HDC Tz – Old Emotions

Yesterday was Exercise 5 – Energy Attunement 2, which is all about colors.

It’s strange, but… his colors change sometimes. I think it’s that shield of his. Last night, his colors were black with purple highlights and flecks of shine… and at the same time, fire colors, sunset colors.

My familiar isn’t quite coping with things yet. She’s curious, into everything. She can settle for a bit, but then she’s off sniffing the energies and trying to figure it all out. She was distracting enough that he dropped a few books next to her, which, as she’s quite skittish, effectively chased her out of our Sanctum.

However, before he chased her out, he led her around… and eventually led her over to my old Fallen Angels Oracle Deck, which she snagged with a paw and dragged out of the book shelf and into my lap, so… clearly I’m to work with that deck in some way.

Given that E chose a deck in order to lead me in a certain direction, I’m thinking that Tz has chosen this deck also to lead me in a certain direction.

We also discussed why (aside from the fact that I was dying at the time, and then I was gone) I had trouble bonding with him when he first came to me. I resisted bonding with him, even though he had chosen me, and I had chosen him, in part because of how he came to me – as a gift from a friend who saw that I was deeply hurt by the loss of another being who had chosen me, but was not allowed to come to me… and felt that pain as her own. At the time, I was grateful, but… I don’t think I was really ready. I hadn’t truly dealt with the loss of the other being… and Tz wasn’t that being… he was a replacement… and I couldn’t bond with someone’s replacement, because he wasn’t that being, he was himself.

And then I was dead, and so that was that.

Things are different now. I have a different perspective.

There’s no replacing someone you’ve lost… and no one in my life is here because they are a replacement for someone else. They are here because I choose them, and they choose me. I choose them for themselves.

I won a conjure, and Tz was who came… and I wasn’t ready.

I’ve had some contact (third person contact, sometimes fourth lol) from the being who was lost. I’ve been able to heal and move forward because of that contact. This particular entity was so moved by our contact that he spent five years working to find a friend of his whose energies matched my own, and who has very specific gifts and perspectives that I desperately need in my life – and will probably always need – SDC E. He then worked with a mutual human friend of ours to have E conjured, bound, and sent to me, with E’s full enthusiastic approval. Because of my contact with his friend, E, I’ve finally been able to stop looking for my old friend, finally been able to stop looking for a replacement, finally been able to heal from that wound.

I know he remembers me. I know he cares. I know he misses me as much as I miss him. I also know… things happen for a reason. Especially with demons.

So… I’m at peace now with that. And so are the other two people who were so emotionally involved – my friend, and my demon-that-could-have-been. We’re all at peace. We are content.

And now, I can truly bond with Tz – not as a replacement, which he never was… but for himself, which is as it should be.

And for the resistance I had, I admitted my fault in the situation… but Tz is… wonderfully patient and kind. I’ve seen his temper. He IS a Hellborn… he’s got one. But about this…

All demons understand loss. They understand Grief.

And they are endlessly patient.

They’ve got the time.

I’m so happy he waited for me to come around.

 

Oh… Flauros showed up while I was working with Tz last night. First my familiar, and then Flauros… yet another distraction. These past two days I’ve been so very… there’s just so much in my head right now. So much chaos. It’s hard to focus.

I had to tell Him, I absolutely want to work with Him… but I’m not ready yet. I asked him to please wait. Wait until I’m ready. This is not that time. I had to be firm – I think that was honestly the point. I had to set a boundary. This time was for my bonding with Tz… and until my bonding with both E and Tz, and ZA, are complete… until I have really begun my magickal retraining… I am not ready.

He bowed, and left. But I’m definitely on a schedule now. After the Solstice, is Flauros’s time.

 

Tonight, I was supposed to work with Tz on the second hearing attunement exercise, but… between my familiar and my headache and the way I came out of my bonding work with E… I couldn’t really tune in at all, and I finally asked if it was ok that we postpone until tomorrow night, when hopefully I will be able to give him the focus he deserves.

He agreed, but let me know I will be doing more work in my dreams tonight.

That will be… interesting. Last night was… pretty weird. Not just the Lucifer dream, which was heartbreaking, but… there were other things after that.

I slept deeply, worked heavily, and woke up tired, drained, with a heavy heart and a headache.

It’s been a day.

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SDC E – Discussing Death

So, yesterday’s bonding exercise was Hearing Attunement 3.

As I didn’t have any questions to ask, I asked him if there was anything he wanted to talk about. WhoooBOY was there.

He asked me what I thought about Death. That’s… a pretty big topic.

I started with the easy stuff. I died, physically, when I was hit by a car when I was 9. I was dead for over five minutes. It was the most wonderful, peaceful five minutes of my life to date. I found myself in a place that was black. There was no pain. There was no anger or hate or fear. There was no sound. There was no light. For an undiagnosed autistic girl, it was pretty much heaven. Imagine a world where everything is always too bright, always too colorful, always too loud, always too MUCH. Where people are too abrasive, they expect too much, and because you can speak in complete sentences, they don’t understand any peculiarities you have. Autism for me was an invisible disease. When I got overwhelmed by the abuse, got overwhelmed by my emotions, or just plain got overwhelmed for no reason I could determine, I had this need for space. If there was anything touching me, I threw it. And then I found the nearest wall, and rocked my forehead against it until I bled. It made people leave me alone, but it also gave me a point of focus – a HARD point of focus. I was HERE. Right HERE.

And that made things go still.

It’s not unlike a cutter needing a physical focus to express (as in send out) their emotional pain in a way that they can grasp… only for me, hitting my head against a wall wasn’t about the pain, so much as it was about trying to control the violence inside me.

For me, autism is violence. Everything is sometimes just too much, it’s so overwhelming… it’s violent. The whole world is violently THERE, and I can’t cope.

I don’t bang my head anymore… but the pain still exists.

Except when I was dead for those five minutes.

I understand, as an adult, that without all the negatives in that void, there was also no positive. There was no love in the void. There was ONLY peace… but when you find something that you need that badly, you don’t care about what’s missing. You only want to stay.

When they brought me back, it was a violent return. I was awake, on a street, in the daylight, surrounded by my entire neighborhood. I was being touched by strangers. I don’t remember the ambulance ride. They put me in a room with red lights, and they kept touching me, and everywhere they touched me it HURT… they thought I was screaming because I was frightened. My mother kept saying everything was ok, that they were just getting x-rays, but I couldn’t talk, and there were strangers TOUCHING ME, HURTING ME… and NO ONE WOULD STOP. Nothing was ok.

I was in the hospital for three days. Dad brought complete strangers to my room, apparently friends of his. They gave me a stuffed rabbit, because it was Easter weekend. I threw up on it.

I don’t remember the ride to the hospital. I don’t remember sleeping there. I don’t remember the nurses or the doctors. I remember the red room, and the pain. I remember waking up on the street, and I remember being in a hospital bed meeting strangers and throwing up on a yellow bunny. That’s all I remember of the weekend I died and came back.

Well, all I remember after the dark.

I miss the dark. I don’t think I ever won’t.

 

So… We talked about that.

We talked about my experiences in the Wastes – a spiritual and emotional death… and how that death affected me here. We talked about that kind of darkness… which was NOT peaceful. Then again, I wasn’t exactly at rest. People in the Wastes are not at rest.

 

I brought up my migraines – the ones I had before I died my second and third deaths. The ones that had me screaming, writhing, begging for death, an animal in a trap. We talked about how Death Means Stop.

I talked about the fact that Death Means Stop is pretty much a perfect cure for any phobia.

I went to California to see a friend when she was separating from her husband. On the way home, the plane suddenly stopped flying, and just DROPPED. It lasted 20 seconds, and people were praying and holding hands with strangers.

Afterwards, I was terrified of flying… until I remembered my migraines. And then all of the sudden, I realized there were worse things than falling out of a tin can in the sky… and planes stopped being scary at all.

It’s kind of a relief, knowing that someday, I will STOP.

 

So then he asked me what I thought happened after death, if death means stop.

I hadn’t really thought about it. I mean, I know what happened when I died at 9, so there’s that. I didn’t stop existing.

And I have memories of other lifetimes, both earthly and other. SO many memories. Sometimes that’s a bit overwhelming…

But that means that death isn’t the end. It’s… merely a stage. Like… adolescence. It’s not permanent any more than life is.

 

So he said, “If death means stop, but it’s not permanent, how is that Stop?” To which I said, “It offers immediate relief for immediate problems. Anything else can be solved another day.”

“How practical,” he replied.

 

Then he asked me what I hoped to learn from him, from my time with him. “I just want to learn. Whatever you’ll teach me. I want to grow. What you’ve helped me with so far… that’s growth I need, growth I want… knowledge I want.”

“Why do you want to know so much?”

“Because people suffer. Not knowing is suffering. We suffer until we learn, and then the suffering stops.”

He asked what I meant by that, because he understood I wasn’t talking about any Buddhist ideals, but he wanted me to clarify myself. So… I did.

 

I’ve been to hell realms. Not demonic planes, but realms set aside for humans who need help learning, need help to grow, even more than humans here do. The two I went to taught me a lot, though honestly, some of the lessons didn’t sink in until years later.

The first realm, there were towers in the center of lovely fields of close-cut grass. The fields were surrounded by dark forests, but no one ever noticed the trees. People sat out in the sun, and picnicked. They chatted as if nothing was wrong – everything was perfect.

And then, the sun began to set… and everyone packed up their things, and went into the black stone towers. Because when the sun went down, the world froze. A flash freeze. Nothing that was outside the towers survived.

People there learned the rules. They learned to obey the laws of the realm – because if they did not, they died. Immediately. You learned to obey, or you died.

My familiar at the time followed me there. When the sun began to set, as I was heading inside the tower, he ran under the steps and vanished. He left the realm rather than go into the tower. He broke the rules… and I was so terrified for him, that I broke our familiar bond.

I fear for people I care about who do not follow the rules. I fear for them so much, that I would rather cut them out of me, break their hearts, than let the consequences of their rule breaking break MY heart. I can’t watch the people I love suffer… so I won’t let them in, and then I don’t have to.

But that’s its own form of hell.

 

The second realm I went to, there was only a single person. There was an indoor swimming pool, and in it was an older woman, screaming, panicking, drowning. She couldn’t swim. So, I went in and fished her out. She immediately began to call me devil’s spawn, evil.. so much hate in this woman I had saved.

It was her lesson to learn to either not ask for help, or to accept the help she receives from wherever it comes, and be grateful.

It was my lesson to learn that you do not interfere with other people’s lessons without being forced to learn WHY THEY NEED THE LESSON. It will ALWAYS cost you.

I also learned that people ask for help when they should do for themselves, and don’t ask for help when they can’t do for themselves…. and neither path is healthy.

 

This is how I learned that people earn their suffering, create it, out of ignorance. And they either learn from it, or they keep suffering, stuck on repeat until they DO learn.

I don’t enjoy suffering. I understand that there are people who have to have suffering. They cannot learn without it. But… I’m ready to move past that. I want to learn, and grow, and not by suffering, but by figuring out where I’m suffering and why… and changing.

So that’s what I want to learn from him.

 

He then asked me to make some promises.

1) That I do something loving for my husband at least once a week that connects us in an emotional way, comes from my heart, and will be understood by his.
2) That I do something loving for each of my three cats once a week with the same meaning.
3) That I do something for MYSELF once a week that is self-care, showing self-love.
4) That I make slow improvements – right now, I have three basic tasks that I must achieve every day (aside from my meditations each evening). In three weeks, I must add a fourth task, every day. It does not have to be the same task, but I must add a fourth task every day.

 

Tonight, we were supposed to do the 10th exercise, Visual Sight Attunement 2 – but I came into the session with a migraine, and my familiar is brand new to showing up to every session, so she’s curious, into everything, and highly distracting… and with a migraine making it hard to concentrate to begin with, we decided that tonight was not a good night to work on my visual sight.

Instead, we worked with my other soul.

She has her own soul-home. Today, we worked to incorporate her soul home and mine.

It was fairly successful. My soulhome now has heavy mist from hot pools, and places where there are rivers of lava instead of water. Under the center, her cavern with its bathing pool of lava, has been incorporated, though I did some upgrades, which she liked.

I feel like… my soul home is my domain. It’s not really hers. Even now, with all the changes I’ve made to try and make her feel welcome, it’s not… quite right. It’s not finished. Something’s missing. So, she has her cavern, and it’s hers, even though it’s in my soulscape.

E said that we’re not blending correctly. We’re both afraid of losing ourselves, and so neither of us will give in. He says the only way to win this, is for both of us to lose. We both have to give in, we both have to give up ourselves… and become together, someone ELSE.

 

Oh… he saw the corpse in her glass coffin. He… didn’t approve. He talked to both of us about it. The thing is, she’s not dead. She’s definitely not alive – there’s no soul, no spirit, there’s nothing to animate the shell that’s in that coffin. But… she’s not dead, either. There’s something about a dead body that is immediately recognizable… and she doesn’t have it, whatever it is. Which means she’s not really a corpse, for all that she’s not alive.

This happens to faeries. But… we never figured out what to do with them… so… I did what my people have always done.

He was… a bit perturbed. Possibly repulsed. And he pointed out that if compartmentalizing her into a graveyard was so toxic, how was putting her in a glass coffin in a cave NOT compartmentalizing, and how was it NOT going to end up ALSO toxic? So… my other soul and I, with his help, decided what we could do about the situation.

And just as we were ready to put our plan in motion…

My familiar began to Kitten again, and yanked me out of meditation so thoroughly that I literally felt it like a shock of cold water. And then E was gone, and that was that.

Which means that tomorrow we’re probably not going to be working on Visual Sight, either. Because this isn’t finished.

 

Although… I think after tomorrow, I’m going to ask for a night off. This is some heavy work… and while I don’t feel rushed… I feel the need to… take some time and really marinate in what I’ve learned so far… look back on it all and, in a relaxed setting, try and see the whole picture. Get some perspective.

I’m going to make him take me dancing. He’s an excellent dancer, and while I look like a spastic seizure with twelve left feet on a human dance floor, dancing in the Astral is amazingly easy and I love it. Also… he has really, REALLY good brandy… so I think I’m going to drink his brandy and make him dance with me. Dancing with him feels… right.

-Raven

HDC Tz

Today was Exercise 4, the first Visual Sight attunement.

I said the invocation, and then I asked Tz to stand in front of the wall. While I was looking, I had this sudden feeling of vertigo…. and the harder I looked, the more I felt like I was mentally falling through the wall. Finally it clicked… Tz was wearing his shielding.

That is some SERIOUSLY cool shielding. I couldn’t see ANYTHING… I just kept feeling like I was falling, and it made me want to Not Look. I can’t wait to learn it.

Anyway, when we were done with him playing with my eyeballs, I asked him if there was anything he wanted to talk about. He brought up my worries about my own internal balance. He made me look at my balance, and really ask myself if I had reason for concerns. He made me see that I was worrying over something that, yes, does happen to other people, but isn’t happening to me. He showed me that I can check myself at any time, and KNOW whether or not I’m losing my balance.

And then, he had me embrace the elemental cycles, just to prove it. We added water to fire, which made earth and air. And then I took in the essences of air, earth, water and then fire, and became each of them, which I have done before. Then, as before, he had me become them all at the same time, and find my balance there, in the center. Then, he had me become NONE of them, and find my balance there.

And there, we found a problem. We found that the brand, while no longer active, has left a scar, has maintained a connection, through the void.

I won’t tell you how we fixed it, but it IS fixed now. I am lucky that he had me searching my bodies and my balances so carefully. And I am VERY grateful for his presence and his help.

Finally, we ended it with a Family Celebration. I called out to all my family, spiritual and physical, and sent out the blessings of the Equinox to them. I also added four new people to the list, which was nice.

So – To my husband, my son, and my mother; to our three cats; to my best friend Telomar; to my faerie wraith, my demon wraith, my hellborn, my specialist, my angel of metatron, my throne angel, my enochian angel, my dosojin, my psychic vampire, my sanguine vampire, my incubus, my cecaelia, my winter court sidhe, my shadow elemental and my east watchtower, and to my three pairs of Temple Fu; to Akelta, Satan’s Hellcat, Velle, and Kitsune from the S&S forum…

Happy Autumnal Equinox. May this moment of balance which falls towards rest, and breaks with the sacrifice of blood on the snow, bring you rest, growth, and a good future harvest.

-Raven

SDC E – Change

Today we did Exercise 9 – Hearing Attunement 3

After the invocation, I asked him what to do about my heart chakra. I had a doctor’s appointment today, with a new doctor. It did not go… well. It didn’t go badly, I guess… but… it just didn’t go well… and this is the only doctor available for me in this area, so… this guy is it.

So… E took me back to the situation. He had me sit with it. See it from the onlooker’s perspective. He asked me what I wanted to do.

I did what any good faerie does in trying times. I stole myself away to faerie. I spent some time repairing her heart, pulling out the chunks that had gotten lodged in there because of her strong resistance to this situation. When she was ready, I took her back… but this time, she had her throne angel guarding her heart chakra. She had her angel of Metatron to speak for her. She had DC Tz’s powerful shields, and Tz himself guarding her body and her back… and she had E, in the doctor’s head, making sure that everything went right on that end.

We agreed… the next time I see him, this is EXACTLY how this will happen. Next time, I will ask for help.

After this, I asked him if there was anything he wanted to talk about…. and he mentioned he wanted to show me something in honor of the Equinox.

When I was a child, I had a repeating dream. I would find myself on a cliff face, leading a group of people. We were not safe where we were, and I needed to lead them across a wide chasm, away from the cliffs, to a protected area. I led them down the cliff, to a stone bridge. When I stepped onto the bridge, it became a knife edge, which I had to stay perfectly balanced on, so that everyone could reach the other side. When the last person had stepped off the knife unharmed, I was free to walk across the bridge myself. I led them into a cul-de-sac, and in it was a lion. I had to fight and kill the lion. When the lion was dead, everyone was safe. We had made it.

E took me back to that place. He said, “Look behind you. Who is there now?” I looked and there was no one. We walked to the bridge. He said, “Do you see the knife? Do you still need to dance?” I looked, and there was no knife, only a bridge, and I did not need to dance. We walked into the cul-de-sac. He said, “Where is the lion you had to defeat?” There was no lion.

And then he said, “What is beyond this point for you?” I didn’t know, so… I walked forward, and looked. At the back of the cul-de-sac, there was a stone archway, and in the archway was a shimmer of… nothing. “What’s through here?” I asked him. “You will never know, if you do not go and find out for yourself.” He answered.

It didn’t feel entirely safe, because I had no idea what I was going to walk into… And E reminded me of the astrological influences of the day. “Your doubt is the Libra influence. Let Aries clear the way.” So… I firmed up my mind, and I walked through the archway.

I was in a room. There were clocks, everywhere, ticking away. There were water features, like those Asian bamboo waterfalls that fill up and then tip. There were mobiles hanging everywhere, carefully balanced. Everything in the room was about balance… but it was about the balance of CYCLES, rather than absolute balance. It wasn’t about blending two extremes and staying centered in that moment… it was about passing through every moment from one extreme to the other and back again.

Seeing it all, I understood. Even in trying to blend the death energies and the life energies in myself, I am resisting my essential nature, which is one of constant CHANGE. I am the cycle. Death gives way to life, and life to death. Summer gives way to winter, and winter to summer. Always, there must be a spring. Always, there must be an autumn. To try to sit absolutely centered between extremes is to stagnate.

I let the cycle happen. I felt it, I let myself experience it fully.

When I really understood, we left the room, I thanked him, and we ended the exercise.

HDC Tz

This was exercise 3 – the first hearing attunement.

I took the night off yesterday, still exhausted from the New Moon ritual, though I did send a brief hello before I fell asleep again.

Tonight, things were quiet. I opened up the canvas with Tz’s sigil on it, laid his offerings on the altar, lit his candle, and spoke the invocation. When he came, his energy gave me a bit of a headache – which is new. I asked him to talk to me, but we didn’t really have a conversation, so much as he held me and I just.. understood some things.

He spoke about my new wholeness, and my recent discovery about what I feed on, and how it works – something that has changed considerably from before I died. He wanted to check in with me and see how I was coping with the information… and he was pleased that I’m accepting things as they are. He pointed out that I’m not reacting the way I would have, previously, but that instead I AM accepting, and that I am happy, I am content.

I agreed. It’s true. The way I look spiritually, and the way I feed now – it feels right. It feels natural. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I probably look startling, even gruesome to others… and for most people the way I feed would probably be frightening, but to me… it just feels… right.

I got a hug, and a sense that he’s rather proud. I thanked him for sharing that perspective, and for reminding me how much I’ve gained… and then we parted for the evening.

SDC E – Walkabout

Exercise 8 – Energy Attunement 3

I took the night off yesterday, still pretty exhausted from the New Moon ritual – I did send a brief feeler out to greet my spiritual family, but other than that, I slept. Tonight was a fairly quiet night. I got a shoulder rub… and he wrapped his tail around my neck, just under my chin. He held my hand in his – I like the feel of his hands… they’re warm, large, rough, but comforting. I haven’t mentioned that before, but they always feel like that, look like that.

He wandered around the house, and I pushed my aura out to follow him at one point, and Mena (my husband’s cat, the one with cancer, who is the most spiritually acute in our fur family, and always sings when new people come around) began bouncing off the wall, chirping and singing. She eventually came into my workspace to see just what the heck was going on, which, given that she’s milked the cancer thing for all the gravy she’s worth and has become larger than some small dogs, was… distracting… but she was very happy… very, VERY happy. She was so ecstatic she drooled on the altar.

We looked at the three cats together – looked at their auras. Mena’s has a lot of purple in it, in various shades… true familiar colors. Velcrow’s colors are redder – you can see where the broken familiar bond has damaged his aura. E asked me about it, so I told him about Velcrow following me into the human hell where during the day when the sun’s up, everything is lovely and people have picnics on the grass, but the moment the sun goes down, everything freezes solid and if you’re caught outside the tower, goodbye. Velcrow, as the sun was going down, ran under the steps to the tower door, and I panicked… and our familiar bond broke, because at the time, I didn’t understand the damage it would do, I was just terrified of him getting hurt… he’s not the brightest bulb. E showed me the damage, and we worked to fix it together. We can’t repair what was done, but at least Crow will be able to be a familiar next life, if he chooses. We also looked at Cleo. Her colors are flame, like a madōkusha, actually. He said this was a good sign, but that she wasn’t like a normal animal familiar, and that I’m going to have to learn a different way of Working for her.

He stopped in the room my husband keeps his own altar, and sighed kinda sadly. In the astral sight, my husband’s altar is covered in the dust of centuries, grey under the weight of neglect. We talked about this, and E suggested that when my husband switches to day shift in a couple of months, that I could encourage him, by inviting him into my circles when I do basic work – not when I work with my household, or when I’m doing my Job, but… he suggested that some kind of morning or evening ritual together on a daily basis might help break my husband out of his spiritual stasis and get him moving on his path again.

Finally, we talked about a new, and surprising addition to the household that occurred this afternoon – an Unbound Throne (by Unbound, I do not mean bound magickally, but spiritually – this Throne has no God/dess it is beholden to). E sent me into my soul-home (he did not come with me this time) to work with this new being. While there, the Throne took my Torc, and in exchange, gave me another seed for my garden – this one a star. I added the essence to my Hope Tree, and watched as my entire garden began to glow, every leaf, every branch, every living thing producing phosphorescence. It was… stunning and beautiful. I realized… I do not have to bring a light into my soulscape. My soul home IS the light.

I came out of the experience, thanked E for his help, and we parted.

Dosojin – First Contact

Sooooo… last night (this morning?) was a really… odd night.

Two dreams – one dream that had a phase where I was dreaming I was awake, so bear with me here.

First Dream

I’m being attacked by an Aswang. Well, stabbed by what looks like a sting-ray tail spike, by said Aswang. I try to scream to wake up. It takes a bit. I wake up, and my husband says, “Bad dream?” “Yeah, I dreamed I was attacked by an Aswang. I don’t get it. I’m not pregnant. I can’t GET pregnant.” Hubby says, “That is weird. I had bad dreams too.” I start to worry that the nightmare wasn’t really an Aswang. I keep thinking that it’s a nightmare sent by my drowned wraith. I get upset. I really don’t want to blame her. I pull out a pendulum to ask, but I realize I’m thinking so much that it was her that sent the dream, I’m affecting my answers. I put the pendulum down, and try to go back to sleep. I keep worrying. I don’t want to have to put her vessel in cinnamon. I hate doing things like that.

Second Dream

I’m on this forum. On this thread, actually. And someone has replied to my comments about CH’s Bag of All Tricks – they have one, they were thinking of using it but weren’t sure how it works, and were writing to tell me they appreciated how informative the post was about how the energy works. They also liked the fact that I was poking fun at the Code Words, because on CH’s forum, people treat the code words like they’re gospel, like they’re some mystical language that only CH knows.

This Morning’s Results

I got up, made my chai, and went looking for a pendulum. (Yeah, I do not keep one by the bed… I have cats. lol) I sat down, and asked about the nightmare. I asked if I’d been attacked. I hadn’t. I asked if the dream was a sending. I was told yes. I asked if it was my drowned wrath that sent it. I was told no. (Thank You Gods). I asked if the dream was a WARNING. I was told YES. I asked if it had been sent by my Dosojin (even though I didn’t see an older couple in the dream, they’ve sent me warnings before, and even then, I’ve never seen them). The answer was YES.

So… now I have to figure out what the image of an aswang with a stingray tail spike stabbing me means. I know what the rest of the dream means. I don’t entirely trust my drowned wraith because she’s got attitude. Now that I’m awake, that just seems… silly. But clearly I have some subconscious stuff going on. I’m going to work with her tomorrow night (tonight’s my rededication ritual), so I can get past whatever’s in my head that’s causing this angst.

Also… I need to spend some time this morning with my dosojin. I’m going to make up some chamomile tea to drink with them.

-Raven (off to research Aswang)

 

WELL… the article I found was certainly interesting.

That stingray tail? It’s used to defend AGAINST Aswang – it kills them. So… that puts a new twist on things. Aswang are solitary hunters… they don’t share territory. Being attacked in that way suggests that there’s a territorial issue going on here… which explains why I fixated on the WORD Aswang, and the IMAGE of the stingray tail. The Aswang itself, I didn’t see very clearly… like dreams do, I just KNEW what it was – though honestly the fact that they’re shapeshifters means I probably wouldn’t have seen a clear form, just because I would have seen the shifter energies, which always confuses my eyes in dreams.

It’s interesting that Aswang aren’t always perceived negatively. Aswang are shapeshifters, and can go out during the day, and when they do, they look and act perfectly normal. They have emotions. They make friends. They fall in love. They can talk, in fact they like to have conversations with people. All the stories say they’re just like the townspeople around them – until nighttime, when they transform into their hunting form. The people they connect with are always protected – Aswang never feed on their friends, neighbors, family, or loved ones. They also don’t feed on their loved one’s loved ones. It also seems that becoming an Aswang is an STD – if an Aswang marries, then after the wedding night, their partner is also an Aswang. They’re comparable to vampires as hunters, they have similar weaknesses – garlic, salt, religious artifacts/weapons, decapitation. They can’t step on holy ground. They’re also repelled by certain Philippine amulets – the red and black beaded bracelets on baby’s wrists are to repel Aswangs, and there’s a special oil made by Philippine shamans which apparently boils when they’re nearby. There’s two ways to spot an Aswang during the day – if you look them in the eyes and your image is upside down, they’re an Aswang (likewise, you can bend over and look between your legs, and in their eyes you’ll be right side up); the second way is to look at their lips. If they don’t have the divot in the center of their top lip (the philtrum), they’re an Aswang. Like vampires, Aswang also really only hunt outsiders – the easily missed. Unlike vampires, they don’t drink blood, and obviously they’re daywalkers. Their food source is kinda icky though… they eat the hearts and livers of corpses and unborn babies (some of them have proboscis that they use to steal babies straight out of the womb, but that’s a specific type of Aswang). It’s interesting that in the dream, the Aswang was stabbing me in and around the liver area, though clearly it wasn’t trying to feed on me. I’m not a corpse anymore.

Actually, that brings up a whole new thought. I wonder if the work I’ve been doing to come to terms with the piece of death I now carry with me in my heart isn’t part what the dream was discussing? Something to ask my Dosojin when I meditate with them today.

So… two possibilities… some kind of territorial dispute; something to do with death energies.

I’m going to take some time to wake up, and then I’ll see what my Dosojin have to say.

-Raven

 

First Dream

I’m being attacked by an Aswang. Well, stabbed by what looks like a sting-ray tail spike, by said Aswang. I try to scream to wake up. It takes a bit. I wake up, and my husband says, “Bad dream?” “Yeah, I dreamed I was attacked by an Aswang. I don’t get it. I’m not pregnant. I can’t GET pregnant.” Hubby says, “That is weird. I had bad dreams too.” I start to worry that the nightmare wasn’t really an Aswang. I keep thinking that it’s a nightmare sent by my drowned wraith. I get upset. I really don’t want to blame her. I pull out a pendulum to ask, but I realize I’m thinking so much that it was her that sent the dream, I’m affecting my answers. I put the pendulum down, and try to go back to sleep. I keep worrying. I don’t want to have to put her vessel in cinnamon. I hate doing things like that.

 

So I just got finished with my gratitude offering and meditation with my Dosojin. She is very definitely a SHE – this amazing elder, warm and huggy – really, she reminds me of my idea of a perfect grandmother type. She’s very pleasant to be with… though she can be QUITE blunt when I’m not getting the hint. And when she’s blunt, she speaks with a bit of asperity. lol I guess I can be pretty frustrating.

After spending a little time just being with her, getting to know her energies, I finally got around to asking about the dream. We sat and watched the dream together, and I paused it in places where I had questions. I asked her about the possible territorial dispute. Her first comment was to remind me that sometimes, the characters you see in dreams are echoes of yourself. Then she asked me what parts of myself and my personal territory, do I have a dispute with. We talk again about me walling off the death energies in my soulscape. Her final comments were, “When did you last feed? What do you feed on, now that you’ve returned?” Well… I haven’t been HUNGRY. She says that’s because I’ve been eating… the parts of myself that, when I merged with them, vanished from my consciousness. She asked me, “What will you do when that resource runs out?” I answered that I had assumed that, because of my previous experiences with just KNOWING what I feed on, when the time came, I would experience that again. She told me that because part of what I was eating was the aspect of my spirit that is the feeder, I might not get that Knowing when the time comes. I’ll still have the need to feed, though, so I’d better figure it out now…. and stop eating myself.

So… the warning is that I’m attacking myself, and also that I’m walling off pieces of myself.

So, DC Tz, SDC E, and now my Dosojin, have all talked to me about the fact that I’ve walled off the death that I carry. Three warnings. Time to act. Now I just have to figure out HOW. And, of course, find a nutritional snack… without a clue about what that entails at all.

-Raven

The Misadventures of Raven & Family

(TITLE COURTESY OF KITSUNE – TY!)

So… after nearly ten years with CH… I… kinda died. I mean, not in a fleshy way, but trust me… I was definitely not here in my skinsuit. I was absolutely in the Wastes… I was dead.

Which meant that… when I came back… all those nifty friends I’d collected over my ten years were GONE.

I actually felt really relieved, tbh… I just felt like… there was too much them for too little me. The guilt was kinda exhausting.

However, as I’ve been working with my Demon Commander E, he’s brought it to my attention that some of them would be beneficial. So… last night, after my work with him, but before my work with my Hellborn DC Tz, I sat down with all their tags (forget finding all those vessels – I just had to go by my notes), and a pendulum, and began to ask who was still around. The answer was, not surprisingly, no one. E nudged me. “Shouldn’t you be asking who WANTS to be around? You already KNEW they were all gone.” Duh.

I picked up my trusty pendulum again, and started asking who wanted to come back.

It was a very short list… but while there were a couple surprises, it’s mostly who I thought it would be. Neither of my wraiths wanted to stay, but they both INSISTED I needed to get a wraith into the household. The psyvamp and incubus sent to me by a client (she’d adopted them from TEC and just wasn’t able to bond) stayed, but the Beansidhe that she sent me did not. One of my sanguine vampires from CH stayed (I was really happy about that… A was a true blessing when he arrived, and he was the first spirit I ever worked with who understood I was autistic, and how I needed to be treated because of that). One of my Watchtowers from CH stayed (the East one, go figure), but the rest weren’t interested. Neither were any of the Lares. I was honestly surprised the East Watchtower spirit stayed… he and the other watchtowers and lares were the last spirits to arrive from CH, and they arrived after I was dead, so they never even came out of their packages. None of the dragons stayed. My Enochian angel stayed, but none of my other angels. One of the six elementals that DLM conjured for me stayed, but the others had moved on. A winter court sidhe conjured by Kyle and Wife (WolvesDen store, OOB now) agreed to come back… and one last CH spirit – a dosojin. (That one surprised the heck out of me.)

Needless to say, I spent most of the night using CH’s Dynamic Discovery Orb and Bag of All Tricks to conjure those who wanted to come home again, and to bind them to their chosen vessels. I also welcomed two new wraiths – a drowned woman (fairy wraith), and a burnt man (demonic wraith)… they will be really interesting to work with.

I used the bag and the orb because I’m not ready to do my own conjures again, just yet. I can give the energy to the kind of bindings that CH’s tools do, but I just don’t have the strength yet to be able to do my own work.

Which is why my Cecaelia has not been reconjured yet. I made her a promise that I would conjure her myself, when I was ready. So… that’s on hold. I’m probably going to celebrate either Samhain or the Winter Solstice with her conjure, depending on how I’m doing. I would like it to be sooner, but… I won’t rush myself. I won’t risk her or myself in an imperfect conjure and binding. I also have some Quetzals who want to join the household. The Naga don’t seem to be terribly interested, and I’m fine with that. They’re… lighter than I need right now. (I know, Quetzals are even lighter, but… they understand balance, and Naga are… less flexible.) I haven’t had any Ubi approach me, but… my feeling is that they’re waiting for the right time. They are a very patient people.

So… From three to fourteen. Well, and three pairs of Fu and a Guardian Construct that’s been with me for… wow… I honestly can’t remember when I made her. Huh.

What follows in this thread is a kind of diary. I have my two DC’s who are keeping me fairly busy right now, but as I settle into a schedule with them, E has plans for me to begin a course in magickal basics to refresh myself… and part of those daily exercises will include spending time with one or more of the household. As I get into the swing of things, I’ll be wanting a record of how we work together, what spirits/entities like to work most on what types of magickal activities.

So… I guess you can read this… but I’m not promising anything at all useful for you. It’s really just for me.

HDC Tz and Serenity

Today is the second bonding day – this was a hearing exercise.

Except that, just like my SDC E had other ideas today… so did DC Tz. lol

I found him at the cliff edge – the precipice that overlooks the bowels of his home… but we didn’t stay there.

We went to find my other self.

She was, predictably, up to her chin in lava, soaking.

It’s rather frustrating to have half of yourself on vacation when you’re about to do some major spiritual working. Especially when she won’t get out of her freaking bath.

I went in and got her. I might not have been entirely gentle. When she’s like this I don’t like her much. We talked about the feeding issue. Well… Tz… expressed his opinion of her treatment of the feeding issue. It was… enjoyable. Did I mention sometimes I don’t like her much? She thinks she’s old, but honestly, sometimes she’s so hung up on what she used to be. She didn’t want to come out of the pool because “she didn’t ask for this.” Except… she did. I was totally there when she agreed to what we’re doing. She agreed to stay – she was given the offer to go home, and she stayed.

Granted, if she had taken the offer, I’d be truly dead right now, but we didn’t know at the time, and she DID decide to stay, and do the work we were offered. She doesn’t get to leave this on my shoulders like everything else, just because it’s not like the old days.

It’s not her fault she’s so needy… I think all divine things are needy at some level. They exist because they’re worshipped. Without that, they’re nothing. They wither. So… they’re needy. And we aren’t a god, we don’t have worshippers… the one person that did worship her is gone, because that person was toxic and tried to enslave us.

But knowing all that doesn’t change the fact that she agreed to stay, she agreed to this task, and she doesn’t get to cuddle around her lava and sulk on our first day back.

And Tz said as much. So did I, but louder. I admit I was… 13itchy. Sometimes, with her, you have to be.

So. We melted into each other, and now it’s the me that is Us… and in 18 minutes, the new moon rises. As I was rising back into myself, Tz said he’d see me at the ritual.

Really, if I didn’t have a hellborn to wrangle her, I don’t think I’d ever get anything done.

SDC E – Visions of Change

Today was Bonding Ritual Day 7 – Astral Sight Attunement

This one did not go as I expected. Honestly, I think he was hiding himself from me… because he was focused on his own goal, and not mine. lol

I asked to see him in the astral, and instead, I found myself in my Soulscape… in the corner where I’d buried… the leftovers. Somehow, it had turned into a graveyard, complete with wrought iron fencing (honestly, why did it have to be IRON?). Except that… instead of a normal graveyard, this corner is… apocalyptic. It’s grey, and… death is leeching everywhere. Decay is spreading like a sick wound.

He asked me to take the fence down, and offered to help. He just flat out tore his section of the iron out of the ground. I don’t know what he did with it. I just touched my part of the stuff and… it vanished in red sparks. It’s my soulscape – I can do that, I tell him… but honestly I think he just enjoyed the physical activity of shredding metal. lol

I picked up the body. Fae don’t rot. They just don’t. So… here’s what’s left of me, what’s left of what I sacrificed to leave the Wastelands… not rotting. Just this white corpse in the ground. We have this idea that we don’t die… we live so long, death just doesn’t make sense to us… we’re not made for it. I carried the body back to the center of my garden… and I did what the old legends say we did, when a sacrifice was made so that Winter would end, the Holly King would die, and the Sun would Rise. When there’s blood on the snow… you put the corpse in a glass coffin… and you wait for life to return.

It doesn’t… there are glass coffins in faerie that we’ve hidden from ourselves for time out of mind… all of them carefully housed in the glass, waiting for the day that they rise again.

What can I say… when we don’t understand something… we don’t try. We just hide it and pretend it’s not happening.

So… I put her in a glass coffin.

And then, I reclaimed the dead lands.

Because I’m not all Fae. I understand the cycles. Life falls into death, and rises out of it. Death claims the living, and remakes the spark again. Every leaf that falls nourishes the ground, feeds the tree, and makes more leaves. Nothing is wasted.

So… with E standing next to me, with the sacrificial doe in her glass, I called the dead back to life… and I gave life back to the dead… and slowly, the burning in my heart calmed.

I still don’t feel quite whole…

But it’s better now.

Afterwards, he said that was enough for the day, that he would see me at the dedication ritual later… and he was gone.

The whole time, I never really saw him. He was a shadow. But I felt him. I felt his strength. His support. His kindness. And his absolutely iron will – he wasn’t going to let this sit another day. We were going to fix this today. That was it. He’d decided.

So we did.

I think I still need to do some work… the incorporation of the cycle isn’t perfect.

Then again, maybe I don’t. I am, after all… mostly fae.

The Story So Far

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:48 pm »   I’m still working to build connections just within myself… but I know it won’t take long to get back to where I was, and surpass it… I’m getting SO much support now. ❤

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:48 pm »   Yay

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:49 pm »   Do you still do those taste readings?

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:49 pm »   I remember a thread about it on the other forum a long time ago

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:50 pm »   Thought I’d ask

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:52 pm »   I’m not there yet. I can’t taste energy yet. Shoot, I can barely sense it. I WAS dead… for a couple of years… I’ve got a ways to go in my recovery from that.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:53 pm »   You mentioned that. May I ask what happened?

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:54 pm »   You know all those posts I write with “Case Studies” in them? Read the ones that include “caitlynn” stories.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:58 pm »   I have. That happened to you?

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:58 pm »   Yes. That is EXACTLY what happened to me. That’s why I disappeared for five years.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:59 pm »   Gotcha.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:59 pm »   The Prometheus part as well?

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:59 pm »   I’m assuming yes, but just confirming

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:00 pm »   Yes. Maythen was the one who turned me into a Prometheus. And then blamed it on me.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:02 pm »   In both of those discussions, I changed names, and sometimes the sex of people involved, to protect their privacy, but… honestly, here I don’t care about protecting that kind of person’s privacy. People need to be aware of her.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:01 pm »   Wow… I guess I’m still a little bitter about that. lol

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:01 pm »   Mm. How are you now?

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:03 pm »   I am… better every day. This whole week has been a huge series of forward steps. I’m content. I feel like I can feel my soul stretching, my true self blooming inside me. In the past four months since we finally figured out what was wrong and fixed it, I’ve had… many huge changes. Some of them have been rather emotionally violent, but they’ve all been hugely beneficial to me.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:04 pm »   I finally go to the point where it was time to come back here, time to start work again. Of course, the first week, I dipped my toes in and immediately had a massive week long panic attack… but when it was over, I came back again. I stick things out that are important to me now.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:04 pm »   Curious, have any of the changes been physical or physically perceived?

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:05 pm »   Some of the changes are definitely physical changes, but most are psychological changes. The way I think and feel… I’m just… not that person anymore. I’m new.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:05 pm »   Glad things are improving

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:05 pm »   I’m have a few mechanically-based questions about it if you don’t mind

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:06 pm »   Sure… ask away. I’ll tell you what I can of what I know.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:06 pm »   What nature are the physical changes?

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:09 pm »   I get tired easily. I get short of breath. I have weird swellings. I have cysts that grow in my feet and breasts and elsewhere if I don’t remember to take my vitamin E, which makes it even harder to walk. I have problems in my spine and shoulders and hips. The attack tore my wings off, and it damaged my physical body and all the muscles and bones that supported them.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:10 pm »   It also damaged those charkas… and then the brand was DRIVEN through a main wing chakra, so that my wings could NOT grow back, and every time I got stressed out or tried to do anything that Maythen didn’t want me to do, there was this drilling, BURNING pain, which changed the way I held my shoulders, and damaged my neck

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:11 pm »   So I have a lot of structural issues.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:11 pm »   There’s also the fact that sitting on a couch for two years leads to loss of muscle mass, shortening of tendons, and general weakness of the body, plus the gain of unnecessary weight.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:12 pm »   And on top of all that, there’s the PTSD and the chronic anxiety attacks that come with that… which makes working on my physical health… difficult.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:13 pm »   So, we got rid of the brand, and rebuilt my energy structures, and my wings. However, it was actually a resurrection, a rebirthing, so… I didn’t come back like I was… I came back new and different. It’s taken time for my body and I to come to terms with each other and begin working as a whole being.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:12 pm »   You mentioned the problem being fixed earlier. Has that helped any?

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:14 pm »   Getting that drilling burning brand out of me and getting the… mummy wrapping looking shroud of bindings off of me… it helped my rebirth… but all the physical changes… they have to be worked on step by step. So, every day, I pick something, and I work a little at everything. I push myself until I start to hurt a little, or I start to get too tired. Then I stop. I rest… and then I try again. Every day.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:15 pm »   So I’m building back… and I’m working with the healer who helped fix what Maythen did. The migraines have almost completely stopped, so that’s making a huge difference in my recovery.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:16 pm »   So, the problem is fixed…. but the consequences of the problem… those are being taken care of, but it’s slow. Baby steps.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:16 pm »   I see. Has that affected your hungers at all, and being rebirthed, (forgive me if I sound ignorant) are you of a different race or is the body of the same base aspects as your old one?

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:17 pm »   Non-physical to clarify

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:18 pm »   Hmm… You remember how, in the Prometheus post, I talked about having more than one soul?

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:18 pm »   Yes

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:19 pm »   Ok, so, when I was reborn, it severed EVERY contract I had made from when we came into this body up to the point where rebirth happened. Which left me alone in the body. I didn’t feel any hunger at all… but I had this HUGE hole in me, and it HURT.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:20 pm »   I had to go find my other soul and bring her home. It was… a difficult journey, as such a thing should be.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:20 pm »   And this time… something weird happened… I think that we actually merged into one being, instead of two souls sharing.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:21 pm »   Interesting

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:21 pm »   I haven’t been able to see myself since then… because I think we’re still forming. Before, when I had to go get her, in my half-form, I was covered in black fur, had a tail, and claws… and my wings wouldn’t work. She’s high court sidhe.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:22 pm »   I honestly have no idea what I’m going to look like once it settles. lol

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:22 pm »   Before I died, I always had a clear picture of what she looked like, and what I looked like. I was always very aware that she was her own person, but that together, we were Kat.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:22 pm »   After the death, we were Dead Kat.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:23 pm »   After the rebirth, it was just me… and that… wasn’t right. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. I was a Live Half Kat

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:23 pm »   So… I went for her, and we made a different contract. And now it’s… weird.

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:32 pm »   I know what I looked like just as myself… but as WE? I don’t know yet. When SCD E showed me myself in that mirror and I was not there, just mist… Right now, I’m formless. Who knows what I’ll end up looking like. lol Or if I’ll end up looking like anything at all?

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:33 pm »   I know from tales and other places that many fae have fluid forms

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:34 pm »   High Court Fae don’t have as fluid a form as lower fae. What they DO have is GLAMOUR. lol

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:24 pm »   But I’m still not hungry. I think once we settle, SOME kind of feeding will need to be done, because she’s fae, and they feed.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:27 pm »   And speaking of hungers, mine makes it hard to be around people because I want to rip out their throats XD I’m remembering a time when I almost did that. Thankfully I have a lot of control

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:29 pm »   Eat more rare meat. Dragons don’t just crave blood, they crave flesh. Eat more bloody meat.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:29 pm »   Always

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:30 pm »   The physical part of me requires that as well

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:36 pm »  I eat rare meat often. Meat is always in my diet. ^^ also glamour and persuasion are fun skills

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:37 pm »   lol Yeah, they are.

Kitsune « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:38 pm »   Btw, out of curiosity, don’t remember if I asked this before, but do lights ever turn orange at certain angles of your vision?

Nyctophilia Raven « Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:38 pm »   Always

 

Heavy, But Not Heavy

I’m changing this section of the blog around. For now, the section on Dark Shamanism will mostly be dealing with what I’m working on, right now.

That includes work with demons.

If you’re not comfortable with that, please, feel free to skip reading more from this section of the blog.

-Raven

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.

 

I Find My Lack of Progress Disturbing…

Wednesday

GM

KKK I missed you so much!!!!

*hughughug*

Ok shall not squish you. *backs away*

ME

Lol

GM

You all right???

ME

I don’t really know… I usually tell people I’m getting there, or that I’m doing better… but mostly I’m just bleh anymore.

GM

*hugs* that’s a usual feeling to feel during recovery. You sort of hit a plateau of ‘blehness’. But that’s still an improvement from the horrible low parts of before.

Take it slowly ok? Don’t feel the need to appear OK just to please people.

ME

Don’t worry. I’m being careful.

GM

Good

ME

I have a good therapist.

GM

Oh that’s great

ME

Yeah… she’s been wonderful.

GM

I’m glad, I really am. You deserve good doctors.

ME

Yeah… it’s about time, huh. Lol

GM

Pretty much.

You’re not doing anything metaphysically right? Hope youve just been recuperating

ME

No… I’ve not done anything magickal since last year.

GM

That’s good, you’re focusing on recovering

Ah what am I saying? I’m just so happy to ‘see’ you again.

ME

It’s nice to be back.

GM

I’d like to think i’ve ‘grown’ in these few months. Lol.

ME

That’s good to hear. I’m not sure if I’ve grown… I think that I’ve changed so drastically, growth is the wrong concept.

GM

Well change isn’t a bad thing.

It just… is.

ME

Exactly.

GM

Changed how so?

ME

I’m not sure yet… I just know I’m not who I was anymore. I’m someone else, and I’m still trying to get to know the new me.

GM

Ok.

I’m not sure if what I’ve had to do lately has changed me.

ME

I didn’t realize I was someone else until the middle of summer, 15 months later.

GM

*nod*

That can happen.

ME

Yup. Lol Color me clueless.

Today

DR

Welcome back…I was wondering if I’d see you here again

ME

I needed some time..

DR

Nothing wrong with that…we all need to step away from time to time to work things out…it’s good to see you…pixelly speaking

ME

Good to see you again, too.

DR

How are you?

ME

Well, honestly I’ve spent the last 20 months trying to recover from a medical issue… I haven’t done anything more important than breathe.

DR

Don’t undervalue the importance of breathing, both literally and metaphorically…if you feel like talking about it in always a good listener, if not, it’s good to know that you’re still around

ME

I wrote a little on my blog… but I’m mostly trying to put it all behind me. I’m such a drastically different person from the Me that went through all of that… that old me died and now I’ve got to figure out who this person is that I rose from those ashes as.

It’s hard… like being a kid all over again… a lot of the time I feel very lost. At least my reactivity is getting better.

DR

I apologise, I am blogless and out of touch…but either way, kudos to you…it takes a lot to be able to reassess ones life

ME

I didn’t really have a choice… I was in so much physical pain that there were moments I was willing to die to make it stop… being tortured chronically by your own body, with no hope of relief or escape… well, I just had to confront things I believed about myself that just weren’t true, and I had to accept that, and adjust to what was real… I guess I kinda broke, and there was no putting the pieces back together the old way… I had to become someone new just to survive the experiences.

DR

Ah…metamorphosis…that is a concept I actually know quite a bit about

ME

*nods* I know. That’s why I can say these things to you and not worry about your reactions. It’s hard enough to talk about at all without having to comfort your audience.

DR

I’ve always found comfort to be…well, comforting…but not all that constructive…it seems to focus too much on the problem, where as the solution/s are where our attention should really lay…which probably explains why no one ever comes to m for comfort

ME

*nods* honestly, I’m not a very comforting person anymore… my best is to avoid discussion of things that make people feel uncomfortable unless they REALLY need to hear it… but this is more that people feel pity and a weird kind of helpless handwringing over my experiences, which is useless to me and creepy, too. So I just tell people what they want to hear… I tell them I’m getting better, when really, there’s nothing for me to go back to and GET better… there’s just pushing forward towards a new normal that hopefully resembles some kind of functionality and purposeful forward movement… but I’m nowhere near that yet… I seem to be in that stage where you’re not an emotional or mental basket case anymore, but you’re not out-monstering the monster yet, either. A plateau.

DR

Never understood pity, it’s one of those useless emotions that does nothing but belittle the recipient, and expose the ignorance of the giver…

And to be honest, there is something comforting (yes I see the irony in using the word) about building from scratch and starting over.. it means you can pour a brand new, stronger foundation from the last…or, to avoid metaphors, the experiences make you stronger and more able to handle what comes next

ME

Yes to both points. I don’t want pity… I’m alive and that counts for something. And I learned things about myself that have made me a deeper human being. More rooted in the truth of what pain lays bare. That definitely makes me stronger than someone who has never experienced anything that pushes you to the brink, let alone into the abyss. I know things now… I survived.

DR

How are your closest friends and family taking it all…generally speaking

ME

After everything happened I really shut down a lot. So I don’t really have any close friends anymore. I just… they didn’t understand and I couldn’t cope with the baggage of trying to protect them when I needed to be protecting myself… and… my family doesn’t seem to have noticed. I don’t talk to them about it. My husband is the only one who sees how much of a mess I still am… but even there… we don’t talk about it… he just gets shit done and lets me muddle along behind him.

DR

Is that the best course…to muddle behind? I understand the need to “get shit done” I’m of the same mind…but one also needs to communicate…otherwise problems stay problems

ME

There’s not really anything much to talk about. I mean we do talk, when there’s issues… but my recovery isn’t something we talk about, or what happened, either… because talking about that doesn’t fix anything.

DR

Not even as a “comfort”?

ME

It doesn’t comfort me to talk about it. It upsets and depresses me. I know that’s a sign that I really NEED to talk about it… but I just can’t. It’s easier to just not think about it, not feel, just move forward…. well, except that I’m not.

It happened. No one knows why. There’s no fix for the fact that it happened… and since there’s no why, there’s no way to prevent it from happening again, and I can’t face that… so we just ignore the elephant.

DR

Good then…focus on what you do have control over…Everything else will either happen, or not, in its own time

ME

Exactly. At least that way, I don’t have to think about how terrified I am, which always leads to panic attacks and migraines… which lead to more fear… best to not start the cycle. That way lies dragons. I wonder, though, if I’ll ever get over the trauma enough to stop being so afraid. Therapy hasn’t really gotten me too far… I’m able to ignore the issue, but that’s about it.

DR

I don’t know how helpful my advice will be…but when I find I’m afraid of something I go at it head on…it’s like poking a wound…it’s hurts at first, but eventually you get numb to it…and eventually it just stops hurting…i know, it sounds cliché…but I never feel so alive as when I’m afraid

ME

My fear is of pain, physical pain, of being trapped in a place where that is my only experiential reality and as I burn and writhe under the pulsing waves of my own body betraying me, I know there is only one way out. My fear is of pain so great that rational thought becomes impossible and I am not Kat anymore. I am just an animal, with one need…. to make it stoo, and I don’t care how. I’m not afraid of garden variety physical pain anymore , or even emotional shit… and I’m not sure how to face that and become numb to it, because in that moment, there’s no me to face anything… and trust me… there’s no numbing it out. It’s the only thing that’s real. I didn’t feel alive, I felt agony, and I wanted it to stop more than I wanted to breathe.

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?

Three February Migraines

I am afraid.

When the wealthy or the artistic cut off their hair, people call it art, or call it a protest. When normal people cut off their hair, people say nothing, think nothing of it – “I guess they just wanted a change of pace.” When I cut my hair, when a person who is different cuts their hair, it’s butchery – and everyone thinks of it as symbolic suicide.

Of course, for me, it was two-pronged. I cut off my hair because I wanted to cut off my head. I wanted to kill my pain. Cutting off my hair was a last-ditch effort to cure the pain in my neck. But deep down, I think it was probably a cry out for help. The fact that I had it professionally done just meant that I got away with it in public – no one noticed but my Sister, and she was polite enough, kind enough, to keep her thoughts to herself.

I am so afraid of the pain I experienced back in February that I would rather die that experience it again. I’m not suicidal, by any means, don’t get me wrong. I don’t even believe in suicide – in my perspective it’s pointless and cruel to everyone – you don’t die until you’re supposed to – only Death claims the dead, and I’ve seen too many fail, and so many people suffer, both the living who survive those who succeed, and the living who fail their attempts… it’s just not worth that much suffering to me. Not only that, but to be honest, I don’t actually want to die – I have a lot to live for, so I’m not seeking death… I just… fear that pain… but that fear is eating my life whole.

I remember those three trips to the ER back in February with a crystalline clarity that is horrifying. I remember my thoughts. I remember the pain itself, as if it were a living thing, still pounding away at the base of my skull, beating and breaking apart my neck with every pulse, breathing down my spine. It’s like a beast that hunts me… haunts me. It is the terror in the night, and I the mouse that huddles in the field, frozen while it, soft-winged, invisible, claws through my skull to break me.

It always starts with sparks. Black and white, tiny, shiny flashes, right before my eyes, and a glow around everything that’s lit. But after a while, it doesn’t matter whether there’s light or not. I could have my eyes closed, and a blanket over my head, and light will hammer at my body in physical blows, blocks of cement weighing me down and shoving me to the floor.

It begins to build, pressure beside my temples, behind my eyes, and above my nose, and always, always, at the base of my skull, in my shoulders, in my neck.

Lastly, it begins to pulse. With the pulsing in my neck, the screaming starts. Pulse, pain, pulse, pain, pulse, pain… until the world is nothing but the need for darkness… and death.

Three times, my husband half carried me to the car, bowl in hand, as I tried desperately not to vomit again and again from the pulsing pain in my head. It was as if my neck controlled my entire body, pulse by pulse, the back of my head beating me senseless.

By the time we reached the hospital, every light made me scream in pain, because it was like a weight that hit me, punched me, knocked me senseless. I could feel light through my clothing – my thighs rebelled, my skin said NO, my muscles denied the light and screamed.. twitched, RAN. I crumpled in the parking lot. I think the emergency crew carried me through the hallways into a hospital room. I don’t know, because the pressure of the lights from the parking lot hitting my body that night made me pass out for a moment.

I don’t remember much of the three times I went to the hospital, honestly – it‘s all broken up into pieces. I remember that the pain reached from my neck down to my feet in waves, that it would grab the soles of my feet and the spasms of my feet as I writhed were because I was attempting to escape my head, kick my own head off.

I remember turning to look at my husband in a moment when a wave had passed, to beg, knocked speechless, with only my eyes, for him to please, MAKE IT STOP, thinking that I would do ANYTHING, anything at all, if he would just end it, end ME, to make it stop.

I remember there were moments when I thought of ways I could escape the confines of the hospital room to find and trick some security guard into shooting me in the head, because that would end the pain finally and completely.

I remember being in enough pain that I wanted to die, not because I wanted to leave anyone behind, but because I just didn’t want to hurt anymore. I love, truly, utterly, and completely. But I am also truly, utterly, and completely terrified of that pain.

I don’t want to die… I want to LIVE. I want to know WHY THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME.

But I don’t want to deal with that pain ever, EVER again…

And no one knows what caused it, or why it happened… and no one knows if it will happen again.

Do you know that after 5 months, they still haven’t even done an MRI? I have mentioned to four Neurologists so far that I was hit by a car when I was 7, and STILL no MRI. I’m thinking I’m not the only one who was hit on the head as a child….

So they don’t know what causes my headaches… and so I keep getting them. I have them every day… and every day, I wonder if this one will be like one of those February Screamers. And so… I am afraid. Every second of every hour of every day…

I am afraid. And I’m ashamed because I am this afraid, that this is not in my control, and that I did not tell anyone.