It's that time of year again. No, not about the holiday hoopla coming up. Instead, I mean the time of year when I KNOW that certain people are not doing so well. This is the beginning of the time when all of those lovely folks in my family that suffer from some type of mental illness or another go on the prowl every year. Some years are scarier than others. It is the season in which I am likely to wake up shaking or screaming. My poor husband has grown used to this. I have already heard from one friend who has been called several times to see if her husband can fix a computer- a computer that's been dead for years... Anything to try to connect with those who cannot legally be contacted. Thank God for restraining orders and felony probation. Seriously, let's hope this year is a mild one!
I have to admit that even though I get stronger and wiser over time about how kooky my family can be and how normal and peaceful life is now, my subconscious is not always on board. So with that in mind, I'll share an especially wild dream from the other night. I feel this one is special because even I didn't know that my mind was quite so creative.
In the dream, life is beyond wonderful. Fabulous really. Things are good beyond imagination. It is truly sweet in so many ways. The colors are sun warmed and lovely. There is a picnic in the park and the food is magazine perfect. The temperature is perfect. The view is gorgeous. I am surrounded by loving family. People who have been especially cruel to me are there as well, but they are different. Very different. My aunt who is is brash and mean is kind and loving. My grandmother is no longer a drunk. She makes a point of apologizing for her past actions and promises to be different from here on out. Many seem to acknowledge in some magical unspoken way that they are sorry for the way they knowingly left my sister and I to suffer in an unhealthy home. It is all just so much to take in. I feel loved and protected and content. Content beyond anything I can ever remember feeling in my whole life, ever. There is no hiding, no sadness, no ugliness, no drugs, no lies, no manipulation.
I can only guess this must be somewhat like what people who are addicted to drugs might feel. That euphoria I have heard of... Because the next thing I know I am awake and it is cold, sharp, dark. There is a deep emotional pain that is nearly physical in nature. I am literally terrified.
And then I realize- this is it. The beginning of the season of nightmares. It is right on time. It always starts in November, when my mother would be in the process of angering the rest of the family to the point that we would not be welcome for the holidays. And we would be alone, facing her mental illness at its full brutal force.
I am able to recognize the feelings I am having and rationalize where they come from. And then I also manage to see the glaring thing that was missing from my dream. My mother and my sister were not there. Yes indeed, even in my wildest fantasies, I know that these two are a lost cause. Ah, progress... Maybe next time I won't be fooled at all.