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Dream: 3.17.15

March 17, 2015

My parents and I were back at a place we used to live, “our old house”, to pick up some clothes and stuff we’d left behind. It was supposed to be a quick trip: just grab a few handfuls of things, load up the car, we’re away!

It didn’t work out like that.

While I was sorting through clothes and things in the bedroom that I had shared with my sister, I came across a black bikini that I (somehow) recognized as hers (even though I hadn’t seen her wear it). I felt utterly compelled to drop everything I was doing, and try on the black bikini in front of a mirror, with no one else around. I wanted to feel it on my body, but also see how it looked on my body at the same time. This combination was the key to… something significant.

First, though, I pulled together a bunch of stuff that we’d take with us.

I also found a series of my own tops that were… made of black stretchy fabric, with panels of something-like-lamé, in colors, but it wasn’t shiny exactly. In the dream, the colors reminded me of “dragon skin” (but there were no scales). There were also other tops that were beautifully colored and patterned — I didn’t quite remember owning them, but I definitely wanted to take them back with us, so I could wear them in the future.

However, most of my attention was taken up with the black bikini problem. There were mirrors in every room in the house; there were little nooks where a person could get privacy all over the house — but the mirrors and the nooks did not overlap. And all the mirrors were situated such that they were broad and long panels that took up most of the room, so that if I were standing in front of one of them, looking at myself in the bikini, the moment someone else walked in, they would see me, they would be invading my space.

So, I would try scrambling into it, in an out-of-the-way nook, usually filled to the brim with other clothes and things brushing up against me. My nerves would be jangled at the get-go, and then I’d have to make a dash for a room with a mirror in it! Invariably, I’d run into my mother, or hear someone else coming, so I’d get frantic.

There were a few times that I was in “my own” (actually, “my shared”) room, had gotten the bikini on, and was j-u-s-t  s-t-a-r-t-i-n-g t-o r—e—l—a—x, when my mother would barge in! And I’d scramble for cover. It was essential that no one else see me in the bikini before I could see and feel myself in it, at my own leisurely pace.

One time, in my search for mirrors, I was in a room that turned out to be my mother’s bathroom-lounge area. When I heard her coming down the corridor, I closed my eyes (?!), and grabbed the first clothing item my hands found, enclosing myself, then I ran out, still with my eyes closed. My mother bellowed, “Who took my yellow robe?” a few times. She ran me to ground, and yelled at me for having her robe. Only then did I open my eyes, and realize she was right. I told her that I’d grabbed it with my eyes closed, and didn’t realize.

The times that my mother barged into my room, I resentfully thought to myself, “can’t anyone at least knock around here? Can’t they say the words, ‘I’m coming in!’ before they do? This is ‘my own room’ — why don’t I have any privacy at all??”

One time my glasses (off my face) got somehow stuck in the sheer comforter cover, which was watermelon-pink.

At some point, I found a lingerie top, with spaghetti straps, of yellow-green silk, that I decided to put on under the bikini top. I told myself it was to camouflage my midriff (although in the dream, my midriff was more-or-less flat). I did like how the silk felt on my skin.

One time, I was in the hallway, wearing the bikini and rushing to find a mirror, when my sister entered. She screeched about me wearing her clothes! (In my head, I sort of agreed) But I told her, “I’m not stealing from you, I know it’s yours; I just need to see myself in it!”

It never happened that I did see myself in it, while feeling it on my body.

Meanwhile, the “quick grab” of a trip turned into 2 hours, then 3. I packed nothing, I didn’t even try packing. I needed to do this thing but I was always prevented from doing it the way I needed to do it. It was extremely frustrating!! Also, panic-inducing.

I wanted my parents to just leave, and leave me a car so I could drive myself back. At some point I realized, there were 2 cars, but I wasn’t “qualified” to drive either of them. I was willing, I told my mother, to walk back — even though, by now, it was full dark, and it would’ve been a 5-mile walk.

= + +

Later, our “house” had become some kind of suite in a large hotel. I had a cute boyfriend (brown hair, brown eyes, tall) whom I wanted to show off how I looked in the borrowed black bikini. When he looked at me, though, I was wearing a shimmery-dragon-skin-like top, in red-orange. It didn’t match the style of the black bikini bottom, and my boyfriend didn’t care for it. He took me up to a higher floor, where a girl he knew (an employee of the hotel) had racks and racks of dark bikinis in various sizes. The two of them kept looking for a “size 6” black top for me, but didn’t find one. The other bikinis she had were black, brown, and I think some other dark colors, all on hangers, with tags for which rooms they were to go into.

My boyfriend and I and some other other guy friend of his are standing in front of a lagoon-ish pool, with bright turquoise-green water. We want to swim, but my swimsuit issue is still not sorted out.

I come to a decision. I say, “You know what? I can just swim topless!” I take off the red top and fling it away. I dive into the pool. I feel powerful and strong and beautiful and amazing.

I’m hoping my boyfriend finds my confidence and nudity sexy. But he’s nowhere to be found.

+ = +

I’m back at the house, with my parents. (I don’t remember any of the previous.) We’re packing up the house. I recall to myself that I haven’t been attending “English class” all year. That I’m a senior in high school; that it’s January now, so it’s the beginning of the 2nd semester. I decide when I’m next at school, I’ll go right to the dean’s office, ask to speak to my “academic counselor” (I must have one, right?), and explain to that person that I haven’t been going to English class, but what can I do about it now, so that everything “comes out well” by the time I graduate?

I wake up.

+++

The “black bikini” looked much more like underwear than swimwear: the top was padded-bra-like, with big cups. {In reality, my body would never fill up cups that size.} There was no ornamentation, no other colors as accents.

I have owned bikinis, and I’ve owned a black swimsuit (a one-piece, with a lacy inset at the front), but I would never wear a black bikini. I look terrible in black! I got rid of the few black items I’d ever had, years and years ago.

It seems to me now that the “boyfriend” must have been mostly a spur to get me to realize… something. My own power?

The red-orange “dragon skin”-looking bra top did suit me a lot better than the black bikini had, but I also recognized that the RO top and the black bottoms didn’t go together. Why did I let my boyfriend decide that I should go back to the black? Rather than search out a RO bottom?

I have a set of “3 sacred colors”: Red-orange; Blue-green; and Yellow-green. They were all in this dream — I don’t remember that happening before.

+ + =

This dream did not happen until after Spouse kissed me and left for work.

All my life, I’ve felt invaded by other people. In the houses I grew up in, we weren’t actually allowed much physical privacy — the only guaranteed “safe place” was in the bathroom alcove, where the toilet and tub (but no mirrors) were, with the door closed.

I don’t think this dream was (entirely) about that.

= = =

All the cool clothes of my own I saw on the bed and floor and elsewhere, but the only thing I wanted to see and feel myself wearing was a garment I was “borrowing” from my sister. Something I knew she would never have lent me.

I can’t get a moment guaranteed to be alone, nor a space inviolate, . . . but I borrow other people’s clothes without asking, and barge into their spaces without even noticing I’m doing so.

+ = =

I was convinced “my body” would “fill up” the black bra top. But… it wouldn’t have. It was like I thought there was some magic in it, that it would fit whoever put it on.

The other thing is… as I typed “But… it wouldn’t have.” I flashed onto… my wedding dress. Which didn’t fit on top either. My mother did, in fact, insist that I wear a padded bra underneath my wedding dress, and I refused. That was the second traumatic experience of my mother insisting I wear a padded bra, and me refusing. (At the time that I married, I hadn’t worn a bra, of any sort, for 9 years. My mother knew that.)

I’ve always been enraged by the idea that clothes exist as they are, but human beings are supposed to contort themselves to fit the clothes. Clothes should fit and flatter us!

“Padding my bra” so I can “fill out” a garment is… an abomination. The fact that even the idea of it makes both 13-year old me and 26-year old me feel not just hopelessly inadequate, but like we actually are disgusting and alien creatures since we don’t “fill out” our own clothes “properly”… did my mother know she was inflicting that shame on her child for life? Would she have cared if she did?

= + =

I actually don’t want to tackle the INVADED thing. It’s too big. It’s too pervasive. It’s too… terrifying.

I can say… I don’t know how to physically relax. The drugs I got for my 1st colonoscopy — not sure if it was the anesthesia itself, or the opiates after — physically relaxed my body in a way I have never felt before or since. I didn’t want to get up, or put on clothes, or go back to my “real life”. I just wanted to lay there and feel “boneless”.

I now realize, it wasn’t the euphoria from the opiates that I loved the best (although the euphoria was awesome)… it was feeling RELAXED.

I was PERFECTLY SAFE.

Which, if you think about it, is odd, since I got the drugs in the context of BEING INVADED for a surgical procedure. But of course, I CONSENTED.

Unlike most of the other invasions of my life.

I won the battle with my mother over my wedding dress… but she was right that the dress didn’t fit me. Looking at wedding photos (which I rarely do anyway), the dress looks “caved in” in the front. I wrote a poem about it. Gods, I hate that dress.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH HOW MY BODY LOOKS.

I LIKE HOW MY BODY LOOKS AND FEELS.

I should have written those 2 sentences in reverse order. But… I felt the lack first. Of course I did. That’s what the dream was about. (Partly.)

Black is thought to be “universally flattering, sexy edition”… but black looks terrible on me. It makes my skin look sallow; it makes me look old and tired. It’s not flattering or sexy at all.

There were all sorts of pretty clothes everywhere in that room that I wanted to wear, that I’d picked out for myself, that I couldn’t wait to wear again. But I grabbed… my sister’s black bikini, and refused to wear anything else.*

My real sister does actually look good in black. My real sister has worn padded bras; I have no idea if doing so made her feel inadequate. (My real mother doesn’t look good in black, although she wore it anyway; she also wore padded bras, and they did make her feel even more inadequate.)

I like how my body looks and feels. That’s true. Sort of. That’s the crux right there.

I like how my body feels and looks [the order in the dream], but I recognize that my body is not considered attractive by other people unless I camouflage it with “black”, to make it conform to someone else’s standards. That’s why I passed up the stuff I thought was pretty — wear that, and I stay invisible. Wear black, and “I” can be “seen”, but not seen.

Time to drop the masks.

{Naturally, that reminds me of Michael’s blog post, which has been much on my mind.}

What is the “black” I’m reaching for, in waking life? And how do I stop doing it?

  1. Get off Twitter. (Which I did do.)
  2. Stop hanging out with people that I feel like I have to “perform” for. (Working on it.)
  3. My gender is real as it is. I don’t have to “justify” it to other people. It’s not my problem if they don’t understand, or like, my gender.
  4. I am a real person. I think I’m pretty groovy. I only want to spend time with people (that I like) who genuinely enjoy being with me. People who pretend to enjoyment Because Politeness? I’m going to be avoiding.
  5. People who Don’t “Get” Frogs… anathema. Period. I don’t care who they are, or where I met them.
  6. If you can’t feel it, or if you don’t feel it frequently in your current life, we probably don’t have enough in common to bother with.

That’s a decent start.

*My mother’s yellow robe. I’ve written before about what the color yellow signifies to me.

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