- Know yourself, good and bad. I started writing down all the qualities I have in a document, and the negatives are not only more numerous, they tend to be a LOT stronger than the positives. Like, a typical positive for me is "I'm adaptable" or "I'm compassionate," and a typical negative is something like "I'm self-destructive" or "I'm vengeful."
- Accept it. This is going to take a while, but he advised that professional therapy is definitely a good thing to look out for if I need it.
- Do not go into the Otherworld with expectations. He said that Hanschen's constant trickiness is the best example of it, because I keep expecting something and then getting completely turned around. He said to just let things happen, and figure it out later.
- Do not go into the Otherworld with fear. The oft-cited vision that Wendla sent me is a blatant example of it. I was too afraid to fly, and so I messed myself up for a while.
And then he stated the possibility that Moritz has so much trouble turning into a bear because he's afraid--especially since Moritz can only transform when he's so mad that he loses control. Moritz confirmed it when I asked before going to sleep. He answered, "I don't like turning into a bear. It scares you, and it hurts."
So last night, I stayed up till two AM reading a god-awesome Song of Ice and Fire AU with the very logical "what if" scenario of "What if Ned Stark got exiled to the Wall as planned, instead of executed because of Joffrey 'Crazy Bastard' Baratheon?" It's thirty-six chapters so far. I made it to thirty-ish before I had to go to sleep.
And then I got fuck-all petrified of the whole "Meeting a group of strangers, but they might have EVEN MORE answers than my friend and holyfuckingshit I am suffering HUGELY conflicting emotions."
Moritz stayed with me for a while, and Hanschen promptly stepped in and told me to lighten up. He and Melchior started dancing with me in the redwoods. It was extremely cathartic, and at some points I started howling like a wolf/fox/something-loud-and-musical.
And with the whole "DON'T RUN AWAY HOLY SHIT" scare that the SA troupe got, they've started telling me why.
Hanschen said, "You were my sister. You went looking for me when they threw me out, and then you died." And suddenly I realized that Hanschen has black hair and my various incarnations are known for black hair, and he laughed a bit sadly and went, "Took you long enough." I got a flashback where I was lost in the forest looking for him. I felt like I was around ten to twelve, and... yeah, it's really not that hard to figure out why he's so bitter about child-abandonment. Because not only was HE abandoned, his sister died trying to find him.
Melchior told me, "You were my brother. The soft, quiet, artsy one." There was a flash of me sitting in a room cooped up at a desk, but there was a window that let lots of light in. It felt like a study you'd find in a manor house--the walls were thick, old stone--so we must have been part of a wealthy/noble family. I wasn't abused, at least not in the "got beaten" sense; but I was certainly neglected since Melchior was the only one who bothered spending time with me. "I coaxed you outside and to parties now and then, but one day you left. And I knew why, but I wish you'd told me first."
I asked him why, and he said, "Because I would have gone with you." I got this flash of a note on my desk saying, "DON'T TRY TO FIND ME." Which freaked me out big time, because I thought of leaving a note saying that exact thing when I wanted to leave two weeks ago. All-caps and everything.
And I saw him waiting by an old oak tree hoping to meet me there ("It was our spot," he said), but he didn't see me again. I only saw the first time, but there was this weight I felt of all the years he spent going out to that tree, hoping to meet me under there so I could bring him with me, but... I didn't come back. And he knew that I wasn't coming back, but he kept going out and thinking, "Just in case. JUST IN CASE."
Then he made me feel better by saying, "You were the handsome one, but I was the sexy one."
Martha went, "You were mine. You had good hair--'cause your daddy was Indian. And I tried to understand you, baby, I did. But I don't think it was enough in that life, because you left." For context: "Good hair" is what a lot of blacks call "long, non-kinky hair." Basically, it's conventional European hair. And for some reason that phrase made it feel a lot worse--because she was proud of me, but I wasn't.
And it was a two-for-one "outsider" status, being half of two minorities. I have problems in this life being COMPLETELY Asian-American.
Martha vibed that I'd kept having spiritual problems that she just couldn't help me with, and that was why I'd run away. To find my father/relatives? I got the feeling that she'd expected this since I was little, or even since she found out she was pregnant with me, but it still hurt. On both sides.
I already suspected what Wendla's story was, because she lost her baby and she's especially maternal with me. She said it anyway: "You were mine, too! And you're so big now." I got flashes of Wendla crying and bedridden, and this overwhelming sense of lost-potential. It can't have been an abortion or miscarriage, so... I was probably stillborn, or as good as stillborn. Wendla had just enough time to bond with me before I died.
That reminded me of all the stories Mom kept telling people about me and my sister being born premature, and how everyone invariably goes "Oh my god, you're so big and healthy now!"
Soooo... I have been the unfavored child, genuinely misunderstood, a stillborn/died-insanely-young baby, an twofer "outsider," and a runaway. This explains my empathy with Ilse the Runaway Abused Girl.
Well, time to head off for the shamanic meeting. I'll get back to you guys this evening or tomorrow.
EDIT: So, I walked into the meeting and introduced myself to the group, and the leader asked if we'd met before because I looked familiar. I went, "No, but I emailed you last week," and she said, "Oh, yes--so I've met your spirit."
And what should come up in the meeting but fucking child abuse, since another person in the circle was writing a book about it.
Literally, five minutes to the end of the meeting, the lady was building on something that someone else said and connecting it to the portion of her book on child abuse, and guess who wanted to be Ilse Fucking Neumann for personal reasons?
She's going to email me later.