I wish I could remember my dreams! Using the super powers of retrospect, I am learning how to understand and accept that the loss of awareness about my dreams today must be some further manifestation of the aging process.
About two months ago I woke in the middle of the night and sat up in bed with a revelation. I knew when I woke up that I had been in the midst of a series of dreams that seemed to be moving in fast-forward motion. At the instant I woke up I heard these words in my mind: “Of course you don’t remember your dreams any more, Linda! Look at the dreams you just woke up from. They are so complicated and contain so much information that it would be impossible for anyone to actually remember them.”
Did I somehow receive a massive addition of a computer’s version of memory processing abilities ‘back there’ a few years ago at the time that I no longer remembered my dreams? The ‘not knowing’ my dreams started about 10 years ago. I distinctly remember the last GOOD dream I had. I was living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota just prior to moving down here to the desert in southeastern Arizona. I wrote the dream down, though I don’t know at the moment where that piece of paper is. I remember it, though, and someday I will write it to include in my story.
Oh, that IS what I was going to write about yesterday before my ‘cyber house’ came crashing down around my fingertips. I was going to write about the origin of the flying dreams I had as a child, and I was going to insert links to other pages on this post. That is, until I discovered the links were dead and went absolutely no place! Hence, the house cleaning.
What I will say from my present position of grand mother-dom (even though I have no actual grandchildren), is that for those of you ‘youngsters’ who get to still experience vivid and clear dreams when you wake up, realize that those dreams and the ability to clearly remember them is a gift. I know that now because my gift has either disappeared or transformed itself into something else that works for me in some other way.
What I think happened is that at that time in Sioux Falls ten years ago when I could sense that the dreams were changing, if not leaving me, I was physically preparing for the onset of menopause, or parimenopause, though I did not realize it at the time. By the time I made it through that major female transition period, my dreaming states that had been such a vital part of my life since childhood had disappeared, and I never had a chance to even consciously bid them goodbye.
It seems as if I was ‘supposed’ to be ready for this new phase of my life, and in fact I guess I am ready or I wouldn’t be here experiencing this life in my ‘older self’ at this moment. I can whine all I want to about how much I miss my dreaming abilities — the experiences of dreaming them, the experiences of remembering them — but it will not change the fact that I now seem to be processing an increasingly massive amount of information in my dreams in my present life.
Sometimes when I wake now I just know that ‘something, some how’ seems to have ‘downloaded’ this information into my brain. Because of what I now know about how the right and left brain work out information processing while we sleep, I suspect that this isn’t REALLY new information I am gaining at all. I rather suspect that I am being able now to release from my right brain vast amounts of information that has been stored there, waiting, since the beginning of my life.
As this information is integrated with the knowledge of my left brain while I sleep, I just wake in the morning with no single detail of the dreams I have had the night before. It might be like switching from analog to digital processing. But what I do know is that I am being in-formed in my sleep.
This morning I woke up knowing that part of what I am accomplishing through this cyber-house cleaning I am undertaking at the moment, is a quarantine of my mother. When I first started my blogging process, I created the other two blogs, Take Care of Mothers and Workspace for Stop the Storm, at the same time as I created this one. I only vaguely knew that as time went on my ‘blog house’ would have to expand. This morning I have a clearer sense of how this is actually working.
When I thought, Take Care of Mothers, I was looking at it from a sort of warm, fuzzy place — like I might should I think about buying one of our commercialized sentiment cards to recognize our culture’s version of Mother’s Day for someone. When I woke up this morning I KNEW in a different way that some huge circle related to the wholeness of the act of caregiving itself had completed itself within me.
I should not be surprised that one end of the ‘caregiving circle’, or hoop of life has connected itself to the other end today — like plugging two ends of an extension cord into itself. Now I sense from within myself what it means to have the one end of caregiving (seen perhaps from the point of view of being a woman) of bringing a new life into the world and caring for it as it grows into life, to the other end of seeing the necessity for ending something, and thus for the necessity of caring into death.
When looking back at our childhoods, most of my siblings would agree with me that given our particular circumstances, the only way to have resolved our troubles with my mother would have been to kill her. Ideally, she needed to be removed from our lives and placed into quarantine. As we begin to truly understand how early childhood trauma changes an infant and young child’s developing brain-mind-self, we will begin to clearly see that the ‘dis-ease’ of unresolved trauma effects that they carry within themselves will be passed onto these people’s offspring in some way.
In my case, my mother’s trauma was passed on to me in the form of terrible abuse. Now as I work to separate my mother’s writings from my own I am in fact FINALLY experiencing some version of quarantine for my mother as I remove her to the Take Care of Mothers blog space. I am ‘taking care’ of her, not by shooting her like one might shoot a rabid animal or a broken horse, not like one might if they could actually imprison her for 14,500 years, but by beginning an actual physical process of my own where I find ways to extricate her mind OUT OF my own mind.
This kind of caregiving is necessary only for me. She is dead and my actions have nothing to do with her. But in this process of examining what it means to allow myself a full range of action, even in my thoughts, about what taking care of mothers can ACTUALLY mean, I see that there are mothers who have always needed the most extreme kind of caregiving — so that they could be protected from harming innocent others, if not also themselves.
The extreme forms of isolation my mother was able to affect for me during the 18 years I spent being abused by her meant that she had an almost super human ability to control the development of my mind, including my thoughts and my thinking process itself. This process that I am working on as I ‘banish’ my mother to the kingdom of my other blog is helping me to further clarify the distinction I make between ‘memory retrieval’ and ‘disclosure’.
As I work to explore and connect all the fragmented pieces of my own history as it relates to the whole person I want to be (more of) today, I realize that as I return for my own memories I am forced to re-member myself with my mother in the picture (in the memory). Obviously she was there. She was the one that traumatized me in the first place.
That is where the power of disclosure enters into my process of healing my dissociations. This is what I was evidently ‘working on’ during my dreaming state last night. As I work with my own fragmented memories of myself in my life as they affected the formation of who I grew up being, through disclosure I can separate my mother from myself in those memories. I can place HER in a different place and ME in another, safe one.
I find it interesting that within my own mind I have created the third blog of Workspace for Stop the Storm in the MIDDLE between the blog where my mother has been banished to and the one where I am knowing-through-telling my own story. This workspace is a buffer zone between us. Perhaps because I am trying to heal particularly from the abuse against me perpetrated by a Borderline Personality Disorder mother, creating this definite boundary zone between us is of utmost importance in my process.
Only in the most physically literal way was the umbilical cord connecting my mother to me ever severed. On every other level — except for what I believe to be the spiritual one where she could not touch my essential self — that connection between the two of us remained intact. Not only was that true for the 18 years I was continually exposed to her maliciousness, but it has also been true as she has infiltrated my mind to this day.
I am going to divide and conquer, all right. She ruled my life during all of my formative years, yet she could never completely rule me. This is a war of wills as I continue to empower myself to rule my own body-brain-mind and soul. She trampled where she had no business being. She trampled on me, she trampled me. But she did not conquer me and I aim to prove it.
“March on, oh wounded ones, march on!”
I am in fact reclaiming the soil of my own selfdom! When I am done cleaning my own house, my mother will not be in it.
As always, thank you for reading. Your comments are welcome and appreciated! Linda