Iron and Blood

Like the title? I do. To me it conjures images of ancient battles and the cries of war before it became corrupted even more.

Of people, men and women and dual spirited, who lived hard and rough lives. Surviving with skill and cooperation, laughing and loving, knowing that life was truly a fragile thing. Taking little for granted finding the joy and sorrow and fighting for every moment. These are the ancestors, not just the ones folks like to claim.

That famous person you can claim blood to or with? Awesome. But what about your great great great grandparents who farmed and fought and survived? Do you know their names? Do you think of them? Without those simple members who lived none of us would be here. And I often think of them, their strength to just simply carry on.

Now before this goes any further I suppose I should offer a TW/CW of some kind, but fuck it. Either stop reading now, or deal with it.

Because now let’s move to this age, this time. Humanity has become more parasite than symbiote living not for each other but for the individual. We are soon to be a dying species and most of the members are either too apathetic to care or too stupid to know better (flat-earthers I’m looking at you).

We let hate get out of hand, turning on the different. I could go on and on about all the possibilities of that, but I’m going to focus on a single thing. The overwhelming change in humanity that is the tsunami of depression that spreads over us like a plague. Such things have been around for years, but like a cancer it has grown and spread almost as if we are all drinking from the same poisoned water source that warped our genetic makeup and we spread it to the next generation. In the United States alone there are twelve year olds commiting suicide! Teens on such heavy drugs that they are being committed to mental institutions, adults who take their own lives and their own families saying, “We had no idea”.

Some of us are strong, led lives that were forged in trauma and abuse, been through hellscapes so many couldn’t fathom. At least that’s what is said. We stand and we face the day, few knowing the iron was forged in blood. That wisdom comes from experience yes, but madness as well. Pain is both the result and constant companion for those who led/lead such lives. And when you look now the signs are everywhere, “Get Help, Talk to Someone, We’re Here”. So many slogans, so many re-posting the meme’s, so many fucking promises. Yet those death numbers continue to rise.

Why doesn’t a person with thoughts speak up? Seek out help? Hmmmm… let’s ponder this for a moment. Could be a generation thing. Up to and including most of Gen X, you handled it on your own. Guys especially because showing that type of emotion was weakness so you learned to bury it deep, shut down emotionally. In some families they would beat you for such thoughts, to toughen you up. You suck it up and do what you have to. Gods forgive if it were found out by the students in school that a person was not only different but having problems, it became a mixture of blood,water, and sharks.

Now there’s this “No Tolerance” policy on bullying in many different schools, but guess what? It’s a joke to placate the parents and does absolutely nothing for the students except cause the bullies to escalate when they get their “punishment”. Which by the way is to apologize and write a paper on proper behaviour. I wish I was joking, as I have looked into multiple schools in multiple states, and this is the policy with little deviance.

Every day is a battle for these people folks. Every. FUCKING. Day. Yes, medications, therapy, and other techniques add weapons to the armory but in the long run it is the individual who has to keep fighting every day. So when you ask why don’t they just talk? Because a past of ridicule, being ignored, told that they were a being a burden or problem. I can hear so many now, “I would never…”, well guess what? Your body posture, tone, and everything else often say it for you.

Iron is our armor. Forged in blood. Blood that to often is our own. So is it any wonder that after battling for so long and so hard that so many fail? They fight on alone in their minds. Platitudes, hopes, prayers are nice and just fucking useless. Sometimes you have to actually do something and show that you are there for them.

Sometimes… it doesn’t matter. The demons win and the battle is lost. The pain can no longer be withstood. So, yes Karen, it was all about you when you didn’t even spend 3 minutes speaking to them, they did it just to hurt you or for attention. Fuck you.

Sometimes all you hear is goodbye. Sometimes you hear nothing at all. Sometimes? There’s another morning.

Loss

Sorry, couldn’t really think of a snappy title for this entry. But TW/CW: Depression, Greif, Loss, Abuse

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Ok, so because of the way these preview I will start this by saying what led me to this subject has been a few thing over the past week or so, some realizations I came to while seeking answers from within. Now the chances that any of the following realizations apply to another is slim, but who knows. Might be similar enough that someone else will know they aren’t alone.

Death is the first type of Loss I want to talk about. Not just the physical death of a loved one (though that is where I am going to start), but of situations and relationships.

Losing a family member or a person you are close to can devastate a soul. I was in Iraq when my Mom passed away and I wasn’t allowed to come stateside to say goodbye. I NEEDED to be there. I NEEDED to see her laid in state. I NEEDED to be sure she was gone. I loved her yes, but this was also the woman that made me childhood a nightmare and a part of me HAD to see that she was gone. Seeing a chunk of stone isn’t the same. And that loss of opportunity broke the mask I wore overseas that kept me sane and safe. More factor played in, but yes that was the real beginning of the end of many things.

Over the next years I got divorced, lost easy access to my children due to lack of reliable vehicle. My life had hit a low that I can’t even begin to put into words. I had one saving grace, an anchor that was always right by my side and that was my pupper Gretchen. She was a Fawn Boxer and I loved that silly beast. She was family, and she was more. If ever I could say I had an animal companion close to a true familiar it was that drool factory. Gretch was with me through it all. Sitting alone in tears, big head on my knee. Lost in thought too deeply and a slobbering tackle. Locked in too long, a demand to go outside. I swear she took care of me as much as I took care of her. Don’t get me wrong, I had loved ones of the human type, but that boxer; she was always right there everyday.

A summer weekend I went camping taking a small group of young children out to just have some fun. I couldn’t bring Gretchen, there was no room in the car because of all the kids, so I trust her care to someone I thought would watch over her. She didn’t make it the weekend. The person refused to let her in the house and wasn’t making sure she had shade and water outside. She had a heat stroke. A part of me died that day and still hasn’t recovered I recently realized.

Since Gretchen I haven’t been able to connect to another animal like that, that deeply or at all really. It has colored my relationships just as much as my divorce and the loss of access to my children. I was told recently during a tearing apart of toxic relationships that I didn’t know what love was. I don’t think that is is at all. I know exactly what it is, the depth and level of it, and I think that I have become subconsciously very very walled off to how deep people actual get. My wife and children are there, my Dad, but anyone else? Not that deeply. No where close.

Another type of Loss I have realized is the loss of joy. Real and true happiness. Yes, fleeting moments, but real Joy? Not for a very long time. I was teased and degraded for the things that brought me joy and it was by those I loved and respected. The things I found joy in, sought solace in were made to become reasons for shame especially after I came home from war. “An adult shouldn’t be worried about such things.” “There are better ways to spend your money instead of that crap.” “A grown man wouldn’t have an interest in things like that, what’s wrong with you.” All these and more I heard. Still hear. And the mental state I was in (before I even realized that I had developed mental issues) believed every word. So I gave up that which brought joy into my life and now am scared to try to reclaim it. To even find something new.

Lastly, the final Loss I will speak on right now is the loss of dreams. Setting aside your dreams for another, for a job, for your situation. Letting others dictate which dreams even hold worth or not. Dreams of being an artist? You can’t make a living at that. Dreams of helping others? How is that going to put food on the table? We tend to grow up and set aside the dreams of youth, including dreams of making a difference. We are beat down by those around us, by the world itself. From an early age we are taught that we have to conform and fit in. So in order to be “normal” we leave dreams behind, like the toys of childhood. Lately I have come to ask myself, “Why?” I mean what harm do dreams really do? We all dream of winning the Lotto, of meeting someone, of landing that dream job. We don’t let go of those because those are ok for adults, but what is wrong with the other dreams? Dreams of being an artist or author? Dreams of doing what you love?

Due to Loss, somewhere I have lost Me. Who I am. Those things that brought me more than momentary joy. The things that would fire my passions. And it feels like I have taken another step on the journey as I reflect on the losses. Some were beyond my control and that is where the grief sets in, but there has been losses that were needed, necessary even for me to move forward and those happened sometimes by choice, sometimes not.

I still have my wife. I have my children. I have friends. And I have my Faith. I hold Frith with my God/desseses and will continue to do so. Now that I can see these things, I can come to know them no matter the pain it will bring. The only question is will this pain be too much or will I weather it? So I stand before my altar and ask for Resilience to see it through. I will walk with Loki and the Jotun. I will not hide or bury this anymore. I am Rökkatru, and I will meet these issues and face them.

I am no longer the abused child.

I am no longer the used lover.

I am no longer just a broken veteran.

I will find me and I will accept Loss.

I will burn again.