Monday, June 08, 2009

stress dreams are made of this.

i have always been a very active dreamer. i think i've mentioned that before. my dreams are so real that i often wake up completely exhausted. in fact, i cannot remember more than a handful of times in my life waking up actually refreshed and rested.

and when i've been stressed in the past, for years i always had the same dream. it was the last week of high school math class and i hadn't gone to class or done any homework the whole year. everyone else had. everyone else was prepared for the review and the final. everyone else but me.

good lord i'd awake from that scared shitless. it would take me a minute or two to remember that i wasn't in math class anymore. that it was just a dream. and then i'd realize that i must be too stressed to know i'm stressed because i had the math class dream.

ah the good old days when you don't even know you're stressed. you have to have a dream to tell you you are. it's not just as simple as finding yourself stark raving mad screaming at the top of your lungs in the middle of the kitchen or, you know, drinking a case of wine alone while watching the real housewives of new jersey. things like that.

the math class dream really signaled to me that i was missing something. that there was something i wasn't doing or facing or dealing with. the source of the stress was some sort of avoidance. definitely a theme for my younger years.

so eventually the math class dream turned into the phone dream. i need to use a phone, quick, and i can't dial the number right, or the buttons don't work, or i can't remember the last few digits, etc. etc. etc.

when i'd have this dream, and therefore knew i was stressed, it was a signal that there was something i wasn't saying, something i couldn't say, or wouldn't. there was a miscommunication somewhere, deliberate or no. and this miscommunication was causing the stress. definitely a theme for my less than younger years.

well i haven't had either dream for awhile. i really did quit having the math dream years ago, and i can't remember the last time i had the phone dream.

until last night. last night i got mugged. IN MY DREAM i got mugged. okay breathe out. better now?

okay, so i got mugged. fully knocked to the ground, cheek sliding on the gritty pavement, hard to breathe. and the guy who did it had a wide dark face, grayish stubble, not so fresh breath. and he was fully on top of me and he was heavy. and it felt really weird. awkward even. i remember thinking, this feels really awkward. the sudden closeness of an aggressive stranger.

he grabbed my purse before i could even say take my purse. because it was going through my mind that isn't that what you do? you don't hold tight, you don't hold on. you say take it, because you know nothing is worth the struggle or worse that would ensue. so i'm laying on the pavement and i'm thinking this as he's grabbing my purse.

and then he grabs my cell phone out of my hand. and i say

"you can have that. but the battery is wonky and it doesn't work very well."

who says wonky when they're getting mugged?

and this is actually true in my real life. my phone is totally on the fritz. it's not the battery it's the phone. and i am due for a new free one. but i'm a luddite when it comes to cell phones. i don't need to play music or take pictures or text or check out a menu from the local chinese. i don't even activate my voicemail. i just want to call and be called.

and yes, there are people in my life who think i am a total arse for that but i don't care.

so all the phones are so fancy! good lord there was one i was offered that you could drive over with a truck and it would still work. the reviews were all sniffy like "but the screen was a little small and the music sound quality was just okay. " did they miss the part about being able to DRIVE OVER IT WITH A TRUCK! i can't even be a little bit sweaty and use my cell phone or it cuts out!

it left me wondering if people really do have to much time on their hands.

anyway, so i just told the lord of the ring to choose for me. and he did and we'll see what i get.

so where was i? oh yeah. the dream.

so i'm on the ground and the guy flips open my phone and he's pushing buttons and it's not working. and i'm wondering why he's doing this? he's mugging me. he already took my purse, why is he testing my phone? why doesn't he grab it and run? check it out later when he's safe? will this end up on some dumb criminal show? it better because that's pretty dumb!

so he tosses my phone aside and with my purse in his hand goes running off. and i'm thinking of the things i'll miss in my purse and also slightly chagrined at things he might find. what will he think of all the feminine products? will he wonder why i have "active" tampons when it was apparent while he was on top of me that i was fairly soft around the middle and pretty curvy. will he think, she's fooling herself with the "active" part? will he see my used floss and be grossed out? will he wonder why i have half a pistachio shell in my change purse? will he be mad that i carry so little cash?

even while getting mugged i'm still worried about what it will look like. always the middle child, always the cancer girl. oy. i'm thinking i might need a dream for THAT.

so i pick myself up and stumble over to where my phone landed. i pick it up and this is where the dream gets fuzzy. because i don't know if called 911 or the lord of the ring or a friend. i don't know who i called because i called all of those numbers and they all worked. the phone worked. on first dial. and all the numbers answered.

so my "stress" dream? the one that tells me i'm stressed, really stressed and don't know it? the phone worked. sure i got mugged and that wasn't fun, but the phone worked. i dialed the phone and the numbers worked.

and yeah i got knocked to the ground and that wasn't fun either, but i let go of the purse. instantly. did not try to hold on to it. i didn't make an already messy, painful situation more messy and painful.

so my stress dream turned out to be less about showing me how stressed i am and don't know it, and more about how i really am doing everything i can. that life is going pretty wonky lately and all my attitudes and platitudes are actually working.

that i am doing this. and i must be on the right track. and that feels pretty good.

i still woke up feeling like i got run over by a truck. but maybe if i ever got to have a night of sleep that didn't involve cats spooning me or sneaking out and bringing in dead things, bats that wait until 3:30 to really party right outside my window, or boybarians across the hall who bicker and bitch at each other in their sleep and loudly i might add, then maybe i would wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

i'll keep you posted.


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