Thursday, May 19, 2005

Your dreams are more vivid on psychotropic medications

Last night I had the most mind blowing dream. The tears are welling now. I dreamt that my mother had an apartment somewhere, and we (myself, my father, and my stepmother) went to clean it out. In the dream I was my age right now, but my dad and my (ex) stepmother were themselves years ago. I am crying now.

Somehow, the owners of the apartment were kind enough to keep the apartment as it was for all of these years rent free, because they felt bad for what our family had been through, but now was time to clean the place out. I had contemplated moving to the apartment, but it was in the suburbs (tried that- didn't go well) Going there was so wonderful. I was able to feel again what it was like before she died, to try to remember what it was to feel like a child. (nothing had dust, everything was as it would be had it been left for a week)

I started in my room, finding a sparkly blanket that made me feel like royalty, and one of those furry polyester blankets (in my dream it had cheetahs on it) that seemed so luxurious to me as a kid. I found outfits I used to wear (more girly and princessy than I wore in real life- but those were the kind I would have liked to wear at that age- I was a priss) I was most excited to see a hula skirt, In my dream there was some beloved memory of this grass skirt.

I was only halfway through my bedroom when my dad and stepmom were telling me that it was time to finish. I felt a strong feeling of injustice and sensed that I had to speak up, I had to stand my ground. These items were precious. They were my link to the past, physical, material items I could hold in my hand to transport me back to the life I had lost. Even more important was my mother's room, this was an opportunity to meet, as a woman, the woman that my mother was. I would have to piece it together item by item, but it was all I would be wrong to take that away from me.

Through convincing, stalling, and luck I was able to explore more. I even was able to talk to her spirit for a few minutes, adult daughter to mother. I remember wanting to take and wear all of her clothes. (even though she was 5' 10" 125 lbs.) I had found poetry and songwriting, wallets and even birth control.

She had addressed a letter to me, and it was framed. My dad said it was my choice to read it or not, they wanted to wait until I was an adult to read it. I don't remember what it said but I remember it being anti-climactic (I had assumed it would be a suicide note or a note warning me about the illness of my dad)

I woke up slowly, in the warm embrace of my mother's house. Not unhappy to be awake, but desiring to drift back for a few more minutes.

Last night my dad came over and helped me pick up some shelves I had purchased from a Pier One imports that was having a going out of business sale. Together moved and assembled these shelves, it was all a great success. Spending this time with my dad was lovely and painful at the same time. Painful as it always is. He is a very angry person, he exploded because some guy was "driving in the middle of the road" when its honestly just a narrow street so everyone does. That is painful because it's hard to see someone you love in pain (how awful to get so angry over something so easily) but it was lovely becasue I was detached from it. I could see he was in pain, but it was his pain, not mine, and I didn't feel the responsibility to take it from him. (or the confusion of understanding the world- "hes pissed- so that driver must have done something wrong- I will be sure I don't do that thing wrong and piss people off because he was really mad")

It was also painful because he has a cataract, as I expected would happen he is aging quickly, and it will be my responsibility to look after him, since he is not 100% competent (I imagine sometime in my life I will be given the legal rights to make decisions for him) A bittersweet upside to this is as he becomes more like a cantankerous old man, he becomes just that, a cantankerous old man. He is no longer the daddy who scared and confused me, he is now becoming a non-threatning old man who you just let him have his way because arguing just makes him and everyone upset.

The dream I am sure was a reflection on what I was putting the shelves up for. I have saved many of her books, clothes and other "artifacts" as well as a few toys from my childhood. I noticed last night that it may be time for me to let go of some of these things. Giving away the plastic dinosaur will not rob me of the memories of filling his mouth up with water during bathtime, as my mom put strawberry shampoo in my hair.

I had a nice (relatively nice, literally and figuratively) time last night. My dad and I accomplished a goal together as a team, no power struggles, no severe anxiety attacks (minus a few angry outbursts at the world) Yes, I was embarrassed by his strange and inappropriate behavior in public, but I have only one dad, and he happens to be mentally ill. I used to be embarrassed by it maybe because I didn't accept it. I think I somehow thought he could be normal if he really tried, and that I could "fool" people into thinking he was a normal dad. I guess I am getting over that (almost 30 hee hee) Hes my dad. Those are my cards. I have to play them.

BUT one good thing about having a crazy dad...a crazy dad thinks you are brilliant for buying 44 shelves and 10 frames for them. He tells you "You got a great deal...this lumber alone would cost 10 dollars a piece" so he doesnt grumble about transporting 4 times as many shelves as you can actually install in your apartment's storage locker. (oh my god they are georgous! If I didn't have my crazy dad I would not have inherited the crazy eye that buys GEORGEOUS shelves at moving sales :) )

mood: nostalgic


SpiderSolitaire said...

OHHHHHH! Make me cry in this one! I am glad you had the dream. It sounds wonderful to be able to reminisce.
I am glad you have realized these things about your father, it only gets better once you realize these things (as I have had to do with my own father).
I am proud of you for everything! Love you girlie!

Drake said...

Hello Diana,

Yes, I've noticed that psychiatric medications greatly "enhance" dreams. That is why I have a great tendency to oversleep while I am on them - I enjoy the dreams more than real life!

Although our situations are different, I can definitely understand your dream. Trying to connect with the past as an adult, either as an attempt to resolve difficult issues, or just to recapture a lost moment.

But from your post, you appear to be making great strides in dealing with your father and your situation - At least, at this present time. I know how these things can change!

Best wishes to you - I'll be reading ya! Drake

Satan said...

It's always hard re-building relationships with parents, I know god still hasn't forgiven me for things I did in my youth (like spelling god with a lower case g), but it does become easier with age. It's something to do with the combination of percieved fraility and personal maturity. Sounds like you've got a good thing going with your kick-ass crazy dad. Love and accept the love offered...

although... buying 44 shelves and 10 frames for them. ...4 times as many shelves as you can actually install in your apartment's storage locker.

This sounds a little manic to me. I had a music teacher who bought 22 Cars in a weekend!!!!! Careful there ; )

Diana Crabtree said...

Spider- thanks for the encouragement...I need to know that there is some reason to make an effort with this man. I really love him, I love him more than words can say...but I REALLY dislike him!

Drake- OMG sleeping, because it is better than being awake...oh, that hurts. I spent a lot of my senior year in high school asleep. The good news is...when we feel traces of happiness in our dreams and wake up to a depressed life, we can use those traces as motivation, if I take good care of myself, I can feel that more. I am so sorry that you are depressed right now. I know just where you are, been there many times. Keep that sense of humor, smoke those cancer sticks and stay the fuck away from's like taking a pro-depressant LOL

Satan...I NEEDED all of those shelves. You know I am getting a house, by any means neccessary. Once I get it, I will have shelves. They were $1 a shelf and $2 a frame, I will never find a price like that again.

Did your teacher REALLY buy 22 cars in one day? I knew that teachers are paid better in other countries, but I didn't realize quite how much! But that IS pretty crazy...22 cars? wow! Buying any more than 3 cars in one day is a little extreme.

Satan said...

I was just razzing you about the shelves. Would you expect any less? $1 a shelf and $2 a frame, Nice buy!

Yes, my teacher did buy twenty-something cars (I'm pretty sure it was 22) in a day. She's not well paid (she's not well full stop), although she used to be Head the National Conservatorium of Music. She just filled out the credit applications. She had about 8 parked out the front of her house by the time her husband got home. I asked him about it once, and all he said was "I coulda used a drink that day". (He's a very private recovering alco, for him to even say it was something) is VERY crazy and is a sure fire way (when added to other deviant behaviour) to get institutionalised and put through electro-shock. Her favourite line when she came out with something bizarre was "Yeah but I'm crazy, and the state signed the papers agreeing with me".

But Man... could she play. Brilliant Muso!! She also taught me an infinite amount about manic-depression.

Diana Crabtree said...

I am learning since involving myself with the museum that brilliant art is dominated by crazy people. Most people already knew this- (you would too, if not for the stifiling computer cable)

Not only is art theraputic, the differing perspectives and emotional states that the mentally ill have gives them a creative's much easier to think out side the box when you actually ARE outside the box!

My crazyness will be to our advantage when we create our moneymaking Bollywood musical. Perhaps your teacher could compose the score?

By the way... I do not have manic depression. I have clinical depression with periods of psychothemia (related to mania but milder- I won't buy 22 cars- but I have signed up for too many school activities etc)

I hope I am still crazy enough to be a brilliant artist.

Satan said...

brilliant art is dominated by crazy people... You're telling me, I'm at work and I'm wearing nothing but a Cactus. Nobody's evening blinked; mind you they're not sitting too close either...

The films going to have to earn a lot more than a Mil... It costs that much just to own property here... Nah Margaret doesn't know how to play the tabla, and she's not my teacher any more *sigh* I've moved towns and she's far too ill at the moment anyway...

Psychothemia is much better (can I say that?), not nearly as much chance as offing yourself after a bout of depression. Your high by comparison to your low but not so high that 'anything' is possible, including the option of taking an out to avoid future depression. Mental illness is the pits!!!!!!

Most brilliant artists these days are more business minded than brilliant artists. OK OK I'm being cynical, but it's somewhat true. Convince there's a profit in it and bingo you've got funding.

Diana Crabtree said...

I meant earn a million (each) in profits for ourselves. Sorry I wasn't speaking in very businessy terms- my creative process can not be under such constraints- humph!

WOWSAHS! you know what psychothemia is? I didn't know what it is until the last few months- though I have experienced it a dozen or so times in my life. You need to hang around less crazy people I think. (wait a second...he calls himself satan and dresses up in cactuses...maybe he is where he should be)

Are you really wearing a cactus?

Satan said...


Are you really an animated woman constantly showing me where the exits are? Maybe I should walk that way and see if there really is an exit there. OUCH, no that's a wall... You lied to me!!!!!

Yes, I am REALLY wearing a cactus, no really, I am! Or maybe it's a Tea Cosy, I'm not sure about anything anymore. Were did I put my cheese sandwich telephone, I need to call the dairy association so they can send one of those milk trucks again. Well, it was a white truck. ALthough maybe you can shed some light on why milkmen carry giant butterfly nets : )

PS. I'll never give up my crazies. Too many people do that.

Diana Crabtree said...

I am dissapointed. I was really impressed that Australia had such eco-friendly clothing trends.

Satan said...

It's not only eco-friendly, if you get really desperate out in the desert you can club a wallaby to death with it. If you catch the little buggers! It's all about survival here. Red Sand, Furnace Sun, Starbucks on every frigging corner!!!!!!!!