Two days in a row I have had dreams that involved both my father (who I haven’t spoken to in almost a year, and really never spoke to much before that anyway) and some sort of violence or harm to my body.
In Saturday night’s dream, I was in the hospital coming out of the recovery room from surgery. Except I was still bleeding. There was blood everywhere. There was more to the dream, but the part I remember now is when I was taken back into my hospital room, I realized I had a roommate who had already claimed the one hospital bed in the room. So I was going to have to use the pull-out couch as my bed. I got out of my wheelchair and started to pull out the couch when my dad walked in and set an overnight bag down, saying he was going to be staying over and using the couch as his bed. There were other people in the room but I’m not sure who they were, and no one else protested.
I got upset, naturally, and walked across the room and got behind a table that looked like a coffee table you’d find in someone’s house. Once I was behind the table, I turned back to face him and saw he was sitting on the couch, unpacking his bag. He was mad because I had already told him I didn’t want him staying over, and he started to yell at me for not being grateful, not considering his feelings, and for not hugging him.
You know, while I was in the hospital, bloody and trying to recover from just getting out of surgery.
I exploded in anger. I told him I hadn’t hugged him for years because I never knew if he was going to hug me back or hit me. I yelled all of the things I told him last year in real life about how the abuse—mental and physical—had to stop, and how he needed to get the hell out of my hospital room because he was the last person who deserved to be there.
And then I woke up. Later that day, as Ian and I were vacuuming the stairs, out of nowhere I felt a pang of sadness for my father. I immediately flashed back to the dream and thought, “In a way, I really pity him.” And then the feeling vanished and I went about my business.
Sunday night the dream was much shorter, or maybe I just remember less of it. I was standing in the backyard of a shitty apartment building, and I think it was supposed to be my dad’s cousin’s house in Chicago, at least the place she lived when I was still living at home. It was one of those places where there are small apartment buildings side-by-side and all of the backyards are right next to each other and back up to an alley, and they all have clothes lines and rusted pieces of cars and random shit littered about. I was standing at the edge of the yard, right outside of the back door of the building, and my dad was standing near two sawhorses he had set up. On the sawhorses were neatly arranged stacks of pieces of my body, which he had methodically chopped up and arranged for easy packing.
The thing is, I wasn’t upset that he had chopped up my body, or that he was probably the one who killed me. Those things didn’t matter. In the dream, I was upset because even after committing these horrible acts against me, he was planning on using my car to transport my chopped up body to wherever he was going to take it.
I don’t know how I was witnessing this, if I was a ghost or if it was one of those dream-realities where being dead and alive at the same time is perfectly logical, but like the night before I began to yell at him for being so selfish and completely insensitive, even right there in the presence of his own violence. And then I woke up in the middle of the night.
I’m not much of a dream analyst, and I’ll be honest that most of my dreams don’t seem to make any sense or relate to anything or anyone obviously pertinent to my life. And while it’s a bit odd that I would dream of my father now, when I haven’t had any interaction with him or really thought about him in quite some time, I guess in some way my brain is still kind of pissed off at how utterly ridiculous he could be—continues to be—to the point where the physical harm wasn’t even what made me incredulous.
Because in real life, that’s what always messed me up the most. I could process getting hit or slapped or kicked down the stairs. I just never understood the reasons behind it, because there never was a reason. At least not anything that ever made sense to anyone else but him.
The man is just batshit crazy, and I am sure today more than ever that my life is better for cutting him out of it.