Sunday, August 30, 2015

Strange Nightmares: Death by Orange Juice. (dreams)

Well... I seem to be making everyone's day today! I went to a party and mingled successfully. I purchased flowers and a card for our summer class to sign for our teacher and that went over far better than I'd expected. I also seemed to make a couple of random people on the internet happy. I've been flailing, socially, for the past couple of years so this has been unusual.

But I have secrets... dark secrets, which torment my artistic soul! And they express themselves in nightmares! (I've also been watching Pewdiepie's horror vines and eating over-ripe mangoes just before bed. I need to stop.)



THE BABY SNAKE ESCAPE

This reptile rack by Neodesha is available for purchase on their website.

DREAM #1
I'm in a dark, sterile room.

Bare-bulbed fluorescent lights flicker overhead. This is my home, but it's under construction. It's located in my parents' basement, but they had to smash a lot of walls and do a lot of cleaning in order to create a work space like this for me.

I like the location. I wouldn't have when I was younger, but now it feels secure. Now, I am keenly aware of the shortness of time we have to spend with each other. Regardless of how long childhood seemed and how it seemed as though I'd never get older and achieve a sense of independence... I certainly have. The desperation to appear "mature" is something I've outgrown.

I feel a little overwhelmed by the clutter and ugliness of the room. The room is practical in design, but my disorganization makes the area less practical to work in.

I have a lot of work stations and peg boards with tools hanging on them. I'm using this room to try and earn some extra income while I go to college. I've been breeding reptiles in here and it's been going well, although I haven't tried to sell anything yet.

As I walk around and assess the place, I realize how I'd forgotten that I'd had so much to do down here! I've been so busy elsewhere. I've got repairs to do... animals to feed... and dozens of baby snakes are bursting out of every drawer!

I wasn't organized or time-sensitive enough to put all of my snakes' eggs or the gravid live bearing parents in drawers of an appropriate size. Tiny little snakes can potentially squeeze out of all kinds of air cracks in my rack systems and I'm worried about where they're all going.

I start getting organized by lining up and stacking eight tiny Kritter Keepers.



Tiny snakes are in constant motion all over the room. I try to visually take them all in, but even that's impossible. 

I grab a nearby handful of the neonates, put each into its own individual cage and arrange those cages according to species. 

I look at the neat stacks of Kritter Keepers. I look around at have left to do and I laugh! The futility of it is absurd! Snakes are everywhere! I'm never going to be able to successfully rearrange them!- but I want to at least start putting these wrongs right. 

I start to feel pretty bad about unleashing this on my parents' basement when I know they're giving me this space as a reluctant favor. (They don't like snakes.)

I open up one drawer. At least five baby snakes are in there. Each are as narrow as a third of my finger. A thick layer of jelly-like placenta oozes down to the lower corners as I hold the drawer open. The babies start coming out. I didn't have a place to put them planned out. My cages are all used up. I start thinking of makeshift cages I could make.

I think I have some tupperware around here somewhere...

I grab three of the snakes trying to leave the drawer, so they don't fall onto the concrete- but I don't know where to put them!

I'm entranced by the remaining snakes in the goop... they're definitely alive, but I'm nervous for them. Should I break them out of their filmy placentae?

Now I'm stuck holding the drawer open awkwardly. Some baby snakes are crawling on the tracks that allow the thing to slide in and out. I'm certainly not going to crush them, but I've got snakes in my other hand that are trying to escape. I start thinking about building a large rack system, but I'm just stuck there. I really wish someone would come down here to help me, but that's unlikely. I've got a couple of weird side show attractions down here for people to come look at, but the visitors don't come often enough to help put all these baby snakes away.

INTERPRETATION #1

I've almost finished reading a dream dictionary which suggests that baby pets can symbolize the feeling of having taken on more than one can handle. This dream is reproducing feelings of having been overtaken, but I don't know why I'd be having a dream like this lately. I have nothing but time. I'm so leisurely, I can't stand it much longer.

Maybe this dream was a leftover set of feelings due to the summer class I was taking. Even then though, I didn't feel very pressured.

Maybe I'm so bored, my subconscious figures I could use a little bit of practice for the real-world feelings that are about to come when the fall semester starts. Maybe I feel as though I've got so many little ideas for new projects that I can't handle them all! That is definitely true, and it puts a little bit of joy back into my life, which has been much, much too serious in the past several years.

This dream ties in with another one I had the same night in that there's an appreciation for what older family is doing or has gone through and an awareness of how little time there is in our lives.



DEATH BY ORANGE JUICE

Image by lisasolonynko on Morguefile.com

DREAM #2

There's carnage going on inside my father's mansion; a battle of drawn swords and armor clanks and howls inside his castle walls. I'm about 10 years old.

Someone picks me up and carries me into a nook. I don't feel safe though. All someone has to do is round the corner and we're dead.

My caretaker, a woman I don't know very well, puts up a force field over the nook. It looks as though we're staring out of a window into the night.

There's food here... and water. The temperature is fine. I start to feel safer. Perhaps I even feel a little guilty that there's so much carnage going on outside. My father is participating in it and I'm not helping him.

Then a doctor enters the force field. He looks exactly like Mahatma Gandhi, but that's where the familiarity ends. I don't know him, but he has a professional air to him. He carries a medical bag and is calm, quick and efficient.

He immediately opens up the triage medical kit. He is wearing neutral colors, not necessarily fighting for one side or the other. The soldiers generally wear colorful coats of arms.

He take up some of the orange juice in the plastic jug into his syringe. He grabs my leg- not roughly, but firmly.

"So... he's at it again. So much blood on his hands. So much..." he says.

Is he going to kill me?

I hesitate too long. He injects the juice into a vein in my calf. It takes seconds. He exits the force field. My caretaker hasn't done anything, but holds me still. What's going to happen to me? Did I really just sit here and allow someone to kill me? Did they both conspire to murder me? I am confused and angry!

INTERPRETATION #2

This dream was definitely influenced by watching a Let's Play of "Mad Father," a video game in which a little girl's father is conducting ruthless, cruel experiments on people in their mansion's basement. My father in my dream clearly wasn't my real father- didn't look like him, didn't act like him, didn't have the same house, etc., but I had archetypal role expectations attached to the dream father.

So the dream father partially represents the situation my real father was in (fighting a battle in the dream and fighting a fatal disease in real life) when I had the feelings related to how I felt in the dream (sort of helpless like the child, surrounded by bewildering chaos, and extreme betrayal and suspicion when I was injected with orange juice).

Orange juice. What an ordinary thing to end a person's life.

I've been wondering whether or not the hospital my father was in had a large role in his death. I guess it had to since they're the people our society assigns the role of healer to.

But whether or not those "healers" are actually capable of doing anything about our expectations for them to be able to cure is obviously limited by current technology. In other words, the medical field's abilities are totally separate from our desperately attempting to assign them the responsibility for keeping us alive.

He definitely went to a couple of negligent doctors who gave him some inaccurate diagnoses. My family of origin didn't really say much to me about that until quite a long while afterwards.

After he worsened, apparently my parents received opinions from multiple doctors who agreed that his disease was severe and inoperable, and that we had no choice but to make him as comfortable as possible (which wasn't very. He'd been pain for a long time).

The thing I keep speculating about is whether or not the nurses or doctor gave him so much pain killer that he died. That's a shocking thing to keep thinking about, but I do think about it and don't know who else to say it to. It's certainly not something I have proof of or can investigate. I don't think I'm in a position to fairly accuse, so I'll just tell you, fairly anonymously right here. I don't trust nurses or anyone else just because of their position or just because they've held the same position for a long period of time... in some cases, people become especially untrustworthy because they've held on to the same position for a long period of time.

This dream seems to be putting me in his place, or at least requiring me to feel suspicion about a death that's close to me (my own death, in the dream), and especially in relationship to a medical professional in a chaotic situation. He was distracted- I was distracted. There was just one set of very busy people who seemed to be highly accustomed to it all!

Is there anything I can do about my suspicions? No. Should I? No, I don't think so. For one thing, the hospital had us sign a vaguely-worded document saying that we acknowledged that all they were going to do was to "make him comfortable" and that the doctors weren't going to continue taking measures to treat the disease. I don't see what choice any of us were given. Several doctors said repeatedly that there was nothing more they could do. They told us many times that they weren't going to treat him, because it was impossible for them to.

But if they did have us sign this document, and then almost immediately turn around and give him so many pain killers that he died prematurely- even if it was only a day too soon- I am, of course, very, very angry.

If they knew he was experiencing so much physical turmoil that they had no choice to give him a lethal dose of pain killers, they needed to tell us, clearly and directly, outlining everything in detail. I think it would be monstrous not to, regardless of any amount of professional experience, occupational practice or calm involved.

But I also know that when someone close of us who has been sick for a long time does die, we want to insist that the people we care about aren't going to really be gone- and by extension, that a person we cared about would have lived forever if we had only tried harder to keep them with us. Maybe that instinct is pushing our species toward ever-greater feats in medical science. Maybe one day, we'll have enough technological prowess to prevent us from dying. But that time certainly isn't now.

After multiple medical professionals tell you someone is going to die "any time now," it's best to believe them. I have little to no knowledge about medical science, so it isn't fair for me, a layman, to jump to conclusions, especially not such extreme ones. I don't want to waste my life being angry. But I question what happened there, and I question the wisdom of our society to ask us all to die in hospitals when we get older. I know that at least a couple other of my grandparents/step grandparents died in hospitals as well. I'm sure that if I'm lucky, it will be my fate as well, along with the fate of most of my friends and other family.