Monday, April 25, 2011

Negative Thoughts – Daymares

As I was laying on the couch waiting for my husband to finally get home from work, I began having negative thoughts. What I refer to as “negative thoughts” can vary a great deal, but in this instance, they took the form of what I call a depressive daydream (or if I'm feeling frivolous, a daymare). These daymares are like little plays that I see inside my head.

I started imagining things that could go wrong at the upcoming jousting tournament. I've been worrying about Foxfire getting hurt, but for some reason, this time I imagined myself getting hurt.

In this depressive daydream, I imagine that I am asked to run an errand for the event. I have to be driven in a little golf cart up the narrow, steep and winding driveway that leads to the secondary parking area by main road above the event site, because I'm not important enough to rate a parking space down at the site itself. As I am being driven uphill, some asshole comes barreling downhill in a pickup and runs the little golf cart that I am in off the road. The driver rolls down the hill with the golf cart and dies, but I am thrown out of the cart. I am pierced by branches and my body slams against the trunks of trees as I roll downhill. I am severely hurt, but still conscious. I slowly drag myself back up to the driveway and lay there on the edge of the incline, watching blood bubble out of my mouth with every breath while waiting for someone to find me.

The Asshole who drove us off the road doesn't bother telling anyone what happened, so I lay there in pain for a very long time. Finally someone driving down the road notices me and calls an ambulance and I am taken to the hospital. (I hate hospitals.) Foxfire, my husband, and DA, my closest friend, are there at the hospital with me.

The doctors come in with the x-rays, and show all the damage that was done in the crash. Broken ribs, a punctured lung, all sorts of other less life threatening injuries. Then they ask about all the previously broken bones that are apparent in the x-rays. I tell them about falling off my horse a year ago, but they say that these bones would have been broken many years ago, probably when I was a child.

I respond, not too coherently because I'm recovering from a punctured lung and am juiced up on pain killers, “Prob'ly... from one of the times my brother beat me up.... He came at me once with a baseball bat.... Got a few good licks in 'fore I managed to re-direct the force of the bat... so he hit himself in the head. ...that point he dropped the bat ... started strangling me.... Fortunately ... stopped 'fore he killed me.”

DA, appalled, asks, “Your brother used to beat you up that badly?”

I reply, “...told you he used to beat me ... up all the time. Tried to avoid him ... much as possible.”

DA,”But if you had broken ribs...”

Me,”...didn't know they were broken.”

DA, “Wouldn't your parents have noticed you were hurt?”

Me,”Mother always accused me of ... exaggerating 'bout being hurt ... to get attention. ...would punish me if I complained ... learned to hide pain.”

And so on...

These daymare scenarios will repeat over and over in my mind. Sometimes exactly the same each time, frequently with slight variations, each more disturbing than the last. It is usually very hard to make them stop.

That's part of what makes up my depression. I don't daydream about happy stuff. My imagination is filled with disturbing thoughts about what awful things might happen, occasionally, but not always, combined with disturbing things that have happened in my past. And, yes, the story about my brother beating me with a baseball bat is absolutely true. (Although I don't know if he ever actually broke any bones. He did leave several scars on my skin.) And there were many other not so pleasant things that happened to me as a child. From being emotionally terrorized by my own mother to being molested by an older cousin who lived next door.

But my childhood is over. My brother stopped beating me up by the time he finished high school. The cousin who molested me committed suicide while I was in college. And my mother finally died when I was 25. Since then, my life really hasn't been that bad. (Well, okay, I got pregnant and gave my child up for adoption and I was beaten and raped by a friend of a friend, but compared to my earlier life...) And in the past eight years my life has been even better than not bad. It's actually been pretty damn good. I met Foxfire and married him. I no longer have to suffer the humiliation of losing job after job because of my emotional disabilities since Foxfire is willing to support me financially. And I have several good friends that like me despite my problems. Actually, the most traumatic thing that has happened to me in several years is getting thrown from my horse and badly injured. (Okay, for someone who has always been very physically active, suddenly being unable to do much of anything, and becoming weak and overweight is fairly traumatic. But compared to the stuff I had to deal with as a child...) So even though my life is, for the most part, going extremely well, why is my depression/anxiety not getting any better? It actually seems like it's getting worse.

And I keep having these damned daymares.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dreams – Packing Up to Go Home

A recurring theme in my dreams is that I'm packing up to go home, and I'm worried that I'm going to forget something and leave it behind. In my dream, I've been somewhere other than home for a while. Maybe a week, maybe a month, maybe a semester. Where I am varies a good bit, I may be vacationing alone or with others, it may be some sort of business trip, maybe I've been away to school. In the dream, I know exactly where I am, but that isn't really important, and I know I'm heading home, though “home” is never clearly defined. But it is very important that I not leave anything behind that I've taken with me or acquired on my trip. Sometimes in the dream, it's nearly time to go and I'm frantically searching for everything that belongs to me to get it packed. Other times, I just know that I need to leave soon and I'm worried about finding everything so that I don't leave anything important behind.

I have no idea what these dreams mean. I vaguely remember talking to my therapist about a "packing up" dream I had a while back, but I don't remember how she interpreted it. Anyone have any ideas?

Dreams -- Why No Blue?

This post was copied from an old blog that I no longer keep up. It was originally published on November 8, 2008.

Just a short weird little post.

I haven't worn blue since I can remember. I don't own a single blue piece of clothing. And I absolutely refuse to wear blue. My blue-phobia was recently brought to my attention while in the process of designing a t-shirt with someone that would be screen printed and sold to various people. She originally wanted to use blue ink for the design and I convinced her to use purple instead. I couldn't explain why I absolutely refused to create something that had blue on it. But I knew that if I did the shirt with blue ink that I would never wear it.

Last night I had a dream that I was wearing a blue shirt and I couldn't get it off. I was desperate to get out of it, but it wouldn't come off. I had to keep wearing it. I woke up very shaky and upset. Why would wearing a blue shirt make me so upset?

I think I finally figured it out. Blue = depressed. Duh! *slaps hand to head*
But even though I think I now understand my blue-phobia, I still refuse to wear blue.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Consider the Dandelion

Most people consider the dandelion a weed. They rip it out of their yard and throw it in the garbage. Why do so many people destroy these flowers when they will pay big bucks to buy flowers from a garden center? Because everyone says that the dandelion is a nasty, worthless flower. If you don't destroy it as soon as you see it. It will spread, and then there will be more nasty, worthless flowers you have to work to get rid of.

But it's a flower. A rather pretty little flower, if you stop and look at it. With lots of bright little yellow petals going every which way.

And when it goes to seed, it is even more beautiful. It forms this ethereal sphere of lace filaments that glow with inner beauty when seen in the right light. But it is a delicate beauty. It lasts only a brief while before the harsh elements destroy it. But even it's extreme fragility is part of its glorious design.

The dandelion's death is one of the most beautiful examples of the life cycle that I have ever seen. Who hasn't held a dandelion puff before their mouth and blown upon it in order to watch it's tiny seeds be lifted up and away upon one's breath. Spreading new life with the evanescent beauty of its death. Even without human intervention, the world's breath becomes the breath of life for the dandelion, carrying the potential within its seeds to form new life wherever the wind blows.

But this beautiful flower is destroyed over and over again, simply because someone, somewhere, sometime decided that since it didn't do exactly what they wanted it to, then it must be destroyed. Because the dandelion doesn't behave like “normal” flowers, it must be destroyed. Because it doesn't allow itself to be confined within the strict borders of a planned garden, it must be destroyed. Because it goes its own way and doesn't “follow the rules”, it must be destroyed. The dandelion is a rebel flower and rebellion cannot be tolerated, it must be destroyed.


Why must beauty be destroyed simply because it wasn't planned for?

Why must beauty be destroyed because it turns up someplace unexpected?

Why must anything that doesn't “follow the rules” be thoughtlessly destroyed?

Next time you encounter a dandelion, stop and think about what it means to be a dandelion in this world.
This post is dedicated to Mark Kanemura, Lady GaGa and all the other monsters out there.