Fell asleep on my feet and a dream of loss
Soooo that was an interesting afternoon.
Yesterday I was so dragged out, by 10:00 I was dropping off, eyes closing, falling asleep against my will. I did all the stuff…ate an apple and some grapes, slammed back a coke and drank a cup of tea, went for a walk, splashed cold water on my face, talked to people to make myself more alert…and still, the screen was blurring and words were jumping all over the place and I would split to double vision when I tried to focus. I was holding my head up and my eyes open for a while and then I thought I’d better walk again as I was going under. I stood up and the next thing I knew I was on the ground. I didn’t faint, exactly, but more blacked out…fell asleep? on my feet. I woke up immediately and shook it off but that one is a new one entirely. Hmmm..I say that but then I do recall having what they called “drop attacks” when I was a child. They thought I had some kind of seizure disorder but nothing was ever found…just the sleep issues. They never gave me a name for it…just explained that my brain got ‘stuck’ in REM cycles so I never got decent quality sleep. My mother thought it was brain damage from my father’s treatment of me and was terrified to explore it further and nothing was ever done beyond the first run of testing. So, yesterday I went home early, afraid it would happen again, as the exhaustion just wasn’t letting up. Dayne talked to me through my car speakers (love that feature) all the way home and I hit the couch at 3″00. I was dead to the world until my alarm at 6:15 this morning and now I feel better. Hoping I make it the day. (Come on sleep study! Mind you – I’m not sure there’s much they can do but maybe I can get my shifts changed or something. I dunno. Will have to see…but doing nothing is not a good feeling at all).
I had a lot of dreams but the one that sticks most in my brain was this one:
I dreamed I was at my parents home, living there with two cousins and my brother. (Cousins – two foster kids adopted by a friend of my parents/fellow foster parent. Brother – my adoptive parents’ biological son). One of the cousins was having a party of some sort while my mom was not home and his friends had arrived all rowdy and over excited. I had a headset on with big sound-cancelling headphones and had music playing so I could ignore them but somehow still heard the cousin say something about smoking a joint. I popped the headset off and asked if I could have some. He glared at me and then at the weed in his hands, not wanting to share. I blew it off, told him I didn’t care anyway and put my headset back on, annoyed he was being such a selfish brat. The party continued and I went upstairs to my old bedroom to get away from all the activity when I happened to glance out my window and caught a line of police cars coming up the street. I wondered if the neighbours had called them because of the noise. Suddenly there was a crashing at my door.
“Grainne! You bitch! Did you call the cops on me!?” the cousin yelled though my locked bedroom door.
“No! What are you talking about?” I yelled back, sliding my heaviest bookcase in front of the door so he couldn’t break it down and get in. He was furious.
“You called the cops because I wouldn’t share the drugs!” he accused.
The entire door started to shake and bend as he threw his entire body against it, trying to get to me. The books on the bookshelf were falling off and I had to pull my desk in front of the shelves to stop the entire thing from tipping over.
A scream of rage sounded through the hall and then I could hear him tearing the house up in anger. (Ah the memories….just replace “cousin” with “father” and this is a dream that actually happened many times in my life). I heard him burst into my brother’s room and a fight ensued. I hid under my bed, terrified and sobbing, thinking about whether or not I’d break my legs if I jumped from the second floor window to get away. I had my hands clamped over my ears and curled into a fetal ball, shaking so hard I was moving the entire bed above me.
As suddenly as the rage started, it stopped and I felt the silence through the entire house. It took me a while to unfurl, breathe again and be able to take my hands from the sides of my head. I could feel the blood slowly returning to my limbs as I wiggled out from under my bed and began to slide the furniture away from my door. I crept into the hallway, the entire house was trashed; carpets ripped up, wallpaper peeling, destruction everywhere. I could see down to the kitchen where the table lay on its side. There were dry goods everywhere as if the pantry had exploded and I could see shards of broken dishes and cups mingled in. I took two steps to my brothers room and peeked in his open door…all I could see was blood and bits of flesh hanging from the walls and ceiling…the carpet looked totally saturated with far more fluid than one body would hold. I didn’t linger. The police were coming up the stairs and all I could do was point before I fainted on the hall carpet, my last look a far-too-close up view of something that looked very much like a human jaw.
I had to tell my mom. She always loved her son more than anyone else in the family and I knew it would break her. I knew we hadn’t talked in years but couldn’t make my sister do it so, when she got home and was walking through her home, totally bewildered, I had to tell her that our cousin had murdered her son. She took one look at me and walked past me to her bedroom, closed the door and began to wail.
In the next few days I stayed in my bedroom waiting for the funeral. I could hear the house being put back together around me but I didn’t want to see anyone or to take part. My heart was broken and I felt like I was suffocating…my brother was gone, dead, gone. I’ve dreamed of his death several times in my life and remembered the other dreams, sad that they had come true in the end.
The morning of the funeral I had to shower, having not left the bedroom for days on end. There were several other people I didn’t know using the bathroom at the same time but I didn’t care. I felt so hurt and lonely and despondent I just took off my clothes and got into the shower, barely bothering to use soap. I got out and found the towels were all used up so just walked back to my room to air dry and dress myself. From there, I went to my mother’s room and found the door open, sister inside sitting by her bedside.
“Are you ready to go mom?” I asked.
She didn’t answer, too busy going through family albums of photos, page by page. She had two of me, one of my sister and one of our brother. She touched his face in each photo and smiled, no longer sobbing. I understood that she felt better having him close to her and took the other albums from her as she handed them to me. The photos of me had been looked through but my brother was so much younger than me none of the photos in mine had him in them. They weren’t important now and I shoved them under her bed to get them out of the way. We arrived at the funeral home and I was surprised to find that there was an auction about to begin. All of my brothers belongings were being auctioned off before we laid him to rest. There were piles of furniture and room accessories everywhere; rooms full. About a dozen huge racks held all of his clothing and my mother kept picking out sweaters that belonged to me once, a few that belonged to her.
“He told me someone had stolen this one! I always knew he was lying.” she said, fingering the sleeve of an ugly red sweater I remember from my childhood.
I found a stack of drawings he had done as a toddler, some of them for me, and I carefully folded them and put them in my pocket. There were also a pile of cards, birthdays and other happy events, that I had given him over the years. He had kept everything, it seemed, and I wanted to keep those too. They reminded me of the good times so clearly.
The auction began and I started to panic, not having enough time suddenly. I wanted to be able to go through some more of the items to make sure the most special things weren’t taken by someone who wouldn’t care for them or treat them like garbage. I started to cry and my mother came out of nowhere to scold me. “Why do you think you’re allowed to cry for him? He was mine, not yours! You were nothing to him but he loved me. I shouldn’t have to live without him. You deserve this, not me.” She hissed into my ear.
I didn’t know what to say. I turned to leave but she blocked my way. My sister stood in the doorway with her arms crossed, shooting daggers from her pretty gray eyes. I turned and saw a side entrance and I ran for it, throwing it open and dashed across the muddy parking lot. I ran for the road and quickly stopped to read the road signs so I could tell Dayne where I was and then my phone rang in my hand.
“It’s me Grainne. We’re almost there.” Dayne’s voice said.
“Don’t go to the funeral home. I’m walking down X street – come pick me up please?” I said through tears.
He pulled up moments later with my sister’s husband in the car. I hopped in and asked them to take me away from there. My brother in law was worried about my sister and wanted to go directly there but I begged them to just take me elsewhere first…then he could go back to be with her.
“I don’t even know why I’m here.” I said, mostly to myself, as tears soaked my lap.
Dayne looked over at me with sympathy and when I finally knew for sure that they were taking me far away from that place, I pulled the drawings my brother made me when he was little from my pocket and kissed them.
“I love you baby brother.” I thought.
And then I woke with tears soaking my pillow.
I really have had several dreams over my lifetime of my brother dying, even though he is alive and well, living in out west with a lovely girl he moved out there to be with. Strangely, I’ve never dreamed of my sister’s death once….just his. I did happen to read a blog yesterday written by a blog friend about her younger brother’s suicide (broke my heart for her) which likely was the thing that set this dream in motion and I was thinking of my mother and how she would lock herself in the bathroom when she was trying to avoid the reality of my father, so the theme isn’t completely out of nowhere. I was just surprised at how deeply, darkly sad it made me feel. I do love my siblings and will always, even if we never speak again, but I don’t often feel such longing for them in my life…I don’t ‘miss’ people often and the ones I do are the ones who had the biggest impacts on me…or, maybe the most perspective altering impact. Today I’m missing my little brother though. He was so much younger than I was that we only had a few years together before I was turned out of the family. I will never, ever, forget his little eyes, wide as saucers, watching me out the car window as they drove away when they got rid of me. He was maybe 2? 3? Just a little guy.
Ahh fun fun. Okay. Here comes the sleepies. Gotta go get a coffee and try to make it through the day. Thanks for being here with me guys; for making me feel so much less alone.