Tag Archives: home

Dreams about Houses and Stairs

13 Apr

I had two dreams in which I had trouble climbing up staircases.

In one, I was at a university and came to this one staircase in the “Tibetan wing” of a vast building that was all white inside. I figured this staircase would lead to the same floor as my dorm room (to wherever I wished to go). But I kept going and going—it was odd, with two burgundy steps followed by several feet of white flooring—so a landing every two steps—and when I was really high up and had been climbing for some time, I felt dizzy and precarious and anxious. There was no bannister or handrail, I finally realized, and I saw I was almost at a floor that had classrooms with glass walls. I doubted it would lead to the comfort of my dorm room, after all. I considered heading back down but didn’t wish to go down those stairs. I think I was about to sit down on a step when I woke up.

 

(I’m sure I had that dream because last night I was reading an ebook about improving self-esteem and I know I need to seriously work in that and become my own best friend. I think that if I have good, healthy self-esteem, I won’t care about the opinions of toxic assholes and therefore won’t be so devastated by them. Also, it will be easier to brush it off and know for certain that the sick and twisted version of me they invented is bullshit.)

 

I had a dream in which I had a large and quirky house and had gotten some renovations done recently. There was a section on the left side of the house (left if you’re in the front yard and facing the front). Until recently, there’d been a little side room in which I had to take a metal flight of stairs for a few steps, not more than 6 steps, before walking some distance and getting to another staircase. Early in the dream, I was taking that staircase and found it annoying.)

Well, thanks to the renovation, I now had a long and high-ceilinged and white-walled room, like a wide corridor, that led to a plain white staircase.

At the end of the dream, I was showing the room to a male contractor and talking about these changes with some pride.

Nightmares during a Pandemic

7 Mar

I dreamed that I lived in a large Victorian Queen Anne house in a fairly rural area. The house had a wrap-around porch and a stone foundation with a basement. Because the house was built on a slope, the basement had an exterior side door.

At some point I had a visitor who was a friend.

Toward the end of the dream, I heard people on the front porch. I was in the basement and didn’t want to talk to them. I wanted to hide. I slipped out of the basement side door without locking it and ended up… where? Under the front porch? On the porch? It seems like I ended up on the wrap-around porch, which doesn’t make sense if I was trying to avoid people whom I thought were at the front door.

Wherever I was, I witnessed a group of about six people slip in through the basement door I left open! They were breaking into my house.

Enraged, I went after them.

I went into the basement and grabbed a long piece of wood leaning against a wall and, yelling, “Get out of my house!” or something like that, charged at one man. A struggle ensued, with me pushing his throat and him against the wall while the others watched (or ran away?).

A male friend or acquaintance of mine came up behind me and tried to be the voice of reason, I guess. He said, “Don’t kill him! You’d end up in prison!” I just felt angrier.

 

I dreamed that my brother and I were in a car in a parking lot. We were having a conversation… and we may have been talking about the past, when we lived in Indiana.

He said something about Britney Spears. Confused, I knit my brow and said, “But… I don’t think Britney Spears was around in the 80s.”

Completely out of the blue, he yelled at me—how typical—I don’t remember what. His rage made no sense and creeped me out (what else is new?). He got out of the car.

I recovered from my shock enough—only after the asshole got out of the car—to become enraged and, giving him the finger with both hands and yelling repeatedly… well, something very vituperative that I won’t repeat hear. He ignored me

 

(Last night I was revising one of those autobiographical novels inspired by toxic people. That could well have triggered that dream, even though it was a different perpetual playground  bully. I am so sick of empathy-challenged perpetual playground bullies who harbor a bizarre delusion that they’re entitled to use me as their doormat/verbal and psychological punching bag and that it’s somehow magically my duty to be their doormat/punching bag. I was sick of them before the 1980s ended.

Haedrig

28 Feb

I have three very affectionate and sweet cats who are attached to me. And then there’s Haedrig, a. k. a. Asshole. Yeah, I just changed his name to Asshole.

I adopted Haedrig at a cat shelter when he was two years old—thanks to a narcissistic sociopath frenemy who picked him. Of course I couldn’t say no to a cat. If I hadn’t been under her influence, Haedrig would still be in that cat shelter, because he has a… difficult … personality. He doesn’t bond with humans. Sure, he can be cuddly, though it took him years to reach a stage of letting me pet him for more than a minute before scratching me or at least lunging at me. Occasionally he still does that.

You might think he simply doesn’t trust humans. True, but guess what: I’m the one who has no reason to trust him, not the other way around. He has repeatedly proved himself untrustworthy.

On the evening of February 24, I opened the sliding door and left it open, as I headed for the laundry room (which is only accessible from the back yard). I have a cat fence in the backyard, and my indoor cat Haedrig is the only one who’s never climbed the tree in the back yard to get out of the overpriced cat fence. (Do I regret not hiring someone to custom build a huge catio instead of getting this cat fence? Absolutely!) Even with the cat fence, I don’t regularly allow Haedrig in the backyard—sometimes he gets out through the kitchen window if I leave it open because another cat is sitting on the windowsill. Until this week, I’ve figured it’s okay if Haedrig is inside the cat fence.

After I left that sliding glass door open and did my laundry chores, I didn’t see Haedrig in the backyard, not for a second. I would’ve expected to at least see him slipping under the low deck, but no. Inside, I closed the door … and forgot the possibility that Haedrig might be outdoors.

The next morning, I woke at 7 am and realized that I hadn’t seen Haedrig all night and didn’t see him now. He always spends the night at the foot of the bed. Alarm bells sounded in my head: I remembered leaving the glass door open for a few minutes. Even one minute is enough for him to sneak out, and he’s quiet and fast. I concluded that he was in the backyard, and I opened the kitchen window. I went outside… and not only didn’t see him but also had a strange sense that he wasn’t in the backyard.

I reported him missing on the HomeAgain website (he’s microchipped) and on the Nextdoor app.

The following day, I spotted Haedrig: on the front porch! Of course, when I opened the front door, he ran away. If I’m standing and holding a door open for him, he runs away, unlike any other cat I’ve ever met, and I’ve lived with cats all my life. I caught another glimpse of him, dashing under my car in the driveway. Uncomfortable with doing this, I propped the screen door open and left the front door open… for twenty minutes. I figured that if I wasn’t close to the door, he’d get indoors. But he didn’t. So I continued leaving the kitchen window open, as long as I was at home and it was daylight.

Yesterday he finally came in through the kitchen window, and I watched as he scurried away through the living room. I figured he was headed upstairs (he was) and I dashed to the kitchen, where I shut the kitchen window. When I reached the top of the stairs—and expected to see him curled on the foot of the bed or slipping under the bed—instead I saw him just past the threshold of the sewing room. We made eye contact, and he turned around and dashed for the sewing room closet… where I’d left the panel to the crawl space open so that Virginia could come in and out of the crawl space without waking me. (She’s very vocal.)

Haedrig entered the crawl space.

I used my phone flashlight to peer into the crawl space and couldn’t see him… and  remembered that somehow Virginia can access that crawl space from outdoors. I’ve told myself she has magic powers. But it turns out that the crawl space has an exit to the outdoors somewhere, and cats can use it to get in and out, and Haedrig the cat from hell figured out Virginia’s trick. This utterly infuriated me: he had actually been inside the house… and yet he managed to get back outside! This is when I renamed him Asshole.

Last night, I intended to set up cat traps with canned tuna as bait… but I figured if the kitchen window was open and the other cats got outdoors, I might catch one of them. Plus last time I used a cat trap, I caught a cute baby possum. Besides, Haedrig ate in the kitchen before running up to the crawl space, so he wasn’t as hungry as he could be. I decided to put off the traps for one night: the kitchen window remained closed all night, and I opened it and the gate to the cat fence this morning.

I was upstairs when I heard a meow. I exchanged a startled look with my cat Gabriel, who also heard it. That meow didn’t sound like anyone except… Haedrig. I’d not only closed off the closet panel leading to the crawl space, but I’d also closed the sewing room door. (Normally it’s wide open, but thanks to Haedrig, I’m keeping that door closed until I can find a door for the closet. This house is quirky.)

I pushed aside the panel to the crawl space—and sure enough, I saw Haedrig. I descended the steps and closed the kitchen window and the back gate. Back upstairs, I saw him out of the crawl space, greeting Gabriel… and he saw me and dashed back into the crawl space, further proving that Asshole is the perfect name for him.

My new strategy: keep the kitchen window closed and the crawl space panel open so that he can only enter that way. As soon as I’m between him and the crawl space panel, I put the panel back, put craft supply bins in front of it, and close the sewing room door. Also, if he’s not in the house by sunset, I’m setting those cat traps.

Why has this situation been so infuriating? Well, I’m a cat person—really, I am. As I mentioned, my other three cats are sweet and affectionate. They come back inside happily, purring at me and plopping in my lap. They don’t avoid me.

Not so Haedrig. I’ve taken care of him since 2015, no thanks from him. He’s a bit like that narcissistic sociopath who chose him: an arrogant, self-entitled, and remarkably ungrateful mooch. At least he has the excuse of not being human, but still. If he’s going to eat cat food in this house, he’d better stay in this house and not avoid me, the person who feeds him and takes him to the vet. Respect and acceptance are needs, not luxuries, and this asshole deprives me of both, just like… a narcissist or a narcissistic sociopath. I finally have no toxic people in my life. It’s not the sort of behavior I’ve ever previously experienced with a cat.

After adopting him and discovering that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about me, I still felt it was my responsibility to give him a home… and yet sometimes, such as today, I wish I hadn’t adopted him in the first place. If it weren’t for that narcissistic sociopath, I would have allowed a shelter cat to choose me.

My House has a Wormhole

17 Aug

This house is so weird. The invisible smoke detector is back to chirping, and it seems to be coming from downstairs in the back of the house…just not from any visible smoke detector (and I found 3). That part of the house is in chaos right now, because I had to get everything off the library carpet to redo the floor.

This morning, Virginia followed me when I went to double check a smoke detector that’s upstairs in the back of the house. She asked to get into a crawl space, so I opened a door into one of the crawl spaces, and she walked in.

A few minutes ago, I heard Virginia meowing. I’d forgotten about that crawl space and looked around inside and out, calling for her…before I finally remembered the crawl space and checked it. I haven’t found her yet.

This house has a wormhole or something….

A minute after I wrote the above, Virginia strolled into the living room. Apparently Virginia’s collar is in the wormhole, but I’m glad she isn’t.

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.

Everyday Chaos

30 Jan

I’m cleaning my bedroom for the first time in a while, not only because I’ve noticed that it’s a pigsty, but also because I shall soon finally assemble the bed frame I purchased a year ago.

On the bed, I’ve found many cough drops, cough drop wrappers, a cat toy (a felt owl on a stick), pillows galore, a still-packaged new bedspread, a purple cat hoodie, some unopened snail mail, headphones, Doctor Who post-it notes, Feminism post-it notes, two glasses cases, used facial tissues, and thirty-five books. I’ve read portions of most of those books and finished several.

Maybe being disorganized is a part of being a creative person? Yesterday, when I told someone that my procrastination was one of the excuses The Worst Frenemy in the Galaxy used to hyper-criticize me, she pointed out that procrastination is common among creatives.

VirginiaSolnit

Return to Normal Life

4 Jan

Yesterday evening I arrived at home after spending a month with family in Phoenix, AZ.

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I was startled at how much weight the cats gained; the cat sitter didn’t have time to hang out with the cats and dashed in, fed them, and changed their litter boxes, and these are very sociable cats, so I figure they spent most of the time eating and sleeping. Fortunately, now that I’m with them, they’re happy again, aside from my attempting to turn them into indoor cats.

I knew the return to cold weather would be a shock; the highs in Phoenix were between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit the whole time I was there, and when I arrived in Oregon, it was thirty-seven degrees; but at least there isn’t any ice.

What I didn’t anticipate was that returning to my own house, where I live alone with cats, and returning to normal life, would be something of a shock. I felt somewhat disappointed and lonely after a month as a houseguest, even though I’m not compelled to live with people, only with cats, and I’ve read that this is typical of empaths. I also felt overwhelmed with the home improvements and cleaning up that the house needs. It has a new quirk: the door to the hall closet (or cupboard under the stairs) no longer clicks shut. The lack of central heat is a considerable problem; even the house in Phoenix has central heat.

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The cats are extremely cuddly and fight over my lap. I can and shall get used to this life again. Dressing in layers helps.

On the front porch were two bins of mail, in addition to many packages, so I’ve been streaming the second season of The Crown while sorting through snail mail and cuddling the cats. That first night, one cat purred ecstatically, while another cat sat nearby and stared jealously. They took turns doing this; Virginia sprawled out on her back, and facing us was her sister Vita, huddled on a chair and glaring. Fortunately, they’re handling the situation better today; Virginia and Gabriel both occupied my lap without any growls from Gabriel, perhaps for the first time ever. I’m making a point of staying at home as much as I can, to reassure them.