Wednesday, May 02, 2007

my brush with sadness

I really don't like the feeling of sadness. I'd much rather be surrounded by happiness and hear laughter, especially from others but I'll settle for my own. So when sadness starts to creep in, I do my best to stifle it below the surface, careful not to show it to the outside world. My therapist has told me that it's important to experience all of my emotions fully, don't hold back, whether it's sadness, anger or joy, the key is to remain in the present and ride out the emotion. Well I have a hard time doing this when it comes to being sad simply because I just don't like feeling this way. It's much easier to feel anger (I'm good at that one) and of course my favorite is to feel, be and live happy. I'm usually always happy (almost to a fault) and I genuinely enjoy life and look forward to what experiences each day will bring. But sometimes things happen that are out of your control that can dramatically shift your moods.

This was mine...

Last night I had a dream. I'm just going to start describing it without really trying to over analyze or put much thought into it. It's still in fragments in my mind and has been with me all day so please bear with me.

I'm back in my childhood house in Highland Park. I thought I was about my present age but I wasn't married. I was dating some guy named Bruce (don't know anyone by this name) and Bruce was on his way to pick me up. We were going out with some friends and the friends were people from a film class in college that I haven't talked to in over a decade. Have not even thought about them since college until this dream.

The doorbell rings. I rush downstairs, fluffing my hair, expecting to see Bruce. I open the door. It's my Dad. He's standing there, tall and handsome wearing a light brown cashmere sweater and dark pants. He has a full head of light brown hair, a tan face but very red eyes. I stand there stunned in silence, I feel faint.

"Hi." he says.

"OH MY GOD!" I reply.

"Hi Laura."

(His voice is very scratchy almost like he has laryngitis.)

"Dad??? What-? How-? I don't understand??"

"Don't understand what? I know I should have called but I just wanted to see you."

"What is going on?? You died!"

(At this point in my dream I am shaking and I woke up shaking so this is how fricking real this thing was to me.)

"What??? I didn't die!"

"Yes you did! I saw you! I was there! I saw you and you had bruises on your face and you had your mouth open and your eyes weren't closed yet!"

"Listen Laura, calm down. Calm down! I know I was sick and it got pretty bad, but I didn't DIE!"

"But you did! And we had a funeral and before that you were cremated so this doesn't make any sense!"

"Listen to me! I WAS sick but I got better! How can I be dead when I'm standing right here in front of you??"

(He was starting to get agitated with me and almost yelling at me and watching him get this way I realized he must be alive, he is right here in front of me so I reached up to hug him. He held me for a long time and I held on tight not wanting to let go but he felt like his body was made of crumpled newspapers. I didn't care though.)

"I can't believe you're really here!" I exclaim.

"I had to come and see you, it's Father's Day!"

"How did you get here?"

"I got in the car last night and drove straight through."

"From Florida?? What about--- you know--- HER?"

"Oh, we're divorced now, thank GOD that's over. Anyway, I'm here to take you to brunch... but then I have to head back."

(Weird thing about this is that it was in the evening because it was dark out but we were going to eat brunch. I told him I needed to get my sweater which was very similar to the one he was wearing. As we were heading out the door to get in his car my friends arrived. Bruce looks at me puzzled and asks who this person was.)

"This is my Dad."

"Your what?? I thought that he...."

"Nope. He's right here. He drove all the way from Florida to take me out so I can't go with you guys tonight."

(Bruce and the other 2 people in the car exchange puzzled looks and then introduce themselves to my Dad, they all shake hands and I bid my date and friends farewell. My Dad said he thought Bruce was nice and we head out to a restaurant on the beach. My Dad starts asking all sorts of questions about my life and what I've been up to and I tell him that I'm designing sweaters and I love it. This must somehow be a link to Tom in the dream but who knows. My Dad seems very interested in what I have to say and starts asking all sorts of questions and I'm telling him about my latest designs and he's listening intensely and then offers some suggestions and comes up with some great ideas for my sweater line. I tell him that I LOVE his input and I start to take notes. He continues on with his ideas and then asks me what I think and all at once I start to cry. He asks me why and I tell him that I have to leave because I don't want to do this anymore, it's too hard. He keeps asking me what is wrong and tries to comfort me but I just want to leave. I get up and yell in the middle of the restaurant.)

"I can't do this! I don't want to get close to you again because one day you are going to leave!! I just can't go through this again!"

"But it's ok, I'm not going anywhere for a long time, I'm better now."

"But one day you WILL die!"

(I'm screaming this in the restaurant and people have stopped eating and are staring at us.)

"Ok, ok. I'm sorry to upset you. I'll leave you alone."

"Fine then. Leave."

"Alright, I'm going. But, I'll be back to visit you, ok? Love you, pal."

(Then he gets up and walks away. I stay seated in silence and even though I want to yell for him to come back and run up and catch him I am unable to move, unable to speak.)

I wake up shaking and can't catch my breath. I'm still thinking he's alive at this point but then I look around my bedroom and let my mind calm a bit and then realize he was only alive in my dream. "That f*cking sucks." I think to myself.

Yeah, my therapist will have a field day with this one.


JJ said...

I'm sorry sweetie. But maybe it's a sign of him communicating to you through your dreams?

Christina Shaver said...

Hey you. Now I'm all teary-eyed. I dream of people who have died sometimes, and I ALWAYS feel like it's for real. And honestly, I think this dream was for real. He really did visit you and you really did have those feelings and really, he's not dead, just different. At least that's what I believe. It's sweet of him to pop by and let you know he's okay and watching after you. You're always his little girl. Just like in the pictures!!

Anonymous said...

It was nice of your Dad to visit you, you shouldn't be sad! This scene reminded me of 'The 5 People You meet in Heaven'. Nothing to analyze here Laura, just some time spent between a father and his daughter.

We never stop existing.

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