Friday, January 13, 2012

Dream a Little Dream

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul.  When you close your eyes to sleep at night, is your soul reflected back into your mind?  Is that where dreams come from?  I examine my dreams closely because they often reflect what I am thinking and feeling. I have found fears that I was unaware of and/or unwilling to face by keeping a dream journal.  I keep as detailed of a dream journal as I possibly can, trying to note objects, people, and events in the background of the main action.  If they're detailed enough for me to remember, they might be significant.  Admittedly, I've gotten bad about keeping it since now I have a puppy chewing on my chin as soon as she gets a hint of the possibility that I might be starting to wake up (my favorite Ryanesque statement).  After a while, most of my dreams are too hazy for me to detail even the main event, let alone what was behind it.

Dreams used to make up a large ammount of what I remembered.  Even if I didn't dream the exact event, I would dream something a lot like the past event that was trying to squeeze it's way through the cracks in the barrier of my mind. Enough would get out to widen the crack and let me peek through (kind of like peeking into the boys shower room through a hole drilled into the wall, only not quite as fun.) Once I was able to see some of a specific memory, the rest would pop out at me and yell "BOO!"  (Okay, let me clear all of that up. WOW, what a mess I made of that paragraph. Ummmmm.....the dream is the part of the memory that squeezed through the crack, me peeking through the widened crack is me examining my dream for significance, and I'm hoping you understand the "boo" part, because I'm really not sure I can explain that any better than I just did.)

Of course, those are the easy memory recoveries. Frightening but I have time to brace myself. The hard memory recoveries are the ones that attack me from the bushes while I am innocently walking down a path through the woods, search me for valuables, and leave me on the forest floor gasping for breath as they run away laughing. (This is SO my day for confusing analogies, isn't it?) The memories that sneack up on me completely unawares are the hardest to hold onto. They often slip away as fast as they appear leaving me nothing to hold onto except the fact that I almost had them. They make the hole in my mind feel colder and emptier than it did before it was temporarily filled then emptied once again. These are the ones that I believe cause the mornings/moments of disorientation. I think, when I come so close to the truth, my mind tries to overcompensate for the simultaneous disappointment of not figuring something out and the fear that I might remember something I don't want to know by easing back a bit, only it eases back too much.

There are the in between memories, too. The ones where I am overwhelmed by deja vu and then I realize why. Those were the memories I got when I was in Michigan. By the end of my most recent trip, they were coming so fast and furious that I was feeling sick and dizzy all of the time.  It was overwhelming, but only because there was so much to remember.  I would see a face in the crowd and know that I knew them from somewhere. I would be stopped at an intersection and remember that I'd driven this way for something specific in the past. I would pass a house and know that I'd been there before. Having grown up in Jackson, there weren't many places I could go where I wasn't overwhelmed with deja vu to the point that I couldn't focus on much else besides that. I often wonder if it will be quite so bad when I go back home again, or has enough come back to me that I won't have those unnerving experiences anymore. Probably somewhere in between, I would think.

The newest experience is one that I really don't want to repeat any time soon.  The other day I was sitting in my room playing with my dog and it was like someone found a door in the barrier of my mind and, for just a moment, threw it wide open. All of the sudden I could see my life exactly as it would be today if none of this had happened to me.  I don't mean, see how I would be a better person. I mean actually see my life.  It's like I was there for a second, living it.  Just as suddenly as the door was thrown open, it was shut again.  I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed crying.  It was too much. It was a new experience and I didn't like it. 

Of course, with so much coming at me at once, I did manage to retain some of it. Not all of it was able to dash through the door before it was slammed shut again.  They are nice memories to have. I have looked at them from every angle, laughing at all the funny parts, crying at all the sad ones, feeling fury at the most frustrating ones, and cringing at the horrifying ones. I haven't shared the memories, because I want to know what I really have before giving them to others to be picked over and taunted, before letting them be changed forever by the taint of other people's view of them. These are my memories, purely mine to see once again what I really thought and felt, and to decide where I made mistakes so I won't make them again. I know I've dreamt about them. Little snippets of dreams really, but dreams that will hopefully, in the reflection of my soul, change who I am today for the better.


  1. In a way, your overwhelming emotion is a good thing, and I'm kind of jealous of it. I spend so much time between "even keel" and "outright panic" that I find I don't really feel much of anything anymore. Joy, sadness, disappointment, exhilaration, bad or good doesn't matter; there is only "cope" in my world and it's been like that for a really long time. It's like there's been so much bad, I've quit feeling the bad or the good separately--it's just all "cope" to whatever extent.

  2. Sounds like your brain's defense/protective mechanisms are in full motion. I can't imagine the frustration and all the tons of emotions these dreams and flashbacks must bring, esp. when they only last a second. Obviously there is a lot of suppression of memory for a reason. When the time is right and you are ready your brain will allow you to hold on to those memories, for now it is not allowing you to for your protection. I know you want to know, but the brain is a very complex thing and it does everything for a's so complex. On a different note, I love your ability to express yourself and your ability to describe your experiences. I almost feel like I'm going through it with you (as impossible as it sounds) because of your exceptional detail to your emotional state. My heart broke at the point where you talked about sitting at the edge of your bed crying. Imaginig our lives without our disabilities, oh how often I have done that. To be able to finish that degree in social work and get my dream job to help others, to drive, to also not have a loss of many memories due to seizures (although NOTHING near your amnesia), to be able to simply be a produtive member of society not one labled as "disabled". But it is what it is and we can't go there, only strive for things truly attainable. God bless you girl, you've come so far :)


GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.

GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.