Monday, September 19, 2011

Day residue

Normally, I don't have anxiety-provoking dreams, but last night was different. Okay, I know I had too much to drink, and the Ben & Jerry's for dessert didn't help, but by 3 a.m. I was awake from my dream and heart pounding-in-my-throat anxious. The dream was the usual day residue. The family friend who telephoned earlier in the evening (whom I'm convinced is a spy) made a spy-like apearance in my dream. I had also read a poignant story in the New York Times earlier in the day about the struggle of a young, autistic man to become independent. So that went into my dream, too, and resulted in anxiety—about Chris. In my dream Chris was planning to go back to college and, rather than rejoice, I didn't think he was ready and I didn't want him to go! When I woke up I realized how much I'll miss him and his brother Alex, when they eventually leave home. The autism story had really shaken me.

Reality tells me that Chris is doing fine, but finding comfort in reality is something best done in the daylight hours when I'm more fearless. So, in order to get  to sleep I had a talk with myself to go back and set the outcome of that dream differently, to something more accommodating of the fact that Chris is going to leave the nest eventually. I can't remember how it all worked out, but I managed to get back to sleep.

Chris phoned me at work this morning with the wonderful news that he was asked to be part of an octet at an upcoming concert featuring the music of Vaughn Williams, Purcell and some other English guy. I recalled that, when we had guests over last night, Chris sat in the living room with Alex and the rest of us, very at ease with the conversation and making interesting comments of his own. I can remember that it wasn't so long ago (after his third hospitalization) that he was too socially withdrawn to be around company. I had wondered at the time if he would ever snap out of this painful period of his life.

Life goes on. People grow and change.

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