Several years later the dream divulged my crime. With the same hazy figure floating behind me I had this awful epiphany. I committed the worst, the unforgivable and immutable. I killed someone. Who? Never saw the victim. Never knew in what manner I killed but there was no escaping the verdict of murderer and the fear, anxiety and guilt experienced in the dream and upon awaking. Judgment day will come. I will pay the price. Murderer.
About the 11th year the dream offered up a self-synopsis of the killing. It occurred to me within the dream that my crime was a familiar one, a crime of killing that I had committed in the past, had repeated again and again and will repeat in the future. The dream expressed a history of its self; included its passage of time, predicted its future and reflected its status quo. I will spend eternity as a serial killer dreamer in limbo, never apprehended except by my own guilt. I will go on killing ad infinitum until I go numb with guilt.
Time came when my serial-killer dream surfaced not during sleep but mid-day when I was overwhelmed with grief, during my daughter’s funeral service, it leaped out of the blue, slapped me breathless, the blood in my veins came to a halt. I knew then I would never have the serial-killer dream again. I got the message. I understood, finally, but way-way too late. I was too late, too late to intervene, too late to find the courage, strength, will to extract myself from myself, to be there for Robin, my daughter, the shadowy figure besides me, the victim in the dream. No more serial killer dreams. The victim was laid to rest. I blew it big time. Judgment time now holds its enduring prosecution. The future holds no daughter. No more serial killer dreams.
Robin Blume, 21 years old, on Jan 31, 1988, at 1 o’clock in the morning got out of bed, walked downstairs to the back door, walked across the yard to the garage adjoining the alley, entered the garage and meticulously covered the garage windows with duct tape so no light could escape to the outside. With the garage lights turned on she meticulously taped every single breathing opening to the outside. She taped along the interface where the bottom of the garage door sits on the cement floor. The back door to the entrance to the yard she taped as well. Sitting in the front seat of the car she placed along side her a favorite doll from her childhood, Lou Lou, a letter addressed to her family and a letter to Randy her brother. She had with her 2 cassettes, one Pink Floyd and one Roxy Music. No note for dad.
You’d think Robin’s psychiatrist, Dr. Kreche would have alerted Robin’s mother and stepfather to the tell-tail signs of a child prepping for suicide. Gail, her mothers berates herself for not picking up on those signs which seemed so obvious in hindsight: Robin began giving away stuff, to her friends her jewelry and books, to Randy her stuffed animals. The week before she took her life she joined her family for dinner every night, not like her, she usually ate in her room behind closed door. She was attentive with everyone, even talkative, not her usual behavior. Gail and Bob thought that her appointment at Mayo Clinic might be responsible for her mood change.
I met with Dr. Kreche 3 months after Robin’s death, my question to him was after 3 years of treating Robin why hadn’t he had some indication that Robin was suicidal. I’m sure they had to discuss it. How did it get by him? Why hadn’t he cued the family in on what indicators of suicidal behavior to be on the alert for? I don’t recall his answers. He was stunned by her suicide, never expected it. A year later he left Chicago for California, the reason he uprooted his abode and practice rumor said was because of his failure to intervene.
Talk about failure to intervene. What about my colossal failure as a parent? How many nails did I drive into her coffin? More than one given I was and wasn’t a father from the day she was born.
Would it have made a difference if I understood the dream’s message early on, when Robin was 2 or 3 years old — when I really could have made a difference? Would she still be alive today? Would I have heeded the dream’s message? I’m not sure, don’t think so, I’d need backup, firm guidance, a lobotomy, my parental skills sucked, my priorities loveless.
“The essence of being human is being connected with other humans and the schisms we have setup have kept us from realizing that vision when awake, a vision that has never been lost while we are asleep. Dreams never give up on us. They are with us every night urging us to face issues that restrict and discourage us, that limit our inventiveness. They remind us of the responsibility we all have to free up our emotional life. They are in their way, our personal spokesmen for a saner living.” Dr. Montague Ullman