When I was a child I used to have this recurring dream of crows with red eyes pecking their way through the screen door to get at me. I would stand there frozen (of course) screaming with nothing coming out (of course) but I would always wake before they’d get to me. I have no fear of them. They’re beautiful in their way, and quite fascinating.
I was reminded of this dream because of the one from which I just awoke. I dreamed I was back living or visiting with my mother and grandmother who, in the dream, were lax about the security of the windows and doors. We’d been having problems with these punks on the next street who would walk between the houses and through our back yard and steal things (this happened in a flash earlier in the dream).
The leader of the gang, who had scruffy facial hair and Cobain-like greasy blonde hair, came down and started taunting me through the picture window. He tried to open the window and I defiantly shook my head at him with the phone in my hand and proclaimed I was calling the cops. He smugly looked back at me and jingled keys in his hand.
For some reason my cell phone wasn’t getting reception so I tossed it into a room that I knew did as he walked in the door, with his stolen key, with the intent to do me harm.
There was a struggle and in the next instance he was on his stomach on the floor. I’m fearful and pumping full of adrenaline when I reach down and snap the guy’s neck. And kill him. Took a couple of tries too.
Then comes the shock. I find the phone, and I shake as I ask the operator on the other line if help was coming. They affirm and I can hear the voice of my long lost best friend, M, conferenced on the line asking me if I’m okay. Because in my dream, my friend would somehow magically be conferenced in with a 911 operator (hey, don’t ask me; my subconscious does its own “thang.” You dig?).
Then the trooper shows up to take a statement and comforts me saying everything was going to be okay, chewing on a toothpick, and mentioning they’ve been after these “little bastards” for a long while. And then I wake.
I wake up, not triumphed over getting the bad guy but still feeling the trepidation from my dream. I killed a guy. I know it was just a dream and the fear and remorse I felt was only a fraction of what I’m sure I would feel in real life.
I’m fine now, of course. These feelings upon waking are fleeting as I start to gain awareness of my surroundings and my cat’s sonorous meowing that I can only translate as “HEY! Sun’s up! You’re awake! That means First Feeding! :D”. But I’m always disturbed to have these kind of dreams.
What does it mean?
I’m happy for others who have amazing or healthy relationships with their families. This isn’t to garner pity for my situation, but sometimes I envy them a little because I wish I had that kind of relationship with mine. It’s hard being torn between loving your family because of the bonds you share but feel so distanced from them because their beliefs and politics are so far removed from your own to the point you can’t stand to hear another word they have to say or feel ashamed to know them because of the things they say and believe.
I grew up in a home where a roof was kept over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back and while I didn’t have a lot of the fancy things my friends had I didn’t want for much. I’m immensely grateful for that. I really am. Things could have been much worse. I hear stories on the bus of mothers who do drugs and have their children taken away, of old school mates who’ve orphaned their children because of crack. I dealt with some pretty heavy things (that I won’t discuss here, it’s far too personal) but it certainly wasn’t that bad.
Being a latchkey kid I was left to my own devices. I read a lot. I did my own thing. I formed my own ideas of what family should be like and how people should interact with one another from the stories I’d hear from friends and from television. I didn’t understand why things were so different in my house. At times it was heartbreaking dealing with some of those issues. It’s hard to understand without going into details. You’ll just have to trust me.
But life isn’t a television show. We don’t choose the family we’re born into. However, I had formed my own ideas about who I wanted to be, how I wanted to treat others, who I wanted to love. They were very far removed from those in my household, not out of rebellion but because it’s what felt right for me. I wasn’t supported in that. That was hard dealing with growing up, especially during the emotional rollercoaster that was my teenage years.
As an adult I have the freedom now to be friends with whom I choose, invite whomever I choose into my home, vote for the candidate that I feel is most qualified and in line with my beliefs and love the person I choose to be with. I’m trying to show honor to my family by respecting them, despite their opposite beliefs. I love them. But I don’t subscribe to the same set of ideals. And it hurts me to constantly be reminded of how opposite we are after saying, “I love you, but I don’t want to hear this nonsense anymore.”
I’ve just come to the point that I can’t struggle with this animosity any longer. I’ve removed myself from them (electronically….I moved away from them geographically years ago). I miss being around them for the love that we do have for one another. The idea of being connected to family and having those loving bonds is something that is dear to my heart. I’ve substituted these connections with a family of friends. Some of them come and go, and that’s okay, but I appreciate the sense of family they’ve provided.
This is a hard decision to make. But after countless times of telling them, “Look, I get that we don’t agree on these things, but please stop discussing these hot topics with me and let’s just keep it simple” and having my words be ignored time and time again, the proverbial straw has broken the camel’s back.
I know they love me and I love them, despite our differences. Maybe I’ll regret this later. For now, it just feels like the right thing to do for myself, to take a step back and breathe and be me and not talk to them. It makes me feel guilty, because I can’t count on both hands the number of times they’ve been there for me. And I’ve certainly been there for them as well. But it isn’t about that. “Blood is thicker than water” just doesn’t cut it for me at this point.
It may seem petty and “first worldish” but I need peace in my heart. This just feels like the right thing to do to have it.
“The person for whom you’re calling has retired. Please remove this number from your records”
“Sure. Can you please verify the card number?”
“Did you misunderstand me? Let me repeat myself. I’m the secretary for this department. The person for whom you are calling has RE-TI-RED. I do not have access to this information. Update your records and do not call anymore.”
“Well, I cannot do that unless the account number is verified”
“Yes you can and you will. I don’t have time to field phone calls from a credit card company for someone who no longer works here and this communication is prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Good day, sir”
A little boy on the bus pointed at Dunkin Donuts as we passed and said, “Mommy, Dunkin Donuts! I want that.” The mother said, “That’s coffee. You don’t want that. Coffee’s caca.” I considered calling CPS for child abuse, but then I realized that everyone has a right to raise their kids as they wish. Even if it’s wrong.
COFFEE IS WONDERFUL, LADY, AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT! And I’ll have you know that some people pay good money to have their coffee be caca.
This message brought to you by the Coffee Anti-Defamation League.