what dreams may come
One cool thing about the week before my period (sorry if that's TMI, I have a uterus, get over it) is that I have vivid, complicated, all-night-long dreams*. One totally not-cool thing is that at least every other month, one or more of those dreams is about my mother.
A month or two ago, I had a dream in which I managed to get my mom to sit down and listen to me while I explained to her how I felt about my childhood and especially how I feel about the way she treats me as an adult. She was actually open-minded and genuinely interested in how I felt. She wanted to change. I expressed my dubiousness that she really would change, and I felt like an asshole for not letting her back into my life, because she really did seem to *get it*. I woke up still feeling like a jerk, and hung onto a keen feeling of loss throughout the day. That dream was more upsetting to me than all the dreams in which she's abusive and/or we fight. Those dreams just annoy me. This one hurt. I guess some small part of me that I don't usually acknowledge is still wishing for my mommy to get better and tell me she loves me. How sad.
Last night I had another dream. This time she was not the nice, caring mommy. She was a harpy. She stood in my bedroom doorway, rifling through a tiny cloth-bound diary (she read two of my diaries, when I was 14 and 17). She read a description of a family outing to me in a mocking tone, then accused me shrewishly of lying and making everything up. I tried to explain to her that, in fact, the entry was a pretty basic account of the events that had happened on one day, without editorial comment from me. It was, in short, a child's diary entry - all reporting, no interpretation. I tried to express that that type of entry is just the facts, and that nothing about it was made up. In the dream it didn't occur to me to tell her that, duh, this diary was only for my eyes, so to whom exactly would I be lying? Why did it matter to her so much?
It occurs to me now that this desire to have people know the truth about yourself - or at least the truth as you see it - is really important to her, and that it's also very important to me. I had never lined those two things up before, because I consider her truth to be mostly untrue and my truth to be entirely (or at least overwhelmingly, mostly) true. But at the core, both of us feel a desperate need to be known and not to have people believe anything about us that we think is untrue. What does that mean?
*nifty fact: women do tend to dream more during the nights before menstruation starts, and those dreams tend to have an increased number of intense/conflicted interactions with female characters