My writing took on a new direction in terms of plot the other day, and I began to think of Hell guardians. Some of the more famous guardians are monsters of a sort. Geryon, according to Paradise Lost, is a massive centaur that guards the gates of Hell. Cerberus, according to Greek mythology, is a monstrous, three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. According to Norse tales, you may in fact be dealing with trolls as the guardians to bridges or rivers.
Every once in a while though, I think of world mythology or folklore and I wonder if these stories are simply tools with which people explain the more difficult or controversial aspects of the human condition.
The reason I bring this up today is because I was washing the dishes in the kitchen when my father came up to me and made some weird comment.
“I thought you were praying,” he said. ”You’re whispering sounded like you were praying.”
“Yeah, dad. I was praying for sanity. In this house, that’s the only thing I can do sometimes.”
I’m not going to lie. For the last year or so I’ve been dealing with a ton of emotional baggage. A large part of the reason I write this blog the way I do is because I’m going to make damn sure that I tell it the way it is. It seems that certain elements of the truth are not appreciated by those with whom I am surrounded. That’s fine, but it means that I won’t waste my energy trying to please these fuckers.
On occasion though, I have to wonder if part of the resentment that I feel regarding humanity is that some people have the incredible ability to make themselves into what I call “emotional trolls.”
What are emotional trolls, you ask? Good question.
Think back to what I wrote earlier about the guardians of Hell or Hades. Now imagine what happens when you surround yourself with people who emit hostility or negativity at certain times during the day. You wake up in the morning, for example, and you can just tell that certain liberties can’t be taken without an emotional confrontation between you and someone else. That someone else, to me, feels like a guardian of treasure or a certain space, ever vigilant, always ready to pounce on someone who dares to go for that treasure or venture into that space.
These are who I know as emotional trolls.
Lately, they’ve all begun to look the same to me. They resemble ugly, sneering creatures who flair their nostrils in rage. They appear as nasty beasts who narrow their eyes in suspicion and assume threatening postures in an attempt to intimidate. These are not the emotional vampires that one can stake with ignorance and sharp words. Nope. Emotional trolls will challenge your right to even have a simple cup of coffee in peace without making a snide remark. They will butt into conversations and raise their voices loudly over yours in order to make sure that their point is what counts.
They will threaten your very happiness unless you act to stop them.
The bad thing about trolls it that it takes a great deal of discipline, patience and energy not to become this way yourself. A lone warrior in the middle of a house of trolls and vampires does need to be on his or her guard. You’ll forgive the metaphor, I trust. But there are days when I wake up in my own home and just don’t feel welcome. “The trolls are out today,” I’ll say to myself before I quietly get my cup of coffee and wait for the other shoe to drop.
Parents have the potential to become trolls.
Other people who can easily be counted among the emotional trolls of this world are IN-LAWS. I’ve more or less been lucky in this regard, but I know plenty of others who are laughing and nodding their heads at what I just wrote. These motherfuckers stand there and undermine your authority with your kids because they’ve never liked you. They are some of the foulest emotional trolls of which I’ve ever heard. These in-laws make me fantasize about drawing my Samurai katana and lopping off their damned heads. I’ve got a few too many friends these days who have regaled me with tales of such trolls. I picked my sword back up from the river’s edge recently. I’ve got no qualms about putting it to use on their behalf.
What happens when the person you fell in love with becomes an emotional troll? Don’t know if that’s happening? I’ve got a way to determine the truth. Follow the bouncing ball.
Here are the signs that you’re in love with an emotional troll:
1) If you wake up in the morning and you hear the distant sound of a drawbridge in your kitchen, chances are, you’ve got a troll in your home.
2)When you want to go to the bathroom and the smell emanating from it is followed by swear words, don’t approach the door and ask if everything is okay. Instead, use another bathroom if possible. A portable urinal is also appropriate in emergency situations. In these cases, a troll is present. These trolls go away quickly nine times out of ten, but the ones that linger have taken to using the bathroom as their cave. They get annoyed when you approach, and will slam the door in your face when you need to pee. Take my advice. Get yourself a urinal, then save up money and get out of that house. You WILL end up slaughtering that troll eventually.
3)If your spouse/partner comes home from work and does nothing but grunt in irritation no matter how sweet, considerate or positive you try to be, the chances are high that they are being taken over by a troll’s spirit. Be careful of this particular entity, as it can also hang on for dear life. Consider distraction as a means of dissuading this spirit from taking your beloved away from you. But above all, do NOT sacrifice your happiness for the pacification of trolls.
let me repeat this last sentiment for those who are still reading.
DO NOT sacrifice your happiness for the pacification of emotional trolls!
4) If your partner constantly gives you the third degree, you’ve got troll trouble. The trolls of legend are often prepared with challenges that include tests of strength, skill, or intellect. These are the trolls that are most common. Unfortunately, these are also the most malignant of trolls because they show up at unexpected moments, and can turn a good day into a total cluster fuck within seconds of their arrival.
Though the levels of physical or emotional danger can vary from troll to troll, always use caution when dealing with these kinds of trolls! You may think that you’ve got things under control, but there is no limit to a troll’s malice, frustration, and self loathing. Like energy vampires, they will continue to test your patience until you set a limit. The weaker trolls respond to verbal firmness or even harsh language. The more dangerous trolls do not. They either persist in their annoyance of you, or they escalate their tactics to include physical intimidation, or even violence in the most extreme cases ..
5) Last but not least, trolls are easily unbalanced by true honesty. The surest way to know that your loved one has become a troll is to be who you are around them no matter what they do or say. A troll likely cannot handle such truth, and their true colors will shine through at your total authenticity. This is the moment to act. You either strike a bargain for permanent change, strike a blow, or simply leave. Not all trolls can be destroyed, and it’s best to pick your battle accordingly. Even samurai have had to be dragged from battle in certain instances.
That is my treatise on living with or being in love with potential trolls. Overall, the good news about trolls is that they don’t linger in one place for too long UNLESS it is allowed. In the majority of cases, outing a troll is easy. Ousting them is what proves the difficult quest.
I may write more on trolls later. The ones that have visited my home today have disappeared. I’ll keep my sword at the ready, just in case..