I read a great little article about psychosis this week. The author has some sort of illness that causes psychotic breaks sometimes - hearing voices, seeing things that aren't really there, whatever it is that makes you have to practice not trusting your own brain. That mathematician guy had issues with it, he thought he was going crazy until he learned to ignore the people he kept seeing that shouldn’t really be there. I don’t have open visions or hear voices, it would seem that most of my troublesome thoughts work themselves into my dreams where they do indeed have their way with whatever they want to say or demonstrate.
I wake up so clear with what I’ve seen or heard in a dream. My real struggle is to remember what I’ve learned or remember what I should set aside because it isn’t who I really am in this wide awake world. This morning finished off in dreams that lasted about two hours. I began frustrated in a bar in Gatlinburg. All these people were in the darkness trying to make themselves out as cool, and if they couldn’t get what they wanted, they would pair up with someone else and sell themselves all over again. Pimps and johns and whores and wait staff barely making themselves heard above the pounding music and clinking glassware. I was so angry because I just wanted to enjoy dinner with my friends, but they were caught up in the business of scoring, and it grieved me so that I woke up crying, pleading, and still dreaming at the same time.
“Don’t you understand! It’s not about laws or sin or right or wrong, this is not who you were created to be! God wanted you to be all bright and lit up from a living fire inside of you, He wants you to see things out of the eyes He made only for you and then show that to the world, He created you to be a Defender of Widows and Orphans, He wants beautiful music to flow out of you the world would rejoice to hear, He wants joy and laughter to bubble up out of you at every opportunity, He wants you to l-o-v-e your loved ones and never be afraid to gain a new friend because you’ll have the love to love them, too.
But you’re all hiding in here. In the dark. Where no one can see you, just hoping that the law and no accuser can find you in here. At least for tonight.
That’s not what He wanted. It’s not what He wants.”
After tossing and turning and transitioning thru more dreams, I ended up in still in the same hotel, but the next morning. Somehow Mother had found me again, still shuffling along in her jammies and chenille bed jacket, wanting breakfast but not wanting to get out of the car to come in and get it. So, trying to get her in gear, I hollered at her from the door of the restaurant to come in or starve and went thru the line trying to find something I could carry out to her. Somehow I ended up at the receiving desk for the Alzheimer’s unit again, trying to explain how, yes, she had indeed died, but now she was back again and I needed her admitted again. (These conversations are always awkward, but, you know.)
Both of these dreams carry the theme of grief and unfinished business. I think the mother in my dreams is the perfect archetype for grief and unsorted, unfinished business. We were an officer’s family, always moving every two to three years, and Mother never kept a good house. We were never fully unpacked, and when the movers arrived again, they would throw everything in a new set of boxes and haul it off to the next duty station. No decisions were ever made about old toys or clothes, no photo albums ever made, no correspondence kept with old friends, the house was never ready to receive new friends or guests, no dishes, furniture, or keepsakes were ever deliberately thrown out because we decided we didn’t want them. Everything and everyone that couldn’t or wouldn’t be hauled to the next place was just left behind at the last one.
For me, especially as the youngest and most confused and helpless, I lived my life with people and things just disappearing, move by move, year after year, season by season in my life. No regard was ever made then for what I really needed to happen in my life and, of course, no one ever asked if what they were doing was alright. They were the adults and they just did what they thought they should do. From the sixth grade onwards, I was raising myself, my parents were very busy doing what they wanted to do. Family was over, their memories of their families were good enough for me to remember, too, no point in making any more.
[That last sentence is a whopper of a revelation. Filing that away for the Entourage post later.]
I bought a book on grief at the beginning of this week by accident. I wanted to go thrift shopping, but there isn’t a thing I need and I’ve been wanting to follow my intuition on purpose more because it’s a guide that really doesn’t fail me like my intellect so often does, sooooooo, the only green light I could get on the inside for thrifting was the cheapest mega-thrift-store in town on Monday. You won’t find much there unless it just then came in the back door, they keep things moving! $1 for a paperback, I got three, and one was The Courage To Grieve, by Judy Tatelbaum. It’s been a long time since I’ve read on grief. It occurred to me that the big reason I keep too much stuff is I’m grieving what all that stuff is - pieces of my family, dreams that never came true, ways I used to be but I don’t know what else to be now. I went and read some reviews of the book and the part that made people angry about it was her goal is to be “finished” with grieving, and that’s my goal, too.
February is a big grieving anniversary month for me, my sister committed suicide early in a February. I grieved her dreadfully for decades, I moved here in a late February to get away from my parents when I realized I had lived longer without my sister than I had with her, yet my life was not progressing. My mother died in the month of January, so now I can add that to the deep winter grieving schedule, plus there’s always the longing for new growth and a fresh start once those new gardening catalogs start arriving. I want desperately to drive a stake thru the heart of the sorrows that haunt me, but I don’t know how and I’ve never known how. “Finished” with grief is a desire I’ve had for a long, long time.
I think all these things are my id talking to me. <—I knew that was the point of this post when I sat down to write it, but I haven’t actually re-read what “id” is yet. I think it’s the deepest part of your personality, the part that is most intrinsically you, but you can’t see it for looking for it. It must just hide down there until you get quiet enough for it to get a word in edgewise. In any case, I’m wanting very much to let Id out.
I’ve gathered up things I’ve bought (not hand me downs) and will get rid of this week, having decided that they aren’t really the direction I want to go in anymore.
I bought a little needlepoint kit this week, after 27 years since the last project, and have much enjoyed the stitching so far. (It’s so hyper focused, my ADD loves it!)
When I’m not standing directly in the presence of my book collection, I want to give the whole thing away.
(When I’m looking at it, I still think, “oh, no, this is too precious to just give away! What if they don’t think it’s precious, too!”)
I stood up for myself at work on Friday, refusing to be dissed yet again as an old woman in a sea of vain and very brutal men.
I am trying to be, even if letting what is roll me over again is ever so familiar.
I must be hatched or go bad.
Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh, and with all creation groan, as I wait for home to come for me.
Am I lost, or just less found?
On the straight or on the roundabout or the wrong way?
Is this same soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
'Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become.