Talking to Flowers?

Last night I dreamed all the summer flowers had grown up and bloomed in our strangely warm winter. I was worried about them. “No,” I said to them, “You don’t want to do this!” And, in my dream, they actually answered.

In my California life, February was spring. The whole season began around February 10 and ended around April 1. No fooling ( ha ha ). In my dream I explained this to my Colorado flowers, but words like “California” meant nothing to them. “This isn’t California. It’s Colorado, and it’s only February,” I said. “We could have a lot more hard freezes.”

“Our job is to bloom,” they said. “We’re taking the chance now. As you say, who knows?”

It’s so annoying when dream flowers get all deep and philosophical on a person.

And then there were my mom and dad. That was the weirdest part of the dream. I woke up wondering about Heaven, not THIS Heaven but the post-mortem Heaven. If there IS such a place and we ARE reunited with our family, I don’t want to see them. That’s what the dream was about. Ultimately, in the dream, I ran away from them, down a suburban street, wearing some kind of fancy dress shoes. I ran well (that was the good part of the dream) but I wondered how I could manage that so poorly shod (dreams are weird). They couldn’t catch me. They followed, always more than 1/2 block away, calling my name, telling me to wait, to come back. As I ran, I yelled back at them, “Leave me alone! What do you have to do with me?”

The dream is fraught with personal symbolism. On waking I thought, “Whoa, analyze THAT for a few years, sweet cheeks,” and decided not to. But, of course, I do, I am.

In 1966 my dad’s abilities (he had MS) had started to seriously degenerate. One night he took me to my piano lesson which happened to be in the local music store. While I had my lesson, he hung around in the front of the shop. The shop keeper played an album for my dad and on it was the song that, for my dad, said everything.


P.S. Mindy thanks everyone for all the care and sympathy yesterday. She’s feeling a lot better today! ❤

37 thoughts on “Talking to Flowers?

  1. I once dreamed my house was a dark cave full of spider webs and bats and the moment I saw it, I got a sick feeling and ran away. We don’t all have sparkly childhood memories.

    I’m glad Mindy is better!

      • I wonder about that too. Some people really loved their folks … but the whole childhood thing is not the sweet memory it is supposed to be. It’s full of fear and bullies and weird and sometimes dangerous parents and other relatives … and worse. You can pull some good parts out of it, probably, but there were lots of it that were essentially terrifying.

        • I have a lot of good memories of my childhood, but now I understand more about my mom than I did when I was growing up. I’ve learned that a kid — for its own survival — will “create” the good mom or the good dad and with those people as an image, will essentially raise him/herself. Somewhere in this journey I have acknowledged the bad stuff, kind of saying, “OK, that was really authentically indisputably bad and wrong” and I’ve brought the good stuff along with me on this journey. That would be a survival stragedy I learned as a little kid, but it’s served me well. If I WERE to meet my mom somehow, somewhere I’d say, “I love you but I don’t want anything at all to do with you. Get away from me,” and I believe I would kill her if she didn’t go away. These emotions are complicated and I think far more common than we acknowledge. I never see a facebook meme on Mother’s Day that says, “Mom I wish you were dead.” or on Father’s Day, “Dad, you’re an evil son of a bitch.” 🙂

  2. It’s so true! I did that because my early life was horrific. I even went so far as to completely block sections out. The sad truth is that when there is a sudden realization of how terrible your parents were, you have to deal. I’ve been having an ongoing nightmare (3) since I was a kid and it’s about someone chasing me out of the house and I’m running through a gully along the road ducking and diving because someone’s shooting at me. The bullet fly by my ears and I listen to them whiz on by. I had it again night before last. It’s as real now as it was the first time and nothing has changed. I’ve tried to make sense of it and still cant.

    • When I was a little kid I had a recurring nightmare that my family left me behind in a candy store. I ran after them. My mom and bro didn’t turn around, but my dad did. He waited and explained that the candy store was for me, not for them. As it happened, they all died and I’m here in the candy store. Last night’s dream was like the opposite of that, the me NOW saying “I don’t need your candy store.” I don’t know. My did didn’t do anything wrong (to me), but my mom and brother did. And I think you deal with it forever. You have to find a way to love and trust ANYWAY. You have to enjoy the candy store. Your dream is very intense. I would only guess it means that you have to get out of there, but more than that? 😦

      • Unfortunately, many of my dreams, I’ve learned over the years were in fact, reality. It’s been an horrific childhood. Including abuse from a “father” mother, brothers and sisters from beatings to hanging to poisoning. I haven’t resolved the shooting as I never look back to see who it is. I’m too busy running for my life. Your right, dealing with it forever while they the perps go on living their lives without remorse guilt sorrow or a hiccup in their lives. That’s the part that gets to me I guess. I’m just humbly thankfully grateful I was the “best” mom and offered love affection and care in place of what my life was. Counsellors in the know of everything still don’t get how I managed to survive and to remain “whole” compared to what I suffered through as a child. I think my mother’s trying to trade me off to a realative at every opportunity from the time I was 8 to 13 was as horrific as the rest. I was an unwanted child beginning to end. So yeah, forgiveness is beyond me, I’ll leave that up to god. I realize that it’s supposed to be better for you if you can, but I don’t see how.

      • I can’t get passed the idea that in my case “forgiveness” is saying it’s ok, what you did is ok. It wasn’t! What can I say. I’ve been stuck there since I learned what my life was like as a child. It wasn’t ok. They all made choices! I was the recipient. I’ll probably die believing this, what can I say. NOthing I’ve heard makes it any better. I’m just glad you got to a point of acceptance that works for you. I doubt I’ll ever get there. I don’t love any of them. It’s an emotion they killed regarding their actions. So I don’t miss any of them. I’m just glad most are already dead. Hateful, isn’t it?

        • Personally, I think too much is made of forgiveness. We do it for ourselves, not the people we forgive. They don’t care. If they did, forgiveness wouldn’t be necessary, would it. 🙂 And I don’t think forgiveness means saying it’s OK. It’s just letting go of what couldn’t have been otherwise.

          I don’t love my mom in any normal sense. She was rife with envy, resentful of the happiness of other people and sadistic. BUT she also had a very hard burden placed on her by fate. AND when I was a little kid, she was a good mom. I can feel compassion for her. But most of all, I saw her true colors and was able to transcend those times and those moments. From this position, I can forgive her for not being someone else and that’s basically what forgiveness amounts to. I’m glad my mom is dead and my brother, too, since the choices he made were the only choices he could make (apparently).

          One of the funniest things was one time I was in Montana and my Aunt Jo (mom’s sister) and I were driving past the cemetery. She said, “You want to visit your parents’ graves? See your mom’s grave?” Then she laughed and said, “Never mind. I guess you’ve had enough of that already.” I still laugh when I think of it.

          • That’s probably the most inciteful explanation of forgiveness I’ve ever heard and it makes sense. I’ll try to transcend those times, it’s a goal worth working toward. It’s haunted me since I was told I need to get to forgiveness and I just went let go and let god cause I can’t. Having said that, well, I’ll try, with a completely different perspective, so I can’t thank you enough, Martha. Seriously. You’ve lifted a load from my shoulders I didn’t know was there.

            • In a way I think forgiveness is letting go of pointless and futile anger that ties us to something we don’t need to be tied to any more. Anger is a hook and it gives “them” power over us they do not deserve. ❤

    • Yep! I had a rough childhood. I used to have dreams about running through a huge house. I haven’t had them lately. Maybe, the bullets in your dream are some of those thoughts still chasing you. ” They CAN’T hurt you anymore. Those days are gone,” I tell myself. I hope you will heal soon.

  3. And yeah, I’m with you, if I were to see him today, I’d want to do the same as you and your mother. My mother, I’d shove down the hillside and tell her to make her way up by herself bruised broken and alone. I know forgiveness is important, but I doubt it’ll come in this lifetime for me.

    • I’ve had a lot of time to think about what it means to forgive. Now I don’t think it means you forgive and absolve and accept. I think it just means you forgive them because they probably didn’t have any better tools, but you ALSO remember that they don’t have any better tools and you stay away from them because they’re dangerous. I read a meme some place a long time ago that said, “Forgiveness means letting go of trying to change the past.” I looked at my brother through that lens and yeah, that was it. It was, “OK, you did what you did. You made your choices and became an expert in your field (hardcore alcoholism). It was your choice and your right. Good for you, you fuck.” I miss him, I wish things had been different, but they weren’t and it wasn’t my fault.

      • I’m touched you were able to get to that place. I can’t. They KNEW what they were doing, they were adults, everyone knows right from wrong, what is acceptable and what isn’t. It’s inborn otherwise there would be no guilt in the world. You feel guilt or at least I do even if I say something that hurts someone’s feelings. I put myself in their place and wonder how it would feel being on the receiving end of that statement or that act. I know instinctively what it would feel like. So, THEY knew too!

        • I didn’t say they didn’t know. They knew (my mom knew, my brother knew) and acted with intent (my mother to diminish me and support her habit, my brother to support his habit). I said they didn’t have better tools. It’s different from not knowing any better or not knowing what they did. For me it is basically saying, “You could have made other choices, but you didn’t. I will never know why and I’m sorry for you. Nonetheless, you hurt me, you’re dangerous to me, so stay as far away from me as you can or else.” My own safety is the most important thing and that include peace of mind. My peace of mind involved facing that they probably couldn’t have done anything else given who they were, which makes them, made them, very dangerous to me. I don’t know if that makes sense.

          • Yes, it does. Very much so. Again, I can’t thank you enough for putting the situation in light I could understand. It’s a relief to be honest. I felt I wasn’t doing my part somehow. I’m so beyond over the moon I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of meeting you. Your pretty special. You and Marilyn both. I may be 62, but I still have lessons to learn and this was invaluable. xoxoxoxoxoxox

  4. I am totally with you, Martha. I do not want a family reunion. I was not part of the family then and have no desire to be part of it in the afterlife. No happy memories here. Gone and done and don’t like to look back.

  5. What a way to begin!!!
    “Last night I dreamed all the summer flowers had grown up and bloomed in our strangely warm winter. I was worried about them. “No,” I said to them, “You don’t want to do this!” And, in my dream, they actually answered.”
    Your writing is captivating.

  6. Quite a dream, Martha. I liked the visualization of your running well and easily, even in the wrong shoes; and I can see how the dream would be ripe for analysis, though it might be difficult to do. But most of all, I was touched by the Simon and Garfunkel song that said it all for your dad. I can never hear that song enough; everything about it is unforgettable.

    • I think my dad saw himself in that song. “So I continue to pretend, my life will never end…” He had a lot of struggles in those years and big problems sleeping. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I’d wake up to see him sitting on the edge of my bed. It must have been incredibly difficult to be so young (40) and know that you were on the way out and you wouldn’t see your kids fully grown or know them as adults — among all the other things that would not be part of your future.

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