Around the Cauldron · Pagan Blog Project 2014

Ending a Chapter, Bathing an Oily Furr Baby, and Dreaming of Cadavers

Long title, kinda long post, but trust me it all works in together!

Bathing an Oily Furr Baby…

On Sunday my husband and I were eating lunch while watching The Big Bang Theory when we heard this little cry. Our furr baby Charlie is a meow-er, and I’ve began to understand which each of the meows mean. This was not a good meow.

Charlie being a poser

“Charlie!” we call out. Husband didn’t turn around, and I couldn’t see him. Poor Charlie – he jumped onto his arm of the couch and the back half of him was black. Somehow he ended up in motor oil. Once I realised what it was, I stripped off, picked up Charlie and took him into the shower with me.

Charlie did not like that. Nor did he like the two baths that followed (he got used to us using the hair dryer on him afterwards, which was good). And when I say ‘baths’ I mean: I jumped into the bath, got the water luke-warm and armed with washing detergent, a face washer and the granny-hose attached to the tap, we washed Charlie. Twice after the shower. My husband held him while he wiggled and scratched up my calves, thighs, stomach, chest, arms, shoulders, neck, face and even arm pits.

We still haven’t gotten it all out, but given how depressed and upset he is over this, we gave him the day at home to rest and hide in boxes where we can’t find him. After another bath, there’s still some left on his back legs but the new detergent is working a treat. And he didn’t scratch this time! I’m so proud of him! As much as he hated it, he understands why we’re doing it and he at least knows that afterwards he gets to be in a towel (which he hates) in his Daddy’s arms and get warm with the hair dryer.

What I’m still giggling over, however, is my husband’s reaction. He stood outside of the bath holding Charlie so he didn’t catch the force of his annoyance. I like to refer to Charlie as our little gay-boy because he LOVES his daddy. Daddy gets all of the attention, all of the head-butts and kisses even though it’s Mummy (me) who feeds him, washes him, new flea collar, worming paste…actually I can see he doesn’t like me! Husband got three single scratches on his left arm and was commenting on how much it stung.

I got out of the bath and stood in front of him, naked with no towel. My body covered head to toe with scratches and welts, some bleeding and most raised, and just looked at him.

“Shit, babe!”

Let me get this clear – Charlie is my baby. Since we’re not sure if we can have kids of our own, Charlie is my child. I don’t care what things cost or what lengths I have to go to for him, I will do anything in my power to look after my child. If that means sitting in a bath (since the shower didn’t work) and having the motor oil run off Charlie and cover me, if it means that I’m covered in scratches and welts, and if it means my baby is scared of me while I try to clean the filth and grime out of him – then SO BE IT.

For those of you who are new to reading this blog and don’t know me – I was a cutter for ten years. I started when I was 13 or 14 as a way of dealing with undiagnosed depression and I stopped about a month before I turned 24 (clean almost six years!) so the pain of cat scratches didn’t faze me. In fact, I was so focused on washing Charlie I didn’t feel most of what he inflicted and was as surprised at how I looked in the mirror after all of the fun.

There is no photos of Charlie and the oil. I’ve been too concerned about getting him clean and making sure his grooming didn’t make him vomit to worry about getting a photo.

Dreaming of Cadavers…

After all of the fun of washing Charlie, he fell asleep in an old Avon box and the husband and I went to bed exhausted. The final dream before waking was of cadavers.

It began with hurriedly walking to Flinders St Station in Melbourne with two briefcases, and no matter how I tried I kept getting held up by people with prams (pet peeve, sorry mums!) By the time I got to Flinders St Station, I saw there was a market out the front so I didn’t care about being in a hurry. Markets!! There was a jewellery store there which I know I had visited before, as the store holder greeted me by name and mentioned that I always chose a necklace with a crystal once I’d tested out the energies.

She mentioned this to someone else, and that I should be paying more attention to those energies. This is when it got weird. Somehow speaking with energies turned into speaking with dead…

The scene changes, and I’m what I assume to be a morgue. There’s a cadaver on a slab, and a woman crying over it. The body is covered with cuts – head to toes, just like how I used to cut myself back in the Days of Darkness. And they were FRESH. Open, red, bloody, just how they used to look like on my body. Then a man with a deep voice started singing, “don’t waste your tears over me / it’s just the end of the chapter / I’m not gone, no not really” but no one was there. When I turned around to see who was singing, there were more bodies, more cadavers, but not cut up. Just people lying there, empty and motionless with open eyes staring at me.

Ending a Chapter

What does this all mean? It means that even though I’m sinking into a deep depression again, I’m still getting out of bed in the morning. Even though I’m hating where I am right now, I have no intention of dying. I have no thoughts of suicide, no thoughts of death, and not once within this new depression have I considered cutting myself.

This. Is. HUGE.

Normally with PMS-based depression I’m both suicidal and wanting to cut. I’m not PMSing right now, just normal depression. This means that the chapter of the Days of Darkness is truly over. I haven’t had any emotional ties to those days for a few years now (as in I don’t remember it unless I’m PMSing) and the scars on my body from those days are fading. It’s only when I hold my arms in a certain way, or when I shave my legs that you can see them. (And no, that’s not why I choose not to shave my legs. Shaved legs freak me out, but that’s another story.)

Dreaming of those cadavers, having Charlie tear my body apart and not be fazed by it – it is a good sign! This is a happy ending! The cadavers mean that that is my past, and it’s dead. That girl who I used to be, she doesn’t exist anymore. The craving to drag a pretty sharp object across my skin – GONE!!! And please don’t read too much into that last line, it’s just a favourite description from the old days.

YAY!!! I’M FREE!!!

Now…how do you deal with depression if you don’t cut, don’t want to drink yourself into oblivion, don’t smoke (well I do on the odd occasion) and don’t want to go into excessive eating…?

[NB: This question is out of curiosity. Please don’t reply with “go back into therapy” because I still haven’t spoken to the last person who suggested that to me since they know my view on that quite strongly. I don’t need therapy, I need to find an action that works for me. Talking about it doesn’t help the situation that’s making me depressed right now. Quitting my two jobs to solely concentrate on the two university essays I have due at the end of the month would drop the stress and depression dramatically, but that’s out of the question.]

3 thoughts on “Ending a Chapter, Bathing an Oily Furr Baby, and Dreaming of Cadavers

  1. I completely understand about the fur-kids as children. My three dogs are the children of my heart and I would kill to keep them safe.

    Major congrats on the recovery process!!!! What a huge milestone!!! I have nothing useful to offer on combating depression though. In a bit of a funk myself currently.

  2. Oh I hear you about the depression and not being suicidal any more! As weird as it sounds being “just” depressed or able to “just” have a bad day after you have had years of depression and suicidal thoughts is a quite powerful moment in your healing 🙂

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