There were 2 specifically that arose for me. One was an old one to do with not being heard. What I learned was that I now possess a viable way of responding that I hadn't had in the past. This is very good. What I still need to learn is how to clean up the edges of that so other things are not stymied. One of my big things with taking the music path again was to reinforce what I had learned last year and to fine tune it. Much of that happened. However, on our last day of path we were to bring a piece to share with the group and the voice squashing that had happened to me just the day before removed my ability to stand up on that last day. I could have pushed, but I was feeling entirely too vulnerable even in such a safe space as had been created in path. I am a bit melancholy about that, but determined to not have that happen in the future.
The other that came up was one I thought I had conquered. A group of us were sitting around one night and the game came up of, "What's your number?" Now, for this game one gets to choose the parameters of what constitutes a sexual partner. Vigentials/pigenitals (Facebook people will get this reference), oral, other. When the game came up I pulled on my ear and looked at the ground. One person said, "Boneweaver, you look particularly ashamed so you should start." People agreeably chortled and I answered first with the only viable answer in my head amid the swirl.
What is not stated in the question is the word "consensual". My guess is that part is assumed, but me being me, I assume nothing. My answer has changed over the years as I've tried to decide which number is the Truth™. What startled me was the use of the adjective "ashamed". Had I been asked I would've said I no longer held any shame surrounding the sexual abuse of my youth. I would have been wrong. I will need to do more work on this. Ugh. The innocent and generally fun game perpetually stumps me as I waiver between which number is actually True. I don't want to force the word "consensual" into the question because it's a game where each person gets to define what exactly is being asked, but on the other hand it is a difficult game for me to play.
There are resulting upsides of these 2 shadows. For the first one: My Reclaiming initiation opened up communication lines with the Otherworld in ways previously veiled, particularly with the Mighty Dead. My Feri initiation strengthened that, removed some residual static from the lines, and opened me to the Gods in clear unable-to-deny-from-whence-the-messages-come ways. When my voice was squashed I allowed that to be okay because I heard very clearly from Them that the conversation I was STFU'ed out of did not matter.
For the second one: I have an answer to "what's my number" that is both true and factual, no matter who I include in the count. In the game I responded first, I answered quickly and accurately, and I mentally hurried the next person to answer. These are good things.
One other interesting piece came up that night of the game. Someone mentioned a desire to remember all the names of their partners (for their own valid reasons). I do not hold that desire. If your name is given a place in the landscape of my memory it is an honour. I do not honour all of my previous partners.
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