Private Communication
January 05, 2007

I dreamt we broke up in a heated fight. At the end I escaped to the mall and he passed by looking at me. I refused to smile or blink. I just stared hoping to convey my attitude and disdain. He got that and it was over. In the dream I sat for the next four months numb. And sewing. I needed to keep my hands busy.

The fight had been over privacy. He scoured through my personal belongings coming across journals from days of old. He read them. Then he used them against me. Some, he alleged, were about him and were unfair. Others were about my past and again somehow this was unfair. I yelled and screamed about decency and respect. There are limits and privacy. I never once made the argument that this was all in the past and that the writings he alleged concerned him really did not. He mis-read the dates and mis-understood the meaning. To me that was irrelevant. The lack of privacy and the lack of respect were unforgivable.

After months in a near catatonic state I approached him. He was engaged. To a high school love, who he reconnected with immediately after our dissolution. They had plans to marry soon, as she was set to graduate and move out of state. In fact, they were taking their engagement photos in a few minutes, so he really did not have time for me. I lay in him, again, for his wrongdoing. He stood there lifeless. This time not defending his actions, as he had in the past. Arguing that he had a right to read them since the words were so hurtful. He had a right to know my true feelings and understand my perspective. This time, finally, I clarified. I told him of how these were all of past men and indiscretions. That he misunderstood. Why it took me so long to speak up, I don't know. But that seemed to do it. In one minute, and in a movie like sensation, he broke up with the fiance and we got back together. Just like that, all was well. No questions asked and the topic was closed. No further discussion about those events or communication about what we were going to do. We were together again.

Amazing how a dream can span several months, extreme emotion, and heartache and can be so vivid. Are there lessons in them? Or is it a reflection of our waking lives sending us a message and clarifying some confusion points. This may have been a stressor of the remnants of sharing my space with another. After five years I again have a roommate. Of course this one is far different than the five girls I shared a cramped apartment with in college or my crazy roommate in law school. But it is about the sharing and the space and learning to deal. The law school roommate dropped a piece of tofu on the kitchen floor. Both of us leaving it there for days as neither wanted to be the one to clean it. That shit does not fly now. We are a team and not out to passive-aggressively manipulate the other while sitting in silence. Further, we have to understand our limits and respect each other's private spaces. It is a balance and we both work hard at it. Since we feel intimately connected, it is often hard to disconnect that we are not allowed into every space and nook and cranny of the other's life. There are still private moments and private thoughts.

It is so much more than that as well. It is respecting the other's habits and annoyances. After almost thirty years and several of our own single years, we both have those perfected. They don't often overlap and at times drive each other crazy. It is about speaking up and stating what the annoyance is. The other may not know it is even that irritating. Otherwise the anger builds and the frustration level expands with every action and moment. Then it is ugly and loud communication. Much better to have gotten it out initially and not let it develop into a storm of emotion. That kind of communication is so key.

That may be what part of the lesson was in the dream. It took me several months, despite heated argument after heated argument, to finally say what was important about those diary entries. After all that, it was what turned us around. Stating your piece and defending yourself may be what saves a relationship. Isn't that what communication is all about? Getting the other person to understand what it is that you need and getting them to realize how important that is to you. It may be picking up your shoes from the front door or not leaving glasses in the sink. Those needs need to be communicated. Other things, though, they go without saying. Those things include privacy. That is understood and respected by all. Until it is not and all hell breaks loose.

Literally, I don't think the dream is significant. I have old diaries and journals. They are openly displayed on the bookshelf next to a Bar-Bri review course and the Practices of Accounting. He knows they are not meant to be opened on his own accord. Like I said, that goes without saying. But what is the difference truly? Most of the stories and people in them have already been relayed first person. That kind of communication, told with love, to let the other person in, is wholly welcome. It helps prevent later communication, one where our voices are raised.

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Blogger brookem said:

"Or is it a reflection of our waking lives sending us a message and clarifying some confusion points."-- I really like this question. I often wonder this myself, after having a very vivid, dramatic dream that seems like it should have some profound meaning. Sometimes I think they are just meant to be taken more with a grain of salt. My overanalyzing mind sometimes tends to go wild with them though.

Sounds like you have a really good relationship and there are things that are just "understood" about the boundaries associated with living together. You're lucky:)

7:54 AM 

Blogger e.b. said:

I use to keep a dream diary, to remember them all and to help understand them. I really think they do reflect something in our lives.

I am a lucky duck.

9:35 AM 

Blogger Accidentally Me said:

If that really happened, you wouldn't really take him back after he flip-flopped on life loves twice in the blink of an eye, would you? Lol. Yeah...I guess that wasn't really the point of the story...

My dreams never make any sense. They are usually just totally random scenes featuring people I saw that day with no real significance.

9:41 AM 

Blogger Cute Jewess said:

oh yes, i've had so many very vivid dreams like that, and i'm always so grateful to wake up and realize it's not true.

Happy New Year!!

10:15 AM 

Blogger e.b. said:

AM: true, true, probably would not happen like that or at all. But dreams are funny.

CJ: this time I woke up still mad!

11:21 AM 

Blogger JustRun said:

I guess there's something there, in a dream, if we choose to pay attention to it. I, like you, just have to be careful to not over-analyze and make it real.

12:17 PM 

Blogger Trish Ryan said:

Dreams are so odd - they call out all our senses and emotions, then we wake up and have to go about life as if nothing happened...still wondering if, on some level, something did. UGH!

But it's always nice when your real life is better than your dreams :)

Speaking of which, your mention of Bar Bri books may give me nightmares, or at least bad flashbacks!

2:14 PM 

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