Wide Awake and Dreaming

I woke from my nap with the yell dying on my lips. I know that I must have yelled, the smaller dog was standing over me, looking at me with concern in her eyes. The cat was half sitting up, looking at me with cat-disdain, his peaceful slumber interrupted.

My dreams lately have been vivid, technicolour movies, that seem so real I struggle to believe that I was asleep. Right after Gabriel's death, my head would hit my pillow, and I would struggle to pray. I would whimper, "Father, this hurts. Hurts, hurt, hurting." My usual ability to articulate so absent from both my conversations and my prayers. This not so right now. My prayers are long - not words, but sentences evolving into paragraphs. My head hits my pillows, and the cares, the pain, the burden and the sorrow my days, of Gabriel's death, 3 subsequent miscarriages and an inability made of iron that bars me from conceiving again. Over and over I say the same words, the same thoughts. Over and over I tell God that I am confused, hurting, sad. My sense of justice is offended, and I am confused about what happens next.

The dream was so real, I could hear the argument with a familiar person. Indeed, the argument was an old one, as much a part of the dance of my relationship with this person as it had been for the last 20 years of my life. I could believe that I was wide awake and dreaming if only because the argument could have occurred in real life. His abhorrent behaviour, lacking consideration for others, my attempts to procure justice, his threats. He was threatening this time about my son's birth and death, threatening to report me for having my baby at home. No, I awoke, screaming, "My son was born in the hospital. We did everything we could do to keep him safe. No, you can't threaten me. No, I won't let you make me feel powerless and small. I won't let you twist things into your version of the truth."

Perhaps because I seldom remember my dreams, perhaps because my dreams do not stretch into waking, because it is so rare to wake up and struggle to remember what was sleep and what is awake, because my dreams do not often carry over, and almost never in such technicolour vividness, I am left with a feeling of unease, disquietude. My dreams seem so disconnected from my waking feelings, those of ennui, listlessness, dissatisfaction. What ever it is that I am doing awake, I wish to be doing something else. I am never quite content. My dreams are filled with strange and confusing realities, so different from my life.

I woke myself up, and carried on, running errands. I went to visit a friend in the hospital, ignoring my hesitancy to return to the place that I had delivered Gabe. Reminding myself that this was now, and that was then, and a hospital is merely a building, with no power to harm me. It was simply a place, and places have no power apart from that we give them.

It was not until I finished visiting, walking out to my car, that I remembered the first part of the dream. And when I think back, that night, and even now, I am surprised. This has never happened. I have dreamt of being pregnant, but never of holding a child.

In my dream, I had been holding a baby, a baby that was vomiting everywhere, and as I held it, with others all around me, as they commented that this was hard, I cradled a red headed little baby girl in my arms, and I thought "You are mine. I don't care what you do, I don't care how hard this is, you are mine."