Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The subconscious is one's worst critic

OR, how to start one's day in the most inauspicious way possible!

The culprit this time was a dream. Usually I have dreams of brain-numbing repetition or ones where I'm continuously hunting for candy. (Thanks, shameless sweet tooth!) When stress or gluttony dreams aren't in the rotation, it's usually mind torture in the form of anxiety dreams - where everything goes wrong for me. As noted before: My brain hates me.

In today's dream, I was shipped off the convention for people with personality disorders. The goal was to isolate us from society and teach us how to stop being drains on the world. My group was seemingly the worst of the lot. After all, our "invitations" were done in sinister black. The other defect groups had bright cheery colors linked to their disorders. Mine was black. Like, death and depressing black.

This awful group you see, was the COMPLAINERS! We were the cynics and sourpusses who lose their cool at the slightest irritant. We were mean, bitter and no fun to be around. If we didn't fix ourselves, we'd be doomed to a life of sad ostracism.

Proving the event organizer's point, I didn't take my invite well. I, well, COMPLAINED about being singled out as a bad person and admitted I felt persecuted because the black envelope let everyone else know (people who were just as dysfunctional as me - if not more so) that I was the worst of all! I was being avoided! The told me I didn't have to eat in the cafeteria with the rest of the nuts - I could help myself to candy in the guest room. (Yes, even in this dream I desperately needed a chocolate fix.)

The main reason I was upset was because they organization just didn't get it - there are two types of complainers: Zesty and bitter! I complain a lot, but I do it as a purge and I try to find some humor in it. I think running around proclaiming the sky the to be falling is FUNNY! My fellow black-labeled wretches were clearly on the bitter side. We had the old ladies who had nothing to do with their lives but yell at people for being noisy during their naps. We had TONS of repressed conservatives and Christian fundamentalists - who hate themselves because their values are so strict any deviation from them must make them horrible people, so they judge everyone else harsher in retribution. We had the general sad sacks who were so beaten down they'd lost their sense of humor. Basically, I was surrounded by BAD CONVERSATIONALISTS!

We had a private pool just for us sourpusses, but it was very unfriendly. The old ladies wouldn't get in the water for fear of getting their hair wet. The conservatives all inched dangerously close to each other in the hot tub, filled with sickening tension. The sourpusses would dog-paddle around by themselves. I was the only person to take a leap into the water and make a splash. The rest silently walked into the pool from the shallow area - doing all they could to be silent and keep the water calm. I splashed around and tried to get the people to play a game. No response. This was went I went off to complain about my "peers."

At least my brain was telling me I don't belong on that group. As the dream went on, it became clear I was the star of my crew. My fellow complainers - while still hating each other as much as themselves - all warmed to me and my charming ways. I had become a leader and I was fairly respected by everyone in the reject convention.

The next morning, I got a visit from Dana - who was wearing adorable jammies for some reason. Seems she was taken away too, as part of the "obsessive" camp. We happily chatted about sneaking off to get breakfast away from the rest of the wretches. Conversation then turned to the old lady in the bed beside mine. She was frustrated with inconsiderate people making too much noise as she slept. When Dana asked if I was causing problems - as I'm an insomniac and I toss and turn like mad - the old lady said I was the only one she liked. I was never a problem and I didn't make any noise to disturb her. It was a good self-esteem boost.

Eventually, I found some kin in the complainer group in two women. One was a pushy New Yorker whose tongue was sharp enough to disarm all those not tempered to absorb "New York charm." The other was a tall woman - well over six feet - with a loud voice and a pushy attitude. She seemed like the lawyer type. Together, we decided to write a letter to the organization explaining the two types of complainers. We might bitch and moan, but the others in the program are not our people. Line by line we laid out why they suck and why we are simply misunderstood. At one point, I sat back and wondered if what we were doing was too self-serving or something that would make us far more irritating in the organization's eyes than the wretches we found to be vastly inferior. The New Yorker could see it happening, but the other lady (who seemed less self-aware and probably wouldn't be in our group if there had been anyone else slightly worthy) got a bit self-righteous, claiming truth is truth.

At that point the dream trailed off and fell into the standard surrealism/stress dream stuff, such as me trying to reach the pool on the ground level from my floor and managing to end up hanging off a balcony a few stories up. This happens all the time in dreams, of course. Instead of going into the elevator, I ended up outside it and I had to strategically drop down floor by floor, getting me in tons of trouble for the disturbance. During this, another dream standard was at play: I was trying to travel with a gal (generic hottie) and no matter what I did, we'd be separated. I reached the pool and jumped in, only to find she had made it down with me... but forgot her suit. Once again, the pool symbolized isolation!

Overall, I think the meaning is fairly straightforward. The dream was more of a highlighter and exaggerator of stress than one hiding it in symbols. At least it was creative in handling it. I take it as failure when my brain only offers up cookie cutter dreams. Anytime I'm flying or my teeth/hair fall out, I wake up embarrassed for my brain.

Still, it's rather depressing to wake up after a dream where you are officially labeled a black-level asshole. Hey, maybe something reassuring could happen as soon as I wake up to make me feel better about myself.

I woke up to see a GIGANTIC FUCKING SPIDER on the ceiling directly above me. It waited until it was sure I saw it, before it scrambled into a vent. Thus, this arachnophobe now knows there is a GIGANTIC FUCKING SPIDER in my room that is just WAITING FOR ME!

There is no way this day can go well now.

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