My Shadow Self 2/2


WARNING: The follow entry may contain triggering material.

Previously, on the Codex of Poesy: I wrote about psychological shadows. The notion, I call blacksmything; the billows and characters, I called umbrage. I even thought up a character to narrate the turmoil to myself between what I wanted to do that was destructive, and what I felt and was taught I should do instead—which doesn’t count, because I had to think about what this character would say and do every step of the way, this character was a conscious, deliberate dis-association unlike other characters.

And this was different from any of those.

4 March 2014

I heard screaming, but not through my ears, so I went to my library to see what was going on. My shadow was screaming in rage, swearing cosmic revenge against Auntie V for keeping me out of a job on top of being a homewrecker and encroaching on sexual boundaries when I was adolescent and volatile and needed basic consideration not to turn out so messed up…

And I replied, “Eh, this is okay. I can let that go. The effects of all those curses do certainly sound interesting, but…one thing at a time, hey?”

She flew out the library door and down the hall, still screaming.

And, for once I felt like I could be glad that I actually for once did something about what I was unhappy about: my family environment, my new family environment (what I thought it would be), my true family environment (what I thought it would be), and someone else’s family environment.

I was living alone now and could recuperate and, as I was such a burden, hopefully so could they.

In an insight that came much later, I was glad that I didn’t shoot off an angry letter to Auntie V about keeping me out of a job. Part of the turmoil was how Miasma told me that I shouldn’t complain about the violation of my sexual boundaries and the invalidation of myself as an existent subject, only because the perpetrator of the acts which conveyed those notions, Auntie V, was giving us more money than imaginable and she didn’t have to. I took the position that money didn’t matter, because emotional trauma and silencing cost so much more: eight years of my life, and the quality of life for my future. Miasma, of course, held that I’d done that to myself—which is frequently a convenient fallback for abusers and their enablers.

But if, just because I myself was (relatively) emotionally stable but financially in dire straits, I turned the tables and told Auntie V to check her economic privilege and set her bad feelings about me aside so that I could take a job opportunity provided by Auntie J.J. (her friend and my psychic mentor) that would have been quite hypocritical of me.

12 May, 2014

This was, I thought, an experience worth having. It wasn’t that I felt unworthy of food or that I needed to achieve a sense of control that fasting gave a little sense of. It was a simple fact: I had no food. I had no way to get food. So, part of me watched the rest of me for what I missed out before: the effect that starvation really had on the body. The stomach stops hurting after a while, I even think that was the first thing I taught myself to ignore, and years after I recovered from my eating disorder I still didn’t feel hunger as an ache in my stomach. I only felt it as fatigue. Now it was plummeting blood pressure, and the feeling like static electricity all over my skin, or as if I were being dissolved in acid. That hurt so much that I could only curl up and heave dry sobs, at which point I noticed my Shadow Self in the otherreal, who seemed to be standing at my bedside and saying something, baiting me somehow with something she was saying.

Because I was in the state of mind where I only notice, though, this was just something that I noticed.

I don’t remember much of what happened after that.

During the -ber months, I kept on with projects and things began to look up.

13 September 2014

Today I noticed something like my Shadow-self screaming in the surreal, again, or well I say “again” but that  last time had been months ago, and this time it sounded like a tiny and pining, plaintive cry for help.

I thought it might have been Foxglove or one of the Roses. It couldn’t have been Marigold, and Lavender didn’t ever communicate through anything that I could take and translate into sound. I asked Foxglove, and he was sure it wasn’t any of them, so I went into the Surreal to see.

I walked around the bottom of the ocean floor with Foxglove, following the crying. It sounded like a woman. “Miasma?” I guessed. I approached an underwater cave and saw my Shadow Self waiting at the bottom.

Somehow, I knew the story instantly. She’d been angry and gone to wreak havoc on the people who’d hurt us. But somebody was well-defended and wounded her enough that she would stop and seek refuge here.

“Didn’t I tell you not to go after them?” I said to my Shadow-self. Actually, I hadn’t, but she replied as if I had: that it was her nature, and our tragedy.

I can’t remember anything after that. This day had actually been pretty busy. Foxglove and Marigold put me on some sort of trial in the Surreal before this encounter, that was chock full of painful truths that I would consider the real Shadows in the Jungian sense, not just the appearance of a character being shadowy. But the trial is for another entry, probably.

3 November 2014

The wound in my back returned. Foxglove was nowhere to be found, so I would just let the substance sort of leach out. This time, however, it took form… Not of a Shadow version of myself, but something far more masculine that rose up over my back and arched over my head to look at me.

It would fade to a twinge in the morning and return at night again with a form and face and habit, but it wouldn’t say a single word.

Ten days after that last entry, I noticed that the spot at my back disappeared again, even at night. I had started back on anti-depressants for oversleeping and brain fog, not so much for the emotional state (which was, despite it all, the best it’s been in a decade) but I doubt that had anything to do with it, because the psychiatric medications hadn’t had any effect on the otherreal/surreal wound on my back before.


Before the March entry, my Shadow Self might have been so much mental effort to bring alive because I identified so much with it. I was wrathful and bleakly depressed. Maybe, somehow, the shift to my being merely irritated and melancholy… created or projected actual Shadow people, from who I couldn’t even process or glean any insight by talking.

So, I have no idea what they signify in regards to my mental and emotional state.

And I have no idea what they could possibly signify in regards to reality: the interface, if there is any, between my experience of the surreal/otherreal and other people’s experience of the corporeal. Did that Shadow self make, what, poltergeist activity among my abusers and their enablers? I never checked. I don’t care to.

Better out than in, I guess.