Thursday, June 04, 2009

Two Posts in One Day - It MUST Be BAD

I couldn't get up this morning. I would open my eyes and they would close again, of their own accord. Thankfully, I wasn't driving heavy machinery at the time.
Anyway, I curled up with my baby fuzzable cat and fell asleep. Again. This time I dreamed quite vividly.
Some of it was work related. One of the women I work with was heading up a baseball team, which she really could do given her personality, and the place where I worked looked like the high school I attended for all of 6 months in 12th grade. High stone building with high spires on top, huge almost-floor to ceiling windows. This was where my father taught for over 30 years. And where, during that short 6 months, I saw him in the hallway on occasion in his suit and tie, doing hall duty between classes. Just writing that makes me tear up.
If only our family hadn't been so undemonstrative, my parents so selfish and self-absorbed. If only we could have expressed our love for each other, been a loving family, a nurturing family. If only I had been smarter - not IQ smart, but emotionally smart. If I could have been a better student way back then, someone who saw a future for herself. I never saw a future for myself.
I always wondered what the HELL I was going to do with my life, and so, never having figured it out, I've ricocheted through life, bouncing off my first husband, an alcoholic, with whom I had a child (who is even more screwed up than I was emotionally, thanks to HER lovely parents), and then bouncing with my second husband.
Anyway, back to my dream.
So my workplace looked like my high school. My work place is a school, so that is a likely mental comparison. I also work in the IT department at my job, so in my dream, I was called to a science room to diagnose some lab equipment that wasn't working. IT means computers, but, in real life, we get calls for fax machines and other electronics, as if by being in IT we automatically know how to fix everything else electronic, too. In my dream I looked at the equipment, which I remember.
It was a small device that had a tiny cup for solution and above the cup was a handle with a thin, 1/2" long probe hanging from it. You would lower the probe into the solution and it would measure the chemical components of the fluid. The problem was that the head wouldn't lower into the solution, so I was trying to fix that, when the device became a kitten.
Yup - dreams are weird. The kitten was kept in the science lab because it performed a function there, but I was concerned because it was lonely and lived in a cubicle at night, and it didn't appear to have much food or water.
At first, the kitten was almost see through - literally transparent, but as I petted it and held it, it gained color, until it became much darker.
I found some food and began to put food down for it, holding it the whole time to make up for the hours it would spend alone. I put water in it's cubicle, and whereas before, it never cared about getting out, now the men who were trying to put it away for the night couldn't get it to stop scooting out the door.
I felt so sorry for it - I wanted to take it home and even offered to do so.
While I was holding the kitten and caring for it, my dad was suddenly there. And he was young. As he sat at the long table, he draped himself over it a little, leaning forward on his elbows, and told me he was bad when he was a child - he had tried to ride his pet cat and it spit out a furball because of it. I tried to tell him that perhaps he had actually helped it get rid of the hairball, but I knew what he meant. He was watching me care for the science room kitten, and he realized he hadn't been as kind to animals as I was.
My father had anger issues. He had no qualms about smacking his three daughters around - hard - when he lost his temper. He did this when we were small as well as grown teens. I remember once he was banging my head against the refrigerator. Unfortunately, that did not improve my thinking - I wish it had. But perhaps I'm the kitten in the dream and my father confessing his thoughtless cruelty to his pet cat was him acknowledging his abuse of his daughters?
A few years ago, he DID apologize to me for hitting me so hard when I was small. He remembered something I did not. That he had hit me so hard once I wet my pants. I don't remember that, which I guess is good. I was floored that he apologized - and it made me very happy at the time. Of course, I immediately made light of his treatment of me - always trying to make people feel better even if just acknowledging his apology would have been best for him. Misguided people pleaser.
Next in the dream, we're walking, holding hands no less - he is much taller than I, as if I'm a child, although in the dream I am an adult and so is he - across campus and he's showing me where he used to have his Driver's Ed classroom, which all these years later, is still an automotive classroom, but for students to learn how to fix cars, not drive them.
While we're walking, he says he really has to learn to make salad, since he knows it's better for him and he knows I like salad.
It seems he is trying to get close to me, to know ME and who I am, noticing my personality and making indentations in his own so that we fit. It's called relationship, and it's something I'm not sure we ever really had.
I have to say that there is far far more unsaid than has ever been said between my father and myself. In my adult life, it's been words that danced around heavy subjects, but our eyes said more - I know his did. I see him now, at 90, unable to move around much, sitting in his chair half-blind, and he's watching me, and I watch the emotions wave across his face....and I know he's remembering. I can see it. He's remembering being young, being healthy - and I think he's remembering me, seeing me differently. Perhaps he's remembering the times we fought. We fought horribly when I was a teenager, and he usually ended by hitting me or slapping me.
Perhaps I'm just kidding myself, but I think he's realizing just a little bit who I am, and he likes it. He likes me. If only this could have happened many many years ago. If only I had been a more responsible teen so that he didn't feel like he had to yell all the time, get angry and frustrated with me.
It's so painful now to visit my parents. My mother is mostly healthy and takes 100% care of my father, but she is 80 and she is tired. He is incontinent and has now taken to falling occasionally in spite of his walker. My mother has called the Dr. to arrange for more therapy for his legs, to keep him from atrophying completely.
It's a total daily fight against the ravages of age, while waiting for the inevitable - and that is so depressing.
I believe in heaven - I know I'm going there. I'm a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior - so heaven sounds wonderful. In fact, I can't wait to get there. And if my father had faith, or more faith, perhaps it would be a comfort for him. I won't say that it would be a comfort, because I don't know what it's like to be in his position, but I think it would make his disabilities a little easier to bear.
I'm 53, looking ahead to what he is going through - and he took care of himself physically most of his life, which I don't. He and my mother were always physically active and careful of what they ate. He was very proud of his youthful looks until the past 5 years when Type II diabetes defeated him, gave him neuropathy and robbed him of most of his sight through macular degeneration. His own father lived to age 93, I think - and I don't think he had the health issues his son has before he passed, but I don't know for sure. I'm convinced it's the "high fructose corn syrup" and all the other crap that's in our food since the 1950's that's done the deed. My grandfather didn't have years of that crap building up in his system before he got old, so even though he didn't exercise at all and was a couch potato, I think he had quality of life longer than my father has.
So......that's my dream. That's my daily sadness - dreading the day when I get the phone call saying my father is either ill or dead. Dreading even worse a call saying my mother is unable to care for my father anymore - and he has to go into a home. Dreading this thing called life in this present age.
This life has such capacity for pain and anguish, and in bad times, the pleasant and happy times grow less and less. Old age looms ahead in a world where old people are not only not popular, they are deemed not worth giving medical care to if it costs too much.
No wonder I drink too much wine. I feel nice when I drink wine.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

let us be happey everyday!!........................................

8:04 PM  

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