Blogger Friends Got Ideas!

Yesterday, after my Alter Ego, Cranky Giraffe, posted about my son’s crazy little love letter to his newest idol, Lady Gaga, an old old blogging friend tweeted it, with an idea that maybe he could meet her!  I know the likelihood of it being re-tweeted by anyone other than myself is pretty low… But who cares!  It’s still awesome!

Sarah, you’re awesome and hilarious!  I was hoping for a response to his letter so that his little heart wouldn’t be broken by not having his leading lady care about his feelings and her impact on him.  But OMG!  What a freaking lifetime experience that would be for a little autistic, too sensitive, anxious little boy to have: To meet the first person, aside from his mother and his therapists to make him feel like having anxiety and being different is okay.

Dare to Dream, right???

(Just a reminder that I am also blogging regularly as the Cranky Giraffe… so move on over and follow me there too!)

Distressing Dreams

The past has been coming back to haunt me.

Over the past few weeks I have been having a series of distressing and upsetting dreams about people and events from the past.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to process and accept the misfortunes that serve as the basis for these dreams, but clearly, they are still stirring around in my subconscious, waiting to haunt me at the least opportune times.

It is coming up on that time of year again: the residency matching saga where medical students scramble to apply to, interview, and eventually get offered (hopefully) a residency position where they want.  If you followed my old blog, you will know how distressing of a time this is for me.  If you are new to my blog, I’m sorry that this post will make less sense to you – I will try to find a way to explain the terror that this time of year was for me when I went through it a few years back (perhaps in another blog post).

Intertwined in the match saga is the surge and then eventual demise of my relationship with my old friend and mentor, Kay.

Unfortunately the dreams that have been occurring lately have all involved Kay or other people that elicit the painful and undesirable memories that this time of year holds for me.  I know that my current levels of dissatisfaction and confusion about my career choices makes these memories and events even more difficult to tolerate.  After all, if I was very happy in my current situation it would be easy to say that “this was the best thing that could have happened to me.”  But, I can’t say that.  So, my subconscious continues to dwell on the “what if” and “if only” byproducts of my past misfortunes.

One dream that is recurrent, but seems to be more prominent now, involves the resurgence and reconnection of my friendship with Kay.  It plays out exactly how I wish it would have long ago.  It is a beautiful dream filled with honesty, forgiveness, understanding, and starting anew.  However, too much time has passed now and having this dream only causes pain because I know it will never come to be.  I end up asking myself why I still dream of having her back in my life as a valued friend, after everything that’s happened.  I want to believe that she is a good person who either did what she needed to do at the time, or realized she made a mistake with how she treated me.  Unfortunately, as more time passes, I come to believe more and more that she feels that she made the right decision by removing me from her life.

I have “recollection dreams” about how important Kay was at this time in my life, those few years ago.  I recall her supportive words and her sympathy and empathy over the catastrophic events.  I re-experience all the good and wonderful times we had in our friendship and I wake up to the sorrow of knowing that something so wonderful no longer exists.  And to make it worse, that sorrow is filled with feelings of guilt and anger towards myself – reminding me that I am at fault for the absence of this beauty in my life.

Last night my sleep was riddled with variations of the same dream: This one involved interactions and observations of the people who didn’t experience my same misfortunes.  These people are, in essence, living the career life that I had imagined for myself… The life that was shattered for me with little explanation, but that was given to them as they expected.  I watched them as they expressed satisfaction and happiness with where their lives are going, all while I am lost in the confusion and distress of my own life.  The variations involved them coming into my world, and me going into their world, and regardless of where we were, I felt resentment and anger towards them and the system that allowed this to happen.

It is not helpful for me to experience these types of dreams while I am in the midst of trying to overcome negativity in my day to day life.  It is difficult for me to get out of bed after a night of distressing dreams and say to myself, “today is going to be a great day!”  It is next to impossible to keep looking forward and push through my day -to-day challenges when my subconscious continues to drag my back into the past I am trying to overcome.  I can’t control what I think about when I sleep, and I have no solution to overcome this problem.

Maternal Instinct

This morning, after I finished working my call shift, I had my first appointment with my new obstetrician.  I was a little nervous, even though I picked her from all the obstetricians I know in this city because she is one of my favourites.  I also knew exactly what to expect from the appointment, seeing as how this is my third pregnancy and this is my area of specialty.  Regardless, I was nervous.  I have been working fairly closely with this woman over the past few months with her supervising me in my delivery and cesarean-section skills.  I enjoy her casual attitude, her skill, and her friendly demeanour.  This appointment, though, was about to introduce a new dimension.

The appointment itself went well and there was nothing too unexpected.  However, I was caught off guard by how strongly I found comfort in feeling like this woman was “taking care” of me in some way.  It took me most of the day to place this familiar feeling – but I realized that it was the same feeling I had when I first met my new family doctor just over a year ago, and most pronounced when I engaged in the patient-obstetrician relationship that started with my old friend and mentor, Kay, many years ago.

Part of coming to this realization occurred after I woke up from my daytime sleep and reflected on the dream I had in my pregnant and post-call state.  I had a vivid dream about the obstetrician that I saw this morning.  Like most dreams, I only remember bits and pieces, but the parts I do remember were sufficient enough to point towards an underlying theme.

For some reason, this doctor was staying with me, in my house, for a certain amount of time.  Perhaps it was because her house was being renovated or something like that – she was displaced for some reason.  During this stay at my house, she was very attentive to me and how I was feeling; she took time to talk to me about “stuff.”  I don’t remember any of the details of what was said, I just remember feeling like it was important that she listened to me.  She was very affectionate towards me in a maternal way, making me feel like I was, again, being cared for, looked after, and important to her.  At one point in the dream, I remember my own mother appearing and then feeling confused about why she was there and what her purpose was at that moment in the encounter.

That’s pretty much all I remember.  Initially I woke up from this dream feeling a strange sense of belonging and satisfaction.  However, that feeling quickly gave way to feelings of sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness.  All those feelings arose as I realized that everything I felt in the dream was not real and were only projections of feelings that I want or need but am not able to acquire – at least not in the places I am looking.  It was at this point that I remembered having similar feelings of wanting to be cared for by other female (and physician) people in my life.

This is not a new feeling or phenomenon for me (let me find a post from the early days of The Old Blog to prove it).  It was a while back in my counselling when I discovered that these feelings originate from the lack of maternal care and influence from my own mother.  I have been seeking to have this role fulfilled from other women for almost my entire life – at least since I was 12 or 13.  I am surprised, however, to discover that after knowing for so long where these emotions come from, and having spent many years working on them and realizing that I need to look inside myself to find a solution to these difficult emotions, that I would still so easily fall into the old, familiar, yet unsatisfying pattern of seeking comfort in places (and people) where it can’t be found.

In addition to feeling sad, hopeless, and confused about the re-emergence of these emotions, I am feeling angry at myself for falling back into this harmful pattern of searching for maternal love and acceptance where it can never be found.  Obviously this is something that I need to spend more time working to resolve.  Perhaps the resurgence of this Maternal issue is something that I am meant to deal with throughout this pregnancy.  Perhaps it is also part of the reason why I am feeling so uncertain and uneasy about my decision to have another baby.  Maybe all of these emotions are tied together somehow: the desire to seek out maternal care, the prominence of these emotions in pregnancy, and my somewhat confusing desire to expand in my role as a mother.