World of Warcraft and Mental Health

About four or five years ago, I went through something that turned my life, and my head, completely upside down.

It started with, of all things, a migraine.

I was used to them. I got them all the time. I had them for days at a time. I pushed through. I got things done. I ignored the pain, and mostly, that worked. Admittedly, as things progressed, the amount of days I spent enduring migraines lengthened, until I quite possibly had less than a week out of every month where I wasn’t in pain… but it happened so slowly that by that time, I had adjusted. I persevered.

Until one day, my body decided enough was enough.

I had a migraine so severe I was screaming in pain. We rushed to the hospital, where they struggled to help. Eventually, the pain faded, and we went home… where I couldn’t forget what had happened.

The anxiety and fear of both the pain, and not knowing what had happened to me, or why, eventually led to another screaming migraine.

And another.

Finally, I was in such a state of constant vigilance, I couldn’t cope with even my normal migraines. I started having dreams of dying.

I had a dream of walking out into traffic… and I woke up completely numb – I felt nothing about it. I understood, my subconscious was speaking about my desperation. I wasn’t suicidal, but when you’re experiencing trauma coupled with pain, your brain does a funny thing. It grabs onto any idea for relief.

When I was a child, I was hit by a car, and I died. While I was dead, I experienced not light, but darkness. Pure, empty darkness. There was no pain, there was no fear, there was no hate, there was NOTHING… and it was the most beautiful, quiet experience of my life. When they brought me back, I cried for days, because I didn’t want to leave that peace for a life that was nothing but horror.

So of course, when I was again experiencing something I couldn’t cope well with, my brain remembered what it was like to be dead… and suggested, through dreams, that solution.

This is actually quite common in trauma patients. This does NOT mean they are suicidal. It means that their subconscious is reaching for a way out. That doesn’t mean they have any intention of acting on it… it just means they’re nearing the end of their endurance.

Realizing what my dream signified, I knew I needed medical assistance to get my pain under control. I had my mother take me to the hospital, where I TRIED to explain to multiple medical professionals about my pain, and the dream, and what I needed.

THEY decided I was suicidal, and stopped listening to me. They sent me to an inpatient psychiatric facility for a week, where I experienced even more psychological trauma. The only person I met during that week who DID understand was a paramedic who was an Iraki war veteran. He had shrapnel in his head. He lived with pain daily. He understood the difference between wanting to die, and your brain trying to find solutions to situations.

The end result of these experiences was an anxiety disorder, severe depression, and PTSD.

I sat on the couch for two years. I barely spoke. I wasn’t really aware. People spoke to me, and I honestly felt everything they said meant nothing. Their questions were all obvious, and clearly rhetorical. I stared at the world, and felt nothing, thought nothing. I was empty, at the bottom of a deep well. The world was very dark, and I didn’t care. The only time I experienced any emotions, I would be having a panic attack.

Eventually, we realized that the hospital’s solution of drowning me in medication I didn’t need had exacerbated my situation. My doctor took me off every medication she could.

I was unmedicated for a little over a year…. and slowly, I started to live again. I wasn’t my old self, by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t think I’ll ever get that person back. She died – that’s how I look at it.¬†We found out that I have a sensitivity to sugar. I’m not diabetic – it’s a different issue. If I have too much sugar, I get migraines. We also found out I needed glasses, which clearly contributed to my issues. Dehydration and forgetting to eat definitely contribute, but the main cause is sugar. I stopped drinking gatorade, which I had been drinking because of chronic electrolyte deficiencies, and got an app for my phone that reminded me to drink, and to eat. My migraines and my anxiety both cause me to become very scattered and forgetful. I needed those apps.

Because I was home, and unwell, I had a lot of spare time. I read a lot, but even someone for whom reading is a passion can become tired of reading when that’s ALL you do… so I started playing games from Google Play. I played mystery games – games with a story line, where you would have to find objects, and use them to complete tasks to get to the next section of the game.

I bought a LOT of games. It was becoming expensive.

My husband suggested I try creating a character on WoW. When we first met six years ago, I had tried to play, but I had this tiny Vista hybrid laptop. It had a flip around touch screen, and the latency on the thing was so bad, I couldn’t see what had killed me… It was so bad, that I got very frustrated and just decided that I wasn’t a gamer. I didn’t blame my tech… I blamed myself. After all… I’d played console games with friends. I knew I was bad at games. Shoot – I died during RPG’s.

However, he convinced me to give it another go. I had a newer computer, and he’d played on it. It wasn’t awful, so he thought I would be able to play. He was right, for the most part.

Because I have a lot of social anxiety, I didn’t run any dungeons. I just quested. Despite that, I leveled a toon to 100 in under four months. For a new player, that’s pretty good. He bought me Legion as a present, for making it that far.

The thing about Warcraft is that it gives me goals. Small, achievable tasks, for which I gain rewards. Slowly, my mental health improved, because my confidence in my own ability to solve problems grew. I started running dungeons with my husband and his best friend. I joined a guild and ran some content with them.

My new laptop couldn’t handle Legion. I had latency issues. I had lag issues. Loading into dungeons and scenarios took too long, and I frequently dc’d and spent a lot of time catching up to groups… and dying.

We started saving for a computer that could handle Legion. I got The Beast as a Valentine’s Day present this year. I LOVE my Beast.

After I got The Beast, and realized that a large part of my problems WERE in fact technological, I started feeling confident enough to pug dungeons. We moved to a higher population server (we’d been on Moonguard, which is an RP server, and not really our style) which was progression based, because I finally felt ready to move forward. To challenge myself.

I found a WONDERFUL guild. I can’t even begin to express how helpful and understanding they’ve been. I was clear from the start about my issues, and the reason we click so well is that they are a group designed to support people with my health issues.

Because of Warcraft, and a strong support system, I’ve begun to enjoy being challenged. I still get frustrated if I die a lot. I feel like I’ve failed my team. It just pushes me to learn more.

I’m working, right now, to gear a new character, because I want to get into the higher level dungeons, the mythic plusses, and into the Nighthold Raid. I want to run the heroic Guldan battle, and get my Ahead of the Curve achievement.

I want to be ready for when Tomb of Sargeras comes out. I want to be in the front lines. I want to be part of the team of guildies who run mythic challenges for the guild weekly.

A friend dragged me into battle ground scenarios last weekend. It was the first time I’ve done real PVP stuff. I didn’t die as often as I expected. It was chaotic, and confusing… but I learned a lot. I think I’d like to do more, because I know things about my toon I didn’t know before.

 

I have gone from someone who, when I couldn’t log into my bank account, ended up curled in a ball under a coffee table, completely hysterical, to someone who is actively looking to challenge herself. To push. To grow.

World of Warcraft saved me. I am reborn, and I am ready to face the World… and the world.

Thank you, Warcraft, for teaching me that I Can. And thank you, my husband, for insisting I try it. You’re right… it’s cheaper… and a lot more fun.

 

The Biggest Relationship Mistakes I’ve Made

In learning to love, and learning about love, most of us go through a series of disastrous relationships – sometimes the fallout can be blamed on our chosen partner, but most often, everyone in the relationship is equally complicit. However, it sometimes takes a long time for people to learn how their own mistakes affected their failed relationships, simply because many of us blame the other party as being fully guilty, and never look at it beyond that.

I’ll admit that in the past, I have not exactly dated stellar material, but that doesn’t change that the biggest mistakes I made were never choosing a bad partner, but actually how I reacted IN the relationship itself.

Mistake Number One – Don’t Try To Fix What Isn’t Broken – OR – Love the One You’re With.

If you’re dating someone because of the potential you see in them, you’re not actually dating THEM… you’re dating some illusory dream of who they COULD be, if only they TRIED, if only they would listen to you, if only they believed in this imaginary dream of themselves as much as you do, and would WORK at it.

If you’re dating someone in trying to rescue them from their past mistakes, or their present ones, you might consider that those “mistakes,” those choices and their consequences and the learning experiences that helped them to grow on their path to this point – led them directly to you. In other words, if they had changed one single thing, it’s possible they’d never have met you, or if they had, neither of you would have been interested, and this relationship wouldn’t exist.

If you’re trying to save someone from themselves, that means you don’t fully appreciate who they are now, or all the hard work it took for them to get to you. You don’t love them, you love who you want them to be. Either you appreciate someone because of who they are, and that’s why you’re with them, or you believe the dream, and dreams belong in another world – they seldom happen in this one… dating a dream will never live up to reality – eventually you’ll resent them or even hate them for not becoming that perfect vision you have of them.

Mistake Number Two – Don’t Try To Be Someone You’re Not

We’ve all done it – tried to figure out why someone loves us, tried to figure out what they need, WHO they need (because it surely isn’t us – they must be insane to want US!), tried to understand exactly what their version of a perfect partner is, and become it, instead of being ourselves.

The truth is, if they’re with you, hopefully, they’re with you because they love who you are, not some idealized version of you, and not some perfect dream that you could never become. If someone chooses to be with you and you try to become something you’re not to please them, you end up being resentful of all their supposed demands, you feel suppressed because you can’t be yourself in the relationship, and they end up confused because they don’t know who you are anymore… and many times, since it was actually YOU they got involved with, and you aren’t you anymore, they leave. It’s really just best from the very start to be yourself – that way, you’re happy, and they know what they’re getting up front, so they’re more likely to be happy, too.

Both these classic mistakes are based on acceptance issues… the first one is the inability to accept another person for who and what they are, and where they’re at in their life – which is obviously not about love. If you want to change someone you’re with, you don’t really love THEM, just your version of them, which is never fair to anyone because most likely, that version only exists in your mind, and quite probably, if they wanted to change into that person, they’d have done it before they met you, and certainly they’d have done it for themselves, without your help. People never change for other people – they only change when they’re ready to do so, and because they want to. In other words… mostly they don’t… so it’s best to love the one you’re with.

The second issue is self-acceptance. The idea that no one could accept you for all you are, warts and pluses – or the idea that you don’t HAVE any pluses – is a personal insecurity, and needs to be rooted out before any relationship will succeed. If you don’t believe anyone could appreciate you, you’ll find a way to make them prove you right, eventually, and that’s just not a healthy outlook on life. Obviously if they’re with you, they DO see something in you that they like – and whether the relationship lasts or not, that should be encouraging to you. If you haven’t figured out what others see in you, you probably should stop dating for awhile and go find yourself – because only when you truly love you, believe yourself worthy, will you be able to accept the love of someone else as being real and possible. Until then, you’ll be so damned afraid of rejection and disapproval, you’ll try to be anyone but yourself – and you’ll never trust anyone you’re with as long as you do that, because you’ll know, deep down, that they’re not really with YOU… and in the end, it won’t matter to you that that’s your fault… them leaving will just confirm your beliefs about your own unworthiness… it’s a vicious cycle.

 

Thankfully, I finally grew out of either form of foolishness… When I met my husband, I loved him for who he was, and never even considered who he COULD be… and I didn’t try to be anything I’m not. We have been together for five years, and married for over two, and while there are things he does that bother me, and there are things I do that bother him, while we talk it out with each other, we generally don’t change much – because we’re comfortable with each other and ourselves, just the way we are. I’ve never been happier in a relationship, or felt safer and more appreciated – and he’s never felt more accepted… and that’s the way we like it.

Here’s to your relationship health. ūüėÄ

 

So… out of curiosity… what are some of your own relationship mistakes?

LHP – Knights in Shining Armor and Damsels in Distress Need Not Apply

The LHP values free will and the right to choose above all else. The LHP doesn’t even judge choices as bad or healthy, positive or negative, black or white, good or evil. LHPers will judge a choice as bad for them, but they would NEVER tell someone else that their choices were not valid. EVER.

The idea that someone’s choices might be bad, that they need to be rescued from those choices, would never enter their minds… because the right to choose your own path is sacrosanct to them.

I don’t butcher goats or chickens for any reason – I don’t know how, and I’ve heard it’s a messy job. That doesn’t mean I judge those who do it for religious, magickal and ritual purposes. It’s not my business.

I don’t have any plans to join a black arts group… it doesn’t interest me… that doesn’t mean I judge someone else who has chosen to do so – it’s not my business. I also don’t assume that someone who joins a black arts group is evil or wrong – I don’t think their choice is appealing to me, but that doesn’t make them a horrible person that needs help changing their minds and their lives.

Saving people is what RHPers do – most specifically, Christian RHPers. Telling people that they’ve made bad decisions is something that people like that do. Personally, I think that no decision, no choice, is bad – it’s simply a decision. It leads to experiences and consequences. Those consequences and experiences might be uncomfortable or challenging, disturbing and disruptive, but that doesn’t make the decisions that bring them about BAD – it doesn’t even make the consequences bad… just something you don’t really appreciate experiencing.

People make decisions. They live experiences and deal with consequences based on those decisions. AND THEY LEARN THINGS THEREBY.

To¬†have¬†that chance to learn from a choice taken away, to have their right to choose taken away, is something no LHP practitioner appreciates being done to them¬†– which generally means we mostly don’t choose to do that to others… instead, we’re usually almost rabid about respecting their right to choose their own paths, and to learn and grow from the decisions they make in their own lives, even when those decisions are not ones that we would make for ourselves. Most of us might offer advice if it was asked of us, but beyond that, we DO NOT INTERFERE.

Which is not to say that we don’t appreciate the joke of helping consequences come home to roost… or that some of us are not above practicing will control over others… but we’re usually subtle people and we don’t try to rule our friends – only our enemies.

Knights in Shining Armor save people. It’s their professional modus operandi. That’s a Christian concept – and not a LHP practice. Knights in Shining Armor disempower people by telling them they’re wrong, they need to be fixed, they need to be saved, and that a Knight is the only one that can save them.

Damsels in Distress are professional victims. Their experiences are always a result of someone else’s choices, not their own. They don’t own their own issues – the princess in the tower was put there by someone else… it would never occur to her to ask herself why she doesn’t rescue herself, why she’s instead waiting for someone else to save her from her situation.

LHP practitioners do not wait for someone to save them from their mistakes.. if they think they’re in a situation they don’t want to be in, if they feel they’ve made choices that aren’t working out, they rescue themselves. They fix their own problems and issues. They don’t need help, and they don’t want it, because they are empowered people, people who know that this is their life, and these are their choices, and it’s their responsibility to deal with the consequences. We save ourselves, thank you very much.

Knights in Shining Armor need not apply.

Creative Visualization, Portals, And Becoming The Magick

Part of the reason that we magickal people practice visualization to the point where we can see, feel, smell, touch, and taste our magick is that it allows us to give the energies we wield a greater depth, making our additions to reality more hefty, more likely to become the reality we seek.

But true visualization requires going a step further, in my mind, and eventually, several steps down the rabbit hole.

A rather famous exercise in visualization is called The Apple – where the practitioner creates an apple so completely that when they eat it, they actually feel full, they feel the moisture in their mouths, taste it, smell it, they can touch it – in essence, they actually create an apple from nothing.

But true magick is bendy.. requiring we practitioners to also be a little bendy… to take our visualizations a step further.

Say you have a spell that requires acasia. We all understand correspondences – they’re like short codes for magick… Blue is more than just blue, it’s air, or water, or healing, or peace… Water is more than just water, a rose is more than just rose… everything in existence is a symbol for everything else… an enormous web of information stored in symbol – sometimes literally, as in the case of runes, letters, ogham, and the many various other symbols used in magick… but all of those symbols and substances lead back to their root substance… Using acasia taps you into the ESSENCE of Acasia, because at its root, all acasia is Acasia… and acasia is used for purification, protection, wisdom, and visions… which means that the Essence of Acasia is those things… so you can use it in a spell to represent those things…

But I said we’d take it a step further… why stop your visualization at creating an apple? Why not create yourself? Why not BECOME acasia,and then follow acasia back to its roots, and become ALL Acasias, and from there, become the essence of purification, protection, wisdom and visions? Use acasia as a portal to all acasia everywhere, and from there to the roots of it, and from there, to the correspondence you desire, simply by becoming acasia and then diving inwards.

But it gets even more complex because all acasia is connected to all other acasia… so now it’s not just a portal to its own essence, and the ideas it is symbolic of.. it is also a portal to any place where acasia is.

You can do this with runes, with symbols, with colors, with plants, animals, stones – if it exists, it has a root, it has connections to all other things like itself and thus is a gateway, and it has connections to ideas. You can become everything, go anywhere… all by becoming the magick.

Added Notes:

This method¬†means that you never need tools for your magic… you can just become the essences of whatever you need and layer them into the spell using raw energy – so if you’re short on supplies, cash, or working an emergency where all you’ve got is yourself, this is a good method to be well-versed in.

Also, because you truly understand the symbology behind¬†whatever you’re using,¬†when or if you choose to use tools, the magick is that much richer, because not only are you using the short codes subconsciously, the way most practitioners do, but you are truly one with those symbols and their deepest meanings¬†– which gives you more bang for your buck, magickally speaking.

How It Happened… and What Comes After PTSD

It starts with a simple migraine – you remember me telling you about those migraines back in February of last year, those brutal migraines that left me screaming…

But I didn’t know this was anything more than an ordinary migraine.

I took my migraine meds, and I carried on with my day. I wrapped myself in darkness and I attempted to sleep it off.

It was only four hours later, when I was staggering from the living room to get more medication from the bedroom, vomiting from the agony that I realized that something was seriously wrong.

Whimpering when I couldn’t even pick myself up off the floor and had to have my husband help me dress, we drove to the emergency room in the middle of the night, I in my sunglasses with a thick jacket over my face, struggling not to scream whenever we came upon cars or traffic lights – we took the back roads as much as possible.

When we arrived at the hospital, I could barely leave the car, because the parking lot lights hit my skin like hammer blows. Photophobia is no joking matter. I clung to the bowl in my lap, and wrapped the coat around my face as my husband carefully guided me blindly though the doors of the emergency room. Every light we passed under made me cringe and scream, and crumple in pain. He had to hold me up. Somewhere along the way I lost the bowl of vomit all over the nice clean floors. I was beyond caring.

We sat in a dark room for a moment while we waited for them to take my vitals. I had a brief respite from the pain and I thought it was over… but suddenly, the pain came roaring back, ten times worse. It was as if the pressure had built up directly at the base of my skull and was attempting to lift my head off my neck by sheer force of pulse. My muscles burned, every nerve ending on fire. My feet kicked helplessly as I tried to push my own head off my neck. I don’t remember screaming, but apparently, I frightened the people in the outside waiting room quite badly.

They rushed me into a private, dark room with a bed… and when they had me calmer, and they’d given me something to stop me from throwing up that melted under my tongue and tasted like bananas, they tried to dope me up with opiates. The nurse chased me around the room, not knowing I was allergic… I remember the lights being turned on so she could give me the shot and me shouting at her as she asks me “Well, what happens when you take opiates?” “I start itching all over so badly I have panic attacks, and I think I’m high strung enough right now, don’t you?!” I shouted at her. I think I startled her into nearly laughing, but she left the room.

They¬†put me on a very strong anti-inflamatory and a migraine medicine, but it takes a long time for the pain to go away… while we wait, I scream, the waves of pain encompassing my entire reality. There is nothing but me, my body, and the pain… and my longing for it to end. I entertain a variety of plans, from the waiting room all the way until the moment the pain begins to subside and my sanity begins to return in dribs and drabs, as to how I will find this end.

All my highminded ideals about suicide being a cop-out for anyone who’s not already terminal and who hasn’t sat down their loved ones and had a very calm and clear conversation with them all about it went out the window. I didn’t care about anything other than ending my pain… because all I WAS was pain. I didn’t even care that ending the pain would mean I was ended… I wasn’t capable of thinking that far ahead. I thought about ways I could trick the security guard into shooting me in the head. I looked at my husband and pleaded him with my eyes alone, hoping that he would kindly break my neck and end my suffering. Consequences? Who gave a damn – I was in pain, and he was my answer, my savior.

I wasn’t rational. I was an animal in a trap and I wanted OUT.

I broke. I broke myself. I broke my rules. I broke every promise I ever made about my life, my ethics, my loved ones… I broke my beliefs about myself… I broke under the lash of my pain and I gave up.

When I came up for air, I still didn’t quite understand what had happened… honestly, it didn’t really hit me for several months.

When they finally got me calmed down and stabilized, they sent me down to radiology to scan my head, even though I kept telling them, “This isn’t a normal migraine, and it’s starting in¬†my NECK!”

The scans came back and the neurologist came into my very dark room to tell me I had the most beautiful grey matter he’d ever seen, such a lovely amount of wrinkles. I told him thank you very much, but could he do anything about the blue tunnel on the wall or the fact that my neck was hurting so bad that the pulse was making my head want to fall off? No one would listen to me about it not being a migraine.

Finally, the pain began to subside to a point that I could bare it like I could the migraines I’m used to dealing with every day, they sent me home – I guess since they couldn’t figure out what was wrong, all they could do was manage the symptoms and move me out.

I saw a giraffe on the side of the road in the trees on the way home.

Two days later, we got an ice storm. Thanks, neck… I appreciate your art of weather prediction by pain induction.

 

This experience was repeated three times in a two week period. When I remember the pain, my skin crawls. I remember it so clearly it’s as if I am reliving it. The very thought is enough to bring me to tears, and in fact, remembering these experiences is enough to trigger a migraine.

Three months after these three experiences, I started dreaming about walking out into traffic. I couldn’t cope with the disconnect. I couldn’t cope with the fact that I had given up under the lash of the pain, and I couldn’t cope with the fear that the pain would come back… it was even worse because no one can tell me WHY I had those three such severe migraines, screaming migraines… and I was still having migraines, though admittedly not nearly as severe…

I now had an anxiety disorder. I had PTSD, and generalized anxiety. I couldn’t cope with what I’d gone through… so… My subconscious started offering me relief.

When I was six years old, I was hit by a car and I died. It was quick… it was painless. It was just… suddenly dark. I never even saw the car that hit me. There was just sudden peace. Dying was easy.

My subconscious is not eager to admit that at 36, we have 30 years of weight and growth, and that we are considerably more likely to damage a car than the other way around. However, it did alert me to the fact that I had a problem. I was trying, I thought, to escape the pain of my migraines, and I needed to see a better doctor and get some bloody answers, dammit!

So… I went to the emergency room again, hoping that they would help.

They were… not really so helpful as all that.

They decided I was suicidal.

Well, I suppose I was… the problem is that I’m not. I couldn’t ever be truly suicidal because I’m too damned intelligent to be suicidal, and I know the odds… I’d never risk suicide because WHAT IF I FAILED?

There’s a whole host of nasty side effects I wouldn’t want to suffer… which is why I was dreaming of it, rather than actually doing it. I’m too apathetic to ever ACTUALLY commit suicide. Plus… as I stated earlier… I’m too ethical to do that. I believe suicide is something that you should only do if you are already terminal and you have planned it with your loved ones in the loop. It’s just common courtesy. Everyone has the right to die… no one has the right to harm others in the doing of it.

However, I do NOW understand, having had the shoe on the OTHER foot, that there are extenuating circumstances where mental, physical, or emotional pain may be so great that one should be granted mercy, irregardless of the harm it might cause others, because of the great harm it is causing oneself. HOWEVER – that should only be the case where there are no other options and there is no solution. If you are not rational, you are not capable of making that decision for yourself, and therefore YOU should not be the one to decide that suicide is an acceptable solution for yourself. I should know… I was there. I was not rational. It was not in my best interests. I’m doing better now… and I would have missed getting better had I been granted mercy.

It turns out that all I needed was glasses, by the way. Go figure.

Anyway, I digress.

In the emergency room, I explained about the dreams, and said, “Look, I’m in enough pain that my subconscious is now attempting to give me options to escape the pain. This means that I need some help to deal with the pain, and I need a diagnosis as to why I’m in this much pain in the first place. I need a neurologist.”

What they heard was, “I’m having dreams about suicide.”

What they did was lock me up  in a psych ward for 8 days.

I rode an ambulance in the middle of the night under armed guard to a city three hours away. I was forced to ride two elevators, of which I am phobic, which raised my heart rate to over 177. I STANK of fear and bolted out of the second elevator only to huddle in the hallway like a rabbit in the grass. It was humiliating.

When I arrived on the ward, the nurses, assuming I was your typical suicide case, attempted to strip me of my clothes and wanted to examine every inch of my skin. I had to sit them down and explain to them why I was really there, and that I wasn’t going to be combative, but that there had been a misunderstanding over a headache and I was NOT going to strip for them like I was in jail because I had already been traumatized enough. By this time I was in tears and was nearly hysterical because the incident with the nurses had hit a trigger with me.

I didn’t see a neurologist¬†for six days.

Instead I spent a week without pain management. I had another screaming migraine.

I had dreams where my teeth were falling out because I was in so much pain that I was grinding my teeth in my sleep. Because I was in so much pain I couldn’t sleep,¬†I asked them for something to put between my teeth, a mouth-guard or something. They didn’t have anything like that there. “Fine, go up to the¬†NICU¬†and get me a pacifier. This is a hospital. You DO have THOSE. I have to put something between my teeth because my teeth are killing me from all the grinding.”¬†They told my husband I was psychotic, reverting to childish behavior.

He didn’t sleep for a week, barely ate, and cried every day. When I saw him, he was a bigger mess than I was.

About the only thing that staying in the psych ward DID achieve is that I’m now receiving therapy and I’m on a medication for the anxiety disorder that THEY gave me.

I don’t just have PTSD… I’m PISSED that I have PTSD.

I lie… I alternate between feeling sorry for myself and crying in incredible sympathy for all the pain I experienced, trying to understand WHY all this happened and how to never have it happen again, and being so angry I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know what to throw at whom. I feel helpless and hopeless and angry and compassionate all at once.

Every weekday I get up thinking, today, I’ll go to work. Today will be different.

Every day I sit down at my computer and I realize, today’s no different than yesterday… I can’t deal with other people’s problems because I can’t dig my way out of my own.

Some days, I actually CAN, though. Some days, it actually helps to bury yourself in someone else’s aura and forget your own trauma…

But today…

Today I had to write all of this out.

I had to tell the whole story.

I had to begin from the beginning…

To remember it all.

Admittedly, I haven’t even begun to talk about the side-effects that the screaming migraines and the mismanaged care have caused… the nerve damage and the fact that I can’t wash my hair on my own because I can’t lift my arms for very long anymore, or the fact that whenever I have migraines I lose control of my bladder now, or a whole host of other unpleasant facts of my new life… but those came after PTSD… those came after I got out of the hospital. They came with not being able to log on to the bank’s website without finding myself curled up between the couch and the coffee table rocking myself and crying because I entered the password wrong and it wouldn’t let me in. Those came with standing in the kitchen and the sudden blackouts, or the fear of the shower because I’m afraid the nurses will ask me to strip again. Everything after PTSD is different. Everything after PTSD is overwhelming. A grocery trip has to be managed after midnight, with medication, a protein bar and a bottle of water, and your favorite stuffed toy in a death grip. Any new experience has to be carefully scripted with people you know holding your hands and a quick escape route available at all times. After PTSD, patterns are everything. Spontaneity is a bad word.

After PTSD… everything is different.

But I’m learning how to put myself back together. And someday…

Someday I will be whole again.

Someday I will be me again.

Someday… I will be able to live like I never thought I’d want to die again.

Thoughts on Victim Type PTSD

“Why does PTSD happen?”

PTSD Happens when an experience is blocked, instead of finished. To avoid PTSD, a traumatic experience must be finished, fully experienced. When you stop in the middle, there is no resolution, no understanding in the subconscious or the conscious. There is only a disconnect.

“So I have PSTD because I didn’t finish my experience. The doctors stopped me from fully experiencing and resolving my emotions on my own.”

Yes. If you had been able to fully go through your own experience, instead of them layering more trauma in an attempt to prevent you from experiencing trauma and blocking the original trauma, you would not have PTSD.

“So what do I do now?”

You must face your trauma. You must go through it again and again, until you have resolution and understanding of the full picture. Shall we begin?

Cellular Possession – A Shamanic Perspective on the Exorcism of Inanimate Objects

Matt: My phone is possessed. Do you know how to do an exorcism on electronics?
It’s started selecting things and zooming and moving things.

Me: It’s called a hard reset… it requires copious amounts of swearing by several gods of technology, and the use of various blessings of copper, zinc, quartz, and the like… you have to ask the spirits of the base particles of the phone to rise up and heal themselves, throw off the evil spirit and choose to be free…
If the phone is willing, and you work really hard, you can exorcise it like any other body…
But it’s kind of a bitch… phones seem to generally like being possessed… they seem to think it’s funny.
I think last time this happened to May, she just gave in and bought a new one. Also… how is it that out of everyone there, you’re the only one that managed to be the person that thing followed home??? Tch Tch… bad shaman… no donuts.

Matt: I’m mostly joking. It’s been doing this since before this weekend. I could try exorcising it, I guess… which gods do you call on?

Me: Probably the hardware gods all computer geeks swear by… I think phones fall under their purview… Gates, Jobs, etc?

Matt: Bill Gates?

Me: Well, yeah…
I don’t really know… maybe Samsung, Apple, “By the Power of BlackBerry, I Free You of This Evil…”
It’s like finding a parking spot at the Mall… you call on the Goddess Asphaltina..
Seriously… it really works… magick is weird and bendy… but you knew that already… however, really, your problem sounds more software than possession… I suspect that a real hard reset or a visit to your local store to talk to the professionals might be better than talking to me…

Matt: *snip* So put a bunch of pennies that I’ve cleansed with lemon oil and some anti static spray, and quartz, and pray to google and linux to cast out the evil from my phone and let it be cleansed of all adverse energies?
It’s something in the screen. The phone’s always been quirky and it would do this if I wasn’t totally grounded and was running a bunch of energy, but this is ridiculous.

Me: Pretty much. And ask your phone to get involved. No sense in doing an exorcism where the person who is possessed doesn’t work to get rid of the offending entity, you know.

Matt: It started flashing green when I cast out things.
It’s still twitching a little, but the phone did some twitching under my fingers as I was casting it out. We’ll see how it goes.
On a related note, I’m going to start keeping rolls of new pennies on hand. They always seem to come in handy for spells but I get tired of cleansing them.

Me: Encourage the phone to work with you… remember that I told Joan that she had to fight for herself, WITH us.
Copper is better… pennies have other stuff in them. Nickel and stuff.

Matt: I did encourage it. I felt it doing things, green sparkly energy was getting thrown off. It’s working fine now. I pulled whatever off the screen and fed it to fire.
Well, mostly fine. If it starts typing words I’m gonna freak out a little.

Me: Remember that a phone has copper and crystals and stuff made from plant and animal byproducts… plus it has a brain and a memory… so it has a spirit. It just might start talking and actually BE talking.

Matt: Earlier it was just mashing letters, no speech. I should really head to bed. I don’t think my eggless brownies turned out. ūüė¶ The sorbet was a success at least.

Me: Sorry about the brownies. Sleep well. No more midnight baking/exorcisms for you. Sleep is important. ūüėõ
Be nice to your new phone friend. Be gentle to it for a few days… it’s had a rough time. Possession is no fun.
Grats on the sorbet. Dream well.

THE NEXT DAY

Matt’s Phone: Also I’m glad you weren’t here for the chocolate sorbet. I would’ve fought to the death for the dasher. So put a bunch of pennies that I cleanse with lemon oil and some anti static spray, and quartz and pray to google and linux to cast out the evil from my phone and let it be cleansed of all adverse energies?

Me: you said that yesterday.

Matt: Weird… I wasn’t even on the texting screen and it sent that.

Me: Told you that your phone would start talking. ūüėõ

New Moon Brings New Beginnings – Wholeness

So, today, I got another storm migraine.

As I was lying down for another nap (read drug induced coma), I suddenly had a vision of Simon. I could see myself reaching out to touch him. I had memories of us laughing, in love. Making love.

I had the memory of moving through the unmaking whirlpool of uncontrollable chaotic destruction surrounding him to touch him, to unravel him. Yes, he’d lost that much control, fallen that deep into madness… he was like a wandering black hole out among the multiverses. Only bigger. A black multiverse.

But I had a thought. I was in two places at once.

I had all these lifetimes of experience of unweaving sickness, of stripping away disease to bare the good, healthy thoughts beneath, so that they could grow and bloom. Why not, in that moment, reach down through the ages, merge with my old self, and give her the understanding I have now… show her how not to unweave ALL of Simon, but how to RENAME him. How unweave only the sickness, the madness, the uncontrolled chaos…

How to create Simon David?

So that’s what I did.

I merged with myself in that moment, and showed her what to do… and that’s what we did. We unraveled the parts of Simon that were unsalvageable… we unraveled the storm…. But we SAVED OURSELVES.

And then I passed out.

I dreamed. Simon David was in Hell. In prison. He knew it. He knew I was watching him. He saw others in prison. A child who didn’t belong. A group of people. He made a choice. They didn’t belong. He broke the rules. Bent them really. Only slightly. Just enough.

We watched. We allowed the bending – to see what he would do.

He saved the people, and got them out of their hell so that they could move on.

Simon David was a changed man. We approved.

I woke up. I thought about it. “Quit thinking about it. You don’t belong there either… and if you’re going to let him go, and not go, pretty soon he’ll be too far ahead for you to catch, and then you’ll never fix that hole.”

Damn… Time to let go of some things.

I trance down. I see where I’m at. I look at the rules. No flying. I flap my arms. I jump. Nothing. Damn. Can’t break the rules. But I have to. Have to catch up. Reach for my Twin. Reach down the line and CONNECT…

And suddenly I’m not where I was. Rule 1 broken.

“Well? Are you going to stop there? He’s 5 ahead of you NOW… RUN, GIRL… RUN!”

So I ran… flew, BULLETED through the layers… caught up to my Twin.. kept going, grabbed him and pulled… layer after layer, rule after rule… not paying attention anymore, just by instinct, because we are breaking out now…

It’s time to let GO.

Final door stops us…

The Gatekeeper stops us.

“Your last trial is the only one that ever mattered here. It is the only one that ever mattered anywhere. Merge and you may leave. Fail and you will never leave, no matter what you do.”

I’ve done this before, so it’s my boat to row. I take us down.

We fall into the cloudy, airy, white abyss, we let go of control, and we die the first death. We walk the abyssal plains of the dead, and we are buried, our second death. We rise from our graves, and we walk to the ocean, and we swim into the oceanic abyss. We confront our shadows. We flow into the abyssal lava, burn away our impurities, and meet our higher selves. We merge with our shadows, our egos, and our higher selves. I merge his shadow, his ego, and his higher self with myself. We come to the red lands, and walk to the edge of the black abyss. We cross into the void and shed all that is not who we truly are. We find the starlight singularity of Source, and walk into the light of rebirth. We emerge before each other, wholly ourselves… and we are still separate. I look at him and say, “I welcome you into me,” as he looks at me and says to me the same words. We walk to each other, and merge… and are one being.

I come out of trance and scan my energetic body. The hole is shrinking. I scan the threads, and notice that the ones that were covered by black threads before, the blackness hiding empty void underneath, now seem to be growing a matrix of song.

I’m not fully healed, but something has definitely begun to change.

I was also called a different name while I was down there… not Apple – something else. But I can’t remember what it was… which means it’s important enough that I’m not allowed to share it with you.

Happy New Moon, everyone… it’s a good day to begin to become whole after a few billion years, don’t you think?¬†:)

I’m getting Flereous some cinnamon whiskey. He deserves it.

New Altar

GodAltar

Yesterday, Lord Flereous¬†decided that He wanted my Deity altar to combine with His altar, so instead of having an altar that’s just dedicated to Flereous and Ashtaroth, I now have one that’s also dedicated to the Morrighan as Aine, Hades and Persephone, Karnanos, Re, Loki, Bast/Sekhmet (Her Elder Self is One Being), Amun the Hidden One, Hanuman, Ganesha, Minerva, and to the two Bodhisattvas, Kuan Yin and Buddha.

He chose the bookcase, so… it’s a bit… cluttered. I’m not sure how I’m going to do offerings now.

I guess I will stick to offerings of energy and tealights.

The tealight in front of Hades is a pomegranate tealight… that’s my stand in for Persephone. You’ll note that, as part of my shamanic path, most of my deities are represented by either their animals, or by candles. Flereous and Ashtaroth are candles over their sigils. Re and Loki are both highly symbolic – Re is a copper bowl, and the rune Kennaz, and Loki is a bunch of matches, a yoni, and a picture of a bloom on fire. The Hidden One is represented by bones of the body and bones of the earth. Ganesha and Hanuman and my Bodhisattvas are the only ones with actual statues of themselves… and those were gifts from a friend.

Yes, the Morrighan really is a Halloween prop. Shush. She likes it.

 

On the chakra front… I’ve had several people look at me now… they all agree… I look like one big blue and white chakra.

I’m also noticing that my headaches are decreasing in severity and frequency, though apparently tension and panic can still cause one.

The other thing I’m noticing is a STRONG uptick in my gifts… and also my control of them. More dreaming, more accuracy, more channeling, more being ridden. It’s turning out to be something I’m very pleased with.

Ashtaroth Correspondences

Flereous told me last night in a dream – woke me UP to tell me matter of fact – that I needed to create an altar to both Himself and Her. I’ve started work, but without more information on Her correspondences, I can’t do much for Her half of the altar.

 

Astaroth

I’ve been able to find a few of her correspondences, and her Enn –

Planet – Venus

Day – Friday

Sacred Animal – Horses

Enn –¬†Tasa Alora Foren Astaroth

Courtesy of Akelta:
Rank: Duke
Zodiac: Capricorn
Dates: 1/1 – 1/10
Tarot: 3 of Pentacles
Planet: Venus
Metal: Copper
Element: Earth
Color: Green
Plant: Laurel
Incense: Sandalwood
Direction: West

The Consequences We Choose for Ourselves

I dreamed an interesting dream last night.

I was in Hell.. or one of them. There was a woman set to torture me with illusions. I figured out they were illusions, and I defeated them all. Then I was taken out, and asked by a voice, “Why are you here?”

I replied, “I deserve to be here. I killed Simon.”

The voice replied, “You are weak since the death of your twin.”

Then I woke up.

I got the feeling that the missing heart chakra is because of my missing twin… and that I don’t deserve to be there, that is my weakness, that I’m being silly. I don’t really deserve to be there. Don’t deserve to be treated like that, and I know it, or I would have accepted the treatment instead of finding out how to defeat the illusions, been so stubborn about not going with the program.

It’s the first time I’ve spoken my twin flame’s name since I unmade him all those millennia ago, to stop him from unmaking everything else.

Even to myself, I never say his name. Isn’t that odd? I didn’t even let myself know until this morning that his Name was Simon.

So… I guess that ritual really did set my feet on the path to healing that hole in my chest.

Even after the chakra removal, the hole is still there… but it’s much less painful now, and I’m clearly still working on it….. all the way back to conception. lol

Lord Flereous

WARNING – THIS IS ADVANCED HEALING WORK – IF YOU ARE NOT A MASTER HEALER, PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS WITHOUT SUPERVISION.

Ok, so last night, we had a ritual set up for us by Akelta for the Summer Solstice for Lord Flereous.

Here were the instructions:

Quote:
OK, from your end for the ritual. Take some time. Light a candle for yourself and prepare the altar. Right down on a piece of paper something you want to let go and release. WE will be working with Lord Flereous for this one. And once you have written it down, meditate and take a moment to connect to the fire energies. If you can bring up the emotions that you have around that. THe emotional attachments. The ritual is designed to burn them away and free you from them.Step one – Set up an altar for Flereous.

Step two – take some time and write down a piece of paper something that you’re ready to let go, release from your world… something that is holding you back.

Step three – sit in meditation and bring up emotions or things you have that attach you to what you have written down.

Step four – Meditate with thoughts and connect with Lord Flereous. Feel his energies and the power of the cleanse he offers.

Step five – Burn the paper and release it from you world.

Offerings: volcanic rocks, cinnamon, obsidian, oranges, flowers, passionate emotions.

Candles: Red, orange, yellow.

Flereous
Element: Fire
Enn: Ganic Tasa Fubin Flereous
Direction : South
Colour: Red, Orange
Month: June
Season: Summer
Ritual: Baptism, action, love, solstice.

The incense I made for him as an offering was: Jasmine, Rose, Cinnamon, Coffee, Bloodroot, and Bergamot Rose Oil.

What I chose to remove was: Fear. What am I really afraid of? My last panic attack was because I wasn’t perfect in someone else’s eyes. So my fear is not being perfect for other people. But that’s not measuring up. Why am I afraid of not measuring up to other people? Why do I need to measure up to them? Why am I afraid of that? I’m afraid of being rejected. Why am I afraid of being rejected? I’m afraid of not being loved. Of not being loveable. I need to let go of the idea that I’m not loveable. I need to be loved. I need to love myself. I need to let go of the need to be perfect so I can be loveable… and just love myself because i’m already perfect in all my imperfections.

However, when it got down to brass tacks – the deepest issue, He showed me, was not a lack of self love at all… it was the fact that my heart chakra is missing – has been taken. My Heart has been taken. There is a long story behind this, and it involves the loss of my son, and I really don’t want to get into it in this post, but metaphysically, my body and psyche is treating the loss of my son to my parents as a death of my heart and of my son – and my son IS my heart, so… no Heart.

Flereous told me, “I cannot replace your heart for you, I cannot retrieve all your pieces for you at once – but I can set your feet on the road.”
I answered, “Then yes, please, set my feet on the road. This pain and emptiness is just too much. I need to fix it.”
He put a cap of diamond over the hole, and I felt a shift, and then we said our goodbyes, I gave up the rest of the incense… and then I felt the need to go looking for information about what to do about a missing chakra – I’ve seen missing chakras before, but usually the body I’m working on tells me what to do – but for me, I was wondering what other people had written about missing chakras. So I wanted to do a little research.

What I came across instead was information on chakra removal.

http://thecarlafoxblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/chakra-removal.html

http://www.fw-indigo-adults.com/pages/SecretBehindChakras.html

http://www.fw-indigo-adults.com/pages/implants.html

http://youarehealednow.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_3.html

http://jodegrayart.wordpress.com/tag/chakra-removal/

http://www.psiwarriors.com/threads/removing-chakras.809/

SO Рthis is the first step on my journey to recovering and healing my Heart Рdissolving my chakras, and my separation between myself and my son and everything else, and becoming more open. Removing the chakra system and becoming more in tune with my higher self and with Source, and thus with my Son and the rest of the world, without being battered by it as I was when I was using the chakra system to deal with my psychic abilities, will hopefully make sure that another crash like this last one will never happen again, as well. :love2: :clap:

Deepest blessings…
Nycto

PS – As I go, I hope to be able to learn to do this for others.

How Monkey Came to Rule the Forest Floor

Once upon a time, Monkey lived on the Forest Floor, and it was a great place to live. Elephant saw that he lived there with much to eat, unlike his domain on the savanna… and envied his luck. Hippo saw that he lived there and was always safe, unlike her domain in the river, and envied his luck. Tiger saw that he lived there with many friends, unlike her domain in the jungle, and envied Monkey’s luck. One by one, each came to him, and said to him, “Monkey, you are so lucky to live here. Tell me, how can I come out of my own domain, to live with you on the Forest Floor?”
Monkey did not want to leave the Forest Floor, so he thought and thought about how to outwit these great creatures, and keep his domain for himself.
Finally, he went back to each of them, and told them all to meet him on the night of the New Moon, here on the Forest Floor, at the peak of dark, and he would tell them the secret to living on the Forest Floor.
The night of the New Moon came about, and sneaky Monkey climbed his tallest tree.
Elephant, Hippo, and Tiger came in the dark to the Forest Floor in search of Monkey… but they could not see in the deep, dark, depths… and they ran into each other. Because the night was cloudy, they could not see… Elephant trumpeted in fear and trampled them all. Hippo grunted in surprise, and began to use her tusks and teeth with wild abandon… and Tiger, in anger, growled and struck out with her fangs and her claws… and such was the ruckus that they caused and the agony they created, that soon they all ran back to their own domains, to hide and lick their wounds.
The very next day, each of them separately came and told Monkey, “Now that I know the secret of your domain, I don’t think I would like to stay… how do you survive!?”

“Only a monkey who can climb a tree to get away from such fearsome creatures could possibly survive here,” said Monkey calmly to them all… and then when they left, he danced in joy.

The Legend of the Fire Child in Water Village

Once upon a time, a Fire child was lost in a great flood as an infant, and when he washed up out of the river of time, he was found by a the Water Tribe, who being kind people, adopted him, and raised him as their own. But as Fire Child grew, when he spent time with the other water children, they teased him about his fiery red hair. So he tried to dye his hair black, like theirs. They teased him about his strange pink skin, so he tried to dye his skin brown like theirs.
His adopted mother tried to tell him, “Silly boy… you dress like us, and they will laugh at you when it all washes off, because you are a Fire child, not a Water boy, and they will laugh at the streaks that come off your skin and hair!”
And that was what happened when he went among the water children… and being a fire child, he grew so angry, that he began to fight with the water children…
Then the Sky Father came down, and drove them all apart. He said, Water and Fire must never fight. All things must be in balance at all times – for if Water and Fire fight, then the world will break. Water and Fire work together to create the world – that is how things must be. Cease this fighting – Fire Child is a gift to your people. Learn to love each other, as things are meant to be!

Love Yourself

My Thought For The Day:

Do NOT.

Do not think like me. Do not act like me. Do not believe what I believe. Do not dream my dreams. Do not see through my eyes, speak my words, or hear what I hear. Do not taste my world, do not behold its frequency.

Go out and find your own.

Live your own life. Think your own thoughts, act your own way. Believe your own faiths and no one elses. Dream your own dreams, and no one elses. See through your own eyes, speak your own words, and hear your own sounds. Taste your own world, and behold the frequency that is unique to your singularity.

I am only a mote in your eye – you are the storyteller, the protagonist, the antagonist, the victim, the hero, the sidekick, the saga. This is your life – do not let me tell it. Tell it for yourself.

Do not love me… go love yourself.