This week’s Wednesday was the last Wednesday that my mother was staying with us over her treatment. She is now officially done. (Although she just left me a message asking if she could stay sometime in the next week. Sigh). It’s kind of hard to be so open about how upset it makes me when she’s around all the time. I mean… it’s not nice. And it doesn’t make me look good. And I sometimes wonder if it’s making me more entrenched in it – as is, it’s a fact of life, and will never change, which is not necessarily true. I still just wish she’d go away, though. I need some space, and I need some time, and I need those things, without her in it. At all. Which I’m not going to get if I don’t ask for them, and since I am unwilling to ask for them, I guess I just need to man up, rub some dirt in it, and get over it.
Anyway. The second to last day she stayed over kicked off a bunch of pregnancy and birth dreams. I’ve been not very well, and sleeping pretty lightly, so I remembered a lot of them. I had one every couple of days, and then another really vivid one this wednesday.
The ones last week were pretty obvious. I know already that birth and pregnancy usually means change, etc. I woke up refreshed and feeling positive, even when I wasn’t feeling the love about my day. I felt like something had been worked out in the dream. I wonder how much of my thinking I do when I’m asleep? I get super extra cranky if I haven’t had enough, more easily overstimulated, more withdrawn. What is ‘enough’ tends to change with what’s going on in my life, and doesn’t always have much to do with actual physical tiredness. When I was on the front desk by myself at work for two months, I would come home and nap for two hours, then get up and have dinner, then go to bed normal time. I need to defrag, and I either can’t or don’t let myself, when I’m awake. Although sometimes just lying in bed is enough – designated thinking time. It’s something I miss about being near the beach, and something that riding to and from work helps with.
ANYWAY. Easily distracted, apparently. So, there were a string of pregnancy dreams that felt good to wake up from. Then last Wednesday I had one that was… not so nice. Not bad, but it didn’t feel resolving. First it was a random person who was pregnant, then me, then my mum, then another random.
But I had another dream that night that I want to write here because I really want to remember it. I wish I’d done it earlier, because it’s starting to fade already. I was in ShangHai, trying to get to the airport to fly out. (This makes sense since that is an airport I’ve been in – and it was the one I had the most trouble getting to and was the most stressed about. It takes FOREVER to get to. Freaking PuDong, being in the middle of nowhere.)
Except for some reason it felt like ShangHai was home, and I was going off on… maybe a business trip? It was just going to be for a short while, for sure, anyway. But I was late! I only had a half an hour to clear customs. And for some reason my parents were there. This all seemed normal.
So we parked the car and got out, and Obama was out the front, as the official greeter. I don’t even know, people. I wanted to go up and shake his hand and say something to him, but I was LATE! I hate being late, and lately things like that have been making me more anxious than normal. I can see myself getting twitchy, and I know that it’s disproportionate, but I can’t not. Back to the dream. I’m late, and my folks are dragging their heels, wandering around. It’s like herding cats! We get almost to customs, and we stop apparently in some bar type place. You know – loud carpet, chrome finishings. And they’ve left my suitcase in the boot! Specifically my dad. He was going to bring it in, and he hasn’t.
I’m cross. I ask him if I can have the keys so I can go back and get it. He’s talking about something and won’t give me the keys. This bit then repeats, about four or five times. From when we get out of the car and see Obama (srs. wtf?) to when I grab the keys off of him and rush out to the car. I never do get to get the suitcase.
About the fifth time this repeats, I’m looking at him, and I start to wake up. I can see him now, if I close my eyes, standing in front of me. He’s wearing cobblestone (significant? Dunno) and he’s talking, but since I”m waking up, I can’t hear what he’s saying. And as I get closer and closer to consciousness, I realise… I actually think the words. ‘Wait a minute! He’s dead!’
So I lean in, and I hug him. I have to wait for him to stop talking, for some reason, but I wait and he stops, and I hug him. I turn my head and tuck myself under his chin. I can feel the slightly rough wool of cobblestone. And as soon as I do, I’m awake.
I would give my right arm just to hug him one more time, you know?
The next night, I had a similar dream. I don’t remember that one hardly at all, now. All I know is that there was some kind of trivial drama, and someone was bitching someone out – not me this time, I think maybe my mum? And then I started to wake up, and realise. He was wearing cobblestone in that dream, too.
But the best thing about them was that in the dreams, he was totally him. I don’t know if I can really articulate this. He wasn’t the father figure who abandoned me, or any symbol like that. Well, maybe he was. But he was also himself. A whole human being. The person I knew, not just the dad.
It’s really nice to know that even if I can’t remember him like that yet, even when all that stuff gets in the way, when the first thing I think of is ‘why did you leave us, why didn’t you love us enough, what was so wrong with us that you couldn’t stay?’… that he’s still there in my memory, in my heart, as something bigger and better than that. That I haven’t lost that and that hopefully, when I work through some of the shit, that I can have that back again. That that can be the main story.
I can’t tell you how comforting that is to know.