Woke up towards the early hours of the morning with a sudden and insatiable desire to post something on Facebook about the nightmare I was just in, a desire which I curbed. I haven’t posted anything there for ages and I don’t intend to start now.
But the nightmare stayed, lingering, sticky, radically unnerving. Somehow I need to deal with its spillage into my waking life.
And so I stagger to the computer, in hope of putting it down for virtual posterity.
This is the dream: I ‘woke up’ to find myself in some kind of inpatient facility (of a mental hospital)/rehab. For some reason, in the dream, I was perfectly contented with being there. Someone was showing a video, then suddenly we were all in prayer. Some social worker type came up to me and asked if I minded if my parents came; obviously I minded, but suddenly they swept onto the scene. They were in a meeting with the social worker type for a long time, during which I supposed they discussed the frailty of my mental condition, and the question of my recovery. Oh, and the setting? If I wasn’t mistaken, it’s a city I left in the distant past, a city I would forever be trapped in.
This is the kicker: I noticed, suddenly, that to my right was a noted social pariah from high school. She and I had somehow ended up in the same place. ‘What happened?’ She asked. ‘Well, what do you think?’ I answered. I wasn’t even overly embarrassed, in this dream. I was just so happy to be rescued from whatever mental distress that had been going on that I didn’t even mind the company. It transpired that she used to teach at a noted tutorial centre (a fate curiously mirroring my own). Soon she was kicking up a fuss, in clipped adult tones which was very much an improvement on her teenage whine. The social worker type started saying: ‘Well, one week you’re the star of your own show, and the next you’re here. Deal with it.’ And this is the part where it gets weird, because I was struggling to ‘wake up ‘from this dream-state I had previously mistook for reality.
The dream ended with all of us led in rousing song, some Christian ditty. Then I saw the place for what it was: the support group I had trapped myself in, for my own benefit, for the time being. This is the final stop, I guess.
Soon after I managed to convince myself that none of this was really happening, and I woke up, to a morning of rain and thunder.
It doesn’t take a certified psychologist to interpret this stuff. Suffice to say I am deeply ambivalent about the workings of such groups, that I am scared stiff of progress and of regression, that in my own head I have, sadly, become the social pariah I had taken such pains to avoid becoming since high school days.
Cheerful stuff, isn’t it?