A-typical lessons from mom

Love means needing nothing from another person.

You can’t expect anything when you ask for what you need.

Mostly a person would rather be happy than right.

Talking about Feelings is burdensome and inappropriate.

It is your fault if you aren’t happy.


 

dreamt my mom and I were in a library, my dad at the end of the table. I dreamt she was stressed at me and we were in a big group taking a test. I knew the test didn’t matter. She was telling me what I needed to do, how I needed “to be”. She was impatient that I wasn’t like her. I got angry, said “fuck you”, signed “I hate you” and left the library.

This is actually a typical interaction these days, well when she was talking to me. Maybe without the fuck yous, but hostile and unpleasant.

At the risk of self indulgence, I am going to share my process. I am bothered by my mother’s expectation but have tried to communicate understanding, stand up for myself when she treats me like there is nothing worse if more burdensome to talk about my feelings. So, I’ve lived with this my whole life, shoving my needs and cares aside for “the greater good” of sparing the family my feelings unless they were good and positive. Forgiving her temper and taking on her anger, resentments as my own. To validate in hopes of receiving love. That doesn’t lend to developing healthy coping mechanisms.

Alas, this isn’t helping me at 6am to get past my anger and hurt that is the pattern we share.

Library –
To dream that you are in the library signifies your search for knowledge and truth. You may be seeking new purpose and meaning to life. It is also indicative of the need to carefully consider all possible scenarios before making major decisions. If the library in your dream is well-kept, this means that you are saturated with too much information and you cannot find time to prioritize them.To see a library in your dream symbolizes knowledge and understanding that you have gained over the years.

Oh yeah, now I’m feeling better.

Table-
To dream of a table is a symbolic representation of the world that you live in. You may soon be invited to a conference or gathering. It further represents the connection you have to family and friends.

Preach it sister.

Test- When there is not a true test coming up in your waking life but you are having test anxiety dreams, this may occur because you are associating stress in your daily life with the same feeling of stress that you had as a child in school. It is likely that you are feeling judged at work or at home. Perhaps this judgement is actually coming from within yourself. 

Well, shit.

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Aside

I have a male, very pleasantly demented, and mostly nonverbal patient, who cheers for you with clasped hands as you walk by. Sometimes he claps for you or makes funny faces. He has recently formed a habit of tickling womens’ feet in the middle of the night.

It’s kinda funny until someone with aphasia that can’t communicate or yell for help wakes up to a strange man playing with her feet. Nightmare.

Living Messages

In the place between asleep and awake, my consciousness is still processing the nether-topics I couldn’t face while I was awake. My mind meditates and sends me symbols to interpret the way the world works and my place in it. I always fit into the in-between with observance and acceptance, with bouts of clarity or sometimes confusion. Around 6am, gentility woke me up with very loud words from the very core of my being, “Its time to grow up.” My mind’s response was, “ok. I’m ready.” It was starkly clear and true, present and undebatable.

I later learned that day that a dear friend had passed away at the same time on that very day. She was not the kind of friend I spoke to often. She was not even a friend of the same age, albeit not above 55. She was integral in my adolescence and so many others as well. She was a friend of my family, my youth and my peers. I was not any more special to her than all of the other people with whom she came into contact. I was one of many, yet I very much felt her genuineness, generosity and care as if it was only addressed to me. It was a talent that generally makes great leaders.

I spent the ceremony welling up and trying to keep strange sounds from eeking from my body. It is all a part of being a lady.

I hesitate to state the circumstances of knowing her as to generalize her death. Listing the tangibles that made up her resume makes it feel impersonal, and she did not live her life or nurture her relationships in that way. I dedicate my practice to her, meditate on her kindness, her magnanimity in spirit.

I don’t find comfort in the theology that believes God needed another angel or that he gave her cancer for any reason. Cancer just sucks. She didn’t need to prove herself, her dedication, confess her sins or do that kind of penance. No one needs to. However, she managed it with as much grace as is humanly possible.

Cancer just happens sometimes. and it sucks.

Good Grief

I saw my neighbor and her dog on Bruno’s walk this morning. We discussed dogs for a while, much like I suspect parents discuss their children. She asked the obligatory, “what do you do again?” I tell her I work in a skilled nursing facility and how it can be sad but also funny at times. She said she imagines it is a dark humor. Humor is important in anything, and I feel that I definitely have a different relationship with death. It is a subject, like race, that is very sensitive to the unfamiliar.

I am reading “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion right now. A perspective on grief, a portrait of relationships and intensely honest experience with death. She speaks about how death has somehow become professional. Death happens in hospitals and nursing homes, everywhere except homes. Didion quotes (of all people) Emily Post. Ms. Post is insightful and gracious, writing during a time when death was present in everyone’s home and family as a part of life. It was relevant. Most readers probably have stopped reading this because they don’t feel it is relevant to them. But Grief is relevant.

Grief from tangible death is something we will all experience, but living grief is perpetual. Whether you are grieving a relationship, an expectation or an innoncence; grief is ever-present. It should be spoken of, instead of avoiding the subject like it is “the-subject-that-must-not-be-named.” That only implies shame and fear. Death should have nothing to do with shame or fear.