Friday, November 18, 2011

Nov 18: Dreaming the Truth

This is the final installment of my Iowa posts. If you haven't read this one, what I'm about to say won't make much sense.

When I got back from Iowa, I hit life running straight into the second week of school, Drake and Montana's move, a busy social life. When I wasn't otherwise distracted, I thought sometimes about that unconscious toddler who was once me; it would hit me in the shower or as I was falling asleep. I thought maybe I finally needed to find a therapist and sort out how my behavior has been affected by the abuse and how I could finally fix myself. Fix myself. I've been trying to be perfect my entire life. The truth is, it just made me feel tired to think about trying to fix myself. What a huge job. Mostly I stayed very busy, which is how I always handle blows to the heart.

The Sunday two weeks to the day after I drove back home, I spent a restless night. I kept half-way waking up, hearing an angry woman shouting at someone. She was swearing and saying things like, "Shut the fuck up, you cunt!" And, "You're going to be sorry, you fucking bitch, if you don't just shut up and do what I told you." Now, there have been a few instances of people fighting out in the street in my neighborhood. Rare, but it's happened. It could have been a real person outside yelling, but probably not all night.

Toward morning, the yelling got louder--"I said shut up, you fucking cunt, or you're going to be really sorry"-- and finally woke me up ... in a dream. I was upstairs in the house I grew up in, and I realized the shouting I'd been hearing all night was coming from downstairs, and I knew I needed to take care of something. As I ran down the stairs to see what was going on, I realized it was my mom shouting.

I found her in my parents' bedroom. She was lying on the bed on her side facing the door. A baby girl  about 3 months old was lying on her back in the middle of the bed, not crying. Both of them still. But I knew what had been going on all night. I picked up the baby and checked her to make sure she was OK. She was content in my arms.

Then I said to my mom, "This stops now. It's finished. It won't happen again."

She tried to make excuses, but I don't remember them now. I said, "No, you aren't listening. I said this ends now. You won't hurt her again. I'm taking her with me. It ends."

She tried again to explain, but I cut her off. "I'm leaving now. Just know it won't happen again. That's all you need to know." And I walked out with the baby. In the dream, I felt nothing but calm and resolve.

I woke up as soon as the dream ended though, and I didn't feel calm. Or at least I didn't think I should feel calm. I thought it had been a nightmare ....... But for some reason, I not only didn't feel any dream trauma, I felt .... I guess strong is the only word that will describe it. And I felt like something had ended. I felt like I had taken back something that was mine all along, something powerful and elemental.

And that is the end of my story. It ended with a dream, which is such a Newhart way to end a story, I can hardly stand it. But I can't write life; I just write about life. And this story ended with a dream.

Coda: I want to make clear that I get along fine with my mom. She's my mom, and I love her. We aren't especially close, but we also aren't estranged in any way. We talk on the phone every four or five weeks, and we never fight. She doesn't tell me how to live my life, not since I left home at 17. We have fun when we're together every couple of years when I go to Iowa. So I don't mean this story to be an indictment of her. It's simply a telling of my story.


  1. wow. You already did it. What I wrote about in my comment on the Iowa post - a ritual to heal/comfort Younger Self. Nice one!

  2. Yes, I did it in my sleep. I may have more work to do on this, but I took her back. One friend called it "soul retrieval." I don't know anything about that. All I know is what at first seemed to be a nightmare turned out to be a power move for my psyche.

    Dreams are so weird.

  3. I so rarely remember my dreams. I'm sure I've experienced and lost many revelations there. In literature and movies, so many characters get to have those revelations.

    "Someone who had been through all the truly bizarre crap I had over the past few days should have had a revelatory dream, waking up with new insights as to how to deal with their problems. Me? I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that my feet hurt."

    -- paraphrasing something written by Roger Zelazny

  4. What 'Zann said! You've got yourself a powerful psyche there, Carol.

    I've done some training and had some experiences around that kind of reclaiming and self care, and I'm so glad you've had that experience now. I hope you do get a chance to find a trained guide and/or circle to work with, not to fix you, but to help provide tools and understanding and love to carry you through any charged experiences or situations in the future.

    Lots of admiration and love,

  5. Diplomat, I remember many dreams, but I try not to over-analyze them. The ones that come true just freak me out. Others are probably a bit of gristle. But this one gave a message that was surprisingly clear for a dream. It was a gift.

  6. Thanks, Ria. We'll see what pops up. I'm sure Miss Synchronicity isn't done with me on this topic yet.