Thursday, 6 November 2014

When dreams turn bad

Mark had a bad dream.
I know he did because after opening his eyes, he said to me, “I had a bad dream.”
“I did too!” was my response.
So we both had bad dreams. This did not bode well.
We took it in turns to explain our dreams.
Mark dreamt I terminated our relationship. There was all sorts of other weird stuff, but the main point of the dream was his feeling of abandonment. And no-one wants to feel abandoned, even in dreams.
I dreamt I forgot Tommy. I placed him in the bath and left him. It wasn’t until ages later that I remembered my son, when his skin was pink and shrivelled like a bad prune. The remainder of my dream was focused on my over-whelming sense of guilt, and wailing like a baby that I could do such a terrible thing.
Therefore, my dream was focused on guilt. And no-one wants to feel guilty, even in dreams.
I regularly analysis my dreams, do you? Particularly if they are reoccurring ones. I figure my brain must be trying to tell me something if it insists on repeating itself.
Alas I have the Tommy and the guilt dream fairly often. As does Mark with the abandonment, it’s been a few times now he’s awoken and said crossly to me, “You dumped me again.”
Which means I have decided to face my self-condemnation woes and conquer Mark’s separation issues.
How does one stop feeling guilty?
And how does one convince one’s husband that they will never, ever, leave them? Unless of course he did something awful, such as conduct sordid affairs with every single female I know. Or heaven forbid, he sold Tommy to a passing gypsy for the price of a fast car and a huge ego. But that’s hardly likely, is it?
It’s healthy that Tommy realises I am not the only person in this world who idolises him. When I visit the office he is thoroughly spoilt at his nanny and grandpa’s. He receives love, attention and food. What more could he possibly want? He needs to know he can not be 100% dependent on me, he can play and sleep without my presence and this is fine. And when I work from home he can cuddle granddad and knock cubes down that granddad piles high for him, and chase a brightly coloured ball which granddad throws around the room for him. I’m going to try and stop feeling guilty and continually remind myself of this.
Now I need to concentrate on Mark. I always vowed to never leave my partner out when a child came along. You read about it, you hear about it. But guess what, no one can really prepares you for it. When a child does come along, no one can prepare you for the love that consumes you. At least I wasn’t prepared. It almost knocked me off my feet, and still does.
Sometimes I am so wrapped up with Tommy and his needs I forget about the outside world. And sadly, maybe this is reflecting on Mark.
Life has changed so much, we can’t go out at short notice, in fact we don’t go out at all unless it’s with Tommy, or to take Tommy to my parents so we can work. We no longer have date nights where we dress up and visit a fancy restaurant. Even when Tommy is sleeping in his cot I’m anxiously checking the monitor and running up the stairs most of the night to comfort him (he STILL doesn’t sleep well, can you believe that).
However, tomorrow we are attending a wedding - the ceremony, the meal, the evening disco and buffet. Tommy, and no other children, are invited. Mark and I will spend almost twelve hours together. Without Tommy. This filled me with dread at first. Will Tommy be okay? What if he cries when his mummy and daddy are not there to put him to bed? What if he wakes up and wonders where I am? Will my parents cope this long with him? Will Tommy be okay?
Mum and dad are coming to our house, where Tommy can be in familiar surroundings, to be loved and played with, and taken to the park if it’s not raining. And if he wakes up a million times? My mum and dad and their capable soothing voices and reassuring arms will be there.
I have to keep telling myself this!
Plus it will be lovely, and long over-due, to spend quality time with the man that quite frankly, rocks my world.


Amel said...

Love the fact that you're so open about your life, Nikki. I think I read somewhere that it's normal for couples with a small child to struggle with having time for each other, but I'm glad you had a great time at the wedding. :-)

Guilt is a sneaky thing, isn't it? I've been dealing with it lately as well, been chucking it out of the window every time it comes to tickle me (not in a good way). I hope you feel less guilt as time goes by and that you get to spend enough time with Mark so that he won't have this recurring dream again. I'm glad to know that you have a good support system to help you out.

I can't say I understand completely your bond with Tommy, but I've read a similar thing said by many other women, so I think it's normal to feel that way and to worry about Tommy that way. My SIL (bro's wife) also works from home and she once told me that sometimes she felt guilty for leaving the kids at home.

The World According To Me said...

Thanks Amel, glad you appreciate my honesty. Sometimes I do think, should I put all this out there? But I love writing, and I think sometimes in writing you have to delve deep and put yourself out there.
I wonder what you've been feeling guilty about recently? You okay?
I do love that comparison you wrote - 'been chucking it out of the window every time it comes to tickle me.'

Amel said...

Agree that in writing to a certain extent putting yourself out there is a good thing.

About my guilt...I can't write it down in my blog 'coz that person reads my blog, too, but basically speaking MIL has been staying with us 'coz her apartment has been renovated. First estimate was 3 weeks and I told myself, OK, 4 weeks then. It's now been 5 weeks, though it seems she'll be able to go back next week.

It's been quite a ride (esp with two PMSes during the time she's lived here). I'm OK with visiting her once a week like what we've been doing over the years...but living together is a whole different thing. Due to my work in a supermarket where I have to exert myself as an introvert to serve/talk to people (chit-chat), when I'm home, I tend to want to be left alone to have some quiet time to recharge. It was really difficult to do this when MIL was here (esp. in the beginning) because she had lots of questions about things in the kitchen etc. (she wants to cook, too) and naturally as a good guest, she wanted to chit-chat and be welcoming, but that drained me even more. But I felt guilty for not chit-chatting with her more, though I felt trapped in my own home because of that. This being a small village means that I'm bound to meet some of my customers outside, so outside of work, home has been my sanctuary when I don't feel like talking to anyone/smiling to anyone.

That was why this all made me realize even more why I married a quiet guy (another introvert). He knows how I'm like and he lets me be, but having a guest in the house for a long period of time means a lot of adjustment. Another thing is also that we have less quality time together as we tend to watch movies together at nights these days (the three of us, as opposed to just the two of us).

Long story short, I've sent a short note to MIL, asking her not to take it personally if I don't feel like talking sometimes, because I do need a lot of quiet time outside of work. She said she understood, but I insisted to her that my need for alone/quiet time may be bigger than normal people. After giving her that note, I feel better about my guilt. I know she also longs to be in her own place again and I try to imagine her discomfort as well, but I'm really looking forward to having the place for the two of us again.

The World According To Me said...

Thank you for your reply, I was wondering and worrying what the guilt was. Now you've explained, this makes perfect sense.
I think we all need some space sometimes, some time to ourselves. And living with someone other than your partner can be, well different. I think I can understand totally how you must be feeling. We get into little patterns and routines, and as you say, someone else sharing your life is an adjustment.
I'm glad you sent the note and she understood. Sometimes it's best to just lay your cards on the table. Here's to being honest, understanding, and just the two of you together again soon. X