they couldn't hear me unless I screamed

Awoke last morning after ongoing odd dreams and even though I wasn’t sure exactly how/why/if this derived from my dreams, I immediately felt the need to write down a note about how I dislike and get really stressed out by some of my family dynamics – not just my immediate family so much as extended family issues that strike me as less love-based and more judgment based, along the lines of telling other people what they should or shouldn’t do (and what they’re doing wrong and how they need to do this or else…).

It’s  probably because I’ve felt such impressions throughout much of my life that I don’t usually like ANYONE (not even a good friend) phrasing things to me as if this is what I need to do unless I want something bad to happen. How does another individual know what I need to do? They don’t live inside my brain, do they? So how can they be experts on what does live in there?  Shouldn’t they focus on what they need to do?  They can offer me their thoughts/feelings/opinions (indeed I like that kind of in depth exchange), but I don’t think they should state their point of view as though if I don’t follow it, something bad or unhealthy is bound to befall me.


The dream recollections involve a seen in which I was driving with a group of family members and suddenly I knew that my dog was about to jump out the window on the other side.  In the dream, my dog looked like a white cat.  I kept saying stop the car, stop the car, stop the car, but nobody stopped. It wasn’t because they were purposely ignoring me, but they couldn’t hear me. They could only hear themselves. Until I screamed. 

I screamed, “WE NEED TO STOP!’, which finally got them  to stop, but by then my dog had jumped out the window.  I told them where to drive back to, but couldn’t remember exactly, and we couldn’t find him. He was gone.  I made myself wake up before I saw him dead on the road.


I often feel like I don’t matter much to anyone - and sometimes that makes it hard hanging out with people who feel like/act like they matter a great deal. People who even say things about themselves like, “I’m awesome”. I don’t relate to friends thinking/acting like they’re awesome, popular, very attractive, and so many people are attracted to them.

Aside from poetry readings and planned events, I’m not a fan when people think a space full of unknown other people (such as a restaurant or a bus ride) should hear their loud conversation, like it or not.  What if someone is trying to think their own thoughts and you suddenly jump into the space and start forcing yours upon them? I don’t think that’s particularly creatively enlightening or positive or caring towards others; in fact I think it can be invasive and stress inducing.  At least it is for me. 

Why should I want my brain forced to hear someone else’s conversation rather than being able to focus on my own or hear/speak with the person I’m sitting next to, who I’m having trouble hearing/concentrating on because I’m being loudly intersected by someone else’s expression and I don’t want to talk that loud or have a performance style conversation?

I could be wrong; I’m no expert; but I don’t think being stressed to the point of a bad headache by that sort of thing is a result of my brain’s negativity. I think it’s more like that is not my style – and when surrounded by it in excess for an extended time period, it stresses me out.  I don’t want to scream to be heard.

But then I have a dream where if I don’t scream, nobody can hear me.


“(I was never a cheerleader in real life.  I was never popular in real life.
What is real?  Why am I sinking down under these misshapen rafters?)”

from my poem, “Vintage Pom Pom Underwater”, which you can read in its entirety here –

It’s one of 11 poems I read this past Saturday, during a poetry reading at the East End Book Exchange in Pittsburgh, PA. The weekend included time with very creative friends (poetry reading time, interesting conversation time, and more), bands, The Oakmont Bakery, and the Polish Hill Arts Festival.