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Rethinking dream of 6.10.15

June 11, 2015

Even before Charlie commented, I was second-guessing my original interpretation of yesterday’s dream. The chapter on Inanna talked about how, before her ordeal, she was an active, vital, gregarious goddess. The Descent, by killing her, brought into prominence her shadow side: passive, receptive, unsocial. Returning to Above, her realm, she integrated both sides of her Self.

All well and good if I’ve been being “active, vital, and gregarious” but… that’s almost the opposite of how I think of me in the last 5 years. I’ve been depressed, flailing around, unconnected to any wider social group for a long period.

So, yesterday, I wondered, am I supposed to become Inanna, not renounce the pre-ritual version?

Compounding my confusion… I don’t actually identify much with Inanna herself. Ereshkigal is my patron, and she’s a goddess of death and loss and grief, a goddess of heartbreaking choices. I’ve had a lot of those in my life, so, by now, it feels natural to identify with wondering, “What else do I have to give up?” Even while I hate that I have to keep giving things up. Because Reasons.

+++

Also, I’m willing to do all sorts of things to deepen my relationship with my Self. But.

Even in the myth of Inanna, she’s got all sorts of people to turn to, who will help her out. She’s got a high rank, she’s got power over, she’s got friends and allies. Her actions take place in a sociological realm more than a psychological realm.

I’m cool with psychology, but sociology messes me up because I haven’t tended to have people (apart from Spouse, Gramma, Cali — and 2 of them are long-dead) whose actions I could count on to be helpful to me. I’m much more familiar with people throwing me under the bus — not even out of great fear — just for convenience.

+++

Back to my dream ~ I’m used to being found wanting. Discovering I’ve messed up something I didn’t realize was happening, and oops, now that road’s closed to you — you didn’t make a good enough impression!

Although…

Yesterday I was thinking about volunteering gigs I’ve tried, in the last 5 years. I don’t know if I ‘made a good impression’ on anybody. But… outside of the satisfaction of, ‘I’ve tried a new thing, possibly learned a new skill or 2, and now I understand a different corner of the world a bit better’, the volunteering gigs weren’t actually particularly enjoyable, nor satisfying. That’s why I stopped doing them.

I was often quite enthusiastic in the beginning, and everyone else… wasn’t. My enthusiasm was seen as unseemly, and childish. I definitely wanted different things out of the experience than it turned out were on offer.

They were ‘bad fits’ for me. Why would I want to expend the energy, in a situation like that, to try to ‘make a good impression’? (If that were even possible. Because I’m not sure it is. There’s too much I don’t grok about how ‘good impressions’ can occur.)

Just like in a job situation, some people (like my mother) would say, “well, but, you need to make a good impression because you never know when you’ll meet up with these people again! Or people who know them!”

I don’t think that’s actually ever happened to me, though. I’ve switched around the things I was trying to do as jobs so often that I don’t think anyone I’ve ever worked with actually knew someone I’d known in a different job.

Every time I leave a job, or a volunteering gig, I’m essentially starting over from scratch. I have 30 years of experiences where that’s true vs. 0 years where it isn’t.

I can’t expect that my skills or talents or any intangibles I bring to whichever social situation will actually carry over from one place to another. I won’t ever become management, or have rank that gives people pause about mistreating me. So, under those circumstances, holding tightly onto whatever resources I have {contributing to the potluck, when I don’t know why I should} or fall into my lap {the check} makes a lot of sense.

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I saw red flowers yesterday, and realized I haven’t felt Red or Orange (and definitely not YELLOW) any time recently. Those would be colors for Inanna in her prime.

+++

I had an idea about a situation where sociability is built in. I looked into it — volunteering isn’t suitable for my interests, but a paid job might be. So I checked the job board, and there are positions available, but way more hours than I’d want to start out with. Lots of standing involved. Plus, presumably, lots of contact with the public. (I haven’t worked in 6 years, and have chronically low energy, am usually sitting, and am alone 90% of my week; let’s ease our way into working again, not try for full-bore right off the bat.) The closest position is in a location that is stressful to drive to.

It’s not a good fit.

A younger version of me, feeling shamed by my internalized mother (or her introject), likely would’ve applied to the job anyway.

I won’t.

Social things that start out as a bad fit, in my experience, never become a good fit. They, instead, become terrible. I fall into a depressive episode, again, and then I have to quit to regain my equilibrium (which can take months or years).

+++

If my dream-Aunt Carol knew anything of my history with groups, with communities, why didn’t know she’d have to explain the local protocols? But also… explain why they are supposed to be relevant to me. I think everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and that’s what I attempt to do, but Insider/Outsider dynamics often cause people in groups to mistreat me, since I don’t ‘belong’. Why should I contribute my resources to a group that probably won’t accept me anyway? And I know from past experience, ‘goodwill’ because I contributed… doesn’t last, and doesn’t carry over.

Couldn’t there, at least in theory, be a group that actually… welcomes me as a potential member? A group that tries to woo me?

That would be… so cool. That’s never happened.

I don’t even know how to imagine that scenario.

+++

In the dream, Spouse and I had attended several potluck Thursdays and festive Fridays, but… from my perspective, those were just ‘things to do’, with people I didn’t know who didn’t seem interested in me. Situations that were confusing and stressful and I couldn’t figure out why I was there. No one really talked to us.

So, maybe I need to find a different group of elders?

~ ~ ~

Additional thoughts:

Something else I thought of yesterday (but forgot about earlier). All of the volunteer gigs I’ve done, mostly people were specialists.

I’m a generalist, and always have been. I have lots of interests, and I’m enthusiastic about all of them.

I’ve actually tried to be a specialist — since it’s always in demand — but I can’t figure out how to continuously focus on just one area. My brain doesn’t work like that: it’s always seeking to make connections between disparate things.

+++

I don’t want to be an Insider, because that generally prevents a person from freely wandering, and learning from anybody/everybody they encounter.

If I have friends who are in a group, I do enjoy telling them things I’ve learned while I’ve been out and about so they can benefit. That’s fun. But… I keep learning all the time, including a bunch of things that are of no interest to any group. And I’m not going to stop, or restrict, doing that.

I share information because I want to, because I like helping people, but I also expect my contributions to be respected, and I want proof that I’m valued. That is, it’s not my job to share, I’m not under any obligation to share. I’m not coerced; I’m giving freely. Sharing or bartering in return is appreciated — then we’re peers, more or less.

+++

I’m reading yet another SFF novel where the power dynamics/social hierarchy are what the book is really about. And… I don’t grok why that’s so paramount.

I mean, for humans as herd animals it’s hardwired in, I get that part. But I don’t have it. All the posturing, and vendettas, and humiliating people, and treating Others like they’re garbage — I guess reading about stuff like that is… satisfying to other people? That’s the part I don’t understand.

Reading about “putting people in their place” is boring, incomprehensible, and (sometimes) horrifying.

Can’t we work on Real Problems? Because there sure are a whole lot of them right now, seeing as how the planet is being destroyed.

+++

The job I looked into would be more of a generalist thing, sort of. Of course, my background would likely not resemble anyone else’s, because it never does. Maybe among generalists, that could be an asset? (Rather than the usual liability.)

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