Friday, April 22, 2011

Fire and Attitude

Hellooooo! I'm back in blogland! Its been a while but its been such a busy while that even if my body had been still enought to write then my mind wouldn't have been.

Its been a whirl of overseas visitors, comedy, work, more comedy and good friends (like a venn diagram, a lot of these groups overlap into each other).

I've had a bit of an epiphany, a bit of an arse kicking (self administered) and I'm shaping up a bit sharper in a whole lot of ways than I was before. All is good.

First off, update on the nightmares. There have been no more. There was one dream post-blog and post lovely emails and phone calls from concerned loved ones.

In the dream I didn't shout or rant or anything, I just quietly explained that that particular fear mechanism was no longer useful and it should take its leave. And it did. end of. Lovely. Thanks for all your messages on that, I really felt loved.

Next, doing Three Stuffed Mums got me back into standup and now I seem to have a voracious appetite for writing and performing again. Haud me back!Currently have gigs booked for May, June and July, either with the mums or solo, so going not too bad so far.

I've got a website being built and getting myself organised to be able to offer all of my out of office hours skills for market. More anon.

Then, we had a visit from the wonderful Brenda and Pip, extended family members who are out here on hols from UK. Had a great time taking them round the Adelaide Hills and to a comedy show. They loved both. Also got to see them a couple of times at family gatherings which was great - they're fantastic company and I'll miss them. They've now departed for some time in Melbourne before heading back to blighty.

One fantastic surprise was an email from a very old pal (not that she's very old, but that we've known each other since forever) who informed me that she'd be in town in a few days, all the way from Scotland. We had two great days to catch up and talk incessantly. It was so brilliant. I hadn't seen Roona in nearly 20 years (or it seems like that) but when we met in town it was like nothing had changed and we just picked up where we left off, filling in all the details of the time in between then and now.

Seeing her was another episode in a series I seem to be having now of meeting people who remind me of parts of myself I'd forgotten. I think its probably a symptom of moving countries and fitting into your new one, then dissolving a marriage, then losing my dad - all things that in their own ways severed connections with who I used to be and also those parts of me that lie in hibernation.

Seeing Roona and seeing my bestie Linda in the UK last year woke up parts of that, just like seeing the lovely Janey Godley here during Fringe and speaking with her recalled to me with such clarity the fantastic heritage we have as Glasgow women. Its a proud, strong heritage and I'm so glad I've rediscovered that part of me.

It also reminded me of all these great women I have in my life right now who aren't afraid to speak up, wherever they're from and the great respect I have for them - thinking here straight away of people like my cousin Kathleen who's so strong and yet so full of compassion for the young people she works with, and her mum (who in some ways is my other mum) June.

Memories too of my mum Meg McGinty, who could be a fearsome opponent in full flight. I've seen taxi drivers, government officials and some of my cocky young male teachers tremble in her presence. I hope I've got even just a wee bit of that fire and attitude. Seems to me its the right recipe for growing old disgracefully.

Have a fantastic Easter!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Have Nightmares

Please indulge me in this one. I’m writing this as a bit of therapy and in the hope that it can move me forward past an impasse.
I have nightmares.
Sometimes I don’t get one for a while then they’ll come back night after night and I wake up in fear, until I remember after a few moments that it can’t happen, but the fear lingers on for a while into the day.
The nightmares change location, but they always have the same storyline. I’m going about my life as it is now, happy, content, and then my ex husband reappears.
In the dream he threatens to wreck my new life. He comes into my home, takes food from the pantry, lifts and discards the knick knacks about the rooms and snickers to himself. Sometimes there is an unknown woman with him, at other times he’s alone. He never looks at me in the dream, always averting his eyes, and mostly looking directly to the right or the left so that I only see him in profile.
I shout and scream at him to leave, but he ignores me. I try to push or punch him, I pick up heavy blunt instruments to hit him, but he seems to have an invisible shield and I have no power. Nothing connects and they glance away. With all my power and might I’m still at the mercy of his horrible whims. Even when my husband and family are present in the dream they seem unable to intervene, like they are behind a veil.
Eventually he always walks out, leaving the front door open, telling me that he’ll be back, and that’s how the dreams always end.
I’ve tried to seek information on how to deal with this. Mostly people say that you should face up to your monsters in your dream and thereby conquer them, but that doesn’t apply in this case. I do face up to him and I’m impotent to stop him. One thing I read says that this kind of nightmare is typical of post traumatic stress disorder.
Certainly it was an unhappy and at times abusive marriage for most of its 12 years, and the breakup was extremely unpleasant, but I haven’t seen him for nearly two years. He’s never taken any real interest in our son, and in real life there’s no way he could wreak the havoc that happens in the dream.
His behaviour back then did create fear in me because there was never any rhyme or reason or pattern to it. It got slightly worse, as in unpredictable, after we split up. You can get a measure of what it was like when I can cite occasions like the one where the police phoned me up during one of his access visits to warn me about him and recommending I go retrieve my son from him straight away.
So, how do I stop this? How do I get past this? It’s been seven years since we split and I’m really over these dreams. Does anyone have any advice, any pointers on how to put to rest the last of what was a very unpleasant period in my life?
Thanks for reading, and have a great week.