bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: backstory

The Other.

<<<<see previous post for context<<<<<<

1 September 2016 – Day 2

The visualization today requires one to look in the mirror and ask oneself:

What is being hidden? What is holding you back?

When I looked into the bowl – I saw myself, at approximately age 10 or so.  I was crying, I was cutting – words into my skin.

And then I saw myself (at age 6 or 7) sitting at a table, deep in concentration.

I am making things out of clay.

My mother is there, but she is cleaning the kitchen.

(I am remembering, I am hearing snippets of my mother’s commentary:  Stupid little junky things and making such a mess.

These were things my mother hated: messes and ‘junky things.’

And I am making a mess.

According to her, I am sitting there, always making ‘stupid little junky things.’  My mother hated them; but my father collected them.  I see them lined up on the top of his bureau, these things I’ve made.

I watch myself trying not to cry, trying not to listen or to care about what is being said.

I feel defeated.

Suddenly, the words

strong

and

creative girl

run through my head as I consider my younger self in this vision.

It is difficult to see her.  I want to push this away.

I want her to be someone who is not afraid to say ‘No’

I want her to be the sort of child who is not afraid to stand up and tell her mother:

You are wrong. 

That is not true.

I am more than you know. 

I am more than you think. 

Where is she? The one who can do – the one who is unashamed – to create, to be, to shine?

She is crying.  I am crying.

Suddenly I remember those words, said just a few nights ago:

How dare you dull yourself for others….

I saw a girl who stopped trying.

The girl who gave up, who accepted their words

their ridicule

their anger

feeling like she deserved this treatment.

The quiet girl who simply tried harder to be perfect.

I wanted to show you…the one who decided to accept their opinions rather than creating herself. 

This is the one who hid.

This is the one you hid.

And then, I saw a ten-year old  girl pinned to the wall of a well-lighted bathroom – disassociating from the humiliation of what her mother is doing.

‘Come here, will you? Stay still! Just let me…goddamnit, I am trying to help you!….’

Feeling ashamed.  Trying to disassociate from the pain of fingernails digging into skin; face feeling hot and swollen…. and crying.

‘You know, you’d be so pretty if you would just let me fix…let me get this….’

I feel ANGRY.

This is the girl who holds it all in.

This is the girl who doesn’t complain.

This is the girl who didn’t think that she could win, so she didn’t fight.

This is the girl who acquiesced.

I wish that I could tell that girl that she did not deserve that  —  she did not have to accept that treatment – she didn’t have to allow her mother to do that.

I realize that this is why I have always inwardly cringed a little bit at those words Accept and Allow.

This is why I Can’t.

Because I realize when I accepted that – I accepted the unacceptable along with the acceptable and I allowed behavior that should not have ever been allowed.

And why?  Because I thought that if I was ‘good,’ I would be loved…but I was never good enough.

‘Here.  Step into the light.  Look at your face…let me fix that….’

Crying didn’t help.  Anger didn’t help.  Physical resistance only led to escalating altercations that just exacerbated things between my mother and I.

So what did I do — to cope?

I learned to ‘fix.’

Like my mother, I compulsively examine my face in the mirror.  I pluck my eyebrows and pick and scratch at the skin of my face, trying to fix.

I am wrecking my skin. I routinely  over-pluck my eyebrows.

And she ‘taught’ me how, because at some point, she stopped pinning me against the wall – because I learned to do these things to myself – to fix.

But I always feel so ugly afterwards.

Each time I tell myself that I won’t do it again.

Until the next time, every time that I feel or see an ingrown hair growing crooked or feel a bump or a flake of dry skin.   I always think my ‘fixing’ will make things better.

So I spend a lot of time examining my face in bathroom mirrors, looking for the slightest flaws – lumps, discolorations, hairs.

I also pick and scratch and worry the skin around my fingernails and at the tips of my fingers… and while I do not bite my fingernails, I try to keep them short enough so I can’t.

I convince myself that I’ve gotten better, you know.

Because it has to have been a good 25 years since I had gotten so lost in scratching or picking that the only thing that broke me out of my stress-induced reverie was that my fingers were bleeding.

When I’m stressed, I lightly – though compulsively – scratch my scalp.  (I still actually find head-scratching rather soothing.  Head-scratching is one of the only OCD things that I still do that doesn’t seem to do too much damage, but I can be obsessive about it, and thus feel ashamed enough to sit on my hands on my particularly ‘bad days.’)

It is OCD.

But the important difference between my mother and I – is that I respect the bodily autonomy of others.

And I have been through enough therapy to realize that what my mother did was abusive and wrong

This is hard.

You must step into the light…

But I realize that I am the one holding me back.

 

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Month for Loki, Day 10: Story

I feel like my throat is closing up.

My throat feels raw and it is painful to swallow.  My senses seem dulled as my sinuses are filled with congestion.

Perhaps this is nothing but a chest cold, a head cold.  My head feels as if I am under water, and there is a strange metallic taste in my mouth.  My eyes water and my muscles ache.

Perhaps this is really nothing at all besides my simply being sick.

But I am not telling my story.

I know my task.  I know what stories I have promised to tell and yet I am having trouble speaking of them. I am having trouble writing about them.

I know that He wants me to write of how things changed.

How Loki as the Teacher and the Magician slowly morphed into Loki as the Lover in mid-2013.

You see, my husband of 20 years was having an affair and that knowledge of that fact devastated me.

So Loki came forward, first to comfort, and then to strengthen and empower me in my feelings of brokenness and betrayal.

Ever the Teacher, He sought to show me –through use of Himself as an example – how I should be loved.  Simple as that: He sought to love me and to heal me with a fierce and steadfast tenderness that I continue to marvel over, even to this day.

But I didn’t want His love…in the sense that I felt that I could not possibly deserve it.  I did not believe that I deserved His fierce loyalty, His honeyed promises, His gentle touches.  Instead, I insisted upon a passionate, almost feral connection.

I was angry and avoidant.

I didn’t expect to be understood, much less, did I expect to be loved.

I pushed Him away.

I refused to see; I resisted recognizing Him as anything other than a Being Who could break me and I sought to be broken.

I wanted to experience the height of relationship that I had recently been teaching others about – I wanted to experience a consensual, BDSM-fueled dynamic.

But He refused.

Our ‘scenes’ were passionate, yes, but He refused to cause me any pain.

Though I begged for Him to transform me through pain, He responded:

Why? You have been through enough pain…and yet you have not learned.

So He approached me with care and kindness.  I daresay His behavior was all romance and gentility, and my response was I wanted desperately to shut down:

That is not for me, I wept and I raged, That has never been for me. I don’t believe in that.

And so I hid from Him.

I pushed Him so hard.

I dared Him to grab me by the neck and shame me like an errant puppy.

I waffled between fear and rage.

I was either afraid of Him or I was angry/despairing of Him.

I was insistent: You do not love me.  You cannot love me.  No one can.

But He simply smiled and blinked and continued to present Himself to me, in dreams.

He spread Himself out like water at my feet.

He stroked my face with tender hands.

He bowed down low, head to the ground, and asked me how He could serve.

To be honest, He was a better submissive than I ever could have been, and yet I still argued, how – why – what had I ever done to deserve such devotion, such heartfelt words, such considerate actions?  The acts of His submission were all rooted in my own personal repertoire, and yet He faced me with every single one of them, challenging me to consider Him and to receive Him as I sought to be received in the BDSM dynamic I craved/created with so many others.

Allow Me to care for you as you have cared for others. 

Allow Me. 

Allow Me, He whispered over and over.

submissive-man-kneeling-in-submission-2

He often tried to convince me, cajole me into recognizing Him in the shape-shifting flurry of faces, of former play-partners and past lovers that I’d see in my dreams:

I see you. Do you see Me?

See Me.

Look Me in the face.

See Your Beloved.  I am here before you.

He demanded eye contact.  He accepted no less.

And still, I ran.  I avoided.  I cried.

I would not look Him in the eye.

But He was patient…and He was relentless.

~~~

By 2014, I stopped teaching at BDSM events.

Though I’ve been involved in ‘the scene’ for over 20 years now, I have not attended a BDSM event in two years.

(to be continued…)

Month for Loki Day 13: Seeing, and Being Seen.

When I first decided to attend a Loki ritual for April Fool’s Day 2012, I was scared shitless.

 

Partly because of my social anxiety, and partly because I’d heard that – sometimes – these rituals could bring Him to you…

… And I’ll be honest:

I had a few nightmares that He’d reject me in some incredibly publicly humiliating way.

 

If not that, then I feared that everyone there would suddenly know that I didn’t belong, or something.

I felt sick to my stomach with worry and panic.

I am ashamed to admit to what I thought would happen, even now.  My stomach knots up just thinking about it.

So there was the infinite battle between my self-doubt and fear, versus my desire to know, to experience the Divine.

You see, for the first year after I decided to embrace the situation I was in, I both hungered for and feared interaction with other Lokeans, as well as interaction with Loki himself.

Going to that ritual was an act of pushing myself out of a comfort zone on so many levels.

But I really felt that I had to go.  I felt that I owed it to Him that I should go.  It seemed to me to be exactly the sort of thing that He would want.

Well, Loki…and of course, Eleanor Roosevelt:

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot do.”

And when I got there, I was a wreck.

I was feeling such a bizarre mix of emotions.

To this day, I don’t know how much of it was me, how much it was possible empathic overload from those present, and how much of it was the Divine.

I felt itchy and irritable and grateful and terrified.

Everyone was so welcoming, and friendly.

But I was trying to hold myself in reserve.  I felt like I was leaking my emotions all over the place.

It was as it was in my social anxiety nightmares — I felt as if everyone could sense what best could be described as my wild energy leakage (!) and that they were uncomfortable with me.

I kept checking myself:

Am I talking too much?  

Am I enjoying myself?

 How do I feel?

Am I acting weird? (Hell, I ‘m *feeling* weird.   I am terrified.  I am happy.  I am confused.  I feel a bit dizzy.  I am uncomfortable.  I am hungry.  Something is poking me.**  I’m having trouble focusing/listening/sitting still.  OK, that *is* weird)

And so, all the while I was analyzing this incredible tangle of thoughts I was having, as I went and introduced myself.

It was exhausting and exhilarating and so very strange for me.

And I was OK.

But most importantly, I stayed and I didn’t cry or throw up or say anything too inappropriate, and I think that I came across as normal.  (Well, mostly.)

I remember being nervous and uncoordinated about what to do with my hands during the invocation and hailing as we stood in the circle, but thankfully no one noticed or cared about my lack of ritual form.

I was really moved by the mask creation portion.

I still remember most of what I scribbled in my tiniest block handwriting all down each side of that face that I made for myself.  I wrote:

I cannot see under the right eye of the mask. (That is my lazy eye, which really doesn’t physically see very well)

I want to see.
I am frightened.
I am nervous.
I feel unworthy
(And several other negative aspects/attributes written)

I want to move beyond this.  I am blinded by these (obstacles written)

Under my left eye (my seeing eye), I wrote:

I can see.
I want to be seen.
I am grateful.
I am thankful.
(Other positive attributes written)

I want to continue to see.  I want to remember/recognize these (positive aspects/attributes written) in myself and others.

In the middle of the mask, I wrote a few phrases that drew upon both left and right.

On the side of the mask that faces out, I wrote some things about myself that I allow others to see and know about me.

On the side of the mask facing in, I wrote some things that I see and know about myself that I choose to hide.

Initially I’d made the eye opening very small on the right side to represent all that I couldn’t see.   After I’d finished writing, however, I cut out the edges of the right eye so that the two openings were even.

I realize now that it was sort of a wish, or a prayer for more balance between the left and the right.

—-

The other lovely thing about the ritual was that one could choose to hold onto their mask and make an offering of it on one’s own altar at home, or the mask itself could be burned as an offering.

I liked the concept of the burning the mask as a recognition and a release –  more than to hold onto it as a recognition and a reminder -of the masks that one wears.

When I burned the mask, I had trouble getting the paper to burn.

I remember that I had to push the paper quite far into the flames before it caught.

I recall looking down and wondering idly if I would have to reach so far in that my sleeve would catch fire in the process.

And, you know what happened next?

As I was pushing the paper forward, my thumb brushed – and briefly stuck to a bright orange ember, which, not surprisingly, caused me just enough pain to get me to finally let go of the paper.

I’ve got this.

As I watched the mask being consumed by the flames, I  rubbed my thumb, wondering if it would blister.

But thankfully, it never did.

But if it had, I would’ve seen it as my first object lesson…of which He might have quipped:

Ah, I see that you have an inability to let go.

~~~~

When I was a little girl, my Nana (a devout Irish Catholic) would try to ensure my good behavior by reminding me that God could see me always, but as you may have guessed, I wanted so desperately *not* to be seen.

Oh, if only I could run.  If only I could hide …

~~~

In June 2011, I decided to stop running.

And in April 2012, I decided that I would make an effort to stop hiding.

I will admit that I still have my moments, but despite them, He is relentless.

And I am thankful for that.

I see you.

And in that, I make this grateful prayer:

Hail Loki!

Thank You for Your patience with me, Oh Relentless One.

Thank You for seeing me.

 

 

~~~

** I swear, I felt like something was poking me. THAT WAS WEIRD.