Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scratch hating Stephen Harper. I do hate him, but...gah. I hate Everything.

This fact was made all the more obvious by the triumphant beeping of my alarm clock this morning, in increasingly incessant tones which are the perfect pitch, embodying the soundtrack of my own personal hell.

I hate my alarm clock. I hate morning.

This is the feeling I always get when the sky is dark and grey and the air is cold and wet with impending, drizzly rain. And since this is Vancouver, that's the feeling I'll be getting every morning, from now until May 2010. Ugh. I hate Vancouver.

I was feeling especially tired this particular Wednesday morning, not from lack of sleep (I went to bed at exactly 9:30pm, dear readers, because I am a very sad old lady, apparently), but during those nine and a half hours of sleep, there was very little adequate rest. And that was because I had nightmares. Nightmares. The sort that haunt every five year old who's disobeyed their mother's command to not watch Jurassic Park, but does anyways, and then wakes up screaming lest the Velociraptors eat her flesh, Nightmares. Ahem.

The subject of my disturbed nighttime visions was not a Michael Crichton film...this time. Instead, I had found myself in a much more banal and horrifying setting: the seventh grade. Now, my real life seventh grade was not a terrible nightmarish hellhole, was actually a really good year. Grade six was marked by intense girl bullying and the writing of my first ever suicide-themed poetry, and grade eight marked the year my mother pursued her B.Ed. degree out of town and my brother and I were left the fend for ourselves four days a week, to trauma-inducing results. But grade seven wasn't so bad, really. I had friends, ish. I had school. I liked school.

Grade seven marked the year I entered the classroom of Mrs MacAnnealy, who's classroom expectations have exceeded anything I've encountered since, in high school or university. It marked my first ever all-nighter on a project concerning Monsoons, for which I produced three interactive models, a slide-show, two large bristol-board displays, and a script full of information which was to be conveyed by myself in traditional Indian dress. If sweat and blood were not somehow incorporated, then you were bound to get a dreaded 'B'.

Mrs MacAnnealy was supposed to teach my eighth grade class, too, but her year was cut short by a nervous breakdown. No matter, really...Her perfectionism and neuroses live on in at least one young woman, and I suspect about five others, too.

So I suppose it makes sense that when I have nightmares that leave me engulfed in a day-long anxiety attack, the setting is one of the seventh grade. The theme varies - there is a test I must take which I haven't prepared for, or a project immediately due. Often, a mix up results in an administrator declaring that I must redo two terms worth of elementary school math, lest I lose...Everything. The details are never exactly clear, but they don't need to be.

I hope that this is residual anxiety, left over, finally filtering its way through my system some fifteen years on. I hope this marks the last of it...because I cannot describe how shaky these dreams will leave me, how panicked and out of breath, more than a year since I finished trying to attend university courses.

And when I wake up, in a cold sweat, and I turn off the alarm, and I peel off the sheets, I remember, and I sigh with relief...It was just a dream. None of it was real. No one can send me back to that horrible place that I dread, and I'm safe....never, ever again.