It's funny how life seems to pass us by and before we know it we're getting old, our kids are no longer kids and we find ourselves looking back saying
Where does the time go? why does it go by so fast and why is it the older I get the more I find myself asking these very questions??? If I were an everday kind of girl I could turn to my mother for advice, ask her what to do about my son not wanting to stay in bed at night, how to get him to tell the truth even when he thinks he's going to be punished. I could ask her about menopause and the night flashes and how to get through them without driving my husband insane, how to deal with the raging hormones and overall craziness that comes with "the change of life". I could do these things if I were an ordinary girl.....but I'm not and she wasn't an ordinary mother and so I must doggy paddle my way through this thing called motherhood, I must struggle and try to figure out the right way to do it and hope I don't end up with a screwed up grown-up who looks back on his life asking these same kinds of questions. I can only hope that in doing the opposite of what she would have done I manage to get at least some of it right.
One of the things I remember most about my childhood is the kitchen we had. I know that sounds a bit wierd, but you have to have lived there to understand. First in the corner of the room the ceiling had a big hole in it where you could see the slats of wood and insulation hanging through. Then the floor was covered in this wierd brown stuff that, no matter how much you swept, it always brought up dust and dirt and you could never, EVER, get it clean (which resulted in many hours of sweeping and beatings for not getting clean) The old stove in the corner was the stove behind which, my older sister would hide her egg yolks because she hated yolks and mother wouldn't let you leave until you cleaned your plate. I clearly remember the smell that came from there after awhile when enough egg yolks had been hidden there and they began to rot. Mother would smell it, get mad, pull out the stove, scream, beat and then try to get my poor sister to eat the rotten eggs because it was wasting food! The first time I saw that I made sure my sister never "wasted" another yolk by eatting her yolks for her. I was a good little sister and cleaned the plates of siblings if they didn't want to eat something...probably how I survived as long as I did. I remember mother forcing us to sit at the table and not leave until we had finished every last drop on our plates and if we fell asleep in our plates the food was placed in the fridge where it would be re-served cold and disgusting for breakfast. If we fought and chose not to eat it for breakfast and went off to school hungry, we were served the plate of cold gross food for dinner that night. This cycle could go on for days on end until we broke down and ate the food. We quickly learned tricks for hiding food so we didn't have to eat some of the things she fed us. Dandilion greens was the bane of my existance in my youth, HATED eatting them, they taste gross and bitter but sometimes it was the only thing to eat. My favorite time of year was fall and early winter when we got to go deer hunting and kill something yummy that would feed us for months, provide warmth for our feet in the form of slippers and really fun horns that could become short swords that we could stab each other with or stab at trees or other inanimate objects and pretend they were our mother.
Dreams are the window to our minds, they show us things about ourselves we may not fully understand. The dreams show our inner-most desires in unusual ways. For instance, I clearly remember this one dream I used to have all the time when I was a little girl. I would be running across the front yard way ahead of my mother who was chasing me. She always had either a rolling pin or a leather belt in her hand and she was always screaming like a mad banshee, nothing comprehendable, just screaming as she chased me. I would get to the edge of the road and pause to look for a car or a truck, anyone to flag down who would be able to save me from this raging woman. No one ever came! I would look over my shoulder and she would be running at me full speed, I knew she was going to quickly catch me so I would start running down the road and as I ran I would flap my arms like a bird, close my eyes and say to myself "I wish I could fly" When I opened my eyes I would be soaring over the telephone poles and electrical wires, looking down I would watch my mother shaking her fists screaming for me to "come down this instant!" But then I would laugh, look away from her and fly off into the mountains where I knew I would be safe and she would never ever find me. I remember that feeling of freedom and comfort, feeling safe and content. But then I would wake up and look around only to realize it was just a dream and I was not safe and no matter how much I wanted it to be different, nothing had changed.
So what does that dream tell me? It tells me that as a child I longed to escape the reality that was my life, I longed to get away and be safe, I wanted to be free of the evilness that I had to live with. I wanted nothing more than pure joy and freedom. I don't really recall exactly when the dream stopped recurring, and just the other day, for some reason I thought about it and tried to pinpoint when I stopped having it. I do remember having it while in foster care, usually before court meetings or DSS meetings. The times when the judge or my social worker would sit down with me, my foster parents, and my mother to decide if I should return home. I guess I dreaded those meetings because I didn't want to go back, I so strongly desired to be free and remain free that the dream world helped me escape for a few blessed hours while I slept. I've come to the conclussion that I must not really mind the life I live now because I have not had that dream in many many years...my dream must have finally come true and I have finally escaped!