Wednesday, August 03, 2011

No Basset Puppies For Me

I woke this morning with a start. I'd been dreaming...

In my dream, my mother had made gifts for my sister and I: long scrolls of paper, charting our lives.

Charts which also included how much time we had left to live.

"Your sister's is longer, because well..." she said to me.

"How much longer do I have to live?" I asked.

"Nine years."

Nine years?! I've only got nine more years to live?!

Dream logic knew my sisters was a lot more than that; the difference wouldn't represent just the 18 months between us. And that difference was due to my lifestyle, my poverty. (Now that I'm awake, I include smoking in my earlier death sentence; but there's still judgement in that Judgement Day.)

Dream logic also knew that if I only had nine years, how much longer did my parents themselves have?

In the dream, I looked up and my mother was no longer there.

Just the white scroll.

I was alone with the terrifying white scroll.

That's when I woke.

The orphaned me had no desire to scrutinize the scroll, even if only in a dream state.

So painful was this dream that I sat up, panicked, and, in an atypical move for this anxiety-ridden person who usually seeks the comfort of her covers, I moved as quickly as possible to leave the bed. I put on clothing quickly and fled the miserable taint of that room.

It was not safe to stay where such things remained in the air.

I greeted my husband with a, "I had a bad dream." The confession of a child seeking comfort. He responded by rubbing my back while listening to the damning of my own sleeping psyche. When I finished, he too pronounced it bad, as one would to a child. "That was a bad dream."

But still the dream's horrible aura surrounded me.

Being a writer, all I can do to shake this is to write.

That, and see my counselor at the pre-arranged appointment in a few hours.

At first, I thought distraction might be in order. I looked over the myriad of blogs and writing projects, searching for something to sick my teeth into. Something with less fangs of its own, so it couldn't bite back.

But nothing pushed the icky clinging film away.

I couldn't even turn the fangs of the dream back upon itself, using my fear to fuel a fire and make a political or cultural rant.

Turning fear into fuel has long been one of my tricks; when it fails me, the panic gets worse.

So here I am. Pondering my fear of judgements. Poverty, smoking, working from home, sins of the mother who lost her child...

I've no strength to logically debate the judgements; perhaps the indictments are true and I lack the moral fiber to defend myself -- or my acts and I are indefensible.

I choose to believe I am just too weary, struggling from the suffocating feelings. Fear can suck a place of all oxygen, you know. Knowing that can't really save you, for even if the hallucinations and other effects of oxygen deprivation aren't real, they are all you have. Reason doesn't matter. Especially when the low oxygen levels prevent you from retaining a coherent logical thought.

No, at these times, all you can do is ramble, through talk or written word, through art, until you expel enough of the bad air inside you out through the open window of creativity and communication.

If that doesn't work, all that's left is crawling back to that bed and hoping your own will to survive is proactive enough to generate a storm in your head which will blow everything bad away.

I should have been dreaming of basset hound puppies. That's what I was thinking, wistfully day-dreaming of, before I fell asleep. (Since the loss of my dear Ween last November, I struggle to make the little anxious dog my therapy companion animal; but she prefers the hubby. And she's annoying. She's not a sweet soul who loves, comforts, adores -- and absorbs tears while providing the prospective that life is good. So I've been wishing I could get a male basset hound... Their size and temperament being a good fit with the rest of the family.)

But no matter how loaded with adorable basset dogs and puppies my head was, they did not enter my dreams to comfort me; instead there was judgement, loss, and death.


Friday, September 19, 2008

The Inane & The Insane

Hubby & I have been sick this week, so perhaps it's not surprising that I should have strange & varied dreams...

Tuesday night, I dreamt for hours and hours that I was folding towels. Just folding towels. There were hand towels, dish towels, and bath towels of every size, color and pattern. I just kept carrying laundry baskets to the couch and folding and folding and folding, then putting them away and getting another basket full.

Wednesday I just tossed and turned, hot & cold, and if I dreamt I don't recall anything.

Thursday, last night, I had one of those dreams in which I could not speak.

I remember I was scared and couldn't scream -- but I'm not sure why. Then hubby appeared and I couldn't tell him what was going on. I was frustrated and upset that I couldn't talk and that he seemed not to notice.

Suddenly, as happens in dreams, we were in our bedroom (not our real bedroom, but it was our bedroom in dreamland) and he came up behind me and put his arms around me -- it startled me and I didn't like feeling immobilized as well as speechless, so I tried to dislodge him. We ended up on the bed, me face down on the comforter and him half on top of me. I looked up and at the head of our dreamland bed was a window; there in the bright sunlight were dozens of grey cats and kittens and hundreds of bright butterflies.

Hubby went over to go play with them. I sat up on the bed and noticed a Monarch was on my shirt -- one of its legs caught in the pink nylon. Again, I couldn't speak to get help, so I tried to lift the butterfly and get it unstuck. I did, and it fluttered back to the sunny window area. I wanted to move closer to hubby so that I could tap on him and try to communicate with him, but first I had to check to make sure that by moving I wouldn't crush or harm any butterflies or kittens. The scene was beautiful, all those cats and all those butterflies in the sunlight. But it was not comforting; being unable to communicate how amazing all this was was horrible. I woke up still feeling frightened beyond belief.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Dream Of Wild Rides & French Fries

I had that dream last night, one I've had for decades.

I'm driving Grandpa Harry's red 1960 Ford Fairlane with my sister -- as in I'm on the floor, working the peddles, and she's steering.

After we go through the obligatory cartoon clothesline (seriously!), we stop and I climb over the seat to the back seat. On the floor I find old, cold, McDonald's French fries.

And I eat them.

What's really strange is that Grandpa Harry wasn't the type to let us eat in his car -- at all. I'm not saying he'd have let us drive it, especially as we did; but the finding & eating of fries in his car seems even less likely and stands out as far more odd. Even if I did eat old, cold, French fries found in cars (I remember, vividly, eating those I discovered in our family car & Grandpa Val's Skylark). Maybe that's because the one-steering-one-working-the-peddles Mr. Magoo-style driving scenario is a classic bit, a collective memory; but I don't know anyone else who admits to eating old found fries.

I know others must have. They just don't admit it.

But I woke up craving those fries. Not McDonald's fries, but the old cold ones in my dream.

This proves the memorable taste of the original deep fried in oil with animal fat McDonald's French fries.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

I Won't Lie To You

It's not that I haven't been dreaming; I'm silent here (and most places) because I've been so busy. It's hard to find make the time to post about inane blitherings and insane dreamings when life is so full. In particular, the challenge of drawing for at least most of these posts here (that was the challenge), and then getting hubby to scan it so I can post it. Drat time delays which remove all the impulsivity.

I also won't lie to you and tell you this next bit is/was a dream; it's true, but seems to fit here.

I am one of a rather large population which finds clowns frightening. So yesterday, at the local Fourth of July celebration, I tried to be calm when the next act at the entertainment stage was, you guessed it, a clown duo.

I tried to calm myself for sitting during the show for the kids, because that's what good mommas do. I talked with the youngest, sitting on my left, when suddenly his hand shoots up to my head hitting the brim of my baseball cap -- and I mean but hard. At first I was annoyed as I instinctively went to grab his hand, turning as I did so. And what do I discover? One of the clowns had hit me in the head with a ball. Seems my son was trying to protect me.

Yeah, you read that right. A clown tried to kill me by beaning me hard in the melon. On the Fourth of July, in front of my family. Bloody hell!

Clowns are not just scary. They are armed and dangerous.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Dream In Celebrity; And Of Rejection

It's Allie's 18th birthday today.

For the past 3 nights, I've had dreams of her deceased father, Norman. He's been dead for what, 12 years? And it's still hard to see his name on something, like a the child support letters claiming I haven't complied with them. (Huh?) But back to the dreams.

On the first night, it was whispers that he was still alive. Hiding somewhere. Associates of his deliberately not talking to me.

The next night, pretty much the same, only I thought I saw him 'up ahead' and I was begging people to tell me where to find him. They all ignored me or looked at me with pity.

Then last night, so much subterfuge that it wasn't a matter of 'what if he's alive,' but more like 'why have you been so stupid for so long.' This time when I tried to get them to give me answers, they rebuffed me, saying I had broken his heart. I couldn't be trusted. I try to follow them, but am always discovered. Sent back, away from them.

But about half-way through the dream, one of them decides to talk with me. Everything was cryptic, but he spoke with me at least.

Strangely this friend who started to talk to me was Greg Grunberg (the cop on Heroes) who I remember seeing for the first time on Alias and noting how much he looked like Norman. This guy isn't just feeling me out but testing me. He doesn't accuse me of not loving Norman, but asks questions and makes me do tasks to prove that I'm worthy. He stares at me when I'm not looking. By the end of the dream I realize this guy is Norman. But just as I figure it out, I start to wake up. He's walking away and I can't reach him.

Now, these dreams make perfect sense. She's 18 and I'm wondering (again) if what I'm doing is the right thing (even if I know it is). And he's her father, so even if he never did much for her, I am drawn into wondering... Plus there's the whole matter of me not ever really being able to accept his death. It's easier to just imagine him living out there, away from us, as he did for the first 6 years of her life.

But the rejection & loss of the dreams creeps me out. And a (small) part of me wonders if he isn't trying to reach us for her birthday too...

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Less Dreams, More Weight

Not sleeping enough can make you fat.

More reason to worry; more reason to lay awake nights, hmmm?


Friday, April 06, 2007

"The Circle of Links To Me"; Or, "In Which I Set Thing Up"

I had a bad dream which woke me up. It occurs to me, that in order for you to understand this dream (or interpret it as I do) you'll need to know a few things about me which are not at this time known to you...

I am recovering from a depressive anxious state, most likely the official diagnosis is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which stems from the abuse. Not so much the abuse of my ex-husband of just over four years ago, but the abuse inflicted upon me in family court which is not yet four years old. (If you wonder why the court's abuse is worse than that of a trusted member of my family, intentional harm inflicted by the-then love-of-my-life and father of our son -- and many of you may, all I am comfortable saying at this point is that I will write on it at some point, in some place. But for now, it's just important that you understand this wee bit of dynamic.)

All of this is just to set the framework for what is to come (and I suppose to let you know of my long silence here, as well as my former paranoia regarding being known as who I really am). Which is to say that in recovering I've been doing lots of 'interior work' and this of course plagues my dreams.

If I sleep (for insomnia has been a chronic problem for decades, and has only worsened with all of this), I have nightmares. Mainly they are about court, events which led to court, the ex trying to take me back to court -- or doing something so that I must take him to court (which are true things exasterbating both my dreams and waking hours) and even events which no matter how unrelated will force me to appear in court again. It's classic PTSD.

My 'disorder' is so strong that for the past several years I have not recognized my own face. Staggering. Unimaginable. But true.

It's not that I don't know it is me there, but rather that I do not see in that face the me I recognize. I know it is me, but it's also not me. Not the me I visualize when I think of me (and with all this interior work, I must think of 'me'); nor the me I want to be. It's not just the weight gain (which comes to women who are depressed and over 30). It's more than that. A visual trick of the mind, this clearly represents my inability to recognize the 'me' in my life. Symbols and symbolism, after all, do not exist only for the dreaming.

I can mention this now because just yesterday, while in the bathroom to put eyedrops into my sore and itchy left eye (I do sound so pretty, don't I?), I had to open the mirrored medicine cabinet, which of course meant I was reflected there for the few seconds it took for me to reach for and open the door. Because the hand is quicker than the eye, I had the bottle of drops in my hand before my brain registered my reflection... I had seen me. Or had I?

Bam -- I shut the door and looked at the mirror. Hey, it was me there! I looked and I looked and there, in the mirror, I was. No trick of my eye -- yes my face was 'fuller' than it once was, but it was indeed me. And my eyes were smiling. No, not just smiling, but full of what I can only call flirtation. I was looking at the world with interest -- at me with interest. Staggering. Unimaginable. But true.

I studied myself for a minute more, and satisfied that I wasn't going to leave me (or if I did, I could at least return again), I finished the business of putting drops in my eye and went back to work.

I mention this only for you to understand that A) things have been bad and B) that things are improving. It hasn't been easy, but a combination of dedication to working on me, some business success (both my writing and our publishing business has been :knock wood: doing well), and the loving support of my new husband means that I am making progress. Seeing me was proof of that. It let me know that I am on the right path back to me. And this is all important to the dream...

In my dream, I am having difficulties with the ex (as usual, I do not see him, but dream of circumstances and his angry control which directs or propels the dream towards court) and I must leave town -- with the man who is now my husband. This is much like my real life move. I'll spare you all the lead-in tedium (which is rather as alluded to with all of this), and get to what matters.

In the dream I am crying and new hubby is holding me, telling me he loves me. Then he breaks away from me and moves as far away from he can (we are in the cab of a giant semi, presumably filled with my things), sits with his back against the driver-side door, and says, "Do you want to know the truth?"

I nod yes.

He begins a litany of complaints.

"It's your weight gain."

Stab in my heart.

He continues. "A man likes breasts, but yours are growing every day. It's a movement issue."

I have no idea what that really means, but in the dream it is fact and I do not reply. He continues.

"You know last night, when we picked up this truck...? Well, when you got in I saw the whole truck tip."

Wow. That hurt. (Vanity must make me state, for the record, I am not that fat.)

This last one is the real killer tho.

"You've gained so much weight, I can't even see your face in there anymore."

I woke up in fear and panic. Not only didn't he love me, wanted out because I was fat, but he couldn't see me! Instantly my mind went to yesterday's delight at finding me in the mirror. I am changing back to 'me' -- I am! Why would my brain sabotage us like this?!

Then I remembered that about a year into my first marriage I had a dream where that man did the (then) unthinkable -- he cheated on me. In truth, he would shortly do so (prior to the physical abuse). Was it, like other dreams I have had, prophetic? If so, did it mean this dream was too? Did it mean that my new husband was not only no longer in love with me, disgusted by me, but unable to see me through all this... This crap?

It took me a few minutes to get up and out of bed -- going for the morning potty meant I'd have to pass by the mirror... Yesterday it had been a gift; today it seemed like a threat...

The answer to the question you are asking is, "No."

No, I didn't see me in the mirror. It was the other lady's face. (She also suffers from common morning face. Combined with panic and fear is not pretty. Poor thing looked like hell. This lady has PTSD -- and it shows on her face.)

I had to wait for hubby to return home (and after a hug) began my rushed tale of all this. He reassured me that my weight isn't a problem. (Yeah, for health reasons and my weight's clear ties to my mental health status he's concerned about it, but not in a judgemental or disgusted way. He even said he'd do me right then & there to show me lol)

I asked him what he thinks this all means and he said he thinks it means that I am finally facing and letting go of my greatest fears. That seeing myself in the mirror I was able to release and get rid of fears I no longer need to hold back or let them hold me back. It does make sense that after getting a glimpse of myself I faced those fears and made a move to toss them out... I so hope he's right.

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