Thursday, October 30, 2008

not quite Halloween yet...

Here's one for you:
Just about every night lately I dream of work, God alone knows why. This past night, I dreamt there were about a dozen men, women and children in my office -- they needed the food shelf, and I was in the middle of something so they'd parked themselves in my office to wait. There was no place to sit because they'd taken the chairs, and after a few moments of me stumbling around them trying to accomplish whatever it was, they turned off the light and disposed themselves to sleep: a man in one of the chairs, a baby in blankets on the desk, women and older children in chairs and on the floor -- everyone in their clothes and coats. The office was overflowing. So I gave up trying to do whatever it was, and began working to answer their questions - where could they find help with this and that. They were impatient, they were annoyed, they wanted service. In the middle of this, with perhaps CW or CP somewhere nearby, I realized that I couldn't breathe at all (for some reason) and needed to step out of the room to go do some serious coughing. Off I went to the bathroom, and standing in there by the door to the boss' office I thought I could hear CP sighing heavily. It took me several minutes to get over the coughing and retching and choking, and when it was done I cleaned myself up, and looked in on him -- and he looked awful, all covered up with blankets in his desk chair (and he'd grown a beard, oddly enough). He were terribly distraught, and exhausted, and kept sighing and asking why we couldn't just "be the church."

And then I woke up, and realized that all the sighing was actually my son, snoring in bed.

This is not as bad as the dream where the boss left his kids in my care for the night, and one of them fell down the basement stairs -- and suddenly he and his wife were standing in my kitchen in their pajamas, looking really upset with me, and I was in a panic because I hadn't realized until maybe two minutes earlier that the kids were even in my house. I had that one last month some time. Can you say, "overdeveloped sense of responsibility?"

Hardly anyone I know needs anything more to worry about; and at almost any time of day, should I allow myself to start dwelling on my personal conundrums, the doorbell is likely to ring -- and I'll find myself at the door with someone who needs food and has much bigger problems than mine. Though of course I don't need to walk even that far to find someone with bigger problems than mine, these days. So it seems shameful and pointless to dwell on my own stuff. You probably know the feeling. And it's all fine and Christian to put others' needs before your own, if you do it consistently -- but I don't. This afternoon CW and I were talking about my increasingly pressing need for solid emotional connections with others -- the feeling that is the opposite of loneliness. And she said that you grow out of this -- that you aren't supposed to need it all the time. I think she meant that we're all ultimately alone and doomed to face facts (my words). And I told her that I hadn't grown out of it, that it really depresses me sometimes, and she suggested drugs (which is where the boss walked in.) It's a line of dialogue that says at least as much about her, and makes me sad for her (though that might not be appropriate.) I myself feel these days that all of my primary relationships are about responsibility and caretaking, in a more pronounced way than usual. I feel terribly needy, as a result. I fantasize a lot about being loved up, being really spoiled and taken care of. Being rescued, being swept off my feet and made to feel safe. Unrealistic crap like that.

What to do. I'm irritated with myself for whining about it, but really pent up with increasing frustration and resentment. Boy, aren't I a treat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe that the only time you "grow out of" needing other people is when you are dead. What you are feeling is natural and even healthy that you want more from life than just to meet the needs of others. You start to lose your usefulness and even effectiveness when you don't take care of yourself.

God didn't design us to be alone and to do without other healthy human interaction.

And I agree with you - drugs don't make your own needs go away, and are not the healthy or appropriate way to deal with things.