Friday, February 12, 2010


For years after my psychosis and hospitalization I was on a cocktail of anti-psychotics which made me unable to dream.  I would drop into sleep like a stone in a still pond and sink without a ripple.  For all those years of antipsychotics I was dreamless and depressed.  It took years to convince my new Shrink to let me go back on an antidepressant that would allow me to dream.  Why did I miss dreaming so much?  Because I never had nightmares.

When I was a child I had recurring nightmares.  I had good reasons.  And if I'd been seeing a shrink then, my dreams would have provided clues to the living nightmare of my young life.  But once I moved out of my parents house my dreams got good and I looked forward to dreaming.  I lived a better life in my dreams than I did in my real life. I took my good dreams for granted.  It was only during times of deep depression, when I was so depressed I couldn't read that I might have dreamed but couldn't remember my dreams.  Then, during the terrible years of caring for my horrible mother, as I began to disintegrate, I had my one and only psychosis, so far, knock wood.

Last night I had my first nightmare since childhood.  I dreamed I was in the main house with a man who, in the dream, was a friend. I have no idea in real life who he was, but in my dream we were close friends.  We were sitting in the kitchen talking and he left the table to retrieve something from his jacket in the hall closet.  I heard the voices of two other men and then a sound like a mellon splatting, as if hit with a baseball bat or dropped from a height onto concrete.  It was a sickening sound, and I knew that it was my friend's head that had made the terrible splat sound.  It was immediately clear to me that I was the next victim.  I raced for the stairs and locked myself in the upstairs bathroom, the only room in the house with a solid door and a good lock.  I could hear the men looking for me.  I had no way to call for help so I tried to squeeze out of the bathroom window onto the steep tile roof.  This is when I woke up.

It was cold in the house.  I always turn the heat very low at night.  I sleep better in a cool room.  It was early (7:30) for me.  I know the dream woke me up. Marly was snuggled against my back. She made a soft whiney sound when I got up.  I went to the bathroom, turned the heat up, and then got coffee.  Cyrus watches my moves when I get up, and only when my coffee cup is in my hand and I'm heading back to my side of the bed does he haul himself out of his bed and lumber to the door.

Yesterday my doctor asked me about my eating habits.  I was in for my once monthly clotting factor test.  Testing my clotting factor takes seconds but we always talk for at least half an hour, often about politics.  Well, among other things, politics is depressing me, I've become a shitty blogger, and now that the novel is out there in the world and on it's own, I have nothing to do but start working on something new.  And I got nothin'!  I'm uninspired.  I feel empty.  And the life I've led has left me with few friends and the few I've kept, are dying or dead.  How odd it is that I'm outliving the few women I've kept close. I never saw that coming.  Never imagined I'd live this long.  And until recently I was delighted with the small life I've created.  I keep thinking I've grieved for Zelita, but her absence has left a tattered hole in the fabric of my little life.  And nothing can mend it or fill it or make it all better.

I have plenty that needs to be done.  My house needs a good cleaning. The winter ravaged yard needs a bit of raking~debris falls from the trees during storms and now litters the walkways.  But all I want to do is go back to sleep and dream a different life.


Unknown said...

Moving narrative. Utah, my dreams are important to me, bad good indifferent... symbolis synthesis. My grandmother was a precognitive dreamer, I do it time to time. When nightmares arrive, I use the little bottle I sent to you... it helps, sometimes. It can help... a few drops under the tongue, on top of your head. I wish you good, lucky dreams ... little trips into brighter territories where you might talk to old friends whom you miss... I really do. I wish it for me, too! :-)

lisahgolden said...

What a terrifying nightmare. I'm glad you woke up when you did. It never fails to amaze me, although you'd think I'd be over it by now, how life just turn out the way we pictured it.

Gail said...


This amazing post felt like everything scary that Halloween was intended to represent. I kept seeing a hazy full moon, leaves blowing in the wind, jack-o-lanterns with mean faces lit on porch stoops, witches, ghosts, goblins and the like.
And my 2 cents in the ring on dreams? They often are reflective of some unfinished business of the day, and not necessarily just 24 hours but the theme for a time with left over, yet to be understood stuff. How's that for Psychology 101?? :-)

Love you

Mauigirl said...

So sorry you had such a horrible nightmare. I know what you mean about usually liking your dreams though - when I was young in particular I dreamed all the time and I looked forward to going to bed because it was like going to the movies all night! Now I still have a lot of dreams and enjoy trying to figure out what caused the situations in the dreams.

I hope you are able to get back to feeling better again - probably finishing the novel leaves you with post partum depression in a way.... As always, though, your post was so well written - I love the way you express yourself.

Utah Savage said...

Gwendolyn, thank you for reminding me. I'll give it a try. I spray my chest with the White Buffalo Woman spray. Do you mean the Sweetgrass?

Lisa, I'm so glad to see you. I've been a bit worried I'd pisses you off. I had a lovely intro to my novel when I first wrote it and my friend Zelita just loved it. It was an attempt to reassure the reader that I survive what I'm about to tell you. Finally I was able to see that even at the end, I just had to tell the story. I had to plunge in there and get to the point. I hope you can hear the love in my voice.

Gail, this is your best comment ever. FTW Gail! You rock. There's no such thing as too much psych 101 and I love your atmospherics. I do tend to make stories out of my dreams or incorporate dreams into my stories. So thanks for getting me started. I feel stalled. This might help.

Mauigirl, I used to travel in my dreams. I'd go back to Italy and finish conversations with men I once loved and feared loving at the time.

I always read myself to sleep and then cleared my mind of my daily crap so that I could enter my dream life free to experience wondrous things in a whole new way. But I never had real nightmares since I was a kid. Maybe I'll start writing scary stories.

Unknown said...

Use the Sweetgrass, it's a homeopathic rescue remedy. A drop or two under the tongue, over your heart, in a glass of water (or wine). Intend to have dreams that satisfy your needs... whatever they might be, to heal yourself. Follow? It's done wonders for me in this detox from the tobacco. The vaping is actually working... who would have thought? I adore my smokes... I guess adored is the right word now... LOL
Try it darlin... be consoled.

Utah Savage said...

Gwendolyn, thank you. Sweet dreams.

Anonymous said...

Wow, glad you dropped in on me last week for my political harangue. I had my own worst ever nightmare that I let my 4 year old Mikey get away from me while on vacation and found myself in an ugly corporate schlock hotel surrounded by indifferent drones who didn't seem to grasp my urgency. I was screaming he's 4 years old with blue eyes and curly blonde hair don't you m.f.ers let one person out that door until I find him. Am shivering right now thinking of it. When I woke up he was pressed up against me snoring ever so slightly and I guess I was reminded there is a God or a godmother who can make all this shit go away. God love you. I am faaaar from religious as I find the middlemen tedious and as of late the Catholic variety I am prone to seeing are too much like Newt and Rush in their version of compassion and understanding. You're terrifyingly creative and I seriously think your big sister creator can bring some relief. Forgive theology 101 but accept my sincere best wishes, much strength, love and peace.

giggles said...

Oh my...that's really unsettling and clue (besides what Gail says) about it's meaning.... And no friends??!!! What about all of us in bloggyland? (And thanks, btw, for your kind comment re:cute. It helped, actually!)

jmsjoin said...

Hi Peg! You know, you just have it when it comes to writing style. Cheer up! How is your book doing good I hope!

Unknown said...

I truly admire your writing and story telling skills.

And I am proud to say I know you.

Utah Savage said...

Rastamick I'm glad you enjoyed my visit to your place. I've enjoyed your visit to my place. Don't be a stranger.

Giggles, you cutie pie. One nightmare in an adult lifetime is small potatoes now that it didn't happen last night too. I'm over it;just too lazy to write anything new.

James, I have cheered up. But FYI it never helps someone in a funk to have someone come along and say cheer up as if you could order others to obey your mood dictates.

Scott, you have a blogger account. How nice for you. Are you sure you want to engage me in this arena? I can be a royal bitch here as well as in real life.

Unknown said...


Utah Savage said...

Scott, I know. All you did was say something nice and already I'm bristling with barely disguised hostility. We have a history. I spent most of it bristling with barely disguised hostility. I'm not very nice. What can you do about that? Nothing. But when I've been an ass to a man over and over I get real suspicious when he keeps coming back for more.

Dominick said...

The part of the story where you describe the dream was awesome! Do you keep a dream journal to jot down your dreams when you wake up? That story reminded me that lucid dreaming is supposed to be possible. If you realize that you are dreaming, then you can direct your dream to go in any direction that you like. I'm still working on obtaining this skill my self. I'll let you know if I succeed one day.

PENolan said...

Okay - forget Scott for a moment.

RE: Dreams

If I hadn't glanced at Exhaustion, I wouldn't know your new tennant is male. I haven't been out much in blogland lately either.

Question: Is it scary for you to have a man so close by? When you've had unauthorized penises in your life, the concept of men can be alarming.

I believe Freudian interpretation of dreams would suggest that everyone in the dream is simply a reflection of your Self, which to get Jungian, would suggest that the man in the dream is your Masculine self or some aspect. Like if your book is out there being judged, "Out there" is a man's world. You did an assertive, ballsy thing going into The Man's World with your female tale. They smashed your assertive brains in and you ran for cover.

I would guess that squeezing through a window to escape that harsh judgement means something about finding yourself - and what you've done and continue to do to see yourself clearly. The bathroom could be suggestive of your personal shit. I'm pretty sure Jungian theory would ask - what does the bathroom mean to you?

As you can tell, I dig dreams too. Very illuminating in the course of my own therapy. Excellent work, Utah.

PENolan said...

Ooops: Tenant, sorry.

Utah Savage said...

PENolan, that's very good dream analysis. I'm betting you could set up shop and do a brisk business. The bathroom is in reality the only room in the house with a solid core door and a deadbolt, so I saw it as a safe, but it also is the only room in the house with a window over a section of roof, so I could in reality climb out that window and have a steep slippery place to scrabble around on. But yes, it does represent my personal shit and though I seem to share my personal shit with all of you, I must still have secrets left to keep.

One of the bit of personal shit that's pushing me along is my age and iffy health. I don't know why I say iffy, but at my age with my families terrible gift to me of heart troubles, (both metaphor and literal truth) I might be in a bit of a panic. I want to publish my book. I want to publish at least one short story and a handful of poems. I want someone to remember me as a writer and nothing else.