Sunday, December 04, 2011

Dream a little dream of me

I had an unsettling dream last night.  The particulars are irrelevant aside from this: I had an argument with my mother (justified, by my memory of the circumstances).  And yet, although in the context of the dream my anger was justified and in real life my mother is long dead, I still, hours later, am aggravated by it.

I miss my mother dearly and feel a number of regrets about the circumstances of her passing.  The last conversation we had was a day or two before she died where she had asked me to come home to visit.  I had not been long working at my job and had used time off relatively recently to see her when she was in the hospital to get her to take treatment. I have, since she died, convinced myself she knew she was dying and wanted to see me one last time.

Had I left where I live sooner than I did on the day that they called to tell me she was dying, I might have arrived before she died.  But I did not.  And my family left her hooked up to a ventilator after she was declared brain dead so that I could see her "alive" when I arrived, as though somehow an animated corpse was going to be of comfort to me.  This also left me with the task, as my father was not up to it, of telling them to pull the plug.  I have always had rocky relationships with my family, but that day was probably the worst.  I'm not sure I liked anyone to whom I was related that day.

These regrets loom large in my life and make even my telling the truth about how we were raised very difficult for me.  I do love my mother and wish with all my heart and soul she was still around.  My telling her that I did not think I could come any time soon made her cry, as I know telling the stories of my childhood would.  And my mother's tears are like a sledgehammer to my heart.

And that is why I am disturbed about my dream, in that I am aware that I rarely get the joy of dreaming about her and thus, in a way, seeing her still alive.  Yet here I was with a chance to spend time with my mother again and I was yelling at her.  But the kicker is, as I said, I was justified in asserting my position.  As I am healing and making myself better, had this dream scenario really occurred, I should have stood up for myself.

I think the dream may have been trying to show me that I need to find ways to assert and protect myself that don't come with the anger.  Anger is very damaging and is ultimately more the source of my ACoA related problems than alcohol itself, as it was my mother's anger at my father's drinking that was the real pain to me and I can see where my father's drinking could have been a substitute for his anger at something.

Perhaps it was my mother's not-so-subtle way to get me to put her on my amends list.  I didn't include her because I felt I had no means to make amends to her at this point.  Perhaps I will call my dad a little more frequently as a way to make it up to her.  Kathy said to me that dreaming about someone who has passed is a good omen, regardless of the circumstances of the dream.  I hope she's right.

And now to sing this lovely ballad, here is Mama Cass.

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