‘You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.’ – George Bernard Shaw

On the Tuesday after craft camp, it was obvious that I was actually ILL, not just sniffly.  My throat was sore, my ears were sore, I felt like someone had been using me as a punching bag, I was all stiff and achey and poorme.  The last two hours of work were a trial worthy of hercules.  As I left work, my sister rang me, squealling that the cat had caught a baby mouse and was playing with it, and she (the sister) had to go to work, so if the mouse was not dead by the time she left, I would have to deal with it.

Luckily, the cat appeared to have consumed it by the time I got home.

I put myself to bed at 8.30 that night, anticipating a restless night. I always sleep badly when I’m sick.  And I always have horrible epic dreams in which I have to endlessly search for things or perform repetative tasks.

Surprisingly, I slept pretty well up to about 3.30am, when I woke up and then dropped back off at about 5.30, just in time to be very surprised that my alarm was going off.

I did have lots of vivid dreams, though.  They were almost exclusively about craft camp, and were quite wonderful.  What a lovely bunch of women to spend time with, even in my subconscious. 

I did have one nasty dream, though.  About my mother, of course.  They always are.  I don’t really remember much about the dream.  It was set at the parental home, but although my father was dead in the dream we were younger – I was a teenager and my sister young, although she didn’t feature in it except inasmuch as I felt the need to take flak to shield her from my mother, as was usual.  I had to perform some dream task – looking for something, maybe – and my mother either wanted me to do something else, or wanted me to do it in a particular way that I knew wouldn’t work.  But she wouldn’t listen to the reasons for why I had to do whatever it was my own way.  She was just talking over the top of me, being quite rude about my general capabilities and grasp on reality, until she found some way to force me to do it her way.

It was a pretty unremarkable dream, really.  Except that when I woke up I still felt all the emotions – that soul deep frustration and anguish and powerlessness and lack of agency.  That terrible loneliness of being caught under someone else’s power and not even allowed to acknowledge that.  The anger at having one’s will not even heard, simply squashed, for arbitrary reasons.

It was nice, in a way.  It was good to remember the way I used to feel, all the time.  That these were genuine emotions, caused by real things that my mother did, not just teenage tantrums.  That I am in a better place now, thanks to hard work on myself and also limiting the amount my mother features in my life.  Phew!  I will be remembering those dream emotions the next time my mother tries to emotionally blackmail me or guilt me about something.  Those emotions, remembered in my dream, are why I have no positive emotions about her now. 

Tangentally, I realised that although I grew up calling my parents by their first names, I hardly ever do anymore.  They usually feature as ‘my mother’ and ‘my dad’.  Mostly because very few of the people who are important in my life actually know/knew my parents.  But also, I think, because it’s easier to refer to my mother as such, when she refuses to treat me like a fellow human being.  It’s easier to give her a label and a niche and file her away as a symbol, because that is all (all! ha!) she really is.  The same goes for my dad, for a whole barrel of different reasons, obviously.  I don’t really miss having a dad, I must say.  I miss Tim, though.  On the other hand, I don’t miss Theresa, but I sometimes miss having a ‘proper’ mother – whatever that means.  A mother who it is safe to allow access to my life, I guess. 

Oh, well.  I feel remarkably little angst about it at the moment, but I suspect that that is a result of the new-relationship brain drugs and also the fact that I haven’t had to have much to do with my mother lately.  Oh, and having blogged out some angst, and figured out some connections.  The angst will be back, I’m sure.  I’ll keep you posted on that, shall I?

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Just popping in

To quote at you.  From Garland Grey’s post on Tiger beatdown..

Being a feminist is about fighting complacency within yourself and others. It is waking up every morning and knowing that something you do will be shitty and full of privilege. For guys, it is about repeating “If it’s not about you, don’t make it about you” a million times until you understand that it isn’t. That is the process that we all go through to be allies to one another.

This is why it is ok to suck, sometimes.  Because it’s impossible not to.  And it’s important to accept that you will suck.  You should still try not to.  And when someone says ‘hey, that thing you just said?  It sucked’, you say ‘hmm, I see your point, I’m sorry I said that sucky thing, let me think about that’, not ‘no YOU suck!’. 

Craf camp photos on flickr and blog post here this weekend I hope.  I’ve been sick and have been sleeping instead of flicking.  The short version: it was awesome.  I made stuff.  Other people made stuff.  We ALL said ‘vagina’ a lot (I think I might be a bad influence).