Tag Archives: social awkwardness

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.

Nightmarish Dreams

4 Oct

I dreamed I was at a large, very plain and white library… or museum… with s female friend. For a library, it certainly didn’t have many visible books.

In a large white room, I was standing in front of something like a white podium, and it was my intention to be doing research. But I didn’t like how this library worked and complained aloud, in a moment of exasperation and impatience.

Suddenly a male voice over an intercom—the staffer whom I’d met in the front lobby—was verbally attacking me over an intercom or PA system. He was somehow able to hear me. I replied in kind, and he replied and proceeded to shower me with nonstop insults, accusations, and threats over the PA system for all to hear.

I needed to leave immediately. The friend and I were going to slip out a side door. She reminded me that he had my keys—you hand them over when you show up at this place—and according to her, I needed to go get them myself… although I wanted her to get them for me, so I wouldn’t have to see this verbally abusive asshole again.

And that’s how the dream ended.

 

I dreamed that I was supposed to meet up with a queer Latinx male friend, a petite guy, at a restaurant. So I was in a back room of this restaurant waiting for him… and he didn’t arrive. I felt abandoned.

Eventually, I went to the front of the restaurant… and to the front door… and he was out there waiting to meet me. I was so appalled that it didn’t occur to me to wait out front instead of in back. We talked for a bit, but the hour had passed, and he couldn’t stick around.

 

In another unpleasant dream, I was across the street from a low, glass, L-shaped 1960s building. I recognized it and associated it with the Buddhist book discussion group from which I recently dropped out, thanks to a bully. This gave me aversion. As I watched, I spotted both the organizers of the Buddhist book group approach the building’s door. I froze. They spotted me and kept looking at me. I felt dread and aversion, maybe even panic, although emotions are generally muffled in dreams compared to real life.

Not Fitting In

16 Jan

I dreamed that I was kind of a half-ass volunteer for a nonprofit, maybe a Buddhist sangha. I’d been sort of estranged from the group and was attempting to be active again.

We were gathered at someone’s house, and everyone brought food they cooked, but in the midst of our animated discussion we forgot to eat (or the others did; I kept looking forward to eating). I don’t remember what we discussed, though. Everyone was female and maybe white and mostly in their sixties. I think I was the youngest.

The house had a long, open section from the front entrance, dining-room (with a long table where the food was located), to the living room in back. To the right of all that were walls and doorways, including the entrance to the kitchen.

I was sitting on the left end of a couch that had its back against a side wall, the same wall that featured the entrance to the kitchen.

When someone declared that we didn’t have time to eat, I was very disappointed. I was really looking forward to the potluck. I think I’d made 2 dishes; it seemed I’d be taking home most of the food. Someone told me what I could take and said there was salad in the kitchen.

So I went into the kitchen. It was yellow and orange and looked like it was from the 1970s. It was pretty spacious and featured a table with some stuff on it, including a mustard yellow Tupperware container straight from the 70s and containing the carrot salad. I was surprised that it was Tupperware, since I was under the impression that stuff was too old to be BPA free and you’re therefore not supposed to use it for food. But I scooped some of the salad into a small plastic container anyway.

Behind the salad was a small jar of Khmer, and I thought I might help myself to that, too. I tried to open it and couldn’t and then I searched in vain for another small container (the first was in the dish drainer).

Meanwhile, one of the women who’d attended the meeting was in the kitchen with two people in business suits. I think they were both white men. They were talking about something that sounded Serious and Important, maybe real estate, maybe things she had to do to her house before selling it.

She rather brusquely said to me that this was an important meeting, so I left the kitchen.

Back in the big room, there was only one woman left. I noticed that I left a shawl on the couch, and I hesitated because I’d be carrying so many dishes. But I went ahead and approached the couch, grabbed my shawl, and draped it over my shoulders.

The one remaining woman informed me that it was my turn to do certain chores. She sat down to a roll-top desk with its back to a front wall. She reached for something in the desk, maybe a key to the meditation center.

I was confused, with no idea about these chores, and I said something to that effect. She said, “Haven’t you ever read the closing instructions?” She said this in a very condescending and judgmental way, and I felt flustered and hurt and shocked. I pictured a handwritten piece of grey cardstock with those instructions.

Defensive, I said, “Sure, I did, two years ago.”

She began to explain what I had to do that evening, which involved going to the meditation center and spending some time there, shutting off electric things and such. Not only was I put off by her condescension, but I also felt disappointed and impatient, because I had plans for novel writing that evening.

 

After waking, I got to thinking that seemed like an organization in which I wasn’t comfortable and didn’t fit in. It also seemed like I was immature–at least, the others were the grownups and treated me like a child. Condescending.

Of course, if you want someone to be in your organization doing volunteer work, you should be nice to them.

I think the dream was about me being socially awkward and out of place. I have a lot of dreams like that. It’s striking that it was so realistic that I was impatient to get back to writing.

Maybe the dream was telling me that it’s okay to be less active with volunteering and being in a group…and to be focused on my writing, my own projects. I’ve always been a loner, not a team player. It also evoked how uncomfortable I am socializing with Buddhists and never truly belong with them.

Urgh, and then there’s the implication that the work and business that white men do is Important and Serious. Patriarchal b. s.