Saturday, May 21, 2011

My (Un)dead Mother

I know this sounds beyond tacky and horrible. I don't care. I'm real here and this is the realest way to put it.

I dream of my late mother very often. In each of these dreams, I'm aware of the fact that she's dead, and maybe as a consequence, she always appears as someone literally returning from the grave, sometimes partly decomposed, sometimes seeming like a zombie, sometimes only barely alive.

I'm wondering if there's something my subconscious is trying to tell me beyond the bare fact that my mother is dead and I'm aware of it even in my dreams of her.

Am I still not done with her? Am I unsuccessfully trying to bring her back from the grave to ask her something, to tell her something, to find out who she really was? The other night, I asked her, in my dream, all the while knowing she's dead, "Did you love me? Why didn't you protect me?" And her eyes met mine only for a moment, and she just cried.

Or was she always something like a zombie? Was she ever truly alive? Possibly raised by a narcissistic mother and then spending her whole life with a narcissistic husband, has she ever lived? Or was she just one of the living dead? For instance, last night I dreamed that I had to take her from the hospital room where she lay dead and bury her, and when I entered the room and looked at her already decomposing body, she was moving and looking at me. She only looked alive. But she wasn't.

I'm finding it increasingly hard to remember the lively, vivacious woman everyone knew. In our home, she was subdued and ghostly. Unreal.


  1. If she didn't love you and protect you the way you needed...then she was as good as dead!

    BIG hugs,


  2. i'm not sure. maybe ambivalence and frustration dream? i had a dream about giving birth to a dead baby. i wanted it to be alive but it was not. i dont know. an acceptance dream perhaps? where you are coming to terms with the hopelessness of it. those things were what i felt in my dream.
    you seem pretty troubled by the confusion and ambivalence around your mom and who or what she means to you. and it seems your mom herself is unable to give you the answer/reply you want. she's dead and she's a crybaby.

    you don't think of your mom as vivacious and giving do you? that's just what you heard and think youre supposed to think...but you knew the real her. maybe other people were just clueless or unperceptive or trying to say positive things since she died.
    they didn't know how you really felt or what you really lost. what she had really done to you.

  3. Thank you for the hugs and the insight, Josi!

    Lisa, yes, I'm increasingly troubled by the ambivalence surrounding my mother. I guess I was clinging to the idea of having had at least one loving, real parent, however subdued by the narcissist... less sure now... there's more I'll be writing about... things I didn't even think were bad or strange before...

    She WAS lively and funny and cheerful WHEN WE WERE IN COMPANY WITH OTHERS: my father was then his charming self, and she was allowed to be her vivacious self... which I believe wasn't fake at all... but was subdued at home.


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