Maiden Off the Deep End

Bernadette Judaea
6 min readJul 10, 2023

A continuation from my previous post

I’ve had the weekend to really dig deeper into all that took place the night I decided to go to a party host by my young co-workers. I mentioned in my previous post that they are all pretty fresh out of high school, and considering I am 32 it felt very weird to enter a party and sense the entire vibe change. When I was getting out of my car, they were having fun hooting and hollering over a game of beer pong. When I got there, the game ended and after a brief pause to greet me, it was time to go back in the pool. It was like the baby sitter had arrived and there could be no more fun.

Even stripping down to my modest swim suit felt odd. Pause. This is Lilith’s experience. Lilith was the “first wife” of Adam according to some readings of the Old Testament. Black Moon Lilith in Astrology represents themes of shame, envy, and other dark feminine traits. Black Moon Lilith has been co-present in the sign of Leo with Venus and Mars, that have been in a conjunction with one another, which appear as a single bright evening star together. Its like theres this looming shadow being cast over the lovers shining their light towards one another. A jealous yin-tity rolling like deep thunder secretly in the background. Before you know it the storm is on you and you are just getting drenched.

Back in the pool, it was decided that everyone had to get active and I can’t tell you the number of times the words “we gotta get active” were said. Honestly, it was kind of adorable, each of my coworkers taking turns jumping off a wall that stood where a diving board should be. When it came to the final few people, I could tell one of the young girls was hesitating. The girl I think I am trying to save but also the girl with whom I feel like I have a complicated relationship. She said “You haven’t gone!” To which I replied, “No you have to go first”. Then, she proclaimed that she would do it for me. To everyone! She told them all that she was jumping for me. Almost as though she was trying to save me.

As she made her way to the wall, all the kids began chanting for her. They yelled “M-O-D! M-O-D!” (manager on duty) and her smile grew to the most genuine bliss I’d ever seen on her face. I chanted along, but without the full context of why we were saying that because I have always known her as my MOD. Its obviously a role they all celebrated her for getting so that was heart-warming and gave me an insight into the group dynamic. She did a little jump and I realized she is a princess for this group. I didn’t want to take the chance of becoming the grand finale so I quickly followed up with a standard dive, head first from the wall.

I got fixed in the role of maiden. (My name means Princess so there’s an attachment). I did not assume my position as mother or crone, not even for her. I let the group define me with their desires. By that I mean, their own desires. What motivates them. I don’t mean to say they desire me, rather that it is their desires from which they seem to think I also operate. This is a miscalculation on their part. I’ve been celibate for 3 years next month. I am not motivated by my sexual hormones so much anymore. Trust me, that was the whole reason for staying so long in the relationship I was in (so I am not saying it is beneath me to feel lust). Its become less important to me over this process of grieving and releasing. You aren’t looking to fuck when people are dying and kids needs to be fed. Ok… maybe I became a mother in an existential sense, but it did not come through at the party.

A discomfort I am facing is my relationship with flirting in general. For a long time, I made myself appear unapproachable. It was better than explaining to my boyfriend why guys were talking to me. It also allowed me to have a completely clear conscience for when my ex would interrogate me about where I had been and with whom. It was just easier for me to not flirt and I honestly didn’t have a real desire to flirt because I somehow unconsciously felt unworthy of flirting. I felt like it was wrong, like I would get in trouble for doing it. For me innocence is from an earlier stage than flirting. There’s a lot to unpack here, especially in that my parents didn’t express a lot of affection towards one another so that model of behavior was only introduced later making it seem salacious I guess.

This expands out in to the situation I am describing with the party. I admit, I have flirted with the guys I work with. There is an overwhelming sense of shame that really wants to come through when I say that, but then another part of me senses how I am taking flirting way too seriously if I let it. I am taking it so seriously because I feel the spells being cast upon me. I think that the young feminine is protective of the young masculine to a territorial degree. I sense that vicious desire to draw a firm line to indicate the things and people with which I am allow to interact. The princess wants to describe for me the boundaries of her kingdom.

Judgement is coming in from an invisible audience. The naysayers. “Grow up!” “Act your age!” This peanut gallery follows me through a lot of my endeavors, so no surprise it should come up here. It is a little different though, its sinister. Its got the optics of me being up to no good from the perspective of the outside. Then there was the more emotional and even personal area of concentration for this energy. This is the young feminine that I dropped back down into through my own high school and college wounds. A boyfriend that wasn’t giving me attention. Sensing a feeling of judgement that was mostly coming from my relationship but projected to the world at large. A general feeling of insecurity and fear. It felt like I was being singled out and isolated all over again.

What’s really strange is that I have no story with my coworkers other than this. I never acted on my flirting, so this whole scenario is just suspended and left up for interpretation by all who were there. Fragments of a story could come together and make it a moment to remember. I honestly feel like I’d rather forget it, even though I sit here writing about it. Part of feels like they might have forgotten (although glances were exchanged the day after and the astrology would have me believing that this is only the start of a saga).

This journaling session feels productive and conclusive. Opening it up to the uncertainty of interpretation is a little more daunting but still not so hard to do. Engaging with it, living in it, that’s nauseating. I am going to go to work and feel these feels some more. They dull over time so that’s why I am allowing space. I’ve at least come to the conclusion that the young feminine is not against me, but we’ve not yet figured out how we can work together it seems.

Originally written in Collective Journaling