Today’s offering for Loki have been buzzing around in my head, all dislodged by talking with my youngest brother last night. Settling on something to do for Loki is impossible, at least for now.
He confessed to me that he feels like he is going crazy, hears voices telling him to hurt people, feels sudden bursts of rage, sees things that no one else does, and struggles to control himself to avoid losing it completely.
My folks refuse to help him, ignoring any questions he has about his ongoing care, avoiding setting up appointments for him to see a counselor, and dismissing his behavioral problems as “just being a teenager”. My father’s views on mental illness is that “it is a crutch”, seeking attention or drugs, a way for drug companies to make money, or something you can overcome by sheer force of will. He told me these things when I was 15, after being hospitalized for a breakdown after being drugged and raped. Nice guy huh?
I feel overwhelmed with feelings of frustration and anger, and wish there was something I could do to help. In talking with him last night, he confessed that he felt like a failure for developing these symptoms, feeling like he needs to make up for his descent into madness by atoning for it through helping others.
I explained that given our family history, upbringing, and brain chemistry variables, there was nothing he could have done to fix himself. He still seemed wracked with guilt over everything, and nothing I said was able to help. I asked if he worshiped any deities that he could call on for help. He said he didn’t at the moment, and had no idea where to start. I told him a little bit about how I worship Loki, but he expressed an interest in Wicca instead. So I sent him some info on it, and offered to make him a prayer bead set for comfort and support. He told me that he would very much like a set, and requested dark colors like black and blue.
I tried calling the local ER about how old someone has to be to check themselves in for a crisis, but the age requirement is 18, so he has until September before he can seek help on his own. The nurse I spoke to was very concerned, and gave me a number for him to call, and told me “good luck”. She also said that since he is a minor, it is the parent’s responsibility to get him the help he needs, which I agreed with, but as merely a sibling, my hands feel tied.
After making the call to the ER, I came upon the newest blog post by Lokean as Human who mentioned my drawing for Loki. She described offering a rose to Loki and my mind seized upon the possible offering that I could make as part of a petition for Loki to help my brother.
I should have realized at the start that this was a bad idea, but no, my imagination and excitement knew no bounds, even as I got a bad feeling about it. I ran to our craft room (really it is more of a ‘let’s keep this just in case we can make stuff out of it’ room) and looked everywhere for a dried rose I had set aside “just in case” but could only find a wild, white rose that I had picked in years past. As I picked it up some of the petals fell off, and I was inspired (or possessed, not really sure what I was thinking V_V) to take a dried rose from a cobalt blue vase set aside for Hel.
Yea, I really didn’t hear the alarm bells going off, or the warnings being shown to me, such as, not finding the appropriate rose, having to take one from another shrine, having one begin to turn to dust at being touched. Oh no, human hubris had seized me by the scruff, so I soldiered on, and tried lighting both over a metal bowl set on my stove.
The flowers were difficult to light at all, and only produced huge puffs of black smoke into my face, making me cough and choke.
With a sudden ‘light-bulb’ moment, I realized it was a bad idea, as the choking, foul smoke filled the downstairs. I ran around opening windows and turned our exhaust fan on as high as it could go. The alarm bells and warnings converged into one emphatic NO that blew up in my face. I was not sure why it was no, but the snowballing issues leading to the botched offering, the fact that I took something from Hel to do it, and felt obligated to save my brother because I had to (even at my own peril) meant that Loki stepped in and put His foot down, seems to have something to do with it.
The message that I am getting (despite not wanting to listen) is that I can’t save him, he has to save himself. This is a hard pill to swallow, because growing up together, it felt like I raised him as my child, instead of him being a brother. My mother would turn any care over to me, randomly leave the house while he was breastfeeding (without leaving anything to feed him) and I would have to try and care for him.
So our bond is a sticky web of neglect, abuse, shared pain, a love that both binds us together, and pushes us apart. So it is with sadness that I hang up my ‘superhero cape’ and not go flying into the sun that seeks to devour me.
I have poured a drink for Loki in thanks for His help, and a belated drink for Thor’s help with the storm last night. I am not sure what else to offer to Loki, but I am getting the nudge to make something for Hel to make up for ruining Her flower.