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One day when I was nineteen I was watching my favorite movie at the time, Dangerous Liasons, and my high school sweetheart and fiance (yes, at nineteen) came in to tell me he’d been cheating on me for quite awhile and that probably meant the engagement was off, eh? I’ll admit to slapping him. He married the girl.
Self esteem went in the toilet.
I became involved with a guy who was sort-of hunky, but not so much that I thought he was way out of my league. He was also fresh out of a break-up with a high school sweetheart. He liked my twenty-year-old-tight body and my desperation to please his body, and broke my heart when that’s all he wanted.
Self esteem plummeted even lower.
I dreamed about these two guys for over a decade. More like fifteen+ years for the fiance. Why? Because my dreams are not for fun stuff (generally). They are for working out (aka rehashing) my mad/sad.

de Amusco, 1559, National Library of Medicine

Sick. Pathetic. And annoying.
Why do I tell this story? To explain how long I hold onto such issues to foreground the next story.

So this morning I woke up mad at my husband’s ex and our oldest son. Why? Because four years ago our oldest son was not living with us and his mother manipulated us into coming to her house, again, to take homecoming pictures of our daughter and, because that’s where he was, our son and his date. It’s a long, also pathetic, story that I’ve relived elsewhere, and that clearly is still fresh in my wounded psyche.

Madmares are the worst. I’d rather have nightmares. You wake up from a nightmare and instantly start telling yourself why the whole scenario is just stupid. And/or start thinking happy thoughts to push the scary stuff from your mental projection screen. What do you do with a madmare? Especially one based on real-life events?
Why did I have this madmare this morning? Because it’s homecoming this weekend. The last homecoming that I’ll share with my husband’s ex. Our oldest daughter’s last homecoming. She’s here, but the dress is not, which probably means she’ll be getting ready at her mom’s. Which probably means all of the pictures will be at her mom’s.
And last weekend our divorced twenty-year-old son went with his girlfriend to her senior homecoming dance. He didn’t even tell us. But I’m willing to bet his mom got pictures of the happy couple out in front of her tree.
Is that such a big deal? Probably not. I thought I didn’t care. I’ve said it plenty of times. Apparently I’m lying. To myself & anyone listening.
The big problem is that I can run, I can lie, I can distract while I’m awake. But I can’t hide while I’m asleep.
And that means I wake up pissed off over something that happened four years ago because it’s symbolic of the hurt I’ve felt over and over for the last seventeen years.
Poor me.
Yup. That’s what my dreams are telling me.
Maybe psychoanalysis would help me. But I don’t think I could get over feeling self-indulgent (as opposed to nattering on in a blog post). That’s just not hip with my German-farmer roots.
So I’m thinking aversion therapy. Every time I wake up from one of these madmares I should ask someone to slap me really hard. Volunteers?
Or I could just wait another six to 10 years & let the dreams do their job.
Or maybe I could just slap the people I’m mad at when I wake up. Hmmm. Now that’s a thought.