Dream meandering

I keep having this recurring dream. I know everyone does, at least if you can remember your dreams, chances are you have a couple, three, five, that repeat randomly. I've always had a couple, and they're very, very normal: late for class and can't remember my locker combination; taking a test, or giving a speech; being chased; flying, or swimming under water (curiously enough, I never drown, nor do I feel suffocated-- usually I'm able to breathe just fine, and always think, "Isn't that handy, my gills came back". No, I don't know why, but it's kinda nice.)

These dreams seem to be a common thing for most of humanity; we have the same subconscious fears, so it makes sense that we'd have the same recurring nightmares/bad dreams/WTF was that shit! In fact, I think it makes perfect sense that we'd even dream, as a whole society or world, about being late for school or work, or falling, or being chased; especially the visceral nature of the chase, falling or drowning dreams.

The dream that I keep having, though, isn't like the others. It's a strange amalgam of two dreams, literally-- they'll overlap in this weird, surreal way, leaving me wondering what I missed, but unable to logic my way to wakefulness, or through the problem. I want to meander through these, if you would indulge me. If such things bore you, my feelings won't be hurt if you skip this one. Not every one's interested in dreams.

I'm walking through a house, my house-- even though it's one I've never seen before and every time, it's different. I place my hand in my pocket to pull out my mobile phone, knowing I have to make a call, when I'm interrupted by the doorbell, a knock, or some times people just barging in the house. No matter if I have to open the door, or if I'm stormed in on, my house is suddenly full of people demanding my attention! People uninvited, unwanted, or in such incongruous situations* that I'm unable to process anything. I'm standing in the centre of a group of people, surrounded by talking, voices, noise... even if it's just one person-- they have a thousand voices all saying something different.

My mother, father, sister and brother, my maternal grandparents and some times my great-grandmother and great-aunts arrive. Sometimes it's a bunch of people I've never laid eyes on before who look curiously like a stereotypical tour group. The combination of people changes, it could be everyone, or it could just be my mother; she is the one person who's always there. 

She arrives as though she's invited; even though we both know she's not wanted. When she's with my Dad, or siblings, she has the self-awareness to be slightly embarrassed, but only slightly; only in that "oh, we both brought apple pie to the pot-luck" sort of way. When she has come alone, with her parents or anyone else, she's her normal, bossy, self-absorbed self. Often she tries to kiss my cheek, or hug me in greeting, and I have to push her away, physically. It's much harder than it should be, given she's only 5 feet 2. She's demanding my attention, trying to force herself into my conversations, and won't let me make that call I need to make.

That call, it's so important! My dream-mind revolves around that little mobile phone... like a planet around the sun, it's such a focal part of my dream. The phone changes, some times it's a generic flip, some times it's an actual cordless phone that I pick up from the base of my home-phone, and some times it's my HTC. 

The phone burns me with its importance; burns my hands with impatience to dial those numbers, to make that connection.

But I don't remember the number, or I can't read them. The name isn't in my contact list, and so I have to try to remember it, to tap it into a phone that's shrinking and losing buttons. Finally I get the number out! Finally I've tapped it in there, and I listen for the ring-back**.

It rings in my ear forever. The entire time my mother is talking, but I can't understand her. She's yammering on, and on, and occasionally I'll hear something clearly. Sometime like, "You owe..." or "Why do you care?" or "What's the point of this?" or my favourite, "Are you paying attention to anything I've said?" To which I say, "No, I'm on the fucking phone! Why are you here, anyway? Who asked you in?"

I have to leave a message. It's always the same thing. This is when I realise who I've been trying to call, and when the dream goes from strange and bewildering to hurtful.

Hi, it's me! You haven't returned my calls, and I've been worried about you. Please give me a call when you get off work, or text me, or something. Let me know you're OK, that we're OK... I miss you!

I never get to say, "I love you!" because the voice mail cuts out, and so I have to be happy with the strangely cryptic message that I was able to get to my husband... yeah, I'm trying to call him, get a text, something to let me know he's OK. Suddenly, I know, in this dream, that he's working in another city, that he's angry at me, and that he's refusing to speak to me. I know this, only after I have to leave the message. But I don't know what I did to make him so mad.


I don't know why he's ignoring me, I only know I'm worried sick about him, and that I miss him so much it feels like a physical ache, like my ribs are all broken.

Then my mother starts in, telling me how I've gone and fucked it up again. That no one would ever love me. That I'm worthless, ugly, stupid and have thrown away the best man who ever happened to me. That she hopes he's fucking the shit out of some super model who's worthy of him, and that she expects the divorce papers to come in the mail.

I usually deck her at that point, and physically pick her up to throw her out of my house. My Dad, if he's there, is usually still sitting at the kitchen table, having a cup of coffee utterly oblivious, which is fine. But my mother, she shrinks down to the size of a doll, so I grab her hair and fling her outside like a baseball. Slamming the door, I lock it tight, and then I'm alone.

Alone with that phone, that's still burning hot.
Alone with the knowledge that my mother's hurtful words were right. That he really is the best person for me, and that I've done something horrible to him, to make him go, to make him hate me.

I just with I knew what it was!

Then I wake up. And there he is: sleeping soundly, right next to me, surrounded by the velvety darkness of our room, and often with an arm around my hips. There he is, with a cat at his back, snuggled down in our bed.

So why do I dream this? I can't figure it out. I'm not aware of any fears that he'd leave me. Nor do I think I'm worthless-- well, I have my moments, but he doesn't have anything to do with those. I don't think he's bored, or wanting to get a girl friend. I know he's say something if he was bothered by anything in our relationship-- we try really hard to keep our communication lines free and clear and always open.

In fact, the state of our union check in the other week seemed like we're right where we want to be! We're making some plans for the future, discussing silly things for Christmas like new cookies, and even kicking around the idea of getting a Volt in a year or two. We are doing better than OK, I think; I think we're fucking fantastic!

I really am disturbed by these dreams, the implications that I'm channelling my mother to punish myself like this. Why would I do that? Why do I think I need to be punished, and why would I think I could possibly chase my spouse away? Especially without him telling me what was wrong. He's very good about telling me, straight away, and he likes to talk, so I'd know long before we got to the "moving to another city" point.

I've tried interpreting these dreams, and keep circling back to my internal "mother voice", you know the voice in your Peanut Gallery that is your mother-- mine's pretty abusive, and when things are going all right, is when that voice pipes up, cranks up the volume. I think I still have a small part of me that expect her to be right, about everything-- and that manifests in these dreams.

So, how do I fight them off, make them go away, force them to stop or even change them for the better?

I haven't the faintest fucking idea. Usually I can control my dreams. If something seems wrong, I can change it, re-make it, even force myself awake. These dreams though, I can't. So I've started telling myself every time I think of them, or awaken from them, "I know he would never do that. He's kind and generous, and would never treat me with such disdain. I know it's just my Peanut Gallery, and that mother-voice is wrong."

I'm hoping that this is enough to eventually make the dreams stop. They're really depressing, even though I know they're dreams, and false, and wrong. They're really hurtful, really make me sad, and worry. Even though I know it's just a fucking dream, I want to beg my husband to tell me what's wrong, so I can fix it.

Until that feeling of self-castigation stops, I"ll be doing some purposeful mediation. Meditation's always good for you, anyway, and right now, I need it.

I do wish it was as easy to shout down my Peanut Gallery while I was asleep, as it is while I'm awake, though... that would make this so much easier!


*I dreamt, for instance that my Dad was planning a wedding, with a black tie theme for his cousin, someone I've never heard of, and dreamed up. My Dad would never be asked to plan a wedding, let alone a black tie event! He kept waving these swatches of fabric at me, telling me he wanted my opinion on the drapery, and whether or not I'd consent to wear lime green. Yeah, incongruous!

**Ring-back is the sound you hear when you call someone and it's "ringing". This isn't actually the sound of their phone ringing, it's feedback sent to your receiver so that you know the connection has been made. That's why it can "ring" five times, or once for you, but be precisely three rings for whomever you're calling.

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