failed. And no, I’m not joking; we have entirely failed in whatever endeavors we initially set our souls up for, which is why this whole destruction of our connection? It’s fucking happening.

The thing is that while I’ve worked through a lot of this-life issues and I’m integrating the lessons and pains from my past lives into the essence of my soul, there is still a lot of baggage to work through. I’ve been ignoring that baggage in lieu of the other more real, more now items I’ve had to contend with in the last month. I’ve also been ignoring it in regards to things with the Christian friend that I’ve never said and have always wanted to. I’ve been ignoring all of this baggage from this life and it really isn’t a good idea. I finally figured out why that’s not a good idea.

After last week’s dream sequence featuring the ex-husband, I kind of knew I had to get into gear. I had at least one more dream featuring the ex-husband ruining my life or chasing me around to ruin my life. After a lot of talk with Devo about things, we talked about me doing a full-fledge cord-cutting rite. It sounded like a good idea. I had some prep I had to do prior to getting that done, however; I have to write the TERRIBLE, AWFUL, PAINFUL entry that I’ve been hoping I could get around and not write. So, I put off the writing of that entry and fell into a funk on Friday. It was a deep funk and completely unwarranted; things have been looking up… ish… the last few days, so what the fuck?

I ignored the funk.

I decided I would just let the weekend go by and work on the entry when I felt ready. Of course, the thing about “feeling ready” is that it doesn’t happen when you’re in a deep, painful depression. I just thought it was maybe a hint of SAD or something that was getting me, at first. And then yesterday, I received a message from the Sister about her dream in which the ex-husband gave my son an entire bowl of her Lamictol to munch on just because he could. (We don’t know the reason because she killed him a lot before he was able to explain. And it’s not like an explanation was necessary, anyway.) I thought that was weird; my best friend was dreaming about my ex-husband in relation to dreams I had had earlier in the week? Oh, how strange is that.

And I renewed my silent (and possibly ignored) vow that I would write that really awful entry so I could get down with the cord-cutting.

Last night, I was in such a blue funk that I had some suicidal ideation. I was watching a movie that brought this about, sort of, so I ignored it. I figured I was just having a brief moment of complete downward spiral. I have a job that I’m starting on Wednesday and a shit-ton of chores on a never-ending to-do list to get done today. I ignored the depression, the suicidal moment, and just went on with my evening. Until I’m sitting around on Tumblr some time later and I watched, in my head, as I hung myself from the hook above the light in my dining room.

Whoa now.

Houston, we have a motherfucking problem of epic fucking proportions.

I went running into my son’s room for some snuggles and the feeling eventually faded, as did the imagery itself.

I have to take a second out here and explain that suicidal thoughts are just not me. I haven’t had a serious suicidal thought since I was a teenager. I’ve long since stopped my love affair with death and dying, which is what I tended to view my suicidal feelings as. Even with all of the horrific, awful things that the ex-husband had done to me, I never wanted to die; I wanted to run away. With the Sister has my best friend and having gone through, with her, her suicide attempts as well as knowing her back story… I would never ever fucking do that to my son. Upset beyond all measure, I made a slightly incoherent plea on Tumblr about all of this.

There was no way these thoughts were mine.

I thought that, maybe, during one of my astral shenans a slug of some sort got stuck on me. I don’t know where this thought came from, specifically, or what I even mean by the “slug” thing. All I know is that I pondered about whether it was possible that something had attached itself to me and was feeding off of me, implanting these awful thoughts. Considering all of the protective measures I take, I soon jettisoned this theory. I don’t even know how to describe all of my protective measure, in all honesty, without being more specific than I am allowed to be. Suffice it to say, I’m very careful. Not to mention, I never think that Hekate would allow such a thing to happen to me. Perhaps if I went journeying on my own, then she would allow it. But together? No.

It was recommended that I do some purifying.

I ended up doing this. And I immediately felt better after the shower. It never ceases to amaze me how certain rituals will really just make someone feel better. I don’t do a lot of them, minus mental and physical execrations. So, the reminder that I go and purify was duly noted for the next time something of this magnitude pops up. And really, I need to etch it fully into my mind so that I’m not a complete idiot next time.

Oh, so. You probably want to know what happened, right?

If it isn’t already obvious, it’s been the act of putting off that got me into trouble here. A part of my subconscious mind doesn’t want the tie to break. I think this is just the usual “used to something” feelings that people get, but on a soul level. I really can’t comment on how many lives I have shared with this particular soul. And while I’ve shared lives with other souls – TH and the Christian friend, for instance – the ex-husband’s soul and mine have predominated most of my past life living. How is that for kind of shitty? My subconscious, which is where I believe part of the soul resides, has been acting up in a way to prevent the tie from being cut. And my body is reacting to it with illness, my emotions with depression, and my mind with physical representations of what I would do if I have to continue this tie with him.

This is some fucked up shit, man.

I cannot stress it enough. If you are tied on a soul level with someone, please destroy that tie. You never know how bad things can possibly get. And when you have so many lives to work through coupled with the burdens of day-to-day living and the this-life shit to maneuver through… it’s just not worth it. Take it from someone who absolutely knows how terrible this whole experience can be. These types of things can possibly work out for the better, but that’s not always the case. And from how horrific our lives have been in the past and this one… just please destroy that tie so that you don’t have to go through something like I am in this life or in the next.

Our Wants and Desires Don’t Figure Into This.

I’ve been having a bit of a personal depression session the last few days. Since my last post, and the commentary between both TH and I regarding it, I’ve just said, “fuck it.” It wasn’t even a big “fuck it,” but a minor one. I couldn’t articulate what I was feeling or why I was feeling it, otherwise I probably would have written about it. It seemed that whenever I was trying to puzzle it all out, something would come up or I would end up falling asleep or I would live in a quiet place in my head. It didn’t really matter. The point was that I didn’t actually want to know what was causing my “fuck it” attitude. It was there; it was going to stay.

In my big “fuck it” attitude, I’ve been staying away from all aspects of my altars. I won’t look at them. I won’t clean them. I haven’t removed any offerings. I haven’t done a damn thing with them. I don’t want to be bothered with any of it at this point. It’s not a lack of belief or a crisis of faith, but just a simple feeling that I’ve been eating, sleeping, breathing, dreaming, loving, and hating it all long enough where a break was necessary. I needed time off to figure things out. I need a quiet time long enough to decide what the next step happened to be. But, you know, I’m constantly reminded that “wants and desires don’t figure into this.” I may have a need for a quiet time, but the OTHERS™ I work with have another thought on that. In other words, Hekate started bothering me up a storm and no matter what I wanted to do – sit around, watch television, and not be bothered – she wouldn’t leave me alone.

Sit down with me, she was saying. I have a big message for you. I finally, angrily, submitted because I just wanted to get her off of my back. None of my usual trappings went into all of this. I didn’t light a candle. I didn’t light the Christmas lights over the altar. I didn’t sweep away some of the detritus from the bouquet of flowers I bought her for the new moon. I didn’t do anything except sit down, belligerently, and demand to know what the fuck she wanted. I pulled three cards and you know what they said? Get your head out of your ass. I slammed the cards away and threw my hands in the air. I said, quiet literally, “Fuck that shit; no. If my head is in my ass, it’ll be in my fucking ass.” Not quite poetic, even a little amusing, but I was angry with her “big” message. That was it? That was all? And as Devo reminded me earlier that day, this is me.

Yes. I do this at least once a week.

Yes. I do this at least once a week.

I blew off some steam about it and decided that maybe I should sit down with her. But, you know? The answers she had to give me had nothing to do with the initial cause of my being angry with all of this. None of this had anything to do with anything except the Big Thing that keeps poking into my life with little hints and fucked up shit. That’s what she wanted to tell me about, but I didn’t want to know about any of that shit. I just wanted to have someone to let out and cry to. She evidently wasn’t going to let me do that. So, I threw my hands into the air, put her divination tools away, and just flopped onto the couch for a while.

I started talking to Dee about all of this. And that’s when it really crystallized what was going on inside my head and my heart. It wasn’t that I was angry, in so much, with Hekate. It was that I don’t want this. I want to work on my shadow elements and whatnot; I want to become whole again. However, I don’t want all of this bullshit trappings that go with it. I remember the quiet days when it was just me and my Egyptian ladies, palling around. I had a lot of hard times during those months; I won’t lie. But it was easier. I understood them and I knew what it was that was wanted from me. It was easier. And I was so angry with Hekate and Papa Legba that all of these non-Kemetic trappings were happening.

I want to be a Kemetic, in other words.

But, again, my words always get thrown back at me because I’m actually really good at figuring things out quickly and I just forget my own message a lot.

Our wants and desires don’t figure into this.

I left it alone. I was doing much better with Dee’s advice the next day. In effect, she told me to get the fuck into the boat and quit whining about it. L had her own words of wisdom on it, too. She told me that I had better get in the motherfucking boat and quit whining about it and I had better start paddling before demons start to eat up my paddles. So, I started paddling. I got into the boat, with a lot of grumbling, and I started to paddle. But, I got some other fucking news yesterday that was pretty fucked up and made me angry all over again. It was part and parcel, but it also had little to do with it. But it made me so very angry all over again.

I stopped paddling.

So, last night, I went to take off my bracelet to Papa Legba before bed. I had been wearing my religious jewelry all day, feeling all connected and shit until the terrible news happened. The bracelet would not come off. I couldn’t grab the string that released the catch from the shells. It wouldn’t come off. I decided to just leave it there instead of breaking it to get it off; it wasn’t worth it. I also figured that it was time Papa Legba came into my dreams again. The last time he did, we went dancing to blow off some awesome steam. This time, there was no dancing. There was a lot of fucking arguing, though.

Before bed, in a fit, I went into rave-mode. I just began to unleash all of my steam at him and Hekate both.

“What the hell is the matter with you two? Isn’t part of your job supposed to be to help me out as well as to take care of me? If I’m fucking homeless, how am I supposed to do anything for you? Or is that the new big lesson you have in mind? You want me homeless, living out of a fucking car? I am done. I am so fucking done. I am beyond done with the two of you. No more offerings. No more booze. No more coffee. No more flowers. No more chocolate. No more little gifts. No more motherfucking nothing because I’ve fucking had it with your uselessness. You expect me to bend over backwards for you, but what are you doing for me?”

Apparently, Papa Legba had some feels on my rant because we argued for the rest of the night. I don’t even know what the hell we argued about, in all honesty, because I’m just not that grand at remembering our moments together. But, we fought about what I said and the offerings. We fought about what he was doing to “help” me. We fought about the Christian friend and that bullshit. We fought about the misconceptions of outsiders. We fought about offerings. We fought about everything. I remember, at one point, his desperation when he said something like, “You just can’t stop. You can’t.” I don’t know if the desperation had to do with the idea that I would stop working with him, cold-turkey, or if it was the thought of losing the offerings I provide.

I really don’t know.

It doesn’t matter.

This morning, I got up and I gave him his hot coffee. This afternoon, I will go out and buy him a small bottle of Cruzan because he really does enjoy it.

I guess I made a decision here.

I’ll keep fucking paddling because my wants and desires don’t figure into this.

Letters to the Gods: Sutekh.

Dear Sutekh,

I do not know you well. I’ve heard of you, of course; anyone in this line of religion will have at least once or twice. I know a couple of your kids and they talk highly of you. I should probably learn more about you before I do this, but I know how much you like people who just toss themselves into the middle of the wash cycle without looking around for the lifeguards. So.

The reason I’m writing is because it was implied, heavily, that I should look to you at this time in my life. You see, I’m kind of in need for some luck, good would be best. I’m at a crossroads, or more like, a precipice. And I hear from those kids of yours that you have a thing for cliff faces. I don’t mind going over and I know you’ll be there to toss me over if the need arises, but I’d like to know that I can count on you for the landing or maybe, just to hold my hand while I’m going down and to pack me a parachute… preferably, a real one since I know how much you love your jokes.

I really feel like I’m heavy this month. And it’s not like I’m just gaining too much weight, but that everything is sitting on my shoulders. I know why it’s all there – that’s the best place for the stress. But the thing is that I don’t know if I can handle all of the downers that will be heading my way. I know a lot of them will be coming. I’m no fool. I don’t expect instant gratification just because I’m looking to you – and a few others – for help during this troubling time. But, I do need some luck. I do need some help. And I need a shoulder to cry on. Those kids I was mentioning earlier? They keep telling me that your shoulders are wide enough for another head to lean again them.

So, here I am.

I’m sending this out into the universe, into the cosmos, to the indefatigable place that you inhabit when you aren’t playing around on the planet. I’m sending this out with the plea that I need help. I need a hand. I need some luck. I need somewhere to shed my tears. I just… need.