I had a strange dream this morning. It was strange because as I was dreaming, I got the sense that I was experiencing a memory. Like, as I was having this very vivid dream, I was remembering something that happened in a different dream. For all I know, the “memory” I was having was actually something I dreamt this morning, but I got the sense it was an old memory from a dream that happened months or weeks ago. Who knows? The mind is a weird thing.
The dream I had involved my being in college. For some reason, I’ve been having a lot of college related dreams recently. I was an English major, as I was when I was a college student. For some reason, I was at a banquet of some kind, and there was a group of women at another table. They were kind of bitchy to me. I noticed them looking over at me, rolling their eyes, and being nasty. This has been kind of a normal experience for me throughout my life. I often don’t fit in to groups.
In my dream, I remembered that at a prior banquet, I’d gotten upset about something and made a scene that caused a ruckus. These women apparently hadn’t forgotten. They were jeering at me from afar.
Suddenly, a waiter appeared in front of me. He looked Italian and was kind of pudgy, with big, sad, brown eyes. He poured some water for me and handed me a note. I read it and immediately became enraged. The leader of the bitchy girls club at the other table had written a mean-spirited note to me that said something along the lines of, “You’re so inappropriate. We hate having you here because you embarrass us. We wish you would just leave.”
Just before I woke up, I remember reading the note, getting really pissed off, and making a huge scene. Then I stormed out of the banquet, cursing those bitches who sent me the note.
I woke up this morning and had to sit there in bed for a minute, trying to remember if this had actually happened when I was conscious or if it was just a dream. I eventually concluded that the scenario I dreamt about never did happen in real life. However, there have been times in my life when I have gotten that sentiment from people. Most of the time, the people who have expressed that sentiment to me were people I didn’t care that much about anyway, but sometimes it came from people I thought were friends or loved ones.
I was reminded of a video a friend shared with me a few years ago. It was about a guy who got a note in a foreign language, in this case, Lithuanian, that he couldn’t understand. He asked native speakers to translate it for him, and they hesitated because what was written was mean-spirited and cruel. It was a “hate” note. The video was actually an experiment that was being done to show whether or not people had empathy. It was interesting to see how the people reacted when the man, who could only speak English, asked the Lithuanians to tell him what the note said.
I think empathy is lacking in a lot of people. People usually have the most empathy for the most innocent. I notice that this time last year, many of my Facebook and some blog posts were about abortion. A year ago, that was what was all over the news. Many states were trying to pass incredibly strict anti-abortion laws that were only in favor of the unborn. They had no understanding or compassion for the woman carrying the fetus. I suppose some people might rationalize that abortion is the ultimate rejection… when a woman decides to terminate a pregnancy, she is rejecting life for an innocent being that has taken up residence in her womb. To some people, it’s the ultimate “We wish you would just leave.” note.
On the other hand, women who make that choice are often made to feel shame and dishonor. It doesn’t matter what her reasons are. To some people, women who have sex and get pregnant should be ready to be mothers. And those who aren’t ready and consider abortion are not worthy of compassion and kindness. Evidently, even people who are confronted with tragic situations, such as the life of the mother being threatened or the developing fetus being so malformed that giving birth would be cruel, are not given that consideration.
I hadn’t actually meant to write about abortion or racism today. I really just wanted to put that vivid dream down in my blog, since I know I’ll forget it soon. I had forgotten all about that racism video from 2015. Bill often tells me that dreams are your brain’s way of dumping the trash. I’m not sure where that dream came from this morning… although I have experienced people being mean to me. I’m sure I’ve been mean to people, too. Sometimes, I’ve been accused of being mean, when I wasn’t… which is very upsetting to me. I don’t enjoy being mean, even if I am sometimes pretty irritable and cranky.
Ah well… time to write a fresh book review.