By Dolores J. Nurss


Chapter 43


     On January 13, 2021, I dreamed this:

     As Deirdre, I scream at Kiril, "I want you to get lost! Leave!"
     She shouts back, "You want me to not see you like this!"

     The same could be said of my waking life relationship with my fiction. I wanted to be shed of it, all of its embarrassing, flawed characters, like right here. I didn't want to write about an alter ego who's a helpless addict, totally out of control of her life. But Kiril calls me on it, on how I don't want anyone to see this side of myself, not physically addicted but still out of control.
     Because here I am, passing judgment on Deirdre for an illness. And in my waking life at the time I was passing judgment on myself for everything falling apart because of what turned out to be a physical problem. My chronic pain had built up so gradually that I was accepting what nobody in their right mind could call normal. I let my writing slide, my work for the family company slide, my duties to IASD, relationships, everything, all sliding because I spent so much energy and mental power tuning out pain that there was simply nothing left. And if you're spending most of your life trying to tune out reality, does it really matter whether or not you use a drug to do it? But I was too busy excoriating myself for not meeting my responsibilities to stop and consider that maybe medical treatment would make it more possible. I was calling it phobia and neurosis to fear starting anything, when it was plain old-fashioned exhaustion.
     Now that I have medicare, I'm getting osteopathic treatment and wearing special therapeutic shoes. I can finally become productive again. Frankly I still have psychological issues, but they're much more manageable when I don't have so much mental bandwidth devoted to pretending that I'm not in pain.
     And now, with that out of the way, or not in the way as much, I can see that the crushing depression component came of not writing--the longest break in my writing since I was six years old. Writing's too central to my identity to shrug off without consequences.
     (Not that I can ever completely stop--I still wrote tons of posts on social media. Just not creative stuff.)
     I'm pretty sure I dreamed of George setting the boat afire, but I can't find the dream. I know I dreamed of Jake saying that the miles of unlit coast that they sailed past was Vanikke, and that it ought to be lit. Randy said that Zanne had a mission there, and Jake said, "I don't think it's going well."
     As George here proves, there's right ways and wrong ways to bring back a light that went out. Since Zanne can represent a feature of my Shadow, the dream probably referred to something in me that isn't fulfilling its mission because I've repressed it. Jake, my Reconciler of Opposites, is concerned.
     It might have been my writing, my fear of facing it, my convincing myself that I can't do it. I even find myself believing that somebody else wrote what I wrote, even though I can remember writing it. That part split off from me and I'm trying to get it back--like George missing who he used to be, however wicked. Because there's a part of me now that considers my writing side wicked, just as my brother used to tell me. All of this nosing about into violence and sex and drugs and breaking hearts and raw, unfiltered emotion! I tell myself that I can write after I meet my obligations--and then I fail to meet those obligations, and the self-hatred becomes worse. I remember when I used to consider my writing my foremost obligation, though. Weirdly, about the only time I feel fulfilled, purposeful, is in arguments on social media (because duh, it's writing--I just now realized!) That's setting fires instead of turning on the lights.
     Unseasonable snow turns up in multiple dreams about the northern end of this story, so I wrote it in here. No doubt this reflected various times in my life when my issues unnecessarily blighted spring aspects of my life.
     I really did dream of Deirdre landing on a cow: Saturday, April 5, 2014
*Saved by the Cow.
     I am Deirdre, very skinny, dressed in black. I throw myself off of a cliff in a fury, but I've become too depleted to fly. I break my fall on a cow. [End of dream.]
     I had been sick for a long time before this dream, but woke finally feeling completely recovered. Although by no means emaciated, I did need protein, and got it that day.


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