My sister, Lilac, has asked to share some of her memories here in this space. She hopes that her words will validate mine. But I think that they will serve to illustrate just how different our experiences were in the same madhouse. Maybe they are more similar than I want to think. You decide.
I (Lilac) had a dream last night about a bear. The bear was hovering around outside and I kept looking our the window in fear. And the bear rang the doorbell and was casually waiting outside the door. Seriously waiting. Like starting off into the middle distance waiting. I laughed about it in my dream.
And then I went and told dad because I thought he would think it was funny too and he said, “There’s a bear? Just let it in.” And he said “Don’t worry-see,” as he opened the door. And I was terrified and freaking out.
And the bear walking in on all fours (it had been on its hind legs previously) and it was harnessed in a complicated body harness and pulling a heavy cart. It was like a depressed circus bear and I recognized it was lost in the load it was carrying and harmless. So dad and I just watched it.
Then… (scary part coming)…
The bear zoomed in and it turned to me knowing I was looking and enraged that I was watching the bear. It started growling and reared up. Suddenly it’s no longer harnessed and I had to hide in a little book behind a knee wall that was (in the dream) beside the kitchen.
And I kept my face down as the bear approached me and roared and (screamed right?) at me. It was a spitting roaring bear on all four paws in my face and i was avoiding eye contact and hoping it wouldn’t kill me.
Then it ended. The bear walked away back to dad and I ran into the basement. Briefly. I came back up and no one was there.
The feeling was that the bear could return at any time but everyone left without me. I was alone in the cottage and not sure where I was safe!! (sound familiar?) – the end –
…and all because dad refuses to believe a bear at the door is dangerous.