It’s snowing out and I am in a large, foreign house with people I don’t really know, mostly work people, I think. There is a car in an oversized living room with several people inside. Though they’re unfamiliar to me, I understand them to be work-related subordinates. A phone switchboard inside the car is for work and I open the door to show them how to answer it, irritated because I think work isn’t happening. They aren’t working hard enough. Then there is a vague conversation about gambling and I don’t remember anything else. (more)
In another part of the house I am trying to communicate with Lily. She does what she does when she is put on the spot, shaking her head, singing and trying to smile her way past conflict. But things are heavy and whatever I need her to hear is serious. I reluctantly realize it’s time to accept that she’ll never change. Without much effort I lift her up in the air, place her neck in a noose that is attached to a revolving carousel in the ceiling…and I hang her.
I sit down next to Rhonda in the booth at my grandma’s old house with the table that has the interlocked boomerang design. We watch Lily as she is suspended from the rope making medium paced circles above us in a pink dress with perfect pigtails. I pay close attention to her face, which appears to be peaceful and smiling. I impose memories of her laughing onto myself and begin crying uncontrollably. I begin reciting the memories out loud, barely able to talk. Then I become fearful of reaching the last memory and cry harder. Rhonda pats me on the back, tells me to let it out….let it out.
Above us I notice snow coming through the ceiling tiles. Then I realize water is pooling in different parts of grandma’s kitchen. There is a storm outside and the snow has come through the roof and amassed in the space between the ceiling and the attic. I fear it will cave in and consider finding some buckets so I can knock the snow down and carrying it outside. Rhonda says there’s too much snow, that there’s no way to get it down. But soon it will melt, I think. Then it will all come down. What about my Lily?
Now I am concerned about Lily’s well being in death. I think about when I will come to see her tomorrow and whether or not she will be as peaceful and still smiling. She’ll be cold, I think. I cry harder, not knowing what to do.
7:24 am – I wake
I wake up exactly 8 hours from when I closed my eyes. Everyone else is still asleep. It takes some time for me to rise from where I just was to a conscience place of understanding about what just went on. I go to the bathroom and look in the mirror. The tears that I struggled to tamp back in therapy flowed freely all night in the protected vault of my dream state. My eyes are puffy. There is a stranger watching me through my mirror.
This is perhaps the most troubling dream I have ever had. It’s hard for me to write this morning. My impulse is to take such disturbing content and lock it up but I know I need to think about last night’s dream. I need to understand what my brain is trying to communicate. Therapy last night was pointed at parts of me that don’t see the light very often…but things I think about all the time. Things no one else knows about. Some of it was about guilt. My guilt. All night my feelings were very close to the surface and I struggled not to break down. Eventually I couldn’t protect myself and the levee broke. Then I was embarrassed, but I knew I shouldn’t be. Though we only scratched the surface, I don’t think anyone knows that but me. It was the right place, but my defenses are fierce. Last night I felt like showing weakness meant I couldn’t possibly be strong.
I believe this dream was about finding undeniable sadness and using it as my vehicle to break down. When I walked in the house following my session, I was struck by how happy Lily was to see me. She started dancing in circles and singing “Daddy! Daddy!” It was at a time when I was feeling like a disconnected satellite. Seeing both babies began to pull me back down to the ground. Seeing Lily so excited brought added comfort, as connecting with her has always been a little more work. I picked her up and held her close, using her to emotionally refuel.
Then I went to sleep and I killed her.
I think last night my brain grabbed the thing most recently accessed by my heart and used it to break down my barriers and wring me out. When I woke up my perspective on my pain was exactly the opposite of what it was in therapy. This morning I feel like I have something legitimate to cry about. Last night I didn’t.
There may be part of this dream connected to the one year anniversary of losing Stardust.
I don’t know. I’m not used to being a stranger to myself.