1/21/16

A conversation.

Waxing Ice Moon (Age: 8 days)
Sign: Cancer
Weather: Partly cloudy, seasonable temps
Snow pack: 1 in. approx.
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Ingvi: You are refusing to do what relaxes you. This is part of what is wrong right now. Why do you insist on doing everything the hard way? What are you trying to prove?

Me: It's a habit. And I guess I'm trying to prove that I'm good enough.

Ingvi: Who are you trying to prove that to? How on Earth do you think you are going to accomplish this? What point is it good enough? Because from where I stand, there isn't an end point. It just keeps getting worse and more demanding with each hurdle you jump and river your cross.

Me: I don't know who I'm trying to prove it to. I don't know when it will be enough. It never is enough.

Ingvi: I can tell you who you're trying to prove your worth to. Someone who isn't here. Someone you have removed from the picture and doesn't see the torture you're putting yourself through. She can't see it. She never did see your worth. She saw a puppet. She saw someone to manipulate, to make jump through hoops for her amusement. You'd accomplish something and she'd set the bar higher. It wasn't to motivate you to do better. It was to try and make you fail. The fact that you rose to the challenge says more about you than it ever will about her.

Me: I don't know.

Ingvi: Trust me. You're far more competent, successful, and skilled than you realize. You need to stop punishing yourself when there is literally no reason for it. Your existence is not a curse or a blight on the world. It is a blessing. And you have never had anything to apologize for when it came to that. You never NEVER need to apologize for drawing breath.

Me: I know.

Ingvi: Do you? Do you really know? Do you understand that you are not a burden, something to be tolerated, or a mistake? Do you understand that you are a blessing in this world, someone to be embraced, and a glorious being who is needed in this world? Because I don't think you do. There's humility and then there is self rejection. What you do is not humility. And it needs to stop.

1/19/16

Letters to Loki No. 32

Dear Loki,

I am sitting here dreading the moment my kids get home. I feel badly that I slept so much today. I know that I had a lot of problems sleeping last night. I don't know why I woke up so many times through the night, but I really hope that tonight is not like that. I also don't want to deal with temper tantrums like I was yesterday. I know that the kids need to get some outside play time. At the same time, though, it is in the low 20s (F) and the wind is screaming out there. Even fifteen minutes may be too long for me out there.

I have a huge pile of magazines regarding crochet and spinning to read. I flipped through the one regarding silk spinning. As I did so, I couldn't help thinking that this is something that you would enjoy. I know that some people associate spiders with you because of the similarity between one of your heiti and the name of spiders in Norwegian. (I think? It may be Swedish, I'm not sure anymore.) I will be honest, I have joined the club of people who associate you with spiders but not because of questionable games regarding semantics (which I believe you find hilarious. Just a suspicion, but I have a feeling you find the word games really funny). No, I've come to associate you with spiders because of late, spiders have become one of the ways you've been pointing things out to me.

All this stuff about silk spinning put me to mind of spider silk, which then brought to mind your creative efforts. Long story short, I saw something about mugga silk (which is a naturally gold colored silk) and said to myself, "I know Loki would LOVE this stuff." I am thinking about some how acquiring some and making something for you. I'm just not sure how I am going to go about doing it because it is incredibly expensive. Still, if and when I manage to get my hands on some, I'm going to make something for you. It may wind up being something like a tiny spiderweb doily, but I'm still going to make something.

My box of offerings is beginning to get somewhat full and I'm not sure what to do with them. I can't exactly burn them in a fire. I am loath to throw them away, because that feels horribly, horribly wrong to do. If you have any suggestions for what I can do with these, I would really appreciate it. Because I honestly don't know what should happen to them to make room for more offerings. I know that the perishable food offerings can go. You've made it clear on that front how you wanted me to approach it. But these things that are not food, I have no idea what I should be doing. So, give me some guidance on how to approach this, please.

1/17/16

Thinky thoughts.

First Quarter Wolf Moon (Age: 8 Days)
Sign: Taurus
Weather: Cold, light breeze and snow
Snow pack: < 1 in.
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I sit here at the computer unsure what to write. A part of me says I should be composing something dramatic for a ritual or detailing a spell for use. Another part of me says that I should be focusing on writing for the gods. And then there is the part of me that says that all of this writing I've been doing here and on my other blog is a fool's errand. I'm striving to ignore that pessimistic, hyper-critical voice at the back of my head. It puts me in the mind of considering the intersection between my disability and my witchery.

At one point, I worried that hearing the gods and the dead meant that I truly was insane. I worried that I was going to find myself in a position where I am institutionalized for my own good and the safety of the people around me. It was a little fear that came up each time I had a spiritual experience and I questioned all of it through the lens of 'am I going insane?' It was a rather awful thing to do and experience. I don't recommend it to anyone.

Then I really did start hearing voices. It was ... alarming. At first, I thought that I was hearing the neighbors screaming. It was indistinct and female screaming something but it sounded muffled. Then we moved. Suddenly, I didn't have neighbors who fought like cats and dogs next door. I didn't have the plausible reason for the screaming that I heard. And I had to horrifying realization that the indistinct voice was becoming progressively more distinct and easier to understand. It was, however, completely different from when I hear the gods or the dead. Still, I had that lingering worry that what I was hearing from the spiritual elements were manifestations of the hallucinations.

Then I was put on antipsychotic medication. It took a little while for it to start working. One day, I was hearing the voice of my mother screaming horrible, horrible things at me. The next, it was gone. There was no muffled noise. It was as though someone flipped a switch. When I hallucinate, it is as though I am hearing someone speaking (or screaming) from about a foot behind me on my right side. I hear it in my ears like I would the ambient noise in the room. If it weren't for the fact that I knew that she wasn't there, I would have thought it was someone speaking to me. (One of my reality tests when I hear something now is to look for a speaker or source of sound. I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that my hallucinations are strictly auditory. I honestly don't know what I would do if they were visual as well. That is an idea that terrifies me.)

When I hear the gods or the dead, it is something that sounds 'inside' my head. It has a different feeling and timbre to it than the hallucinations. I didn't fully realize the difference until the day that I had to take Haldol because of my hallucination problems (I was hospitalized at this time.) and the silence came from the hallucination. And then Loki spoke up and said "Yep, I'm here." Relief is not a strong enough word to describe what I felt. I literally got tears in my eyes over that reassurance. The hospital staff were confused when I suddenly started tearing up but I managed to get them to stop prodding me to 'talk about it' after a few minutes.

Sometimes, I hear what is in someone else's head. Again, I thought it was a manifestation of auditory hallucination. And then, while I have been on this medication, I heard something Beloved was thinking. It sounded like he was saying it quietly in my left ear. I, thinking he was actually saying something to me, answered the question just as he was about to ask it. It doesn't happen very often. I think that is because telepathy is fickle. There are a lot of distractions and it takes a good deal of concentration to intentionally pick up on something. 

I am a bit worried how things are going to go over the next few months. My psychiatric provider is going to be starting the process of lowering my dosage of the antipsychotic. I talk to the gods about it. The general consensus has been that this is actually going to be a good thing. And if I respond well to it, I may be able to eventually come off of the antipsychotic. I don't know about that. I am a bit scared. But, I am going to trust them and myself. I know the difference between the different voices that I hear. (I've even managed to identify the way that the auditory hallucinations are different from actual sounds. Apparently this is something *really* uncommon for people who have problems with psychosis or psychotic features to their illness. I credit the years I spent attempting to distinguish the difference between my thoughts and the psychic input.)

1/12/16

Letters to Loki # 31

Dear Lopt,

I am feeling much better since the depressive episode started lifting Saturday. Now, however, I can't seem to get away from back aches and joint issues. I am heavily inclined to blame this wonky weather we've been having. As much as I am tempted to throw magic at it to make it less intense, I recognize that lil' ol' me versus El Nino isn't going to do much. I've been feeling old injuries and my arthritis a great deal. It seems strangely appropriate, to be honest.

This time of year is when I have a lot of anniversary dates that come up with my PTSD, so I'm feeling old psychological injuries too. I'm trying to just be patient and bear it as best I can. It is, however, exhausting and difficult. I have so much that I want to do but so little energy with which to do it. It really is irritating.

I am making progress on restraining the urge to be hyper critical of myself. It has involved a lot of biting my tongue. I am, however, reaching a point where I stop and consider the thought and determine if it even fits the situation and is legitimate. It's taken a few extra steps in the process of everything, but I think it makes me move in the right direction.

I'm still working at it, so there's that. Maybe I'll actually get this change made this year after all.

1/7/16

Depression sucks.

I'm not even sure what the moon phase or sign are right now. I don't really know what the weather is doing. I've been hiding in my apartment desperately wishing I could wave a wand and feel better. I just feel tired and hopeless. I tried doing some writing today and nothing came out. I tried to get myself the energy to do household tasks and I wound up taking a nap on the couch.

I want to hide from everything. My heart feels like it is a mass of raw wounds and that I'm losing my mind. My thoughts have been muddied or so full of anger that I caught myself screaming with it. I don't know what to do with myself. I just don't know what to do.

The gods and the dead tell me to not give up. They tell me that just getting up and making sure that I am fed and the kids needs are met is enough. Meanwhile the kitchen sink piles up with dishes and I can't think straight long enough to really help my eldest with his homework. I feel like crying but the tears wont come. I want to feel better. I go to bed every night hoping that I'll wake up feeling even a little bit better. And I just feel worse the next day.

I'm scared that I am getting sicker again. I don't know what to do right now. I feel like I need to do something but my mind is blank. I'm so tired of fighting. I'm so tired of falling. I'm so tired of failing. If I don't fight, I fail. If I don't fight, I fall deeper. If I do fight, I may still fall but I at least don't fail so hard. I at least get something done.

But this time, the fight is just ... not there. I'm not angry with it all, not in the way that powers me through my worst days. I just feel defeated and exhausted. And I question what the point to it all is.

Freyja said the next step in healing is surrender. What do I do when I have so much counting on me and I don't have the energy to do it?