Me, Myself, and I

Brokenness

I haven’t written much lately. My husband tends to feel like he’s letting himself down when he doesn’t write for a long time, but for me it’s kind of a relief. I have noticed that I tend to write when I’m sad. Or angry. Or when I just need to process things that I can’t wrap my mind around. If I’m not writing a lot, it’s a pretty good indication that I’m doing well. I’m happy. I’ve got stuff figured out. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule…

I had surgery at the end of August and I was pretty dependent on J for most of my daily needs for quite a while. (That was horrible, by the way. I had no idea that I valued my independence so much!). But once I was on my own two feet again (albeit with some pain), I was much better.

And now here I am again, which means I need to figure some stuff out. Counselor says I need to cultivate a relationship with myself. I need to learn to love myself. Forgive myself. I don’t know how to do that. She also recommends I do some kind of art, because it’s a way to be creative and explore myself without the analytical stuff that comes out when I write. I don’t know how to do that either.

But I am learning to sew. And I bought glitter. That’s a start, right?

But what about liking myself and forgiving myself? What do I like about myself?

  • I’m very smart.
  • I’m great at communication.
  • I’m the best (job title) that (company name) has ever had. Their words, not mine.
  • I have moments when I’m really fun to be around.
  • I can make some people laugh.
  • I think I see a beauty in the world that others often miss.
  • I’m generous and kind.
  • I’m a great baker.
  • I’m creative.
  • I’m trustworthy.
  • I’m fiscally responsible.
  • I’m analytical (Yes, I like that about myself, but I certainly do have to keep myself in check in that regard.)
  • And what do I need to forgive myself for?

  • I’m not perfect.
  • I sometimes hurt the people I love.
  • I’m overweight.
  • I’m bad at keeping my home clean.
  • I’m not sure how to forgive God for His silence lately.
  • I’m not sure how to forgive God for allowing my mom to get sick.
  • I’m not beautiful.
  • I’m not as witty as I wish I was (…as I wish I were?)
  • I’m often lazy.
  • I frequently don’t do the things I “should” do.
  • Why does the bad stuff feel more potent than the good stuff? How can I choose to focus on the good things about myself, when they don’t feel as real or as important as the bad things?

    An Unconventional Drive

    Dream Journal

    The dream:
    The particulars of the first part of the dream are hazy in my memory…almost like they aren’t actually part of the dream that has my interest. In fact, I may have actually had two unrelated dreams, one right after the other. Regardless, this is what I remember:
    I was at M’s house for one of our occasional friend dates. It was her daughter T’s birthday, so I had brought a present wrapped in silver, reflective wrapping paper. In the dream, I discovered that T had a younger brother with the same birthday, so I drew a line down the middle of the box and wrote her name on one side and his on the other to indicate that the gift was for both of them. Meanwhile M was on the phone talking to someone else. …and there was something about a frozen entree of mac and cheese that I had brought for M.
    Then, I was watching the Mythbusters do a special on the Grand Canyon that involved zip lining from one side to the other. They weren’t harnessed in the traditional way, but were connected to the line only with elaborate helmets so that their hands and the rest of their bodies were unencumbered.
    And then I was driving alone through the Grand Canyon. My compact car had large windows and a sun roof, and if I leaned back a bit, the view was quite stunning and larger than life. There was a way to operate the car–which had surreptitiously changed into a giant Tahoe-type vehicle without my noticing–from the very back. The rear of the vehicle offered even better views, so I decided to continue the trek from there despite the fact that maneuvering became significantly more difficult. I drove on, from the back, for some time with no problem, but then things got tricky. I lost control of my car–but somehow I was suddenly unsuccessfully operating two vehicles going opposite directions with the same controls. I was able to slow both down and safely park albeit haphazardly positioned. And all at once, I was again back to just the one vehicle. I couldn’t actually turn off the car, though. I was holding down a brake button from my spot in the back, but the key to turn off the ignition was at the front. I was trying to decide whether it was safe to let go of the brake in order to rush to the front and turn off the car, but then two police officers strolled over and the brake/ignition problem sorted itself out and was no longer an issue. I raised my hands so that the police would be able to see that I didn’t have a weapon, and caught a nonverbal exchange between the two. The dark-skinned officer on the left raised his eyebrows in a mocking “can-you-believe-this-lady?” expression. The fair-skinned officer on the right shrugged as if to say “you get all types out here.” Then he indicated that I should open the hatch, and I obliged. He started to write out a ticket, but then went around front to investigate something, leaving his pad behind. I was able to see that the fine for illegally operating a motor vehicle from the rear was about $90. I felt relieved at the low cost, but knew there would likely be additional fines. Then I woke up.

    My thoughts on the dream:
    I think it’s interesting how something crazy can happen in a dream, but how I don’t realize how ludicrous it is until I wake up. The car changing in type and in quantity didn’t even warrant a questioning thought in my dream. It was merely inconvenient when the one car became two. It was stressful to operate the two vehicles simultaneously, and I felt concern about how much my ticket would be, but the negative emotions in the dream were extremely muted, almost like it was someone else’s life rather than my own.
    In my mental/emotional economy, a vehicle in a dream represents a person’s life. I find it interesting that in my dream I was running the show from the back seat. It’s like my subconscious is telling me that I’m doing things the hard way. I may need to make a difficult decision if I’m going to put a stop to the way I’m doing things, though. (Should I let go of the brake to reach the ignition?) If it were an issue of passivity, I think I would have been the passenger. But what of the changes to the vehicle? First compact, then large. First clipping along in a specific direction, then losing control and haphazardly moving in opposing and arbitrary directions. If I continue this way, my subconscious is advising that I’ll get into trouble (police) and that it’ll cost me (ticket).
    As for the first part of the dream, the only thing that sticks out to me is the feeling of giving more in a relationship than the other party. I come bearing gifts (and a random frozen meal), and my friend won’t even get off the phone to talk to me.
    The Mythbusters part is perplexing. They were suspended from their heads….which to me is a reference to being overly cerebral about things… Other than that, though, I’ve got nothing. I think someone just tightroped across the Grand Canyon, though, so maybe that’s where I came up with that.

    Themes/Analysis:
    Feelings of being unimportant and undervalued.
    Concern about being too cerebral.
    Major life changes (new job? potential move to Spokane?)
    The desire to take in the beauty around me.
    Losing control and being pulled in different directions.
    Trying too hard – doing things the hard way and not being able to turn the hard parts off.
    The emotional cost of losing control.
    Feeling judged.

    Physical Manifestation of an Emotional Paralysis

    Dream Journal

    The dream:
    I was at work (my current work, not the new job) in the reception chair. Everything was normal…but then I grew catatonic while the people around me continued with their regular activities. As I sat in the chair, my body grew stiff, my body leaning backward: back straight, limbs outstretched, mouth gaping. My eyes were open, but I was not able to see. My hearing, however, was perfect. People around me casually commented on my vegetative state, but didn’t act concerned. I woke up from the dream at one point, but then sank back into sleep and the dream continued.

    My thoughts on the dream:
    It was strange to be surrounded by people, yet separate. Although I was keenly aware of my surroundings despite my lack of sight, I was also terribly alone. Still, I was not anxious or panicked by my inability to move, but rather fascinated by the experience. It felt like an intellectual experiment, albeit involuntary. I wondered somewhat disappointedly at my coworkers’ lack of concern….but I wasn’t very concerned about it either. I was more curious about how I would get my work done than anything else.

    Themes/Analysis:
    Feelings of helplessness and paralyzation.
    Lack of emotional connection to people around me — Academic interest in and over-analyzation of experiences rather than emotional interaction.
    Feelings of not being valued except by what I contribute.
    Finally, I think this stems from the fact that I am worried that although my last day on the job is Monday, no one will actually miss me.