[Dear reader, be forewarned, this post is a documentary of some very graphic personal experiences and how they’ve helped heal some old scars. These issues deal with both violence and sexuality, so if you are offended by detailed accounts of such topics, I suggest you skip this session.]
“I am not some lovely, dovey God. I am The Breaker of Worlds. I will shatter everything you are, only to build you back up again, all because I can.”
He stands over me: His posture tense and His face contorted. I know there is a part of Him that revels in the fear and panic in my eyes. I know He can see the whirlwind of emotions and memories that lurks beyond it. In an instant of harsh words and painful gestures, I’m back to those moments of being held down by a man on a different couch, or being held up against a wall by my throat until I yield significant boundaries for things that seemed more important at the time, like air. Yet, at the same time that I ride that crest of terror, I fall into the temptation of wanting to yield into this.
Just take it, something in me pleads. A part of me wants to yield to that release, to the possibility that in losing that control one last time, in this context, that I can finally let go of that fear. But it’s the fear that wins.
“Please, don’t do this to me,” I whisper, pushing Him away.
“Why?” He hisses, His face just inches from mine.
“Because I’m afraid of getting hurt,” I tell him, and slide away on the couch, faking some center of calm.
“Because I’m afraid of becoming that person again.”
And that’s the honest truth. I’ve spend so much of my life since I rose out of that abyss judging everything – my weight, my appearance, the way I dress, to the very core of how I act and speak – against that… person I once was. The further I stay away from becoming her, the further I can stay away from ever experiencing that pain again.
That’s why I made that vow to Thor at the sumble – to learn how to defend myself. Certainly, it’s one less burden on his divine shoulders – the protector of the common person – to have to worry about me if I could hold my own. But that’s what I had silently said to Tim every time I let him correct my pose, or he taught me how to land a punch or a palm-strike: “Teach me how to kill him. Teach me how to never have that happen again. Teach me to never be that woman again.” That fear consumed so much of my life, even if I exercised it in the most positive ways possible.
“And who did that to you?” He asks again, pressing closer until I feel His breathing against my chest and there’s no more distance between Him and myself, nor between myself and the couch. I’m caged here with Him and my own demons. And for a moment, they consume me. I’m lost in those flashes of pain where fingers are closed around my throat, where the body pressed against mine belongs to someone different and darker, and where words cut me deeper than blades could ever dream.
“Answer me!” He growls and I wince.
“David,” I spit his name.
There’s a silence between us and I can feel Loki staring into me, but I don’t turn to look at Him.
“Please, stop,” I ask again, as I feel His weight pressing against me, giving that threat He has yet to act upon.
“Are you going to just ask?”
I swallow hard.
“Get off of me,” I said, throwing enough of my weight against the body hosting Him to knock Him back and leap off the couch.
“What?” He snarls, instantly back in my face. The look in His eyes is still mad.
“Get. Off. Of. Me.” My voice is cold. Firm. Instantly, he melts.
“Congratulations. You’ve just set a boundary,” He says, looking into my eyes. “You’ve passed both mine and Angrboda’s test.”
I stare back at Him in the few moments of silence.
“I love you, but you’re both bastards,” I laugh.
“Come here,” He says, and holds me. I stand there a long while in His arms, stepping out of that old skin and back into myself. I revel in the separation.
“It was hard to put you through that.”
“I know.” If I had any doubt, the sudden change of his expression and body posture would have told me everything.
“That fear is still something that holds you back,” he tells me. “It gets in the way of your intimacy with everyone, even Tim.”
“Think about it.” He meets my gaze, and repeats my own words to me: “Why is he always smothering me?”
I hadn’t thought about the connection when they’d left my mouth.
“That is something you need to work through, but I want you to give that up willingly. And it doesn’t have to be tonight.”
I let out a long breath. He’s right, and this isn’t something I want looming over my head.
I stall for a while – grabbing a glass of water, meandering around the kitchen. He’s patient, and still waiting when I get back.
“What’s going to happen?” I ask, trying to prepare myself.
“I’m not going to tell you.”
“Do I get a safeword? Do I have a way to make you stop if it goes too far?”
“Not once I start.”
I take a long sip of my drink, wishing it was something a little harder than water.
“So,” I breathe. “How do we start?”
Truth be told, He could have been much more aggressive. And He wasn’t. I appreciated that.
“I needed you to reason through this, not panic through it,” He told me later, and I had reasoned through it.
Struggling beneath Him, I felt my fingers reach for the soft hollows of eyesockets. I considered openings where a quick blow would have broken nasal bones. I stopped myself.
“I could see you running through the fight moves in your head,” He said. “I’m proud of you. I was worried for a moment that you were going to give up.”
There was some part of me that wanted to. Just as there is a part of Him that delights in taking that control, a part of me revels in yielding to Him. And that was perhaps the hardest part of the ordeal, separating Loki from David, and knowing that I had to react not to the God inhabiting my fiancée’s body, but to the man the deity was impersonating. I understand how hard it was for Him to do that. He really had no more desire to become David than I had to face him. But, He loved me enough to make that sacrifice, because I needed to overcome that. And I did overcome it. All three times that he came after me, I fought Him off, and when I did finally yield to Him, it was because I wanted to. Not because He forced me or overpowered me, which made the surrender all the sweeter. But I’ll spare you the details.
He gave me a very powerful gift that night – even beyond the confrontational therapy of reliving that experience. Loki gave me the chance to prove to myself that I couldn’t become that person again. I won’t give up that boundary out of fear or the desire for someone else’s happiness.
The Nicole from back then let herself be intimidated into giving up her body.
The Nicole typing here now would beat his ass.
So much of my work with Loki has been breaking and establishing boundaries – the inhibitive blockages versus healthy barriers. Opening this one has been a bit of a floodgate. Crossing that line has caused me to reconsider aspects of my sexuality and the terms through which I address myself.
We’ve done more work since then, but I’ve rambled long enough, and that is material for another time.