Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Left Out

When I answered my phone, the doctor on the other end leaked out information that was not intended for me to hear. Too late, because I knew it had something to do with one of my family members, and I insisted that he tell me what he was talking about. Somebody from my family was in the hospital, but he wouldn't tell me why.

Arriving at the hospital with at least one of my grandchildren, I found my mother, father, and my youngest sister sitting in a line of chairs. When I asked them why we were here, nobody responded with an answer I wanted to hear. 

Their replies were variations of, "We can't tell you right now," "You'll find out later," and so on. I was infuriated. Everybody else knew but me.

When the procedure or surgery was over, my younger sister came out of the hospital room looking spectacularly beautiful but even she wouldn't tell me why she was there. 

My angered response was to tell everybody not to count on me for any further revelations (in waking life I had told them all that I had cancer a couple of years ago). If I were dying, I would not tell any one of them. 

My mother and I were arguing about the situation, but she wouldn't give in and tell me what had just occurred. So, in childlike fashion, I grabbed a place on the couch (we were now in a room somewhere), folded my arms across my chest, and lifted my head in defiance.

I think the reason I had this dream was because a situation occurred recently where somebody felt the need to pull somebody else aside and tell him to go to a different room so I wouldn't hear the conversation. I find secret telling exceedingly rude. Why not wait until you are alone with the person to reveal your secret instead of making it overtly obvious that you are trying to share information that "somebody" else is not allowed to hear? Or tell the person you are hiding from that you need to speak to the other person alone.

Sharing secrets in public is childish and rude. I've seen one person lean into another person and point her head in a certain direction. The other person looks into the direction of which the secret teller just pointed and both laugh.

Earlier in my life when I was 11 years old, I saw a "friend" of mine point me out to another friend of hers as I was walking close by them. The experience of knowing that whatever laughter they were sharing was at my expense caused me to confront the "friend," who told me that yes, they were laughing at me, more specifically at my hair. At 11 years of age, I lost whatever self confidence I might have had and folded into myself.

One event that occurred decades ago, even when it arises under different circumstances today, still affects me the same way apparently.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Serial Killer in My Home

In this dream I am living with my parents but the home doesn't look like the home where I grew up. My mother and I are aware that my father has invited a serial killer to live with us. Though having a serial killer living among us obviously bothers us all immensely, for the most part, we choose to ignore him.

Until the day the serial killer brings home another woman and, after we figure out his modus operandi, decide we will no longer partake of his barbecues anymore when he invites us for dinner. I know, even as I write that, how ridiculous it sounds, but it truly was in my dream. 

I insist that my father get rid of the guy, using this logic: "What if he decides to kill me or my sisters or my children?"

My father shrugs. Memories of my past flood my brain. I become frustrated and furious, crying and screaming at him. I hate when anybody shrugs me off. My mother and either one of my sisters or one of my daughters (can't remember which), notes my emotional outburst, feels sorry for me, but neither speaks up for me nor addresses the situation. I am further agitated by their silence.

It never occurs to me to report the serial killer to the police myself, nor does it occur to me to confront the man. He's like a cancer that lives among us who everyone chooses to ignore. I am so angry in this dream, I could just punch somebody.

When I reflect on this dream it occurs to me that I often get frustrated when nobody listens to me or when people ignore me. Apparently even something as outrageous as trying to get everybody to realize the importance of a serial killer living in our home isn't enough to grab anyone's attention. The only thing that really grabbed the immediate attention of everybody I know is when I told everybody I had cancer. All eyes settled upon me. I'd never before experienced such rapt attention.

Being ignored reminds me of the time I tried to tell my father about a man who confronted me in the parking lot of Sears when I was working there at the age of 17. I was terrified about going back to the parking lot after work. My father, probably in trying to get me to hang up, insisted that everything was OK. I could not get across to him how terrified I was about having to return to that parking lot. (I recorded that episode in the article, Ted Bundy and Me.)

One reason I think I had this dream is that the yesterday, a friend of mine asked me for the photo that accompanies this article. The only copy I could find was the one I attached to that article. It apparently aroused some significant memories.

Also, knowing how dreams relate to present circumstances, I wonder if my anxiety over not being heard or being ignored has anything to do with the fact that I entered three screenplays (one of which is actually a teleplay) in a competition, and realized, after I sent them in, that I had made some minor errors. I'm hoping the judges don't disregard my entries because of those errors and that those contest judges actually read my screenplays and find them worth turning into television programs or movies. 

Being ignored has always been more than just mildly irritating to me – it has been exasperating. I've often lamented, "Oh, if only somebody would pay attention to what I'm saying (or writing)," especially when I recall with dubious concern the day I revealed my cancer to my family. Rarely do I get that undivided attention. When I speak of my blogs or screenplays I can almost see their eyes glaze over. Does it really take something as dramatic as cancer or a serial killer to get people to listen to me?

It doesn't surprise me that I would choose something as shocking as a serial killer living in my home to prove that even with something so potentially fatal, and although I tend to exaggerate even in my dreams, getting anybody to listen to me is always such a challenge. So I'm putting out to the Universe: My screenplays are winners! Everybody will want to watch the results of those screenplays or teleplays on TV or at the movies or on Netflix or from Redbox, or online ... ;)

Afterword: Just before I posted this, I found the following daily horoscope (surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, appropriate):

Friday, Feb 24th, 2012 -- You were recently swimming in the waters of your own emotions, but now it seems as if you're being pulled onto dry land. Instead of just experiencing your feelings, it's time to act on them. Unfortunately, your actions could be constrained by memories of a past rejection that arises when you swing into motion. Take time to honor your past before pushing through the resistance. No matter what happens, you will feel positive about taking a chance and revealing what you want. 
And there you have it – I have just revealed the entry of three scripts into a scriptwriting contest (one of which was co-written with a writer friend of mine – to be revealed at a later date).

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