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Snowlight, 1/29/11

Dear friends and readers,

Last night (morning dreams) I dreamt of  cats. I know because I woke twice during the dream, and on the first waking thought I was awake & the dream had happened: I dreamt that a baby cat like Ian (ginger tabby) had gotten into the house.

Ian and Clary when young

Then there were two more like him, then a white one, all scrawny. We couldn't find where they were getting in from. Then lo there was a white furry (long-haired) one.

Then I slept again. When I woke this morning I remembered my dream, & looked about me and felt Clary and Ian snuggled against me very tightly & so have written about it here ...

Ian recently, on the edge of our bed; he and Clary are siblings and you can see the family resemblance in their round faces, rather flat, eyes a little too large; he has jowls and she could have (but is too thin)

I have had other dreams of late where I wake say in the middle of the night or early morning dark hours, and think, it's really happening, but then sleep again to wake when it's not yet light and realize this is a dream.  However, when I wake in the morning light to rise, I've forgotten the dream. What made this unusual is I remembered it upon finally getting out of bed.


A kind friend invited me to phone her and we discussed the dream and it came out that I was feeling beleaguered.  Taking on too much for me. What had I taken on that was too much?  Well, I'm trying to help Isobel get help: since I'm nervous, prone to anxiety attacks, have to keep myself calm by not trying to do what is beyond me (like say traveling distances alone), this is very difficult. I don't integrate socially with ease; I'm not keen on phones. I know nothing of what we are eligible for.  This latter is the case with many people -- quite deliberately done by the powerful who run these government organizations. But that it's common doesn't help me. 

When I saw the first baby Ian, I was tempted to keep him, but then were the others, Jim said there were too many, and I knew he was right.  And I said to my friend "Too many cats!"  The phrase I said to my friend on the phone brought home another aspect of this. I do see it. It was Laura who reported Rob said "Too many cats" when Jim shamed her into taking the cats for a week after she had more or less refused me, after she had (in effect) bullied me into getting them.  Jim called it a case of Bait and Switch.  It was Rob who said this, Rob she has deliberately gone to live with who she represents as finding us unacceptable. Now since she lies so much this may not be true, and whenever I've been with him, he seems to like us and make far more intelligent cooperative sensible conversation than Laura does. She used to say Wally drank and I never saw it; she says this man drinks. I've never seen it.  But the phrase echoing in my deepest ear comes out of deep hurt and loss.

I encountered a total wall at the Social Security number. Tapes of general questions and answers I couldn't get past. I was not supposed to.  From Alexandria, they will not help unless I get a designation from SS for Izzy and three useless phone numbers. I've now supposedly hired a lawyer but had a phone number from a girl who works there (has a job) but it's not in her job description to read what I wrote only to fill out forms.  I now have three more places to call on Tuesday.  An appointment at Kaiser on Friday I don't feel eager about. So much more than the "too many cats".   Worried sick.

I miss my friend Nick whose avatar on facebook is a large long-haired white cat.  His letters to me so help me.

Perhaps it was also all prompted by my working so hard for 5 weeks to produce a really brilliant learned paper, to be told by the editor she liked it so, and then she turns around and becomes an ugly bully and (in effect) insists I savage it down to less than half its length.  Perhaps her publisher hated it. I cannot say. Only that I will never write for this woman again. The stress of this -- and more profound frustration -- the whole incident was handled by Jim who wrote the emails -- brought on the dream too.

Clary the way she looks now, walking along a bookshelf in front of others

The cats do twine themselves around my heart and comfort me.

A poem by Marge Piercy, said to be about Sleeping with Cats but probably a verse letter (in effect) to her (then new) younger husband:

"On Guard"

    I want you for my bodyguard,
    to curl round each other like two socks
    matched and balled in a drawer.

    I want you to warm my bedside,
    two S’s snaked curve to curve
    in the down burrow of the bed.

    I want you to tuck in my illness,
    coddle me with tea and chicken
    soup whose steam sweetens the house.

    I want you to watch my back
    as the knives wink in the thin light
    and the whips crack out from shelter.

    Guard my body against dust and disuse,
    warm me from the inside out,
    lie over me, under me, beside me

    in the bed as the night’s creek
    rushes over our shining bones
    and e weak to the morning fresh

    and wet, a birch leaf just uncurling.
    Guard my body from disdain as age
    widens me like a river delta.

    Let us guard each other until death,
    with teeth, brain and galloping heart,
    each other’s rose red warrior.

    by Marge Piercy, from Sleeping with Cats

On guard indeed. 

Looking up, 1/29/11



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2011 12:47 pm (UTC)
Interior life, 1/31/11
1/31/11: My interior life: since I've broken through the taboos here to write about myself frankly, I'll add to this one: one of the compelling reasons for my presence here on the Net in the way I do it, I continually daily make it my business to have something to write about which may and sometimes does get responses is I seek contact with others this way. I have a hard time making contact with others, not as bad as Izzy, but hard. I long for contact of a sort -- i need it to be pleasant and congenial. I have a rich interior life and am able to write about it with ease. All that stops me is others don't like me doing this if I get too frank about my troubles or simply move into a level of intimacy that seems to scare people, put them off. (I can't get a more accurate verb for it because I don't quite understand the emotions that go behind the verb "put them off.") I can also with ease analyze and talk about books, art, plays, operas, movies. I can't talk music technically enough. I like telling stories about my days or those of others where the matter is amusing too.

My judgement tells me if I were to make a separate blog of this and thus put it out there in front of others easy to get at I'd lose some of my contacts, so I put it here. If I were to make a comment of it, I worry lest others see it easier. Patrick Leary's wife came to this blog a while back and read the piece where I wrote about why I write on the Net again and I had a piece on the listowner of Victoria. She found the blog because she was ego-surfing and typed his name in. She write me a cruel email where she described me as writing out of the envy and bitterness of my heart. Why? Because I described him as a private (independent) scholar and thought perhaps he had an independent income. Turns out he's a part time librarian in a library where she holds the chief position. She described him (bitterly I thought) as this man of complete integrity not appreciated by the world. He runs Victorian Web (by the way) and also Sharp-l and goes to conferences. She was the burning, bitter seething one: resentment overflowing that he's not high paid with a fancy job like hers.

My distress has broken through this morning again; my cat dream tells me this but I can't get beyond the allegoresis I've done. I am shaking as I write this. Ought I to try to see a pyschiatrist. I'd have to go privately and pay huge sums as Kaiser Permanent will not offer me what I need. And I've learnt the new psychiatry is often a training in training people to be (sometimes with hardened techniques) conformist instead of helping them to understand themselves. Twice I was lucky and found decent people, the second time I had 14 meetings with Dr Peter Campbell. Only on that last visit did he suddenly say something so hostile to me it took my breath away: "Do you realize that hundreds of people are this morning working as physical laborers on buildings?" It was meant to tell me my troubles were foolish and unreal in comparison to what counts. But what kind of statement is this? Yes and thousands are starving. But the relationship was over -- and it was perhaps false.

I'm not as naive as I once was and would like to think I would not tell. But what did I do when I turned up to at Kaiser: I embarrassed myself by telling about myself to a woman psychiatrist I was given an appointment with, thinking she was going to help me. She was only there as a diagnostic person to give me heavy medication and come for follow-ups. She gave me phone numbers of supposed psychologiets. She gets a fine salary for what she does.

All her phone numbers got me was abrasive phone calls: two berrating me for not having an answering service; on from an RN pushing drugs at me as if I had not refused them; and finally one where the person appeared not to know Kaiser had a referral service for psychologist. She said "Hold On" for a bit. I was on the phone fifteen minutes later and still holding. She was not coming back. So I hung up.

Unethical bad place.


Edited at 2011-01-31 02:05 pm (UTC)
Jan. 31st, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
On their age and when adopted
I bought (adopted) my cats in August 2008. I know because we had tickets for 4 operas at Glimmerglas and had booked a house for a week nearby so we could go and also have a quiet week in the country where it was cooler than Alexandria. So I immediately had the problem of what to do with them. At the time Laura who had gone with me (and partly bullied me into getting them, was at it were "calling my hand" for saying I did) had promised to take them for the week. Then she was reneging so Jim wrote her and said she had played Bait and Switch with me. That made her take them for that week.

So I remember it because of this. Later I discovered (when I took them in to have them spayed and neutered -- poor things) they had been born late in April 2008.

So they are now 2 years and 5 months old.

Feb. 3rd, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
Bad night
Diary, I reached someone at the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. It sounded like they had a social club Izzy could join, group therapy, individual therapists, all at a price I could afford to pay. Parents support group too. Recklessly I offered to go tonight as there was a meeting where employment would be discussed.

Suffice to say I got lost. Took a wrong turn because I didn't trust my instructions and saw a sign that said the round went the other way.

Now I am mortified. The woman will think me nuts -- I was too emotional on the phone to start with.

Yes how feeble and hopeless I am. I managed to damage my car -- can't open the driver's door so now I have to take it in. I probably won't make that AWP conference and Jim will have to drive us to Merrifield which has the same confounded directions. The only silver lining is I would have gotten lost on Friday after spending 2 wretched hours getting this appointment and waiting a full month for it.

Not that I hope for very much,
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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