Day 152: Sometimes When We Touch

 “I’m just another writer still trapped within my truth.” ~ Dan Hill

Sometimes when I dream, the honesty is too much.  Sometimes when I dream, I travel into the life and spirit of a friend. Sometimes strangers visit me. Always, always people come, in all forms, with all types of messages. And we touch.

Recently, I’ve had two friends visit in my dreams, just in this last six days. Both dreams were filled with extreme emotion, both dreams had anxiety, both involved an urgency. When I awake from dreams such as these, I am left with a residue, a film in my spirit, something that remains, the remnants of what was shared with me. A streak in the glass of my vision I can’t wipe clean.

If I am fortunate enough to confirm the happening in the dream, and make a connection, and find some validity in discovering what I sensed actually occurred in real life, I am able to discharge and remove some of the energy. If not, sometimes I take on the feelings of the other person, become overly concerned about something I do not understand and cannot even pinpoint. I may feel a rush of panic, fear, or injustice. I might weep. I might laugh. I might become hyper focused. I might hibernate; attempting to disrobe the feelings, only to emerge still weighed down and lost. I take on this energy, as much as I take on the dreams, without knowing how or why, and without knowing how to stop.

Sometimes I want to break down and cry. Sometimes I have to close my eyes and hide. The emotions are so overwhelming. I feel like I’ve been opened up and had another’s spirit poured into me. At times I become that person. At times I understand the person more than myself.

I dreamt once, years ago, of my long time friend. She was stretched out on a car and pointing to her kidneys and kept saying, “I need a bladder operation; the doctor told me I need a bladder operation.” I called my friend the next morning, and sure enough she had just found out she required surgery related to the tubing above her bladder.

Long ago, while I was napping my grandmother started wafting above my bed, a ghostly apparition draped in an aqua-colored dress. Swaying back and forth, an inch below the bedroom ceiling, she kept repeating the same phrase:  “Wake up.  Get off the phone.  I am waiting for a man from Egypt to call.” This made absolutely no sense to me, as I was sound asleep some two hundred miles away from Grandma, and I most certainly wasn’t on the telephone.  Still dreaming, and wanting desperately to get some rest, I looked up at Grandma and answered, “But I’m not on the phone.  I’m taking a nap.”

Grandma continued on, a stream of blue, weaving herself back and forth in my room, badgering me to get off the telephone.  Having found no luck, after I placed two pillows over my head to block out her voice, I sat up and screamed, “If you leave me alone, I’ll call you when I wake up.  Go away and let me sleep!”  On my words, Grandma vanished.

Within the hour I phoned my grandmother.  After a few minutes on the phone, I delicately described my dream to her, thinking at some point she’d say I wasn’t making any sense, and that would be the end of the discussion.  Surprisingly, Grandma responded, without pause for breath, “You’re a witch! I’ve been sitting by the phone waiting for a man from Egypt to call me about his interest in buying my house.  How did you know? Actually, I need to get off the phone now.  He might be trying to call.”

Years ago, I dreamt that two of my teaching colleagues would be going to Japan by the end of the year. They both came to my dream together and told me. That year both were surprised to learn they were traveling to Japan. One was accepted in an over-seas teaching program; the other unexpectedly was invited by a host family. Another time an old woman, a stranger,  came to me in my dream very upset. She said that my mother was going through her items and taking them, keeping them for herself. She showed me the room where the items were spread out. She showed me my mother holding her things. I told my mother the next day, and sure enough my mother had been to a friend’s house and had collected several items from her friend’s mom whom had just died.

There are so many visits, I could go on and on: a family drowned on the beach, my future house and the owners of the house, my future employer, my car accident, my grandfather’s car accident, my mother-in-law’s cancer, my friend house hunting, the person dying in the car off the highway, my husband’s co-worker getting married and denying it, my son’s karate teacher getting engaged, friends divorcing, friends weeping on couches …..so many various people visiting me to tell me about their lives.

When I was very little, animals visited me and showed me their death. Usually my pets, but once a friend’s bunny came in my dream. The animals usually died just like they showed me within seven days. Once my canary was slashed under the eye by a stray cat. Once my dog died on the Fourth of July after jumping a fence. The dreams came true, just as I had witnessed. Thank goodness I was able to tell my mother the night of the dreams, which then I called nightmares. She was at least able to validate my experience. To show me my dreams were coming true and I wasn’t insane.

Interestingly, it seems lately the more I share and write, and the more I am not afraid to be authentic and honest, the more these dreams and feelings are coming. And the more I’m visited.  I don’t mind the visits for the most part. I feel honored and know this gift or ability, or whatever one choses to call my visions, is a part of my journey. But there are definite times, like this week, when the emotions are so over powering that I don’t know what to say or do.

It’s times like these that sometimes when we touch, sometimes the honesty is too much. And then, all I want to do is to just hold my friend and cry, to hold on tight and not let go until the fear in us subsides.


Day 119: Whispering Graves

Above: Southern Coast of Maui, La Perouse Bay

Below: Small Japanese Family Cemetery found off residential road in Maui

Whispering Graves

The graves of every lowly dale

The graves of every crowning peak

The graves of ancient burial

The graves of generations past

They all speak the same

They all whisper:  Live now

They all whisper: Love now

They all whisper: Don’t wait

They all whisper: Hurry

They all whisper and whisper again

Through winds of evermore

We only need listen

We only need follow

Until we too are but whispering graves

Day 113: Goodbye Dead Man’s Beach

Goodbye Dead Man’s Beach

In the late spring of a bitter windy day, I wiped the grits of sand from my face and stared down below to the foggy beach. This would be the first time I’d see flaccid bodies all lined up in a row, bloated and an almost-blue.  I hadn’t wanted to watch or even glance a little.  I’d wished to run away or at least close my eyes, but I had to see.  This was another coming of a dream.  Some seven days had passed, seven long days of waiting and wondering who would drown.  I knew enough from my past and the way my dreams played out to realize death would be arriving on a Saturday—on a cold, cold Saturday.

I wondered as the workers desperately pressed and pumped on the already dying flesh, why life, or God, or whatever essence gave me these glimpses of future events, wouldn’t also go one step further and allow me to serve some purpose and exist as more than a detached helpless onlooker.   Had I had a magic button to stop the dreams, I thought at the time I would have.  But then I thought I would have missed the dreams in the way I would have missed my arm, or leg, or eye; the dreams were so much a part of me, a needed part, something I’d been born with which had served me in some sense; even though I couldn’t comprehend the reason, even though I cursed the visions and the following reality, I knew enough, innately or perhaps spiritually, to know the dreams were necessary.

The dreams would serve a higher purpose someday, I was told.  Not directly, but in whispers, gentle reminders to be patient, to be watchful, and to wait.  I would cry then, in my teens, in the same way I cry now, when the weight of the world is so heavy upon my shoulders that I wish for nothing but silence and the unknowing, to be like the mother across the street satisfied with her scrapbooking and classroom volunteering, and yearning for nothing more than the simple.

That’s what I longed for:  the sweet simple.

Those dead bodies below on the beach had been a family, the emptied vessels now covered in black bags on the sands below had been minutes before living tourists who hadn’t heeded the warnings posted at Dead Man’s Beach about the dangers of the ocean currents and under-tow.  One boy had fallen in off the rocks, and in response, each family member had leapt to their own death.

I have been terrified of the ocean, ever since the tragedy at Dead Man’s Beach. Add this to the horrific flesh-eating fish dreams I’ve had since I was three, and the time my mother’s boyfriend saw a shark take a chunk out of his best friend. (His friend died.) And I’ve been able to justify not going in the ocean for about twenty-five years.

Yesterday, I overcame my great fear of the sea. As I paddled out into the ocean on my surfboard, I was terrified. I trembled. I almost cried. I almost turned back. But I paddled onward.

I wasn’t planning on surfing at all while visiting Maui. But there I was, regardless of all my fears and misgivings, flat on my belly, in a borrowed, rather-stinky surf shirt, paddling over the waves. And I got up on my surfboard, not once, but at least five times and rode the waves.

They may have looked like little waves to the observer. But to me they were the biggest darn waves of my life.

I’ve realized I have spent much of my forty-some years living on my own Dead Man’s Beach. I’ve been counting my days. Worrying about lurking dangers. Terrified to be happy.

This evening, as I sat in a local bar having yet another fruity rum drink (a new thing for me), the musician played Here Comes the Sun, and I was brought back to a summer day in Oregon, when at the age of nine I was riding in the back of a pickup truck listening to that song. I remember at that age I had an intense feeling of happiness and freedom. It was one of the last times I remember feeling so elated.

Yesterday, when I rode the waves, I returned to that sunny day in the back of the truck. I walked off of Dead Man’s Beach and I found my sun again.

A wise man once told me that he asks everyday: “How can life get any better?”

Day 83: Blister Sister (Part Two)

 

Blister Sister (Part Two)

Ben stood up straight, his ears crimson, his voice hoarse. “Damn it! How dare you say that in front of a child! What are you thinking?  Are you an idiot? What the hell is wrong with you?”

Now, although I was completely mortified and feeling the strong urge, despite my stomach cramping, to crawl under the hospital bed and never come out, I have to say, Ben impressed me.  Not in the way a parent impresses you by throwing you a birthday party and inviting all of your friends over to stay the night, nor in the way a child feels proud when a parent attends the school’s career day and knocks the socks or your classmates.  No, it wasn’t the type of impressive behavior that summons thoughts of coolness and grandiosity.  Ben’s behavior more so brought images of a fearsome bear standing on her hind legs with claws erected to protect her cub.  It was a scary image, quite terrifying actually—though none could deny that somewhere deep inside the man who was set upon a blind-rampage, huffing and puffing away at every hospital staff member within his path, that there was at least somewhere hidden a jewel of compassion.

It didn’t take long for Ben to pack up my things, usher Mother and me out of the building, and drive thirty miles across the state to another hospital.  Sadly for Ben, by then hospital visiting hours had past and the nurses insisted Ben and Mother leave.  And thus I was made to stay in a strange place, miles from home, without a soul I knew, replaying in my head all the horrific ways my death might play out…

This story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers

 

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com

Day 80: Me in Parts

There’s a reason I didn’t go into the medical field besides the fact that I faint if I look at a needle. I don’t do well with illness, disease, or sickness of any sorts, or thoughts of being attacked by a killer species. I do fine with driving my car, walking down dark alleys, crossing bridges, and climbing high places, just can’t deal with physical health conditions—well at least not rationally. The common cold sends me into a tailspin: worse case scenario, worser case scenario, worsest case scenario.

In the course of my four decades plus of living, I was certain of my imminent death at least five times a year. Looming demise total equals 200 times, give or take a death or two. And I’m not talking a passing thought. I’m saying a good two- to three-week sickness-induced death-terror cycle. And with the invention of Google God, the all-knowing search engine, I’ve also had hours of adrenaline-pumped investigative research.

Last year, about this time, I was certain, dead certain, that my heart was going to explode from a genetic disorder. I was so convinced I had the syndrome that I was continually analyzing myself for symptoms, even in my dream state.  In fact, in a comical attempt to self-diagnose, I compared my attached earlobes to others’ attached earlobes and even wondered if my large Italian nose could feasible be considered pinched.

When I was younger, rabies was my big fear. I never ever should have watched the depressing classic Old Yeller in third grade. Why?! Afterwards, my hamster-bit finger led me to check my mouth for foaming saliva hourly, for a month! Watching Hitchcock’s The Birds was another faux pas. Remember the killer bees? Well I do. I believed for years the bees were approaching in swarm.

Bloody noses are notorious fear-buttons, ever since I saw that character on a television show with a bloody nose bleed-out and die.

My fear of the C word started after my kindergarten teacher died; and I still can’t write the word out on paper. Which ironically-sucks because it’s my astrological zodiac sign. Four times during my life, twice as a teenager, and twice as a young mother, doctors suspected I had C or pre-C. No cause for alarm in all four cases, but the panic that ensued during the waiting period was insurmountable.

You know what really bites? Working at a homeless shelter and having a child infected with AIDS bite my leg through my jeans. The doctors assured me my chances of contracting AIDS was almost zero; still they wanted to be certain. I checked my tongue for a white-coat and my skin for sores for a good year.

My most laughable approaching-doom-fear happened when I was nursing my firstborn in the late hours of the night, and I’d stare down at the dirt in the corner of my toenail, and know I was going to die of toe fungus. If you bring in the big guns like MRSA, I so freak out. Any infection is MRSA. Hives? I’m certain I’ll suffocate from severe allergic reaction.  Menstrual cycle off a day—I have growths on my ovaries.

To make matters worse, doctors have wanted to remove my uterus and my gallbladder, and to biopsy my kidney. None of which happened. But the fact of their recommending such procedures makes me think I have bad parts to begin with.

If you’ve got your wits about you, you’ve probably gathered I have a wee bit of a phobia to illness in any form—real, made up, imagined, or non-existent.

What many do not understand about this illness phobia is that no amount of exposure makes a dang difference. With exposure therapy, if someone is afraid of bridges, you can slowly and decisively assist him or her in overcoming the bridge fear. A common therapy strategy might be first showing pictures of bridges, next playing with toy bridges, later taking photos of bridges from afar, and then crossing a small bridge over a creek. If therapy is effective, then the person eventually will cross a bridge as a passenger, then drive assisted, and later cross alone. Sounds logical.

Doesn’t apply to illness: First look at pictures of people who are sick, next play in filthy area, later… not helping! And getting sick and sick over and over again, doesn’t help either. Done that.

I haven’t been feeling myself, lately. Which is significant. Generally speaking my self, due to a host of syndromes and conditions, is relatively fatigued, a little melancholic, and a bit sore in the muscles. So, I hadn’t taken too much note of my intense fatigue, until I could barely function most of the day. My doctor had in the meanwhile sent me my annual blood test forms in the mail (twice), which I avoided like the plague (or in my case the common cold). I finally dragged myself to the doc when the heart palpitations and shortness of breath kicked in. By the day I got my stubborn self to the doc’s office, my forehead was peeling like a rattlesnake sheds.

The good news is it turns out those eight extra pounds are not my fault! And either is this depressions cloud I blamed on the Washington winter weather. Turns out I have hypothyroid.

Guess what this hypothyroid reckoning does to my mind. Here’s the conversation I had with my doctor. I kid you not.

Me: “Well, now that I know I have hypothyroid, I guess I should mention that I’ve been having trouble swallowing. I read that’s a symptom, too.”

Dr. “Oh.” She pulls out a lab slip. “Well then we better get an ultrasound for nodules.”

Me: “Nodules? Can I die from nodules?”

“No”

“I can’t?”

“No.”

“What is the worse case scenario?”

“If they find nodules, the protocol is to keep a watchful eye on them. If they grow, they’ll likely drain them. But nodules are not deadly.”

“Oh, good, but what about cancer? Could I have cancer? Or did my blood tests rule that out?”

“No. Your blood tests didn’t rule that out. But thyroid cancer is very, very rare.”

My eyes grew super big and I swallowed hard.

Dr. added: “And the cure rate for thyroid cancer is 100%.”

“Oh!” Huge sigh. “Thank you so much for adding that. How long will I have to take the pills?”

“For the rest of your life.”

Long pause.

Me: “But what if the end of the world comes? How will I get my pills?”

 

 

 

 

Side Note: (euphemism for I can’t stop babbling)

Taking into consideration the four types of thyroid cancers, I recently researched, the combined cure rate is only 95%. For better effect, in the writing above, you’ll note, I fearlessly overcame my fear of the word cancer. The title Me in Parts means I feel as if I’ve sorted myself into parts with all my constant sickness analysis. The good news is, I always live like I’m dying.