I was an adult in this dream. For some reason my first husband, father of my children, was also in it.
It was like this alter universe. Everyone in this dream had a role, and everyone did what they were supposed to do. Like in a play.
Except I didn't understand my role. Nor did I know what I was supposed to say. So I just stood there, while this whole dream-in-action went on around me.
In this particular dream, if you did not come up with the words, or do whatever it was you were supposed to be doing in conjunction with the others, you were punished. Made to pay a fee.
You did not pass Go and collect $200. Instead you had to dole out money every time you missed your "cue."
What a strange feeling, I thought, in the inner workings of my dream state. That everyone else is walking about, doing things with seeming purpose, and I am just standing here, befuddled. Handing out money when I don't know what I'm paying for.
Why do they know what to do and I don't?
I remember looking at everyone around me, peering into faces, to see if I could somehow discern what they knew about this situation that I did not. But everyone was busy in their roles and no one met my eyes.
I have lived this dream for 58 years. So I guess it isn't so strange after all.
I grew up sitting in class rooms where every other child seemed to be on task. Except me. I sat and watched them, hoping the "directions" would come to me. That a teacher would tell me precisely what I needed to do. In words I could understand.
Because kids like me did not get it. There needed to be a different text book, in my language. Except there wasn't.
So like in the dream, you are held to a standard in life. You are expected to walk with the masses. You are expected to know what your path is. What to do next.
Maybe there was a life script written for everyone born. Maybe it was rolled up and placed within the blanket of every little bundle of joy that left the hospital. And mine somehow got lost.
Or that's how I felt until I understood my feelings of failure.
There was no script. Mine didn't get lost. And I've been punished time and again (not on purpose of course) for missing the cues. For not knowing what was supposed to come next. For not saying the right words.
"Lost in translation" has taken on a whole new meaning for me.
"They are often physically awkward and socially tactless. They seem to be perfectionists but often live in chaos. They know more about some obscure or highly technical subject than seems possible — and go on and on about it. They may seem to lack empathy, and are often accused of being stubborn, selfish, or even mean. They can also be extremely loyal, sometimes painfully honest, highly disciplined and productive in their chosen field, and expert at whatever they decide to be expert at. They are the Aspies, adults with Asperger’s Syndrome." (Source)
So even in my dreams, I am different.
I stand out in the crowd.
But now, when I wake up, I finally know why.