I have long days where I come home from work, sit down, and peruse Tumblr. Actually, I spend a lot of time perusing Tumblr. I end up trying to follow the threads of conversations that I miss throughout the day. I don’t tend to speak up regarding things a lot of the time because I can (and do) come off as fairly gruff. There are times where I actually mean to be that much of an asshole and other times when I really don’t. But, to be honest, a lot of the reason why I keep my trap shut is because I don’t necessarily agree with anyone who has weighed in on a hot topic and just don’t have the spoons to discuss it with anyone. But, there’s been this ongoing debate, jumping from highly intelligent to the overwhelmingly stupid, regarding the concept of the “godphone.” While I don’t deny that I have one or that having one is really all that it’s cracked up to be, I’m utterly mystified by some peoples’ views on those of us who have them. It’s like… sometimes, I feel like the people without see us as some trendy club or clique that gets into all the ritzy places without paying a cover charge and they seethe inwardly in jealousy.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole thing about having a godphone.
And you know, I have to tell you that it really isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
I don’t know if the reason why I think it’s horrible is the same as other people. And frankly, I don’t care if other people agree with me. I can tell you why I think it sucks the biggest, fattest, hairiest, old toe you ever laid your eyes on. I think it sucks because it makes me doubt my sanity every day. It’s not the interruptions on a daily basis by beings from elsewhere. It’s not the fact that I feel a need to do this thing and to do it right this second that makes this the worst thing imaginable. It has to do with the intense conversations that end up happening in whatever little space within me or outside of me (whichever) that makes me think I am one thousand percent insane. It’s like hearing voices or seeing things and no one else can verify these things and you are just trying to get through your really crappy, mediocre life and then it’s coupled with all this extra.
Every morning, in some capacity, I assure myself that I am delusional and making shit up.
And every night, I come home and I feel really badly for thinking that way.
Every morning, I tell myself that I won’t have any conversations with anyone or anything about anyone or anything.
And every night, I find myself a complete liar because I was so busy chatting it up with insert deity on my ride into work.
Every morning, in some capacity, I explain to myself that I am going to pray to the gods and not listen for a response.
And every night, I come home and cry because I failed whatever I have told myself and made me doubt my sanity that much more.
I remember the days when I wanted a godphone. I laugh to myself about them now. Those days when I was really new and just really wanted to hear my gods for once, for a single second. Those days weren’t all that long ago. I can remember despairing heavily about ever hearing them. I can remember the days when I stared at the computer screen, moodily, as I read forum entry after blog entry about people who could talk to their gods. I remember every aspect of that jealousy and how much it ate me raw. I used whatever I could in an effort to get through to my gods and to try and hear them. Part of the reason I have as many [currently] unused Tarot decks as I do now is because I needed them to try and get glimmers into what certain deities wanted. I don’t need them as much anymore, obviously, but I can still remember staring at the cards in frustration and angst while I hoped beyond hope that one day, I would hear something more than an intuitive thought or a feeling. I remember those days and frankly, I miss them a lot. I look back at those days and I think to myself now, what the fuck were you thinking?
As each day passes and I fail at something that I tell myself I’m going to do relating to the mythic godphone, I end up thinking back to those days from not that long ago. And I remember how it felt to just sit around and angst. I do the same thing now. Nothing has really changed with this magical “fix it” that I saw others having. In fact, I think that there are things that are worse now. I’m so sure that I’m delusional that I’ve seriously considered just committing myself into an institution. There are other days where I don’t say a damn word to anyone about anything for fear that they’ll suddenly see a message on my forehead that says, “CRAY-CRAY.”
But as I’ve sat around and read the posts of people with godphones and those without, I’ve come to conclude that maybe having one isn’t really all that great for other reasons too. The fact that we can listen and know what the gods want at any given moment can be kind of shitty sometimes. We know what they want and so we kind of lose the soft side we had to our religion, way back in the beginning. While there was a lot of crying and harrumphing in the beginning, as there is still some now, it felt like my religion was much more… pure, maybe, or at least interesting to me on some level because there was always something else around the corner. It was exhilarating because I never really knew if I was doing what the gods wanted. I hoped so and with each passing day that I wasn’t struck down with a crippling depression or a cripple fallow time then I knew I was doing something right, somewhere. Now, it’s not that I don’t get a fallow time but that I don’t even get a break. I get dreams, I get conversations, and I get fully bodied apparitions (I guess). I get the whole fucking you-be-crazy package. And with that package, things don’t feel as good anymore as they use to do.
I’ve thought, seriously, about shutting the whole fucking thing down. I turned it on, somehow, so maybe I could close the door?
I’ve read entries, though, where people have said that’s not a viable option. I believe it was Scylla who said that once you open that door up then there’s no way to shut it. I’m pretty sure I’m paraphrasing and I’m almost positive I’m doing a shitty job at that. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. But, I think back to those comments, not just from her but from others as well, and I think, “Well, why not? I can shut my front door and lock it. I could maybe do the same thing here.”
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the conversations I have on my ride into work with the gods. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the moments in the Lake of Fire with Sekhmet or the Duat with Anup or anything. Those times together are very nice and precious. But, I honestly worry that not only is this screwing with my head and with my sanity, but I’m also pretty sure it’s pushing my practice into a direction I don’t want to go. I’m not sure what the gods believe this is going to do for me. I don’t even really think that I want to know what all of this stuff is supposed to be doing for me. All I know is that I’m almost positive I don’t want to head in that direction anymore. With each new conversation, each new visit, each new godphone experience, I begin to fear a little bit more about what it all means and what the whole purpose is.
I got what I wanted way back when but I have to ask if it’s even worth it anymore.
Note: All lyrics for Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus can be found here.
The month of December went out quietly, thankfully. We had no further incidents together. I managed to pass my classes, as did the Sister, and we both made the Dean’s List. This was an achievement to me, at least, and I know it was for the Sister. I don’t recall if the ex-husband fully commented on my being on the Dean’s List, but I know he was pretty proud of the Sister. There she was, a girl who hadn’t gone back to school since high school, achieving the Dean’s List at her local community college. I think he felt that it wasn’t really a good achievement of mine, honestly, and that hurts. I was pretty proud of myself and after I told him and didn’t receive the reaction I wanted, I shut the fuck up about it. In fact, this is the first time I’ve mentioned it since then, so obviously, his lack of reaction did not do me any good.
The Sister and I were effectively housebound for January. We didn’t have any jobs. I had stopped going to my call center job the night of TH’s party. I had to work the next morning, but I just didn’t bother showing up. I told everyone I formally quit, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was too much with school and all of the stress from my ex-husband and our relationship. The Sister was able to procure me a job as super secretary at the Mentor Center in our school, though, because that was where she worked. I was effectively the right-hand man of the woman who ran the center. I would also be assisting with mentoring students and assisting the program in putting on events, but my official title was secretary. I enjoyed the job, overall.
TH spent a lot of time at our house, on the phone with us, or chatting online with us. He knew how we felt about being stuck in a house. And while I may or may not have told him exactly how my relationship with my ex was going – though he wasn’t dumb enough to not see how I was degenerating – he knew things weren’t going well. It was that month that, one night, a friend of mine asked if I could drive her to work at Big Y. And on a whim, after dropping her off three towns over, I called TH to meet me in a public place because I wasn’t ready to go home yet. And we sat in a Wal-Greens parking lot and just talked. I told him how things were pretty bad. I told him how I felt. And he just listened, with my car running and music on low, to everything I had to say. He was good like that.
This became a ritual for us. After the house was quiet, I would sneak off to Wal-Greens and just sit with TH, talking. I was gone for hours sometimes. Other times, since he would meet me at a halfway point with a Walgreen, I was gone for less time. It was a form of cheating, I think, on my ex-husband because I felt exceptionally guilty afterward. It was the emotional kind of cheating, but it was also giving me a base. I was able to recover, a bit, from the feeling of hopelessness and depression that was overwhelming me. And even though I had a therapist in whom I could trust with everything going on, I still held back. I was worried she would judge me for emotionally cheating on my husband, I think, but above all, I couldn’t help but wonder if she would tell him what I said. He found her through his insurance program at work.
As though the ex-husband was aware that I had long since grown unwilling to do anything with our marriage, he began to start harping on the two of us buying a house. His belief about that being what “married couples do,” was not the actual reason. I think this was his attempt at solidifying his hold on me further. If we owned our own home, then the Sister would no longer live with us and his hold on me would be complete. While I hate to ascribe the notion that he wanted to “do as adults do” and “grow up completely,” considering his behaviors prior to his suggesting this, I can’t help (now, as I did then) believe that he was doing this as a final attempt to fully push me completely under his sway. No longer would I be able to sneak out as capably to spend time with people who reminded me that I was a human being, too, and no longer would I have the assistance of the Sister to defuse the mounting tension and stress in my life.
I was terrified of the thought and dragged my heels accordingly.
My emotional state became very, very tenuous as the month of January went by. I began to worry that the reason things were so horrible with my marriage was because of things I had done as a youth. I was not a pious, virginal, sweet teenager. I did many things that I am, to this day, rather ashamed of. I said many, many things that came back to bite me in the ass in some form or another. As I tried to figure out why things were happening the way that they were, I began to believe in a Westernized [and incorrect] version of karma. I began to think of things as “you did this, so this is why this is happening.” It was not a very good frame of mind – never mind the fact that it didn’t even remotely convey what karma actually is. This should show that my frame of mind was more in line with blaming me, the victim, for what was going on in the house between my ex-husband and myself.
In a misguided effort to explain away my karma, I turned heavily towards divination.
I’m not saying that my turning towards divination was the wrong idea. It gave me solace in a mentally healthy way. However, the questions I was asking my Egyptian Pyramid Oracle were not the questions I should have been asking. I was worrying too much about the past and how it was intruding on my present and future. I should have paid more attention to the little things – the reading I gave to TH denoting that if and when he broke up with his girlfriend, he would sleep with her again; the reading I gave to the Sister in which I showed her that the world she was crafting would end; the readings that showed that the card I had once initiated as being that of my ex-husband (Djehuty) had changed dramatically (Sutekh).
Depression works in mysterious ways on everyone. To stave off her own round, the Sister spent nights with her ex Demon Boy. To stave off mine, as best I could, I played with my divination cards and spent an extraordinary amount of time with TH. To stave of his, the ex-husband stopped paying our bills, minus the car and the insurance, and bought useless things. We were all having a hard time of things.
Hey, girl, you know you drive me crazy
one look puts the rhythm in my hand.
Still I’ll never understand why you hang around
I see what’s going down.
Since TH, the Sister, and I were all having excessive amounts of issues to deal with and no one to coherently do so, we all turned to alcoholism. I have had massive amounts of drinking related issues previously, of which is slightly documented in these entries. But every night, I turned to a drink or six to make it so that I could get through another day. I know this isn’t healthy and I also know that I was incorrect in doing so. There are days, now, where the thought of drinking puts me off entirely. I drink still, but not nearly as often. I’ll have a drink here and there, responsibly, but back then? It didn’t matter. While the three of us were sitting in the kitchen or watching a movie in the living room, we all had drinks. The Sister’s were huge, half-and-half drinks; TH’s were usually about the same. I don’t remember if I poured massive amounts of alcohol into my mixers.
It doesn’t matter.
We all had demons that we couldn’t face for whatever reason and we chose childish behavior to deal with those demons.
There are days where I wonder if my ex-husband was even aware of how much drinking any of us did. He had to have been aware that I had begun drinking again. I didn’t exactly keep it hidden. But, I honestly can’t remember a time in which he said he was worried about it. Maybe he thought that by pushing us to buy our own house, it would go away? I honestly don’t know. If I had begun drinking again in Texas, without anyone around to diffuse the situation, he would have said something and it would have become another epic argument. However, while we were waiting for school to get started, he didn’t say anything to me. He made snide remarks about being immature but he never explicitly said what those remarks were about, so while I could chalk it up to some weird way of acknowledging my problem was back again, it probably had more to do with the general situation as opposed to this particular one.
One night, while the three of us were sitting at the kitchen table, my ex-husband was upstairs, but the Sister’s boyfriend was over. He had bought himself a fifth of whiskey because that’s what “men drink.” I made a joke about how I wasn’t allowed to have any whiskey – my high school friends had banned me from it. It’s a long story and it will probably be discussed in future shadow work entries, but I tend to be more of a tactless ass after drinking whiskey than usual. So, as a kind of dare, the Lumberjack gave me some whiskey. And that was really his big mistake.
That was the night I made a Lumberjack cry.
As I said, we were all sitting around the kitchen table. I had my Pyramid Oracle out, but I don’t think any of us were paying attention to the cards I was pulling. TH, the Sister, and I had been drinking vodka and diet Coke for a while by then. I would shuffle and pull out a card. Almost on a dare, the Lumberjack shared his whiskey with me. Considering the fact that I had a black out previously because of mixing types of alcohol together, it shows, to me, how very far gone I was at that point. I didn’t care if I had to be rushed to the hospital. I didn’t care if I didn’t remember huge chunks of my life. I didn’t care at all. And that, really, is what makes it so much worse when I drink whiskey. If I’m at that low of an ebb in my life where I will consciously drink some, then whatever bits of me still care will just magically dry up. And I stop caring.
It takes a while for whatever inner preservation or inner voice that prevents me from saying things to stop working. It takes a while for whiskey to do as it should. It doesn’t really matter if I’m excusing my behavior because of what I was drinking or if, as I strongly suspect, whiskey just lowers my fucks to the magic number 0. Either way, I’m not nice. And the Lumberjack was completely forewarned. As my mom always said, “Forewarned is forearmed.” However, not in his case because I don’t think he took my warnings seriously.
During all of this time, the Sister had been letting little things that irritated her about him drop between us. She’d mention a little thing here – “he breathes through his nose so loudly; why?” – and we’d laugh about it later. Then, she’d drop another hint – “our sex life is so boring” – and it was with this fuel. Under no uncertain terms did I explain to him that showering daily was good, that wearing plaid flannel shirts had gone out in the 80s, that missionary was not the only position in bed, that video gaming was a passion, not a lifestyle, and that breathing was a privilege and he should do it more quietly. I was… cruel. I was nasty. With all of the pent-up emotions regarding my ex-husband that I didn’t dare let out deep inside of me, I used that fuel to make a man cry for all the true items no one had ever said.
I think, at one point, my ex-husband finally came downstairs to protect the Lumberjack. The two of them were very buddy-buddy at that time. I shut down then. I went back to my cards and lost interest in making a man cry. Instead, I went back to trying to divine shit like why this was happening to me and where it was all coming from. I know now, of course, that everything that happened then was unavoidable. As with the loss of my job in August of 2011, it was fated. And that’s all the cards ever told me.
This was fated. /TW
Cover up with makeup in the mirror
tell yourself, it’s never gonna happen again
You cry alone and then he swears he loves you.
One of the things that I’ve tried to figure out the most was why I did half the shit I did during those hellish three months in 2007. I’ve sat around and pondered them to myself, often, and thought, Why did I do this? I’ve looked back often, and not just because of these entries, trying to ascertain what was going through my head at the time that I made X unchangeable decision and went with it. I’ve come to a few conclusions here. I don’t think I ever consciously made a decision to do a damn thing back then. I just went off gut instinct and survival. That’s all I was really trying to do – survive a really shitty fucking life – in the best way I knew how. Drinking offered solace because when the ex-husband wanted to fight, I was too fucked up to care anymore. It didn’t hurt so badly if I was numb, right? The next steps that I made to preserve a modicum of myself are less savory and possibly, I will be judged harshly for them. But there are things a person will do to stop the pain, to stop the horror that you don’t realize you would willingly do until you’re doing them.
It’s not an excuse; it’s just the truth.
Periodically, during that month where the Sister and I were housebound, I was able to take our car to do things. They were extremely rare moments, honestly. I wasn’t really allowed to touch the car that was in both of our names unless I had permission, which was why my midnight Wal-Greens outings with TH tended to not be announced in any form. We ignored the reality – the missing gas, the missing time, the fact that I was not home – on all ends. I’m sure the Sister deflected questions on my behalf, but she didn’t know a damn thing about what was going on between TH and I. She didn’t know that I was retaining a bit of my emotional self with my midnight chats with TH because I didn’t tell her where I was going or who I was with. The Sister can’t lie for shit. And knowing this, I sacrificed a bit of our friendship to save myself. I don’t blame her and I don’t hate her for it. She didn’t exactly tell me she was cheating on her boyfriend with ex Demon Boy (never mind because I would have reacted badly). We both harbored secrets from the other that neither one of us have harbored again or since.
We tell each other everything now.
I went up to New Hampshire and I took TH with me. It was nice. We were away from both of our terrible situations. We were away from everything. We spent the day singing songs and talking about things and enjoying a peace-filled day. We ended our day together with tentative kisses. I was the provocateur. I knew TH would never make the first move and I knew that I wanted to know what that was all about. I had come to terms with the idea of only ever kissing my ex-husband for the rest of my life, but I couldn’t let another second go without kissing him. I think we were listening to Metallica and we were in a Wal-Greens parking lot. (It’s a joke now.) And then I dropped him off at home and drove around for a while before going home.
I came home to the Sister screaming, “OH MY GOD,” in the computer alcove. I went running upstairs, dropping off my packages and my good humor in the kitchen. I ran upstairs – it was night – and demanded to know what the hell was going on. “He broke up with [name redacted] and now she’s threatening to commit suicide!” She was screaming. We had both advised he break up with his girlfriend for months and he had always politely listened to our advice without following it. My good mood was definitely gone. I felt guilty. I hadn’t taken into consideration what sort of effect our kissing would have on anyone. I had thought I could go home with a boost – someone else cared about me and not in a possessive, scary way – but I hadn’t realized what sort of thing I was causing in his life. I felt guilty. I fell to the floor, shocked. The Sister gave me a play-by-play of his conversation with [name redacted]. I was in shock all night and into the next morning.
Guilt swirled around me like a cloak. I was wearing it for cheating, emotionally and now physically, on my ex-husband. And I was wearing it because I broke up a couple that should have broken up a long time ago. Really, in either of those instances, I don’t think guilt should have played into anything.
School started up again, which gave the Sister and I a welcome reprieve from being housebound. We both enjoyed our schooling, truth be told. I guess we’re exceedingly odd people who are interested in what we wanted to major in. However, non-school problems kept cropping up. One night, while I was getting ready to go into our night class (History of Witchcraft) that TH, the Sister, and I were all taking together, I saw TW my rapist /TW walking by. And I froze. Internally, I froze but physically, I was off like a fucking shot. I went outside and ran around the building and I just about wanted to run all the way back to Texas and say fuck everything. There was a message here, of course, and the message people told me it was, well, that wasn’t right. The real message was “foreshadowing.”
I was going insane. I couldn’t think or feel properly at all unless I was near TH. The Sister helped to offset what my emotional responses to what they should have been. I had every right to freak out about the situation above, but I should have paid more attention.
The first time I slept with TH, I was happy. It was nice. It was different. It was like I could feel something and like, I wasn’t really an unwanted dishrag anymore. I felt… I didn’t feel whole. That’s not quite right. It was like things were smoothing out all of my rough edges. The pain that had been accompanying me for months was gone. I was all right for a while at least. It wasn’t like other moments where you first have sex with a significant other where you’re nervous about fucking up and then, after, you’re all embarrassed. It was just… it was nice. And I felt better for a while.
That very same night, the ex-husband did to me what he said he would never do to me. He had made joking comments of which I disapproved of. “Wifely duties,” was what he called it, but he had never traveled far enough outside of who he was as a person to do something like that to me. He knew how screwed up, still, I was because of the experiences I suffered in high school. And he knew that I was not a whole human being because of those experiences. He knew that Octobers were the worst. He knew that I still grew depressed about it. However, due to other experiences with rape victims, he seemed under this mistaken impression that my sexual anorexia was due to not having orgasms. What a laugh. It had nothing to do with the orgasm. It really didn’t have anything to do with flash backs, really. It was just… not something I cared to do.
So, he wheedled me. And he bothered me. I don’t know if he knew, somewhere deep inside, what had happened earlier that day. But, I told him no. I said I wasn’t in the mood. And he said that was always the case. I want to say that he held me down and I fought him valiantly. I want to tell people that I was able to scratch his face and hiss in anger at him as I fought him away from me, inevitably failing. But, I saw his face. I saw his face and the look on his face brooked no arguments. I never told him it was all right. I never agreed. I never said anything. I just lay there with tears in my eyes while emotions of what happened to me in high school swirled around me. “Wifely duties,” was exactly how he was seeing it in that moment. It wasn’t an act of forcing someone to do something they weren’t willing to do, to him. It was him just doing as a man in a married relationship is supposed to do in order to procreate and feel better about the world.
Afterward, I waited until he fell asleep, frozen on inside and on the outside. In a weird freak of emotion, I felt like I had cheated on TH somehow. What a laugh. But, that should explain how fucked up my world was then. My relationship, according to my insides, was actually with TH and I had to stomach a horrific situation in the mean time. When I knew he was asleep, I slipped downstairs and the Sister was on the computer. I had half a mind to tell her what the ex-husband had just done. I had half a mind to tell the world, but the words caught in my throat and I locked myself in the bathroom. I wouldn’t go to school the next day.
I took a shower very carefully. I know how it can be, after you’ve been raped, and the feeling of dirt being overwhelming. I remember those days where I would scrub myself with a stiff-bristled brush after I was raped in high school and I was careful not to follow that example. I locked the experience in a vault in my mind and wasn’t very surprised when I saw all the blood seeping from between my legs. It wasn’t that he had been rough, aside from the initial entering with no lubrication. He had torn me a bit because my body had resisted even while my mind shut down. Carefully, carefully, I took a warm shower – not super hot because that may have exacerbated my feelings – and I dressed in warm, bulky clothes to hide myself.
I slept on the couch that night.
I bled for a week. /TW
A pebble in the water makes a ripple effect
every action in this world will bear a consequence
If you wade around forever, you will surely drown
I see what’s going down.
I stopped sleeping, after a while. In a twist of fate that I cannot even convey, I began to have the worst possible dreams about my ex-husband. It was like my waking life wasn’t nightmare enough, so my mind had to make my sleeping life just as awful. In fact, the nightmares were worse. Without fail, the ex-husband would find out about my cheating or about some minor infarction or not know anything at all and he would kill me. He was always choking me to death. I think my mind chose this because he had a weird fascination with erotic asphyxiation that had been brought about because of a previous relationship (the “one who got away”). Even as I write this, I can still remember those dreams and the feeling of being unable to breathe when I woke up, clawing at my neck to get his hands off of me. What made it worse was the night he dreamed the exact same thing.
He woke up, crying and clutching at me. And I woke from another spate of choking nightmares to that. I flinched as he was trying to cuddle me to him, crying into my hair. I remember looking at the ceiling, not sure if I should say anything to him because I was sure that this was it. Instead, I asked him why he was crying and he told me back the dream I had just been having, verbatim. “And I killed you,” I remember him sobbing at me and that’s when I knew that this wasn’t some fucked up emotional response. This was real. There was a part of him that wanted to kill me and choke me to death.
On my old blog, I wrote about this. A very old friend who is extremely Christian said, “Symptomatic of occult involvement I’m afraid. I’ve seen it happen to a workmate.” At first, most rational people who scoff at such a statement, but I didn’t. I was long since far from rational at that point. But, while the Sister and I were very busy trying to figure out why my ex-husband had changed so dramatically since we moved in together in September, demons had come up. We had watched one work on her ex Demon Boy before. And while I wondered if it was possible if the demon in Demon Boy had brought reinforcements to infect my ex-husband, I don’t think so. I honestly don’t. I think the ex-husband invited something in at some point, knowing or otherwise, and this was what we had to deal with: the aftermath. This explained, clearly, why the Pyramid Oracle deck had gone from his card being the card of wisdom and guidance and positive male influence to chaos and the bringing of death.
It was around that time that the ex-husband changed completely for the worse. I guess I was the catalyst.
I was out, on one of our midnight chat sessions, with TH. I was in his car and he was telling me to run away. Both the Sister and TH, by this time, had only ever told me to get out, get out, run away, go back to Texas. But, I was honestly frightened of what he would do when he found out that I was gone. I knew he would attack the Sister. She had told him, previously, that she had back up in the form of her dad, her grandfather, her uncles, and her brother, but I was so frightened of my ex-husband that I didn’t think they’d be able to hold out against him. And I was worried what he would do to TH. I didn’t know his family or what they were like. I didn’t know anything about them except that they were people who lived in the same house with him. They had guns, I guess, but I didn’t think it was enough to stop him from doing something crazy to TH.
And he was a firefighter – part of the boy’s club. It was yet another problem that runs rampant in small towns with police, fire, and EMS. They get together and they can do no wrong. They all bleed the blood of men and women who are first responders. What I would have said, had I gone to the police, would have sounded crazy. And I think the ex-husband may have done that on purpose.
“Take money and stash it,” they said. My mom told me to get a duffel bag to bring my “essentials” with. I was told to get a throwaway cell phone so I wouldn’t have to rely on the ex-husband’s largesse to communicate with people he didn’t want me to. But, he would have found all those things if I had tried to hide it. Even if I had hidden it in the basement where I would never go, he would have found it. If he had the smallest inkling of what was going on, he would have found all the things I was hiding and it would have been worse for me, I think. If he really was possessed by a demon, it didn’t matter how good at lying and hiding I was – it would have found all my plans.
It was then that the ex-husband began to say, “I would let you divorce me, but then I’d have to kill you.” All in one breath. If he wasn’t saying that, then he was telling me what he would do to my friends, my dogs, my family if I went missing. I knew better than to run away.
So, anyway, that night I was with TH and he was telling me what I should do. Or what I could do. And that’s when the ex-husband called. I shook and started to cry. I flung my phone. It would stop ringing only to ring again. You know how in horror movies the phone will ring constantly? And if it goes to voicemail, the caller will hang up and try again? He did that to my phone something like 17 times before I turned it off. And I cried and cried to TH about how I didn’t want to go home. He tried to persuade me to go to his house, to hide the night there, and then we would go back in the morning with reinforcements and get my things and get me out. And I was even more scared of that. I was terrified of bringing more people to get hurt into the situation.
Invariably, I went home because my dogs were there and I was honestly scared he would kill them.
I should have been more frightened of what he would do to me.
The entire time I was gone, the Sister was attempting to force rationality down his throat. It wasn’t working. The thing about being rational is that you have to want to be rational and while she was being calm, explaining reality to him, he wasn’t having any of it. When I came home, he immediately pounced on me. In no moment was I left alone with him, however. The Sister knew better than that. She was worried about what he would do to me – we both were – but she was in more of her head to know how awful things could be. He screamed and yelled and bellowed. I cried and ran away, literally. I ran up to our room, unable to face the insanity that was on his face or maybe just the fear that he was pushing in my heart. I locked myself in our bedroom, which was too much. He got out a screw driver and began pulling the door of its hinges.
I remember listening through the door, crying quietly in a heap on the stairs. And I remember the Sister trying to get the screw driver away from him, telling him that he was being crazy and ridiculous. At one point, he threatened to stab her, just like he had in the kitchen. And I remember her saying something like, “Oh, we’re going to go through this again? Do I have to remind you of who will kill you if you touch me?” And maybe that was the glass of cold water he needed. He stopped trying to take the door off the hinges, at least. I think, too, the Sister told him things that night that put him on high alert. I don’t know what she said when I wasn’t there and we never talked about it, really, until years later.
I was at my wit’s end but the fear of leaving made me stay.
I see the way you go and say you’re right again,
say you’re right again
Heed my lecture.
The night TH went out to the club with his ex-girlfriend (and can you guess what happened then?), the ex-husband and I got into a fight. We were coolly ignoring one another. I decided to go out and take a chance. I was going to buy a duffel bag and I was going to get a cheap cell phone. I was going to squirrel money away. I had to get out. I went to tell him good-bye and I did something that irritated me. He pushed my face away with his fist. I can’t quite tell if he meant to do it that way, or if I just pissed him off enough to not quite know what he was doing. He used too much force to get me away and pushed my jaw (which isn’t at its best after seven years of braces) out of alignment. I went upstairs, trying to get a hold of TH on AIM but he was gone. I blogged about it and then went to Wal-Mart. I didn’t get anything I had intended.
TW: Cutting, Razors
I bought razor blades instead.
I had been a cutter all throughout high school. I have the scars on my left forearm and my biceps to prove it. Most of my other scars have disappeared and faded with time, but those ones will probably always be around. There are days when I look down at the scars and I am disgusted with myself for what I did. There are days where I look at them and I am relieved that I didn’t intend suicide, but just a release. I vary. In this case, I was looking for a release. My emotional well-being had long since frayed and drinking heavily every night wasn’t enough anymore. I had quit cutting, cold turkey, in 2002, but it was easy to go right back to it. The same patterns can be… relieving when you’re in a situation that there’s no guidebook to.
The Sister was also a cutter, although she had never actually quit. If she was faced with a situation that is beyond her scope to handle, she will cut. Mostly she hasn’t lately but she has had her moments. Back then, that night when I bought the razor blades, I assured myself that I would not let the Sister know. It would be my dirty little secret, like everything else.
The next day was both bad and good because I had my coping mechanism all ready to go. It was bad because I had to listen to TH’s ex-girlfriend tell me about how they were back together, which they were not. I also had vivid flashbacks of all of those stupid divination readings I had given him in which I explained that it was pretty normal for people to sleep with their exes after the break up. I decided it wasn’t going to hurt – though it did, oddly enough – and cut myself a lot. I told the Sister about it later when I cajoled her into accompanying me to the liquor store for a fifth of vodka to add to my soda. She jumped on the cutting bandwagon. It didn’t dawn on me until much later that she had her demons hanging around that she wasn’t able to exorcise. And I didn’t know what they were.
TH found out pretty quickly what I was up to and he took my razor blade away. I don’t know what he thought he was going to achieve with that. It didn’t matter. He was wallowing in his own well of hate and self-pity. I’ve thought a lot in the years since that time about what it was that could have drawn him into my and the Sister’s web of horror and depression. I don’t really know if it was the relationship he had just ended or things he’s never told me. He did a lot more fucked up shit than me – who was abusing prescription meds, drinking heavily, and cutting – back then. He said once that he “wanted to try some new things.” And yeah, he was 18 and ready to explore the world. But, some of the things he’s done remind me of someone with a death wish. I usually end up blaming my fucked up life and situation for his depression. It makes sense. He falls for a girl with the shittiest luck and the shittiest home. It’s bound to drag anyone down. /TW
Face down in the dirt, she said,
“This doesn’t hurt”, she said,
“I finally had enough.”
One day she will tell you that she has had enough
It’s coming round again.
One night, TH came over to drop off a book. The ex-husband, the Sister, and I were all watching TV. At this point, my ex-husband became obsessed with people calling before they would come over. It was yet another thing he wanted to have control over. Mostly, no one ever came over except for TH and mostly, I asked his permission. But TH surprised me by coming over to return one of my ex-husband’s books. Later, he would tell me that he was planning on TW: Suicide committing suicide that night and wanted to say good-bye to me. /TW He came over and he hung out for a bit, upsetting his plans. The Sister went upstairs and I walked TH to the door. The ex-husband went about turning off lights and getting the house ready to be locked up for the night.
I said good-bye to TH outside, joking about how my ex-husband was probably watching us. Of course, my ex-husband actually was watching us. He had suspected since October or November that I had been having an affair with TH. It was kind of amusing because it was only true at that time and not before. Anyway, we joked for a bit and I watched TH pull out into the swirling snow.
When I came back inside, my ex-husband was standing in the living room, surrounded by the darkness. I remember freezing in the kitchen doorway, staring. As Scully, in the episode Irresistible of The X Files, saw Donald PFaster much like this demon after he kidnaps her, so too did I see my ex-husband in similar guise. I blinked. He was still demonesque but his shape resumed that of the man I had married. It was then, really, that I knew I was not married to that man who wooed me with fixing his truck and a leather bomber jacket. The man standing in my living room was comfortable with the darkness deep within himself and that scared me more than anything.
I hadn’t married a paragon of virtue or of lightness, but I hadn’t married a demon either.
On the 3rd of March, I made the decision to run away and I was going to take TH with me. I told him that on the 1st of April, I was going to move away. I was going to run way, more accurately, and I wanted him to come with me as well. He decided he would. It was better than having him stay up north and die slowly without me around. When put that way, really? How can you say no to helping a woman run away from her mentally and emotionally controlling soon-to-be ex-husband? Aside from deciding that I was running away, I put no real thought into it. I didn’t even think about filing for divorce until after I was in the vicinity of my mother and the constables who loved me best. (I worked with them all at my condo job in Texas so while they knew my ex-husband, they preferred me to him unlike every other civil servant down there.)
The ex-husband was still friends with Demon Boy, who I had refused to allow near me. I had broken off our friendship after his doing something out-of-hand after the Sister, my ex-husband, and I moved in. He wasn’t allowed in the house and for the most part, everyone accepted that. I think he came over once after I told him to take a long walk off of a short pier. It just wasn’t worth it, at that point, to maintain a friendship with someone who was, probably, literally a demon in human disguise. And quite frankly, our friendship had been just about over for years. It had just been the time to get rid of him easily. I’m actually surprised the ex-husband never tried to force me into remaining friends with him. Maybe if the Sister wasn’t around, and her sensibilities regarding him, he would have.
Now, I’m not quite sure what Demon Boy said to the ex-husband to cause him to be suspicious. I don’t know and frankly, I don’t care. But something caused my ex-husband to get incredibly worried and install a key-logger program onto the computer. It caught snippets of my conversation with TH, but we were careful. TH reminded me that key-logger programs were something my ex-husband would know about so we rarely discussed our actual relationship online. But, anyway, the ex-husband came to me and demanded to know something – I forget what. And what bothered me the most was he was asking me all of this while I was in the bath, the cuts on my body as obvious as the sun rising in the east, and I turned the tables. A moment of self-preservation kicked in and I went on the offensive.
I showed him my cuts. I told him I was depressed. I didn’t tell him how he made me feel. I was careful to dance around the truth of how he had been treating me. I was careful to dance around every little hint of how I felt, what he had done, and everything in between. And I’m grateful I never said anything to him about it because things wouldn’t have gone “as smoothly” as they could have. The ex-husband offered to go into counseling with me and I refused. I told him it was over and he… he actually believed me. Instead of attacking me, instead of doing all the things he said he was going to do in previous moments, he said he would let me go.
That night, TH came over without fear of what my ex-husband would say. And the Sister rejoiced silently beside us. The Sister, TH, and I watched movies and laughed off the emotional roller coaster we had all been riding on for months. The ex-husband left the house to “spend time with friends,” but when he came home at five in the morning, he hopped directly in the shower. The Sister and I cast knowing looks at one another. It wasn’t hard to figure out he had been to see one of his lovers. I don’t think he went to see the wife he has now – but they were engaged within months of my leaving and before our separation was finalized – but we’re pretty sure he spent those few hours with the “one who got away.” We laughed at how “circumspect” he was trying to be and failing.
Getting a divorce is difficult in normal circumstances, but it’s harder when your ex-husband tries to flirt with you to keep you around or attempts to sleep with you one final time. It’s even harder when your ex-husband screws you over on how much money you can pull from the joint account you share. It’s even worse when he has a lawyer on standby and you don’t, thereby screwing over your debts report when filing for divorce. I think, honestly, if I had stuck around, I could have gotten a lot from our divorce, but I was too intent on getting back to Texas where I could recover and be safe. Divorce sucks for everyone involved, but it doesn’t help when the actual victim keeps her trap shut and the non-victim portrays himself to be one. “She’s taking the car. She’s taking my dogs. She’s still living in our house together and won’t leave.” Wah. I told TH we had until April 1st to prepare things to leave and that’s when I was leaving… no matter how much he whined at me to leave early.
Even though I got the shit end of the stick, the Sister got it worse. She had a deal with my ex-husband that if we broke up, then she would still have a home with my ex-husband. But he renegged. And that was around the time I told the Sister where the money she gave him went – not to bills she owed on, which was why our electric and gas was behind. To help her out, I ordered some oil without paying, putting it under my ex-husband’s name. Turn about was fair play.
I had to leave a lot of things behind. And the things I left behind, my ex-husband trashed. There are things that I miss. A cross-stitch my grandmother did for me when I was a child of the Last Unicorn. The Sister tried to salvage some of my things from the cleaning spree he and “the one who got away” did after I left, but a lot of things got thrown out or destroyed. There are days where those things hurt me, wound me, beyond all measure. That cross-stitch was a part of my childhood that I lost because of my ex-husband, first because I forgot to try to shove it in my Neon, and second because he destroyed it and threw it away like it was nothing special.
After moving to Texas, our separation paperwork was finalized about his birthday. He called to tell me and said that his birthday was “simply awful.” He was trying to play the victim, but I was 2,000 miles away then. I had my mother and TH. I had people who cared about me. And while a lot of the firefighters ignored me and didn’t so much as breathe in my direction, the EMS people knew my ex-husband for what he really was – a lying, charismatic jerk – and were friendly. The cops were nice to me, too, and I didn’t have to worry about telling them anything, at least. I could live in peace. So, while he whined about how his birthday was terrible because our separation was finalized a day or two before, I told him to go to hell because my birthday would always be awful since he had married me on it.
Our conversations were less civil after that.
The last time I spoke with him while in Texas, I told him I was pregnant and it wasn’t his. I wanted him to know from me so that it would be completely clear he really was infertile. I also didn’t want the rumor mill to go hog-wild up there without me there to deflect it. The child, my son, is definitely TH’s child. TW: RapeThere is no question unless women’s bodies can carry rape children around for nearly twelve months. /TW
My relationship with my ex-husband was hell on earth for a while.
Note: The lyrics for Hurt by Nine Inch Nails can be found here. You will notice a discrepancy in my title and the lyrics, as I chose to utilize the lyric from the video I posted.
Note: I will attempt to place specific trigger warnings prior to a triggerable incident. However, I cannot make promises if I’m in the thick of this, as I assume I will be.
This is the entry I’ve been dreading since I began to do this shadow working. It’s this particular aspect of my past with my ex-husband that makes it supremely difficult for me to move on in any context. This is where I get to show everyone that not only is he at fault in the downfall of what we were together, but I also get to show you how I managed to survive. I did not do good things in order to survive. I was not a nice person to other people in order to survive. There are days where I look back in my grief and pain, in my terror and horror to those moments where I knew what I was doing was not about living in ma’at but about survival. I am not a hero in this. No one came out of this situation as a hero. We all did what we needed to in order to survive.
The Doorbell Demon incident was a turning point. Prior to this, it was easy to shrug things off. It was easy to assume that my ex-husband was just having a bad day or he was having a bad week. Working for the company that he did wasn’t exactly a cake walk. He saw a lot of things that ate him in a place that I had no ability to heal. However, he’s always been a control freak. Whether that is a quirk of personality or a quirk of how he was raised, I honestly cannot say. All I can say is that he began to try to influence both myself and the Sister in what we thought, what we wore, and what we believed. At one point, he accused the two of us of the Doorbell Demon incident with our very occasional, far-between rituals together. As he had allowed us to have a ritual at Samhain in the house, then that meant we had asked for something to enter our house. We made it worse by practicing divination.
Odd thoughts for a supposed Taoist, if you ask me.
I’ve said before, rather nastily, that he proclaimed his religious affiliation with Taoism. I don’t know a damn thing about Taoists or Taoism to be honest, but from the bits and pieces I’ve gleaned over the years, he was not a Taoist. After the incident with the Doorbell Demon, his beliefs were intrinsically tied with his childhood religion of Christianity. He professed otherwise, but how often he was to denigrate both the Sister and I for our divination practices, our rituals, and our beliefs say otherwise. I don’t think he ever went so far as to quote that stupid, incorrectly translated Bible passage about not suffering witches to live or anything at us, but it was pretty obvious that’s how he felt about it. It was easy to place blame on an outmoded Christian belief – that by seeking alternative forms of religious practices is to “invite the devil” in your home – but it was really and probably just attached to his conflicting, angry roil of emotions.
Whatever the case may be – demon, monster, abusive – we all suffered for it.
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The Sister really integrated well with the friends she made in college. I’m more of an outsider, wallflower persona so I didn’t mesh nearly as well. She was quite fundamental, from my perspective, in that group. She has this knack to bring people together that don’t necessarily belong. It’s weird. I don’t know who suggested that we all go to the Goth club on Fetish Night, but this sounds like something the Sister would suggest. The ex-husband, the Lumberjack, the Sister, and I were all going to go, meeting up with the college friends we had made. Plans are all fine and dandy, but they end up breaking all the time. That wasn’t going to necessary prevent the Sister from going to Fetish Night, though.
I believe it was just prior to this group date that the Lumberjack broke up with the Sister. She was inconsolable for the first few days after the break up, but I think the ex-husband’s “on high” proclamation that she must have fucked something up there that made her get over it. She wanted him back because she didn’t want to be alone – not because she loved him, not because he was the best sex of her life, not because of anything other than the fact that she wanted to be in a relationship that was not with ex Demon Boy. I feel this so hard it’s amazing. That’s probably why the ex-husband and I were together as long as we were, honestly. It doesn’t matter. The first part of the group date plan got a little fucked up because the Lumberjack. The other was because of my ex-husband.
His best friend, who we had lived with prior to our move to Texas and his best friend’s move to join the air force, came up for his first visit to Massachusetts since joining the air force. He had one night to hang out with his best friend and that night was Fetish Night. The plan was that the ex husband, his best friend, and someone else would all meet up with us at the club a little later. The ex husband and best friend decided they wanted to stay at home and play chess or maybe they were going to do their roll-playing online game thing together. I don’t remember. But, it became that the Sister was my date and we were going out in style.
Here’s the weird thing about this. The ex-husband was nominally okay with this. I think it’s because his best friend was there, so he couldn’t quite fly off the deep end in front of him. I honestly do not know. However, the really weird part was how much the ex-husband freaked out over the Sister’s outfit. I was wearing a long slinky skirt, boots, and a tube top that barely covered my tits. She was wearing a pink-and-white corset with a pink skirt that was kind of see-through. Technically, we were both wearing the same amount of cloth on our bodies, but it was the Sister’s outfit that made him flip out. “You can’t go out in that,” I believe he said at one point. This illustrates a few things to me.
He had realized that he needed to begin controlling and manipulating the Sister. I think he decided this because he had begun to realize how much influence she had over me, possibly in regards to our tacit agreement about how ridiculous his Doorbell Demon shtick was. He thought he would start with innocuous things first. He apparently had not actually met the Sister in any way prior to this. If there was one thing that she would never budge on, it was going to be how she deemed fit to dress up when going to a club. He had realized that he had fucked up in letting her live with us. This point is dependent on his being aware, even in the remotest of his consciousness, of his controlling behavior. But he realized that he needed to start forcing his opinions on her, possibly because the Lumberjack was no longer around to do so.
Funny story of all funny stories, guess who showed up at Fetish Night.
During the month of November, our computer stopped working. I don’t remember what was wrong with it, honestly. It could have been a virus. It could have been the Internet. It could have been a lot of things that caused the Sister and I to be unable to use the Internet. In my more Machiavellian moments, I wonder if the computer was broken at all and this was just another attempt of my ex-husband to control the two of us. To me, it is sad and depressing to even remotely be able to think that about someone who you used to profess love for. However, it would be one more act that he committed in an effort to get whatever he wanted.
The computer was down for about a month. And in that time, I began to very quickly become the introvert I used to be. I had an online blog that the ex-husband had complete access to. He was able to read it at any time he chose and he could easily, easily find out what the password was. I never kept anything hidden in that blog, but I think he thought I did. I did not create certain categories that he would be unable to see. I did not create a new blog to bitch about him in. The blog, however, was yet another way in which he could not control me. I could write and say whatever I wanted, when I wanted, on that blog. So, really, it would not surprise me to learn that the computer was “broken” for that long on purpose.
So, in that time as I became more and more introverted, more and more quiet, more and more lost in a world of fantasy that I created in my own mind, I finally broke. I had to speak with someone outside of my home. I began to talk, at this time, with TH on a more friendly basis. He was, you see, part of that group of college friends. The Sister had other people she reached out to, but I chose TH. I don’t know why or how or when, really, but he became pretty fucking important.
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
As I’ve said, I’ve always had a very wallflower persona. I may have been a core component to some high school groups I belonged to, but I didn’t really say anything. I was just a figurehead, or more appropriately, I was just always there. To not have my presence in that group would have been like walking out of the house without socks. This may have been the case, later on, with numerous groups of friendships I had. In fact, there are days when I think of how much the Sister got along with our group of college friends and how I had one or two I spoke with frequently. It was this intense desire to keep my trap shut about everything, to internalize anything I was feeling at any given moment, that I ended up bottling up a lot of stuff.
The month of December was hell.
The original start date for my depression of that year was October. I know that clearly. I had not prepared myself in any way to contend with working, going to school, a mentally not-all-there husband, and the memory crush of a really awful month. I think I was able to push back the side effects of that time period and all of the non-preparation I did for that month after years of being away from really having to face any of it. (I know I’m being hopelessly vague but my next shadow working series will contend with how much October sucks and why.) However, after the disaster with the Doorbell Demon and the Sister relying heavily on me to fill in the “I don’t want to be alone” gap that the Lumberjack’s leaving created, I had no real-time to at least mourn or at least attempt to confront my pains head-on. And it was easier to put it off in the face of the oddity of my ex-husband’s behavior.
TW: Depression/Suicidal Ideation
I let that depression eat at me in many ways possible. I did very little eating. I did very little speaking. I did very little of anything except to either read or watch television. I did learn how to knit, although I’ve forgotten most of what I learned back then. (Even though the Sister has re-taught me twice since then.) I did a lot of things with my depression except to face it. When I finally began to realize how morbidly and frighteningly depressed I was, I began to experience severe suicidal ideation. As someone who had been a cutter and depressed before, I knew the signs. It would get to the point where I would fantasize about taking the Neon out for a drive and wrapping it around a tree. When I realized what was happening, I knew I needed help.
I don’t know who began the conversation first, myself or the ex-husband. I remember trying to address what was happening to me with him. It wasn’t the first time in our relationship that I had tried to explain my feelings to him and failing utterly. I may be good at writing things, but I am not so good at saying those very items out loud. The worst part is that after confessing that I needed help, that I was scaring myself, and that I needed some fucking help in all of this, he said to me, “You’re behaving like every other section-12 I’ve ever had to transport.” This is a double slap in the face. A section-12 is a mentally ill patient and paramedics do not take any section-12’s comments, concerns, fears, or statements seriously. Maybe this has changed in the last seven years, but back then, that’s how it was for my ex-husband. And that’s how I’ve come to see it in most paramedics.
I bowed my head low and said, “I need help,” in the face of his accusation.
I was reaching out and trying, and he was accusing me of making everything up. I honestly don’t know what caused him to say what he said. And I can only speculate about how he actually meant those words. I can only comment on how I felt when he said that to me, which was that my problems were not real, they were imagined, and that I was not important. He quickly realized he had messed up and reached out to a therapist in our area and got me in to see her a month later. But, the words had been let out. He had said something very, very, very fucked up.
It hurt. /TW
I still had a month until therapy, though, and in that time I tried to use my friendships as a good bouncing off point to ease the ache. I made it abundantly clear to TH that I was morbidly depressed. I honestly don’t know if he was able to figure out what was actually causing the depression – holdovers from past traumas coupled with an unsupportive husband – or if I told him. It doesn’t matter. He didn’t really say anything, which was a boon. He just listened. And he had the best hugs to provide: broad shoulders for crying and snot, gentle hands to relax the tension in one’s back, and the right noises to keep the skittish from bolting. I didn’t have to tell the Sister anything. She lived with us, heard the fights, and invariably I told her about them on our way to school or late at night. Besides, it wasn’t difficult to discern that the deep bags beneath my eyes were simply from lack of sleep.
The Sister had her own stuff at this time that’s important. She got back together with the Lumberjack. This was a bad idea all around. She’ll admit to everyone that this guy was a mistake, not the capital M kind, but it was just not a good idea. I’ve stated before that this was an act to get away from her ex as much as possible and the Lumberjack was his total opposite. She succeeded in that regard. However, the Sister is a very passionate person in all things and the Lumberjack was not. I think his passions went to Naruto and the Dresden Files. Part of me believes that some of the aches and pains she began to suffer during this time was due to the fact that she was forcing herself into a situation that she had no business forcing herself into.
One night, she just fell the fuck over in the middle of our kitchen. The paramedic didn’t react. Her boyfriend didn’t react. I rushed over and started flipping the fuck out. I wasn’t the one who was supposed to know what to do in a situation like this. My ex husband was supposed to be jumping up and doing his paramedic thing. However, I think at this point he had decided that everything and anything that the Sister said was a lie or a made up story. I think he also felt that whatever she did was a lie. This is a recurring theme, I think, with him. It’s possible he was aware that she was already cheating on the Lumberjack with ex Demon Boy and maybe he thought her guilt was forcing this on her. I don’t think that; I think she was in some damn pain.
We took her to the hospital – as I said, she was in a lot of pain. Neither the paramedic nor her boyfriend stayed with her. I did. I read Timeline by Michael Crichton to her, I think. Or maybe it was another book about time travel. She still had a lot of kind of wacky ideas in her head placed their by ex Demon Boy and time travel was something she was still very interested in then. I don’t think she is now, or not nearly as much as she was. I held her hand as they made her loopy on drugs. I did my best to get the nurses to listen to me when they tried to give her 4cc’s of morphine. Drugs react fast in her and I wanted them to give her a half dosage. The mean nurse wrote down 4cc’s after I told her not to do that. The nice nurse who administered it gave her a half dose, which was even better because we found out that the Sister was allergic to it. It was also really great that the nice nurse was carrying around some anti-morphine shit in her pocket because she had had 2 people experience allergic reactions to it that night. Later, we made jokes about how she would never be a heroin addict.
That was the first real time we told official people we were sisters.
The next week, I barely passed through anything. I was in my own little world. The Sister did not bother telling me about her reopening of her relationship with the ex-Demon Boy. Later, I would get incredibly suspicious. But at that time, I was very much lost in my own head. I wasn’t paying attention to anything but my own misery. It was around this time that I was asked not to use my cell phone so much because we “didn’t have the minutes.” It meant that the two out-of-state resources I had – my ex-Christian friend and my mother – had suddenly become off limits. TW: Suicidal Ideation I began to feel extremely isolated and more depressed than before. The thought of wrapping my car around a tree was looking very very very appealing. /TW
I was invited to a party, actually, by TH. His girlfriend-of-the-time had decided on a huge, huge party for their six-month anniversary. Never mind the actual feels of what TH wanted – something quiet and romantic – but she decided, “His house will be empty of parents and little brother. Yes, we need to have another excuse to behave like children.” It’s one thing to behave that way when you were TH and most of the people we hung out with were 18. She had a kid and was only a year or so younger than me. She had no right to behave like some moron who was going spring breaking for the first time. But, I had been invited. I said “no” because I had to work and then because the Sister wasn’t going to go for whatever her reason was and then because I was sure the ex-husband wouldn’t like it.
But, I had to do things for myself, sometimes. There were moments when I could stand up and say, “I am a human being and I will do things like human beings.” As TH pointed out to me at one of his last minute, “please please please come to my party because everyone is friends with [girlfriend’s name] and I want someone who is my friend there for me.” And I was one of his friends… so I went.
It was nice. It was that night that I realized why I had always felt like I knew [girlfriend’s name] before that. She was a year or two younger than me. She had gone to the high school down the street. And she had slept with my boyfriend-not-boyfriend in my bed. It’s more complicated than that, obviously, but that did not predispose me to liking her. The fact that she treated TH like complete shit after taking away his virginity (yes, he’s slept with two people – me and her) and using him like everyone else in her life? That really didn’t predispose me to liking her any more. It would only get worse with time.
So, I went to the party for a little bit. I wasn’t there long because I had to drive back to my own house. I had a while to be free and quiet and without anyone else around. I was looking forward to the drive home when TH walked me to my car. We both talked a little bit in the ice cold of winter, snow on the ground and sparkling under a very lively moon. We hugged and pulled back and there was a moment where time froze. You know those moments? Time freezes because you will it to or just because it forgets how to move forward. And in that moment, I could have kissed him with his girlfriend inside and my husband at home and it would have been much too insane. The moment passed and we ignored the awkwardness of our final goodbye. We didn’t say anything about that almost-kiss.
Stress is a funny thing. It makes people do insane and crazy things. I began to get severe nervous stomach issues. I’ve always had a nervous stomach. Even though TH and I had not kissed and even though my ex-husband was completely unaware, it made me nervous. Coupled with the fact that finals were coming up, I was often feeling incredibly nauseated and generally nervous. The Sister was having her own issues with nerves since, you know, she was busy cheating on the Lumberjack under our noses. We all had our problems. None of us would have known what the ex-husband’s were since he didn’t confide in us. It doesn’t matter what we were all feeling at this point. There’s still no excuse.
The ex-husband and I were arguing about the dishes. I believe the Sister was making dinner at this moment. I think we had requested that he do a load of dishes because she needed something to cook in. I don’t remember. He told us that all we did was go to school, so we could do the damn dishes “once in a while.” This is hilarious – I did the dishes a lot. The Sister did a lot of our cooking, so she was mostly exempt. This left dish duty to the ex-husband and myself. None of us were good housekeepers (though I would like to think that the Sister and I are better at it now) and we knew that going in. The ex-husband and I had volunteered for most of the dish duty and I had promised I would clean the bathroom. (I like cleaning the bathroom, I guess?) So, at this point, I felt that the ex-husband was pretty fucking obligated to the do the dishes especially after telling us we were lazy layabouts, more or less.
TW: Threat to Personal Safety
We started fighting about it. The Sister was behind me at first, I think, and he turned with a sharp knife in his hand. I think I had started maneuvering myself out of his way or I had been leaving the kitchen because the argument wasn’t doing anyone any good. I don’t remember. I just remember turning around for a final snotty remark when I saw him holding a knife towards the Sister’s midriff. I know I didn’t realize that he was threatening her with it right away. And I know for a fact it didn’t dawn on me until much later that he had started the threat at me. I don’t remember what she said to him about it, but she does. “What are you going to do with that? Do you know how many people will kill you if you so much as touch me?” I think he may have said something snide about her having no one in her life. I blocked out the rest, I know, but the Sister says that it continued along the lines of, “I am not under your thumb. I will scream to high Heaven and tell everyone what you did. And my father, my grandfather, my uncles, and my brother will kick your ass from here to the equator.”
I don’t remember.
I don’t remember him threatening me.
I don’t remember him as anything but holding the knife while the Sister stood in front of me. I was back towards the door to the hallway and she was between the stove and the kitchen table. I don’t remember… it’s a theme. I block it all out. And I know it’s for my safety because I’ll wake up one night, screaming as my mind goes over the edge. The man who swore to love and protect me was threatening me. And when my best friend got in his way, he threatened her, too.
He played it off, of course. “It was a joke.” But is threatening to stab someone ever a joke? /TW
At the end of the month, TH confessed he had feelings for me. I know I openly reciprocated. I remember writing a very cryptic blog entry about it in my old blog, in which I mention that I wouldn’t say a damn word in case the ex-husband was monitoring me. I do know that I internalized the fear and anxiety of someone who was cheating… even though I wasn’t cheating. It felt that way, in a way, that I was doing wrong. And after his threatening our safety, I began to really fear the ex-husband. I internalized this with more nervous stomach. Everyone thought I was pregnant, at school, and I laughed at them. I laughed like a hyena in all of their concerned faces. “I can’t get pregnant; the ex-husband said so.” I’m not sure if I told anyone that, specifically, but that’s how it was.
I can remember running to the bathroom one day in between finals. And I can remember trying to throw up. And I can remember TH’s [girlfriend’s name] coming in to check on me. And I knew she wasn’t there because she wanted to be there, checking up on me, but that she had been ordered to check on me by TH. And I was grateful that someone cared as to why I was throwing up bile in the toilet.
Note: All lyrics for The Kill by 30 Seconds To Mars can be found here.
One of the issues I have found in finishing this project up is that, as I grow closer to the end of my time with the ex-husband, I find it harder and harder to be as neutral as I think I should be. This, I feel, is borne out in my last post on the subject (linked below) in which I feel that I was more accusatory and victimized than I had hoped the entry would convey. To me, part of the point in shadow work is to be able to look at the whole experience objectively. I’ve spent the last six years ignoring the victim I had become and being angry at the whole of it. By entering the realm of shadow work, I should be able to see it all from each perspective, I think. In not being able to do so, I worry that I’ve failed at the work in question.
A few weeks ago, my co-worker and I were discussing one of the telltale traits of an emotional abuser. This trait is that, invariably, they will separate you, whether you know it or not, from your friends and loved ones. As I thought about my and my co-worker’s conversation later, it really hit me that, if nothing else, my ex-husband is supremely guilty of this. I’ve said it before, in various arenas, that there would never have been any evidence of his abuse because it was all the mental and emotional variety. However, after this conversation, it was really brought home to me that I really am an abuse victim and that I survived, magically. What makes it ten times worse, as I’ve mentioned to the Sister about this particular blog entry arc, is that I have to come to grips with the fact that I was a victim. Me. A victim. I was victimized. I let it continue on and on, well past the time when I should have said, “hey, I’m done now,” and that really irritates me.
By not being made to remember what an emotionally abusive person will do to you, I was able to shrug the whole thing off easily. I can’t shrug it off anymore. I have to face the facts: I was a victim.
If I ever had to legitimately guess as to where my ex-husband made the mistake, it would have to be with the Sister. For months and months after moving up north, he had been on me to become friendly with her. While I’ve outlined some of the funner highlights of what an emotional abusive person will do, I’m left with the evidence of his failure based solely on the Sister. He pushed me to be friendly with her. He allowed her to move into the apartment we lived in. This leads me to believe that he was not consciously aware of the emotional abuse, which is possible. You don’t just wake up one day, I would assume, and say, “I’m going to emotionally abuse my long-term girlfriend/wife today!” If not for her living in our house, I honestly have to wonder if I would have ended up dead, either by my own hand or his.
Really, the Sister saved my life.
What if I wanted to fight
Beg for the rest of my life
What would you do?
You say you wanted more
What are you waiting for?
I’m not running from you
We moved into the new apartment together, the three of us. It was a matter of days before the Sister and I went back to school. We were both going for our liberal arts degrees with a focus on history since we’re both humongous geeks. My passion is Russia, Medieval England, and ancient Egypt; her passion is the Civil War and Victorian England. It is through her that I’ve come to realize that as much as I want my history degree, I never knew what I wanted to use it for. But, she gave me the idea about fact-checking and I can get behind that. I could look up random facts. In a way, that is exactly what I do at my job now, but that’s a different tale for a different time. Both the Sister and I began matriculating at our local community college (local being a completely relative term as the school we were going to was a 30 minute drive through ridiculous amounts of traffic) with a new lease on life. We were both pretty excited and positive about things.
One of the ways that the Sister has saved me is by going to school with the intent of making new friends. That was not my intent, at all. I wanted to go to school, get my damn degree, and leave. I didn’t want to be nice to anyone. I didn’t want to do anything with anyone new. I didn’t want to have discussions, hang out after classes, or anything. I just wanted to be that asshole with the heavy backpack, a frown perpetually on her face as she walked from one building to another. The Sister was under this weird impression that she needed more friends – I believe this was a holdover hang up from her ex Demon Boy – and so, she made new friends. She demanded that I meet them and it was through that initial meeting that my life changed irrevocably in numerous ways.
School and my job took up my life, which didn’t go over very well with my ex-husband. He was needy in a way that I can’t even begin to describe. The weirdest part is that he really wasn’t needy before as all of that. He may have required that I be the center of his universe, and vice versa, when we were in Texas, but “needy” isn’t really how I would describe him. However, there were people and places that I was a part of that he was not a part of, for once. Even our jobs, in Texas, were nominally tied to one another – and he would often regale me with how I got the job at my condo’s front desk “because of him” – so we were one functional unit, not just on the island and with the people, but even so far as the condominiums we each worked for. With me going back to school and having a job that took me off to it on weekends, I had no time for him to be the center of my world. And frankly, as much as I hated the job thing, it was kind of nice to be on my own for the weekends… even if it meant I never had a day off and that 90% of the calls were ridiculous.
That first month of us all living together – September of 2006 – was a honeymoon period. The three of us were getting to know one another in ways that we hadn’t had to get to know one another. I had been living with the ex-husband for almost the entirety of our relationship at that point, but I had never seen him as a paramedic before. This was new. As we got used to our new schedules, living with a new person, and generally trying to survive what we were putting ourselves through, the ex-husband’s job was already beginning to take its toll. He would come home from the job and just stare some nights. Other nights, he’d hop into the shower with his boots, pants, and shirt on. And still other nights, he would come home and smoke my entire pack of cigarettes after claiming to have quit. It was eating him alive.
The thing about paramedics is that they will only ever meet you on a really bad day. You may be able to meet a firefighter or a police officer on someone else’s bad day and not yours, but that’s not the case with paramedics. You will only ever meet them when you or someone you love is hurting, was hurt, and are having a very bad, no good kind of day. I believe it was that month that he came home, staring blankly at the walls. He said, “I had to transport a vegetable today to Boston. The boy… he was twelve and his mother beat him so badly that his brain barely works. And all because the system thought a mother was a better care provider than a father.” I remember the haunted look on his face as he told me in paramedic language – using words and acronyms to distance himself from the situation, like “vegetable,” that he had to see – of all the horrors he could. No names. No specifics. Just generalizations. And it ate at him. I don’t know if the Sister saw this eating at him as much as I did, but it did.
And I honestly believe that’s part of the reason he was the way he was at the end.
With new friends came a whole rash of jealousy the likes of which I cannot even begin to convey. Both the ex-husband and I had been insanely jealous towards one another and towards opposite sex friends in previous years. However, I had rapidly revised my stance on jealousy over the years. I used to be, before I was with the ex-husband and his constant cheating on me, a rashly jealous person. If you so much as looked at someone, then that meant you were thinking of leaving me and I didn’t have the tact to shut my trap about it. However, one of the positives of his cheating on me, as if there could be any, was the fact that I managed to learn how to temper my jealousy. However, one of the side effects of being a chronic cheater is a sudden and intense belief that your significant other is cheating on you. I wasn’t, but it was a conversation that happened often. With the addition of new names in my and the Sister’s vocabulary, it became commonplace for him to demand if I found anyone good-looking or if I was looking for My Ex-Husband Number 2.
There comes a point where, when constantly accused of cheating, you begin to think about it.
The thing is that I was in a nasty, nasty, and deep sex-depression at this point. I think this, more than the fact that we had new friends, was why he became so jealous and would lash out with it. As someone who had been raped and molested, I have severe issues with sex. As in, I don’t have it. It will have been a year in July since the last time TH and I had a sexual encounter. As the Sister has often said, I was “in a sex-camel phase.” Yes, well, this phase had long-lasting consequences. I’m still reaping the benefits of that, but that’s for later.
Now, let’s talk about the changes. At the end of September, all of our college friends hung out together at a party. The Sister and I took our significant others of the time – she was with the Lumberjack – and everyone got along. The ex-husband brought a friend for one of our single college ladies and they hit it off. (Considering how that relationship ended and what I know of that person now, I wonder if their relationship was as bad as she made it out to be. But, there were times where the stories I got from the Sister about that girl’s relationship with the ex-husband’s work buddy could mirror shit the ex-husband had done to me. And if there’s any truth in that, then I wonder if it is just a paramedic thing or if my ex-husband was only friendly with people like him. I don’t know.) The ex-husband was slightly mollified that nothing would happen between me and any of these new people. He also seemed pleased that I had friends and we went off with the understanding that no one but him meant anything to me, minus whatever the Sister’s and my relationship happened to be.
The month of October is a bad month for me and it was no different being back in places where memories are stronger. That was part of the reason I was such a sex-camel. But there’s so much more to October… and I’ll get into it one day with these entries, when I get that far. But suffice it to say, I flew very deeply into myself and prevented myself from caring. The ex-husband’s jealousy rants began to take off about then, I believe. And I think it had to do with the affair he was having with his paramedic partner. I’ve met her and as with all the other girls he was with “behind my back,” she was tall and reminded me a bit of “the one who got away.” He also began talking to “the one who got away” around that time.
November was when the shit hit the fan, though.
On November 2nd of that year, the Sister and I attended a haunted tour of our college with John Zaffis. During that tour, while on the grounds of the college and in one of the basement areas students are not allowed to go, I saw a little old man who I dubbed, “Father Time.” I think the Sister saw him, but I’m uncertain. He followed me home and I was frightened. Dead people, astral people, whomever or whatever this old man was… I didn’t know him and prior to this any “cracking out” I may have done was fantasy living only. Nothing had ever followed me home and I was at the point where I was never, ever going to see the dead as much as I may have wanted to. (My father was dead so, you know, wanting to see the dead was kind of important.) I admitted to the ex-husband about this man following me home and he flipped his shit. The argument we had about it later was of epic proportions.
I don’t really remember the start of the argument, but at one point, he said to me, “This is why I shut down every fucking house I’ve ever lived in from spirit fucking contact. But our house was pure and I didn’t have to do it. And now? Now I have to do it, thanks to you.” The ramifications of this statement hit me like a slap in the face. I can remember crying in the entry way with him on the stairs and screaming, “Thanks to you, I’ve never fucking felt or seen my father in all the time we’ve been together when before, he was a constant presence in my life. I hate you.” It was as though he was taking my father away from me all over again.
As a child, and as a teenager, I had been able to sense my father’s presence. My mother and my little brother, to some extent, had similar experiences with him after his death. But in all the time I had been with the ex-husband, I had never felt him around me unless I was alone on the beach or with my mother. I just thought our relationship was changing or something, but to learn that the man I had tied my life to was the reason he had stopped coming around? It really and honestly felt just like he had stolen away my life in that moment.
In a kind of repentance for being with the ex-husband for so long and being without contact with my dead father for so long, I think this is why akhu veneration is as important to me as it is now. The psychology behind it holds, as well as the fact that I do enjoy venerating some akhu. But, now as I think back on it, I think the reason it’s so important is because of those six years where my father’s ghostly influence was incredibly minimal.
The argument could have, and probably would have, escalated but the Sister diffused this argument, as she would in future with the rest. I hate it when mommy and daddy fight. She had told us this was what she would do whenever we fought. She had wanted to do it when living with a [previous] married couple, but I don’t believe she had ever had the ability. All I know is that it was what she was going to do with us, as she had forewarned. And for a while, it worked. It stopped the rages in the two of us for a while. There’s something ridiculous about a 24-year-old woman whining this at two other adults.
Come break me down
Bury me, bury me
I am finished with you
Look in my eyes
You’re killing me, killing me
All I wanted was you
For a minute, let’s break while I talk to you about the Sister at this time frame. Her story is intensely tied to my story and it’s tantamount that some things are known before I move on.
The Sister, as anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time knows, was diagnosed as bipolar disorder, type two in 2007. We were living together prior to her official diagnosis and she was not on any medications for depression. She did have Ritalin because she is also ADHD. It is because of this living together pre-diagnosis that I am incredibly able to handle her disorder and be her buddy. If I could survive her deep depressions and her insane manic episodes prior to medicating them, then I can survive anything she throws at me.
One of the joys of her diagnoses is that she also suffers from extreme paranoia. This started due to her ADHD and people being unable to follow her conversations. Quite often, she would stop in our conversations – as she does less so now – to ask me if I understood how we went from discussing window treatments to a philosophical religious conversation. I have almost always been able to follow the pathways of the conversations, as someone who has lived with ADHD people all my life, and as “a buddy.”
Since she was undiagnosed as bipolar for so long, quite often, she will have days where she thinks she is “crazy.” The diagnosis is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, we have evidence as to why she would hand over her bank card to me, periodically, and say, “Stop me. I want to buy a tuba.” And we also have evidence as to why the next day, she would lie in bed as little more than a blob and hate the world. However, the diagnosis is public knowledge and now, most people are less likely to listen to her about anything real. They tend to equate bipolar disorder with “liar,” “manipulator,” and “story teller.” While previous doctors, prior to diagnosis, probably just thought she was psychosomatic with her aches and pains or possible a hypochondriac, now everyone chalks it up to her bipolar diagnosis.
In one instance, she was never listened to because she was a hypochondriac. In the next instance, she is never listened to because she is bipolar. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
I tried to be someone else
But nothing seemed to change
I know now, this is who I really am inside.
Finally found myself
Fighting for a chance.
I know now, this is who I really am.
In November, the Lumberjack was a constant feature at our home. If the Sister wasn’t going to the boonies where he lived, then he was spending the weekend at our home. The Lumberjack is exactly as he sounds. He was a very tall, meaty guy who favored jeans and flannel shirts. He was incredibly simple in his wants and desires, but he was also incredibly complicated as an individual. He and the ex-husband became very close, very tight friends during those weekends. They would talk and giggle and just generally have the manly version of pillow fights and scary story-telling whenever the Lumberjack was over. It was around this time, not long after our haunted tour at the college, that the doorbell started ringing for absolutely no reason.
I have to assume that the ex-husband had “spiritually shut down” the house by this point. I know he didn’t ask either of our opinions on it, but neither the Sister nor I were pleased. I’ve already illustrated why I was not happy about this above. The Sister disliked this idea because she has had her own ghostly happenings with her grandmother. She liked feeling her close by and I don’t really fucking blame her. It was these little visits the Sister had with her grandmother that could bring her out of some of her deepest funks. But, the ex-husband had his own ideas on the matter and we were not asked our opinions on this. So, anyway, the doorbell began to ring after this and I laughed heartily. At one point, I believe I said it was my father since he had a habit of ringing the doorbell at the house I grew up in whenever his cat wanted in.
My ex-husband wasn’t particularly pleased with this. Whenever the doorbell would ring, he would run to the door to see who was there. At first, he went the rational route. He thought some kids were playing around or someone was mistakenly at our door. However, no one was there. This happened a few times during one of the Lumberjack’s weekend visits. It got to the point where my ex-husband completely, and with back up from the Lumberjack, decided that it was a “demon” who was ringing the bell. Looking back at it now, I often wonder if he wasn’t correct in this summation.
Earlier, while thinking of some of the other bits I need to discuss with this entry arc, I have had to wonder if a demon didn’t actually end up taking over the ex-husband at some point. Maybe he was correct in his [possibly mistaken] belief that it was a demon at the doorbell. It didn’t matter. Both the Sister and I made copious amounts of fun at the two of them. “What?” I believe I said at one point. “It’s the fucking Doorbell Demon?” I went to the door and looked outside, opening the door. I called out to the alleged “Doorbell Demon” and found nothing going on, felt nothing outside.
Life would go back as normal, I suppose, but the Sister and I would remember this moment years later and giggle uproariously. It was either that, or I scream in horror at the pain and terror of the next few months.
I draw lines in the sand all the time when I’m on this path and every time I try to stick to that line, I’m forced to revise whatever line I’m drawing. This is vastly irritating to me because I like my lines in the sand and I like sticking to them. However, there are extreme moments where those lines get blurred, erased, or I’m forced to step over them. And I will absolutely fucking admit that I hate having to do that. It’s not just that I like sticking to whatever the line I’m drawing is supposed to be about, but that I like being able to say, I will believe X, Y, and Z but I won’t go any further with this. I’m already pretty insane with all of this shit and something new may put me over the edge. So, no further. However, as time has gone by, I’ve realized that whatever line in the sand that I’m drawing is beginning to become a sort of personal affront to my OTHERS™ and they’ll fuck that shit up to prove a point.
Yesterday, they fucked my shit up again.
I know quite a few Tumblr users who work with the whole music oracle. I’ve always been interested in such a thing, but I’ve never figured any of my OTHERS™ would use this music oracle thing. I’ve had it happen where songs that I’m supposed to use during my Magical Cure Search entries have come on, songs that I had been trying to remember but failed because my memory is filled with nonsense things like ring-tailed lemurs from Madagascar. (A family trait is being able to distinguish places from photographs, or in my mother’s case, animals and where they are in the world from photographs or TV programs.) But, on three separate occasions now, OTHERS™ have pulled out a song that was particularly appropriate for them in varying ways.
In the first instance, we had Hekate using the hit song, Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye, to hit me up. She was trying to hint at me that she and I had been working together before. It took me a while – with some help from a friend – to figure out what the message meant. But as time went by, it really helped to solidify our working relationship together. If I hadn’t heard that song, I often wonder if I would have been so dedicated to Magical Cure Search and the shadow work with the ex-husband. I don’t think I would have been, honestly. But she showed up and she pulled a song into my consciousness to (A) identify past lives together and (B) to help me move forward with the work I needed doing for my ex-husband.
The second instance, I haven’t discussed openly. I haven’t wanted to admit it, but it appears that Gran Bwa has been using Radioactive by Imagine Dragons to get my attention. This song first came on the radio the night after I began dreaming about him. I like the song – it’s a good one. It has a very nice rhythm and I enjoy the message. And I didn’t necessarily realize, at fist, who the hell was talking through this song. However, the alternative message, the one from Gran Bwa, was a warning. I haven’t heard it since I realized that I was being warned about what Papa Legba wanted of me. He was telling me to “wake up.” And of course, I didn’t so I was kind of blind-sided with Papa Legba explained what the hell he wanted from me.
Just because you hear the message doesn’t necessarily mean that you understand the message.
Yesterday, I was driving home from work and studiously not seeing the spirit world or the astral world. I’ve been very conscientiously ignoring anything “out of the ordinary” on my way home since I watched a bush stand up, stretch, spin around a bit, and then lay back down. It was all very normal, almost like I was watching a dog find a more comfortable place to lay down. However, I was seeing a bush and told myself, “NOPE.” Since then, I’ve been less than interested in anything astral related. I have not wanted to do a fucking thing I’ve been asked to do. And by golly, I’ve been studiously ignoring everything spirit related around me: the land spirit; the girl in white who took up residence on the staircase in my apartment complex, the deer spirit eyeballing me from work who wants more apples to feed it; everything. I don’t really give a shit what the hell happens or what’s going on around me. I am a big bucket of nope.
So, to get my attention, my OTHERS™ played around with my CD player. I had been listening to Ten Years Gone, the Best of Everclear 1994-2004 since Saturday. I turned the CD player on, ready to hear their rendition of I Will Buy You a New Life when Strawberry came on instead. I was a little taken aback because, you know, I was two songs away from that one. But, maybe I screwed up and forgot where I had actually left off. No. No. Of course not. Sekhmet was fucking around with shit and wanted me to listen to the song. It’s a very nice message, oh yes.
“Don’t fall down now. You will never get up.”
This message, luckily, is far more easy to decipher than Gran Bwa’s message.
I’m at the point where I just want to say, “fuck it all,” and leave this life. I don’t want to be Papa Legba’s mouth piece. I don’t want to watch as he maneuvers the pieces again and again and again to get what he wants out of my life. I don’t want to be Sekhmet’s mouth piece. I don’t want to watch as she molds me into something that is more amenable and easier for her to use. I know the reasons for the two of them fucking my day up and prancing around like loons, laughing uproariously as I slap them with “human concerns” as to why I can’t do whatever they are asking. I get it. I understand. It doesn’t mean that I particularly like being manipulated by gods, lwa, or anything else on this fucking planet.
And it really doesn’t help when they say, “These are silly, human things.”
But that’s the point in why I bring them up in the first place. I’m human. Things are supposed to be fair. Things are supposed to be easy. Things are supposed to be smooth. I’m supposed to hate my job and hate my life, retire at 65 and fucking hate the rest of my life some more. I’m supposed to get bitter and angry and foul the older I get and you know what? I can’t fucking do any of that shit because I’m so busy with my religion that I know being bitter probably goes against the living in ma’at thing and FUCKING HELL, GODSDAMNIT IT ALL.
We all go through hours, days, weeks, and months where we just can’t handle all of the “woo” going on in our lives.
I can’t handle the “woo” going on in my life, but if I stop even for a second now, I’ll lose it.
So, what’s more important here?
Their wants and desires?
My wants and desires?
As I’ve been known to say, our wants and desires don’t figure into this.
I talk about community and the need for one a lot on this blog. In the last year, I have had no less than one entry a month that has some variation on my message regarding the forging of a community. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve finally realized what it is to have a community and why one would need to have one. For most of my life, I’ve been the loner, the outsider, the wallflower. I’ve had friends of course, but I’ve only usually had about one or two people who I could speak with regarding my personal, heartfelt items. It’s not that I’m not social or unable to maintain friendships; I’m just very solitary, introverted, and remote by nature. But, with the forging of my Kemetic community (plus two non-Kemetics) that I’ve realized what it actually meant to have one? And it’s only been with the information Papa Legba dropped in my lap that I’ve realized how important that community is.
Without my community, I honestly don’t know if I’d be nearly as expressive, open, or able to have the religion that I do. I mean, I think I would have kept forging with the basic, “fuck people,” attitude that infused my soul when the tC drama happened last May. But without the encouragement of Devo, Sard, Helms, Dusken, L, Rei, and Jo who are my core components to my community*, then I don’t know if I’d be as far along with this Kemeticism thing as I am today. And honestly, without the knowledge of what a community, a small one within a large one, could offer me, I don’t think I’d be able to understand ma’at as clearly as I do today, either. Without that community, I could not live in ma’at and as much as I’d prefer to have my larger Kemetic community within driving distance, or even my smaller core group within driving distance, the online Kemetic community we’ve forged works well for me.
* This isn’t to denigrate my relationships with the others in that private Facebook group we all belong to – the one that I literally think of when I’m talking of my community at large. But as I mentioned, I’ve only ever gone to a handful of people in my group of friends with items, just as I’m sure the others in that group do with one another, and the ones listed above are my trouble shooters, my cheer leading team, and my closest boat paddlers.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a personal project Papa Legba has wanted me to get going on. I haven’t really had to do much for it because, well, he’s pretty liberal about time frames. As he’s told me before, since I’m not an initiate, things don’t move as swiftly as they would for initiates of a sosyete. I still have to do what it is he wants of me, but the time frame can be more in tune with my personal time frame than a “do it now” time frame that some people have had come from him. I’m blessed in that, I suppose. I’m sure there are a few people who have relationships with the lwa who would like to see such happen with them. The thing is, he’s been pushing a bit about the personal project lately. And I’ve been kind of trying to work it out before I get going.
For two days, I dreamed about driving on a highway. The first dream, I was driving down a highway/tollway with TH. We were just driving and enjoying the day when we came to the toll booth. It was three dollars and I pulled four quarters out of my pocket, placing them in the tape deck in my car (yes, my car is old enough for a tape deck, but it also has a CD player, so) to partially pay our toll. TH threw two dollar bills in the direction of the money catch pocket, which blew away in the wind and off we went. The next night, I dreamed about driving down a highway alone, both at night and during the day. I knew these were messages from Papa Legba as I went to bed, requesting his advice about things and wearing his sacred jewelry to aid me in my dreaming foray.
While pondering the dreams yesterday, I went into my little head space where I can easily meet with gods and lwa. Papa Legba was there, looking like he was some guru. He had his legs crossed and was wearing a white sheet in toga fashion. It highlighted how dark his skin really is. And he smiled at me, his eyes only partially closed. And I said to him, “I could do it now. I could become an initiate now and it would lend weight to our project.” There was more to it because, really, in this place, I rarely speak aloud and neither does he. So it was all conveyed via feelings and imagery, but it works better if I utilize words when I’m telling my story.
But the conversation went something like this,
Papa Legba shakes his head and says, “You will not have a community here.”
And I stare at him, shocked and annoyed. “But why would you do that to me? I finally figure out what it means to have one and you’re telling me that it doesn’t correlate with this shit?”
He sighs heavily at me, trying to convey that he feels the horror and pain that is sparring inside of me. “That’s not your work. That’s not what I want.”
Sniffing back snot and tears, I growl, “But it can be so very lonely.”
He looks up as though asking Bondye for direction here. I’ve always been a whiner and a baby, and I think that irritates him sometimes or maybe, it just hurts him that someone as childlike and naïve as me is someone he has to work with. “Honey-child, the bigger picture is more important than friendships.” And that is when I cry, curling in on my stomach where the pain hurts the most. “Not every path is one that you can walk with others,” he tells me sagely.
I sit up slowly, trying to catch his eye but he’s ignoring my glower. Or, maybe, he’s trying to ignore the tears and snot that streak my face. “Then why have a religion, at all? Why bother having a religion in the first place?”
And he sighs his long-suffering sigh and murmurs, “You always ask the hard questions.”
My day, yesterday, was not a good one. After learning that I’m not allowed to forge a community with other established people on this voodoo path, I got very angry and upset. I felt like all of the work I’ve been putting into the Kemetic community has been for naught. It really doesn’t correlate in all honesty. What I do with one section of my practice has little to nothing to do with the other, unless we’re talking the dedication I bring to both. And in this, it is my dedication that he requires for his work, but that’s not the totality of it.
The work Papa Legba has in store for me has more to do with solitaries, which is why he chose me. As much community as I have in the Kemetic community, I am still de facto a solitary practitioner. And I think it was that title, more than anything else, that drew him to me. Maybe it was always just my loner spirit, my quiet, my introversion, my wallflower persona that made him come to me. It doesn’t matter what the specific reason. On the one hand, it’s nice to know that being so alone and constantly on the sidelines is a good asset and one that he’s wanted in someone for a while. Not only can I bring solitary and dedication to this, I can also bring the tenacity as well as Sekhmet’s inner strength. If those aren’t all an excellent mix for what he wants, then he chose wrong.
And I don’t think he chose wrong.
So, that’s the project. I’m not here to make friends. I’m not here to become initiated. I am not here to twiddle my thumbs. I am on this path because he requires a loud-mouthed, fast-talking solitary practitioner who is willing to explain things, to teach others. That is what the lwa want. They appear to want to branch out, which is borne out in how many people have come to me asking about the lwa, in general and in specific. They want more and I am only a servant able to provide.
In other words…
I have work to do.
And as the title indicates, I can climb over as many mountains as I want, but there will always be another mountain to climb.
Too often, I find myself lost and alone, as if I’ve been wandering the wilderness in search of the rudimentary needs and wants of humanity. It always feels like I’ve been doing this journey, on my own, for so long. And then, comes a time when I realize that as much as I say that I am alone and that I don’t rely on anyone that I remember that I have faith; that I have gods. Sometimes, people will tell me that I am rich in faith and those days, I feel like I know what I’m doing, I know where to turn when things get harsh, get wrong, get bad. But then I have days like today when the sky is akin to how I feel and I end up feeling as though I am lost and alone in an eternity of darkness ahead of me.
My lady, I just… it’s so wrong. I feel like I’ve done the work I was supposed. I feel like the lesson I was supposed to learn in this last year have come and gone. And I know that they are to an extent. I know where I was supposed to head and I’m proud of myself. I came out of that particular haze, knowing where I stand and what things will come and how it is supposed to be. My lady, I know all of these things so deep within my heart that it can hurt sometimes with the profound knowledge it contains. But then, I have days like today where the weather is my mood and my mood is the weather. It’s cold and angry and cloudy and moody. It is all together and I forget to turn…
The thing is that you know the plight. You’ve watched me. We’ve walked together in the sands and we’ve talked; we’ve chatted. I’ve poured my heart out to you. I’ve come to you with my tears and my snot. I’ve come to you with my anger and my rage. I’ve turned to you during all of these days and I often wonder, when will it begin to get together more smoothly? Some days, I cannot help but wonder if I only think that I learned the lessons you had intended for me in this last year and that is why I am constantly back at the crossroads, looking up and down and trying to figure out what I just end up in a giant circle.
Stationary and yet, not.
I turn to you, my lady, to help this burden, to help my burden. I need your light to hold back my darkness.
Note: A slight trigger warning since, while I do not discuss the actuality of the event, I do mention a sexual situation.
On Saturday, I had a bit of a moment. I went out all on my own with the intention of enjoying myself. I don’t get a lot of private time, being a mom of an active four-year-old and with TH being gone all week. So, I took time for myself with the intention of just going out and being. While waltzing through the mall, I realized that I don’t know how to do that much anymore, but that’s not what this is about.
You see, as I was leaving, I called TH to tell him about someone I had seen in passing that we both used to know. And as I was cavalierly regaling him with the gossipy details, none other but the man who molested me when I was eighteen years old and he was twenty stepped into my field of vision. I didn’t miss a step. I didn’t stop. I didn’t freak out. I didn’t say a word, but as I continued toward my car, I made sure to peer around me. Could he be following me? Was he following me? Would he try to come after me and finish all of that?
Thing is that there was a moment there when I wanted to get off the phone with TH – who I didn’t bother mentioning this to until later – and go back inside. I wanted to make a scene. I wanted to start a riot. It wasn’t anger that was pushing me, but it was the need to say my piece. We all have moments like that where we have to say the things that are inscribed upon our hearts, the parts and pieces that may help us retrieve the soul pieces that others have taken from us. My molester took a large part of my soul for a lot of reasons and when I start down that shadow work, I’ll tell you about it. The thing is that I just wanted to tell him that he ruined me in ways that I cannot fathom. Well. He had a part of my ruination, at least, and I’ve never been able to bounce back from that. I ignore it. I pretend it didn’t happen. I go about my day, but there is a time and a place where I want to say, “You did this to me and this is what it did to me after. Then, you compounded the situation later and here is what it did to me further.”
I felt fear. I will admit that. I felt real and true, primal fear in that moment of seeing him again.
And then, I analyzed him. I saw what he presented to the world – a nothing, a nobody, a ho-hum dog that has been kicked just enough times to where it’s up in the air if the dog in question is feral or not. The one thing that I noticed was that he was smaller, leaner. In a sick and twisted way, I kind of hope that smaller physique has more to do with the horrors he caused me and compounded later were eating him away from the very center of his heart. But, I doubt this. He had a hard life before I knew him and it didn’t get any easier later, or so I’ve heard. So, I doubt that the thinness and gauntness had much to do with me. The other thing is that while I didn’t see his eyes because I didn’t have to. But those eyes were always a little crazy, a little insane. And as I knew he watched me surreptitiously as I walked right on by, I felt that insanity watching me leave.
Then, I analyzed myself a little bit.
I felt fear, but I did not panic.
I felt worry, but I did not cry.
I felt pain, but I did not have an attack of nerves.
As I got off the phone with TH, I drove blindly. I wanted to talk to the Sister, but she didn’t pick up, so I ended up just randomly driving. I thought about calling someone to just say, “Hey, I saw this person who ripped a part of my soul out of my body and never gave it back. So, how are you?” I thought about it but decided that there was no point in doing this. I didn’t feel like I needed to have a panic attack. I had the shakes. I had the start of a headache. I had the wild, crazy stomach flip-flops that can happen when situations like this come up. But, I didn’t feel the gut-wrenching need to leave or run or hide or cry or any of that.
I’m rapidly beginning to assess this moment in my life as a stepping stone or a turning point. I’m not sure which – the path ahead is still in darkness. But, whatever it is that this moment was… it’s important. And as a sort of recompense or maybe a just because, I’ve been dreaming about that part of my life again. All of this with my molester relates to other aspects of my life that I have to work through. I keep dreaming about that boy, the one who was my everything and I was his nothing, because of all of this. They’re related, you see. And I know I’m being cryptic, but right now, I don’t have the stomach to go through it all. It doesn’t matter for what I’m writing right this second, either. What does matter is that in analyzing myself and that moment, I’ve come to realize that in just doing a little bit with my ex-husband, I’m able to hold my head up high, even when I just want to hiss and bitch and snarl.
Either I’m growing up, or things are just getting easier.
It was made pretty clear to me recently that I needed to turn to you now because it’s a time of need. I’ve never really looked to you before. Oh, I know about you, of course. You are the husband of my most esteemed lady. And while I don’t always follow her advice, as things get harder, I see her wisdom in her decisions. She chose a few gods to turn to and you were one of them. And so it is to you as a craftsman as well as the one who hears that I turn to now, in my hour of need.
Things are just… blowing up all around me. I know I need to take a break. I need to take breaths. I need to go for a walk and ignore things for a while. I need to just get away and ignore and come back stronger, but I can’t. I’m sitting here in my house and trying not to cry. Today, my car broke. Before, the fix was relatively easy once I had sure-fire solution. But now I know what the problem is. I know what the problem is and I know that it’s probably not easy or simple. It could be a huge problem since it’s transmission related or it could be something as simple as a leak in a tube. I don’t know. And that not knowing gets to me, but also the real fear that I could be without a car when I really need one: job interviews and trying to get my son into school and all of that stuff. I can’t be without a car – what would we do for TH to go to work?
I’m worried and scared right now. I don’t know what to do. The money isn’t the issue, but the next step is. What to do? Where to go? Who to turn to? I don’t know any of these answers except the last one.
When it was made apparent that by letting Hekate and I work together was a good way to get things going, I never really considered not doing it. I’ve had my reservations, of course, but I never really thought that I wouldn’t go through with it. I don’t know anything about this triple goddess other than the fact that witches think she’s pretty darn awesome and that she is of Greek origin. Aside from that, I’m pretty much lost on a sea of information gathering. I don’t know what blogs to look into, what web pages are the best one to look into, and I don’t know how to sort the wheat from the chaff. All in all, I’m really not worried about that particular aspect, honestly. I don’t feel that with only a month and a day of working together – and no possible knowing if it could go on any longer – I need to work on the heavy information gathering. And besides, I think at this phase in things she’s more like a stepping stone to get me back to where I should be instead of where I think I am. All in all, it’s a confusing time, but it’s my reservations that I keep feeling deep within.
One of my largest fears is that I don’t know how to pray properly. I don’t have to give her offerings or libations, although I would like to. (I wonder if she’d like the tequila…) If I enjoy doing it with my current menagerie of OTHERS™ then why not a passer-through? But, really, all I need to do is pray. That’s what the oracle session told me. And I keep getting stuck on this little niblet. How do you pray? I know that I was supposed to do it when I was part of the Methodist church of my youth. And I know that imagery from Catholicism shows the Mother Mary with her palms pressed together in an image of piety. Is that how you pray? Does what your body does or does not do matter when you’re praying? I always just assumed that praying was like a mental letter to the gods. And I don’t think I’m far off here, but do I have to be in a certain position to do it? Should I be kneeling at the little altar table I set up for Hekate? Or, can I do it at any time and anywhere? The last two nights, I’ve sent off little missives to her before I fall asleep. Dear Hekate. I’m not sure if I’m praying right. I don’t think that matters – at least I hope it doesn’t. The thing is I don’t know what I’m doing. How will I know you’ll answer me? Will I just know? Or is that part of what all this is? Things of that nature. I assume I’m praying properly, but my niggling doubt is more than niggling right now. Maybe I’m not doing it correctly and that’s why I don’t know if I even am receiving a response…
Yet another reservation, that one. The responses. In my last entry about this new arc in my life, I mentioned that I was pretty scared about my God-Phone (BANANA PHONE) not working properly. I know that it does with the OTHERS™ in my life, but that doesn’t mean I’ll know it works with new gods in my life. And how will I know what a response is? I can hear Papa Legba in my head. Sometimes, I can hear both Sekhmet and Hetharu in my head. However, the thing with the two of them is that I tend to feel as opposed to know. For example, right now, I know that I am feeling the unparalleled need to give them some good cones of incense today. And that they would like some libations. I think Hetharu wants tea and I’m not quite sure what my leonine lady desires. These are more than feelings, more like impressions really, but that’s how I know they are in my life. It’s like little glimpses here and there. I don’t hear them the way I do the Loud Mouth Legba (…who likes that one…). I assume it will be similar with Hekate, but here I am… I’m taking a chance that my God-Phone will be working the way it should be and I’ll hear her. But, what if it doesn’t? What if I’m doing all of this and nothing actually comes from her arena? Where am I then?
I’m also incredibly frightened by the actual work that we’ll be doing. In what form can I expect it to take? Can I expect it to be like the shadow work that has been mentioned to me? If that’s the case, then should I have Hekate and Sekhmet on standby for working through some of the more horrific issues (rapes, for example)? But, what if it isn’t shadow work that is what is going to get this ball rolling? What if it’s something else? And because I have such a very limited capacity in the realm of magic and working on things in a magical capacity, then how will I know what I’m doing is the right way? Again, this comes back to the God-phone related fear, but it’s also in the not-knowing. In not knowing what to expect in the realm of the working, I know fear. I’m not one of those people who needs to know the future at all times, although sometimes I think precog would be kind of nice, but it would be nice to get the feeling of a little speck of inkling now and again. Instead, I turn to the Well Worn Path oracle deck I own in the hopes that something will come to me from there, but nothing thus far. I’m still left uncertain, adrift, and scared out of my mind.
You know, one of the things that I’ve gone on about in this blog a time or two is about how a lot of pagans don’t necessarily catalog their failures or their fears. And while some strides have been made to correct these particular aspects, you’re still liable to find the blogs of the people who aren’t open and honest about their particular paths. And that’s fine. Those people are doing what they do best and I’m not going to sit in judgment. Hell, for all I know, they’ve tamped down their fears so much that they don’t have them anymore.
But, I’ll be a little honest here.
I’m human. I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I’m going to end up doing. I’m scared out of my fucking mind more often than not, with the constantly not knowing and feeling like I’m aimlessly wandering down the spiritual turnpike. I’m scared at the thought of practicing spells again. I’m scared at the thought of relying heavily on my intuition as opposed to what I know, in my head. I’m scared at the very prospect of working with a new god that I know nothing about. I’m scared about working on my issues. I’m scared about what form that working will take. I’m scared that I’ll end up fucking myself up worse instead of actually fixing myself. I’m scared for all of this and for things that I can’t even verbalize yet.
I know fear.
And it has made itself quite comfortable in my heart.