Last night I had a dream that I drank. It was an awful dream… I was surrounded by trolls, and there were two trolls specifically running the gig. The dream is fractured in memory but they were supposed to be family and yet they weren’t. They had evil intentions — hubris, was the word that came to me last night, I had to look it up — and I felt it intuitively (rather more like a truck on fire, careening straight toward me), but did not believe my own instinct. And I entirely blamed myself.
I am in fact partly at fault for any negativity that comes at me. I am aware of that. But it takes two to twist or tango, two to interact… I can’t take *all* the blame for others’ feelings, actions nor reactions. There are those (including me) who speak in gushing or high-minded or even at times spiritually-infused terms of unconditional love, and yet no matter how much we mean it in the moment, none of us (well certainly not me) is capable of giving it at all times. That much is clear. If we were, we’d be sitting in a cave, lotus-legged and hands in a mudra, until we blissfully disappeared. So all I can do is forgive those who attack me and that way perhaps, perhaps, I can just *begin* to forgive myself.
I wrote a post yesterday that was too hard to write, too easy to publish, got two views and no likes and I, in the middle of making tarte aux tomates, set it to “private.” This is the seemingly constant state of my stupidity and my fragility. I felt the tiny corner of my world go large and silent and loud around me. I felt terrible shame for having spoken of two taboo topics, and in the same post. What was I up to? Had I lost my mind? (The fact is probably, yes…)
I have a terrible memory of being bullied at school for speaking my mind… I remember answering, quite innocently, “From the monkeys,” when the teacher asked the class “Where do we come from?”
As you can imagine, that was social death to a child in suburban mainstream primary school. The bullies of the class had apparently not, at the tender age of 6 or 7, learned about evolution (quite likely all three of them were attending Sunday School). So from then on, only *I,* who had been taught by my father, from the day I could understand words, to tell “the truth above all, and live and let live” was from the monkeys, or so said the three loud ones. The fact is I didn’t mind being “from the monkeys.” But I did mind being hated for it… and still do. Working on it…
Anyway, the details of the dream are now unclear. I do remember being lowered down a well, and though that sounds awful, for some reason it wasn’t in the dream; it was just part of the way things were going, it was on a kind of comfortable bench seat, and well-lit, almost as in an amusement ride. In the end I was in an orange-carpeted room, wood-panelled walls. This scene, unstylish as it may seem, has particular comforting meaning for me. A room full of people, sitting on chairs and a comfy floral-patterned sofa, lined around the four small walls, TV trays and live music, “we are our own entertainment,” singing and dancing and recital of old stories, a homey joyful scene, such as one from childhood at my grandparents’ —
Sidenote: Booze is confusing for me. All the good times in childhood seemed to include adults drinking and making merry. As I’ve said, I had a lucky childhood, for which I’m intensely grateful, and for which I also feel ashamed at my own seeming fragility in spite of it. I could say that the combination of my lucky childhood and the fact that alcohol was prevalent in social scenes throughout it, I was all the more pre-programmed to crave alcohol, which in some ways certainly is true. Yet I also know, thanks to some of your stories, that creating a pristine booze-free microcosmic environment is no sure preventative either. It’s different for everyone.
But in this dream, and in this familiar situation, there was a sinister undertone and I somehow I thoughtlessly accepted and drank a drink (I don’t even know or remember what it was! That’s how mindlessly I drank it; I only remember that familiar softly burning flavour on the tongue), I believe it was from one of the two Brothers Grimm. (What the Brothers Grimm were doing at my grandparents’ house, in this “once upon a time,” did not matter in the dream; they were in the disguise of enormous and brutish trolls, and yet none of us seemed to mind. We were after all an accepting family.) After I realized what I’d unconsciously done, chugging back even just this one drink of this (so disappointingly!) toxic-to-me substance, I was so, so horribly saddened… at that hard work, all those 104 days, wasted…
That’s how it felt, at least. I fell as into a mental pit of despair, at the fading edges of the dream. But before I woke up, I remember this one thought: No matter, I will begin again.
I write this here for any of you, for whom my mini-mare verged on reality… I have been there many times. Too many to count. And yet when I thought that was my reality, I still wanted to continue on this hard path… climbing back up that well.
The day is gorgeously bright and sunny here, and I am sending love… and so much gratitude to you…
And apologies for all my screw-ups on this blog. If you are looking to me for guidance, probably best to look elsewhere… still no clue what I am doing. Writing the number of the days on the posts is at once my route up the side of that well, and at the same time shaming… I’d hoped I’d be getting wiser by now.
As Wendy said, it’s not exactly better, but different… and yet for me, different is better. Because the reason I made it different, was because I finally could not bear it to be the same any more.