It took me a long time to share my last post, The Long Road Back, on my blog. See, there’s a monster in my head. Not the depersonalization. No, thankfully, Michael (my counselor) and I have worked out that depersonalization is on the retreat for now.
I’ve written about the familiarity in dreams, the missing of what was once there with someone else but amplified so there was a sense of longing and desire in recovering what was lost. This has been an ongoing dream state in my mind over the last several years, even stronger after the quakes, during which we lost so much: not only physically but also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
Since my depersonalization diagnosis, a more disturbing dream state has emerged: not recognizing myself. On very rare occasions, this is quite literal. I’ll look into a mirror and not recognize the person gazing back. It’s not me — something isn’t quite right about my face. Read Not Recognizing Myself in Dreams
Dreams play an important part in my life. I don’t mean I follow what my dreams show me or I let them rule my life, but I find they are an important part of inspiring me and exposing the hidden places in my psyche.
I have many different types of dreams, as I think we all do, and I could go on and on about them, but in this post, I think I’d like to focus on familiarity in dreams. Read Familiarity in Dreams
30 years ago today (26 February), my Oma passed away from intestinal cancer, 1 month shy of her 66th birthday and about 1 month after the diagnosis. I was nearly 13 when she passed away, just shy of that age where you start appreciating the stories and history your parents and grandparents share with you, if you’re interested in family history and that sort of thing.
A few months ago, one of my cousins asked me what Oma was like, and one thing that struck me recently was that out of all my cousins on my Dad’s side of the family, probably only my brother Brian and I remember or knew Oma the best. Read Remembering Oma 30 Years After Her Passing
On Thursday night, Noel and I were watching a special episode of Gold Rush where the young miner Parker Schnabel was dealing with the decline of his grandfather John Schnabel. The final shots showed John celebrating his 96th birthday in a hospital in California after an operation to attempt to restore blood flow to his leg. John died a month later, peacefully, in his sleep.
The finer details aren’t totally important, but the relationship between John and his grandson Parker, on film at least, reminded me very much of my relationship with my Grandpa, who was born in the same year as John and suffered from prostate cancer the same as John, but only lived to 83 and a half, compared to John’s 96 years.
You could see that John felt the sun rose and set in Parker, and Parker didn’t seem too terribly reserved in showing his love for his grandfather. My Grandpa had always encouraged us to show our emotions, that it was okay to hug, to cry, to laugh, to tell people what they meant to you. And I think this helped make me a more caring, empathetic person.
Somehow, it (literally) shook my confidence that everything was settling down again, and the ground below me could be trusted like it had been before the 4 September 2010 quake and its “rich aftershock sequence”.
Last year, on the anniversary, I turned to Jacqui and said, “I’m over it. It seems like so long ago. It’s time to move on.”
I don’t feel that this year. Maybe the Valentine’s Day quake coming so close to the anniversary has caused me more damage than I know.