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Mental Illness and Tsunami...

I lived in Portland. But something wasn't right. I was falling into mental illness. I lived with some people in a creepy bunker-like building that was all cement and bad lighting and no windows.
Several people lived there as well. I was an accountant for some business that I/we did out of the building and though I don't remember what the business was, I know I was very unhappy with it.
I don't recall what prompted it, but at one point I decided to light a flare. I instantly knew this was a bad idea and I put it under running water in a sink, thinking that I wouldn't be able to put it out, but at least it wouldn't burn the building down. The smoke it made was like burning plastic. It was acrid and quickly filled the whole building. We had to evacuate fast! Quickly I packed a bag of necessities, planning never to return. The rest of my things were neatly squared away in a corner. I had 2 boxes of records, my bedding, some clothes and other random assorted possessions. This was everything I owned in the world and I didn't know if I would ever see it again.
We all left the building and ended up in a garden space behind the building. It was night and kind of dark and the kitties were running around outside. I followed them around the garden while they chased spiders and ducked in and out of curious holes in the ground.
Some of my friends found me (Dave Estrada?) and were really mad at what I'd done. They made me smell their clothes... "See? This will never come out! You've ruined everything!" I felt a painful pit of remorse in my stomach, but chose to be steadfast instead, defending myself and telling them off. I didn't want to believe I'd been so destructive with a single thoughtless action.
Soon, I hit the road. I didn't want to hang around and face the blame any longer. I walked two blocks and suddenly I was with family. Dad, Diane, Chris? Allison? and Ruby? We were all headed to get some food. We came to a shitty diner and took a table inside. There was karaoke going on in the back and the menus had little t.v. screens in them that projected the show so you could watch, even while ordering. I commented that the screens made people look odd. They made them look like they had enormous breasts and tiny heads.
Apparently, this comment was considered rude and out of place, because everyone got really quiet and awkward and Dad sort of scolded me for making everyone so uncomfortable. I turned around to see Mom at the table behind us with two little girls (Keira?). She wasn't offended and psychically agreed with me.
The comment was enough to set an ugly tone for the whole meal and I eventually left without eating because I was so uncomfortable. As I left, I felt that I was experiencing true homelessness and loneliness from my mental illness. It was true despair and felt horrible. Portland wasn't the beautiful, exciting city I've known it as, but rather a cold, sick, unhappy place.
I have a lapse of dream memory here, but then it picks back up.
I found myself at another bunker-like building that was a little nicer than the last. Though it was cement and bad lighting again, this one had windows that faced the rolling waves of a washing sea. It was my dad's house and they all came home from the diner as I was trying again to pack my belongings. There were children there who were distracting me and making me frustrated and angry. They were running around trying to get me to play with them and I really didn't want to.
I had a few new things to pack - a coloring book that teaches you the importance of reflected light and opposite color shadows. I had a box on crayons and some colored pencils and a couple of boxes of fancy candied nuts that someone had given me. Maybe they were supposed to be for the kids, but I hoarded them for myself. All of my belongings from the last place were here now and I was trying to square them away really neat because I know my Dad doesn't like me leaving things with him.
There was a man there, whose face I know to be a bouncer from 9 million in Fremont. I ran into him yesterday and I've always thought he was really good looking. Not sure what role he served in the dream, just noted his presence.
When my family came home, I talked with Mom for a while. I realized that she too was mentally ill and found it incredibly difficult to communicate with her. She was angry and lofty and had so much to say but was really saying nothing - just spewing hot air and hate. When Dad came back, I was just about to leave but realized I couldn't leave with my stuff in their living room and I was going to have to put it somewhere else or throw it away. This hurt, like it does every time he asks me to get rid of the dwindling box of keepsakes I still have in his attic.
Instead, I avoided the chore by going into another room. My Mom was there with more kids and she blew my cover on having the candied nuts. Now everyone wanted a handful. I was mad because I liked them so much and it was to be all the food I had when I hit the road, but now everyone was coming up and taking handfuls of them.
I started to color in the book, tracing outlines and shading in large areas. It had been a while since I'd colored with crayons and I really enjoyed it, despite the icky feeling I had from everything else going on around me.
Suddenly I heard a loud crack. I looked out to the waves, anticipating the sight of a large wave coming in fast. I didn't see it at first and for a moment thought maybe I'd imagined it. But in no time I saw it way out there - a massive, tsunami-like wave, speeding for shore. I jumped up and started screaming to everyone to get to high ground. I knew we wouldn't have time to get out of the house, so I ran and began closing the windows and doors, hoping they wouldn't buckle from the impact. Everyone was screaming and panicking around me. There were at least 6 or 8 kids in the house, and a whole bunch of adults, some family members, some not. I was screaming for everyone to get up as high as they could, which we all did. The wave was going to be huge, I could see the height of the crest already. It was coming in fast and furious. I was standing on the back of a couch in a part of the house that was open to other rooms, but up higher for some reason. Just as I got into position, the wave struck, slamming into the house with a mighty force. In real life, it would have wiped the house out like a house of cards in a light breeze. But in the dream, the house stood remarkably strong.
A few windows broke and water flooded in. A couple of kids got swept out through the broken windows, but there were people running after them and saving them just in the nick of time.
Ordinarily, this would be considered a terror dream for me. Inundation from waves, tornadoes, and earthquakes are some of my frequent themes. The waves only seem to be frightening until they hit, however. The dream seems to be far more focused on sudden preparation with short notice, and anticipation of the hit, rather than the strength, force or brutality of the disaster itself.
As the wave retreated back out to sea, I was unscathed and that's all I seemed to care about. I'd lost my belongings, but didn't care to find them. I exited the house and walked away. Behind the house, I discovered that we were perched on the edge of a high breakwater anyway, and that as long as we weren't in the house we'd be fine. We just needed to be up high like in a tree or on a bridge and the water would spill down around us and not actually hurt us. I didn't share this information with anyone though, preferring to let them figure it out on their own. The bouncer from 9 million was outside as well and gave me a warm, reassuring hug as I came out of the house. It was nice. Suddenly the dream was much calmer.
There were people roller-blading with a smoothness I'd never seen before. I wanted to try so all of a sudden I was wearing roller-blades, smoothly gliding around, despite unevenness of the ground.
Mom was out walking with some little kids again and people were walking in the streets. I just glided around them, effortlessly, dancing with grace and skill. Someone mentioned that they were gyroscopic wheels, so they were intended to be smooth and agile. I found that I could even go up on my toes and do perfect pirouettes. The bouncer was impressed and wanted to skate/dance with me but someone shouted that a new tsunami wave was heading toward us. We decided to find a safe place.
At this point, my kitty was crawling on my head to wake me for breakfast. I wanted to roll over and face the next wave, but I was scared I'd lose the rest of the dream, so I let it go.

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