Tag Archives: suicide

The Language of Your Inner Demons

I’ve been revisiting “Xena: Warrior Princess” on Netflix. In an episode called Paradise Found, Xena and Gabrielle find themselves in an isolated compound where they each become more themselves.

Gabrielle — the storyteller who often serves as Xena’s moral compass — finds yoga, cleansing, and stillness.

Xena gets more jumpy and agitated, wounds appear on her body, and she keeps envisioning herself hurting or torturing Gabrielle. Once Xena loses her mind, she wanders through the gardens killing songbirds and bunnies. It’s as horrific and goofy as it sounds. If the darkness in you lives, no one is safe, not even the people you love, says their mysterious guru.

Facing one’s demons is a massive part of my books. If every writer has one theme that permeates their work, that one is mine. Every character has to go through it, whether it means reconciling a relationship or — literally — fighting a monster born from their own fear or shame. Another line from that episode of Xena goes: Goodness going to waste in peace, without evil to keep it alive and fighting.

I, and my characters, need both to be whole.

I’m convinced that our inner demons are on our side. They’re part of us, after all. We get into trouble because we speak different languages and we’re too afraid of them to try and bridge the gap. When you have dark or selfish impulses, that’s your little demon-voice telling you that you have an unfulfilled need. Hear its intention, but don’t listen to its suggestion. It doesn’t understand what consequences are — only that it loves you and you’re not happy.

The same is true if you go deeper. When your inner demon tells you to off yourself… it’s responding to your unhappiness. It knows you’re in pain and has no concept of healing. It loves you, and wants to help. It doesn’t realize it’s not helping. Your demons only understand you as much as you understand them.

What I love about Xena and others of her archetype is her willingness to learn that language and investigate what others are afraid to see. Some speak the language with compassion and understanding; while others only learn enough to hear what they want to hear.That journey, and what they do with that understanding, is how an archetype transforms into a person.

Do not look upon this world with fear and loathing. Bravely face whatever the gods offer.”
– Morihei Ueshiba, father of Aikido

 

I hope they cannot see
the limitless potential living inside of me
to murder everything. 
I hope they cannot see,
I am the great destroyer.
– Julius Robert Oppenheimer, father of the A-bomb

hell

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Sour Mead (excerpt from late spring)

Better invent than suffer: imagine victims
Lest your own flesh be chosen the agonist, or you
Martyr some creature to the beauty of the place.”
—  Robinson Jeffers

End of Spring, 2013.

It feels so warm, so cozy.  It’s the touch of a lover’s caress.
Their arms around you.
It’s a back-rub and a whisper that everything will be OK.

It pads across the floor with you. Its bare feet whisper warm
across cold tiles.
It robs you of your memories and your thoughts
Supressing your wisdom — letting it circle the drain and slip away like a shoddy, dusty thing not fit to live in the house.

You always welcome it back, sip after sip, even if you don’t like
the taste, because there’s something else with its hand over yours.

Something strong and kind,
willing your hand around the neck of the bottle
Swallow by swallow,
Inviting poison into your veins
Inviting others into your heart

I’ve been thinking of suicide more than usual lately. A breakup. A standard occurence, where standard platitudes should fit.

A pooling night, a night of crying.
A night of screaming and of sighing,
And somehow this time also dying
found its way onto the menu.

And in my state of drunken weakness, I let others in who wanted to use me to end their own stories.
A psychic invasion of errant victims, vagabonds, savages and idiot savants that no one gave a chance to.
All that pain that doesn’t belong to me… has nothing to do with me… clotting in my heart.

They knew I was a writer, maybe.

Suicides peak at the end of spring, and here at the bridge more come than any other place in the world.
Well… all save one.

How is it that in a land full of beautiful weather and plentiful harvests
So many people would want to end their lives?

The gods frown on me, because I drink mead in sadness rather than in joy.
Only the slightest warning. An ache in the jaw. Somewhere between
the neck and the ears. They know this is wrong.

I know this is wrong.

 

(I don’t remember exactly which song I was listening to when I wrote this back in May. I do know this song held prominence once I’d found it.)