I Think, Therefore I Am…Neurotic

“What, so I haven’t been direct enough? You’re going to be tweaked out by a comment from a stranger? You really think I wouldn’t tell you myself what you can and can’t call me? Pah!”

A lovely weekend was spent with old friends, newish friends, and new people, and despite the hilarity and feasting, a random comment from someone I’d just met nagged at me more than it should have. It was a random reaction to a random mention I’d made, but good grief, did it fuck with me. Like so many, I sometimes wrestle with imposter syndrome, even though I’ve no reason to feel like an imposter. I work hard and put a lot of time, energy, and effort into the things that are important to me. My spiritual life is indescribably crucial to me, and I approach it with expectations of blunt honesty and hard truth. Delusions don’t do anyone any good, vague relationships aren’t going to help anyone involved, and the whole point of spirituality is to grow and be a better person and connect with someone or something that will help you be a better person and help the community around you. The effort I put into my relationships with my gods and my community doesn’t go unnoticed – I get regular feedback from the deities and my fellow heathens, and I’m able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

As with anything, when a close relationship is cultivated with a god/s, I suppose that hideous imposter syndrome can rear up; am I actually close with said deity, are things going well because they actually are, or because I’m just wishing they are? One of my fellow Lokeans had mentioned a few months ago that she was surprised to hear that Loki nudged me to approach her and introduce myself (“Her. She’s the one you need to talk to!”) because she said she sometimes feels like a fraud. She’s not, there’s never been anything about her, nothing she’s said or shared that pings as untrue, delusional, or just not quite right. I relate to so much she says about her dealings with Himself, and it’s lovely to chat with her because we’re bonding over a mutual friend. We get each other, because we get that twerp (or he gets us, however you choose to see it). We’re both devoted and fond of our rapscallion, and we have good relationships with him. He’s active and chatty and annoying and a great companion for us, and we’re both on solid ground, even if we sometimes feel like imposters because we over analyze and doubt ourselves on occasion. But why should we? We’re putting in the work, of course there’s going to be something to show for it! Neither of us is galavanting around paying lip service without doing anything to back it up. A gift for a gift: we share our energy and time and get back what we put into it. Loki’s sly, but he’s not coy. He’s very capable and very vocal (as it were) about expressing what he wants or what he doesn’t want.

And yet I was, as he put it, “tweaked” by a comment from an eclectic pagan. I made a comment about “Loki-doki,” a nickname I’ve long used for Himself, and the pagan bristled and said, “Oh, don’t call him that. He’s one of my patrons. Don’t call him that.”

I was stunned and taken aback, thinking, “Oh no! He made it clear to [pagan] that he doesn’t like that nickname! He’s telling her to tell me to knock that shit off! I must have been ignoring his distaste for it!” And it gnawed at the back of my mind for the rest of the night. Because I’m insane. I overthink everything, even offhanded comments from strangers, because that’s just what I do.

Later that night, when I was winding down to rest, I addressed him. “Hey. You around? Can we talk?”

“Mmmmm. I know what’s got your goat. I’m your Loki-doki, you think I don’t know? You’re upset because you think I’m upset. What, so I haven’t been direct enough? You’re going to be tweaked out by a comment from a stranger? You really think I wouldn’t tell you myself what you can and can’t call me? Pah!”

“Soooo…”

“So for years we’ve worked toward each other. I finally have your attention. Have I ever been pissy when you call me Loki-doki? Call me whatever the fuck you want, I’m just glad you’re finally calling me. After all we’ve been doing, don’t you dare think someone you don’t know, when no trust has been built, can speak for me. I got something to say? I say it myself.”

“Okie dokie, Loki.”

Admittedly, it still burrowed at the back of my head, until it was pried out this morning after helping Shadow Spouse clean up the remnants of the party. He pretty much echoed what Loki had communicated, and he offered a great analogy to put the silly little matter to rest. He likened it to having different friends from different parts of your life; some friends have nicknames they call you by, which is perfectly acceptable and appropriate for the relationship and experiences you’ve had with those friends. But if another friend, a newer friend hears someone use that nickname, it’s jarring and a bit what-the-fuckey. New friend doesn’t know the history, doesn’t know the nature of the relationship, so they’ll bristle. New friend can’t tell mutual friend how what to call you, especially when you’re cool with the nickname.

Yeah, I’ve got some pretty awesome friends.

One of them just happens to Loki-doki. Who has started call me Foxy-poxy, teasing me for being upset about this whole thing, to which Shadow Spouse replied, “Yes, well that was bound to happen. What’s good for the goose and all that.”

Imposter syndrome is a bitch when it takes hold, but I’m glad to have a number of friends to remind me that I’m not a fraud. I’m thick-headed and unnecessarily hard on myself, and I need to learn how to enjoy the fruits of my labor and the relationships I’ve built and not let strangers cast doubt without knowing their background/experience and when they don’t know me or mine. Loki-doki is an old nickname for someone I’m close to, and he’s never so much as huffed at it. So there.

Foxy-poxy signing off for the night!

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