Friday, April 25, 2014
This morning, for the first time in a very long time, I had a nightmare. There were many components that would make for excellent dream translation fodder, but the important thing was this: in my dream I was arguing with someone. I had apparently scratched his truck. Mom was there defending me. As the argument grew louder, I shouted at him that I had just left my mothers' funeral and, for christ's sake, would he give me a freakin' break.
First of all, we didn't have a funeral for mom, and while I'm sure there's a lot to be read into that, it isn't what I wanted to share. It's that in my dream my mother was both alive and dead. It's the very core of my psyche/subconscious/etc processing the fact that something so permanent has disappeared. That existence has been changed irrevocably. Try to imagine not having one of your hands, by birth or accident, whatever. And now imagine that you're dreaming about clapping at a baseball game, all the while talking to the person next to you about how you lost your hand. It is very plainly, at least to me, the processing of trauma. I studied psychology for years, read all about phantom limb syndrome, PTSD, so on and so forth, but to experience it is something else entirely...
Image: John Henry Fuseli's "The Nightmare," 1781.