I slept 10 hours last night. This comes after a week of very light sleep averaging 6 hours a night. It appears I am shifting back to the deep, heavy, healing sleep of integration and preparation.
When I woke at 6am I felt sad and emotionally empty inside. It literally felt like someone came in with a spoon and scooped out everything inside. Hollow and echoing back at me the emptiness. I was extremely tired and the only thing I recall thinking was that I felt like I did during my Dark Night of the Soul.
Dream: Taking Tests
Surprisingly, I fell back to sleep. I entered into a dream where I was sitting at a student desk taking a test. All I saw wast he test in front of me. It was laid out like a typical test but I am not sure what the subject was. I suspect math because I remember writing down a decimal that never ended – something like .81258…… I just remember there were 8’s in it. It was the square root of a number but I don’t know what number. The number 33 was also prominent as was the Pi symbol.
I turned in the test thinking I didn’t care if I passed it or not. In my mind I was considering my grade and figured I would get a 75%, which was totally fine with me. This is surprising because in school nothing less than a 90% was acceptable. Perfectionist. Somewhere in college I got over this expectation and accepted B’s, but C’s would still upset me.
The teacher asked me if I finished the entire test and asked me to check my answers. I returned to my seat and flipped through my test. It was several pages long and I realized I had not completed the pages in the middle. So I turned it over and started from the beginning, noting there were reading passages throughout it. It didn’t look like a math test at all!
The first page was almost entirely instructions. At the very bottom was a fill-in-the-blank section without a word bank. I remember feeling discouraged here. No word bank? lol I decided to just guess and hope for the best. I remember writing in the word, “Balance”. This test felt like a science test at first but as I was reading through the questions it resembled a psychology test.
Dream: Adjusting Time
The dream shifted and I was inside a house with other people. The microwave clock was blinking and the time needed to be set. I went up to it and began to try and set the time but it was difficult and I kept having to start over. A man was there with me trying to help but I insisted on doing it myself, snapping at him to let me do it. I was very frustrated. The time I was trying to set the clock to was 3:44pm. Eventually I allowed the man to tell me how to set the clock and I was able to set the hour but then he took over and set the wrong time. It got set at 3:52. By this time I was apathetic about the whole thing and just accepted the time but I said to him, “Now the clock will be fast and everyone will be early.”
Dream: Mental Hospital
The scene shifted and I was an officer of some kind. A new person had just been brought in. It won’t say inmate here but that was the feeling. However, it appeared more like a mental hospital than a prison setting. The young woman had blonde hair and was dressed in a white hospital gown. She sat in front of me staring at the floor. My job was to help her. I had a very thick manual in front of me that I began to read through. The girl asked me a question about what would happen. I jokingly told her to expect a strip search and her face showed her horror. I reassured her there would be no such thing and instructed her to read her portion, an introduction of sorts describing what was wrong with her and why she was there. The manual was color coded and I was reading the green print but can’t remember what was written. I flipped through it and saw it was hundreds of pages long. The manual was a psychology manual for treatment of this woman’s specific condition.
Dream: New Dog
Somehow the dream brought me to a scene in which I was watching a golden retriever dog and listening to a man talk about taking the dog for a walk. The feeling here was that the dog was young and had lots of energy so needed frequent walks. I was given a short leash that was red and looked like a hoop with a clasp on the end. I remembered my dog Trooper at this time and told the man that I would need a longer leash if this dog was anything like mine was. I saw my dog’s blue leash hanging on the wall and pointed to it, telling the man it would be much better. He gave me the leash and I attached it to the dog’s collar. The dog had two, thick silver chain links on his collar and I clasped Trooper’s leash to the last link. When I did this I was overcome with memories of my dog and the runs we went on. I knew this new dog was going to run as fast or faster than my dog did and to expect to be dragged behind him for the first part of the “walk”.
The memories of my dog were too much and I began to sob uncontrollably in the dream which woke me up immediately. When I woke up I could not stop crying. It was not over sadness or missing my dog, though, it was about the message behind the dream. It took me almost 15 minutes to recover.
Confronting the Inevitable
It became very clear to me that I was not grieving my beloved pet at this time. There was a message that was being repeated over and over. The message came as an analogy to the situation which led to my dog’s death.
I was told a year in advance that my dog would be leaving me. I ignored the message or maybe just forgot it or lost track of time.
I was warned in advance that this was coming, too.
The signs that he was deteriorating were numerous and I chose to ignore them. A week prior to his death I had chosen to not take him to the vet. I was in denial and didn’t want the vet to confirm what I knew was happening. He was dying.
Similarly, the signs have been there that “death” is coming whether I want it to or not. Many times I could have done something about it and I didn’t.
The day of his death I was in a panic and unable to think. He was suffering and I didn’t want to do what had to be done. It was awful. I was alone and my husband refused to come help me. I had to do it on my own and I didn’t want to.
I don’t want to do this, either. I am unable to make a decision but only I can make this decision. No one will do it for me.
When the vet told me he was dying and asked if I wanted to euthanize him, I agreed but I could not be in the room when it happened. I broke down in tears in the vet’s office and was a mess after that. I have never grieved over anyone like I did that dog.
I suspect when the time comes that I will not want to be present to witness the end.
So as I was dealing with a similar, heavy grief this morning the connection hit home. I am being asked to do something similar in my life. To stop avoiding what I know needs to be done. To look at the signs which are right in my face.
One of the biggest regrets I have about those last days of my dog’s life are of letting him suffer. I was too selfish to do what needed to be done, to end his misery. Instead, I prolonged it. That is what apparently I am doing to myself right now. Prolonging the misery by not taking action and doing what needs to be done.
I am left now with this sense of being utterly and unbearably alone. I feel like I am dead already. I feel like what awaits me is another Dark Night of the Soul. I can’t do that again. I won’t follow bread crumbs to a dead end again even if the bread crumbs are really cookie crumbs. The disappointment would be too much for me. I am TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT!
And I really miss my dog Trooper right now.
Image source– Infinity, pi and square root all represent the continuous existence of thought.