Perchance to dream

This post dedicated to Flutter and Angela and all the others.

            The dreams are nightly, and they are intense.  Partly, of course, this is due to the pregnancy hormones.  Pregnant dreams are vibrant and alive in a way people who have never had them cannot completely comprehend.  But, that is only a partial explanation.  I can account for their intensity, but not for their subject matter.

            I have been dreaming of my father lately.

            I do not dream of his wife, the woman who hurt me so thoroughly and so frequently throughout my childhood.  I do not dream of the physical pain.  I dream of him.  Now.  Seeing him now.  I dream of buying their house.  I dream of confronting him. 

            There is not the same fear as before, although there is still anxiety.  I am still not sanguine about the idea of seeing the man with so little parenting instinct that he let his children disappear from his life.  Those of you with children just try to imagine this.  He let his children simply disappear from his life. 

            I am sure the stress of living a temporary, rootless life just now contributes to these dreams.  And I am not surprised.  The last year has been about healing, coming to terms, growing, and letting go.  But I am not naïve.  There is pain that never goes away.  There are sadnesses we cannot get over.  They will stay with us.

            The best we can ever hope for is to learn how to process them better.  You cannot put your past behind you any more than you can go home again. 

            “And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald was buried under the famous last line of his most famous book.  (And, yes, I know the line by heart.  And, yes, I have visited his grave.  I have never denied being a dork.)  Fitzgerald, he never learned how to steer the boat and was at the mercy of the current.  If we can learn to navigate and work with the current as it flows, we can move forwards even as we accept the waters of the past.

             Pregnant with my third child, worrying about my sons, building a career that fills me with hope, feeling closer than ever to my husband even though I never fucking see him, I accept those dreams for what they are – part but not the sum of me. 

            Welcome to the rest of my life.

16 responses to “Perchance to dream

  1. Though, at least for me, there’s an enormous temptation to stop fighting the current and just drift where the water is trying so hard to take me. There’s a certain peace in the idea of capitulation.

  2. Having children of your own must make your parents’ mistakes all the more difficult to deal with. The “how could they” questions must come up so much more.

  3. You are stronger than that current, and stronger than those parts. This gave me goosebumps.

  4. This reminds me of nothing so much as how I feel about parenting LP. I cannot fight his current too hard for fear of wrecking us both. He has taught me gentleness, nimbleness and fancy maneuvering, but at least we aren’t stuck.

  5. Definitely, the “rootless” life you are leading right now is causing that stress to resurface. It’s normal. I’ve felt it as well. I do much better with routine, stability and roots. I don’t like change. It comes with the territory I am sure. I hope the dreams cease and you can find some peace while trying to put down roots and grow that little one. Hang in there.

  6. Thanks for inviting us in. Rocky, for sure, but feeling and writing about the feelings have got to be good in terms of finding some sort of peace.

  7. It sounds like you’ve gained so much perspective over the last year, and are finally getting to a good place.
    Good for you . .. .:)

  8. There are so many parts of us, that can only be safely confronted in our subconscience. It is amazing how those worries come out when we are pregnant or otherwise hormonally charged.

  9. You said again what I feel in my heart. Thank you, Emily.

  10. This is just so spot on, Emily, for any and all of us who also have painful childhoods to overcome. You put everything so well and so beautifully.

  11. Oh Emily. I wish I didn’t understand. I wish you didn’t have to dream them too.


  12. I am so curious what this man means to your mind, that it is using his imagery to process whatever it is dealing with.

    As for the rest, lovely and insightful.

  13. I don’t know enough about your story to comment intelligently, so I’ll wis you peace on your journey, instead.

  14. wow–so much is happening to you, your life, your body and your dreams are reflecting that anxiety and restlessness.

    hugs to you. i wish you peaceful dreams. . .

  15. And you can love the pain, for making you the amazing, creative, tender person you are, and honor all the resources you have developed out of it. Resources that will carry you through this transition and root you in something wonderful. It will come, and I have every faith in you.

  16. the rest of your life indeed.