I was reminded today by a writing friend that I have not been on http://www.thinkingten.com in awhile. So I decided to see what the prompt for the day was, and while I was there I read through some of my old entries. This one was from february.
Last night, I was shouting in a dream I had. I did not awakened to my own shouts, as sometimes happens, but my daughter told me. She told me what I had shouted. And then she asked why.
“Why did you shout, ‘Shut Up! Let me finish!’?”
How could I have told her that there were a thousand reasons, from the unfinished thoughts in my childhood, to the desperate pleas for a blessing in my early adulthood, to the ignored and interrupted emotions of middle age? How could I have told her that I had been longing for someone to listen – just listen – for so many of my forty years? I had made a promise to be different with her, to see her, to hear her. Even if I was shocked or disappointed or did not agree, I would sit on my hands and bite my tongue and……pay attention.
I would do that so that she would never rouse herself at 3 am crying for someone to be quiet. So that she would never be tired in the morning because she chased a faceless figure through the night, begging them to hear her. So that she would not punch her pillow, and at times – accidentally – a bed mate, in a dream about the anger of not being heard. So that her daughter would never ask her why she had been so angry in her sleep the night before, and she would never have to decide which of the reasons to give.