Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Perchance To Dream (Possible Trigger Warning)

I had what felt like a very profound dream early this morning. I awoke from it feeling lighter and happier, which is odd because in it I slit someone's throat.
You can imagine whose throat it was.
In my dream I was still young, and something my stepfather did finally pushed me over an edge and I grabbed something, I don't remember what, and I slit his throat. I did not kill him. He was still alive but scared as hell and bleeding.
"Call 911," I screamed at whoever was there and I went into something of a horrific delirium, yelling and crying and out of my mind but spitting out words as to why I had done this- reciting all of his sins toward me in a sort of hysterical testimony. I had no fear that I would be arrested because I had such probable cause.
Police came. They took him away. And yes, I do believe that I dreamed not too long ago about police coming to protect me. But he was uninjured in that case. I had not hurt him as I did in this dream. I wondered if they were going to take me away- I fully expected it. Then suddenly I saw two women police officers and with them was the Australian comedian, Hannah Gadsby, and if you have not seen her work, I beg you to do so. I think I may have even shared the trailer to her Netflix film before but here it is again and it may give you some hint as to why she showed up in this dream as a protective figure, as a sympathetic figure.




She is vulnerable and she is powerful in that vulnerability and writing this, I can see that this is how I felt in the dream. She was, in this dream of mine, a therapist I think, and when I saw her and those two uniformed women with her, I somehow knew that my story would be well-believed and that I would be helped rather than prosecuted or persecuted, as the case might be, and I fell on the ground in relief and tears.
The dream did not end there. I think I was taken away but not for long and when I returned, my mother had cleaned the house, had done all of the things that in my normal dreams I am somehow sentenced to do- impossible tasks of getting rid of trash and bringing order to a place which had been misused and wrecked. And she had done that for me. Even outside the ground had been raked and she had put a nice design of arrowhead shapes in the dirt.
Perhaps she does love me, I thought. Perhaps she does care about me.
And in some ways, that part was the strangest part of the dream. Was the entire dream what I wish could have happened rather than a mere rehashing of what did?
I don't really think I want to slit anyone's throat but perhaps I really do and in my dream world, I allowed myself, finally, to do that. And of course in the real world there was no one who stepped in to protect me, neither police or a profoundly strong comedian. And I certainly never thought that if I told anyone that I would be believed and in fact, the very thought of telling anyone never crossed my mind when it was happening.
Not once.
And to go on my mother certainly did not do any of the work in helping me to clean up the mess that had been made in her house.
So to speak. But wouldn't it have been wonderful if she had at least tried?

Well. It was an interesting dream and it somehow gave me a sense of strength. Even if I did not kill my metaphorical beast, I drew blood. Perhaps I should be working on coming to peace with my abuser's memory rather than still trying to go back and gain control of that which I never could have controlled but I don't think I'm that kind of person. I have said before and I will say again that the concept of "forgiveness" does not do a whole lot for me. I can no more understand why anyone should forgive that which is unforgivable than why anyone would believe that just because someone died on a cross we are now all forgiven for some sort of perceived sin of which we are guilty, merely by being born. I have read of people who were in the camps in the Holocaust who claim to have forgiven the Nazis and perhaps they have and perhaps that is absolutely the way we should all be but I really don't think I have that sort of saintliness within me. And sure, I get the concept of forgiving someone, not for their sake but for my own. I have forgiven people for things but if I am honest I have to admit that I still have resentments about some of them and always will. And I don't think I've ever in my life said to myself, "Now I must forgive this person," or consciously set out to do it. It's just that sometimes it happens for whatever reason but I don't feel as if I am a better person for having done it. It just seemed to be something that needed doing and was organically done, usually for a very concrete and practical reason.
But like I said- I still harbor resentments but they do not get in my way. They are not roiling emotions which hinder my life in any way.
Unlike what I feel about my stepfather. Obviously.
And also obviously- the situations cannot be compared.

I've spent most of the day working on Maggie's dress and it's almost done. Everything went very smoothly up until the final details and now I'm bogged on something that should not be bogging me but it is and the seam ripper has been located and used. And probably will be again before I'm finished. And isn't that life? You zip along thinking that the way is smooth and easy until suddenly, it isn't and there is nothing for it but to stop and reassess and perhaps change strategies and maybe even sleep on the situation to see if a good night's rest can make it all come clear or perhaps even to have a dream which might help shed light on the problem which could be a simple sewing thing or the structure of DNA or why we act and react and live and love and fear and feel the way we do.

I have no answers but isn't it all interesting, at the very least?
"To sleep, perchance to dream," said Shakespeare.
He also said this:

"Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course. Chief nourisher in life's feast."

Man, that guy was smart. I think he liked to sleep, too. 

Sweet dreams, y'all. Or at least interesting ones. 

Love...Ms. Moon







16 comments:

  1. What a powerful dream. Sleep well tonight, too, dear Mary.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. It was a powerful dream for me.

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  2. Very telling and helpful, your dream. I think we all have wanted to somehow slit the throat of that man as we read your memories and now you are doing just that. You are healing and growing and getting past and standing strong. Hannah is there for you, as we are, as best we can. Hugs.

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    1. Hannah is there for all of us, I think. For every woman. I truly admire her. Thank you for your sweet and supportive words. They mean a lot.

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  3. Your life as a woman, friend, wife, mother and grandmother is the best it can be because of who you have become as a person. Hats off to you and may your dreams show you continued strength.

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    1. I'd be fine and dandy never having another dream that involved those particular people or a house I had to clean. A Herculean effort. But, this one was so interesting and not that hard to interpret that I didn't really mind it.

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  4. so much here. I think the dream must have represented some giant step forward deep in your psyche. you no longer were left to clean up the mess, you stepped up and protected yourself. no wonder you felt so good upon waking. as for forgiveness, some things can be forgiven and some things can't be forgiven. and just because you have forgiven someone something does not mean that things will go back to the way they were or that there will even be a relationship at all.

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    1. You're right, Ellen. There may be no relationship possible even after forgiveness. The main situation I think of where I believe I have forgiven someone is one that I really cannot ever get out of. It's a sort of family thing. And that's all right. I'm at peace about it all. I'm not perfect either.
      Believe it or not!
      My god, it was such a relief in that dream not to have to clean that house. You can't believe it.

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  5. Such a change, especially to wake happy and be able to remember and make sense of it. I could not keep it all corralled; bits would drift away. Back to the dress now; it will resolve today.

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    1. I haven't spent a minute on that dress today. Tomorrow, I think.
      Some dreams do drift away as soon as I wake but some stick around. I am glad of the opportunity to really dig into one like that.

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  6. God, I love dreams. Especially profound ones -- and I'll be thinking about yours all day. I agree with you about all things, including forgiveness. I guess forgiveness is aspirational -- at least it is for me. I remember reading the book "Dead Man Walking," written by Sister Prejean, and what stuck for me was this concept of forgiveness being fierce and compassionate and sort of otherworldly. I think you living to tell the tale, to building the beautiful life and family and friendships and so on is how you "forgave" your abuser. I'm not sure that makes sense, but even though you have the lifelong anxiety and torment associated with those times and him, you are also made of so much resilience and love that it positively burns out of you. You've basically slit the bitter stuff at the throat, cut it off. That, to me, is a kind of forgiveness, especially if you believe we're all connected in some way with one another.

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    1. Elizabeth, that is one of the most beautiful comments I've ever gotten. You are absolutely one of the most intelligent women I know and your ability to express your thoughts is unparalleled. Damn. Thank you. I love you.

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  7. Remarkable. I am more struck by your mother's reparations and the visitation of Hannah G as protector than the throat slitting. Amazing unconscious work.

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    1. And you gave me another thought, Jo. Truly it WAS my mother's job to clean up that mess. It was her house that it all happened in and I don't just mean the mess of what happened to me. And in my dream it WAS her house. So. Have I spent endless nights dreaming of cleaning a horrific mess which was not mine to clean? I think perhaps I have.

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    2. And that's why it haunts you! It was never possible. Lay down the broom, Mary!

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  8. I have read that dreaming is the mind's way of working on a situation that it needs to resolve -- and the mind will continue to dream about the same things until that conflict has been resolved to its satisfaction. (Where I read this I do not remember.) But anyway, that certainly came to mind as you discussed this dream. It sounds like you're working on a resolution of some kind, doesn't it?

    I understand the principle of forgiving, but my forgivenesses (is that a word?) are easy compared to yours.

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Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.