Thursday, 27 August 2009

Dreaming of Humiliation

Here's a blog entry like none before!

I've just woken from a dream having fallen asleep in a chair for a stretch into long after I'd have gone to bed, when the dream was that I've been tortured and humiliated by the Palestinian Authority. Now I have no reason to label or identify the Palestinian Authority, though I know the dream conformed in part to some media images. In the dream I was separated from friends after I think we were all picked up, and then I realised I was surrounded closely by men in a small rectangular room - not much bigger than a single bedroom (of the kind I don't have in this house). I remember treating the people with respect, even naming their Palestinian Authority carefully, but I realised there would be no choice and I would be tortured and humiliated, but the dream ended not with that (which seems not to have featured itself) but returning home down a street to a house afterwards, exhausted after confinement, and all I wanted to do was go into the house alone and recover. I think friends were already in the area but it didn't matter.

It's the sort of dream you come from and wonder why on earth that 'happened', and so I went to do some washing up first in a state of puzzlement and some initial disorientation.

Why would I dream this? Well, there could be several reasons.

One is I had an interview in the morning (Wednesday) for a Placement Officer when the feedback was, contrary to recent interviews, that my answers "lacked depth". I went to this interview, for a job applied for back in February, and it was the second in a row interview with all women candidates except me and all women interviewers. One woman I spoke to before the interview had experience in her current job of placing awkward people in make-believe employment situations, and of course I realised I had no chance against such a candidate. But I knew this anyway, and was told afterwards by telephone that my interview answers lacked depth because I had so little experience in the Health and Social Sector. This raises the usual question you want to ask, but never do, which is, "Given that this was clearly obvious from the application form that I sent you, why the fucking hell did you bother to interview me?" The answer is, of course, that I am one of the tossers selected to make up the numbers so they can have a publicly held interview and obey employment law.

People who are unemployed and can write a half-decent application form are basically subjected to this pathetic situation. I know a good application from a forced one, and a good interview chance from one that is a set-up. Interviews are an icing on a cake that confirm the application: it is all they are and can be. If you lack core experience in the face of questions, you cannot make it up except by best parallels. The feedback thought I would make a good teacher; had I thought about teaching? Oh dear. I simply said there were a number of options and goodbye.

Another reason for such a dream could well be the humiliation involved when my mother left in 2006, by cloak and dagger means as assisted by others, for which I've done nothing since but tried to find routes to reconciliation with all involved. My mother now is well into her deep dementia with which I struggled alone in her earlier angry phases, and with my distant wife dodging her on one of her final returns, while others took in my mother's self-promoting propaganda by telephone and visit - until, of course, she was taken to live alongside them and they discovered everything for themselves.

Now I live in a condition of inadequate income to pay all the bills, looking ahead to having to sell the car.

The reason today that I might dream of torture and humiliation was contact from my distant wife, who has lived in the south of the country since she left for Reading, her university course gone by now, and who has just had her laptop stolen from her burgled flat. She has asked me and friends if anyone can help, including what is the cheapest one and where as a replacement. Contacted today by telephone, and realising the effect it must be having on her, I suggested she might want to come up here just to rest a while and recover, but she said something like (I didn't quite catch it) not when she is like this. She utterly refuses to come northwards again because she associates it with antagonism (from my mother, and by extension others), and because it is the isolation of a village in an area of little prospect of employment, she thinks. Not that she is employed or it looks likely. So my suggestion, made at my own humiliation, really, was again rejected on her absolutism that she must never come north again. Most people of course would have said 'sod off' long ago or some such, but it is not my style and so long as she does not become a barrier to an unknown future I keep channels of communication open, even regularly (via the free Internet phone, prior to the theft).

Well I suppose there is nothing for it but to have the rest of the sleep in the place intended for sleeping and resume the drudgery of tomorrow's daytime as it comes.


Also I went and got out and juggled what money I have, and my friend who does this as her job tried to tell me that some of my Aldi purchases were not actually cheap and how I could cook for less, and I had to remind her that, "You are talking to an idiot," and said to her that what I need in life is "a cook and a prostitute" and "both for free".

Also I went out to post a letter (regarding another interview) and coming back realised I'd so disappeared from local view that I'd no idea who these other people were going into nearby houses.

[Google adverts flashed at me after writing and editing include Relieve poverty... and then Building transformative businesses. Honestly, what crap.]


Song in my Heart said...

Not a fun dream, and not a fun situation.

For what it's worth, you are in my prayers.

Let me know if there's anything else I can do.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

There is, I can tell you, nothing that you can do and that side of it will, I hope, come from me in some due course! Just a strange, strong, dream and I do think dreams are like narrative clearing houses.

Rose in the woods said...

The deep cynicism I read in your piece on Episcopal Cafe led me to follow to your blog and see what this man has to say. I thought, perhaps indeed he is a very deep thinker and I can learn from his analysis of life. After reading your last blog entry I wonder, if indeed we have but one life and that is it, wouldn't it be best to use it for service to others rather than for whining. Or am I missing the point?

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

No, you might be right.

Gary Paul Gilbert said...

I'd say that calling the church to honesty about its beliefs and teaching is a service to others. We need people who can speak to how we abuse our world, the catastrophes of usury, our tolerance of torture and lying governmental officials -- and we get arguments over medieval doctrines and uninformed biological assertions. The cynicism seems to be with those who continue to mouth the old evidence-free beliefs (opinions backed by authority and tradition) while excusing them as metaphors or poetry.


john said...

We all have troubles and anxieties. Your situation looks pretty bleak. I begin to see (as I haven't always) some of the ways in which your blog may be good both for you and for others.

Sorry I have sometimes been sharp and uncharitable.

Erika Baker said...

Whining? Is that what happens when someone speaks deeply honestly about themselves? What a sad way of describing it!
I don't always agree with Pluralist, but I always admire his courage and his openness. Wish that there were more like him around!

that dream sounds awful. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers, as so often before.