The Problem with Power
(Another in an ongoing series of lightbulb moments.
I’ve been struggling with how to get all my thoughts on this in order; too much has happened in too short a time and I tend to need a lot of time to process before I can make a comprehensive explanation of something this… personally affective. However, if I leave off writing until I can turn it into a Great Piece of Writing™ I run the risk of never gettng to it. Here I go then, scattered thoughts and all…
Oh! And then while I’m dithering on how to piece this all together, wondering if I’m on the right tack, I _randomly_ find the card below. And it’s the Ace. The Ace of SWORDS. Oh. My. ._____.)
Monday (Jan 14): I wake up thoroughly immersed in depression. It is devastating and confusing – I feel like I’ve stepped back into myself two years ago. No rhyme or reason. Everything is hopeless and pointless and I contemplate suicide for most of the day. I go so far as to tell The Man we’d better get me back in to see someone if this continues.
I slump off to bed and while making my ablutions – *LIGHTBULB*
Fuck that noise. I’m powerless, but I don’t have to be. I am going to build a battery and I am going to sigil the fuck out of that shit and I am going to bind it with my Self – hair, piss, blood, whatever – and it is going to draw power for me forever and ever amen.
Oh and I feel so much better already! Will it be a cute plushie battery with my hair in its stuffing? Or should I just get a regular 9-volt and wrap some hair around it? I feel it should be something more than just a drawing; something physically representative in 3-D that I can wrap my hands around… mm, yes, perfect. These ponderings lull me to sleep.
And then – ohhhhh then – it hits me:
My Power wasn’t taken from me.
Nor did I give it away.
It was simply denied.
My Power was denied. It was denied. Denied. Ohmyfuck no wonder I can’t find it, it doesn’t exist anywhere I know of! I don’t even know what I’m looking for!! I sit bolt upright in bed and consult the Maat for his input – Prince of Swords: “”
Excellent; I have an ally. An ally who isn’t too concerned with what’s right and wrong, only what’s right and wrong for me. Things are going to get a little greyer, aren’t they? The path a little more twisty? That’s perfectly alright with me. Let’s do this thing.
In-world, I cleanse myself of all the muck of the day. Then I call out to her, the guardian of my Power. I know well and good who she is; I even know her name and now that I know the circumstances of her creation, I can reverse engineer it. I tell her it is time, before falling into sleep proper.
Tuesday: Something happens at work; it is minor, but I get to see the true face of a co-worker and it is so viciously ugly, that I am physically nauseauted by the experience. It is something that goes against one of the core constructs of my personality (something very, very complicated with subtle rules, requiring weird flexibility in morals), but it has ties to the exercising of my Power (to right said wrongness).
I am so disturbed by the encounter that I have trouble sleeping and my dreams are, well, gross. The only thing I remember is that I met my younger self. She didn’t look like me, but right at waking before the dream disintegrated, I knew.
Wednesday: And then it happens. The thing from the day before has escalated. Accusations have been made and that force I haven’t felt in years flares up inside me. I can’t speak for the fury that engulfs me; I stand there trembling while another co-worker tells me gently to calm down. Later in the day they tell me they’ve never seen me that angry and it was “a little scary”.
That night on tumblr, the winner of -Most Apropos Post of the Year- comes across my dash:
do you have a friend who’s usually a sweetheart but when they’re angry they’re the creepiest and the most cruel motherfucker you ever saw in your whole life
You could have heard my cackling a block away. Substitute “creepy” with “terrifying” and “cruel” with “merciless” and ta-da! Somebody rang for the Erinyes?
Now I know this will bother some of you. People in general have a hard time dealing with expressed anger, especially when it escalates to the level of rage and then beyond that to full-blown, earth-scorching, civilization-razing, berserker fury. It is considered unnecessary, uncivilized and unkind. Mature adults talk their problems out. Turn the other cheek. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Don’t worry, it gets better.
No, it fucking doesn’t. There will always be bullies and they will always mistake kindness and good-naturedness for weakness. They do not understand passive resistance. They only way to beat a bully, is to beat a bully. When I was bullied, the very people who had told me never to let anyone bully me, told me to let it go; to be strong. The people I trusted with my safety wouldn’t stand up for me. And then it happened again. And then it happened again, under different circumstances. And again. Until I was left unable to defend myself against even the smallest attack, driven literally mad with unexpressed anger and sadness because my power was denied me.
I went straight to my supervisor and let them deal with it. I’ll “tell mom on you”; I don’t fucking care. If you act like a child, I will deal with you like a child.
Maat draw that night is King of Swords (use your power as a tool, not a weapon) – Chariot (direct your power) – Princess of Wands (tap into that which you were before). I take this as a sign that yes, I have managed to open the gate and now have to learn to use my Power effectively. I was never given the chance before (when it was still kicking around) and I am rusty after having it buried waaaay down deep for so many years. I casually observe that I feel not a lick of guilt, or shame, or second-thoughtedness for what has happened that day; nor do I feel glee or delight or vindictive satisfaction. I. feel. nothing. It simply is.
Thursday: As far as I’m concerned, the matter has been dealt with and it’s over. This is the thing: expressed anger has been let go. You can move on with a light heart and go about your business. It’s the stuff you suck down – because “nice people don’t do that” – that festers and grows and makes you miserable. I’m not saying we should all get into screaming matches all the time – pick your battles – but don’t be afraid of standing up for yourself when something is truly wrong. (This is going to be the hardest thing for me to learn after lying down for so long.)
Anyway, I knew that there would be a few days before I would have to see the offending co-worker again and perhaps they would get over the worst of their hurt pride by then and we could go back to being part of a successful team (though with eyes WIDE OPEN on my part). But no.
They came to work on their day off, at a time when they knew our supervisor would be absent, specifically to bully me in person.
I can’t even understand that kind of mentality. I got a little angry, but it was more outrage at the unabashed shamelesness of this person and sickening disgust at the world they live in. I realised very shortly into the argument that I wasn’t going to win, so I just ignored them and went about my work. They got bored with hurling accusations at a non-responsive object and left.
Friday: I had a horrible sleep last night, having to process all that yuck, but I feel fine today. What is most pleasing to me is that I’m not even scared of what my return to work will hold. A little apprehensive, because it’s such a waste of energy and having to be in a tense environment wears me down very quickly, but hey! time to practise shielding!
I’m also being very careful to ward off any vindictive thoughts that cross my mind; I don’t want to draw blood for the sheer pleasure of it. The satisfaction of hurting someone who has hurt me is very attractive, but I think curbing that instinct is part of learning how to use this effectively. There’s also the temptation of seeing just how devastatingly I can outsmart them at their own game, but that again is an abuse and twisting of what I’m trying to accomplish for myself. Part of me wants nothing more than to grind them into the ground until they are nothing but dust, but that’s the Erinyes talking.
Something really interesting that I think just might tie into this, has to do with a bindrune I started using on Tuesday night, ostensibly to alleviate chronic pain. In many healing systems, chronic pain is energy that has become stuck and is now “rotting”. What is the denial of my Power other than chronic pain on a psyche level?! (Incidentally, the bindrune appears to be working on the physical pain as well. I suspect it has something to do with my natural affinity for Laguz which isn’t something I’ve ever verified, just that I feel it in my, well, water.)
And then there’s the New Moon reading I did and the cards I got for this week (leading up to First Quarter): Ace of Cups (8-Bit Tarot, so standard RWS imagery) and Amaterasu (Thalia’s Goddess Oracle). On Monday I thought the cards might be pointing to their reversed energies, so rather than the overflowing of love and joy in the Ace, it was indicative of an excess of less positive emotion, or a damming of joy. Rather than Amaterasu exiting the cave, it was Amaterasu withdrawing Her light. Now however, it seems the cards were right all along. The Ace still points to a release of emotion, of both fury and pent-up impotence, and Amaterasu could be my Power emerging from the darkness of denial.
ETA: “Today the New Moon occurs at 21 degrees Capricorn, which is otherwise known as the lunar mansion Zabadola. The lunar energy available this month can be used for healing, to bring hidden things to light, and to liberate energy that’s previously been tied up elsewhere.” Looking into this further, this New Moon was at 23 degrees, ruled by angel Requiel who deals with problems caused by anger. Trippy-trippy-woo-woo!
Tonight the moon is at exactly 50% visibility – First Quarter. My cards for the next week are 2 of Cups and Ariadne.
And finally, a Note to Self – way back in the beginning of this blog, I started writing a post called “78 Pieces of Anger”, documenting something I am angry about for each card. I stopped partway because it got too painful, but I think it’s just about time to revive that particular exercise in self-dissection.