my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Crazy Little FruitBat Analyzes Dreams

The performance anxiety dreams have started. Not two weeks into the semester and last night, I had my first dreams about turning in papers and, when it's time to get our marks, waiting anxiously for the feedback, preening a little because I know how good I am (heh): NO PAPER COMES BACK TO ME. It disappeared. It's as if I never turned it in. I don't exist.

I've had my time on the shrink's leather settee and I think I know what this means. [Ok, in chorus, using Jim's voice: "Oh, I'm sure you do."]

Doesn't everyone (reassuring self) have a deepseated need to look in the mirror and see something there? I need a reflection, a reaction, response. Nothing hurts me worse than being ignored. Nothing I'm more afraid of than being overlooked, passed over, denied.

And when you connect that fear with an evaluation of my work, my SELF, it's lethal.

But hey, it's only a dream, right? My neuroses are safely contained within the hard-shelled nut that is my skull. It won't really happen.

Next week when I turn in those papers, I'm thinking of videotaping it.


Blogger Lulu said...

It's tempting to ignore this post, as a mean kind of joke...hee hee. But here's a question - can something be called a neurosis if three quarters (at LEAST) of the population share it?

When I moved into my first on-my-own flat (after years of flatsharing), the first night I sat on the floor for three hours looking at the wallpaper pattern from a foot away, because I couldn't seem to see any point to moving or even thinking or feeling anything if no one was observing me. I didn't even get hungry until suddenly I was faint with lack of food. It was as if I was formless without others around me compressing me into some sort of shape. Like a poached egg when you drop it into a pail of hot water. But then, over 10 years or so, I did a complete turnaround and one of the reasons I went freelance was because I was sick of having my every move, mood, sentence, meal, schedule, phone call observed and judged by my colleagues. If I'm not alone enough now, I get really ratty (ask my partner!).

An evaluation of your work need not be an evaluation of your whole self, though. It's only an evaluation of one bit of you, which will have been affected by all sorts of outside influences, from interruptions to the standard of your reference sources to the weather and how it made you feel that day. It's just as much an evaluation of your teacher's work, too. It's not the children they blame in a failing school, after all, is it?

Of one thing I am quite sure - you will never be overlooked! The very thought!!!

9:30 AM

Blogger Bela said...

Getting ratty with your partner! That's so mean! LOL!

I've never felt like that - non-existent - on my own, only been made to feel that way by other people. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

I have "deadline dreams" - rushing around, struggling to walk through molasses, lost in a labyrinth - always to do with not getting there on time. Horrible.

9:52 AM

Blogger schnoodlepooh said...

Good luck on your papers - you will get the recognition you desire!!! I used to have recurring school performance dreams also, now I have other anxiety dreams. I used to have one about riding in an out-of-control elevator. As soon as I figrued out what the dream was about (not feeling in control of my life) I stopped having it. I don't know if it always works that way. I still have dreams about showing up to play in a concert without my shoes, without a dress, without knowing the music, etc. etc. etc. I haven't played a concert in many many years, so go figure!

9:53 AM

Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

First off, are you sure that's a fruit bat? Looks a lot like Aral's doggie Anex to me.

Deadline they're the worst.

9:54 AM

Blogger Bela said...

I haven't missed a single deadline in 18 years and I still have those dreams. Our subconscious has such a grip on us. :-(

11:48 AM

Blogger Urban Chick said...

better still have the tutor sign an affidavit confirming receipt of the essay (surely then you will also gain extra points for your display of initiative and legal nowse??)


1:56 PM

Blogger WinterWheat said...

I *still* have dreams of enrolling in a stats class and forgetting I've enrolled until a week or two from the end of the semester, when it's far too late to do anything about it and I can't possibly pass the exam.

Here's the lesson of your dream: back up your papers in multiple places. That should give you a feeling of control IRL even if your dreams keep kicking you in the butt.

And try not to think too much like an adult. As we get older we tend to think of these endeavors as emblematic of ourselves. "How am I going to do with this degree? That's my value." Little kids don't do that. Their whole lives consist of trying new things and failing over and over. They are neither their successes nor their failures. They just are who they are and each new endeavor is yet another new thing to master, however long and clumsy the journey. I think this is why they are able to learn so much so quickly (plus they haven't fried their brains with years of alcohol and stress).

You will continue to kick butt.

4:19 PM

Blogger still life said...

First of all I say this with a lot of love... but Lulu's comment regarding not commenting was hysterical. And actually, every darn things she said made an awful lot of good sense.

4:50 PM

Blogger mireille said...

oh, I'll get you AND lulu for that, still life. xoxo

5:22 PM

Blogger Fred said...

As a teacher, I have some weird dreams, too. The worst one I've had is when it's time to turn in grades, I've somehow lost every single one.

Since that dream, I've been backing up my computer program on a daily basis.

5:36 PM

Blogger actonbell said...

"I'm thinking of videotaping it" LOL! Somehow, I think you'll get recognition!

9:31 AM


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