My mother was sitting behind this strange old man dressed like some kind of priest. His face was pinched. He was holding an injection in his hand with a light green liquid. My mother smiled at me and went: “It’s ok, love, he’s going to kill you.”
I think I was about 5 when I started to dream this dream. Every. Night. Looking back I sometimes feel I should have died from the day I was born. My birth obviously hasn’t been easy since I got stuck and they had to drag me out. The one dominant feeling I had my entire life was “I shouldn’t be here. What the hell am I doing here?”
Window in the 18th century dungeon of New Fort of Elfsborgh
Photo: Mikael Ejdemyr, Wikimedia Commons
Growing up with my parents was like living in a children’s prison. They had no idea I was ASD and if someone had told them they wouldn’t have cared much anyway. Mental issues were a taboo in our family. Needless to say I did not receive any support. Children need to be trained and shaped, my parents believed. My home was a boot camp and achievement was all that counted. If I got a mark worse than a 3 (in Germany 1 is best and 6 is worst) I would take a punishing from my father. Either with a cane or a belt or his bare hands. My dad was a fan of punishing rituals – I think he kind of enjoyed them. It would start with humiliation, threatening and end with physical punishment and being locked up in my room for the rest of the day. The same would happen when I argued with my mother and she knew well how to provoke me like by giving me contradictive commandings. The best thing that could happen to me was when she was in her depressive phase because then she mostly didn’t bother about me at all. I could have blown up a bomb in my room and she wouldn’t even have come looking if I was ok. When she was in her aggressive phase she was basically just being hysterical slamming me at walls or furniture or just screaming around like a fury and destroying my things.
I learned pretty early to endure physical pain and humiliation. I think I was about 11 when my father would beat me up again for some ridiculous reason. We were at the humiliation part of the ceremony and he said something like “I have given you life I have the right to take it from you.” and I looked straight into his face and said to him “Go on then, kill me. Beat me to death. I don’t care.” Surprisingly, he didn’t touch me. In fact he never touched me again. He would change to a different ‘technique’ and try to trigger my concern by going “And what if I die from a heart attack now? Do you want daddy to die?” Actually yes, I wanted him to die. They only thing that worried me was that it would break my mother because I still loved her then. In a way her hysteria was more emotional than my father’s cold aggression and hatred so I was able to keep up some emotional connection with her.
So I found the only thing my parents would respect is death. And death was a taboo in our family. It was not talked about. I have been brought as an atheist or to be precise I was supposed to be an anti-theist. “Religion is only for stupid people.” my dad used to say and my mother would basically follow him but secretly do some old greek-orthodox rituals she had been raised with. I grew up next to a huge graveyard and every time I was seeking peace I went out for a walk over there. I never felt alone. I even made friends with some… graves. I would sit there for hours and talk to the dead. I would talk about what I feel because at home I was not allowed to show emotions. “Children have no emotions.” My mother used to say. Within those graves I felt listened to. In a very strange way death made me strong because I knew it was the only “zone” my parents could not control nor enter.
The dead would follow me home. They were EVERYWHERE. Some scared me to death others where friendly. Some looked horrifying and others were incredibly beautiful. I wrote letters to them by giving a name to my diary. Like Charlotte Thompson who had died in the 30ies and would attract my attention with a beautiful statue of herself on her grave. She was a bit like an older sister to me and I was fascinated by her noble pale face. She was with me for quit some time and I talked to her about everything until one day I saw her grave got removed. She never came back again.
Cemetary in Solln, Munich, Germany
Photo: Zeitlupe, Wikimedia Commond
I learned about Christianity at school. To be honest I didn’t quite get who this “god guy” was and why I had to learn prayers. He was called “father” and considering that this dude was controlling everything he felt a bit like my dad so I didn’t really like him. He seemed like a self-absorbed dick. Especially because his staff told me constantly I’d be going to hell because I wasn’t baptized. I didn’t really understand what “hell” was either. By the descriptions I got (a loveless dark place) it felt a bit like my own home. I couldn’t quite understand why everyone was so excited about this god guy with his heaven and his hell thing. At that time I also started to read Jung and Freud. And a lot of science fiction.
The first religious concept that would raise my serious interest was when I entered grammar school and had my first art history lessons. My teacher was a great fan of Ancient Egypt. What impressed me most was the way the Egyptians dealt with death. It seemed so natural, so dedicated and almost like a celebration of it. I could relate to it a lot and I was happy that I had found something that would provide me a detailed description of the sphere beyond death. He read out books to us while we were painting and drawing. One book was about a young Nubian boy who came to Egypt to become a sculptor for Queen Hatshepsut. I learned about the importance of the wall paintings of a mastaba, that pharaohs were considered living gods and were given big temples where other gods got worshipped living in huge statues. It was all so incredibly impressive and it seemed to lift the veil of the mysteries of death to me…
It must have been Aset who made herself known to me. All I remember was wings. Huge wings and this notion of ‘beyond death’. She was scary in a way but also fascinating and impressive.
Photo: Bibo, Wikimedia Commons
Of course I could not talk about this with my parents. The only thing they noticed was that I turned quite morbid. I started to wear black, became a gothic and would spend my time with anything that was somehow related to death and occultism. Death protected me, felt like home, would make me feel calm and listened to. Death showed in everything I did. I felt like a messenger of death sometimes. And I loved psychology. My parents began to hate me for it. At first they tried to mock me, forbid my black clothes, punish me, take my books from me but my mere presence would constantly remind them on death. I didn’t have to do much to have this effect. I had turned into a very quiet, passive girl anyway.
My mother has thrown me out several times. I had become a blot to the neat academic family. Every day she would tell me that I am an ugly fat parasite and in fact I was pretty overweight then. I am not sure if I was that ugly actually I never had a clear idea what I look like. I stopped eating. I lost a lot of weight until I was underweight. I was anemic, weak, depressed and my body would break down constantly with infections and fever. One advantage of my weight loss was that I obviously seemed attractive to boys and some would even fall in love with me. I realized that for the first time in my life I had a real chance to actually get out of my parents house and find someone to save me from it. And, oh my gods, was I DESPERATE! I loved my boyfriends way too much and would lay all my hope on their shoulders to free me from this prison I had grown up in. I never had a chance to experience first love without this heavy burden of existential neediness. Of course this was way too much to bear for my boyfriends and they left me one after another. To leave me was to throw me back into this prison. It completely broke me and would tear my heart into pieces. I was longing to die. Not because I was suicidal, but because my entire life I longed for this feeling to ‘come home’. I never had an idea where this ‘home’ was supposed to be but it felt very much like death.
Finally one of my boyfriends was the “savior” I had been waiting for. My mother had thrown me out again and his parents would ‘adopt’ me. They helped me to find a place to stay and they supported me while my parents would start a lawsuit with me because they refused to provide me alimony payment. I was right in the middle of my school exams. With no support from my parents there was hardly any thinking about going to university. I had to survive. And I was broken. My exams didn’t go well although I had always been a nerd my entire life. And my relationship with my boyfriend didn’t go to well either. His family was very conservative, very caring but I felt like a parasitic blot. The nicer they were the more horrible I felt and it didn’t take long until I left again. I was pretty, I was slim and I had a lot of men fancying me and I soon learned that I could increase my life quality enormously by using my looks.
Not every man was nice though. I had to learn the hard way that financial dependency was a permission to many to treat me like a slave. I almost got strangled, I got raped, I got abused – verbally, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I lived with men who seemed strong and able to protect me but turned out psychopaths while being drunk or on drugs. I’ve been with men who turned out horrifically sick in their minds. The amount of violence I have experienced is incredible and for a very long time I thought this was “normal” until I had to learn that I had to keep quiet about it. Because if anyone would be expelled from a social community it would be ME. I became a living evidence to human evilness and it was ME who got removed not my culprits. One of them even tried his very best to make everyone believe that I was insane while torturing me in secrecy so he could finally get me send to an asylum or push me into suicide. I think I have experienced the darkest depths of human souls most people probably can hardly imagine.
Photo: Twinsday, Wikimedia Commons
Occasionally I met those nice “savior guys” inbetween which probably prevented the worst and made me survive. I am not quite sure if I am entirely thankful for this but I appreciate their effort and their devotion and in a way I would always stay alive for them. They actually loved me although I could never really relate to being loved since it was so unfamiliar to me. I did always experience very strong and amazingly consistent feelings for people but they always remained unanswered. But I could never stay with my saviors because whenever I met a nice and good person it reminded me immediately on the fact that I was the living disgrace. I think I left them BECAUSE I loved them. I felt like a curse to everyone who had a good heart so I basically wanted to protect THEM from myself. I don’t think I was a bad partner in fact I was very caring, loving and devoted but the mistake would be WHO I was not how.
I kept on spending a lot of time with spirituality. Like I changed my partners I changed my paths and equally not every path was good for me especially if any kinds of communities were involved. I experienced abuse, manipulation, psycho games and often enough the spiritual aspect was blurred with sex, drugs and love issues. Since I had seen too much human chasms I could not make them unseen again and I saw them EVERYWHERE no matter how sweet and friendly people would be acting on the surface. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if I was just being paranoid but way to many times I ended up being right with my assumptions. The shinier on the surface the darker the shadows I learned. So apart from being a blot I grew into a hated revealer, dragging all the dark secrets of people and communities into the light – whilst others still being blind to them I could see them. Needless to say that caused a lot of trouble. I had learned to keep quiet if harm was done to me but I was having hard times to keep quite when I saw harm being done to others.
After yet another endless abusive relationship which left me with a severe PTSD I realized the only way to survive and develop some dignity was to try and be independent and autonomous. In EVERY regard. Financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. So I began to fight. Every. Fucking.Day. I paid so dearly for my independency with both my mental and my physical health. The only help I could accept was in the shape of deals which would oblige me to pay it back somehow.
This is when Set entered my life. I was terrified. Set is tough and brutal, he is a murderer, but also a warrior. He does not fear death nor does he fear killing. He reminded me a lot on those tough and violent guys I had been with and all I wished for was him to go away. It seemed he almost had fun with scaring the hell out of me. He started to be so pushy disturbing nearly EVERY ritual I would do at my shrine that I finally didn’t feel strong enough to resist. So I turned to Set – shivering in fear – and yelled at him “OK then, have me, have all of me. Destroy me, kill me, I do not care.” I have no words to explain how much affection and care I felt in that moment. I would have never expected this warmth from a god I feared so much. I still had not come ‘home’ but I suddenly felt like I had found someone who knows the way and is willing to walk with me.
Walking with Set, I realized he has no home either. In a way the desert is his home but I feel the desert is no one’s home really. It’s the shelter of the homeless, the expelled, the outlaws. The desert has no rules, no cycles, you make your own laws there to keep things going as best as you can. And my soul, my inner self IS homeless and expelled. I have become an outlaw by the deeds others have done to me. I am broken, I am abased, I am empty and I have seen too much of the things people refuse to see.
It sometimes feels like Set and I are sitting aside while people take part in the big social game called ‘community’ and we are keeping quiet about all those dark secrets that move like unseen shadows in the daily busyness of the living. There is a large river of emotions flowing in-between them and everyone is occasionally bailing water from it, exchanging it with others, satisfying his own thirst or even pouring it to the ground. Sometimes the river swamps the land and then everyone is upset and busy either making use of its fertility or fixing the damage it has caused.
I still need to satisfy my thirst sometimes although I am struggling to cope with less water, less affection, less socializing, less… life. Because joining people at the river is entering foreign territory and it is stressful to me. And I don’t think I am welcome. If I am lucky a few people occasionally dare to do a trip into the desert. They bring some water but they never stay long and I understand. The gods know I long for the river so much but the desert has become my home…
Sunrise – Dunes of Merzouga – Erg Chebbi
Photo: Nomadz, Wikimedia Commons
I’d like to thank Devo from The Twisted Rope and Aubs from Mystical Bewilderment
for supporting me morally to write about this. :)