I didn't remember last night's dream until I was sitting at the computer. Then I could see the wreckage and the foundation and the wet charcoal smell. Full color and smell and sound.

Both my parents and sister are dead. The house being in a subdivision, which my parents would never have gone for, is interesting. Conventional. I think that it symbolizes looking ok to the rest of the world, to society, hiding one's feelings. Even with the house burnt to the ground, my mother could act as if nothing was wrong. Her diaries tell another story. And two years after she died, my sister and I said to our father, what was she really like? What was she like under all that charm?

Maudlin, he said.

Her diaries are all the dark emotions that she hid. Anger, grief, fear, all of it. But also often funny and often cheerful and sometimes now everything is going to be okay.

Much of it is about her and my father fighting, arguing.

She tells the diary that she is not going to leave my father, even though he drinks. There is a period after she did leave once, where she is angry at me, because I "made her" leave. That felt awful to read. But then.... later.... he is drinking again, heavily, and she writes about it. And doesn't want to leave but sometimes she does....

Reading her diaries is burning the conventional house to the foundation. I woke from the dream and thought I am NOT going to put on that social mask of charm that she wore, at least not with my true friends. Because I hate it and I am suspicious of it and charm to me signals addiction and enabling and lies.... and really, I can't think of any time in clinic when that signal has not been correct. The minute someone tries to charm me.... red alert.

My mother stayed with my father and he with her, and the last diary entry is about how much she loves him. My feelings are very complicated: is this true love or did she enable him to drink and he let her?

And if that's true love, I don't want it.

There must be a love where people do not enable and don't fight all the time and don't project on each other. There must be.