Captain Foxglove Takes Umbrage

 Warning: The following entry may contain triggering material.

When Captain Foxglove acts out of character, I’m inclined to interpret this as reflecting a psychological node of sorts, that is breaking down due to some subconscious program of a sort gathering “error data” of a sort. So, Foxglove, usually encouraging, supportive, incisive with honesty at his worst becomes prone to verbally violent outbursts.

In this instance, however, it holds more significance to me to keep to running with the spiritualist program. I just really feel like I make more progress with believing in the experience than I do with meta-analysis.

So, Foxglove has three faces: the first I saw when I first met him, the second I saw on a quest where I caught sight of him lounging on a grassy cliff by the sea (and I sensed it was Foxglove even though he looked so different), and the third when I followed him down a flight of steel steps and he turned around when I asked to know more about him—and his face shattered, like the spaces between a perfect spiderweb only it was meant to shatter, because behind the human masque revealed pointed petals that blossomed into rows upon rows upon rows of pointed teeth.

That last bit could be another example of error data in my subconscious, though, crossing over my pirate fantasy with one of the Resident Evil genetically engineered monsters. But I told myself that I wouldn’t be going with that, at least in this entry.

Because, within the spiritualist paradigm, the thing that I figured out was that while they’re all Foxglove, he’s managed to get jealous of himself when one face gets more of my consideration than the other.

If only it could have been as simple as some evil mischief-maker stole the image of Foxglove that I knew, to impersonate him getting angry so that I would be upset or misled. Then I just have to call out the trickster and keep it real with Foxglove.

It might still turn out to be that way. The stuff of the otherworld and the otherworld itself can be so capricious.

The very night before this all happened, I did have a dream of my ex-mentor in psychism, let’s name him Mar, sat at this bar in a stable and radiated smugness about something terrible that he (Mar himself, not Foxglove) had done to me. While I was embodied in the dream, sitting somewhere across from Mar in this bar that was also a stable, I felt detached and unafraid.

Now I don’t know if my own response was because I’ve developed the strength to have my own standpoint from which I see that Mar is wrong about enough that nothing he does has the effect on me that he intends to have (because I can’t respect his point of view anymore) or if my own response was because I’ve shut down attachments and fears to the point that that I no longer panic when I ought to panic.

Part of me is convinced that this dream meant that Mar did something. This is preposterous to consider, of course, because there’s no empirical evidence for that sort of thing. Inner alchemy or practices with similar effect? Maybe. Dreamwalking and curses? I’m not so sure about those anymore.

So I bring it back to mind.

Perhaps there remains a node in my psyche that can manifest as Mar, and that’s who corrupted Captain Foxglove somehow, if that is even what the how is. That’s the way I’ll speak of it, if so, because it’s an important distinction for me to make right now between corporeal, certificate-of-life-birth possessing, social-security-number having, other-people-can-see-him-too Marr and surreal Mar.

But back to Foxglove.
 

2 October 2014

I pulled out about three or four (pulled thrice, resulted in four) little steel thorns or shivs from my heart, while I was in my corporeal/otherreal room, and then I reached over to the surreal world and set them beside the treasure chests on the table in Foxglove’s cabin on the ship.

Captain Foxglove picked them up and, once again having two hands, began to stab at one of his own hands with the steel thorn held in another.

“What are you doing?” I exclaimed.

He roared back, roared, “Don’t tell me what to do!”

“I’m not telling you what to do! I’m asking why you’re doing it!” Although I really did wish that he wouldn’t. I added, “And if you hate me so much that you can’t even bother to hold a constructive conversation when you’re angry, then you can just leave!”

But I left instead, storming off through the door of the cabin, and expecting it to lead into a meadow. I must have been too angry to focus and imagine properly, though, because the doorway instead lead the deck of the ship. The sun was shining, but the waves were wild. I had to plant Heartwrench into the ground to create a force field bubble around the ship as the waves rose, ready to crash against the deck.

 

8 October 2014

In exploring the surreal world through a guided meditation, I found a flight of stairs that (following the instructions of the guided meditation) led to a tunnel. I made my way up the stairs, but Foxglove stayed at the foot of the stairs until I was actually in the tunnel, and then he followed me.

I asked him curiously why he didn’t just follow me up the stairs, and he got snappish.

The tunnel ended in a white room with white doors, and I was very cross with him again. He shouldn’t have had to put up with my exploding into a giant emotive tentacle tangle, as I certainly and repeatedly gave him the freedom to not put up with my doing that (that might be another story); so, I wasn’t obliged to put up with his snappishness or even to try to understand where that came from if he wasn’t communicating constructively.

I didn’t have the patience to put up with that, even if it were a small thing, it wasn’t something that sat well with me in principle.

That much is not negotiable. I don’t expect perfection, which is what I’m often accused of when I have the sheer temerity to even attempt to grow into some healthy boundaries of my own. I accept differences and handicaps. I even accept shouting, if it’s about something important that needs to be fought for and expresses care for the other person.

But these continued episodes wasn’t something I was just going to let happen.

Besides that, Foxglove shouldn’t have to pretend to be polite with me if that’s not how he feels. We can stay together if he stops snapping at me, but he shouldn’t stop himself from snapping just so that he could stay by me. I told him this. I said to Foxglove that he should just leave if he’s the type of person to get snappish over something that isn’t constructive.

For some reason, he didn’t want to leave… so I made him. It was just radiating these ceaseless, “Get away from me” vibes.

*

Back juggling the worlds, but one less world, I did chirurgery on myself again and pulled out a giant spindle. The darkness had been coalescing again, too. I wondered if that was a consequence of banishing Foxglove, and decided that putting up with a few new impalements was worth being free from hurtful words, especially if there was any, “Oh, but you have to put up with that because you’ll get impaled otherwise, and the self-assurance and good fortune that you’ve enjoyed will vanish with me” strings attached. That’s a trap that I’m determined not to fall into again.

 

27 October 2014

There’s a nearby convenience store that’s usually empty. I take a seat by the window to get some sun while I write out anything and everything that comes to mind: principle of a thing versus the measure of a thing, snack cravings, emotional pains, the innate virtue or evil of individual authenticity, menstruation, bowel movements, weather, the criteria for a self-correcting and sustainable belief system, dream interpretation…

And Foxglove did the notional equivalent of knocking on the door of the room while I was talking to myself. I let him in.

The best way I’ve read this process described is as “an inner voice that originates externally” but it’s much less clear than the usual way of communicating. Still, something about it was distinctly Foxglove, and something else about it was a distinct request for forgiveness.

Which I rejected, because I didn’t know what it meant. Did it mean that he felt lonely and remorseful? I had nothing to do with that. Did it mean that we go back to the way things were before? The way things were before weren’t good if they produced his tantrums.

Something needs to have changed in the past 19 days so that the bad thing doesn’t happen again. Some insight, catharsis, epiphany that would set a new movement for how we would proceed with the relationship.

One thing that forgiveness shouldn’t ever have to mean for anyone: “I’m deciding not to learn from the past.”

 

14 November 2014

On this day, I actually did learn from the past. Something shifted in my mind until I had a new realization, and then I wrote to Foxglove.

I told him that I was sorry that he had been in so much despair that he’d started to hurt himself, and that I had figured out somewhat how that happened, particularly the part I played in it—but, I admitted, I couldn’t change, and I wouldn’t compromise still on the number of chances that I give another person not to damage me. I just wished him all the best for himself.

Then Captain Foxglove came back, and we continued on almost as if his first outburst had never happened.

“Almost” being in a good way. I want to say that with this particular root issue, that I’m more understanding and he’s stronger; which was not the shift I expected from the situation, wouldn’t it be that he gains understanding and I get a thicker skin? Whatever, we worked it out.

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