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This is my first break up like this. I’ve been in relationships before, but one ended when the girl moved back home and the other was a long distance. This is the first time I’ve had to deal with the “seeing your ex every day” type of break up. It pretty much sucks as much as they said it did.

As a kid, I had shit for emotional control. I’d laugh and cry and feel just about anything at the drop of a hat. Hel, I’d cry over anything that broke or even the death of things that I hadn’t even liked. Maybe it was because I was just that emotionally sensitive, or sheltered, or both. I’m not sure I can say. But about the time I hit 16-18 I hit what you could call an emotional deadzone. All I could feel was rage. Looking back, it may have started when my aunt died of cancer. We weren’t close, but I didn’t morn her passing. I understood she’d gone to a better place. I mourned the fact we wouldn’t get to know each other better, but I wasn’t sad to see her die and escape the massive amounts of pain she was in, as the basket ball sized tumor ate her alive. I probably would have killed myself long before it got to the point it did with her. I’m not as strong as she was, always hoping for a turn around and a cure. Since then, I’ve been emotionally burned out. Calm, numb, however you want to put it. I could feel emotions, but not as strong as I used to.

That changed when I took my dedication to Hel. My Goddess decided that healing was in order, and set about to do just that. I’d heard that stuff could happen when you dedicated, that the God/Goddess involved would help you heal. But I hadn’t expected that with all the stress from work and a failing relationship, all my emotions would come roaring back with all the control I’d had when I was ten. I would rage and scream at my ex and her bf for how they were treating me, and break down in tears at the same time as I tried to express the pain in my heart, the injustice I felt as the person I loved unconditionally stomped all over my heart, and as the man I had shown hospitality too and offered friendship, tore down everything I had spent years building. They thought me weak, so he never respected me, and she grew to…I’m not sure. But apparently it wasn’t anything good. Despite the fact that I asked her patience, that the emotional lack of control was the workings of something beyond me, she still despised me for having the “emotional maturity of a ten year old.”

It gets hard though, even as the emotional control comes back thanks to some help from Skadi (Goddess of Winter). There’s been times when I wanted to take her back, and be with her. About a week ago, she had to go to the hospital for real bad stomach pains (which I have a theory as to the cause). I felt sorry for her, I wished she hadn’t hurt. But then, the next day, she was back to tearing into me, treating me like shit. It kinda crushed the warm fuzzies.

I think part of what hurt the most, what still hurts, is that she acts and believes as if the harm she caused to me doesn’t matter in the eyes of the Gods or the Universe. “They don’t count coppers,” is what she told me shortly after we broke up. To here, there would be no payback, not retribution Divine, or justice Holy. I freely admit I wasn’t the best boyfriend. I had my issues, damages I didn’t know I had until it was too late, was at a loss to fix, and was too much trouble to bother helping to fix when “bigger and better” were out there I guess. And even after I fixed those problems, and was dealing with new ones…it wasn’t good enough. Part of me will always wonder what it was that I could have done to make things better. Just as part of me knows that I went above and beyond what any other man would have done to make it work (because I’ve been told that by pretty much every dude I’ve talked to).

Does she regret? I don’t know. I’m afraid I don’t know her at all, she changed so much from the woman I knew and loved since she met him. And according to back channels, he changed as much after he met her. They bring out the worst in each other, it seems, and they’re happy about it. Certainly they felt it right to bring violence and threaten ruin against me if I “didn’t shape up my attitude” after two weeks of her tearing into me behind the scenes and my vain attempts to ignore them. Certainly at work they seem to speak of things as if they were my fault and it is my attitude that has created the hostility. There’s not much I can do to refute their claims. It’s a two on one she/he said vs he said.

And she’s good at making people believe her.

As for “counting coppers” I have my own beliefs. I think that what we do does matter in this world. I think the Gods can and do keep an accounting of our deeds. After all, if they didn’t, by what do they determine our worth? By what right do they call themselves Gods if not by the overseeing of this World and the people in it? Do not our deeds echo across the ages? For example, how many children are abused today because ages ago one spouse beat another in front of their children and started a cycle of violence that lasts to this day? How much of our world has been shaped by the actions of our ancestors? The lands rewritten by the hands of man?

I know that to Hel it matters, as I feel the inevitability of death flow throw my power and emotions, as well as her arms wrap around me in comfort and support. I know that Freya and Skadi, who took her under their wing and trained her, feel dishonored and betrayed by what has happened at the hands of one they trained and made powerful. I know that the Norse value hospitality above almost everything else. I know that Hospitality is sacred, that I opened my home to both of them, and that to drive a man from his home and love is something that is considered a serious transgression by the Norse, Celts, Greeks, Romans, and Japanese. I know that I may be nothing more than an insignificant infant in the grands scale of things, and that what has happened to me may be even less than “coppers.”

But I also know that sometimes it’s the tiny, insignificant actions that bring about the biggest of consequences. That some people are just looking for an excuse to get payback and they’ll take whatever little thing they can that gives them an opening. That the reputations of others are judged by our actions, and that we have to answer for the negative things that happen to them because of what we do.

And that’s why I keep my hands clean. That’s why I didn’t strike at them even though I could have. I could bring such destruction down on their heads in so many ways that it kinda gets funny. But that would start a massive war, a war which may yet come. I hope it doesn’t. I can weather their attacks, but I’m not going to let them hurt my family. But until then, I keep my hands clean as I can. I’ve tried to work with them through the entire thing, not because I’m a saint, but because I’m a monster. I know what I’m capable of, at least in some areas. I know I’m capable of a lot more. I know somewhere, there’s a reason almost every God in my pantheon wanted me to patron with them, and that the only reason Gods from others didn’t try is because the Norse dropped the hammer and said “Back off.” I know because once, she told me so, before her love became hatred. And because I can be a monster, because I allow myself to be that monster, because I know exactly what I could do…I don’t have to do it. I can be a bigger man.

Not bad for a ten year old, huh?