Never rip yourself
to pieces just to ensure
that others stay whole.”

— (m.f.) Haiku #83 (via artofephemera tumblr)

I’ve done this. I did it for *years*. I nearly died of it.Part of it’s childhood and social training (which is a whole parcel of individual situation and cultural requirements that particular people put their needs last). Part of it’s personal inclination: I can’t bear to see people I care about suffering (or hell, people full stop – I burned out bad in my old job partly because of this). And also – hey, ripping things to pieces sort of comes with the territory, and without a functioning/functional outlet for that it can be either rip other people apart (see above) or yourself.

(One *could* make a case that *not* providing it with its needed channel is an affront to the god, in which case we find ourself in Lykourgos’ situation, hacking at our own feet with an axe, but that’s a rather extreme possibility…which I’m none the less willing to entertain. Negative forms of madness from excessive constraint are certainly A Thing, and sparagmos as a response to social repression has long been a theory…)

It’s still hard for me not to do it. It’s a hard balance to strike generally, with issues from another post that I’m going to reblog if I can find it.

But. I’m trying to find that balance. I was only ever taught – as a child of an abusive house, as someone subjected to particular gendered conditioning, as someone in a previous controlling relationship, etc etc – that you tear yourself to pieces because the only alternative *is* tearing other people to pieces.

The abuse dynamic – personal, familial, cultural – that you can only be victim or violator. That we have no right to integrity, bodily or emotional or spiritual. And it is a lie. I’m trying, more and more, to remember that: that liberation is real, that wholeness is allowed, even where other people are afraid of or threatened by it. I don’t have to make myself small or silent, the way I was taught over and over and over again. I don’t have to tear myself to pieces.

And if someone else’s wholeness *is* genuinely threatened by something, and you want to help them – tearing yourself to pieces is not actually constructive or helpful. A twitching pile of limbs on the ground can do fuck all. A liberated whole person can.

And having *been* torn in pieces, or done it to one’s self, or “allowed” it to happen, doesn’t mean we’re weak or broken or failures, that we should have been stronger, freer, braver, wiser. The god, torn in pieces, returns to give us the Mysteries; driven mad, is healed and becomes the Restorer from Madness. So it can be for us.