I continue to have wild dreams. My most recent ones involve being taken captive in a house that I couldn’t get out of. I would go through door after swinging door, only to meet more doors. I was running and hiding. Once outside, I was in an unknown place, in the snow, and naked. I was scared cold, afraid, and I could not find my way home. Occasionally I would meet people along the way that I recognized, but they turned away, seemed disinterested, and refused to help me. Last night I dreamt that I was living in an unknown house back on the farm. People with guns stormed my parent’s home and I was hiding a classroom full of children in my house across the street. My job was to try to keep them safe and quiet. The dream ended with a fire in just a portion of the house, and for a brief moment, I was heartbroken that I had lost one of my own children. She appeared through the rubble holding the family dog, Even as I write this, my heart breaks, and tears come to my eyes.
Why am I having such wild dreams? Friends say that I am feeling naked, exposed, and like my life is out of control. It makes sense.
I was awake in the night with a stomach ache and I was thinking about it. Maybe if I could understand my fears, I could find a solution and the dreams would stop.
This is what I have been thinking about:
I seem to have four kinds of support systems in my life and I liken them to the layers of the earth.
The Inner Core: These are the family and friends who know the most intimate parts of my daily life.
The Outer Core: I consider these to be my most faithful prayer supporters, and those with whom I can call on, but don’t have regular intimate contact with.
The Mantle: These are the casual observers, further removed, kind of like me with the Red Socks and the Patriots.
The Crust: People who know we are out there, watching, but don’t have the time, the energy, or the desire to become intimately involved.
I’m sad to say that I often feel very alone and vulnerable. I am so grateful for the those who support me. The problem is that I don’t always know where people fall in my support system and it can become confusing, because my expectations for those in the crust should not be the same as those in the core. Sometimes I misjudge where people choose to be located and I think they are part of the mantle, and they are part of the outer crust, which is where they want to stay. I think sometimes people move from one layer to another and I don’t know they’ve moved, so I try to ask something of them that they can’t give me. This journey has been surprising. Shockingly, some of those that I thought would be part of the inner core are part of the crust, and those who I would have guessed would be part of the crust, are part of the outer core. It’s a puzzle, because sometimes I just can’t figure out where people want to be located in my circle and it just adds to the confusion.
I think we have this idea, when we go through adversity, that certain people will step up and be there for us. When in reality, some slide out into the crust, and that brings me great sadness. I miss people with whom I have loved and have lost.
Life continues to be busy and challenging. School comes with a whole lot of hurdles that I don’t see any immediate relief from. My parents are aging, which is creating another layer of concern. Three hospital trips since Christmas with our mother reminds me that time with my parents is limited, and that creates a whole other layer of stress. I worry about my adult children, grandchildren, home & financial responsibilities, and a failing husband which adds more and more plates to spin, and my stomach gets tighter and tighter. I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I feel like I am not doing 100% at anything I tackle these days. I am trying to be flexible, but this perfectionist is struggling. More and more is being asked of me and I just can’t keep up with the additional demands and do them well. I want to please everyone, and I can’t. I want to help everyone, but I can’t. I want to fix everything, and I can’t do that either.
Perhaps I do have good reason to dream about being alone, lost, frightened, naked and with people who look away, but unfortunately, there is little I can do about any of it. I need to just keep trying my best, putting one foot in front of the other, and pasting a smile on my face even when I don’t feel like smiling. I need to break out the glitter and the chocolate, put on some lovey 80’s music from Air Supply & steal a kiss from my favorite man, sip some coffee, and thank God for making it through just one more day.