Self-Respect, Cyclical Behavior, and a Story

Ever since 2017, ever since a particularly traumatic thing happened between Loki and myself,  I had been alternating between accepting that I love Loki, and pushing him away in anger and fear that he had been lying to me the whole time about caring for me… I’ve written about the early parts of that, but not since about February.

It was only around June this year, or so, that I realized that some of my problems communicating with Loki about this, or at all, were because I was doing the Borderline Personality Disorder/C-PTSD thing called “splitting.” I was essentially reacting alternately to two different sets of memories and feelings that had been partitioned off from each other, because they had felt irreconcilable. Therefore, I would switch from casting him as either “all good,” or “all bad,” depending on what memories were activated and accessible that month or that day….

Splitting in my memories and ideas of him, combined with the stress of moving, unpacking, working, disabilities, finances, running the KFaSS Discord when I didn’t have enough energy, struggling with several different friend groups, etc. was an extremely difficult time from February to October. I felt like I was losing myself again. My roommate even gave me a note at one point, saying, “I think you’ve lost yourself and faith in your ability to improve your life, and that’s not good for you. You need to make some changes.”

In October, I finally understood, deeply and not just intellectually, that I had been splitting. The last time I’d had an emotional flashback and pushed Loki away, I hadn’t even justified it with anything he had supposedly done in the moment. I had eventually calmed down enough to think that– You, know… Maybe I’m Not Well and this isn’t really…. Entirely you….

So, I tried another route to healing.  I journaled about the historical, political, psychological, and interpersonal phenomena of “Scapegoating,” and how it affected my life. I connected it to themes that Loki had been teaching me for over a year about trauma, healing, and The Devil card in Tarot.

I sat down and identified patterns around my cyclical behavior:

  1. getting scared from an emotional flashback that he was manipulating and lying to me about loving me, for his own gain
  2. pushing him completely out of my life with no contact
  3. realizing I had been unfair to one or both of us in my assessment of the situation
  4. reconciling with him and making myself very vulnerable to him to beg forgiveness
  5. feeling shame I had done so so quickly, capitulated and ignored my own concerns so easily, because maybe I was weak and stupid…
  6. getting scared into an emotional flashback again, and pushing him away.  

 

Identifying this cycle, I talked with him about it, talked with Set about it, journaled about it, and tried to notice all of my triggeres, so I wouldn’t fall into these patterns again…

Set and Loki, together, talked to me about how there was a key component of “respect” in the matter. Divination and godphone communication on the subject was was hazy, like they wanted me to come to some awareness on my own… It wasn’t until my roommate gave me that note — that said I seemed, to him, to make decisions based on whether or not people would approve of me (and therefore not “abandon” me), rather than if I approved of myself– that it clicked for me it was about self-respect, as opposed to respect of an authority figure who could be angry, and hurt me.

I had to center in decisions that would support and increase my own self-respect.

So, for about a month, I made progress with Loki by communicating openly with him about my sense of self-respect.  He told me I had made it through an important realization, and that the worst was behind me. He encouraged me to read about self love, practice self-respect, and seek therapy about it.

Then in November, I tried to read the book, Learning Good Consent, edited by Cindy Crabb, had another emotional flashback.

I pushed him away vehemently again. A few days later, having come back down off the anger-high, I felt so embarrassed and ashamed that I had done this again– AGAIN!  Why did I always do this?!!  Every time he asked me to talk to him about what happened, no matter how he approached me, I continued to shut him out and say, “Not until my new therapy program! I’m still broken!  Not until they fix me!  I’ll just hurt us both again!”

He seemed to accept this answer for a while, letting me have my sense of control, telling me he would wait for me to be ready, except that… as it’s taking me longer than I initially thought it would to get me into the therapy program, I kept feeling bad. I kept thinking about him.

I’m starting to think now– what if the entire time I had told him to go away, from February to October, and he kept coming back– what if it was because I had still been thinking about him, unable to heal, and that summoned him…? And I had blamed him for that?  For ignoring boudaries I had set without understanding how the very emotional/astral bonds I had made with him would just outright SUMMON HIM??

Suddenly a lot of fucking things would make a lot more god-damned fucking SENSE, WOULDN’T IT?? How he kept acting like it was ME doing this–!!

So he appeared– right when I was thinking about him– each time. And I thought goddamn it!  He’s so impatient!! Won’t he let me go through this therapy first?! I was annoyed. But I refused to react.   

And then two days ago, I just… woke up and made the decision to talk to him. I just decided to tell him how I felt, what I wanted, and what I was afraid of. Why I kept thinking about him so much. Why one night, driving, I had accidentally thought of him, and come to the realization (again) “Oh my god, I love him…… Fuck, that’s so inconvenient… goddamnit….

He listened.

The next night, we talked again. He listened.

I was even angry at one point, but I didn’t split into all-or-nothing thinking. He was angry at once point, but I wasn’t afraid of abandoment or retaliation. I just looked inside me at what parts of me still needed to be answered, what parts wanted to ask him questions, what parts of me needed self-respect…

I nearly cried at him that I was afraid he had lied about loving me, and he said, “No. No…. I have the Deepest, most Resounding love for you.” The way he said it– the weight and the tenderness in his words shook me.  

That night, he said he would stay beside me as I went to sleep, so I asked him to tell me a story. Surprised, but willing, he eventually fell into a simple tale as I drifted off:

“In a fair town by the sea, a small boy had grown the most beautiful flower in his heart, It was the talk of the town in all its splendor. All who saw it marveled at how it glowed, even in the sunlight, as if illuminated from within with a soft, golden light.  Then one day, the flower was gone… He looked for it by the riverbanks, near the otter dens, and the fairy forests. He looked for it in beds with young maidens and lads like himself. He looked for it in his children and in the lakes and fishing ponds … Until one day, he was old and couldn’t look far from his home anymore– so he looked for it in the smiles of his grandchildren and in the sunrise over the mountains…  And then, almost as soon as the day had come he was born, he was nearly ready to die. And then, as if by magic, on his deathbed, surrounded by the people he loved, he looked inward, and there in his arms was the flower. He realized, marveling at its beauty as he lay dying, that he had never lost it at all. It had been there the entire time. And he, a foolish boy and then a foolish man, had only forgotten how to see it…. And with this knowledge, he died happily.”

 


–Robin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s