An Unsettling Dream

I guess my subconscious has been building toward something over the weekend and decided to shock me with some things in dream format.

In the dream, I was in a dark room. It was like being in a sensory deprivation tank, it was so dark. I wasn’t worried or afraid, because I knew I was there waiting for something.

Suddenly there was this light; it was blinding because it was like pitch in the room. It flashed really bright for a second, then mellowed into something soft. As it faded, there was a mirror.

It was an old-fashioned standing mirror, with lots of fancy silver metalwork (it seems that my brain can never conjure up modern mirrors; every time I dream of a single mirror, it’s always some old-fashioned thing that looks handcrafted).

While I’m standing there looking at it, a voice booms out, “Step right up, step right up! Step right up and take a look!”

Great, the voice of my subconscious is moonlighting as a carnival barker.

I listen to the great booming voice and step up and take a look.

The surface of the mirror is black, at first. Then it’s like I’m moved back and I see that the surface of the mirror was black because I was seeing an extreme close-up of this black cowl-type garment. There is a woman in that garment. Nothing tells me this; I simply know it.

She just stands there. The hood of the cowl is covering her head and hiding her face completely, but she is staring at me. There’s no menace, nothing bad about her, but she’s just staring at me.

I don’t know if I should speak or run or what. Then she speaks.

Don’t go, she tells me, and her voice is…odd. I don’t know how to describe it. Like mine, sort of. Cadence and tone were different, but it still sounded like my voice. I don’t even know if that’s possible.

Anyway, I’m just blinking at this woman in the mirror. I feel like I should ask her to put the hood down so I can see who I’m talking to, but I’m afraid to ask her. She might not want to show me her face; she might have good reason.

The woman laughs, and it’s like my laugh when I’m really laughing, but not. She pulls the hood off, and I see her face.

She has scars on her face, like burns. Her face is covered in runnels, like her skin melted. But still, it’s like my face! Like my face, but not. Her eyes, despite the ruin of her face, are beautiful, a bronze color. Very startling.

I’m getting kinda scared now, but I asked her as nicely as I could what happened to her face.

I was doing this to her, she said. I’m trying to burn her out. There was this unnerving sort of matter-of-factness about her, and something hotter under the surface.

So I ask her why she can’t stop what’s happening to her.

I can stop it at any time, she said. I’m trying to burn her out because I’m afraid of her, though I shouldn’t be, as she means me no harm. It’s time for me to face her, to see her and accept her, she went on. And now there was anger. Her eyes burn with it, and if I wasn’t afraid of her before, I certainly am now.

Again she laughs at me, laughs at me with the laugh that is and is not mine. This anger is mine, she says to me. She has held it since my (our?) childhood, and she is tired of being the dumping ground for it. Anger turned on the self burns like acid, can’t I see that?

The view of the mirror shifts to an extreme close-up of her face, her ruined face and those burning molten eyes.

Look well at anger displaced, she tells me. Look at what it does.

Then she laughs again, and it is bitter laughter. We will meet again, she promises, and she fades out.

And I wake up.


Food Wars

In deference to the heat, my mother and I made two dinners today, which will hopefully take the house through to midweek. I really hope so, because I am not feeling well.

My mom said it would, but I don’t believe it. The men in my house don’t know the concept of “save some for tomorrow” , and so will eat things meant for dinner for breakfast and lunch and then look sad-faced when there’s none for dinner.

I wonder why they do it. Is it truly hunger, as they say? Or is it because they’re too lazy to actually listen and make themselves a sandwich or something and leave the dinner stuff for dinner? Is it greed, or blatant disregard–which is worse than greed or laziness, I think.

If they had to cook every day, would they be so quick to eat dinner food earlier? If I get hungry before dinner, then I’m finding something to eat and leaving the dinner stuff alone.

It’s too hot to be standing in front of a stove cooking every day, let me say.

I should try a little faith. It might just happen the way it’s supposed to.


I also want to say this: I hate summer right now. I really, really do.

An Experiment

I slacked off for a couple days.

For two days I didn’t do housework. I didn’t clean, I didn’t cook anything. I basically sat on my butt all day (well, I’m doing some thinking, but that’s all mental) and simply never moved.

It was very hard to do, to just sit there and see the dishes piling up, to see them looking all sad-eyed and long-faced when there was no dinner forthcoming.  The Lord of Lassitude and the Bestower of Righteous Silliness both had their kids here and it was torture to watch them destroy the floor with spills that their parents didn’t clean up, litter the table with their leftover meal wrappers and cups, and basically go berserk in the playroom and living room with their toys, and not get up and start cleaning.

I felt very guilty. I felt like I was just letting them destroy everything and I wasn’t trying to keep it from happening. More, I felt guilty for just sitting down and not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I felt like I was letting my mom down, as I had to help her maintain the house.

It’s not my job. I know it’s not. Even my parents say it’s not. But when it’s not done, I feel like I’ve fallen asleep at the switch. I feel like I don’t have good enough reasons to just not do anything.


I’m trying very hard not to sit here and whine about how hard my life is, or what people have done to me and how I feel about it. I know life is not supposed to be a cakewalk and you can’t expect things to be easy for you just because you want them to be. I know that as an adult, you’re supposed to stand tall, suck it up, and deal.

But what do you do when you feel your strength deserting you? I know what I need to do; I know what I’m trying to do, but just lately all I want to do is dig a hole and crawl inside it and just lie there until death comes. Death has to be better than this tearing tiredness and the helpless grief and the despair. At least in death there’s quiet.  I’d give anything to just have quiet.

No waking up every day with the welfare of the entire house on my mind. No trying to keep a poker face on so as not to worry my parents. No wanting to run away from everyone and hide in a hole only to get away from them. No wishing there was someone else–anyone else–to do any of this.  None of that. Just…quiet. Rest. Surcease.

If I wasn’t such a coward, I’d go seeking the quiet.  Without me here, at least some things would be simpler and people would be happier. I wouldn’t be the blot on my parents’s sterling family record that I am, and they wouldn’t have to be ashamed of me for being the only one of their children to not have latched herself to a spouse (or a steady attachment, at the very least) and kids and “real responsibilities” at this late age.

I really must be tired if I’m saying all this. There’s no way out of this situation except for death, I suppose, and I’m too cowardly to take that step. I need to find some vestige of something and deal. Goodnight.

Broken Record

I feel like I’ve been hacking through acres of forest and there’s no end in sight. Or, for a better metaphor, like I’ve been busily hacking away the trees in my path only to realize that I’m simply going around in circles.

I feel like nothing’s really changed. I keep stumbling over the same stuff again and again, and doing absolutely nothing about it. Well, except whine about it.

When can I get off the hamster wheel? What do I have to do to break it, or at least get it off the track so I can see something new? How many times do I have to revisit the same stuff? When can I stamp all this as “Done” and move on?

I have to wonder if I simply like repetition, or am just too scared to move on to something else.  I feel like a failure, or some kind of masochist.



A Pep Talk

I gave my nephew a pep talk today.

He’s five and will be heading to kindergarten in a couple months. He’s a little afraid and doesn’t know what to expect of his new teacher and the other kids.

I asked him if he was excited to be going to “a school with a bell”.

“No,” he said.

“Why not?”

“Because the kids won’t like me,” he said.

“How do you know?”

“Because,” he said. “They will say that I’m stupid and I’m a baby and they won’t like me.”

“If they don’t like you, then they are missing out,” I said.

He looked at me. He looked so sad, poor thing. “Why?”

“Because you are funny and nice and all around great. What’s not to like about that?”

“I don’t have to be anything?” he asked me.

That stopped me.  Hearing this child ask me if just being himself would be enough for other people to like him made tears come to my eyes. He’s only five. Does such worrying start so young?

I made sure I had his attention and said, “No. All you have to be is yourself.” He looked a little confused, so I said, “All you have to be is [Nephew’s name]. That’s all, because [Nephew’s name] is enough for people to like. And if they don’t, then they are missing out on getting to know a great person.”

He gave me his big smile and gave me a big hug. “Okay,” he said, and ran off to play.

I just hope it was the right thing to tell him. I don’t want him to suffer the self-doubt and uncertainty that I suffer.

Just a Random post

I’m very tired right now. I was up early this morning to go with my mom to the orthopedist to make sure her toe is healing well. It is, so that’s good. When I got home, I went back to bed. I woke up at 2 in the afternoon and I still feel like I haven’t gotten enough sleep.

I don’t understand why I feel so tired. I try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night; there are nights when I don’t get all of it, but it averages out.

Can stress be the cause of this exhaustion? I’m trying to handle it as best I can, but perhaps I’m failing.

No more; it’s time for good girls to go to bed. Goodnight.