Is it me or has the world become even meaner to fat people than it used to be? Are people liberating their inner fat haters? I could give you examples of this, (I just saw something really upsetting on the TV that brought this up for me), but on any given day, if you tune in just a bit, you'll find more than enough examples of this to make anything I say completely redundant.
I just started reading a romance memoire by Gloria Vaderbuilt. I wasn't born when she was young and so beautiful. I was only familiar with her older jean selling self and I would never have known what a delicate, sensitive, little girl woman she was, and how many important men she was involved with. She studied with Sanford Meisner and had affairs with Howard Hughes, Brando, and Sinatra, to name just a few. It's definitely an interesting read.
I woke up this morning filled with memories of last night's dreams and decided I'd try to work through them by writing them down. Like a lot of people my dreams move in these repetitive cycles with certain symbols and themes showing up again and again. When I'm kind of hurting and twisted up psychologically, like I am now, my dreams get a bit darker and harder to navigate. I feel more childlike and needy and am buffeted around by wounding at the hands of people I have loved.
I'm at my parents house. The house in Bel Air where I lived from about nine years old until I finally ran away for good with my husband at twenty-one. This is the same house where my Mother still lives now...
I was just there yesterday. It's always stressful visiting my Mom because no matter what is happening in my life, no matter how well things are going, she's bound to criticize me or bring up old hurts, and once she gets started she is unable to stop, it becomes a litany of my wrong doings going back as far as I will allow her before I simply can't take it anymore and put an end to it. Then it hovers there in the air between us, pointing it's dark spindly fingers at me, although never at her.
Because of the delicate matter of her health and age -- the risk factors involved in upsetting her in any way, and anything even remotely negative will upset her -- our unwritten agreement is that I must take what she dishes out without defending or explaining myself too much, or reminding her of any of the many things she did to hurt me through the years. My job is to be the grateful, humble, apologetic daughter, and for the most part I am, because as nutty and abusive as we both may be to each other, in many ways we are all we've got, and I love her. And there's the fact that she surrounds herself with sycophants who are ready to jump in and take her side, or jealously and greedily assume my place at a moment's notice. I want to visit her more often because I don't know how many more years we will have here together, but she is so relentlessly negative and set in her ways that just the thought of going there makes my entire body clench with anxiety and I get this rush of adrenaline that lasts for days.
Money can be an ugly thing, it can twist and warp and destroy people just as easily as it can help sustain life and be an instrument for goodness. I don't have to explain or justify my situation or life to anyone, but sometimes I feel the need to, the need to defend myself to people who don't understand me or the choices I've made. Usually the people who are the most eager to criticize me are people who have never been in my position, and in a way I guess that would include everyone since you can never know what really goes on behind closed doors, no matter how prolific I am as a writer. What you read here is only what I choose to reveal here, there is so much I censor without really meaning to, since I am mostly committed to this odd and often risky experiment of telling my truth.
Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking they know everything about me, (obviously because I write so much), when they really don't. There is so much that I leave out simply because my life is dense and rich, even in it's ordinariness, and I'm forgetful and so easily distracted. I could have lived out an entire novella in just this one day and failed to mention it, went from my dreams this morning until just now without telling you about it. Planes could have flown overhead dropping care packages filled with bundles of cash, colored hair dye, and pizza. I might have taken a long distance phone call from my rape Dad who finally revealing his mysterious identity asked if I might convey a heart felt apology to my birth-mother. A poem I submitted to the Paris Review might have been accepted. The Nuns could have run over and begged me to join their dwindling order. I might have stood naked by the side of the freeway waving at all of the passing cars or all of my cats might suddenly have begun to speak English and told me how much they like sleeping beside me at night but hate their dried cat food. Oh who am I kidding, if it was good and juicy, there's a more than fair chance I would have shared it with you.
I'm at my Mom's house and find myself in the same kind of dream I've been having a lot lately. She's selling her house for some reason, moving to another house, another one that is supposed to be better but that is turning out to be less than the house we had dreamed of.
I'm the one who initiated this whole moving thing. It may have been my idea and I was initially very much involved in the process. My Mother asked for my approval before deciding to sell the house I grew up in, in Bel Air, and I was supportive of this but now that everything is in process it is happening too haphazardly, carelessly, and it feels as if I have been brushed aside and have no say in how our home is being dismantled and where we are going to end up.
Mother had promised to buy another house, a better, newer, more appropriate home for all of us, with room for me, but that's changed. I was left out of the decision and the house she has chosen only has two bedrooms; one for Mom and the ghost of my Father, and one for Rosa -- her greedy, lying, scheming housekeeper -- believe me there is no overstating anything when it comes to her, and I seem to be one of the only people close to my Mother who knows this.
Strangers are bustling about the house, packing things, helping themselves to anything that Mom has lain aside and doesn't want. Naturally, given her increasing rigidity and inability to empathize with other people's needs, mine in particular, (or my pain or suffering in almost any way), the things she is not packing or looking after are all mine, and they are things that are very dear to me. These are the things that all of these many strangers are looting or breaking. I am trying to get her to put a stop to this -- trying desperately to get her attention and maybe somehow make her care about my needs as well as hers or Rosa's or whoever else she feels like paying some small amount of attention to.
I love her so much and I can't seem to reach her -- can't get through to her and connect. My Daddy is here and I'm so happy, (I keep dreaming this, that my Father, who died a few years ago, has come back), but he is a passive participant in the dream and is willing to allow everyone else to make all of the decisions for him. I'm not even certain that she has his best interest at heart.
Lorraine is here, and so is Robby. Robby is kind of drifting in and out and doesn't really matter that much in this dream but Lorraine (I've been meaning to draw up a cast of characters for anyone who would like to follow my story, but basically Lorraine was my best girlfriend for many, many, years, she was more like a sister to me than anything, and I am tortured by her absence and the absence of her family, but because of all the hurts and betrayals we've grown apart and can't manage to be close to or trust one another), is sitting right smack in the middle of my Mother's living room making plans to do things with girlfriends of ours, who are flitting about, and excluding me. There is some kind of scuba class or trip that she is planning on taking -- something I would obviously love to do with her -- but it is so clear from the way she is behaving that she doesn't want me to know about it. I feel so abandoned and rejected by everyone.
I guess the way it works is anyone who's broken my heart at least four or five times in my waking life are going to end up guest starring in my dreams for the rest of my life -- thank God I don't have to pay them scale, wink, wink, lame joke, wink. I honestly don't know what it's going to take to make them go away and stop haunting my dreams. If it means I'm going to have to work things out with them before we all die -- or end up having to reincarnate back here in order to do all of this over and over again until we get it right -- I'd better get a move on and see if I can bring about some kind of resolution because we're not getting any younger. But how do you do that with the very people you are the most afraid will hurt you if you open up to them? How do you do that when you are filled with terrible old hurting, and as is the case with my old friend Lorraine, (who I miss badly, but don't know if I even know who it is that I'm missing), fear? I'd thought the answer was in knowing these were people who I loved and wished well, but who for their own reasons, had hurt me, and couldn't be trusted. I felt that I acchieved a kind of resolution and peace with this in the simple knowlege that they would burn me like a hot stove, but then why do I keep dreaming about them? Is it that once I love someone I can never stop, or that we reincarnate in groups, like little pods of dolphins, and will always belong in some ways to one another? I don't know the answer. I wish I did. Forgiveness seems like a good place to start, but it seems to me as if I've done this again and again and am always stuck back here at the starting line waiting for another gun to go off, and wrestling with them in my dreams.
Mom is giving everything away, everything that isn't broken. people are combing through her house. There's been a prgoression in these Mom house dreams lately, they're all very similar in that she's bought a new house, we are about to move there, but something is holding us up, the literal baggage of our lives that we must sort through and decide what to take with and leave behind, and the people who are getting in our way. I'm guessing this is the literal interpretation of this dream, that there is a lot of work left to do before either of us can move on, and aside from my dad who tends to be the one benevelent force in the dream (and of course Scott and Beau but they are always positive forces in my dreams) everyone else is getting in the way.
There is so much hurt here, so much anger and deep, deep, pain. I am trying so hard to reach my mom. trying to get her to value, love and care for me by respecting my things, and by allowing me to take care of her and her things. God, this all sounds so shallow.
Someone has broken some china in her powder room, beautiful china that is lacy and floral. Fine, precious china that looks like it came from Dresden before the way, before everything was destroyed, China so fine it should be in a museum. I don't know how she allowed this to happen. When I am finally able to convey this to her the first person she looks to blame is me. She runs to the powder room to see her elaborately painted sink and the many pretty porcelaine objects that have been pried off the vanity thrown to the floor. She is upset for a moment until she is distracted again by Rosa and her packing and then she leaves the room and is off again.
Rosa does something horrible to me that I can't remember now, something that makes me so insane with rage that I finally snap. I grab a knife and threaten her with it. (I've never done anything like this in my life, nor would I. I'm guessing it's just a reflection of how much anger I feel towards her -- how much rage I have been forced to bury in order to play this complicated game with her for my Mother's affection.) I put the knife against her throat with the tip pointing inwards and upwards, and tell her that I want her to back off and stop interfering, that I'm on to her and won't put up with her crap anymore. Rosa flees screaming panicked phrases in Spanish. I feel powerful and triumphant. I am no longer afraid of her. I win.
Much later in the dream I pick up one of the phone extensions in the house and overhear my Mother's secreatary Tina giving Rosa advice on how to use this event against me, that she should inform the police and then see how she can sue us for as much money as possible. I tell my Mother this and finally get her to see how people are lining up against us both with money as the ultimate goal.
ln another dream I have gone to our house in Palm Desert with my Mom, Beau and my Mom's old friend Jani who I sometimes call my Aunt Jani. We're staying at another house, not the one we own, but one we've rented. Jani, as could be predicted, does not like me and isn't happy about my having been invited. She is looking for opportunities to put me down and make me look bad to my Mother.
For some reason I am in her room sitting on her bed, going through a bag of vitamins or pills. I've forgotten to bring some kind of pill that keeps me sane, an anti-psychotic medication of some kind. I haven't taken it for a week and am both surprised that I have to take this kind of medication in the first place, and disappointed in myself for having forgotten to take it. Maybe this explains why everything feels so weird, why I feel so weird. I am worried about making a mess -- worried that I will make some small mistake that Jani will find fault with when she returns.
I can't win with Jani. I've tried but it's the same situation I'm in with Rosa and Tina. All three of these women want my Mother to like and support them for different reasons, (Rosa is and since Mom blames almost all of her problems on me, fixating almost exclusively on the negative, but I'm the only one who receives any monetary benefits, I think there is a tremendous amount of jealousy, competition and a kind of nasty sibling rivalry between us. I keep trying to love them, trying to make it all okay, but it never really is because they are my Mother's friends, her confidantes, and this makes it almost impossible for them to see things from any other perspective than hers. If she has a negative take on me then I guess they will as well.
Mom and Jani come back from wherever they've been. Jani has met and brought an attractive, well-built, young man with her. She picked him up hoping that he would be attracted to her but for some reason he is attracted to me and this scares me a little bit.
He keeps talking to me, trying to get my attention, wanting to catch my interest, and I do find him appealing, but it's Scott that I want, and not this man at all. Then all of a sudden I can see Scott in him. Scott has somehow travelled from where he was back home to where we are here and inhabited this man's body, taken him over, and he wants to make love. I'm feeling desire for him and am feeling really lonely so I do feel this pull towards him. I'm longing to be close to Scott, to someone who loves and understands me, but even though I can see Scott in him, it still doesn't feel right, and I'm afraid I'll wake up in the middle of things and realize it isn't really Scott at all, but some psychic imposter.
There was one other dream that I remembered, one really awful dream where I had cancer and was having to go through these really frightening treatments to kill off the cancer cells and heal my weakened body. I remember being in a bank lobby, surrounded by people who I've worked with, who know and care about me, but I am so weak and sick with cancer that I can't stand up and end up having to be taken to a doctor.
The doctor takes five pints of blood out of my body, puts them in this big metal tub, mixes them with some kind of watery solution, and then puts all of this back in to me through an IV line that is somewhere in my face or neck. I am worrying about how all of this fluid can possibly fit back inside me now that it has been diluted so much -- there is too much of it. And that's about all that I can remember now.
Scott came over for dinner, loving, and TV watching tonight. I was outside walking one of the kitties when he pulled up. I had been having such a nice time, just laying on my neighbors lawn, feeling the grass prickling against my skin, the dirt on my toes, the big blue sky above me. It was such a nice afternoon. Meow had never been out before and I felt comfortable enough to let him wander near me, checking in with mews back and forth to each other, as long as I could hear him I knew he was all right. But when Scott came, we all went back inside.
Money, I'm thinking a lot about money lately. Trying to figure out how to make more of it by doing something that I will love doing in order to earn it.
Scott wants me to go with him to a sweat lodge on Saturday and I just decided that as much as I love it when he initiates cool spiritual things like this, this particular sweat just doesn't feel right for me. With my bladder being as bad as it is, (Interstitial Cystitis) where I might have to get up to pee ten or more times in an hour, or not more than once an hour on a good day, I have no way of knowing what it'll be like on any given day and if you can't enter and leave the sweat as you need to, this just wouldn't work for me.
I know they have reasons for this but if it's all about facing the heat, the confines of the space, the darkness, the closeness to the other people, the smoke or herbs, and overcoming anxiety and fear, having a participant who wants to be naked when the other women will be wearing bathing suits, and who wants to be able to bolt when the pain gets too bad, just wouldn't work. Maybe I can just dance around outside chanting and banging the tee-pee with a bundle of sage or crystals or something ; )
I just head that Joey Butafuoco is operating a Mr. Softee ice cream truck. Can that be true? This is someone who needs to be on The Surreal Life bad.