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Ghostly Dream

16 Nov

I dreamed that I was at my parents’ house—and it looked like their house—and many people were there. A crowd. I was in the bathroom connected to the master bedroom, and I was filling the tub and getting ready for a bath. I got in the tub without getting undressed, and several people barged into the bathroom and, completely ignoring me, went into the master bedroom while they were deep in conversation. I was angry and yelled at them and slammed the door behind them, but they paid no attention. I may as well have been a ghost.

Some more people came and did the same thing, but they were tiny plastic figurines, so when they were in the middle of the room, I scooped them up and threw them into the master bedroom. Furious, I went down the hallway and grabbed a dusty, Indian carved wooden folding screen, took it to the bathroom, and set it up in front of the door leading to the master bedroom.

Maybe I was a ghost in the dream, haunting the last house my parents lived in. They each haunted it after their deaths; I don’t know whether these were temporary hauntings and they’ve moved on yet.

Unwelcome in an Old Home

13 Nov

I dreamed that my mother and brother and I were staying at a house that had been in her side of the family for a very long time. It was big and had lots of rooms and lots of stuff. The front hall looked like the one in the house where she grew up.

The dining room had two tables, one two-person table under a window and a larger table, I think the shiny kind from the 50s with those metal legs; the tabletop was shiny and white. I think we sat there with relatives early in the dream.

A bunch of people, strangers who looked like they were in their twenties and dressed professionally, were there or even dropped in when I thought it would be the three of us. It turned out that they were going to turn the house into a school. I was shocked and anxious, having assumed it would stay in the family.

I think I was wearing a nightshirt when they arrived, and I went back up to my room and was struggling to decide what to wear and kept getting interrupted and talking to people in different parts of the house.

With my mind on this change—from private home to school—I reminded myself that I live far from here, in Oregon, and that none of us lived near this house and we should be willing to let go.

I began thinking about stuff around the house to take with us. I looked in the (messy, cluttered) bedroom my brother was using. It had bunk beds on the left side of the room, and there were some things scattered on the floor, near and under the bottom bunk. There was a crocheted green and yellow Afghan (the colors of the University of Washington and of the horrible kindergarten through high school I attended), and partially hidden in it were a couple of ceramics (and my mother made ceramics in the 1970s)… one was a candlestick, maybe pink and blue, and the other was about the same size and looked like a pedestal, painted yellow and green, shaped like a branch and leaves; the top was a leaf curled to the side. I thought these were worth keeping.

I’d alternate between doing stuff like that and going through clothing in my room and trying to decide what to wear. No garments seemed to go together.

Also, at some point, I was down in the kitchen, and some of the strangers were also there, and my brother had made cinnamon muffins, and they were still warm and mostly in a muffin tray, and I reached out and took a piece to eat. But as soon as I did, I felt self-conscious in front of these people and thought they must think I’m weird.

 

I could interpret the dream as representing how I don’t belong in my mother’s side of the family or in any house associated with them. Not that I would want to associate with that side of the family ever again.

Random Dreams

2 Jun

I dreamed I was visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew in Phoenix. They were all walking with me down an urban street, and it was raining steadily. It looked more like Chicago, not Phoenix.

My brother stopped at the end of a concrete barrier on the meridian. It had a scooped-out, bowl-shaped end filled with rainwater. A cute talking fish, about the size of one of the larger coi at the chiropractor office, was splashing around in there. It was chatty and animated. He may have found it somewhere else and put it there. I knew the water would dry up, and the fish would die, so I decided to take it with us. Now I forget what I was carrying, but I guess it was a bowl. I managed to scoop up the talking, friendly fish and some water and take it…to an apartment or hotel room where we were staying.

I asked them about a container I could use, and my brother handed me a plastic basin, so I used that for the fish. I was thinking of placing it in a prominent place, the center of the coffee table, when I woke up to a bunch of noise from outside.

 

I don’t know if this was the same dream, but there was a couple with a baby boy, and they were maybe divorced. They set up an apartment just for the boy–actually, he was a toddler by now–and it had a room with dark burgundy walls. Observing the family in this room, like from an omniscient perspective, I was confused, because I didn’t think the kid was old enough to have his own apartment.

 

Before that, I kept having dreams set in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale. Not nightmares: just quiet, domestic scenes, such as Serena Joy in her garden and Nick polishing the car. Scenes that I read just yesterday, when I started rereading the book.

Islamaphobia sneaked into my dreams

27 Apr

I had a dream in which the government was so anti-Muslim that they were doing raids on homes.

I was an adult daughter in a family that lived in an apartment…or apartments that were next to each other, and we were Muslims.

My mother was hastily taking certain items, things that looked Islamic, and hiding them. I went into another room and started doing the same with figurines and stuff of mine. My sister noticed what I was doing and suggested I hide them in a certain place. She was lounging with a book in a little room–it looked like her bedroom–right outside the kitchen, the room where I was hiding stuff.

I didn’t trust her. At this stage, my items were on a wheeled tray just around the corner from her room, and she’d seen me put things there. While I knew she wasn’t looking, I began hiding my items inside a secret cupboard in the back of a kitchen cupboard. My sister didn’t know about that hiding place. I hadn’t finished doing this, when I heard banging on the front door and knew raiders were there to search our house.

Before that, I had a dream inspired by V. S. Schwab’s novel The Near Witch. There was a moor and a lot of strong wind.

I Dreamed that My Dad Survived

27 Dec

I dreamed that my dad survived cancer.

The year was 2014 (the year that he actually died). Dad was in a hospital. I felt guilty, because my siblings and I had been neglecting him, leaving him alone at the hospital.

So I went to the hospital. It was on a derelict street that could have been a suburb of Chicago or the outskirts of the city. There was hardly any traffic, and a chain link fence was by the hospital.

I pulled up and parallel parked, only to realize it looked like an illegal parking place. I got out and walked around outside the hospital to find a legal place to park (or did I drive around?). Behind the hospital was some parking. So I started walking back to the car. Strangely, this involved walking around a chain link fence just north of the hospital. Someone drove past me. I felt lost and confused and had no idea what to do. I remembered where I’d parked my car, but somehow it was taking me a long time to get to it. I ended up huddling next to the chain link fence.

Not Celebrating

13 May

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are miserable after your parents die. In less than an hour, this Mother’s Day will be behind me. This will be the third Mother’s Day since my mother’s death in March of 2016. It hasn’t gotten easier.

So many businesses inundate the Internet—including my inbox—with ads that say, “Happy Mother’s Day!” and urge me to buy gifts for my (dead) mother. This is what greeted me this morning, after I finished writing in my dream journal. I wanted to scream at all these businesses. NEWSFLASH: NOT EVERYONE’S PARENTS ARE STILL ALIVE! Their behavior seems not merely inconsiderate but downright cruel. I unsubscribed from three email lists.

In the late morning, I took a walk in my neighborhood under a too-bright and relentless sun. As I walked past a neighbor’s house, I noticed a lilac bush in their front yard, so I leaned forward and sniffed the beautiful aroma.

I recalled that during my childhood and adolescence, a vacant lot was across the street from our house, and in that vacant lot were two lilac bushes. For years, I picked lilacs on Mother’s Day and gave them to my mother.

Remembering this on my walk today choked me up, after all that anger at the internet. I kept walking and knew the high for the day was supposed to be eighty-three degrees, and it felt like it had already reached the high. It must have been the sunlight, because as soon as I got home, my smart phone indicated that it was only sixty-six degrees, which I could hardly believe.

This ended up as a day of bereavement more intense than I anticipated, especially since I was closer to my dad, and my mother was a narcissist. Even if your mother was a narcissist, you grieve for her…and sometimes for the nurturing mother you never had. I spent the afternoon napping, meditating, and reading. I managed to finish reading three books in one day. This evening especially, I’ve allowed myself to be with the grief. The anger I felt earlier is gone.

Campus Dream/ House Dream

3 May

I was a grad student and was in a classroom full of students. The instructor was a middle-aged Tibetan man (I’m currently reading a travel memoir). Someone announced a protest march on campus, and people started leaving the room. I was confused, because nobody said where or when to meet for the march. I was slow and one of the last people in the room–everyone packing their backpacks and rustling and bustling–and finally I asked someone a question such as what’s going on or where do we meet. The person, I think a young male student in black, looked at me like I was an idiot and just repeated the info that there’s a March. He glared at me suspiciously. ‘You are attending, aren’t you?”

“Yes, of course!”

I wandered through the building and saw other students hurrying away.

Next I dreamed that I bought a large, quirky, somewhat old, two-story house out of pocket. Inside the new house, I found a sort of hidden crawl space…where there were a lot of things still inside, bags and boxes and a big fake gargoyle that startled me when I first came across it.

While I was looking through stuff, I suddenly remembered the political march and felt guilty that I was missing it and wondered if I could join it in time. (There was no break between dreams, and this suggests that the campus dream and the house dream were one and the same.)

While looking around the house and going through stuff, I talked on the phone with my mother, who informed me–she didn’t ask permission–that she and some other relatives were moving into my house.

Upstairs, I had an odd bedroom–at least, the long, narrow bathroom attached to it was odd. It was covered in tiny yellow glass mosaics and included a curved corner cabinet that swung open near the door to the room. Right next to that was a closet where I had several bright calico tunics hanging.

I took off my shirt and began putting on two of the tunics together, when I heard a door opening and voices; family members were as already there, at least my dad and brother.

I was anxious to be neatly and fully dressed before anyone found me; I was struggling to button up the multiple tunics (or shirts) I was wearing.

Soon a bunch of relatives were stomping around the house and claiming their bedrooms. It was harrowing. My brother and dad were okay so far as I was concerned, but my mother, Aunt Asshole and Uncle NRA, and Batshit Aunt Bev were all invading and claiming bedrooms without my permission. I was in shock and wanted to enjoy my new home. They somehow already had beds and other furniture in “their” rooms in no time, and one of them was lounging in a queen-size bed and watching a loud tv. The evil relatives paid pretty much no attention to me. Remorseless, empathy-less, and self-entitled as ever. They had absolutely no permission to invade and move into my new home, obviously.

After seeing them and hurrying back to the big empty room with the odd crawl space, I was able to begin thinking. I reminded myself: I bought this house for myself and for my cats. I didn’t invite these monsters. I don’t owe them anything—quite the contrary, they owe me my mental health, self-esteem, etc. (okay, admittedly, this last sentence wasn’t actually in the dream and just occurred to me). They had no right to take over my house.

My brother joined me, and what may have started as an internal monologue became a conversation with him. He agreed with me but was passive and probably wouldn’t do anything to help; I knew I had to do it all myself, but I didn’t know what to do. They’d already moved in! They had their furniture already in my house! I was freaking out. As large as the house was, there’s no way in hell that I was going to live with these nightmarish monsters. This was yet another betrayal.

At some point in the dream, I was showing my brother my quirky bathroom, swinging out the curved corner cabinet and all. Most of the house wasn’t painted—indeed, most of it, from what I remember, was wooden and the color of unpainted wood, even the walls (which, realistically, would be plaster).

A striking element of the dream was that my parents were still both alive, but that often happens in my dreams. Sometimes I dream that even though I’m an adult, I’m living with or moving in with my parents.

Because of the toxic relatives, what should have been a happy dream turned into a nightmare. Of course, something like that wouldn’t really happen, because I’d be at the door locking it before the monsters could get a single foot through the door, and I wouldn’t care if one of them ended up with a broken foot. Realistically, the front and back doors wouldn’t have been unlocked while I was upstairs looking around. Post-2002, I wouldn’t have let such toxic relatives have a key to my house.

Just recently I was thinking about how two evil aunts stole a house from me… but the joke is on them, because I now have a bigger house that’s far away from any evil relatives and that has absolutely no associations with toxic relatives. A home is supposed to be a haven—not to mention a home rather than only a house—and the house an uncle left me was never truly my home and haven, thanks to toxic relatives breaking in whenever they pleased. (I’m sure that if I were the same person then as I am now, I would have changed the locks and thus prevented Evil Aunt Ethel from breaking in…well, except for the fact that she was usually my cat sitter.) Not only do none of them have a key to my house, but they’re not invited (and some of them are deceased now). When I think of putting a “no soliciting” sign in my front window, I also think of adding: “No sociopaths, no narcissists, no fundamentalist xians, no creepers, no trespassers, no meth addicts, no assholes of any sort, especially not manipulative assholes.” In short, such thoughts probably helped to conjure that dream. Something else that influenced the dream: I’m often distracted by my home and cats (that’s my family) and haven’t been to a political rally or march in a while. I need balance.