I went in for my interview today (not actually but I started this post days ago). I was very nervous as you can well imagine given my social anxiety. I am surprised at how many people don’t understand social anxiety. People often think that if they are nice my anxiety will magically disappear and while I obviously prefer the company of nice people, my anxiety never goes away. I keep thinking if I get to know someone well enough it will but it doesn’t. Because the anxiety never subsides people start to feel that I don’t trust them or that I have a bad opinion of them/don’t want to spend together. I am really only capable of being comfortable with one or two people at a time. Growing up I was comfortable with my grandmother and my best friend. Now I am comfortable with my husband and daughter. My anxiety is demanding and exhausting.
Anyways going to these interviews is pure terror but I did it. I don’t really know how to explain this job. I’ll be working with widgets, basically. Putting little bits with other little bits. I am nervous about working with numbers. We need 55 of widget A and 230 of widget B and the bookcases are all organized by numerical codes. I have Dyscalculia. I have trouble even with simple math. I have trouble reading numbers and saying them out loud. I turn numbers around when I write them down so I can’t even copy numbers from one paper to the next. I have a little book with my exercise schedules and the dates are always wrong, always and I don’t understand it because I am looking at the bloody calendar while I am writing it down. I have enormous trouble with time. I don’t understand the way people say the time it is ½ past blah. I have to say the time exactly and even then I am never really sure I have said it properly. I can’t really read a clock either. I do not think I need to tell you how embarrassing this problem is for a 35 year old! People always ask me why don’t you train? Well I have done. I have had so many tutors over the years! I have taken so many courses! I once had a math teacher experienced with Dyscalculia and I did improve a little which gave me hope but then I had seizures. After the seizures my issue got much worse. I now have to carry my phone number on a paper (that has been written by my husband) and hand it to people when they ask me what my phone number is. I hate when people speak their phone number to me because I don’t understand it and I have to explain that I can’t understand it. During the interview my caseworker asked me the hours I work at my cleaning job. I could not say them. She wanted me to pick times to begin on the spot and she had the bus schedule but I honestly can’t read the bus schedule so I told her I must wait and arrange it with child care. She wanted me to write the date on my contract but I never know the date and I can never remember how to write the date anyhow. I am going to have to start carrying my work schedule on a piece of paper. While it is embarrassing pulling out my little papers at least the info is correct (if someone else has written it).
I am upset with my caseworker. While trying to sort my schedule she asked me to move my therapy sessions. I asked her when exactly since I am set to work all week. I asked her if I should move them to the weekend for her convenience (I was that sarcastic). She looked a bit flabbergasted. She would cancel my therapy herself if she could do it. Therapy isn’t something I am doing for shits and giggles. She doesn’t like that I won’t work on therapy days. Again my therapy sessions aren’t about day to day annoyances. I don’t walk out feeling refreshed and validated. I am talking about some heavy shit in there and I am in a very vulnerable state afterwards. I am barely functional afterwards. Just getting myself home after is difficult, ask hubby who has had to rush out of work to pick up a very emotional confused wife. I am tired of having to fight and explain myself for going to therapy.
I got the internship btw. I just have to settle on some hours. It will be M T W and every other F for 4 hours a day. I am trying not to stress but I am. I am not sure if this will turn into a job because I am worried about the numbers issue. I am also worried because the lovely ladies I met there said it can be quite stressful. I am worried because I hate change and this changes everything. I am worried because if they offer the job I am supposed to accept it (The Unemployment Agency does not care if the job is awful). Maybe the job is just what I need and maybe I will enjoy it. Maybe the monotony of it, makes it safe. I am feeling negative at the moment though, about everything.
I also have some family issues. My mom is in a very bad mental state right now, I am extremely worried. I am also facing some very challenging parenting issues that I won’t go into here. Oh yes and my daughter had her birthday so I have had to arrange and participate in 2 parties.
Sam found a trauma specialist, she is a private practitioner and I’ve been there twice. I admit I have agonized over the cost because I do not have an income aside from my book sales. I haven’t sold many books. All I want to do is write, writing is not profitable at least not the way I am going about it. I have entertained the possibility of teaching a creative writing class but I have no idea what kind of credentials I would need since I don’t have anything to recommend me. I also love inspiring people. Speaking of writing I have selected all 100 poems for the new book. I have to read through them before I send them off for editing. I am proud of what I have written, not because it is exceptional, but because I have written what I wanted most to write.
The room is different. The new therapist has a room full of instruments and art supplies. She even has a xylophone and I am a natural xylophonist according to a middle school music teacher. Oddly the only instrument I can play is one I have only played once and I assure you that was a fluke.
She seems nice. I always say that because everyone is nice when I do not know them well enough to have an opinion. She seems kooky, I like kooky. I have not told her much about my trauma yet. We are working on building trust. She gave me some questionnaires about PTSD and Dissociation. No surprise that I suffer from both. I rank very high on the dissociation scale. That’s not surprising but it is scary. One of my biggest fears is developing DID. The type of trauma I have is more or less a recipe for its construction. I have always bottled up my emotions. Pushed them down by either bulldozing through (staying busy) or by simply disappearing. When no one is around I let them out but there never seems to be an end. I really do think I could cry forever. I am afraid that when I can’t “hide” I may “fracture”. I don’t like the idea of someone else using my body, fucking up my shit, messing with my loved ones. Right now I don’t seem to be anyone when I am dissociated at least not generally. Generally I am just offline, like a mannequin that walks ferociously if highly agitated. The walking thing is kind of concerning because I do get lost and a body without a brain can get into trouble.
The last two days I have been extremely depressed. Working on the book keeps me going and Sam’s love and support keep me “alive” but I am in a very dark place at the moment (Sam is sweet he came home early with flowers and sweets when I told him I was sad and he picked me up from therapy for a cuddle). I am just really sad, weepy, guilty, irritable. I imagine that is the therapy at work, there is no way to escape that part, it is part of the healing process. I am not good with emotional disclosure. My body is vicious at the moment, a lot of pain, pain is how I cope with stress apparently. Not how I want to cope with it but when I get stressed my muscles get so tight that they pull my joints out of place and tear themselves.
Speaking of pain. My appointment was early this morning and I could not get Isadora to cooperate and get ready for school. I had to take a shower and it is a 30 minute walk to the therapist. It was also raining a bit. Well I had to run part way but the graceful creature that I am, I tripped over my own pants. My pants are always too long and my boot got caught in the cuff anyways I went down face first and I went down hard. Somehow in the fall I pivoted my hips to avoid my knees and turned my head to save my nose. I took the impact on my left calf and left wrist I landed in some weird pushup and kept my weight up so my breasts didn’t get smashed (I think reacted as I do to my HIIT training). I have a bruise on my calf but it was my left wrist that took most of my body weight. Nothing is broken I have bones like rubber bands. If I don’t break anything jumping out of a car at 25 miles an hour, falling off roofs, or rolling down countless flights of stairs I am probably not going to break myself falling on the sidewalk. Oddly no one noticed they all seemed to be looking somewhere else when I decided to plow the pavement. I think I sprained my pinky though it bends of course but it is sore. I might have also slept on it wrong because it didn’t hurt at all until I got up from my nap (which was several hours after my accident). I often injure myself in sleep. It would be funny if I took a fall that hard and then hurt myself during a nap.
I had a session with my therapist the other day. So far I feel the sessions are lacking. I am already skilled in the art of monologue (I am not unlike Spiderman in that way). But seriously I need something more intensive than psychoanalysis. I hate sitting there talking at someone and receiving no feedback whatsoever. Where are the thought-provoking questions? Where are the hands on activities? Where is the objective perspective? There is just me in a room doing what I always do except I am doing it with a bystander who is practically catatonic. Well to be fair I did make her laugh out loud which is probably not right either. I really don’t know how to therapy.
I received an appointment in the mail for November 6th. I thought, finally, she’s arranged for a psychological evaluation so we can see what’s going on but no it seems that’s not the case at all. I have been scheduled to see the doctor to discuss medication yet again. I have already told her that I will not take medication until we have a better understanding of my condition, it’s like going to the doctor and receiving radiation therapy before the appointment in hopes that it’ll fix whatever ails you. The prescribing of bogus drugs at random discredits the psychiatrist in my opinion.
I am moving, as many of you know, and my therapist said I would be in a new district and thought I might want to change therapists. I responded that I will be coming into town for Swedish lessons and so there is no need. She said we’d talk about it later. Later in the same session she revealed that the township I will be moving to doesn’t have any therapists (none of the surrounding areas either) and therefore if I wanted to continue therapy I would have to commute into the city. If that’s the case why would I switch therapists? I questioned her but she said we’d talk about it later. I believe she has already decided to make the switch because a substantial portion of the conversation would have been irrelevant otherwise. Unless she is saying that people living in the country are not eligible for therapy but that hardly seems legal/logical. Maybe she is considering retirement? If that’s the case why not say so? I wouldn’t have taken that personally unless of course she told me I was the cause. I believe she is in her 70s so retirement would not seem unreasonable and I would understand that completely and with no hard feelings. What I do not understand is a round about way of talking. I also considered the possibility that she thought I might wish to discontinue because of the distance (Swedes don’t like long car rides I really can’t exaggerate that point enough) but then asking me if I wanted to switch doesn’t make sense because apparently I don’t have any local options. I am probably over-thinking this but I couldn’t really make any sense of it.
Part of the reason I am in therapy is because I don’t understand social cues. How on earth am I supposed to understand someone who employs both a social and professional veneer? It would be so much easier if she just spoke plainly. Do you plan to discontinue therapy when you move or are you willing to commute? If you are willing to commute how often would you like to meet up? Something along those lines. If I then asked about therapy options in my area she might have informed me that unfortunately there are no therapists in my immediate vicinity. This may well be what she meant to say but there was a lot of fillers and extraneous bits attached. This is why I need days between all my conversations so I can decipher what the person was trying to say lol If only I could pause and process as needed! I know there is a technique called summarizing where by I repeat what I believe the person has said to make sure that I have understood them but unfortunately I kind of suck at it. I am also defensive not around everyone but with authority figures I have trust issues and so in the moment my emotions sometimes distort meanings/intentions.
If you told your life story everyday for a year to a complete stranger and then those strangers got together to discuss you, they’d all have a different version to present. When I am in therapy I always feel like a liar even if I am presenting the truth to the best of my current awareness. I am unfortunately influenced by my moods. I think it comes in part from the disparity between stories growing up my mom insisted my dad was a good man and that my childhood was good. I kept on giving my dad chances looking for that good side. I kept on thinking I was at fault because I seemed to be drawing out the bad side in my parents. Sometimes I even thought I was imaging or exaggerating the abuse since neither of my parents were willing to acknowledge or accept responsibility. I keep trying to be more and more honest but I still feel like a liar, like a hysteric. Doctors/therapists are a particularly suspicious lot (I mean their job is to look for inconsistencies) so around them I act especially guilty.
The other thing that disturbs me is that I can’t find a therapist equipped to deal with trauma. When I started therapy I figured that my story was one they would have heard before and then some. Yet every time I open up about my childhood I am met with a very traumatized therapist (which makes me hold back). I think I need someone who specializes specifically in trauma. Sam has a coworker and his wife works with traumatized children he’s going to ask if she knows anyone who works with adults.
Today I saw a psychiatrist and it was for medication evaluation apparently. He read my history and suspects I might have PTSD on top of the Depression, ADD, Epilepsy and all the known stuff. My history alone seemed to be reason enough to have developed it. I don’t know if I have it or not but I can’t discredit the possibility. I do have the occasional nightmare and indeed any dream in which my father is present is a nightmare but as far as nightmares go my frequency is actually average. I do have trouble falling asleep which could have to do with years of lying awake vigilant to avoid being molested. I don’t feel panicked while I am lying awake I mostly just have thoughts mulling about, all types of thoughts, but not specifically bad thoughts. I do cry hysterically/hyperventilate whenever anyone attempts to massage me, that is clearly a trigger. The result warped posture and a lot of back and neck pain. Hell I probably DO have it or at least I have unresolved issues. I don’t want to think my past is still hanging me up though. I want to get over it and move on.
Anyways the fact that I have Epilepsy (which does have psychiatric components) is making it very hard for my therapy team to separate my issues. This doctor understood significantly more about absence seizures, which is a nice change of pace. Generally I have to describe Epilepsy before I can move forward with any kind of discussion. Next up I get to see a Psychologist so I can be evaluated for PTSD or whatever else. Good luck to them! It’s not easy even I can’t work it out. The more I learn about auras the more I see how they can mimic all sorts of conditions, they can totally alter your perception. Epilepsy can cause you to hear voices and even hallucinate. It is associated with the Schizophreniform disorders because there is so much cross-over. As I have seizures and auras everyday it is very hard to know what I would look like if I could remove Epilepsy from the equation. How healthy am I underneath? I have no idea actually. I try to think of myself when I was younger and had less seizures but then I was being abused so.
As for the Disability obviously I am not eligible since I have never had a job in Sweden. However, I can go to the Social Commune (?) tell them about my financial situation and my disabilities and they may assist me but unlike Disability there is more of the assumption of permanent impairment and thus no effort toward rehabilitation. As medication does not work and I am not presently eligible for surgery (too much of my brain is involved) I may be permanently impaired I have no idea. I will work with therapy to try and rehabilitate and if I achieve a state that would allow me to gain employment I will do so, if not I will work my ass off to be a writer. I really want to see a memory specialist and a sleep specialist. I want to hit everything because I want to function to the best of my ability. I want to get the most I can out of life. Right now I am essentially a Zombie hyped up on amphetamines.
When I was a kid I became an expert at subterfuge. I knew how to lie, evade, and assuage. My survival was at stake. The lives of loved ones dependent upon secrecy and denial. I was completely alone in my abuse. I was careful. I never trusted anyone. If they were kind the would betray my confidence out of love and concern. If they were unkind the consequences of exposure could be more severe. I knew better than to take the risk. I didn’t allow myself much in the way of comfort lest I soften or drop my guard. I spent most of my time with very self-absorbed people knowing that my secrets were not worth knowing.
As an adult I found myself unable to open up. I tried therapy but I only presented preselected versions of self. I aimed for safe diagnoses. I didn’t want to be irreparable. Damaged. I have years worth of philosophy and psychology tucked away. I know what to say in order not to seem too sick (though I am not much of an actress I am sufficiently confusing). When I am too sick I hide away from public sight. I wanted to hear someone say you are making progress, you are healing. I selected problems that seemed more manageable. I thought if I could make some changes, manage some small successes it might get me going. I placated their egos despite poorly articulated advice.
When I was pregnant with Isadora. I spent a lot of time with my OB/GYN we didn’t talk about my life outside of motherhood but he figured it out. He knew that I’d been sexually abused because he saw that some times and he altered my care, catered it especially for me. I trusted him and I’ve never been so proud of myself as when I gave birth. He followed my plan to the letter, respected me, listened t me. It occurred to me then that I could go to a doctor open up and they’d know exactly how to precede and if they didn’t know they’d ask for my input. I wasn’t a little girl anymore I didn’t have to protect. It didn’t work that way doctor’s do not immediately trust patients. Opening up is way harder than I’d ever imagined and contrary to expectations doctor’s rarely have the insight unless your symptoms happen to coincide with one of their tried and true lists. I found myself protecting Sam. What if I was institutionalized? Given a diagnosis that is too big for a a relationship survive? If it was just me and I had no one to disappoint. No one to say you lied to me about who you are. Then maybe but the risk was too big with a relationship. What if they take my daughter away? What if she has to have a crazy mother? A Depressed mother is bad enough but a mother who is truly sick? Then I think if I am truly sick I owe it to her to get help. On and on it goes. My fears wrestling with my morals (morals which are sometimes too rigid for me to even functionally bare).
I have an appointment on Monday the name doesn’t correspond with the female doctor I originally saw. I have no idea if this man will be my doctor or if I am going to rotate between a group of doctors. Retelling my story over and over with layers of bias smeared on top. I have to let go of my safe list of symptoms I am anxious, I am depressed, I have low self-esteem and dissect the monster. I am going to have to say that I think about dying a lot even when I don’t know myself to be sad. That I sit by the knife drawer for some sort of perverse sense of comfort. That I plan my death even though I don’t plan to die because I don’t want to traumatize anyone. I have to talk about my superstitiousness, my obsessional thinking, my intense need to isolate and cocoon myself. How I never feel quite real. How I haven’t grown up and not in the good way. How I get so emotional and distressed at times that I become unable to really make sense of the event that induced the reaction in the first place. How when I scream (when in emotional pain not the angry sort, this scream isn’t undirected at anyone) it doesn’t sound human it is just this horrible empty monotone sound that distresses other people immensely. I think I have been depressed so long it has made me a little psychotic. I feel unhinged and possessed.
I can be completely tricked by something on the one hand and on the other hand have it completely parsed. When taking medication I can distinguish the emotional side-effects from my natural emotions. The physical side-effects from an oncoming illness and even from a somatic stress response. I know the apathy created by a drug and the apathy of my own mind. That doesn’t mean I can shake it. I am almost too introspective for therapy. That sounds strange but Sam was told the same thing. Weirdly you be too deep for a therapist to manage which is something I keep hearing now that I am trying to open myself up. My therapist would need a strong personality to drag me out. They don’t have to be smarter than me. I am, honestly not that smart and I don’t say that to knock myself. I am just not particularly logical.
Yesterday I received a very strange letter in the mail, an appointment to my referred psychologist. If you recall I asked my former psychologist to reschedule the initial meeting for a later date but was denied. I wasn’t simply denied I was informed that all services would stop and if I wanted to pursue therapy in the future I would have to start the process over. I don’t know if my former psychologist had a change of heart. Maybe she reread my email and understood something she’d misinterpreted about my request? Maybe the referred psychologist was not made aware of my discontinued services? I am not sure if I will be attending this meeting alone. The original plan was to attend with my former psychologist but that would be pretty awkward now. I’ve not heard anything from her since so it seems unlikely, more likely I will go in alone. I am not sure how much this new doctor will know about me (this girl is a flight risk). I am a little unsure how I feel. I still have my reservations about therapy and I am still scared witless at the prospect of undressing emotionally in front of a stranger. Nevertheless, I feel it is a second chance and I at least ought to talk to the woman face to face encase she would have something to offer. Last night I hardly slept even though the meeting is next Friday (I have other worries too).
On an entirely different note. Writing for me is a very messy process. I tend to write multiple pieces simultaneously. I open countless windows and leave my finished works unsaved amongst countless other poems, stories, phrases, and stanzas. Given enough time I forget which poems I’ve shared and which stanzas/phrases I’ve utilized. No one could make sense of the mess. Half finished ideas sit around fermenting, rather promising poems/stanzas go overlooked for months. At one point I had 30 windows open. A single document could be as much as 20 pages long. The horror! Since adopting Sylvia Plath’s philosophy I refuse to delete and continue to work on my fragments until I produce a poem. I am proud to announce that currently I only have 7 pages! The longest document is 8 pages. Yes I know it is still terrible but the amount of work I’ve done is formidable. I’ve made poems out of phrases that I’ve written in the grips of writer’s block, low quality, seemingly potentionless snippets that have sometimes produced my favorite pieces. I used to delete and throw away more than ¾ of my work. What I didn’t delete was often lost due to poor organization. I don’t think I will ever be organized (I am saving more frequently though!) but I no longer give up at the slightest pinch of writer’s block or discouragement. I challenge myself and I persevere. I desperately need to update Open Office hence the italics for some reason my Open Office documents copy italicized even if the do not appear italicized in the original document.
You bind my breasts
Against your palms
My heart surrenders
To you, as if a life line
Weekly therapy sessions proved far too intense. From one session to the next I was wrestling with a state of chronic emergency. Unable to sleep, unable to relax, unable to function I decided to contact my therapist. I have always struggled with change and the shift to a new doctor/facility was more than I could emotionally process. Basically it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I requested to have my appointment rescheduled but was denied. The result? I no longer have a therapist and if I want to try again I have to start the arduous process all over. I am not sure why weekly sessions are imperative much less how others accommodate them given the cost (which though minimal does add up) and the disruption to daily living. Sam has been such an amazing comfort despite all that he has going on physically and mentally. I am very disappointed in myself for not functioning normally enough for weekly appointments and with the system for expecting that I should behave with complete obedience to a process that is completely uniform and inflexible.
I prefer silence to the weaponization of words. If I “pretend” it is only that I might slip away unimpeded. My belly is full of raw, undigested stimuli, I am sick with worry. I had thought it possible, even necessary, to overcome my reservations about therapy in order to achieve a rather ambiguously defined state of “mental health”. I’ve spent years researching and yes even brainwashing myself in order to get to the point where I could commit myself whole-heartedly to the process. Hope involves, at times, a complete detachment of all rational faculties. I believe hope can sometimes lead to insanity. If I keep doing X, Y will surely happen despite consistent evidence to the contrary. I am most assuredly insane. I am also more hopeful than most. I am just as quick to seek out the negatives in a situation as I am the positives.
I only know of one person who has benefited from therapy. There are far more nightmares than miracles it seems. Some problems simply do not have cut and dry solutions. I believe that I can change, that I can heal, that I can succeed. I haven’t given up. I am just very skeptical that the type of therapy offered is of any use whatsoever.
The lack of depth in “therapeutic” conversations is something I find immensely disturbing. The emphasis is on small talk and routine. On symptom management without inquiry into the underlying cause. The focus on medication is a prime example, as therapy often ceases with the administration of psychotropics. I have been reminded countless times to keep the conversation light. To think less. To feel less. To avoid heavy and complex discussions. To talk only about my day to day schedule. I am sure I could find someone to talk with free of charge if all I wanted and/or needed was to have a chat about the weather. I hate small talk and chances are if we ever meet I would embarrass the hell out of you.
I do not like having my feelings trivialized. Normal is much too subjective. What precisely constitutes normal? I find that when I talk about my struggles and feelings I get “That’s normal” a lot. Of course it is, it is normal to suffer. Human’s suffer but when I am telling someone my feelings and they dismiss or write them off in order, I am guessing to comfort me, it diminishes the significance of my experience. I have enough trouble opening up without having to decide what is important or worthy enough to mention. I do not want to have compete with all of humanity every time I open my mouth.
I could go on, as my concerns and grievances are numerous. Right now I am too volatile to attend a therapy session. I need a time out. I have turned my rage inward. There is scarcely a moment of reprieve as I agonize from one session to the next. I’ve had an eye twitch since my last visit (a week plus). This is the first time I have developed a significant motor tick because of anxiety. I find myself happy only when exercising and in order to sleep I find that I must exercise nearly to breaking point. I am skipping my rest day just to avoid the insomnia it represents. I am withdrawn. Disconnected. Overwhelmed. I am in a state of alarm 24/7. I have always been the sort to face my demons. Being told to turn away and close my eyes goes against everything I believe in. Even my poetry has suffered, the staccato rhythm is like a fucking SOS.
I asked my therapist to reschedule and she stated, rather emphatically, that it is not possible but the issue isn’t up for debate. There are some things I need to work out before I can even engage in a meaningful and productive conversation.
Yesterday I had an appointment with my soon-to-be former therapist. I understand completely the rationale behind her decision but I liked her. I find it difficult to open up emotionally in artificial situations. I find it difficult to open up to a person that I will never, in any profound way, know. I find it difficult to open up in general. My emotional experience of the world is tempestuous. My mind is in the process of creating a universe. Formless energy, implosions, explosions, death, rebirth, CHAOS, darkness, illumination. How do you feel? Is a complicated question. Often I have no idea how I feel until I begin to write. Writing is my way of embodying the unseen.
Human interactions for me result invariably in a deep unshakeable sense of humiliation. I took a monumental first step in discussing my childhood with her and the thought of repeating the experience is a bitter pill indeed. I dislike speaking of my everyday life as well hence my diary being more an exercise in abstraction. There is not a good deal to be said on the subject as I function via a schedule. If I’ve gone to see a movie I don’t really bother with details or plot lines. Did it make me think? Did it make me feel something? Never ask me what a movie was about you will end up with a very strange and nonsensical response. For me a movie very well could be described as venous or carbonated 😛 I once described a movie by describing a leaf. I can watch the same movie countless times and see each time something entirely different. So I do not mind repetition. That said I have quite a difficult time personifying myself. I perceive mostly everything, myself included, energetically, organically. I am entropy (not in the purely destructive sense of course). I have to have the same conversations with myself over and over again in order to make them cohesive and concrete enough to relate.
The sky is heavy and disconsolate. My mood is adapting the template of my western window. Isadora is recovering from illness, while I am proliferate with minutiae. Technically I should be in therapy but I have a stomach virus and thus am reluctant to travel. Which is just as well because I am not in the mood to talk. I just want to be alone with my unfinished thoughts. This morning Sam woke me up with a flurry of kisses. Apparently we both had dreams that the other had left and for equally stupid reasons. How I love that man!
Speaking of dreams I had one recently that is representative of a chronic theme. I was waiting at the bus stop with a group of strangers. The wait was a long one, 31 minutes, but there was no alternative because I didn’t know the way to my destination. As I was waiting I noticed an older man out of the corner of my eye. He was wearing sunglasses but I could tell from his body language that he was agitated. He began pacing and muttering under his breath. I couldn’t make out his words but their nature reflected a growing hostility. He took out a knife and I sank deeper into the glass cubicle, frightened for my life and the well-being of the faceless strangers that barricaded me unaware. I saw a tram barreling toward the station. This was a rural area so there were no tracks. Everything went black, I felt myself being jostled by the crowd. When I regained my vision I was inside of the tram tied to a seat but the cabin was empty save for a female driver, the old man, and another person. Although the other person was a prominent and active character I cannot remember anything about them including their gender. The female driver was manic. She was either on drugs or in the throws of a full blown psychotic episode.
The road ahead was serpentine. The hills would have been impossible for a vehicle to traverse. The tram didn’t stop for lights, for signs, for traffic, for pedestrians and nothing opposed or slowed its trajectory. I sensed my stop was approaching and I begged them to let me off but they kept going. I remember watching helplessly as miles and hours passed. I was growing increasingly panicked. I had no money, no cell phone, no recollection of addresses or phone numbers. I couldn’t remember the way back, the tram had taken so many inexplicable turns and detours. I couldn’t even remember the name of the city I wished to return to. I knew only that I desperately wanted to be with my family but that I had no way of reaching them.
In other dreams I sometimes manage to get a hold of Sam but he never seems concerned and never provides me with the information or the means to return. In still other incarnations of the dream I am traveling with Sam. I arrive at a logical destination, usually at the home of one of my parents, and then Sam leaves. I have no money to return home and no identification. I end up trapped. In the dreams where I am confined to my mother’s house it is less scary but the sadness is just as intense. At my father’s house I have to contend with abuse as he tries to reenact our childhood roles. I feel an overwhelming sense of betrayal. Often my father appears reformed when in Sam’s presence but degrades in his absence. Sometimes I do not even recognize the man as my father until after Sam leaves. Quite obviously I don’t feel in control of my life. Every now and then I make a breakthrough, I conquer the dragon, but always there are more dragons and bigger dragons with which I must contend. I worry that I might choose the wrong path or the wrong means. I worry that I might run out of time, that my loved ones will give up while I am in the process and I’ll end up trapped in a situation too horrible to contemplate. I daresay I am also a little afraid of myself.