Where to begin? The interplay between actions, events, memories, present and future, past and present, between perceptions and memories, fears and logic. One cannot every think in pure reason in matters of personal dealings. Perhaps a sage, but who among us are sages? Even the great stoics often remarked that they were not sages, but that they tried.
Short summary. After getting over a nasty relationship of abuse, I was finally back to health again. It was then that I met a wonderful woman. The connection between us was instant. Deep. We lived 4 hours apart. We took advantage of the times we had together and didn’t dally in trivialities. We sought to mine the other’s soul. I opened myself up completely to her. I felt that she was opening herself to me. I left for 3 weeks of military training. That weekend she had a crisis. I was not there. It is my belief that this triggered her deepest fears from the past. But I cannot say. I am not her. I am looking upon this with my own perceptions and biases, which are impossible to turn off. It cannot be stated too much, there is no such thing as unbiased logic in matters of the heart. A short time later she called me. We broke up. I took it hard. Tried to affirm friendship. Our contact stopped. I had to process, hard to do in this military environment. I did, and her response was a few days later. We ended everything, even friendship.
Fortunately for me I had the rest of the day off, as well as today. I made it to the barracks, gritting my teeth, and upon entering my room I broke down and wept my heart out. I was filled with a deep anger, as though I were attacked at the deepest level, betrayed to the core, and I was also sad that I lost someone that I loved. I was hating myself very much. I was told that by someone I loved that I was weak, unfulfilling, unable to satisfy or fulfill her. I was not good enough, and returning earlier conversation, I was not able to be there for her. To sum up, I was told that I couldn’t be counted on to protect her, aid her, and that I was not enough to satisfy her, and that I was also weak. I took it hard. And as the emotions crashed over me in huge wave after wave, I felt such hatred for my weakness, in feeling the emotions that I was feeling. A weak person wouldn’t feel such sadness. That I was feeling heartbreak was proof that I was exactly what she said I was. But a small voice inside of me, cultivated over the years, held its ground. It said that this was exactly the fight I’d been training for. I reached out to several friends via text and their support afforded me an anchor for the rest of the day.
I awoke the next day in a better state.
There has been no small amount of thinking on my part questioning just how much of a fucking bastard am I? My friends support me, but I tell them they don’t know the full story, only hearing mine. Don’t support me just yet. I could be completely wrong. But what is likely closer is that both of us are correct and horribly wrong at the same time. Since I am out of her life now, and she mine, I will try to understand my side
I drew three runes today. I was deeply confused. So I gave a simple PAST PRESENT FUTURE query for understanding me. Yes, she was heavy on my mind and heart, but I asked for a wide picture. It wasn’t about our (ended) relationship but larger in scope.
Gebo gets to the heart of my anger, my feelings of betrayal. I opened myself more fully than ever before. I put my complete trust in her. I opted to venture into areas that I’ve never been before with her, emotionally, sexually, under a sense of trust. At the times she always showed me deep love and trust. Before her I had never explored the themes we did. Were they real within me? Were they patterns? I don’t know. But I recall fondly the attention and love she gave me, the grounding of energy after. It reinforced to me that she had my back.
After the weekend when she didn’t call upon me for support, she cited the reason for our breakup as distance. I knew it was a big one, but it isn’t the main one. It was a convenient excuse but not the driving force. Later the reasons came up that there were two things that contributed to her feeling I was weak. 1: my experience of bi, which is 6/100th but apparently enough to sway her opinion that I am ALL that, and 2: my exploration of various themes with her as indicative of weakness, again being a minority of times. The thing about fears is that when we see something that we fear we easily fall into a cognitive bias to their being the totality of the thing. We take one small piece and make it the central trait of someone, and we hate/fear them. This is what I saw happening. So it was that I was a weak person, she could not count on someone who was weak, so the long distance relationship was doomed.
Again, Gebo. In reading various texts on this rune there is the well known concept that gifts are reformers, we should repay what are given, be generous, and so on. I felt that I gave much to her, felt she gave much to me, until the sudden cease. She wanted to become blood kin with me. Gave me a sacred lock of hair. Was in a monogamous relationship with only me. Then… Silence. When I asked if I was closer could we still date? To paraphrase her response, if I had a job, wasn’t a moocher on her resources, sure.
To be honest, I still feel deeply betrayed by her. I told her that she had no honor. This is a huge slight. I cannot truly speak to that now, because as I am deeply hurt by her sudden cutting off of from me, I cannot fully know the deep wounds that she is facing herself, the history of hurts, and all the things that went into her actions. I do know that she didn’t consult with me, talk to me about her fears, try to come to an understanding with someone she professed to fall in love with every day. In the end she simply cut ties and left and used logic against me.
But that is the past.
Mannaz is the present. I am anxious for the future. I trusted her and she hurt me deeply. I have serious doubts about trusting someone in the future. I make no apologies for loving someone, deeply, and easily. Some view it as a negative. I view their hesitancy sometimes more like cowardice than prudence. But regarding prudence, I am afraid that this will impact my ability to open with someone. She accepted me, mostly. She said many times, holding me by the face, I see you, stating that she could see my essential self. And yet she rejected it in the end, that I could never fulfill or satisfy her, two words I’ve told her are deep wounds for me. Whether she knew she was striking at my heart or not with those words, her aim was true and it bit deep. Hence my deep anger and feeling of betrayal.
Different readings of Mannaz have different emphases on them. For some it is the archetype of the human being. For others it is nature of which we are, our returning to dust, that life is fleeting and we can adorn ships while we may. For another it is the facing of male/female. For another it is the linking of two halves, of memory and thought, into a whole. Which is it here? What resonates for me is that of the import of thought and memory. In memory there is a deeper, primal aspect that underlies thought. Remembering what I’ve learned through trial and error, in what modern psychology has to teach us, that there is no pure thought without this underlying memory. The two are linked. It would be easy to let the two go round and round, the thoughts fueled by the memories, painting a picture that I am a deeply flawed fuckwad who does nothing but hurt people everywhere I go. It was the belief that this was the truth in who I am that kept me from connecting with many people for a long time.
But there is another aspect to Mannaz, a communal aspect. In my anguish I sought out my friends. Biased though their perceptions of me may be, they still helped me in not reinforcing too much of the negative thoughts that I was the worst, most unloveable piece of shit in the world. Their aid helped me move through the storm into the next day.
Though I do not know her motives, her fears and hurts fully, I still feel betrayed. Whether she intended to or not is on her. She’ll have to carry that with her, impacting her own Hamingja that is attached to her. But the truth is this counts to me as a betrayal. I have a small amount of fear what this will do to me regarding the future, save for one thing. Interesting thing happened yesterday at dinner. I had laid in my bed for a few hours, broken and sinking into black depths, until it was time for dinner. I know that food is important, and with only a 15 minute window to eat at the chowhall I got up, gathered my composure, and went to eat. The chowhall here is run by a contracting company and it appears that they employ a variety of people with a variety of different mental conditions. Everyone performs wonderfully. Being a pass for most people, it was deserted of soldiers and the atmosphere was quiet. I was quiet, taking my food tray, and moving through the line. As I went to another spot to get milk, one of the passing workers stopped and commented on my birthmark. She was such a naieve and innocent curiosity about something that has cause me plenty of self conscious shyness in the past. She inquired without a hint of anything but curiosity. Immediately I felt a lighter being within myself move toward her and connect with her as a person. I smiled and laughed a little, offered my hand that she could squeeze the blood out of it and watch it flow back in. It is creepy to kids who often freak out about it. She didn’t. She was innocent of such judgments. We parted and I went to eat. Sitting down I fell back into my blackness while I ate. But it was a good sign for me. This moment of blackness will not last forever.
I make no apologies for loving B as much as I did. I make no apologies for opening up as fully as I did with her. I had plan to fulfill with her. I wasn’t planning on eventually marrying her or moving in with her or anything. I only wanted to love her as honestly and fully as I could, in the way that was most authentic in the period that I had with her. I did wish that it would be longer. Why would I desire for it to be short? But it was short. Just under two months.
Regardless of what she may feel, I know my own heart. I have so much love and dedication with me to give. For the queen of my heart I would sacrifice all, move mountains, charge against an army, do whatever it took to care for and protect. She may have felt that I was weak and someone she could not depend on, deeply hurtful, but I know the limits I would go to for those I love. She threw away something wonderful that we had. There must be some deep, deep, fears in her, the Shadow moving mightily in her. In this I feel only love for her. I wish her strength in her trials now and to come.
Eihwaz is the future. I do not know how to take this yet. Truth is I don’t know how to take any of this yet. I’m still in the midst of it all. Still, the runes help as guides in such times and in this I think of the axis mundi of connecting the higher and the lower. It is Yggdrasil that connects all the realms together. Is this a means to learn something that I’ve been struggling with; the question of how can one be strong and yet vulnerable with emotions? B often told me that I had a purpose, that us served that. I never liked it because it felt like it turned us from being a relationship of two people instead into a tool, a stepping stone. Hey person, let us connect deeply so that we can breakup because it will be good for my development in the end! That is not satisfying to me and feels dishonest on all accounts if it was the motive for entering into a relationship. It was never mine. But now that it is over, I am left with remembering an article that I read recently where the author makes the point that now that you are completely broken, you can remake yourself into whatever image you want. I am not completely broken. I am the same self I was before B, just hurt from the loss of someone so special to me and the circumstances that initiated it. But I am still the same unless I pause somehow, figure out a way to see the patterns as they are and begin anew.
Did I do anything wrong? I cannot think of what I would change. Yes, I’ve yelled out that I hated sharing so much, exploring so much, and so on with her… But in the end that is exactly what I want. She views me as weak? Her mistake. I am no not weak. I know this. I have no need to prove it because it is built on more than simple bluster. So what would I have changed? I cannot think of anything. I need to continue to think on it, but currently it feels as though someone threw me away from their own fear who was able to rationalize it without knowing she did so. This isn’t an attack, every single person does this every hour of the day. What I admired about her was her ability to stop this process, so common in people, and to readdress her feelings. Though she is no longer my friend, I sincerely hope she finds the strength to cross that bridge in her heart lest she repeat the pattern more.
But I have my own patterns to address. Mannaz and Eihwaz address this and I will have to ponder them more fully as I move forward. Lest I repeat the same patterns…