It's not just you… we all have our moments

It's not just you… we all have our moments

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pregnancy Dreams

I'm definitely someone who has always been a wacky dreamer.  In fact, one of my earliest and most bizarre dreams I can recall was when I was around twelve or thirteen years old.  Our old black lab, Tar, was on her last leg.  She had gone blind and deaf and would stumble through the house and fall down on the reg… it was terribly depressing to watch.  We knew doing the right thing meant her days were numbered.  This was also my first experience with imminent death, and it felt like a rock in my stomach.  I loved my Tar baby (you can blame my parents for any tone of racism here) and I didn't want to let her go, but the end was lurking in nearby shadows - a fact I couldn't escape, not even in my sleep…

I closed my eyes, desperately seeking refuge from the reality that I was about to lose my best friend, when I saw him - my father, walking into the laundry room with a meat cleaver and a white apron.  Instinctively I knew what was happening behind the locked door: he was "putting Tar to sleep"!  I pounded on the door, sobbing hysterically, and when he finally opened it, I saw his white apron was covered in blood, and I knew it was too late.  Tar was gone.  He silently pushed past me, leaving the horror of killing my dog behind him.  And there in front of me, I saw her: all chopped and ground up in a bunch of plastic bags.  He had made hamburger patties out of her.

So this is the mind I'm dealing with.  Fast forward to now: I'm three and one-half months pregnant, and things on the 'ol dream front are getting out of control.  In my defense, I'm not entirely responsible for the oddity of my dreams in my current state.  Supposedly, raging hormones are to blame.  And even though I'm not very far along - barely into my second trimester - the hormone fuel for my dream machine is in full effect.  While I can't remember what I've dreamt every single night, I started keeping track of the most vivid ones, of which I decided to share a short sampling, below:
- I was with Shree and Jen, and we were getting ready to go out for a night on the town!  First stop: Tom Cruise's house.  Suri was having a birthday party and we were going to crash it.  Somehow Shree knew the password, so we just cruised by (see what I did there?) the guard at the gate.  The lot was massive.  The party was in full swing in the backyard - kids and adults, a bouncy house and pool - the whole kit and caboodle.  Shree and Jen disappeared to God knows where, and I was just meandering poolside.  Suddenly, I noticed a baby that had slipped into the deep end and was sinking towards the bottom.  I quickly grabbed him by his feet, pulled him out of the water, and hit his back until he coughed out the water and started breathing again.  I called out to the crowd for his parents, but no one claimed him.  So I took him home as a party favor.

- I was trying to rob a house with my mom and brother.  Also, I was thirteen again.

- I was at my parents house, and someone was trying to murder us.  I didn't know who the killer was, but I knew he was upstairs.  Next thing I know, I'm in the garage, and I've captured the killer.  Only, he was a miniature person, no bigger than a baby doll.  I knew I needed to kill him, so I asked my brother to hand me an axe so I could chop off his head.  I set the murder doll on the driveway and pulled his head from his body, revealing a spinal column that looked more like an umbilical cord.  Then I took the axe and started hacking through the cord.  It turned into a fleshy material I couldn't cut through, so I just kept hacking and hacking, turning the little guy over  and over so I could go at it from different angles.  "Fortunately," I thought, "there's no blood!"

- Charlie (my seventeen pound Ewok dog) was a bigger, white fluffy dog.  She had a bigger brother (or sister) she was racing around with, and they took off chasing two monkeys.  I was trying to explain to the owner of the monkeys, and older gentleman, that she's a nice dog and was just playing, but he was embroiled in a heated argument with his son over the injustices "we" (white people) were handing the Native Americans.  All of a sudden, I was in the middle of a "battle field", and it felt like the mid-1700's.  There was a white guy dressed as an Indian, trying to stand up for his "brothers", but aligning himself with their group only insulted them more.  So one of the Indians threw a spear through his forehead.

- A girl I work with, we'll call her "Amy", took my job.  I knew it was her, even though I couldn't see her face, and I was PISSED.  I was complaining to T.T., my co-worker, about Amy as I sat on the toilet, taking a shit.  No matter how many times I wiped, it wouldn't get cleaner.  Simultaneously, I couldn't figure out what T.T. was doing in the bathroom with me.  I kept wondering why he was there, and why he wouldn't leave.

- Woke up early this morning worrying that I would sleepwalk into the kitchen and slice my wrists.  I was too scared to go back to sleep.

- I was doing a lot of speed.  I only paused for a second to consider the baby, and whether or not all this speed I was doing would hurt him.  I justified it by telling myself, "Well, at least I'm not drinking…"

And just last night:  I had a dream that my brother took a woman in a wheelchair, with no arms or legs, as his date to my wedding, and all I could think to myself was, "That's a funny looking prostitute."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Constant Craving

Craving:  I know all about it.  In fact, I’d venture to say that most humans with a pulse – whether they choose to admit it or not – do, too.  Even Nuns.  I bet those birds crave a thing or two now and again, (and it’s been well documented that Priests do).  

But suppose it’s not fair to speak on behalf of the population as a whole.  In that case, maybe I am unique in my craving?  Maybe no one else on Earth, past or present, has ever known what it feels like to desire something so strongly as to become almost possessed by it – certainly not the estimated 2.1 million members of Alcoholics Anonymous worldwide*.   

Sticking to my personal experience, I’ll share that my sense of craving began in infancy.  Not that I was capable of coherently identifying or understanding, that, what I was feeling was called a craving, but I certainly cried out for milk when I was craving food.  And when I craved sleep, I let that be known through blood-curdling screams as well.  As I developed, I began to comprehend that I most definitely craved safety.  In fact, I feel comfortable identifying “safety” as my strongest need on Maslow’s hierarchy.  

This craving for safety morphed into an uncontrollable anxiety that crippled me throughout my entire childhood – most likely perpetuated by my getting lost at Santa Anita racetrack when I was two.  Anxiety wracked my being – the only thing that could quell my nerves was to know where my family was at all times, and the only way I could do that was through control.  I began to crave control – which is a futile and exhausting effort.  Later on down the road, I discovered the only other thing that could mitigate my fears – alcohol.  

It didn’t take long before I began to crave that beast.  Even when I had a drink in my hand, I was already nervously anticipating the next – I needed to make sure there was enough supply to medicate my dis-ease.  Before I knew it, I couldn’t function without it.  Sure, I had plenty of moments when I was dry, but I always felt more relaxed with booze coursing through my veins.  The problem is:  inevitably it stops working (quicker for some than others).  And much to my dismay and benefit, alcohol stopped working for me around the time I was thirty.  Suddenly I craved relief – relief and rest from the exhaustion trying to control a drinking problem creates.  I craved it like I had never craved anything in my life, because I was at the end of my rope.  It was now a matter of life or death, because I knew my soul was empty and it was only a matter of time before my brain caught up to the idea that death may be a more suitable option.  

I got a taste of sobriety and hung on for dear life – I began to crave recovery.  It gave me a new lease on life.  I was surfing a “pink cloud” and I had never felt so good.  Life got better fast, and before I knew it, life was actually good.  I started to dream again, and as my dreams grew, so did my vision for my future.  I had ambition!  I started to crave achievement… success!  

I dove, head first, back into the entertainment industry (my only constant love) with unadulterated enthusiasm and vigor.  I put twenty thousand miles on my car in four months, driving back and forth between San Francisco and Los Angeles, until I finally cut the apron strings and made the move to live in La La Land amongst all the other transplants and dreamers.  I landed in features, then television; and during the course of my employment on a procedural drama I would never be given the opportunity to write for, something even better happened:  I met my future husband (in a rather roundabout way) through a co-worker.  

We jumped into a relationship, and before I knew it we were engaged and I was pregnant, and that, in and of itself, introduced a whole new comprehension of craving (apart from FroYo at 10pm) – I had a craving for Life, and a deeply burning desire for the life growing inside of me to thrive and be healthy.  Now I crave the knowledge and empathy necessary to make me a good parent – a parent equipped to raise a well-adjusted and capable child, one who can differentiate between right and wrong and who “makes good choices”, as my father once (and still does) badger me to do.  I crave compassion.  And lastly, I crave the power to stop cursing like a truck driver, cuz that’s really gonna fuck up my kids.