No More Apologies

Something I’ve struggled with a lot in my life is recognizing that I have value of any sort. My therapists have fought tooth and nail – just as hard as my friends and family – to get me to acknowledge my right to exist (which is a tall order for someone whose father blatantly resented her existence). My current therapist has taken up a new battle in trying to get me to stop apologizing for everything. She noticed right from the get go that I always preface everything with a disclaimer of some sort, which is something that I’m sure has been noticed in this blog. So many things I’ve written have been self-discounted with statements like, “I know this is crazy,” “Yeah, I’m insane,” and “This is nuts, but…”

I need to stop doing that. I’ve worked way too hard to get where I am, and I need to stop devaluing my experiences and myself.

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It Takes Me a While, But I Get There in the End

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it to the bitter end: I can’t stand myself sometimes.

While lazing away my Friday night, listening to the music from the fair the next block over, I was just smacked straight in the face with the memory of something I wrote in college. I scrambled to uncover the passage I needed, read it, and began to laugh, loudly.

In my younger years, I wrote fiction. My stories had a taste of fantasy and action, steeped in legends I had created as a way to process old traumas long before I sought help through therapy. Because of the intensely personal threads weaving through my characters, I rarely ever let anyone read my work. But this segment, I think, can be shared now.

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To Sigyn: We See Your Influence, We’ll Follow Your Example

Today started on the most horrific of notes when I found myself in conversation with someone who had the gall to defend slavery to my face. I was at work, so I couldn’t act on the instinct to flay the bitch alive, both verbally and physically, but I did make it clear – in the most professional manner possible – that she was a disgusting human being and that she needed to leave. Once she was out of sight, I commenced raging. But that’s not the point of this post.

The point is that after that soul-shakingly awful encounter, every other person with whom I interacted for the rest of the day was an absolute goddamn delight. They were kind, and patient, and funny, quick with a smile and quick to laugh. My coworkers shared in my rage and upset at the racism when they heard about it, but we’re a shockingly great team, and we backed each other and supported each other throughout the long, surreal hours that followed. After an evening Dunkin run, during which the lady at the drive thru bantered with me and let out the most beautiful laugh when I shouted through the window to her boss that she was the best of all time, I realized that humanity is pretty fucking awesome. We just don’t realize it because the individuals who are miserable, hateful fucks are loud about it, and their venom blinds us to the myriad gestures of quiet kindness from everyone else.

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ECT 2019: The One That Made Me Ugly Cry

After last year’s double whammy of intense proportions, I thought that this year’s East Coast Thing would be chill and low key for me. I figured there was nothing that could possibly happen to top the whole “meeting the daughter of the man who saved my life almost 30 years ago in Germany” bombshell. But of course, I was horribly, hideously wrong. Of course I was. And I was wrong in the best possible way. I’ve only just returned home, but I’m still utterly astounded by how powerful the last few days have been. My soul is aflame right now, but my body is exhausted from the constant, unexpected bouts of hysterical sobbing that overcame me more times than I can count. I wept because I was overwhelmed by the love and brilliance of a community that I have boasted of before; this is getting to be a running theme in posts I share, and I’m never going to apologize for the redundancy. It’s a well earned redundancy, because I am truly proud of everyone, and beyond humbled to be counted among them, to have such glorious friendships and kinships with astounding people.

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What Say You of Sigyn?

I’ve got 7 or 8 drafts that I’ve been hemming and hawing over for the last month or so, but this one gets going to jump the queue. East Coast Thing (aka heathen summer camp) is in two weeks, and I’m just now starting to put together the presentation on Sigyn for the “Lesser Known Gods and Goddesses” lecture, as well as writing the blot I’ll be hosting at her ve. I’m legitimately proud of myself for getting started two whole weeks beforehand; I’ve always been the “I work best under pressure, so I’ll knock out this 35-page project around 11PM the night before it’s due!” kinda kid. I guess doing right by Sigyn is far more important to me than book reports ever were.

In any case, I pretty much have everything compiled, but I decided to open up the floor for contributions. My sources are from the lore, Galina Krasskova’s work, and, to a lesser degree, my own dealings with her/lessons I’ve learned from her and Loki. Does anyone have any other sources you’d like to share, or anything you want people to know about our Victory Woman? Let me know what your favorite kennings are, the kinds of things you put on altars for her, the sort of offerings you give to her. She doesn’t have a whole lot of representation in the community, so this is our chance to draw her from the cave and say “hi.” She’s a quiet goddess, but I’m excited to direct the spotlight onto her at ECT.

So what say you?

Like a Rhinestone Cowboy

Life as a conduit for Loki is pretty much what you’d expect. The energy is strong, but not overwhelming, and it’s the little, random things that make you question reality. Not a lot of wild existential crises here, just little moments of “wut.”

After work, I was settling in for a nap, because napping is one of my favorite hobbies ever since my health took a nosedive. The excitement is strong in this household, I can assure you. Real wild child shit. Few things are more blissful than burrowing in a pile of down pillows and weighted blankets and feeling the pain and tension melt into the mattress. Unless, of course, you feel a sharp jab in your shoulder blade when snuggling in. The stabbiness came courtesy of a rhinestone.

To my knowledge, I don’t own anything with rhinestones. I’m not a sparkly kinda gal. The only gleam in my life is the glint of sardonic glee in my eyes and the flare of the ember of a cigarette. And even if I did have stuff adorned with plastic gems, how the hell would a lone shard end up in the middle of my bed?

Cue the side eye.

And with that, cue the distinct impression of a defiantly jutted chin and upturned nose. “I wanted to feel pretty,” he said with a haughty sniff.

Contrary to popular fear, letting Loki into your life doesn’t mean a constant stream of chaos and torment. Most of the time, it’s just him whining for doughnuts and playing dress up. I’m not cleaning up the ashes of devastation, just cookie crumbs and mysterious stray rhinestones.

Loki: Trickster, Enchanter, Shapeshifter, Pretty Pretty Princess. Next time you hail him, please tell him how the sparkles really bring out the green in his eyes. Maybe give him some glitter. I don’t know. Just tell him to keep the rhinestones out of my bed.

You May Be Right… I May Be Crazy

So. This is going to be a very hard one to to publish and make public, but I’m feeling very much compelled to open up a bit about something that’s hugely important to me, something that has become the core of my identity. This is 100% going to raise eyebrows, because it’s an odd thing both within and outside of heathen community. A small handful of very close friends know, but I guess it’s time to just get it out there. I’ve always prided myself on integrity and being an open book; my honesty is one of the strengths I listed in therapy. But I haven’t been completely honest about my religious devotion. And I’m not sure if certain other Lokean friends are brilliant about reading between the lines, or if Loki’s been running his mouth, but after it was mentioned by her and confessed by me, I realized it’s time to get it out there.

My relationship with Loki? It goes beyond the fulltrui commitment.

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A Smile, A Troll Cross, and A LOT of Love

I’m creeping closer to the edge of the dark patch, finally tearing free from the brambles and thorns that held me tight and threatened to consume me. I credit the switch in medication, because I felt the smog lift when I started titrating down from the Lexapro. The new stuff is definitely helping with the brain chemicals, and my family and friends are helping me do the heavy lifting of getting back in touch with my sense of worth. Apparently I have a lot of value in my community, and it’s overwhelming to hear that and I’m working hard to accept and internalize that even as the nasty bits of my brain still try to convince me otherwise.

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Surprise! (Spoiler: No One Was Surprised)

After nearly ten years of celebrating holidays with my local kindred, I’m finally an official member of the family. We had our Midsummer celebration on Saturday, and I was welcomed in an unexpectedly emotional ceremony before the public arrived. I, of course, wasn’t the only one welcomed by the kindred: the doors were opened for Loki, too.

Longtime readers might recall the events that transpired the night the kindred invited me to join. Since then, I’ve (jokingly, kind of) given them plenty of “outs” in case they’d changed their minds about letting one of Loki’s Little Lunatics in. They’re a stubborn bunch, and they repeatedly insisted they wanted me. Hahahaha, k. At least they know what they’re getting themselves into. I mean, they’ve known me for many, many years, and I’m not shy in my adoration of Himself. Over the years, I very respectfully followed their “don’t toast Loki in sumbel, no offerings to him at blot, keep him out of ritual” rule, because I’m hardly about to tell people what to do in their own house, and because I genuinely admired everyone present and understood their past experiences with the Trickster and his followers weren’t the best. Besides, for the longest time, I was a stubborn Odhinnswoman, who just accepted Loki’s constant presence as part of the terms of hanging with Ol’ One Eye. I’d pour Loki a drink when I poured on for Grimnir per lore declarations, and I’d give Loki treats on my own time, but a kindred being Nokian wasn’t a deal breaker for me. A little sad, since I’ve always had a liking for the twerp, and he’d always been good to me, but I understood. He’s not for everyone. I just made up for it upon my return home from kindred events.

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