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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Blogger Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Feel free to ditch this comment if you don't find it useful! I can't help but sense that the key thing right now is your relationship with yourself. I don't mean to undermine your marriage in any way. I just feel like you need to worry about what you think of you - not what anyone else thinks. I think you need to examine and appreciate and celebrate the good things about yourself. Make a list of all your positive qualities and accomplishments! Seriously! Just my 2 cents...

8:10 PM  

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