Dream #3

Possible Warning: This dream contains some discussion of race, specifically whites and blacks. I don’t think it’s about that*, but in today’s firecracker/tinderbox atmosphere, you may want to skip it.** It also makes some non-specific references to teenagers having sex in a public place.

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I know i haven’t done any analysis on #2 yet. I’ve decided to let that 1 go for now, as it causes me extreme distress.
Meanwhile i have a dream from this morning very fresh in my mind that i think is significant, so i’m turning my attention to it, for now.

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My friends and i hop a train into downtown for a night of clubbing. We’re having a good time bar and pub hopping, but as we’re heading to a club for some dancing, we learn about a hot ticket that changes our minds.
There’s prom going on at a huge venue, and it’s open to the public. The big draw is that it’s a music high school that’s known for the brilliant rap musicians that’ve been coming out of it. There’s food and drink for the purchase of a ticket, and then you can catch some fresh new stuff done by up and comers.

We’re all keen and quickly pay up and head in. It’s packed, with white and black youths alike, but i do make a passing observance that they seem to be sticking in groups of their own race. That’s not entirely unheard of in my world, so i head to where the main stage is. There are 3 black youths on stage, engaged in a rap battle. They’re all amazing. My friends are content to hang back, but i want to get closer.
I do the thing i’m so good at during concerts and other crowded events/spaces, which is dodging people to get where i want to go. It’s a skill i came to as an Amazon-size female. Especially when i was heavier, i was almost invisible to the people around me, and i unconsciously turned both things to my advantage. I walk so fast most people find it hard to keep up with me when i’m going full throttle.
I stride through open spaces in a flash, expertly turning into little empty spots and then taking large, fast strides again. I’m like that annoying car during rush hour, moving in and out of lanes. Except i don’t have the potential to kill people, and i actually get somewhere. Heh.

Once up at the front i listen for a while and then decide to get some refreshments. I see the kitchen is stage left and head in that direction, thinking i’ll see a serving area close by. I pass a lot of kids heading in various directions, and they’re all taller than me, like pro basketball tall. They’re dressed in the expensive kind of track suits, and i admire all of their footwear (i like shoes). They’re black and their faces are stoic, not one is smiling. That’s not altogether strange i tell myself, but it IS a graduation reception, and people are usually smiling and laughing and joking around.

There are full length mirrors lining the wall to my right. I look at myself and smile, This is not a problem. Everything’s fine!
It is a rare thing indeed, for me to see myself in dreams, but i see myself clearly in this one, and in full. I don’t look like myself – not even close. I’m young, not much older than the ones graduating, i’d guess. I’m tall and pale and freckled (okay, that part is correct), and i’m sporting a shoulder-length, strawberry blonde mullet with a little faux hawk. I’m dressed completely in blinding white. Too-big white t-shirt with some black writing on it – sadly, i can’t remember what it said. White, thick jean jacket, highly constructed, and it hangs past my hip area. My jeans are also too big and look like they match the jacket. I’m wearing huge-ass white kicks. The outfit would NOT be cheap. You cannot tell if i’m a male or a female. I smile again at my visage, and note that i look cute.

I veer off at the sight of tables, with young people eating and drinking. Some are standing at a bar where they’re clearly getting food and beverages. It looks cafeteria-style. Cool, don’t have to talk to people, and i head over. I’m distracted by some more music, even better (to me) than watching a rap battle. Someone’s rapping ahead of me, and i can hear percussion and beatboxing. I weave through some tables to get a better look. I watch for only a few seconds before i realise something is wrong. There are tables set in enclave atmospheres, with some privacy screening, similar to what we see today in stores, restaurants, transit systems and the like. On the way closer, i pass a preppy looking white boy who sneers at me.
It’s not the way the tables are set up though, it’s that i can feel stares at my back. They feel like ice. I turn around and sure enough, i’m met with glares from white and black young men – there are no girls.

One of them says, “Man, this place ain’t for you.”
I reply that i like the music, and just wanted to listen.
He says, “Nah, you need to go.”
“Okay,” i say, ” it’s your grad. Congratulations everyone.”

As i make my way out i’m met with pure hostility in every face, except the first preppy white dude, whose smug smile makes me want to punch him. I give him my best 100-watt one, and then as i pass i strut my stuff, just a little.
So he knows he hasn’t gotten to me.

Leaving the food and drink area and its clusters of tables and various kids playing their own music at them, i can suddenly feel how unwelcome, how unwanted i am there. With every step i’m met with turned heads masked with hostility and jabbing at me with icy stares. As i’m walking away, i see half a dozen large, metal doors, swing outward, bleeding kids from another area of the venue. And then i hear the music.

It’s Cher’s Shoop Shoop song. Ugh, the most saccharine, worst cover, and my least favourite of Cher’s. (Let’s be clear: i love me some Cher.)
That’s when i notice that everyone pouring through the doors is white.
I think, Is that where i’m supposed to be, then?
But that’s not where i wanted to be – not the music i wanted to hear!

I decide to leave. Don’t wonder where my companions are, because i’m always separated from my friends or whoever i start the dream with. Always. I head towards the door and notice that everyone is white. They’re all sitting at massive tables, in those fancy seats with the velvety coverings and the high backs. The seating is luxe and curves around the table, giving those sitting there some modicum of privacy. Like those booth jobs you see in Vegas, you know the ones? I scan the crowd and they’re all white, and all dressed to the nines: expensive suits, tuxes, obviously tailored, and incredible prom dresses, like they’re all Cinderella at the Ball. I also notice that every single face looks like the kind of smug, arrogant, snotty, schmuck i ever attended school with. Privileged and elitist. Looking for the weak sheep to torture and cut from the herd. Mean girls and bully boys, i call them. They’re the ones who treat you nicely until the teacher leaves the room, or recess, or lunch hour, or after school. Or seeing you at the store or at your job on the weekends.

As i’m shuddering at the thought and making haste for the doors, i hear it. Moaning. I look and see a young woman engaging in sex in her booth. I won’t describe any of the troubling imagery, but it looked extremely uncomfortable, and the booth was filled with male youth cheering them on.
Whatever, i think. I’m not walking past that. I’ll go around the other way.
NOPE. More booths and more kids doing all kinds of stuff that i personally find distasteful at the least, and highly triggering at worst.
I feel trapped and disgusted and hopeless. One particular act makes me feel sick to my stomach.

I wake up and run to the bathroom, the urge to vomit is so strong.

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*Upon writing it all out, it is CLEARLY about racial tension and segregation. Is it a metaphor for something in my life? I’ll work on that tomorrow.

**Also a gentle reminder that my blog isn’t a place for heated discussions or arguments. Thank you for your kind respect.

Image: Efren Barahona

Homeostasis

ho·me·o·sta·sis
/ˌhōmēəˈstāsəs/
noun
  1. the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

This has been a good year; my most functional to date. I stopped hermitting, made a couple of friends, and reconnected with some old ones. It’s the year that i added exercise to all my lifestyle changes regarding food and eating, and all the work finally started paying off with some significant weight loss. I took up some parttime work, and i began volunteering my time in a couple of areas that matter to me.
By the time summer rolled around, i’d hit my stride and was feeling successful, and also like it was just the beginning.

Fall brought a change in the weather, dead leaves picked up and strewn about by chill winds, sucking the warmth from the ground, bringing the kind of silence that fills your ears and echoes in the stillness.
It’s analogous to what was happening in my brain; old voices whispered into an unsettling quiet, invading the hush. I shushed but they persisted, until i was so full of sound my body couldn’t contain it and it spilled out of me like Shhhhhhhh, bleeding off the pressure like a tire with too much air.

Dreams, too many, then nightmares and sleeplessness, and then the old urge to run. To get away, to go home, and for the first time in a very long time, wondering if it might be better to just stop. I didn’t know why it had gotten quiet, but i did know that it had caused fear and panic inside me. I went looking for answers in the dark corners of myself, but i only found emptiness, a yawning blackness where something once had been. The voices following after, soughing through my head like wind through trees.

No sleep, no peace, the anxious murmurs, old bones rustling like ancient scrolls. I have trouble hearing my therapist over the susurration – she repeats everything once, twice. Again please. Sorry.
She doesn’t say “integration”, she says “homeostasis”.

My switching tics return.
I stop exercising because i keep trying to “go home”.
I pull away from people, from work, from helping.
I don’t fit in my body correctly.
I break my ankle.

Maybe it seems like my year started out good, got great, and then got fucked.
Kinda accurate.
Maybe it looks like i started out walking, broke into a run, then tripped on a stone in the road and went sprawling.
I mean, that does look like road rash.

All those years spent fighting the urge my parents programmed into me to go home. I think in resisting it i found true direction. My Fortress of Solitude. My true north.
Homeostasis. HOME.

This has been a good year.

**********

I have some resolutions. I have some little goals and some bigger ones. I intend to continue on as i have been, one foot in front of the other, pushing doggedly forward, adding one kilometre onto the next, putting distance between myself and the place i was told to go, and instead heading towards the place i want to be.

My resolutions this year are less nebulous, more distinct and definitive.
They are little things like building my wardrobe to better reflect my own personal style, and having exercise be an integral part of my personal hygiene, like showering and brushing my teeth.
They are bigger things too, like blogging and keeping in touch with family and friends. Deepening my relationships; letting worthy people in a bit more.
Returning to helping and growing its scope.
Getting my house shipshape, top to bottom. Declutter. Organise. Move Kiddo downstairs and finally turn his room into my makeup/change room, with a day bed and a light-up mirror.
Keep moving our home toward healthier eating.
Read more fiction, and maybe even write some?
Blog more than last year, maybe even through the tough bits this time?

It’s 5:37am on January 1st, and i was woken by a bad dream a couple of hours ago. I got up, got a cup of tea, recorded what i remembered of the dream, and then i brought up my blog and clicked that little rounded rectangle button that says WRITE, with a plus sign, and bashed out this wee thingy.

Not a bad start to the year.
Homeostasis right now looks like bed and hubby-shnuggles.

Love and Peace To You, and Happy New Year!
~H~

Dark Dreams

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
~Edgar Allan Poe

I’m not sleeping well. Not at all. There’s so much going on up there in my brain that it’s spilling into my sleep. I figure i’m getting enough restorative sleep, otherwise i don’t think i’d be accomplishing as much as i am, but still, the constant interruption is wearing on me. I’m getting crotchety in the mornings, and i’m not like that. Even when i lived the life of a nighthawk or had a blistering hangover, i was merely silent, not cranky or truculent. I had a feeling it was coming though, and had the sense to warn my husband and son. I asked them to try to cut me some slack if i seemed a bit testy, and assured them i’d be working hard on handling it.

There has always been a lot of conversation in my head, and i thought that was how it was for everyone until i was well into my 20s. I didn’t know that most other people didn’t have a constant running commentary going on in their head. I’d hear them say things like, “That’s my mother talking,” or “I can hear what they’re gonna say already,” or “I could hear their criticisms,” and it sounded like what was happening for me, so i didn’t question it. It wasn’t until i started getting the MPD/DID diagnosis that i began to realise that the voices in my head weren’t all exactly mine, nor were they some imagined comment from someone else based on relationship or personal issues, i.e. a random thought.
The talk in my head has meat to it. Personality. There’s a quality to it like i’m eavesdropping on someone else’s conversation. I don’t think i can communicate this very well, but there’s almost volume in the voices. I know it’s in my head but i don’t think them, i hear them.

My dreams are more intense than they’ve been in many, many years, and i’m taking notice. Something’s going on, and it’s important. Important to them, so i’ve been bringing a notebook and pen to bed with me. I wake from a dream and i turn on a small light (hubby works and needs sleep), sit up and immediately jot it down. Well, maybe not jot. I’ve been recording my dreams for 3 nights now and i have a lot of full pages. I’ll do it a couple more nights yet before i take a good, hard look at them.

I’m waiting because i’m seeing a pattern.
I think they’re telling me something, i think i’ve already got an idea what’s coming, and i just need to let it percolate up there a bit. Prepare myself emotionally, because what’s coming is details.

There came a day when i decided to entertain the notion that i might be multiple. It was after years of flat, terse denial. That should have been my first clue, as my affect is neither flat nor terse. At that time i was either very big, or very small – there wasn’t much in between. I was either right THERE! inches from your face, or nowhere to be seen.
I considered it because my counsellor at the time was a person i trusted. I started seeing her through my fundamentalist, charismatic church, but even though she worked for them, it wasn’t hard for me to see she wasn’t one of them. We both wanted very badly to belong, but (fortunately, says i) neither of us did.
I trusted her enough to let her suggest, gently and kindly, smiling and cocking her head sideways at me, that even though she knew how i felt about it, she had consulted with a psychologist friend of hers who specialised, who agreed with her diagnosis of multiplicity. And because she had built relationship with me, for the first time i actually listened, rather than left immediately or just never came back.

It was maybe a week or so later that i was thinking about my dreams. They’d been firing off in my trying-to-sleep brain much more often than usual. I was walking every hour or 2, and needing 5 or 10mins to get myself together enough to even attempt sleep again. My nerves were frazzled and my emotions in tumult already, and the disturbing dreams, coupled with lack of sleep, had me at a near fever pitch. I was rolling all the dreams around in my head, considering what they meant, when a voice i had only heard once before, said something that, like it had before, changed my life wholly, fully, and instantaneously.

When my oldest son was still a baby, and it was just he and i living in a cheap 2-bedroom apartment, i heard a voice. It wasn’t in my head – it came from the other room. It wasn’t male or female, and although not robotic, it lacked any emotion. It told me something my mother used to do to me when i was still in diapers. A terrible thing. I had never thought her capable of such evil, but as soon as the voice spoke it, i knew it was true. Years of certain fears and behaviours suddenly made perfect sense. I promptly ignored the voice and pretended it didn’t happen, but as i confronted my childhood abuse, i acknowledged that voice once again and the terrible truth it had told me.

That voice spoke to me again as i was considering my counsellor’s diagnosis. I was contemplating my dreams with this tentative new context. I heard it coming from another room, and it simply said, “Those are not dreams.”
I felt cold and hot at the same time. I started sweating, i was both nauseous and nauseated. I was dizzy, and my head felt split open by a sudden, thumping headache. My eyes were hot in their sockets, and my knees were suddenly weak and my hands were numb.

…And i dissociated quite quickly afterwards and tried valiantly, but in the end vainly, to keep that information in some part of my brain where i now knew i kept stuff like that. Just as it had happened before with that voice in the apartment as i changed my baby son.

So, i know i just did 2 flashbacks and those can be confusing. I even did a flashback within a flashback, but we’re back at present day now, okay?

The reason i think that details are coming is because these dreams i’ve been having remind me of some of those dreams that voice told me were true. They’re not quite memories, but they’re much more detailed and make more sense than my regular dreams. Plus, my regular dreams almost always fall into well-known categories. These don’t. And today, i’ll give you one more reason than i had yesterday.

I’ve taken a number of days to write this post, and since i wrote about how i think maybe my Peanut Gallery is trying to communicate through dreams, i’ve not been able to remember a single one. I know i’ve dreamed, as i tend to wake up after them.

Brief Aside: It’s a skill i learned very young. I suffered terrible nightmares all through my childhood, and i would just drift from one nightmare into another – trapped and unable to escape. Without any instruction, i taught myself lucid dreaming. I think it was a matter of survival, as my sleep was constantly disturbed, i slept walked regularly, and my epilepsy was becoming more of an issue because of it. Over the years i have become quite adept at waking myself from any dream i don’t want to have.

So yeah, i’m waking up a couple of times a night still, and i have that feeling that i was dreaming something, but when i try to focus on details it’s like my fingers trying to grab hold of smoke. I think what that means is i received the message, and so now they can return me to my regularly scheduled sleep program.
Thank goodness, because i’ve been a bit weirder than usual. Strange thoughts emerging as odd sentences that even make my family arch a brow and ask, “Say what, now?”

I’ll take a look at that dream log soon. I need a bit more time and sleep yet.
The last 2 nights have been fairly restful, so i came back to this blog post this morning and proofread from the beginning. I think it may not be the easiest post to follow, but i made a couple of revisions and moved some things around and hopefully it’s not completely nonsensical. It can be difficult to know if i’m making myself understood, as my brain sometimes works quite differently than other folks’ do, but i try my best.

It is a big part of why i began blogging, after all.
Y’all have a good Saturday, or whatever day, if you can.

The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed.

~Charlotte Bronte

Love and Peace,

~H~