Poison

It all started with a silly dream.

I have been restless lately, battling insomnia and having vivid nightmares the last several nights.  This morning, I was startled awake by my dream, when in it, I was bitten by a baby cobra snake.  It was very dramatic, and thinking of it now, I can still feel the stinging pain that ultimately woke me from the dream world.

I filed that away to Google later, and went about my morning routine.

When I did find the time to search for the hidden meaning, the relevance of the serpentine rude awakening, I found that dreaming of snakes, and especially of bites and fear with them, can be brought on on the verge of an emotional breakthrough.  Working through something that has subconciously been eating away at you, stumbling upon an “aha moment”.  I thought on that for a few minutes before being called away to let the dogs out, brush Sara’s hair, feed the fish, etc.

The next time I found myself at the keyboard, I stumbled upon an article about toxic family members, and the lasting effects those relationships can have on a person.  As I read on, several light bulbs went off in my head, shining light on something I have been guilty of and hiding in the shadows for as long as I can remember.

When you grow up in a toxic environment, you are learning how to be toxic yourself.  The poison seeps into your veins through the constant years of marinating, learning to hate, distrust, hold grudges, be abusive, anxious, fearful and having unhealthy relationships.   You end up being programmed for misery.

Look at the people who have lived on toxic land, radiation in their soil, leeching through and poisoning them, causing illness and cancers, even death.  Living in an emotionally toxic environment is the same!  And it is highly contagious!

All of the poison, all of the bitterness and anger, the distrust and low self esteem had been leeching off of me for years, in some ways more pronounced than others.  I have essentially been teaching my children through my poor examples, to have all of the horrible, miserable traits that have only caused me pain and agony since being exposed to them in my early childhood.

This revelation has reduced me to tears.

I have been very, very careful over the years to parent in a way that was very different than my upbringing, but the potent venom has still slithered around and found hiding spots in my home.  I have seen it and I know that I brought it in.

This is not a death sentence, the cycle can be broken, the damage reversed.

Protect yourself from toxic people!!  Family members especially, the damage is real and whether you see it or not, it will bleed from your very existence and taint your loved ones and your home.  Distancing yourself from the offenders is the only way to truly heal yourself.  It’s hard, and not guilt free, but I know with my heart that it is the only way to be sincerely free from the disease.  I can love them from a distance, but my harmony with myself and my husband and my children trump any feelings of guilt they may try to bestow upon me, blemishing my recovery and blissful existence in a  toxin free environment.

So dreaming of snakes can be evidence of an emotional breakthrough.  Once I got off my knees and dried the tears, I couldn’t help but laugh at how insanely true that simple little sentence has proven to be.

Speedy Gonzales

Rainbow bridge

I had a dream last night that my best buddy was still here on Earth.

In the dream, I had an argument with Abe, how out of character!, and was going outside for fresh air.  Upon opening the back door, there stood my best bud, my black lab mix, Speedy.

He looked a little older, had some more gray in his muzzle than I remembered, but it was him.  I remember gasping and running to him, calling for Abe as I embraced him, my mind and my heart at ease and overjoyed to have my fur baby back in my arms.

Abe ran out with the kids, as I started up the stairs with him, letting him in the house, thoughts racing through my head.  “I knew he wasn’t gone,” I said to myself as I hunted for the dog shampoo.

“We’ll have to watch him around the babies, ” I warned Abe.  He was not a fan of kids in general, but he was protective.

I remember smiling, kissing his soft fur and laughing.  “See?  He’s not gone!  He went on an adventure.  I knew he would come back!”

And all too soon, I awoke, reality set in, and now tears are running down my cheeks as I type this.  Speedy used to kiss away my tears whenever I was sad.  It’s hard to keep crying when you’re laughing from the tickle of a nosy puppy in your face, licking away the tears as if to say, “Stop it!  Let’s play!”

Speedy was 13 years old when we lost him, just a little over two years ago.  He was taken outside, and in the rush of everything going on, no one noticed when he didn’t come back in.  A short while later, when things calmed down and I noticed he was no where to be found, I was frantic.  I ran through the house, searching every hiding place I could think of, before running outside and screaming for him.

We walked through the woods, getting covered in seed ticks as we searched for Speedy.  Going to bed that night without him made me physically ill.

The next morning I printed out 100 photos of Speedy to hand out to the neighbors, feeling certain that someone must have seen him and just taken him in, feeling bad for him.

It wasn’t long after handing out a handful of fliers that we heard something disturbing.

A dog was seen wandering around, not acting well.  This was in August, but the temperatures weren’t overly hot.  Still, it must have been too much for him.  I think he was having a heat stroke.  Instead of trying to help, the neighbor called the subdivision manager to get him out of her yard.  By the time he got there, he had passed.

The manager then wrapped him in a trash bag and put him in the dumpster.  Threw him away like he was trash.  By the time we found this out, the dumpsters had been emptied, there was no way to be sure, there was no way to say good bye.  No closure.

The guilt of what happened, the shock of losing him, the loss of my friend…. I was a mess.  The grief overtook me.  Speedy was my first baby.  I remember telling Abe before we ever had any kids that Speedy would always be number one in my heart.  If he didn’t like our kids, tough for them, because Speedy wouldn’t be going anywhere.  Luckily for our kids, he tolerated them pretty well.  🙂

So did Speedy’s spirit/ghost/whatever you want to call it come to visit me last night?  Well, call me insane, but it helps my heart to think that he did so that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

What I wouldn’t give for that dream to come true!  To open the door and see my buddy, just waiting for me, ready to step back in and take over where he left off.

It helps me to think that one day, I will see him again.  Have you ever read the Rainbow Bridge?  It is a poem that was written to help owners when their beloved pets die.  It is a tear jerker, that’s for sure, but it is also beautiful.  I guess I will end this with that poem and just say to Speedy, thank you for being awesome.  I miss you.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. 
Author unknown

Dream Meanings

Purple-throated Carib hummingbird feeding phot...

I had a dream last night that a hummingbird landed on my lips.  It was so delicate and beautiful, I held my breath so it wouldn’t get scared and fly away.

What does that mean?  I like to delve into the meanings of my dreams, sometimes I just analyze it myself and sometimes I like to look in a book or online to get inspiration for what it may mean.  Heres what I found online when I looked up the meaning of the hummingbird in my dream:

Hummingbirds

You are searching for the
sweetness of life. You may be literally focusing on how
to work with flowers or aromatherapy. You are learning
to be flexible and adaptable, making the most of
new circumstances. Your body is sensitive and intense
now, and you are focusing on your fierce appetite for
life experience. You need to raise your energy level
and have freedom from restriction. You are
looking for joy, and need to spread love and happiness
to others. You need to find the beauty and good inside
yourself and others, going deep, beyond the outer
layers. You are focusing on how to
live in the present moment and maintain inner stillness
while in action. Small ideas and concepts possess
much power. You are trying to shift away from having
flighty thoughts and frivolous ideas. Hummingbird is a
magical messenger, bringing special messages from
high spiritual levels.
So, there are a lot of things in that paragraph that could be relevant to me right now.  Maybe all of them are, a little.  Maybe I just dream about things I love.  I do love hummingbirds.  I like to think dreams have a deeper meaning though.  I have found that for myself, when I am able to analyze my dreams and try and interpret what they might be telling me, I often come to some surprising and often eye opening realizations about myself.
I’m all deep like that.