I so seldom remember my dreams any more, yet I woke this morning with a dream from last night clearly in my mind.  “What,” I wonder to myself, “is the meaning in this dream that it would bring itself into my memory this morning?”

I don’t know what meaning there might be in this dream, so I will write it now to see if something about it makes special sense to me…..

I am looking out a window at a night sky so black there is no light to be seen anywhere.  I watch the darkness.  I see a faint glimmer of light growing behind a massive shape I take at first to be a gigantic thunderhead cloud.  “What a storm must be coming!”  I think to myself, but as I continue to watch, and as the light behind this shape begins to grow I see the shape is that of a pine tree so big I could never have imagined one so tall.

The sky continued to lighten until the wide branches were visible to me of this tree nearly all the way to the ground.  But then fear seized me as I realized this massive tree was tipping, tipping, tipping toward me until it crashed to the earth with its topmost branches brushing up against the window I was behind, though the glass did not break.  I realized I was not crushed to death as I stood there unharmed.

I felt great sorrow for this great tree’s death as I left the window frantically trying to find someone to tell, someone to care that the tallest, oldest tree on earth had fallen over this night — and had fallen right here on this spot.

I could find no one to listen to me.  Time passed in the dream.  Later I happened by another window in this house I was inside and through this window I could see the tree from a different perspective.  That tree was just an ordinary tree!  There was nothing especially huge about it.  Now I could see its whole body laying there on the ground, being maybe 40 feet long from root to tip.

I woke up hearing the Beatles’ song, ‘Let it Be’ repeating in my mind.  All very puzzling to me.


I traveled to a meeting out of town yesterday with some friends.  I met a woman there for the first time and rode home with her as we each talked about our histories of extreme child abuse.  This woman knows with no doubt and with great faith that she was not killed in her infancy by abuse from her schizophrenic mother and bipolar father because she was saved by the grace of God.  (She was eventually removed from her parents and raised by other loving family members, but her entire childhood was still chaotic and very difficult.)

This woman and I both know what it felt like to be abused when we were little.  And yet this woman’s other clear statement about her childhood was this:  “Pain is pain.  Hurt is hurt.  It is all the same.  Anyone who ever feels pain and hurt is feeling the same thing.”


As I left my house yesterday to attend this meeting I walked away from my book writing at the point I need to pick up at today.  I am working on my final draft of a chapter about the first beating I remember that happened when I was 22 1/2 months old.

No doubt at that time I did feel like a tiny person with a monster tree falling on top of me to crush me to death.  What is my perspective today at 60 years old as I return to my memory of being so little?  Do I stop my own writing with questions like this:  “Why do I bother to write about something from so long ago when I had no other perspective about something that matters so little to anyone else?”

My problem is that my body still remembers NOW exactly what it felt like to have that abuse happen to me.  I did NOT remember the abuse for much of my adulthood because I could manage to never THINK about it.  It seemed I could outrun my own history.  I had simply walked away from it when I was 18 without any perspective or understanding of what had happened to me.

I got away with this ‘not remembering’ for the years I raised my children, but I am finding that as I age it has become impossible for me to ‘not remember’ anymore, though I wish that I could.   All I can do now is to continue to move forward each moment of my life the best that I can, trying to keep a perspective as I write for this book that basically lets me know both the big tree and the little tree, the little me and the big me, coexist now together in a unique way especially until this book writing is done.



  1. Perhaps it means nothing but my dream interpretations say that houses in dreams are you….your body, your physicality. Only you can interpret your dream but I got that you were looking outside yourself at your abuse (crushed by a tree), watching it possibly fall and crush you but there was no one to tell or help you (like real life). Only it didn’t, it just obscured the window you were looking out of and blocked your view and avenue of escape. Except when you moved to a different window (new perspective) the tree wasn’t so huge. Just a regular sized tree. If it had fallen on the house (you) it still would have been traumatic, but not if it were the world’s biggest tree like you saw to begin with. Maybe your mind is trying to work with the concepts you have been struggling with and giving it to you in a different form you can work with. The tree isn’t as big as you thought. It isn’t blocking you in. You can go at it from another avenue and chop it up with a chain saw into blocks you CAN handle…….

    • Hi and thanks! I also wondered if the plant lover in me didn’t ‘pick up’ on the terrible east coast trauma-via and trauma-TO trees out there! The likes of which we have not heard!!

      Very interesting dream — and I remember so few, and this one SO CLEARLY! Onward I write — the two posts today, all are connected!! Glad to hear from you!! Hope you are doing well!! xoxox

  2. Your friend who said hurt is hurt. Lets think about that. Yes…hurt hurts…but sometimes someone gets hurt by knocking their leg into something and getting a blue mark..it hurts, gets a bruise but goes away.Others may have been in a fire…and suffered much more serious and permanent results. Maybe they will have a burned face they will have to look at every day. maybe they will have to go through many painful surgeries only to have their scars remain as a testament to what happened.
    There are different degrees of pain. Its not all the same. Yes..all human beings will suffer but not all in the same manner.

    I find it so interesting that your friend who also had very serious abuse not have real issues to deal with today. Why is that? Is she just ignoring them?
    I guess everyone has their own unique way of habndling it.

    • Having just met this lady I don’t know very much about her. She did share that she has burn scars all down the left side of her body from ‘not being watched’ when she was a baby by her very sick mother. During that time when she was very little she also was not watched and fell off a tall porch and split her skull open.

      She told me she only learned about the details of her earliest life from other family members because she was extremely persistent. Her father left, her mother was put in a mental hospital. This lady went to live with other family members who did give her love and stability — but then, too, there were court battles when her mother was released and tried to get the kids back. She is a very strong personality, as she put it, and says she actually fought with her relatives to be allowed to go to church when she was a child.

      So, yes, there are always trade-offs between resiliency and risk factors. It is obvious to me that she had a tough beginning, but also that she has taken her life like a bull by the horns. She has no children, never married, lives alone, works hard. For all of us early deprivation and abuse survivors I believe there are many things in our life that we ended up sacrificing as adults often without even knowing it.

      Blue day today! Am working on the upward motion!! xoxox (Many days I just cannot tolerate going near the book writing, today being one of them.) Am going to a friend’s house to help her hand out Halloween candy – her neighborhood gets LOTS of kids!

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