While I wasn’t crazy

The meds (Goddess be blessed) seem to have been working out and things suddenly, almost overnight, turned OK. (For those who are wondering – it’s Lamictal-Paxil, both in very low doses.) It has stifled the writing a little, as well as taking away much of interest to write about here.

I had a lot of last month off – not necessarily for fun stuff, CME type stuff and credentialing mostly, but still…not work. This was wonderful.

I’ve been able to appreciate the world again, to want to see it and love it.

Last night and into today, after being back about a week, and again on shift work, though not as brutal as before, I had nightmares all night. I know some of the readers are into that psychological stuff, so I’m going to do a highlights recap here and see what anyone thinks is fun to toss out as interpretation.

To be fair, I’m not sure at all what I believe about dreams – whether they are from the unconscious or some kind of psychological source, whether a neurological cleaning and memory mechanism (probably I mostly believe that), or something metaphysical (“One-sixtieth of every dream is true?”).

I will note the following events over the last week. When I was at the clinic, a doctor was attacked by a patient and the patient’s relative. It wasn’t particularly scary when it happened, more like a high school type fight, and I called the cops to come break it up. I was upset by it but not terribly, more at the fallout regarding how the doctor was treated by management and licensing authorities.

Second, there was a recent break-in at the neighbor’s apartment. Simple theft, about a month ago, but I felt sort of invaded. It’s not like car theft, I mean, it’s someone’s home.

Third: I have been practicing lots of meditation/metta style (though that one feels oddly selfish to me) and various other techniques. I’m in the “noble failure” stage, but am still working at it. I’ve finally come to see the value in a settled, happy person as being kinder to the world (whereas in the past, I thought, very much in line with my culture, that a degree of righteous anger and discontent was necessary to keep one working to better things). Last night I came to bed somewhat anxious, and tried the deep breathing techniques, and tonglen, which has seemed scary in the past. I’m wondering that, if you believe in it, it’s psychological resistance to trying to calm anxiety.

Fourth: I don’t write about this a lot, but I live in a part of the world embroiled in a violent conflict. Last week, the government on “my side” (if one can say that, though in this case, that kind of thinking – the my side / their side just means everyone loses) did something violent and inexcusable. And it feels like there’s nothing that anyone can do to stop this, and my partner and I have once again been wondering: United States, Australia, New Zealand? Over the last ten years, every time I am in North America, I feel like it is very shallow, everyone having these long conversations about which tile to pick out. I was there recently, though, and my partner and I promised each other that if we go there, we wouldn’t become that. And when we came back here, and this event happened, we said, Fuck…maybe the conversations about floor tiles aren’t so bad. Especially compared to the ones about casualty numbers.

Fifth, the most prosaic: it has turned hot here, and sleeping during the day (and night) means a lot of sweating and physical discomfort and icky sleep.

Dream One Woke me up at 5 AM, panicky, to the point of having to turn on the light and check the house:

It is night at the clinic, toward closing time, maybe 1 AM. We’re trying to close up – the clinic in the dream is pretty much like it is in real life, nothing distorted in the layout, same auxiliary staff, and they keep letting people in (theoretically, we see everyone who walks in by official closing time). I’m sorta pissed off because they keep letting “one last patient” in. (Note: this actually happened last night.) At the end, everything is closing up, lights are off, doors are locked, and we’re trying to see the end of the patients.

Then someone comes to the door. He’s scary. He is tall, maybe 7 feet, and thin and has shoulder-length hair and doesn’t look quite human. His eyes are dark and blank, he looks sort of like pictures of Jesus, but scary. He’s dressed in white. He has no facial expression, but he is here to be treated.

And he is terrifying, and we tell them, “Don’t let him in,” but then something about having to treat all comers and ethics pops up and they let him in. It becomes immediately apparent that he is a murderer. Also, he removes two prostheses from his lower legs, revealing bilateral Syme amputations, and he walks on the stumps, and his shins are disproportionately long anyway so he’s still tall.

He has a medical letter describing that he is part of a white supremacist motorcycle gang (not really something found in this part of the world), and lost the feet in an accident. He is also described as having had sociopathic tendencies during the hospitalization.

We are terrified, I go to call the police. On the phone I calmly tell them where we are, and fumble trying to think of the street number (Note: this is exactly what happened when I called the police for the real-life incident, we’re in a shopping center and everyone just says that and no one knows the actual number, but they asked.)

Everyone tries to hide from him around the clinic, while still trying to treat him. I wake up suddenly with the image of the man in my mind, and wonder if this will be one of those terrible dreams that are almost forgotten by morning. My beloved cat is sleeping on one side of me, my partner on the other.

In the end I turn on the light and get up and check the house.

I have no mental association of a man of that description whatsoever. Or white supremacist gangs.

Dream Two

I am lying in bed, and for some reason I am sobbing and very ill. Sweating. I hear noise outside toward the apartment door (it opens onto a courtyard), and go to see what happened. I discover that the window and door have been attempted to be broken into; the window is open, and the metal and paint around the door lock is chipped away, and the thing that covers the gap at the bottom of the door has been prised off, leaving a gap.

The gap under the door is big enough for my cat to go in and out, and he is there creeping under and playing around, along with a strange cat who I don’t want in the house. Also, I know that now I have a hole where mice and snakes can enter and I think, Shit, what can be done about this?

I decide to call the landlord and tell him this needs to be fixed. I think I am in underwear and a T-shirt and I see my neighbor (a sort of friend, my age, her husband went to med school with me) heading off for the day, and I realize that my face is all red and it is obvious that I have been crying, so I try to explain that I’m ill, not crying. Somehow it all feels like a ruse – both the illness and the crying.

At some point in this dream, I am sweating and shivering and feverish curled up on a miscellaneous shrink’s couch, being observed. I think that also somewhere in the dream, I receive an invitation to my medical school graduation ceremony, an invitation which is vaguely threatening. I am trying to make the connection between those two events.

When I wake up, I am truly sweating because it is hotter than hell in the room, being mid-day in a bedroom that gets morning sun.

Dream 3

The last dream.

I am in my mother’s room – but the house of my middle school years, where we all were desperately unhappy, not the house of childhood that I loved, or the one in late high school where my mother lives today, which is her house more than anything. Whenever I have a nightmare that takes place at a childhood home, it is in this house, and whenever I dream about this house, it is a nightmare.

In real life: We moved there in my father’s desperate attempt to climb a social class, and all went to hell there when we didn’t fit in and life did not become the dream that this McMansion was supposed to buy him. I lost my neighborhood and school friends and he became more and more miserable.

In the dream:

I am in my mother’s bedroom and she’s sitting in bed, we’re chatting. My sweet cat is there, and he has found a little kitten that looks a lot like him. (Note: in real life, my mother recently visited a friend who is bottle-raising a litter of kittens and she told me that there was one who looked like a baby version of mine.) I am trying to convince her to keep him, as he is very cute and I feel sorry for him. The two cats seem inseparable, playing around various places in the house.

The two cats keep playing around. I see that the little kitten is somewhat dirty and has fleas. I take him into the adjacent bathroom – also true to the original floor plan of the house, down to the two vanity sinks, and wait for the water to heat up to bathe him, thinking that I need to go out and buy something as a flea treatment too.

I fill the sink with water and wash the little guy, chatting with Mom all the while about how long it takes the water to warm up, how much nicer he’ll look cleaned up. But the kitten starts choking a little, and I make sure to keep his head out of the water but he keeps choking.

Somehow, he seems to be getting smaller and in more and more distress. Finally, as the water drains, I realize he has become even smaller than a newborn kitten and has died, and changed shape. The core of him seems to shed the fur and creep off down the drain. I am terrified and don’t know what happened, what I did. I saw that something inside of him, something stick-like, slithered down the drain, so I wait, not sure he could be really dead. The skin and fur are still in the sink.

Then, a fully grown green dragonfly emerges from the sink, spreads and shakes out its wings, looks like a praying mantis. It flies around and I realize that whatever the thing was, it wasn’t a cat, or it was, and became a dragonfly. It flies around the bathroom. The turn of events is horrifying – how could this have happened? How could it have not been a kitten?

Downstairs, there is someone at the door, and my beloved cat goes to see who. I don’t open the door, because I know it is someone frightening. I think it is this trashy neighbor who lived a few doors down.

And then I woke up – the phone rang.

I have very few associations with this dream, except that this house appears from time to time in my nightmares. I’m not particularly afraid of dragonflies and have no associations with them other than admiring their long lifespan in high school biology. That bedroom and bathroom were on the third floor, don’t remember any kind of bug problem there.

My cat did once bring a praying mantis home (in my current apartment, he wasn’t even born at the time we lived in that house). Why did he have a double?

* * *
The only unifying theme I can see here is doors, closed doors, intruders behind the door. As a kid, door knocks when I was home alone used to terrify me, I’d run and hide, I think as a result of being a sensitive kid shown those “Stranger Danger” type filmstrips at school. I have never been the victim of a home burglary or assault. No one scary ever came to the door in real life.

So – anyone see any other threads? For whoever likes this kind of stuff – you’re invited to go at it. Is something coming for me?

Oddly, my partner also reported a night of nightmares, making me lean more toward either the metaphysical or heat explanation.

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Lithium Carbonate Shells

It was a harsh night in the ER. A rate of something like three chest pains per hour between 3 and 6 AM.

The doc who went on after me last time was there. Of course, that patient had not had a stroke, so that was just my crazy.

One thing I am jealous of is how most of my co-workers consider the day after call a “day off.” I can’t do anything but sleep, lest I go fucking nuts.

Lithium is a strange drug. It doesn’t exactly drug you, but you don’t feel quite right either. It seems to perform a turning-off function. Rather than a million racing thoughts, I am now in neutral if not directly stimulated, with no initiative. I do what I have to do, but nothing else. Not quite depressed, but certainly not not-depressed either. Psychiatric limbo. I suppose that is why most people end up having to augment with an antidepressant. If that could restore some feeling, I would be rather pleased. But antidepressants mostly have toned me down too. Which, I guess, is the desired treatment effect for me.

Still, I don’t think I can stay on this drug long-term. Even though objectively I’m good – look, Ma, I’m even writing a little – there’s too much of a pervasive low level dysphoria, lack of enthusiasm. I never want to do anything, I only have to.

I have developed a tremendous amount of sympathy for the poor, negative symptoms-riddled schizophrenics. I wonder how much of that is the disease and how much is medication.

Somewhere, even though I’m calmer, unshakable even, I know I won’t stay on this drug forever. I can’t bear the idea that if I stay with it, I will never again feel the cosmic unity. Life without this feels unbearably sad. I can’t really talk to anyone about this, because we have decided that in this day and age, this is a sign of a broken brain. Hell, I know it and preach it myself. I drug up someone who comes in claiming to be the Messiah at least once every few months.

And yet, while I’m not a religious person otherwise in any way, not a believer in much of anything, and while I do know that it does come to me through neural wiring, I don’t want these few experiences of creativity, of heightened awareness, of the few moments in this lonely world in which I have had real true faith that there is something other than this mire and abyss – I don’t want these experiences turned into something pathological.

Blake's Jacob's Ladder

Blake's Jacob's Ladder

So I won’t tell a shrink about this.  I know that I am crazy. But rarely, that crazy gives me a gift.  The gift never stays long. Once out of that state, I don’t continue to believe; I can’t recapture that feeling, it does not change my life in any appreciable way. I don’t turn into Jodie Foster at the end of Contact trying to evangelize based on my experience. I stay the same old cynic I always was.

But maybe that’s why I need to know so badly that someday it will come back.

Even if it is just an extension of brain wiring, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing, it is a facet of human experience for which I am grateful to have been able to partake in. They say maturity is the point where you recognize your wound as your gift. Much of the time, I do. The lithium has made me realize even more how much I do – even the shitty feelings without it have depth – a depth that, despite its ability to deliver horrible wrath and writhing pain, is mine, my wound, and sometimes my gift.

In somnium veritas

I thought this blog was getting too self-centered, but it seems like people are likely to visit any blog that is regularly updated. So here’s a dream update. Why can’t I listen to my gut, my dreams? Especially when they tell me something I already know.

It’s the end of an appointment with the shitty shrink. I get up, head for the door as usual. As I get there, he stands next to me at his work table and I look over as I’m on the threshold, and see that he is doing something so unprofessional, so inappropriate, some total violation of medical ethics, something illegal. I’m not sure what it is – maybe something I see written on something on the desk, but I know that it means that unequivocally there is no way I’m coming back. And I’m glad. The decision has been made for me, that I have proof of what I suspected all along – that I should not be there.

So much pathology in this that I don’t even know where to start. One, if I know this, what the fuck keeps me from acting on it? Why does a situation have to get to full-on abuse before I say enough? This echoes so many situations in my life, such as my partner. How bad does our relationship have to be before I say “enough” if even now I know it isn’t right? Or being a doctor?

I also wanted to thank everyone who has commented. I am always happy to hear that someone else can relate, might have found a bit of comfort or sympathy or feeling like they aren’t the only one in the world to live through this shit. I guess the way to get more readers is to write regularly. I will try to be better. I had a mild hypomanic blip (let’s hope for that to continue) as I dropped the lithium dose after the accidents started again. Most of the writing inspiration during that will not be for writing here, I don’t think. But thank you nonetheless for reading and commenting. Believe me, I have been helped by this blog far more than I have given help. And I’ve learned a tremendous amount about psych medications…I suppose the internet is a good counter to the drug company propaganda. Maybe I should open a site: “Where to Go When Your Wonder Drug Isn’t.”

I have a secret

This is the kind of thing I never admit. Not hardhearted, icy, witchy I.

Now, unmedicated, working so hard late into the night and into the madrugada, when I feel desparate, tired, worn-out and broken down at not even thirty, late in the dark, sometimes when I close my eyes but am too tired to sleep, I’ve been seeing your face. I don’t know if it is because I still love you – I actually am pretty sure I don’t – but I see in my mind a glimpse of you, your white blond hair (I, ironically, prefer dark men but the only man I ever loved was Nordic blond), shining in the sun, your head thrown back, laughing a little, innocent in the light at the river’s edge of some summer afternoon. I am not sure I cry for you, exactly, more likely I cry for a more innocent time, before I saw all that I have seen and have been as broken and put back together and broken again.

When I am alone late at night in the on-call room, alone alone, frightened at all I have seen and done in the emergency room, the broken hearts and broken bodies and broken lives, mine included, when I am shocked at how old, how hard I’ve become, it is your face, laughing, in the light, that I see, that brings me to tears.

I don’t think I really want you back. But I want back our time together, that age, when I only suspected how bad it could get and didn’t know, didn’t have the proof on my own bloody hands. I hope you are happy with your new wife, your baby, or, most likely by now babies. I know you don’t talk to me for her sake. And I am not still in love with you, but somewhere, like you said, we’re still making love in my secret life, and in my real life ya no respondo como antes…I never have.

So this is for you, Dale, even though you don’t read this, no one I know reads this, and you don’t read anything from me anymore, somewhere, just know that your face on some summer day is burned into my mind and that I wish you well and thank you for everything.

Te acuerdas de mi
no soy as que el mismo flaco
de siempre
con un conato de panza
que me esta haciendo lucir
como luce una soga
cuando en medio
tiene un nudo

El pelo un poco mas corto
y una tos de cigarro
que me despierta en las noches
vivo en el mismo lugar
calle màrtires 28
y aun conservo la cama
que fermenta tu humedad

El mismo lunar
en el sitio donde tu ya conoces
voy al mismo bar
para ver si asesino mis noches
y entre una nueva cana
y el deseo de encontrarte
se me gasta la vida

Pero te extraño a rabiar
al extremo de que nuestra cama
no le ha vuelto a usar
y si me cae una aventura
la revuelco en el sofa
por no herir al recuerdo
que se anida entre el colchon

Soy el mismo de ayer
aunque ya no respondo como antes
me tendria que ver
cuando ya no se encumbra el deseo
y entre charlas de Borges y de Garcia Marquez
busco un mejor momento

And this is how I lose my mind

The appointment is tomorrow. This waiting is driving me crazy. I am feeling both giddy and silly, never a good sign, and not sleeping. Physically, I feel horrific from not having enough of my good drugs in me.

And this morning, I woke up and needed to consult something I wrote a couple of years ago, written in a moment when I felt good, had everything figured out. It was a moment of peace and clarity, and I made sure to record every detail, so that later, I wouldn’t lose it, the details wouldn’t get erased, or changed over time.

And now I can’t find the fucking thing. I lost the “in case of emergency, break glass” box that I had left for myself. My message in a bottle to myself. How could I lose this? I can’t even remember where it was supposed to be.

I keep a lot of diaries, idea notebooks, draft books, mostly just randomly opening whichever is closest to fill in the details before I forget. One is always by the side of the bed, with a pen at the ready.

This particular version of “How to Save My Own Life” came from a dream, a dream that gave me great peace, changed my life, taught me a great lesson. I wrote it down, to not forget the details. I found one version of me rewriting it on the computer, but it isn’t the full one. Even this shadow version reminded me of details I had forgotten…big things.

I have been tearing the place apart all morning, and the writing appears in none of the notebooks I thought it did. They all don’t even contain writing from the same time period. How could this have vanished? I don’t even remember having another, yet unfound, notebook that it might be in.

I am not sure which part of this means that I am losing my mind: that I lost such an important talisman, can’t remember where I inscribed it, or that I needed it in the first place because I couldn’t remember even such a critical piece on my own, or that I ascribe such significance to its loss.  Or that this physical withdrawal is so bad that I cannot keep looking for it without getting dizzy and out of breath, that knowing that it is so crucial, I cannot keep seeking. Isn’t that the definition of giving up? Not being able to keep swimming toward your life raft? Knowing that what you need to survive is near, but being unable to reach it?

And I’m high again

It feels good, actually, except for the no sleep part, and maybe the slight misuse of stimulants to keep it going. I am a little worried about what I know will come later – the crash, but for now, I’m alive so fuck it all.

That’s why I haven’t written on this blog; I’ve been amazingly productive in other things – none of them important, but fun and giving me lots of pleasure. I started writing in a language I’ve never written in before, and even though I haven’t written anything terribly important, but it’s been interesting trying to do it and seeing that it is at least entertaining to other people. It’s strange, in that language, I could hardly write anything coherent for years, and all the sudden, I can do it. Not without errors and stuff, but in a way that manages to capture what I want to say and have a “voice” and all that. I am pleased, mostly because it widens the circle of people from whom I can try to get love by writing.

That’s not why I’m back to this blog now. I’m here because I just woke up from a dream that was half manic, but wonderful. Since this is the place I can tell the truth about everything, it becomes the place where I can confess this one. Beware: it is a sex dream. I think later it will be one that I want to write or use as good writing material, so I need to get the details down so that I can come back later and pull out the poetry that was there.

I dreamt I was in New York again, but not real New York but some kind of dream New York mostly influenced by the markets of various other countries: crowded, colorful, full of tight alleys. In the dream, I wandered the shops with two men that I had to do business with, one older, one my age or so (not anyone I know in real life). At first we were at all these business meetings, which I hated because they were all about all of these things that I hate like business and finance and technology, but then we went out together for them to show me New York.

We got lost in those alleys…they went into a pizza place, but it grossed me out because it was pizza with meat. (I have been a vegetarian for at least 15 years.) I stepped out, but it was like we knew we’d get lost from each other. I didn’t mind, but I felt obligated to them…it wasn’t clear anymore whether they were my friends or what.

I walked down an alley of the giant New York market – which looked like a covered mercado or souk, definitely not an American place…but it was full of shops selling New York things – endless milliners’ shops with hats that I wanted to try, family intergenerational businesses run by orthodox Jews. They were full of fashionable hats and strange hats that I wanted to try, to find the one that would be perfect for me. I felt bad that I got separated from the other two, but I kept trying to ignore the buzzing cell phone that they called me on because I wanted to explore alone.

Tucked in among the hat shops I saw a small stand/shop, with a small opening facing the market, and the opening and doorway were covered with the merchandise. The store had a stained-glass sign sticking out into the alley, with pseudo-medieval lettering in bright red with the name of the store: CLEFT. It was one woman’s store, she was the artist and owner, and the art was mostly female erotica. The stuff spread out on the entryway, and on a table blocking the door were all these black-and-white photographic portraits of young women – their faces – looking angry, mysterious, strong. They weren’t particularly good artistically, but I liked them.
She told me that they were pictures of women who had been victims and weren’t anymore – victims of what, she did not say. It was her artistic mission in life to photograph them, to capture them somehow.

She knew I wanted to go in and invited me. The store was full of these black-and-white prints. I came in, aroused, knowing that even though they weren’t great art, that I wanted one of them as a souvenir. I kept looking around, but couldn’t find the one item that would speak to me. In addition to the black-and-white photos, there were a few wooden objects, painted by her in brilliant flowing colors.

The owner/seller was an older woman, maybe late fifties, and not conventionally beautiful, but to me she was. Long, spirally curly gray hair, and as colorfully dressed as her store was black-and-white. She was in these bright long multicolored robes, and once I was in the store it was clear to me that she and her store were the “goddess merchandise” type hippie places, with books on female spirituality, drum circles, etc, except that she was the real thing. She was not wearing makeup at all, didn’t look young, but had that sort of clear-eyed hippie look you sometimes get, like some of my mother’s friends. She was definitely overweight by western standards. To me, she was absolutely beautiful…all that femaleness, the female flesh. She was one of those witchy wise women, tres feminine, very free.

It was strange. In theory, I also am attracted to female spirituality and I’m a hard-core feminist, but those kind of places always seem weird to me…the women in them too often seem like they are grasping for any identity, the neo-paganism/Wicca is just a sad postmodern shadow of what those religions are really striving for. Also, I’m a pretty hard-core rationalist, and all the crystals and fairy stuff bugs me. The excesses of “goddess worship” seem as ridiculous as the masculine phallic excesses.

About this woman, though, she was spectacular. I remember that her name was something like Deborah, which surprised me, because that’s a warrior woman’s name…not a witchy feminine one. The other thing that surprised me is how complete she seemed. She was utterly feminine, goddess-like, without the brokenness that you see too often in the real women who are drawn to those circles. She was a real witch. She was untouchable, unbroken, truly feminine and truly free.

This is another thing I don’t have a lot of experience with. Again, in theory, I love women and I’m a super feminist, however, the path life has taken me has made me (or I have chosen) to look to the female warrior for inspiration and strength, for a model to base myself on. Because of that, I’ve ended up with few female friends. Women seem so reluctant to be the protagonists of their own lives, to be their own heroes (obviously this is due to society that tells women they can’t be), and I’ve worked so hard to not be that way, to not be supporting cast in my own life, that I just don’t have much in common with most women anymore. Most of my friends are male. The two female friends who work with me in my vocation also have no other female friends, because, having worked so hard to beat “female weakness” out of ourselves, to be tougher even than the tough men in the field, we find ourselves utterly contemptuous of women who are weak.

That’s why this goddess-woman was so surprising. She was so feminine with all the moon stuff and goddess stuff and witchy stuff, but she wasn’t broken at all. She knew what she wanted, and she wanted me. She offered to paint me something new if I couldn’t find the right item in the store. She wanted to make love to me, and she was clear and unapologetic about it, just waiting for me to come around. Which didn’t take long; I found her irresistibly beautiful, myself aroused. As I walked around her store, looking at her women, her painted items, I wanted to let her…and I did. Her wild gray hair and brilliant robes dropped down between my legs, and, unlike men, she knew what she was doing and my letting her was unconflicted, and I woke up in a wonderful orgasm, just as she finished with me, and gave me the perfect gift from her art that I hadn’t been able to find myself: a wooden spoon that she had painted in all the colors of the rainbow.

********************

Weird, huh? I wanted to get the details down so that at least later I can go back and take this and write it as real erotica, as it definitely had the potential for that. I’m not sure what to make of the whole thing. Manic-depressives are supposed to be intensely drawn to bright color or “color-reactive” or something…and her colors were exquisite, the first thing I noticed. She was older? What does that mean? She wanted me, which I guess still leaves me somewhere in a traditional feminine role, but that kind of aggressive pursuit would have been gross coming from a man.

Incidentally, I’m not a lesbian, which is sort of a shame because my life would be a lot easier if I were. If any family would be fine with it, it would be mine. (When people ask me if I am, I often answer, “In everything but the sexual orientation part.”) But also, human sexuality isn’t black and white, and I doubt there’s a woman alive who can’t appreciate the beauty of the female form…or if there is, that must be kind of sad for her. It seems that to identify as bisexual or homosexual nowadays doesn’t mean loving women as much as a whole socio-political construct (“It’s a lifestyle…I’d have to get a whole new wardrobe…”) in which I have no interest.

I was also glad to discover that I really do love and respect the women’s women, the witchy women…I’m not really contemptful of them – just the ones who aren’t fully realized, and that I guess I still believe that the real ones are out there.

And what of the spoon? Not even going to go there.

Rage Dreams

When I was a kid, when I had nightmares, they were often the “being chased by something you can’t escape” type.

For the last few years, I have less fear dreams, and more rage dreams. The content is not consistent, but the tone is – I am furious, sometimes screaming at someone, sometimes physically trying to hurt them. Tonight, it was a travel agent who screwed up my flight plans home after some miserable work trip, and I couldn’t get home. I was furious, and screaming on the phone. Somehow, it descended into physical fighting.

These dreams are exhausting. I wake up with all my muscles tight, my body aching, tired, and, of course, furious.

I guess that if I had to inherit the legendary temper and temprament of my father’s family, at least it comes out (mostly) in dreams and I’m not forever shooting out people’s tires and such. In fact, I am so terrified of my temper that usually no one ever hears when I am furious. I just walk away, then take it out at home or something. I am the most frightened of myself of anyone.

I am not sure this is a good thing. No one ever knows when I am angry. Or at least, never the right person. People think I’m very calm and collected. But I wish sometimes I could let myself be like the rest of my family – make huge, angry scenes that frighten everyone in hearing distance.

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