When last night I dreamed of discovering a T-Rex in a closet, and afraid for my life, ran into another closet and shut and locked the door from the inside, the me in that dream listened for the breathing of that ancient reptilian hunter on the other side of the door and prayed it would lose interest and go away the way bears are said to do if you roll up into a ball and don’t move while they are clawing through you.
The T-Rex did not lose interest though, and just as it came through the door to inflict a terrible consequence I woke up asking myself why would I be dreaming about a dinosaur I could care less about? The T-Rex must represent something else, I thought.
I hate to admit this because it just seems so juvenile somehow, but I’m pretty sure the T-Rex was a symbol for the vengeful femme fatale that I’ve yet to really stand up to and defeat in many areas of my life, never mind within myself.
Yeah, I’d agree with that analysis since I know by now that I’ll always believe there’s a part of me that thinks it’s primordially and mechanically wrong, unworthy of love, and a reason people suffer.
The truth is if I’m not being rejected or abused, I think something even more wrong is about to happen, that somehow, I’ll make someone want to hurt themselves or me, that somehow, I’ll turn them into a version of my violent and spidery mother or overly submissive, jealous and dismissive father.
I think I just want to know when it’s safe to come out and have feelings, you know. But even more so I want to know that when it’s not safe, it’s still okay to throw the door open and roar knowing that the only thing I should really be afraid of is me.
This obviously might have something to do with why I’ve been divorced over a decade and am trying to navigate my culture’s bias toward nuclear families in such a way that I can still feel like I belong without having to sign my name again to one.
There’s got to be something positive about being so orphaned and alone, I tell myself. But I’m not coming up with much.
Except for maybe there’s this ever-increasing desire to try to transcend that isolation knowing I’ll fail a lot of the time, and that even when we’re with people, we can still be very alone, for years even, but that none of it really has stopped me from trying to find something lovable in all that.
I’m still coming into the bedroom of my wounded child each night and watching him sleep, until I know that he came from me, and that it’s okay to close the door and be afraid, to stay with fear in the dark and make it a chair for it to stick around in.