Decisions and Health Update

My health isn’t significantly worse than the last time I wrote on here (knock on wood). Mostly just more persistent, pronounced weakness, that apparently greatly dislikes stress because it often gets worse when I’m anxious and running around. More muscular pain and joint pain as well, and the numbness and paresthesia are now in all four limbs, though it doesn’t affect my arms and hands as much.

 

My neurologist still doesn’t know what’s going on, she did another MRI of my brain, and did one of my cervical spine, zilch. Now I’m trying physical therapy and trying to get in to see a rheumatologist. Physical therapy assessment posits me as having hyperreflexia, balance problems and a couple other things. It’s nice to have objective proof that something is wrong and I’m not just crazy.

 

The last month I’ve been struggling with some decisions though. I very much want to go back to school, but I’m not certain about it. I can’t do another round of health breakdown, fail/drop out. I would be crushed to face that disappointment, waste of time, energy and money, again. I really want to be a nurse, but I’m no longer confident that I could finish a program. I was thinking of doing an LPN program, they’re typically a year, but even then. I’m not even sure there’s one that I could do evenings. The ones closest to my residence are day time, and I work a full time job.

 

I started thinking about social work or psychology/counseling. Yes, they need a master’s degree, but I imagine that’s less intense than nursing school. I’ve also been doing research on being a nursing student with disabilities, not that it’ll matter if I can’t get a diagnosis before next fall. At least if I do social work I can start in the spring. I like mental health care and just helping people in general, but I also really enjoy clinical work, which is why I like being a medical assistant. I don’t know what to do or how to do it. I just really need a clear, indisputable, unignorable sign about which direction to take myself school wise.

 

In the meantime I have been considering how best to set up my house so I can start my practice back. With a toddler I want to be careful about smoke and low lying objects, but I also need it to be low spoons, especially since Kali is deserving of my attention and I’m sure Anpu has work for me to do. It’s hard trying to find resources on culturally correct, low spoons, low budget (cuz I’m broke and can’t afford to not eat offerings) worship of the Devi.

Frustration

I’m very frustrated right now. My health is back and forth rather constantly the last month. I’m not even sure what it could be anymore, although currently MS fits the bill best. Sometimes though, I do wonder if it’s all in my head. Is that such a bad thing? No, not necessarily, but if it isn’t and I ignore it, well that’s a bad thing. My symptoms mostly just don’t add up, or they wax and wane so erratically that I can’t necessarily make heads or tails of them. What’s important? What’s just random? Will this particular symptom stay? Is this a product of insomnia, or albuterol, heat or just because I’m thinking about it? For example, increased heart rate, blood pressure and trembling, albuterol side effects that I’ve had before and readily recognize. Sometimes though, they’re there anyway, even though I haven’t used my inhaler or had any caffeine. Even then, my shaking isn’t usually this bad unless I used my nebulizer, and I haven’t used that thing in literally two years. It actually needs to be replaced. So why is it so much more intense lately? I don’t know.

Then there’s this whole religion thing. I’ve been too tired or sick lately to really get much of anything from anyone. I wish it would rain, I’ve been having a hell of a lot more clarity and calm when it’s rained ever since I started trying to connect more with the weather and water as a whole. I’m also reminding myself that one can be Kemetic without the gods, not that I necessarily want to be godless. I’ve spent several mornings greeting Heqat and Qebechet, because why not? One is my good friend’s “grandmother” and the other is one I’ve always been interested in. Maybe I’ll just surround myself with ladies, because I also thought of Serket. It makes me think of an old dream where four or five goddesses were watching me walk through a corridor. They were observing me like scientists, but also guiding me.

Earlier in the month, I had a dream about carnelian beads, a prayer necklace with a pendulum at the end. I have no idea what the thing as a whole means, but certainly not with the pendulum. I own a pendulum, but it’s quartz, not copper or gold (could have been bronze, it was yellow-y and metal, I dunno) like the dream necklace. There were also statues of a fox, wolf and Anpu. His statue wasn’t the focus, and it was above my head, something important to me because, as a short person, I’m more likely to look down for something than up. I often find things on a lower shelf than taller people and look under things first. They often see things over my head. Basically, it means he’s staying out of the way, where I won’t see him. I only just now thought of this because I was remembering grocery shopping this weekend and completely missing things I was looking for because they were on a top shelf. The fox and wolf statues though, they were just above eye level, where I frequently look for things. They were warped, but the fox was smiling. Zolfyer’s fox promised me help if I was her liaison to him. I haven’t taken her up on the offer.

I honestly feel more receptivity from the goddesses. Perhaps I needed to go through all this frustration and such. I dunno, but this morning I reached out and got Aset. Quite clearly at that. Really, I was poking at Anpu, asking what was I supposed to do now, was I supposed to move on, are you listening? I kinda blew it off, wondering if anyone would listen to me. Low and behold, a familiar feeling, and then Aset. “I’ll listen to you.” Devo made a suggestion when I told her about my dream with the prayer beads/pendulum (which also included my mother telling me she had the same beads, showing me the carnelian string that was twice as long as my actual prayer beads) that I sit with them and see what impressions I get. I haven’t really had the energy or concentration, and I’ll admit that I was rather jaded and ticked off too, but recently I did and I couldn’t quite figure out who or what it was. It felt familiar, and definitely feminine, insistent too, but at the time I was very distracted and exhausted. So, who knows. Another dream comes to mind, a scene of Aset arguing with Anpu about his plans and walking away crying. Perhaps she was upset at his plan to teach me to be self-reliant and look for what I really want and what can genuinely work for me, even if it’s hard and annoying and incredibly frustrating. Even if it makes me feel abandoned.

So many perhaps’ and possibilities. So much frustration.

MoWD-Light

I cannot feel your light.

Your burning cinders,

Your burnished bronze,

Your rich indigo,

Both chilled and warm,

Shudder-inducing in its frosty breeze,

Soothing and enveloping in its heat.

None of the excitement of late autumn,

Nor the relaxing of mid spring.

Though your light paints the horizon

Every dawn and dusk,

I cannot touch you in it.

I cannot feel you breathing into me.

I feel a whole lot of nothing

Though I see you daily.

I feel a little of everything

Trying to reach you.

Where are you?

MoWD- Together

Together we dance, like a parent and child

I stomp my feet, and walk on your toes

You wait patiently as I try to keep up.

I’m terrible at it, pushing and pulling,

swinging and shouting.

Impatient, despite the music being slow.

You’re willing to hold me,

but I want to dance by myself.

So I twirl in circles, and fall to the ground

dizzy and laughing.

I do it again, and then I fall down

crying because I feel sick.

You wait patiently while I try to keep up.

Sometimes you pick me up,

but very often you wait.

Wait for me to call you, in my infinite stubbornness.

Wait for me to ask you, in my infinite hardheadedness.

Sometimes I stick my fingers in my ears,

playing that catchy song, not realizing you could punish me.

Insolent child, patient father.

Sometimes you’re not close enough

and other times, I’m so busy crying I cannot hear you.

Sometimes you just wait until I calm down.

And you are there, when I turn around

Ready to dance again.

Month of Written Devotion

So, The Jackal’s Dance’s post reminded me that this was happening. I’ll be participating, although I’ve had a lot going on today so I’m going to post today’s and tomorrow’s tomorrow. Here’s the link for myself and anyone who wants to participate as well. Today is a sort of welcome post, the prompt is

  1. Who? – Deity, spirit or chosen devotion for the month

Tomorrow is

  1. How? – How did you become involved with your devotional topic?

 

When Ma’at Becomes Isfet

Since March, Zolfyer’s cousin and his fiancee (henceforth to be referred to as Cousin and Fiancee) have been staying with us. They were about to get kicked out of their apartment, one of their roommates ditched them–like, packed up all his things, moved out in the four hours the house was empty, cut his phone off and hadn’t paid his share of the final rent or utilities, ditched– and Fiancee is pregnant. Further, Cousin’s mom is unstable, with a house that really isn’t fit to live in and Fiancee’s parents are racist (Cousin is black like us, Fiancee is white). Since they wanted to move north anyway and they didn’t have money or time to find a new apartment down south, they begged all of our family to let them stay. We told them they could stay here, although technically Fiancee was supposed to go back down south to finish school and graduate. Did I mention she’s 18 and he’s my age? No? She doesn’t have her high school diploma, her birth certificate or her SSID card. To say it’s a lunatic situation is an understatement and mostly irrelevant. That’s her life, I’m only going to get but so involved.

They came here in March. There is now four people in a one bedroom apartment, and a baby on the way. They also have two ferrets, and it was lucky that Fiancee had someone who was able to keep her snakes. We already have a cat, she’s currently lounging on our clean laundry with her pure black fur. Our house is very busy. Zolfyer and I accepted this and we’re doing our best to take it in stride. We assisted Cousin with his job search, having two HR professionals detail his resume, suggest jobs they knew were hiring and we even paid for some of the things he needed, such as bus fare, car insurance before he lost his car (no job=no money=repo) and something to wear for an interview. We scraped, scrounged and asked for money from our parents and siblings to make sure everyone was fed. We took them to one of the city’s biggest festivals as a treat and a distraction from the hard first month. Cousin got a job and we told him he’d only have to give us $100 a month so that he could save as much as he could, as fast as he could. We thought the baby was due in September, so first week of August you need to be out.

This is ma’at, helping others in desperate situations. Helping the people you care about and love. Making the world a little more orderly, more awesome. Being generous.

Then we realized, slowly, that this was not nearly as ma’at as we thought.

Cousin is argumentative. He has bad communication skills. He likes to give people the silent treatment when he is angry. A post he made today made clear that he believes he is never in the wrong, that he is always a victim.

People get upset with him unnecessarily because of the things he says. Why isn’t he allowed to have an opinion? Why is everything he says supposedly sexist, racist, wrong, hurtful or messed up? Why are people always attacking him? He’s also passive aggressive. He and I argued fiercely yesterday because I do not allow slurs to be used in my home. In this case it was “midget,” directed towards a short character, who may very well have been a child, in some inane video he posted on facebook. He’s made rape jokes in the past, though he wasn’t living with us at the time. I was in the wrong when I got upset at him and ruined his gaming mood. He ruined my gaming mood. He didn’t consider at all my feelings and why I was upset and took offense to it. He spent all day today posting passive-aggressive memes on facebook since I won’t let him say “midget” in my home and called him out for being sexist the day before.

I quote:

Normally i dont post my feelings on pictures and social media..but why..why..When i open my mouth its sexist, mean, assholish, or coming of wrong. I justthink shutting up and not saying anything like i did before i way better.People wouldnt get offended and attack if i did that.

For those who like pictures: Cousin's Nonsense

His passive-aggression doesn’t end there. We also discovered, over these painfully long four months, that he’s emotionally manipulative. Zolfyer used to have an anger problem because he spent his entire youth being bullied mercilessly and experienced loneliness and abuse at home. He was in anger management for seven years. I have only seen him angry enough to hit objects ten times, and that’s an overestimation. Somewhere between five and ten. I’ve only seen him angry enough to break objects twice, with the third time being an accident. The second time was last month, when Z was trying to explain to Cousin why he was angry and upset that he had blown him off, been passive aggressive and otherwise very dismissive, callous and belittling. The situation was that we were planning on going to a tournament (we play Cardfight! Vanguard) and Cousin and Fiancee were coming with us because they wanted to participate. Cousin was supposed to put up for gas and potential tolls. Coincidentally we had received news about unexpected extra money (debt really, increase in credit limit) and Cousin commented that he didn’t have the money to put up for gas like he’d promised. Now, not once earlier in the week had he mentioned that he’d be short the money. We wondered when he intended to tell us, and we knew why he was short, he’d purchased cards off of the internet. Both Cousin and Fiancee admit to not being very well educated in finances and being irresponsible, we were teaching them, Z had gone so far as to draw up a savings plan and carefully explain it.

Then Cousin and Z got into an argument about some cards that were worth money. I missed what initially started this, but the point is that it was part of the gas money disagreement and was also calling on their words and memories of events earlier in the week. Namely, the budget, what Z had written down for Cousin, which cards were supposed to exist, who was supposed to get them and why, and where they were supposed to be. Everything was supposedly recorded, and Cousin, in an attempt to be correct, tried to find proof he was correct. The paper didn’t say which was correct, although it supported Z’s story more. Z insisted he knew what he was talking about and what he had said. Cousin gave an angry non-apology (I’m sorry you think I’m wrong, sort of deal, I’m sorry you’re upset and arguing, type of thing). This made Z angry. Not only is it disrespectful, but it’s also dismissive, and manipulative. It’s belittling, contemptuous even.

Zolfyer largely hates conflict. He experienced it too much as a child, and being tormented and isolated makes him afraid of being disliked, however he pushed off the fear of backlash to confront Cousin about his behavior. Cousin continued being distant, passive-aggressive, dismissive, belittling and emotionally manipulative. Acting cool and collected, like he’s reasonable, never once admitting that he was wrong. Constantly turning things around and making non-apologies and double-bind statements to make it seem as if Z was being totally out of control and his memory was suspect. Eventually, when Z said that he wasn’t trying to fight but he was so totally frustrated by Cousin’s arrogance and his refusal to take any responsibility whatsoever, Cousin said “I’m not fighting, you’re the only one who is fighting. I’m totally calm.”

Thoroughly upset, frustrated and angry, feeling taken advantage of and like his memories and thoughts and feelings were being dismissed, ignored and feeling twisted into the bad guy position (which, considering his past history with emotional abuse, bullying and dealing with unintentional emotional neglect from extreme poverty, is totally triggering) he goes into our bedroom, slams the door and puts a hole in it. Then dents his mini fridge, mostly because he wanted to avoid putting a hole in the wall. I spent fifteen minutes cleaning and bandaging his hands. It took two weeks for his knuckles to heal.

This is an intense example. This is one of the most intense examples. Most of my other examples are much smaller, more low key. Cousin refused to go to the tournament, which meant that the two friends who were also going (this was a team tourney, you need groups of three, now they were one short) were assed out. Because he couldn’t grow up and get over himself, he failed two people who he made a commitment to. I had to go instead, because I tell our friends that I will always play if they need me. I’m not competitive and despise crowds, enclosed spaces and especially crowded enclosed spaces. Traveling also takes a lot of energy from me, and this tournament was in Maryland. I was extremely cranky and exhausted from the beginning, especially since, as an empath, arguments take a lot out of me just to be around (on top of that my deck was behind everyone else, so I was at a huge disadvantage because support for my clan didn’t exist yet). Cousin also acts this way towards Fiancee, including frequently getting angry at her and yelling at her when she confides or vents to us, then follows it up with telling her he’s “glad she has someone she can talk to and confide it.” Then, when she vents and confides, gets really angry at her again. Also gives her the silent treatment, going so far as to lock her out of their bedroom while they were still down south.

My intense example was yesterday, about him treating me with contempt. I don’t hit people or objects, so there won’t be any of that. I did, however, rant a metric ton to other people. If you’d like to see the rant detailing most of the situation, you may do so here. More clarifying information for that is this: Cousin was insistent that his future daughter could not have sex in his house before she turned 16, but his future son could. BGF and I asked him repeatedly to clarify, to elaborate, and all he had to say was “because that’s my girl, my princess and that’s my boy, my prince”. We asked why the boy got to but not the girl, we asked why was there a double standard, we asked why did it matter, we asked why could he but not she. We phrased it about six different ways, each, and he still gave the same answer. He insists I jumped down his throat and never gave him the chance to answer. He also told Z that I am always shoving my words down his and Fiancee’s throats. Among other things. He basically ranted to Zolfyer that I’m a huge problem to them and that I act in an unfair and antisocial manner. He hasn’t spoken to me all day, never even looked me in the eye.

If you’ve chosen to read this far, and have even read my rant, you’ll understand what I’m about to say next.

Ma’at is decaying. It is becoming isfet. It needs to change.

They are creating one hell of a toxic environment. They are literally taking up space, food and energy without giving a significant balance back. My house is dirty and smells from their ferrets. I’m tired of being confined to my room or the kitchen because their things are spread out in the livingroom and they can’t be bothered to clean up after themselves consistently unless someone starts cleaning. My bathroom stinks and is perpetually dirty because of the extra people taking long showers. They don’t seem to know how to get out of the shower without dragging water all over the floor, which means my rug gets soaked and nearly had to be thrown out from mold and mildew.

I am angry. I am perpetually angry because of things they do, or things they say. Usually to Z, but also to me. I am tired of being disrespected and treated with contempt in my own home. I am tired of my boyfriend being treated with contempt and disrespect in his home. He pays for literally everything, almost $2,000 per MONTH, with two jobs and freelance work and we only ask for $100 from them. He should not have anyone say to him, but especially not the person in his home out of the generosity of his heart “well, be glad you don’t work nine hours a day.” (I actually nearly went off on my mother for saying something about his work hours. People like to demean the fact his jobs are part-time and discount their value and the toll they take) He shouldn’t be experiencing the anxiety, insomnia and lack of appetite he got from the mortgage job on his way HOME. He shouldn’t feel like he can’t be in his living room or kitchen because of the dank energy and nasty, petulant, cocky attitude of his cousin.

I should not have to argue with anyone about whether it is or isn’t ok to use slurs in my house. 

It occurred to me, that I haven’t been able to connect or focus as well on my spirit work since they got here. Now, part of that is Dapper being sick, another part is that I quiet my plants and Dapper when there are guests over. Some of my frequent guests are sensitive, so it’s only considerate. However, a lot more than that has taken a toll on my practice. I do still think it best for me to reach out to other gods and explore other paths and ideas, but I do know their being here has significantly impacted my spiritual health as much as my emotional health. It isn’t ok. They need to go, we were already thinking about moving up their date because it turns out Fiancee is due in August, not September, but now we’re getting to the point of being thoroughly fed up.

I’m not saying I’m completely in the right. I know that I’m not. I am not exactly a “fair” debater. I have very intense emotions and extremely strong opinions. I also want people to mean what they say and say what they mean. I expect people to back their statements and opinions up, and not expect me to take them at face value. I don’t like it when people try to dodge. I do attack people sometimes, or otherwise “jump down their backs.” Could I have handled my particular intense example better? Hell yeah, I could have. I did try and be calm from the get go, since I was calm and wasn’t trying to fight when the disagreement began. I genuinely didn’t think he knew that the slur “midget” was a big deal since lots of people use it. I know that I can handle things better and that doubtlessly some arguments I’ve had with Cousin or Fiancee are my fault and escalated because of me. That doesn’t excuse their behavior either though.

This cannot continue. When ma’at turns to isfet, you must turn it back. When they leave, my home is getting the most thorough cleansing I can possibly give it. There will be execrations, to say the least. I don’t know what else I’ll do, I’ll figure it out.

 

Change

I’ve gone through one hell of a rough time recently. Depression has hit me like a sack of building, to the point of a panic attack and the worst dissociative episode I’ve ever had. Then there’s the heat, and ugh, I am extremely sensitive to heat and humidity. Not only does it make me feel horribly sick, yucky and sluggish, but high heat and humidity is strongly associated with more asthma flares. Why? Well, that would be because high heat and humidity contributes to smog and increases the concentration of pollution and pollen. Pollution and heat combined are by far my worst asthma triggers aside from dust, mold and very frigid air (usually plus exercise). I can take my various plant allergies, they usually just make me a sneezy, sniffly, red-eyed mess, but that smog man, that smog.

As followers may know, I struggle with depression quite regular and it fucks me over spiritually. On top of that, I still don’t know what’s causing these neurological-type symptoms. I do know that the exhaustion of a week-long asthma flare (don’t ever tell an asthmatic that they shouldn’t be tired after a flare. ever.), the struggle of the suffocating heat and my depression has made the last week and a half pure hell. This stress has made me seriously reconsider what I’m doing religiously/spiritually. I’ve mused on it for a while now, trying to figure out where I’m going, where I want to be, and if I’m on the right path. This recent spell of trouble has really spurred me to reevaluate.

For a while I feel like I’ve floundered. I prefer more structure and it’s hard to find that in Kemeticism that isn’t the overwhelming priestly stuff. The vagueness of ma’at only makes it more frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, I love the netjer and I like and identify with a lot of the religious system. I love the mythology as well, and I love the community. I just, can’t figure out my head from my ass at home. I also like having things to do, which sounds weird from someone who enjoys worship, but I like goals and activities. Making shit up doesn’t work that well for me, as a depressed, sick introvert my brain works a little slow. Focus is hard to come by, so is energy, and clarity of thought or signal? Ha, surely you kid. Intense anxiety over my sanity is no picnic.

The other thing though, is that, despite my love of the netjeru, I can’t seem to connect with any of them. It’s not so much they don’t want me, a couple of them have at least shown interest and I could probably be confident that Aset is one I could rely on, but I really don’t feel connected to them. I understand that I’ve picked a quiet god, but I’m starting to think our relationship has changed, and we will no longer be the same devotee-devoted. I will likely still give him attention and pray to him, but I don’t think we’re the right fit for each other and I imagine he figured that out way before I did. Supposedly Kali is interested, I’ve received feedback from several avenues, but I really don’t know enough about Hinduism and lack the focus to learn what I feel is necessary to honor her properly. Further, she’s usually worshiped in a Tantric manner and I’m not interested in that form of worship. I can’t seem to find much for bhakti though, which frustrates me more. I am leaving space for her on my shrine, and if she wants me that badly she can chase me down and give the resources I need.

So now, I’m trying to focus on various questions that will help me pick a new direction. I need a focus, an aim, of what I should be looking for and learning about. I’m going to ask and answer them here, because recording things is good for me, and writing helps me organize my thoughts. Within three days I intend to change the name of this blog as well as its partner on Tumblr. As far as my tumblr goes, I mostly post social justice things to it, and so it doesn’t reflect what it was originally intended for. I will likely create another tumblog and connect this wordpress to that instead. Make no mistake, I won’t be leaving the kemetic community, they are totally awesome and I have a lot of friends there. I will just no longer identify as Kemetic unless a netjer tracks me down and drags me back.

What do I like? Well, I like reading, crochet, video games, wolves, dogs, cats, rabbits, the nighttime. Dinosaurs, dragons, werewolves. I like twilight and daybreak, sunrises and sunsets. I like the moon, I like streams, lakes and rivers. I have a love-hate with the ocean, it’s much to rough and large for me, the energy is overwhelming (and hydrophobia, fear of drowning, doesn’t help). I love plants, good heavens I love me some plants. Forests are awesome, especially mountain forests. Cool, autumn and spring weather. I like the quiet and slowdown of nature during fall and the quiet, waking up of spring. It helps that my asthma is best behaved during these months when extreme weather and high pollution aren’t usually concerns, and although I have plenty of allergies, they don’t usually make me too miserable. I’m fond of storms, but really I enjoy rain, mist and fog. It has a softness, gentleness to it that can shield you. I love after storms have passed, I’m not much for the buildup beforehand. I also like medicine, the body and helping people. I like the mind, even though it’s a pretty scary place. I like healing. I also like trying new things and thinking up wacky ideas, and I like my myths and anime. I could probably swing pop culture paganism.

What do I need out of a religious system? Support. Focus. Goals. Structure. Not necessarily church-level or something, just an established system and set of rules and guidelines to work within. Lattice-work to build on, basically. I also want a god-relationship. It’s just something I prefer, and was really a big reason I left Christianity to begin with. Another thing perhaps is energy work and other kinds of magic and spirit-y things.

What motivates me? Mostly other people. I’m not a self-starter, not for myself. Helping and caring for others is a big motivator for me. Oh, you need something? Oh, you fucked up and need help fixing it? Let me get started on that. Not very helpful when going after something for oneself is it? I haven’t yet found what motivates me for me yet, except perhaps enjoyment of a task, but even then it can be difficult. I’m really stuck in my head, I think about many different things, and I am an imaginer and worldbuilder at heart. I create elaborate things in my mind, and I can sit around all day daydreaming and creating a story, or thinking about my various interests, likes and values. INFP fits me well.

What makes me feel safe? Blankets, my sister and boyfriend. Silence and near silence. Classical music. Plants, especially trees, forests, mountains. Mist, fog and light rain. Cool weather with a soft wind. Low light, such as after a storm, at night, twilight and daybreak. I am a night owl and am often awake when others are asleep. I won’t be bothered, things are quiet, I’m not stressed by having to interact or be attuned to them. Hugs and physical affection, unless I am painfully and desperately overwhelmed. I’m a serious introvert and an empath, and tactile stimulation, auditory intensity and crowds upset me. This makes winter very hard, because the tactile stimulation of heavy clothes, shoes and coats often lowers my people tolerance, makes me tired and more emotionally volatile. Being affectionate to someone I’m close to is very soothing for me, people who know me IRL know I like hugs, poking, tickling etc, and that I can often be seen patting, stroking or touching Zolfyer. What can I say, he makes me feel safe and calm. Dogs and cats make me feel safe, pictures of wolves and african painted dogs as well. Stuffed animals.

What helps me focus? Music mostly, and talking to myself. Writing helps as well, as does crocheting. Visualization is a toss-up, but having a tactile focus greatly helps. I’m a hands-on learner, and I remember written words better than pictures or spoken words. Making my own charts, graphs, etc helps me remember and focus. Going over something with someone else, or teaching someone, also helps. I’m not a people person but helping others or working with a small group is a good way for me to work, especially if I can direct while working along them. This is why magic is more difficult for me, learning by hand, by trial and error, needing skills that aren’t necessarily tactile, having no one to help or discuss things with, etc, make it hard for me to find a system that works, especially because I’m very sensitive to the movement of energy within myself and working with energy is a bitch since it isn’t really tactile. It is, but not in the same way as, say, crocheting.

What do I enjoy with spiritual and energetic things? I enjoy the learning, the reading, the imagining. I enjoy feeling (there goes that INFP again) both emotionally and physically. The problem of course is that I’m a typical Scorpio with really intense emotions and so feeling can quickly cross from enjoyable to overwhelming and scary. I enjoy singing as well, which I’ve discovered is a good way to raise energy, though what kind I couldn’t exactly tell you. It’s more a way to focus than anything, but that doesn’t make it less valuable. I’ve yet to figure out a way I can use this consistently to my advantage. Dealing with plants is also fun.

What do I want out of a deity/spirit relationship? I don’t entirely know. I know I want a focus. I enjoy worship and veneration (gods if I can find somebody who has some hymns or something whose music isn’t lost omg) as well as playfulness. Having been with the netjer I value at least some looseness and willingness to tolerate sass and frustration. I want to feel protected, like I can rely on them to help me and be there for me when I reach out. I certainly need one who talks and interacts more. I know I need pushing, especially for shadow work, but I also need a soft touch, because I am diamond, so hard that I’m quite brittle. Or perhaps glass would be a better analogy, seeing as how you need diamond to cut glass, but it shatters quite easily. It’s forged in fire or from lightning, but so easily hurt. I suppose that means I need a glassworker. I certainly need to feel like they’re reliably there for me, fear of abandonment and loneliness is strong with this one.

What do I want my spirituality to do for me? Be a support system. Be a place I can turn when I am flailing, desperate and crushed. I need it to be reliable, consistent, motivating me to better myself. Giving me at least some direction in how to better myself. Interesting and able to be innovated. I also want to learn more about healing on various levels of energy and planes. I want to feel like I’m doing something, and not just wandering around aimlessly. I’d like to be traversing clouds for a purpose since I always have my head in them.

 

As usually happens when I have these issues, I talked to my twin. She had this to say

My intuition has been in high mode (thanks Neptune retrograde you sneaky bastard). I feel like we are looking at stuff and expecting something to crop up like Christianity, as far as having a big community and structured weekly rituals. Now, i know that you need structure more than I do, and you’ll probably do better if you can find a group that you can actually see and meet with.

I can agree with her here. I definitely do enjoy worship in groups, and having someone to talk to and play around with magic and energy work (and gods, give me feedback and practice!) would be very useful for me. Which will likely influence what sorts of things I’ll look in to, since many paths are small and don’t have widespread groups.

The other thing I realized is that the city makes me very tense. I don’t usually notice or realize just how stuffed up and tense I am until I go somewhere else, like visiting the mountains or something. It’s hard to let that tension go too, but escaping the hard, crackly, dense energy of the city for the energy of the mountains and forests is definitely a noticeable difference in my health on all levels. I’ve always loved plants, especially trees, and of course mountains and bodies of water have their own spirits as well. I imagine this very much connects with my wolfishness. My sister also mentioned that she very clearly thinks of me as a green witch, and I know how much I love water despite my drowning fear. Lakes and rivers are very awesome and quite calming, while also deeply foreboding in the way of a good horror movie. It’s an excitement, much like the night. The night is shielding, enveloping, but it is also dangerous in a much different way than the daytime. The same goes for fog and mist, weather I love, not only for being interesting and cool, but for being quiet and shielding as well, for having that same horror movie pulse that makes you take a deep breath and lean forward in your seat, waiting for the jump scare you know is coming and hoping to be surprised.

I think this will be good enough to make some kind of headway somewhere. Who knows. Any suggestions from ya’ll? I enjoy reading, so I don’t mind lots of suggestions or information.

Quiet Jackals and Silent Wolves

In January I had a very serious mental health crisis. I probably should have gone to the hospital, it was that serious. However, I am poor and black and Z doesn’t know enough about mental health and the health system to know when to take me and how to keep me safe and cared for once I’m there. It was rough. The issue of mental health in the pagan community is a touchy topic. There are a lot of people with issues, and way too much fluffy, bad abusive, nasty or ableist advice for them. There’s good advice obviously, but oh do humans love to fling shit. I avoided this issue by not bringing it up outside of my safe spaces where I’m surrounded by supportive, loving people who know what I’m talking about when I mention my suffering. Yesterday one of those people made an interesting post responding to something on tumblr. One of her suggestions for resolving the problem she discussed is what has finally brought me back to my blog.

One of the problems I had during this severe bout of depression and suicidality was paranoia. Truly I have not felt such powerful paranoia in my short life, especially towards my spiritual life. The fact that I’ve been harassed by a malevolent spirit for two or three months only magnified the issue. I couldn’t discern anything. Was I being tricked? Was I being attacked? Is this really Dapper or Anpu, Kali or Aset? Even though I cleansed and warded and purified, was my house still vulnerable? Was I? Did I cut the link the spirit was using to hurt me? Were Z’s nightmares tied to this? Was Dapper ok? Was any of this even real or a very long lasting and elaborate delusion? Was I sicker and crazier than I ever thought I was? What if I had really done nothing but hallucinate, or worse, I’d been abandoned?

I can attest the post-breakdown Fallow Time is one of the most difficult and agonizing types of Fallow Periods. It felt like everything was wrong, like nothing was real, like I couldn’t be sure about anything. The fact I do derealize when my depression is very severe made it worse. Even the slightest nudge or attempt to contact was muddled and confused. I couldn’t figure out what anyone was saying or what anyone wanted, if I was even sensing them, if I was doing it correctly (I know, silly to think you could feel something incorrectly, but you’d be surprised if you don’t have a sensory issue or mental health problem and have a firm security in your perception of sensations). One thing that still pops up is whether I’m actually even wanted or poking around at the “right god”. Does Anpu really want me? Am I bothering Him or being useful in any way? Should I reach out to other gods? Am I even actually sensing other gods? Do they want me? Would any of this shit I’m thinking about doing be even the least bit useful or beneficial?

Why, oh why, dear gods and goddesses, was it so. fucking. unbearably. horrifically. silent?

Not that it mattered that it was silent. In the intensity of my fear and paranoia that I was being tricked or suckered by an opportunistic spirit or the bitch demon who attacked me made me shove away anything I did sense in abject panic. I didn’t (and don’t) know if my wards are anything more than pathetic little screens, with the gracious help of three and a half plants (cuttings of two of the plants, still just branches with little roots) and a dinosaur. I don’t know if my cleansing and purification, all the magic and heka I attempted, actually worked and will keep that spirit bitch away. I don’t know if her hold is broken. And for whatever reason every divination I’ve done (asked for from others, and not done for myself) keeps mentioning being wary of new help from nowhere and new people.

While my panic has settled down immensely, the worry and concern is still there. Especially because I still don’t know what to do about Anpu. See, it’s not that he’s ever mean or anything, nothing of the sort, I just don’t know what to make of him. I get this sense when I look at him. It isn’t anger or rejection or anything clear and obvious, it’s simply a very uncomfortable and confusing sensation. It incites worry. More like he’s looking at me, wondering what exactly to do with me. I’ve had this feeling ever since I started down this path, and it has made me question my path choice just as much as my god choice. However, I always come back here, because even though plenty of religions make sense to me and have elements I’m looking for, this is the one that works, sorta, and I’m trying not to give up or dish out when there isn’t precisely anything wrong and nothing else is reaching out to me the same way.

I know that Dapper doesn’t come as close, probably worried that his presence is bad for my health or could adversely affect me or attract attention. His concern has some rational basis, I’ve found that I cannot try and actively astral anymore and need to be wary of physical-astral contact or connection. It seems to aggravate whatever it is that causes me to twitch and shake even a year past when I initially went to the hospital. Magic on this plane is also a little harder and wears me out more. Not to mention, Dapper does have enemies and interacts with less than savory characters (his job is not an easy one) and is very strong. His weak, mewling human is an easy target. Especially easy when she can barely control any magic, astral transformations or effectively ward. I wouldn’t be surprised if Anpu asked him to stay back for a while as well.

I mention all this to a purpose, not simply to inform or lament that my mental health sucks (which it does). My friend’s suggestion in that tumblr post was that, a way to help others is write to them about your experiences and how you deal with it. Help others learn to cope and change the narrative. Unfortunately I can’t say I have any sage advice, since I’m only just pushing past the giant wall in my spirit between me and my shrine and still struggling to figure out what I do next. But, I want people to know they aren’t alone in their suffering at least, that I understand such problems, such pain, down to my bones. Heh, even my shadow shudders in pain at times, and I feel my astral wolf self bare fangs and growl. She doesn’t like the pressure and agony of depression either.

Plenty of people will tell you a truth, that it is possible to get through it, that things change and get better. I also understand your truth, that change is a long time coming more often than not, that relief is usually difficult and very incomplete and often rife with fear that it will break again, which it usually does.  I understand the truth that knowing relief will come rarely brings as much hope as we’d like, or eases the stranglehold of our broken spirits. We know it’s supposedly temporary, that our minds are telling us lies so powerful it shakes our bodies, our faith, our souls. We know many truths intellectually. We also know one particularly bitter truth, and that is that the lies feel so intense, so true, that it can be easier to believe them sometimes, or to ignore the truths of hope, because waiting for that hope to manifest is unbearable. Because being told those truths can cause the clamp of our illness’ lies to worsen, because sure we know we’ll get relief in theory, but when will it come? And when it does come, will it last, and will I survive to get there? That is one of the hardest questions to ask, because it is so difficult to answer.

It sucks. To put it far, far too simply. The fear hurts. The doubt hurts. The stifling silence definitely hurts. But you’re not by yourself. Even though the tension is suffocating, I’ve got a cozy blanket and your favorite hot drink. I’ve got your pet and my pet and we can watch them play. Tell me your favorite internet thing and what encouragement you really need and I’ll always show up when I see you suffering with those things. You’ve got a friend here. Misery loves company for many reasons.

Maybe we can try and come up with ways to hold out until the crashing stops together. Or at least I’ll crawl out of my hole and remind you that I care, that I appreciate your presence. That even if I don’t say much I’m peeking out from under my rock, looking at you with the eyes of a kitten, wondering if you’re ok, if you need me to jump out at you and half-startle you into a smile and wrestle with your feet. And if you do, I’ll bring damn near anything I can possibly bring to give you even a smidgen of relief. So, there’s that at least.

Shut Up Motherfucker, I’m Delicate Dammit

For some reason people (me included) just can’t grasp the fact that words mean things. The whole “sticks and stones” spiel always was, is and will be, total bullshit. Words fucking hurt. Sure, sticks and stones do break bones (there’s a reason you can stone and beat people to death), but words. Words can destroy you like a tap of a chisel against scattered rock. They can turn you into sand.

Words burrow into your heart like an insidious horde of termites. See, the thing about termites is that they leave your house full of holes. Millions of tiny holes that cause the wood to be hollow and weak. You wouldn’t even know until something collapsed, because they’re sneaky little bastards. And even when you eradicate them, your home is still ruined. Unsafe, unsound, capable of complete disintegration, at any moment on your head.

Words are termites. They crawl in unseen (or seen, depends on the words and who they’re coming from), and start chomping on you. They break down your bones to feed their thousands of offspring, they tear up your muscles to feed the queen. Your mind falls apart as they consume the juiciest tidbits and the support of your body fails. You might forget they’re there, and all the worse for you, because then you won’t know what’s picking you apart.

Words squirm like maggots, feasting on the dead and dying remnants left by the termites. They weaken you further, and some become the nuisance that are flies. They buzz around until you’ve hit yourself at least once trying to shoo them away or slay them. Words are a difficult pest to exterminate. Worse than bedbugs I would think. Bedbugs at least only bother you at night, as if that’s really a pleasant situation. Trying to rest, sleep, escape from the weariness of the world, and all night they crawl on you, biting and itching. Is that a normal itch? Or one of those pesky words?

Even if you manage to squish the words into oblivion and force the termites out, you’re still left with a dangerous house. Unfortunately, you can’t repair or replace your brain, your spirit. You can try repairs, but you’ll never be the same. It is impossible to make whole what was broken, decayed, dessicated. The category “like new” and “refurbished” comes to mind, but unfortunately you actually can’t get that good. And you become more vulnerable to the treacherous nature of words in the future.

So, why do people misuse words so much? We purposely fling “barbs” and “jabs”. Shouldn’t that be a fucking clue? Why is it so easy to make a hurtful joke or make a prank? Why is it so effortless to be cruel and nasty, even when we truly, genuinely don’t mean to? For some it’s that the offending person doesn’t realize that the person they’re talking to is vulnerable, one who has been badly damaged by a word infestation. Of course, this opens the discussion for why are those words ok period if they hurt the susceptible? Wouldn’t they cause others to be hurt and contribute to future pain? For others the offender is clueless, stupid, or mean-spirited. Somehow words are always just fine until someone gets hurt, and then it all falls apart because the offender was simply hoping to not get called out for being an ass. And still there are those who lash out because they’re in pain, usually because of words, whether freshly ground into their skin or old maggots chewing at their joints.

The reason I’m going on about this is because quite a few of my family members (most of them male) have a disconnect about words and how they mean things. Not only that but a distinct lack of understanding of my personality, mental stability, resilience, and sense of humor. Basically, they say stupid or fucked up shit and it hurts my feelings and they’re always either baffled, offended, uncaring or a combination thereof. Sometimes it’s because there’s confrontation. Whatever, everyone has had nasty words flung due to confrontation. What I’m referring to specifically is jokes.

Anyone with sufficient access to the internet knows these kinds of jokes. Assholish, mean-spirited, cruel, nasty, discouraging, bigoted, and a bunch of other adjectives, these jokes are the ones that are harpoons undercover. They’re demeaning and unpleasant, and they’re often defended when challenged. Not always, since they sometimes come from a genuine place of cluelessness/stupidity/innocence.

From the time I was little I’ve been subjected to such types of jokes. Height, weight, hair, eating habits, talents, and personality have all been fair game for these quips and jibes. I’m not a particularly fastidious person. My feelings are easily hurt, I get offended regularly. I get defensive. I’m softhearted, emotional and empathic. I think deeply, I feel deeply. I’m not that resilient. This isn’t new information. I’ve always been sensitive and acutely aware of others. I’ve also been born to a family that has suffered, and that lashes out and attacks. I have suffered. My mind and spirit has been flogged by words and actions, drained and broken by the parasitic nature of words.

So yeah, when I mention I’m sensitive about a particular subject, like being anxious, shy, and pathologically stage-fright, don’t make a joke about how I “should sing solo so no one can hear you.” Like, are you fucking serious? How is that funny and encouraging to people who are confident in their ability to sing and perform, and who aren’t so easily shattered? This isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with unkind, thoughtless and downright cruel, things being said about any talent besides writing that I’ve tried to cultivate. (Never mind that the pressure on me to write because I’m good at it is strong). No one meant to be critical, but I lived with critical commentary, heavy expectations and destructive words.

It’s interesting that some of my friends comment about how strong and vocal I am. They don’t realize how much the iron claw, powerful voice, assertiveness, viciousness and aggression I show hides a quivering, crying puppy. And how much I only show “strength” to keep others from getting beaten with words, or to shore up their failing beams and sagging ceilings. Truly I’m quite fragile. You can see it whenever I get into an argument with those who can hurt me the worst, and when I get hurt. I bite, with force, to keep others and their infectious words, their deadly parasitic language, away from my weak and broken spirit.

So for fuck’s sake, shut up you assholes. I’m delicate dammit.

And the Coaster Never Stops

I’ve had this problem before. It isn’t new. I can’t sleep. Insomnia isn’t special, especially not in my family. Sometimes I simply suffer from an inability to sleep despite being utterly exhausted. Whatever, normal insomnia. Sometimes it’s from stress or anxiety, mostly normal insomnia. Then there’s this.

It burns. The way my brain is working friking burns. Like hot oil and water, when you toss that not wuite thawed piece of meat in. Oh it pops and snaps, it crackles and fizzes. My whole body is a fury. I feel a false trembling, a shiver that doesn’t exist. My skin crawls and my innards creep. I am not actually shaking, I am not actually itching. I just burn. It is hard to type this. My brain is moving faster than my poor fingers. Oh my sorrowful fingers, how they wish to be unfettered by the limitations of my nervous system’s reactions. If they could move like my brain! Sometimes my mind spins, my thoughts race and I see myself doing all sorts of things. Breaking shit, flipping shit. Climbing, running, hitting, punching everything until I break and bleed over everything. Throwing shit, and taking weapons to random passerby. Suicide, cutting, all sorts of “nice” things to do at 3 am right?

Sometimes I can’t sleep because I just don’t want to. I’m not ready for bed yet, even though my body craves it and I know I need it. Sometimes I stay up to the wee hours, wasting time on nonsense. Surfing chatboards or forums. Desperately searching for someone to be awake who can tell me that I’m not crazy, that I do have a problem and my doctors just aren’t listening. Because they’re not. Oh it’s not the drama of mania they say. It’s not so long or debilitating. Nevermind that there’s a such thing as dysphoric mania and hypomania, that it doesn’t always look exactly alike. Or that depression is the most common swing for bipolar 2. Forget that bullshit. You’re not way up in the sky, even though you’re agitated and cranky and have these nights, sometimes in a row. Because you don’t have the energy of a cracked out two year old and stay awake of your “own free will” there’s nothing special wrong with you. never mind the flying thoughts, racing around like greyhounds and pulling you in a dozen directions. Don’t think about being so anxious that you can barely sit still, or so physically and emotionally agitated that you close yourself in a room to avoid tipping off family to your dilemma. Or that it took you six tries to spell fucking dilemma and you’re an excellent speller!

Think nothing of using all your power to control your voice so you aren’t shouting or speaking as fast as your blazing saddle brain. Or wrapping your body with what little power you have over your mind to keep from fidgeting or pacing or running, or destroying. It all makes sense! You’re just depressed, just anxious, it isn’t mania. You’re not so fucked up after all! fuck you retarded ass doctors. Screw you for not seeing inside my head. How could you miss the sickness with your fancy scans and special questions? I’m only a fucking lunatic! I’m only in the right age bracket! There’s only family history of the disorder and disorders related to it and symptoms reminiscent of it! Now why did it only take me two tries to spell that nonsense but six to spell dilemma? Fuck this noioise. Oh it usually only lasts a few days. Once as long as a week. It wasn’t so deep before thouhg, not until I did the naughty naughty thing. In search of relief for depression I increased my zoloft without permission. Oh just so foolish of me. And now it burns. Gods it burns. And those gods are driving me crazy. So crazy. Who knows if it’s even really the,? Maybe I’m just hallucinating. Am I a crazy motherfucker or what? Kay Redfield Jamison chose an appropriate title for her autobiography as a bipolar woman. Touched by Fire. oh because that is what it fucking is. Fire. burn baby burn.

But sometimes I stay awake because I’m not ready for bed, or I can’t lay in bed because I’m not ready for bed yet because my brain or my body or both is saying avast ye fool! Rush around until you cannot! bleed your eyes and brain and everything on your soul. your soul is in your writing, you have to write! but then I can’t, because nothing can organize. and sometimes I can, and it’s brilliant! ah sometimes I’m so fucking brilliant, even when I don’t have the buzzing energy of a hummingbird on Ecstasy, but sim[ly the ragin agitation of a riled up rattlesnake. See? fucking brilliant. And yet somehow no one ever noitices. ever. ever. I’m so invisible in this world of people who care about me, because insomnia is normal for me and depression is too and no one ever considerst that maybe I’m not having a bout of normal but a bout of violent crazy even worse than wanting to stab myself out of torturous pain and sadness! because in this state my creative side goes into overdrive. tehre are all sorts of crazy ways to kill yourself, and I know so many. Isn’t that pleasant? because fuck this world right? screw this universe!

on monday I didn’t sleep too well. Most of this week I haven’t gotten quite enough sleep. Not enough. close to enough on some nights, not enough on others, not nearly enough nope. not my fault. not my fault. niggas in my head, maybe there, maybe hallucinations, keepin me up talkin. always yappin away. or i was talking to them because i couldn’t sleep and had nothing else to do. one of these nights i couldn’t even stay in bed. i got up and paced, put things in order because that was a better use of the uncontrollable need to pace. my poor z, worried sick about me. he’s loving and patient and kind. i couldn’t even tell him what was wrong. i have this thing where sometimes i can’t talk. the words just won’t come out, no matter how hard i shove them up my diaphragm and through my lungs and to my trachea and past my larynx. they get stuck right there at the good ole voice box. can’t move em for shit. not for shit. but i can write. and i do. so that’s how i get this bullshit out and spread it around to infect everyone i love with its stench. irony is only two people really see even part of the whole story. tellin others doesn’t seem to be worth it. i can’t even imagine what they’d say, probably get mad at me for not saying something sooner. I can’t even tell doctors everything. sometimes it’s a matter of forgetting, sometimes it’s a matter of fear or shame. sometimes it’s them words getting caught in my vocal cords, finding their way out through my little fingers. gods i am crazy. gods i an crazy. GODS I AM FUCKING CRAZY. i hate this shit. shut up brain and go the fuck to sleep, or shake your little nonsense out with the twist and shout. ya did it last week, what’s the harm in doing it again? ain’t that how these conversion disorders are supposed to work? random ass physical symtposm and i don’t even know i have stress! somatization for the win yeah? except even at that you suck. better than getting calleda hypochondriac. i have reasonable concerns about my health i think, since i was a sickly child. overprotected and babied and punched and yelled at and slapped and pressured. haha, the pressure in high school. go central go! you sure know how to make someone feel like a fucked up, stupid failure. it was easy and boring, it was tedious and hard, all at once! way to go for combinging the worst aspects of challenging and boring. yup, i love wasting so much of my life on homework and classwork alike. so fun for me. i loved being shamed for being smart and fucking up so badly. woot. best thing ever. can i kill you now, best high school ever? can i shoot you and burn you up and dissolve you in acid for noticing my abuse and lack of support? or caring about my weird rollercoaster grades? did that mean anything to you? were such inconsistencies signs of something? no? bueller? help? care? or were there just too many of us smarticle particles floatin up in that overcrowded school? best budgeters ever, like on the not sarcasm, cuz yall managed to have all your students have every physicla thing they needed to succeed. nice job, too bad you left out the psychological and emotional parts! because screw that! it’s totally normal for teens to be shit in the head! yup, totally normal, they don’t need help AT ALL. not all , it’s cool. totes cool, no prblems here.

NO PROBLEMS HERE.NONE.AT.ALL. FUCK PROBLEMS, TEENS DON’T HAVE PROBLEMS, EXCEPT THE ONES THY CAUSE THEMSELVES TIGHT?Riight? you can admit it, if teens listened to every adult and thought like adults and acted like adults all our special teen issues would vanish! except adults are pretty fucked up, and adult hood is horrifyingly disgusting. oh gods adulthood sucks asss. in hihg school they told me those would be my best years! that’s such messed up shit it’s not even funny, especially since being a teen is awful!!! horrible bullshit. why can’t i just be dog? i mean really, much easier life being a dog. get food, get kids, i mean really, what’s not to love? disadvantage to every life, but being a dog just seems nicer, easier, less complicated. repreating phrases in my mind, fuck this bullshit with a tine. gods i hate my brain, why can’t it just WORK  goddamit, work? it just flagrantly disobeys, knocking shit down and flipping shit over. bleh. bleh.

I’m sitting in this dreadful mire

writhing, seething, in desire

to not be touched by this fire.

i can’t escape, i can’t erase it

nor can it be confiscated

but in this room so bright and cheery

i can see my world get bleary.

is it spinning like a portal

or is it running like a paint whorl?

my mind is like the Starry Night,

shining blue, with yellow light,

and yet I cannot seem to stay

on this path that leads to day.

even if I could I see

the twilight coming speedily

and in this moment I realize

that Night Falls Fast upon my eyes.