Nightmares

scream

 

It’s been a while since I posted anything. I spent much of that time in deep depression – and the alcoholism that, for me, comes with it.

It’s probably not fair to blame my addiction on my depression – though the latter certainly made it worse!  I come from Scots-Irish-Native American background:  three groups of people known to have a problem with alcohol addiction.  Perhaps with my genetics it was inevitable. My earliest recollection of having a problem was while I was in Navigator training, as a brand-new 2nd Lieutenant. One day, a salesperson came to the door of my apartment: she had amazing new pots and pans and wanted to demonstrate them for me – and I suddenly realized how many empty whiskey bottle littered every inch of the kitchen counters!

I had no access to whiskey, while I was a teenager. Now and then a “friend”, who turned out to be little more than a bad influence, would buy beer illegally and we’d each have a six pack. Occasionally, he’d get an adult friend to buy him a bottle of sippin’ whiskey, which he’d press me to drink neat. It tasted horrible, but I was fifteen, and this was my only friend, so I allowed myself to be pushed. He started me smoking as well, come to think of it, and ALMOST got me involved with drugs. I say “almost” because the one time we shared a joint, it turned out to be heavily laced with PCP.  The hallucinatory experience that followed was about as bad a trip as I could imagine! My brother – the other seriously bad influence in my life – kept taking me to pot parties. They were usually held in tiny little single-wide trailers and the air was so thick you didn’t have to be taking hits off the joint! Within twenty minutes, I’d be outside heaving my gots out – which is, of course, when Michael would introduce me to girls.

After all that, I decided firmly I was NOT going to get into drugs. With the example of my father drinking himself into a coma every night, I also decided very firmly not to develop a problem with alcohol. Unfortunately, some time in there I’d discovered how nice Canadian Whisky tasted with seven-up – and a drink now and then wouldn’t lead to a problem, would it?

Um, ok, yeah, it did.

Why am I writing about all this at 3 AM? It’s day one of my latest attempt to quit. I had the shakes much of the day, and tried to spend a lot of it sedated with Gabapentin. At twelve thirty, I decided I had to get to sleep – and despite the fact that it had given me a terrible nightmare earlier, I chose to have a little more Gabapentin to help me stay asleep, along with melatonin to help me get  to sleep.  ( The earlier nightmare, if you’re curious, was a rubber snake in my luggage – which somehow became a real snake. His strike jolted me awake with a cry that sent my cat fleeing the scene.)

I don’t really know much about dream symbolism – and I wasn’t interested in the various Freudian things one could do with a snake! Tonight’s nightmare, though, didn’t require any interpretation. It was set in a family’s home – my girlfriend’s home, I knew. I don’t actually have a girlfriend at the moment, but in the dream I did … petite, but with a blurry face and hair color. Basically, she was a composite of everyone I’ve ever loved. We were watching movies. The rest of the family members were scattered about cuddled with significant others. Suddenly, I found myself with a pillow in my hand. I sat sideways on a couch, one leg crooked over the seat, and one foot on the floor. I put the pillow in my lap, hoping my girlfriend would lay her head on it. She shot me a look of annoyance, and sat upright just  far enough away to say “NO, and don’t ask again!”

I felt hurt, and angered. In the dream I knew  this had happened consistently while we’d been visiting her home for the holidays. I got up and started gathering my things. My girlfriend’s mom asked if I was leaving. I thanked her for having me, said I’d enjoyed myself (a lie) – and then said “I’m sure one of you won’t have a problem getting CathrineMaryShirleyJennifer home” (in the dream the name, like the woman’s face was a blur).

And I left.

And I woke, weeping.

For some reason, I keep getting involved with women who are more concerned with what her family thinks, than her own feelings – or mine.  Everyone one else in the dream family room had been cuddled with a significant other, some were wives or husbands, and some girlfriends or boyfriends. My girlfriend, not only would not be physically intimate, in that setting, but, from the harshness of her response it was clear the idea repulsed her!

The message “we aren’t grooming this one for the family” (Cathrine’s mother said that to her about me.) Or, put another way, “I don’t plan to keep this one.” Or reduced to it’s essence, “I don’t love you.”

I’m glad I left. In previous relationships, I’d put up with it and put up with it, until it was simply unbearable – at least this time I took action. I’m glad, also, that I left without a word to her – in the past I would have tried my hardest to explain my feelings (in private, of course,) even though it was clear this part of her wouldn’t change – ever. Perhaps leaving her stranded with her family was a bit much – but in my heart it was clear she wanted to be with them, not me.

The thing is, the anger and hurt shouldn’t be directed at them! I chose to enter the relationships. I ignored one red flag after another, in each of the relationships. If there was blame to be placed, most of it should be on me! I like to think I’m a fairly perceptive fellow – and I’ve taught friends to recognize the pattern of their failed relationships. I see this pattern perfectly clearly, but in my loneliness, I choose to ignore it – and the result is misery. My fault. My bad.

Maybe the dream was a warning that this part of me wouldn’t change. Maybe it was a statement that I’d never be in a stable, happy relationship.

Maybe it was a statement that I’m not going to let my life be ruined in this way.

There’s still the matter of the alcohol, which is ruinous enough. I was reading some literature online, and came across a statement that made tremendous sense to me. Twelve-step programs are based on the idea that “I am powerless before alcohol” – it basically puts the guy in a victim mentality, and provides a perfect excuse to fail!

I am not powerless before alcohol. I choose to buy it. I choose to drink it. I can, and will, choose not to continue.

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~ by dourscot on January 4, 2016.

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