Awake and fretting again. Awake when I should be sleeping. Awake and afraid of dreaming. Awake and pondering.
If the spider dreams come when I backslide, if they come when I respond to a touch, or a phrase, or the sound of breath between words, I would be more able to accept it. Tonight, I have no idea why I dreamed, only that I did. If it's not specifically tied to the love that left, then what do the spider dreams mean? And why did they go away--for at least a while--when I left? And why did they only return when I got close again? Why did I have one tonight when I haven't done a thing to encourage one?
I want this to be over. I want to be better. I want to stop feeling scared, and unsure, and yearning for things I lost along the way. I want my subconscious to pick another image to flay my nerves with. I want to feel less like I'm bleeding out and more like I'm healing. I want to look forward to sleep again.
More than a year later, I still can't go to a dance if I hear Duchess Gabrielle is going to be spinning the tunes. She's still an amazing DJ--I still listen to Radio Riel now and again--but I just can't bring myself to go. It's not resentment, it's not anger, it's not out of any desire for revenge. Mostly, it's just sadness. I walked away from so much of my life when I was fired, lost touch with people I genuinely cared for, and I know that's contributed largely to my isolation...but I can't get past it.
More than six months later, I'm still trying to sell that last bit of Caledonian land. Being in Caledon isn't the joy it once was, for multiple reasons, and I'm suffering a major period of disconnection from the grid anyway, for a variety of reasons as well. I'm finding it hard to create, hard to innovate, and I'm back to contemplating closing the business for good. In fact, coming this January is the yearly anniversary party for two businesses that are profoundly stalled, featuring virtually no creation of new product since last year. And I still have no idea what's going to happen then, or if we're even holding a sale, let alone a celebration.
More than eighteen months later, I'm still closing the ISC chat window more often than I'm leaving it open. People waver between being far too perky and far too prone to take offense, and I just don't have it in me to appreciate a good fight the way I used to. And most of the time, most social events just make me sigh, or shudder, and turn away in resigned frustration. I am getting profoundly lonely on the grid, but I can't bring myself to even show up at a dance to potentially ease that perception of loneliness.
And more than four years later, I think I'm finally accepting that I will never have another rez day celebration. Because I can't shake what happened after the first one.
I am stitched too deeply with regret, and layered too thickly with pain. This is going to take time, and more than I want each day, to resolve, and it won't be easy. It's not easy now. I feel as if I'm no longer moving forward, I'm just sinking in place.
So now I shore up, refocus, tabulate my successes and my failures. If I can't find my way forward, I build from here and see where we end up. I've already accepted it won't be anywhere near where I started.
I already boxed up every doll-related thing in my inventory. Maybe I need to go through and box up all the spider outfits and accessories. At least for a while. If I can't control the outer world, I control the inner. The mind writes deeply in the body; maybe forcing that disconnection from the arachnids within will push that image from my subconscious.
Yeah, I don't buy that either. But it's something new to try.
I just want something clear in all this murk and mist. Something solid, not ephemeral. Something to count on. A guidepost. A beacon. Hells, I'll take a rock kicked out of place at this point. (Though not a sign. Note to all gods who might be tuning in: I am NOT asking for a sign. Just...a nudge, maybe, towards the shore. Whatever works.)
And then I'll figure out where I am, and where I go from there. It's not like this is the first time the existential pangs have set in of an evening. It likely won't be the last either...
Sometime later, I tell him part of this. Not that I don't want to tell him all of it, just that articulation, currently, is not my strong suit. He listens, as he always does.
"Sometimes a dream is just a dream," he says. I think about that. I wrap that thought around me as I return to bed, and hopefully to sleep, believing that my dreams have more import, but needing the comfort.
"The lake is frozen over
The trees are white with snow
And all around
Reminders of you
Are everywhere I go..."
Accepting any loss is like a death in the family--there is an absence that we try to fold ourselves around, tell ourselves we are still whole and capable, and not empty in that one place. My personality, such as it is, has many empty spaces, but some of them are filled now with cobwebs, and others with weeping, and others with bars of iron and gold. I have to find a way to communicate with my subconscious, or listen more closely, while at the same time trying not to curl around the new emptiness.
It's okay to be empty, too. It's okay to suffer. I am not weak or foolish if I cannot immediately get up and launch back into the world.
And sometimes, it's just another dream, my mind playing with spider imagery because that's what my subconscious has been occupied with since Aprille. It's bound to happen. It doesn't have to mean anything more than it does already.
I think I can sleep now, for another night-turned-morning. Let's see what the morrow brings.