Monday, May 11, 2009

Alive! I'm alive!

I'm reading the old book Walkabout by James Vance Marshall.

I'm enjoying it because it's fast easy reading. And I'm in the mood for fast easy reading.

In the book, a young Aboriginal boy convinces himself he's going to die. I haven't read much past that, so I don't know if he survives or not.

I can relate though to the whole death-apprehensive thing.

About a year and a half ago, I had this really eerie lucid dream that carried the message that I was going to die soon. I woke up a bit freaked out. If I was a rational atheist type person, it probably wouldn't have bothered me. But I'm not that type of person. I'm a paranoid irrational person who finds weird meanings and connections everywhere.

I worried that the dream was true and I would die.

I tried to hope that this was wrong and that it had been a SYMBOLIC message. I had a hard time convincing myself of that.

My lovely Jack made things worse by saying weird things. He does this sometime. At my sister's wedding, when he wasn't even four yet, he had someone help him write a message. What did he want to write?

The beginning of the end.

I still don't know what he was referring to, or where he got that saying from.

A few weeks after I had my weird dream, Jack mentioned me dying on my birthday. My feeling is kids don't usually talk about their parents dying like that. I put two freaky things together and freaked myself out.

I became convinced I was going to die. At first I believed I was going to die on THAT upcoming birthday. But then that passed and I was still alive. Then I suddenly thought one day. I'm not going to have a thirty-sixth birthday. The idea just popped into my head. Well, looking back now it probably came into my head because I already had that idea about me dying. But at the time I convinced myself that it was a further message regarding my upcoming demise.

All of this might have been one of the reasons I was depressed last year.  Or at least it added to the depression. I had a lot of anxiety about leaving Jack. And well you know....I just didn't really want to die.

In the Spring, Jack developed severe separation anxiety from me. He didn't want to leave my side. All of this lasted for about six months. Well, I exaggerate a little. He did leave my side. But he didn't want to go places without me. He wanted me nearby. I was as patient as possible with it, and eventually the issue passed.

It was hard though. I couldn't manage to be strict with him about it because I had the whole death premonition thing going on. I was so scared that the time I forced him to separate from me would be the time I ended up dying. Our last time together would with me being stern and Jack crying hysterically.

I'm not sure why Jack had this separation anxiety. I never told him about my death anxiety thing. He could have picked up on it, of course. Children sense when their parents are anxious. Since I was all paranoid, I'd often think he was having this anxiety because he KNEW I was going to die. Whatever it was....I think our fears fed into each other. I think my fear made him scared and his fear then made me more scared.

My idea was I would die before my birthday. Well you know....since I wasn't supposed to have a 36th birthday.

When my birthday passed, I finally was able to let go of the fear. I started to think maybe it had all been a misunderstanding. Maybe the dream had just been symbolic. Maybe Jack just happens to say freaky things sometimes.

And you know...now I'm thinking maybe that's why I enjoyed Australia more in 2009 than in 2007. This time I didn't have that dark death cloud hanging over my head.

Sometimes I think maybe it had been all real. Maybe I was supposed to die and those in power changed their mind. Actually, when that possibility first entered my head, my reaction was less grateful and more Ha ha! I beat you guys! I felt a bit triumphant. But I should be grateful too. And I am.

I don't think death is a horrible thing. But I just prefer life. At least for now. When I'm eighty or so, maybe I'll prefer the whole dead thing.

Jack still says crazy things sometimes. The other day we were blowing bubbles. He said something like there are angels flying around you. When angels fly around you it means you're going to die soon.

For a second, I felt a little freaked out. But then I relaxed.

The kid could be a mini Nostradamus, or he could just be very imaginative. I'm going to hope for the latter.

One idea I've challenged with my experience though is the idea that of self-fulfilling prophesy. I convinced myself I was going to die. Some might say this could have caused me to somehow kill myself....make myself sick or make myself so nervous that I end up in an accident.

Well, I'm still alive. SO there!

I'm not sure how accurate this Walkabout book is. It's fiction, I think. But I'm guessing the factual stuff is researched. Maybe? I hope. Anyway, the author says that the Aboriginal people would die because of a curse put on them. Well, I know that part is accurate because I've read it several times elsewhere. It's the whole singing someone thing. People are cursed.  They learn they're cursed, and they die. What I don't think I've heard before this book is that a psychologist tried to convince an aboriginal person to live and they still died.

If someone convinces themselves they're going to die, I can imagine modern western medicine not helping. I do believe in mind over matter....well, to a point.

But if you use psychology to convince them to live, and that doesn't work.....

Well, maybe that means Aboriginal witchcraft truly works. Maybe it's NOT all mind-over-matter stuff. Maybe the dead victims truly were cursed.

You never know.......

Right?

Although it could be that the psychologist was foolish and merely tried to convince the Aboriginal that his whole belief system was false. I don't think something like that would save someone from a curse; whether real or imagined.

8 comments:

Jeff D'Antonio said...

I think all parents have that fear sometimes, the fear of dying and leaving our children behind. It's a horrible feeling even when you know it's just an irrational fear.

But I've seen up close what it looks like when that fear becomes a tragic reality for someone...

The irrational fear that we all have doesn't even begin to compare. Not by a long shot.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

I meant to add this to my comment above:

I think all kids have the same kind of irrational fear about their parents dying (I blame Disney for that). The things Jack said and did were probably just his way of acting on that fear. That's very normal, I think.

Dina said...

Jeff,

Of course a fear of something doesn't compare to the actual thing happening.

Getting stung by a wasp is probably much worse than my FEAR of getting stung by a wasp.

My fear of having a miscarriage when I was pregnant with Jack is nothing compared to the pain of mothers who actually DO lose their babies.

This is all stating the obvious though, isn't it?

But our fear comes from knowing that these things actually DO happen.

And I actually don't think these are IRRATIONAL fears. To me an irrational fear is being afraid of something that can't hurt you...for example being scared of a spider inside a glass cage. Being scared of a harmless beetle. Worrying that a monster is hiding under your bed......

Parents DO die. It's a reality. There's cancer. There's drunk drivers. There's murder. There's terrorist attacks.

I don't think being afraid of any of these things is irrational.

I do think it's unhealthy, or at least a waste of time, to let let the fear of these things control your life.

I did use the word irrational in my post, but with this I meant to only refer to taking a dream so seriously. I do believe in premonition dreams and all that. But I think it was somewhat silly of me to jump to conclusions without more substantial evidence.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Dina,

You're right, of course. I just re-read my comment and I wish I would have worded that differently. I didn't mean to minimize your fear by calling it irrational. Sorry.

It's just an area that hits close to home for me, I guess. Yesterday was kind of a tough day around here, and I probably wasn't thinking too clearly when I wrote that this morning.

And yes, I do believe dreams can tell us things sometimes. I'll never understand how or why, but I believe it's not just a coincidence when that happens - read this post on my blog for my experience.

Dina said...

Jeff,

I can imagine yesterday was very tough for all you guys.

I'm beginning to think mother's day and father's day are awful holidays. It's a huge slap in the face to anyone who has lost a parent.

Why can't we just appreciate everyone...everyday?

Some could argue for the whole breakfast-in-bed thing, but I never understand that. It just gives you a bread full of crumbs.

And unless they're sick, how lazy can someone be that they can't get out of bed and go sit at the kitchen table.....

Anyway, your spiritual experiences are beautiful. I've had things like that happen--probably not as profound as your experience. But I've had dreams and little coincidences that make me believe there's something out there.

I really loved all the comments on your post...especially the person who said that as you take care of Katie, maybe Jill took care of your baby until she was ready to come to earth.

greenjade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mscherrylane said...

Dina, hope you can go rent the film...it's a beautiful piece of cinema...

sheesh, I hope I never pop out creepy kids!

p.s why do you have so many eating disorder websites in your favourites? just wondering because I find the psychology behind them absolutely fascinating because I don't understand...I wish I could find more real life subjects to investigate...

Dina said...

Mscherrylane,

I don't think of my child as creepy!!! I think he's brilliant and fabulous. I would NEVER want anything different from him.

When you come to the point that you're mature enough to have your own children, you won't be wishing not to pop out certain type of kids.

I have eating disorder websites because I had an eating disorder which really means I HAVE an eating disorder. I don't think it's something you can get rid of completely. You just kind of go into remission.

I put the websites up because recently someone (who is supposed to be one of the most supportive people in my life) told me I never had an eating disorder. They said this out of complete ignorance. It was a very hurtful and damaging thing to say. I didn't want other people making the same mistake with their family and friends...so I hoped maybe people would read it and be more educated.

You can email me if you have any more questions.