Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I dreamt of my father

Yesterday morning I woke up dreaming of my biological father. It is the first time I remember dreaming of him in my life.

I don't remember all of the dream but if I'm not mistaken, I was busy doing things with my family, laughing and enjoying myself. I have the idea though that it was older family members, not my siblings, that I was dreaming of, not that it matters. What I do remember is that I was talking to my biological father on the phone, I had apparently sent a message to him -- either directly or maybe through the grapevine that is my family.

In the dream, he called me and said, "I hear that you need some tender, loving care, that you are feeling down." He said he had been out working on the place and just came in to call me, he was a bit short of breath. I remember that I was visualizing him standing in his barn (he has a barn, but I've never seen it), he wasn't wearing a shirt, and he was standing behind some sort of a wooden gate or barrier talking on one of those old black phones.

While I remember that his words were comforting and that I felt close to and touched by him as he spoke, I don't remember anything about what he said. This is ironic considering that this is a person who I've felt so ill at ease about for so long, and uncomfortable even when his name comes up. The only conversation we've ever had, which occurred just two months ago at my brother's funeral was not uncomfortable, but it also didn't make me "yearn" for a relationship with this person whose sperm caused me to come to be.

One sort of "weird" thing that was not an overwhelming part of the dream but that was present was a overhanging sexual feeling. No, no ... not that I felt sexually attracted to him, but maybe that "awareness" I get when I am around men and there is an air of sexuality. It's hard to explain, since I am even confused about what role it had in this dreamt conversation. I know that with most men, all men really, I am always "on guard" for that hint of sexual intrigue or intent. That might have been it.

This leads me to write about a question my husband asked me a couple of days ago, which is Why did I call my stepfather on Thanksgiving?

I called because I felt like it was the right thing to do. My husband said he thought I did it because I'm still trying to please my dad (I call him my dad because he raised me). The truth is I've called him a couple of times over this time since my brother died because I am trying to save myself. I feel like my resentments are keeping me tied to him and I have to "act normal" RED FLAG in order for my overall state of mind not to be so messed up. I get so confused even writing about this.

I think I have to look at what I feel -- not what others think I feel or should feel. The program tells me that I need to rid myself of resentments (and honestly, I do think I have to do that, but I don't do that by "acting normal"). My husband says my need to please him keeps me coming back to hurting myself again.

What I feel is a lifelong need for a father's love, and a longing for the closeness of a family. (As an aside, I think that has been why I have wanted to get a pet so much lately.) I suppose I also believe that if he (my stepfather) is a monster, the one I paint him to be, then I with all my sexual obsessions, am a monster too.

I have never preyed on young people, thank God. That what separates us. Otherwise, he had his parallel lives too. I just happened to be one of the victims of his "dark side" and the result is today I live in misery, depression and an inability to get on with my life."

In a way, I suppose that my call on Thanksgiving was an attempt to get on with my life or at least act normal. Normal people call their parents on Thanksgiving, right? Good girls call their parents on the holidays, right? (Flawed thinking there.)

Maybe both me and my husband are right -- I was trying to feel a sense of normalcy and family and I was trying to make sure my stepfather didn't feel bad on Thanksgiving.

As I've been writing, I was thinking of how I had not told my older sister I was traveling on Thanksgiving because she worries SO much, she would have ruined her own holiday wondering if we reached S.C. safely. I was thinking of how complicated it gets, trying to make everyone happy and OK, trying to keep the lies straight to make sure everyone is at peace. I've been doing it all my life. And the sad thing is ... I am the one who is never at peace. But I was taught by my mother that I was to sacrifice all peace for myself for other people's happiness.

1 comment:

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Wow, so much here, Rae -- and so much I can relate to... Trying to see people who have hurt you as human rather than monsters, trying to act normal, trying to take care of all the crazy people in a crazy family... Whew!