From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

My flashbacks don’t come as one memory, they begin as a though and spiral outward like a web connecting all traumas.  Today,  I woke up this morning to the sound of screaming within my own mind- in my dream, I was in a dark, dank prison rudely carved out of concrete with rusted rebar in the small, high windows at odd angles.  My hands were drawn above my head with course rope, my wrists caked in dried blood- and yes, I was clothed.  In fact, I was wearing quite a lot of clothing and all of it was uncomfortable….all I remember is one scream after the other- and being whipped through my clothing itself and how much pain and punishment had to be more real than the reality I had dreamt for myself…namely this one.

Thankfully, outside of dreaming this has never happened to me- but it did serve as a reminder of one of my “could-have-beens” should I have continued on the suicidal course of study I intended during my college years and my stubborn attempts to find some how, some way, to become a diplomatic liaison to a country we have taught to hate us.
Unlike my dream- it was my own country  that failed me, not the other one.  and my hands were not bound over my head, nor was I physically tortured- however, I was handcuffed to a chair for 5 hours and forced to do test after test, with each one I passed making the arresting officer lose greater and greater hold of his patience and decorum.
Next I am in a yoga studio, the lights are low and there are a total of three of us in the room- I am being verbally attacked, and I respond with an inner calmness that is coming from a place I cannot begin to describe nor call on at will.  Each question I answer calmly, with assurance, each response to my responses met with rising rage and frustration as I am called egotistical, deluded, and self-important.
Next, I am in my own home, my husband is being attacked this time- and that calmness is upon me again.  Each over emotional accusation is met by calm reason- which incites the abuser to more extravagant and emotionally charged insults until she is asked to leave and not return.  I don’t know what holds me together.
I am loading a dishwasher and I am 15 years old- and my mother screams at me for the order in which I am placing the dishes.  The person I loved most at the time overdosed the day before on a variety of drugs and suddenly, the world I am in looks ridiculous.  Being screamed at for dishes, for theses “things” when my friend, a real, human, being almost died for trying to find a way out of the pain and madness of life.  I laughed in her face and she slapped me.

I looked her in the eye and said “None of your shit matters anymore to me.” She slapped me across the face, and I laughed- so she slapped me again and I simply laughed at her again.  “Out of the two of us, you are the pathetic human being- if I can even call you human.”  and I walked away from her irrational, incoherent screaming.
I am a child of nine years old and I have baracaded my bedroom door with my dresser- and it is not working.  The Beast is still roaring on the other side, I can’t even call her mother- for her stench of constant menstration, her facial hair, her black teeth, and tiny blue eyes set into her skull like the eyes of a potato.  Her hair dark, lank, and smelling both unwashed and over perfumed.

“Let me in you little Bitch!” the beast roars,  I open the window- the screen is in and I cannot remove it- just then the dresser topples over my bed, the door rips off it’s hinges and the memory goes dark.
“Stop being such a baby,” said the dentist- I told him, that I was allergic to novacaine and he did not heed me as I writhed in the chair in pain as he drilled.
“Stop being so childish” said the gynocologist, “I have had 7 children and I can tell you that there are no nerves on the cervix from personal experience.”- as they removed half of mine with a scalpel and what looked like a small apple corer to place the remains in a jar of fluid.  I didn’t go back for years.
“Take the entire bottle- this *is* going to hurt- but your jaw is collapsing.  I can fix it today.”  It didn’t hurt at all, actually- I remember the Roy Orbison in the background “….anything you want, you got it-” as over 100 mg of valium coursed through my system along with Lidocaine, the correct dental drug was administered several times into the left side of my jaw and a small pin was inserted.  I lost more teeth that day on account of another surgeon’s mistake… a drill that went down too far during a wisdom tooth extraction.  If you ask me, you can feel the pin holding me together.  On the X-ray, today, it was barely visible and translucent.  I thought it was titanium, but now I am not so sure.  Did he make it out of my own bone? straight with a small barbell at each end.
I am in an office;

“Your attempts to discredit me have been thwarted.”
“I never tried to discredit you- but you have been avoiding me.”
“I have…other obligations.”
“I can’t believe you could think I would do anything to hurt you.”
“I can’t believe you thought me to be some kind of monster”
“You are no monster….you told me to talk to someone if I needed to talk, and Don was there- he helped me If I wanted to hurt you I wouldn’t have gone to professor retired”
“I am glad you have someone special to talk to you can trust.”
“No, It used to be you…it was always you I could trust.  This is killing us.”
I am in another office, my boss had left the company the  week before and I was being accused of sexual harrassment of a coworker I see once a week… I spent over a week trying to piece the story together..
She screamed “NOTHING I tell you should EVER leave this office again, understand?”
I replied calmly, “No,  I had false charges leveraged against me- I either had to clear my name or find out or be miserable here every day of my life.”

She had nothing to say- her lips pursed into a thin line as I was dismissed.  I remembered this when I called every agency I knew on that company after I was let go under false pretenses.  They didn’t used to have “layoffs” during quiet season.  Thanks to my lawyer, now they do.
I am in the courthouse, Ed is on one side of me and my lawyer, a different lawyer is on the other- on the window next to mine, separated by a short wall is a Hispanic man and his father.  “It was just my prescription medication…and I’m looking at 10 years.”
There was no sense of calmness nor decorum- I just sobbed uncontrollably into Ed’s shoulder to the point where his orange shirt was a mess of wet tear stains,  My lawyer held my hand through part of the proceedings and showed me pictures of his children.

The nurse held my hand just as I was about to go under anesthesia, “Are you sure you are okay?”
“Yes, I’m only scared- that’s all- just hold my hand.”

The doctor recognized me for the second time in the Emergency room, “Flashbacks, Ms. Wylder?”

“You could say that.” I was huddled in the corner of the bed with my arms wrapped around my legs.  A nurse came in with a long printout.

“Doctor- number four- Ketosis-”

I told the doctor to go onto the patient who actually needs him- I’ll just wait for the back room and the ambulance.  Just don’t take me to St. Lukes.


“So, tell me what it is that you study again?  Muhammad Iqbal?”  I didn’t answer  I just said “Please, give me the same doctor I had before, Dr. C.  I do not wish to talk about it right now it won’t help me.”


21:”I can’t talk to you anymore…not the way we used to.”

27: “You have to get out of here, promise me you will get out of here before I hurt you. I don’t want to hurt you.  Oh God.  Please- just go- promise me you’ll go back to school, promise me you’ll be a chaplain.  Just don’t stay here.”

“I can’t go- then I would be leaving you here- alone, with them”

“There might not be a “me” anymore soon.  Please, Wylder….please just listen to me, listen to Steve- it’s not safe and I am so sorry.”
29:”Master Gulan sent me- he tells me you have a bad teacher.  Wait.  Please listen. I will teach you. I can teach you anything you want to know.  Forget him.  Let him out of you mind- he is poison- he means nothing.”

“He means something to me.”

“We’ll work on that- will you let me teach you?”

“Of course.”

(and it turned out teaching was not at all what he wanted, sorry Master Gulan, your pupil was not true to your faith, either.)


29:  “If I caused you any harm, It was not my intention. I want your forgiveness.”
“It makes no difference, You have my forgiveness.”
“I just want things to go back to normal”
“Even after I graduate?”
“Even then.”
“Khoda Hafez, A.  God be with you.”
“Khoda Hafez’

30: I am writing you to tell you I refuse to continue any correspondence with you unless you either A) Call me at this specific time and day, or B) You stop writing to me under an alias.

S/he responded first with rage, then with heartbreak, then with threats, and I saved them all.  Then I turned them into the Dean’s office.  I made him promise to try and get them help. I would never take legal action.  I was seeing a specialist on Stolkholm syndrome”


…and then, my mind grew into paths so dark that even writing them down makes me feel as if my fingers would bleed and my existence would shatter into wracking sobs.

Loki doesn’t test the way other Gods do.  Everyone is tested every day- if you get His attention- it’s not because you won some sort of prize, passed some finish line, or conquered some impossible goal.  It’s because he genuinely sees what you are- all of you, where you have been, and what you have been through and knows that you can understand Him.  As selfish as it sounds…any relationship with Loki is based on mutual understanding- a mutual respect and knowing there are things that are speakable and things unspeakable in this world.  Did you tell the truth?  Did you do your best?  But most of all- did you stare fear down in the face, and do what YOU thought needed to be done, regardless of the advice of others?  Is your heart at peace knowing you did all you could with what you had with the resources given- or are you a dog, guilt-shamed by a world of mindless beasts who judge you on inconsequential things.

Loki can judge because He has been judged.  Tyr can Judge because he is the God who has ever spoken only One lie.

And they both judge based on how you judge yourself…. and I look at myself today, I am whole in body and my spirit is still in shambled tatters- ripped by these things and so much more.  I have been touched by the foul and the disgusting and have closed my door on what and who I believe to be repugnant for the lies they tell themselves,  scholars, and people of high positions…
….then, I will open my door to the murderer, the convict, and the honest drug addicts.

I would share a horn with an honest person with a broken past and scarred soul before I would ever share a horn with one who puts on airs as they disease all they touch with their fouled wyrd in wicked contradictions… unless they should come clean about themselves.

…which they never do.

There are two types of people in this world.  The broken and the breakers….those who break, walk on the backs of the broken to achieve all they desire.  The broken learn to desire little more than comfort, understanding, and a safe place to call home….we do not desire or aspire to much anymore.  We are who We are…and our power lies in our honesty- you can beat us, you can lie about us, you can take everything but that last little inch- but integrity remains.

Some of us, if we are lucky, get to meet the Gods early- and after that, what greater accomplishment can possibly exist?  I have been held by Loki, danced with Hanuman, laughed with Ganesh, cried with Kuan Yin, and complied with the orders of Tyr.   I have perched on the throne of Freyja, and been rocked to sleep in the ancient, elderly arms of Inari.  I have sat at the feet of Cernunnos, and I have chased the tail of Anubis.

Shamans-  the truth is- we can’t pick just one religion- they are all true and they all make sense if you can see how the pieces fit together.  However, to see how each of the pieces works, you need to be destroyed by it all first- and the more broken you become by no fault of your own, the more the realm of the spirit makes sense.


4 Responses to “Webs”

  1. I think your psycho mother was worse than all these others put together! And what was up with her lack of hygiene? Didn’t that woman ever bathe? All I could think when I read what you’ve been through with this whole list of atrocities and wrongs was I hope karma gets them in the end, and you’re a strong woman to have come through it. Here’s to nothing but blessings and peace to you from now on. It sounds like you’ve suffered enough!

  2. She was undiagnosed with bipolar/paranoid schizophrenia until my 20’s…at which point I was crafting a way to excise her from my life. As of right now, it’s been a little over a decade since I have seen more than a photograph of her, and I celebrate every year she is not in my life.

    My brother talks to her still though, but often regrets it. He says she has come a long way- I asked him if she is aware and capable of understanding her actions towards me as a child- and he says he doesn’t think she will ever be that cognizant.

  3. She’s not even on my birth certificate 🙂 I’m listed as an orphan- despite the fact my father is still on there. FYI- apparently the state of Pennsylvania has never heard of a male parent.

    …knock knock
    who’s there?
    Loki who?
    Exactly, Pennsylvania…exactly.

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