Dreams of Violence

Last night I dreamed I committed act of violence against a loved one in the past and this loved one kept goading me on until I wanted to be violent again. I awoke in the middle of the dream to use the bathroom and willed myself to not remember the dream, knowing it was going to bother me. I did remember the dream, and I immediately understood where it came from.

I’ve been simmering lately. I’ve been angry below the surface — not ready to explode, but angry-calm in a creepy sort of way. I’m not positive why I’ve been feeling this way — but I think it has to do with procrastination. I’d hoped that I was going to kick the habit of procrastinating after being back in Elgin where I couldn’t procrastinate or I’d never get out of there.

One of the things I’d been avoiding was calling my mom about putting me on the list of people the insurance company was allowed to talk to. I got a form from them, and assumed my mom got one too. We’d talked about it — that she would get one and would need to fill it out and send it back to the insurance company. I kidded myself thinking that my mom was going to follow through. I didn’t have the energy to call her and try to explain why she needed to fill it out, walk her through the form and have her send it into the insurance company.

Another thing I was avoiding also involved a call to Mom — to make sure she paid the nursing home bill and sent the invoice to the insurance company so they could finalize their decision whether or not to pay. If not, we’d be back at the beginning — scrambling to find a place for Dad.

So last night I got a call from my mom telling me she’d paid for a month of the nursing home bill but not all of it because she didn’t have the funds yet — some screw-up with an account her financial advisor was supposed to get to her by last week.  She’d had to use most of her liquid savings for the bill and needed a little in reserve for other bills. She didn’t know what to do next — what to send to the insurance company so they could send her a reimbursement.

I got angry. The slow simmer I’d been feeling boiled over and I was furious. Mom knew it — I know.  I told her that I’d have to call the insurance company to find out what she was supposed to send, knowing that my delay in getting permission to talk to them about this was going to be an issue with whomever I spoke to. Knowing that I should have called her last week to make sure she’d paid the nursing home and sent the invoice to the insurance company. So, I wasn’t mad at her — I was mad at me.

I did call the insurance company, then called mom back to tell her what to do and to ask if she’d gotten the form she needed to fill out authorizing me to be put on the list of people the company could talk to. She finally understood what she needed to do about the bill, but didn’t know what I was talking about regarding the authorization — even though we talked about this when she was here. She thought I should fill out the form I got and then send it to her to sign. I’m reluctant to do that because she needs to begin doing these things herself. The more I do, the less she’ll do and be dependent on others doing things for her. I don’t think it is too late for her to start learning these things.

I went to bed late, and since Dean wasn’t there (he was up late watching TV in the family room) read my current book group book. What a mistake that was. I’d been enjoying Little Bee for the laugh-out-loud parts where Little Bee discusses the language and cultural differences between Nigeria and England. Last night I got to the part where she told about what happened after the men took her and her sister to the overturned boat on the beach.  You know the phrase going cold with horror? I felt that last night as I read Little Bee’s account of the event. I went cold.

Then I went to sleep and dreamed I beat someone to a bloody pulp.

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t procrastinate
  2. Don’t read about horrible things before bed
  3. Find ways to deal with the simmering kind of anger before it becomes a rolling boil.

9 thoughts on “Dreams of Violence

  1. I feel your pain on so many levels here. Aaargh, insurance companies!

    My book group read Little Bee. I didn’t, but went to book group anyway, and the host loaned me the book on tape. It was very good, but jeezus, parts were horrifying.


    1. What gets me about this insurance company — there is a chance — an off chance — that they keep the nearly $50,000 my folks have given them for the past 13 years. If they decide, for some reason, that Dad is not entitled or if Mom never uses a long term care facility they keep the money. I know that is how they make money, but it really sucks for those who pay.


  2. I suspect you’re angry too that your parents are now old and need your help, angry at what is happening in their lives, angry that they (or you) will have to battle with an insurance company to have a happy, secure old age, angry that you are having to do all this, and probably angry at yourself that you’re angry. Perhaps all subconsciously! I know, because I get angry at these things too. And feel guilty. Then get angry at the guilt.

    Right now you’ve reminded me of some procrastinating I’ve been doing about my mother. So I’m angry at you! (just joking)

    Personally, I’m most angry that I can’t download Little Bee from Amazon for copyright reasons, because I’ve heard some amazing reviews of it. Of course I could try and get it from the library. Now I’m angry at my laziness. But hitting “buy this book” on Amazon is just so easy!


    1. You’re absolutely right, Mali — I am angry about all of those things.

      I hope you get Little Bee soon. It is quite good (plot, characters, settings — everything).


  3. Violent dreams, where I’m doing the violence, are the worst. I’d rather show up naked to math class or find out my husband was dating a ventriloquist dummy than beat somebody up. Or burn them. I burn people a lot in my bad dreams (not like burn them up, but burn them with things, you know, TORTURE them–it makes me worry about me).


    1. This is the first dream I’ve ever beaten anyone up, Bridgett, although I once did dream I’d killed someone in the past and woke up with tremendous guilt — that took weeks to fade.

      I usually yell at people in my angry dreams — say things to them I’d never say in person.


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