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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself." ~Maya Angelou

I have not written here for nearly a month because my life has been a bit on the unmanageable side. I don't want to talk about it here, however, I mention it because of an odd development in my dreamworld.

About three weeks ago I began having dreams in which there are two of me conversing with one another. I am not one or the other, nor do I shift between them. I am simply both of them simultaneously and while I cannot explain this, it's a dream and I don't have to.

The conversations had by the Samantha duo are usually unsettling and awkward. They reveal truths about myself that I do not wish to address--usually uncomfortable ones that I believe any person would wish to ignore, and so my usual response the the dreams is to pretend they did not happen.

In reference to my current life situation, I will say briefly that I've felt a bit abandoned by some of my loved ones. That feeling is probably unwarranted which does not alleviate it's depth nor frequency. In addition deep loneliness and sadness are my constant companions accompanied by ceaseless nausea and distressing episodes of panic. Needless to say, I'm delightful right now.

However, I believe it is because I'm currently in this emotional state that the dreams have been occurring. And now that I have provided myself with a satisfactory explanation, I will move to the main point of this post which is: Last Night's Dream Conversation.

Sam1: I know you believe that love is important and that even if people don't love you back, it's okay for you to love them anyway, but that's not true.

Sam2: Yes, it is. I believe anyone who is loved by me should consider it an honor.

Sam1: You just say that to justify random loving of people who probably would be insulted if they knew you loved them.

Sam2: That's silly. I tell people I love them. They know.

Sam1: They don't know how you love them, though.

Sam2: I don't even know what that means.

Sam1: It means you love wrong.

I suppose the reason this dream conversation is stuck in my head today is because I've never before thought about the rightness or wrongness of loving people. I remember making a conscious decision to allow love to happen. I believe I was sixteen. I was tired of being in pain about my home life, mistreatment by my mother, and abuse from my cousin--but mostly I was tired of hurting because I was alone.

I remember thinking about bitterness--how it just made me feel worse--and I thought of when I felt free of the pain and negative emotions stemming from years of abuse. I thought of the way my heart nearly exploded with love when each tiny baby sibling entered our home--how I loved to hold them--how I sang and read stories to them. I thought of how I fell deeply in love with my teacher when I was the only child in my Primary class and she took me to the woods behind her home and we sat next to a stream eating popcorn and talking about God. I remembered various people of different ages who made me feel that I could live through one more day because I mattered for just a minute--and I loved them with my whole soul.

I decided that loving was what I could do, and I did it very well. It didn't matter that my body had been beaten and raped, or that the words I heard daily filled me with rage and pain, or that I was unwanted or used up. I could love people and they might never know but I would not feel as sad or hurt as much--and that was very important.

But I never thought about whether it was wrong to love someone. I suppose it's wrong to love someone who belongs to another, but I've never really considered that love--rather, desire or attraction and I've always believed it was based in selfishness. I suppose my love for others was based in selfishness, though. I didn't really do it for anyone except myself--but it was more a process of allowing love to happen rather than making a conscious effort to love someone.

AtP once told me when he spent time with me he felt he was the only one in that moment who was important to me. I would say that he was right. When I'm spending time with people I love, they are the only ones important to me in those moments. It's not like I've forgotten everyone else, it's just that I know the time will end at some point and I want to cherish every minute I have with that person. Maybe that's the part that's wrong. Maybe it's unhealthy in some way or obsessive.

I've tried to avoid unhealthy and obsessive. I give people breaks from me. I celebrate and support their relationships with other people. When I visit, I try to spend no more than three days at a time with any person. I did that when I went to Seattle a couple of years ago. I spent a few days with Tolkien Boy, then visited a few days with Josh and Lolly and family, and then spent one more day with TB before going home. I'm aware that being with me nonstop can be wearing. AtP reminded me of that when we spent about four days together a few years ago. When I left, AtP told me he would miss me, but it would be good to finally get some rest.

I don't know that I believe the first Samantha. I know I love with abandon and sometimes without forethought. I know my love is often not reciprocated which really doesn't cause me a great deal of concern unless it's in conjunction with someone who is close to me--which I believe is normal. But the fact that I had the dream at all tells me that there is a part of me which still believes love from me is unacceptable or undesirable in some way. I don't like that.

I also don't like the fact that when I finally sleep (which is rare right now), I'm troubled by dreams in which I argue with myself. Perhaps I, too, need a break from me.

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