A Rare Friends-Only Post

I have incred­i­bly vivid dreams. I haven’t nor­mal­ly writ­ten them down or talked about them much. I’ll occa­sion­al­ly men­tion some­thing that I just can’t get out of my head to Sam, or share some­thing par­tic­u­lar­ly fun­ny with him and Katie, but that’s it.

My intu­ition def­i­nite­ly talks to me that way, though. I’ve had dreams that told me that a dia­mond was loose in its set­ting on my ring, and had to be fixed before it was lost (and it was true), as oth­er mun­dane things. It’s how my sub­con­scious toss­es up things that I haven’t noticed con­scious­ly, but on which I need to act. Oth­er than things like that, I don’t usu­al­ly think a lot about my dreams. As they get more and more insis­tent, I’m feel­ing that I should change that. I have no expe­ri­ence, nor have I done any research into, “dream inter­pre­ta­tion” or symbology.

This is what I remem­ber from the dream I had this morn­ing, with notes. Lots of navel-gaz­ing here, so I’ll cut-tag it.

shad­owkatt, you might not want to read this stuff. You can if you like because some of it con­cerns you. I fig­ured I’d give you the choice, though.

Katie and I were liv­ing with my par­ents. Liv­ing with my par­ents is a recur­ring theme in my dreams, and seems to be about being trapped/not being in con­trol of my life. I’m won­der­ing if one rea­son it is com­ing up fre­quent­ly is the upcom­ing move in with curiousmay9. I haven’t had great expe­ri­ences liv­ing with any adult oth­er than Sam. The move does offer many advan­tages, but of course, shar­ing a home also means giv­ing up some degree of con­trol, as well.

I was both on some sort of trip that involved both pseu­do-camp­ing and a col­lege cam­pus, and at “home.” I felt like it might be a church youth group event. We were adults, though. I was about 18 again. My par­ents forced me to go to absolute­ly every church youth group activ­i­ty of any sort, and their church’s group was hideous­ly cliquish and nasty. I did­n’t drink and was­n’t inter­est­ed in fuck­ing any of the mem­bers, I was too smart and fool enough to speak my mind despite being female, so I nev­er had a prayer of being “in” had I want­ed to be. As soon as I got my license, I left their church for anoth­er one near­by, where I met and mar­ried hus­band v.1.

I’m rea­son­ably sure that Sam was there, somehow—in spir­it, at least.

I’m los­ing parts of the dream now, but I clear­ly remem­ber cud­dling Katie at about 3–4 years old, com­fort­ing her after Mom was yelling at her teen self about some­thing involved with chat­ting on the PC. Some­how I knew that teen Katie had just left the room via a door at my back, and I felt that she’d come back in but I would­n’t turn around. Katie had been using a PC in the hall, then the PC was in her bed­room. Moth­er went nuts because she closed the door at some point. And even when I was in there with her, moth­er came and opened the door and fussed. My moth­er absolute­ly can­not stand closed doors. She just would­n’t allow them, as she was SURE that the only rea­son for them was to hide evil­do­ing. They were bare­ly okay while in the bath­room or dress­ing, but not if you locked said door—and that was for a VERY lim­it­ed time peri­od. Katie is at an age where she wants a lot of pri­va­cy. Her closed door leads me to feel very cut off from her at times, but I know that I want­ed that sep­a­ra­tion from the fam­i­ly at her age.

Mom said some­thing at some point about Katie leav­ing me when she was look­ing at me look­ing at sleep­ing tod­dler Katie. At one point I remem­ber think­ing that the tod­dler was the eter­nal embod­ied in my baby. I told her that I under­stood if she must go, but I want­ed her to stay, as well. I could see the lit­tle girl strug­gling at the same time the eter­nal already knew the answer. I’m mourn­ing the loss of my baby as she becomes an adult. I still feel a lot of grief and guilt over not shar­ing every day of Katie’s life, because I did leave Wayne. I fear that I’m not acknowl­edg­ing her cur­rent self because I’m still look­ing for and hang­ing on to my lit­tle baby.

Mom went through a mas­sive mess on the col­lege cam­pus with me, too, try­ing to get some sort of finan­cial aid thing straight­ened out. They did­n’t want to talk to us, because they were in the midst of reg­is­ter­ing the incom­ing fresh­men. I had tod­dler Katie in my arms and would­n’t let go of her to even sign papers. At times, I regret walk­ing away from col­lege to mar­ry hus­band v.1, which means that now I’m going through col­lege with­out any parental sup­port. My frus­tra­tion with the ongo­ing stu­pid­i­ty of the finan­cial aid depart­ment (which still has­n’t released the bal­ance of my finan­cial aid for the spring semes­ter) is cer­tain­ly echoed here.

At some point, I was walk­ing up a remote, grav­el road on a moun­tain. I knew that there was a ritzy neigh­bor­hood ahead of me, one of those fly-in com­mu­ni­ties. It was bit­ter cold, just after an ice storm. In the only bit of lucent dream­ing I could man­age, I turned my footwear into good hik­ing boots and wrapped myself in light­weight but warm clothes that threw off the mois­ture and let me move freely. The pine trees were creak­ing alarm­ing­ly. I was very heavy with child and knew that it was Katie. I want­ed to find a safe place to give birth and had run away to do so. I knew that “they” (my par­ents? Wayne?) would take her from me while I was weak, so I had to be far away. I knew that I need­ed help, too. When I came up to the hous­es, I looked around at the McMan­sions, try­ing to decide if I would trust the peo­ple in any of them to help with­out call­ing para­medics or any­one else. There was an elder­ly man stand­ing at the end of one dri­ve­way. He was smil­ing at me with his bright capped teeth, slight­ly stopped with age but oth­er­wise look­ing strong and healthy. I felt a chill, and knew that I could­n’t trust him—he’d take her and things would be even worse than if the fam­i­ly had her. I turned and walked away into the woods again, wish­ing that I could fly (I can, in most of my dreams). I did­n’t run, because I did­n’t want him to know that I feared him. I want­ed my dog, and won­dered when she would join me—Gypsy, the Oorang Airedale I grew up with, dead three years before Katie was born. I knew she was near­by, some­where in the woods around me, and I felt safer for that. I want­ed Sam, but for some rea­son, it was­n’t safe to even call on him in my mind, because it would lead to harm to him. I know the old man is some­one I hap­pened to see on the street yes­ter­day. He was dressed in expen­sive ten­nis togs and hitch­hik­ing in front of Phipps Plaza on Peachtree. He made eye con­tact with me, then stuck out his thumb, and smiled just that way. I felt like some­one had walked over my grave. While I’ve named Sam as guardian for Katie in my will, I do fear that a court would give her to my par­ents or oth­er blood rel­a­tives, instead, if I die before she’s 18. I know they would­n’t respect her, and that they would try to force her into their tiny “good South­ern Bap­tist girl” box.

In the dream, I knew that I had made a choice at some point, and it felt as if I was giv­en one sec­ond chance. I could go back and undo leav­ing Wayne and have Katie. Or I could lose Wayne and have Sam. But I could­n’t have Katie and Sam. This has been a recur­ring theme in my dreams recent­ly. Ratio­nal­ly, I know that my leav­ing Wayne has noth­ing to do with his even­tu­al death from leukemia. Emo­tion­al­ly, I feel guilty. Wayne absolute­ly hat­ed being sin­gle, and he died that way, just as Sam and I were cel­e­brat­ing our first anniver­sary. Wayne’s third wife and her daugh­ters were abu­sive to Katie in ways that I did­n’t learn about until they were out of the pic­ture, and I feel guilt over that, too. The stress of that divorce cer­tain­ly was­n’t a pos­i­tive thing for him (they’d just sep­a­rat­ed when he was diag­nosed in Novem­ber 1997)—but nei­ther would the stress of life with that woman and her daugh­ters have been. Ratio­nal­ly, I know that my rela­tion­ship with Wayne was an abu­sive one and that we were far bet­ter par­ents sep­a­rate­ly than togeth­er, and there­fore our divorce was the best deci­sion for Katie and for me. My mind knows that Wayne prob­a­bly would­n’t have made the strides in per­son­al growth that he did make in those last few years if he’d been com­fort­ably ensconced in a mar­riage. If I had stayed, though, I would­n’t have missed so much of Katie’s day-to-day life.

We’ve had a lot of con­flict with Katie late­ly about her use of her PC. She is under­stand­ably drawn to chat­ting with her bud­dies more than doing any­thing else. That’s a fair­ly nor­mal teen ten­den­cy. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it is inter­fer­ing with her aca­d­e­m­ic work and just about every­thing else, and I don’t think it’s par­tic­u­lar­ly healthy. So we’ve decid­ed to put her desk in the office with ours. She does­n’t like it, but we did­n’t think it was some­thing that should sud­den­ly hap­pen when we move, either. We still want her to be able to have social time, and we know she wants to be alone for that, so the oth­er option would be to force her to come out of her room to do her aca­d­e­m­ic assign­ments. It would­n’t keep her from stay­ing up into the wee hours after she’s sup­posed to be in bed, though I sup­pose we could devise a tech­ni­cal way around that one.

I don’t want to be dis­re­spect­ful of Katie’s choic­es, her need for pri­va­cy, and her friend­ships. Basi­cal­ly, I don’t want to be like my par­ents! But I am her moth­er, and part of par­ent­ing is step­ping in to insist on bal­ance and pro­vide guid­ance when a kid is get­ting off-kilter.

Then I got this in my email, a horo­scope for the day: It’s all too easy to hurt the ones you love. Thought­less remarks are out of place around peo­ple in del­i­cate emo­tion­al states. Remem­ber what you’ve read or observed before ask­ing for anoth­er reminder.

Cur­rent Mood: 🤔con­tem­pla­tive
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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