I am being pummeled by work and work stress and money stress and a looming fiscal crisis and yet, I am in my pajamas, in bed, with the cat tucked into the teensy space between the laptop and my belly, with her head nestled in the crook of my arm. She’s snoring.

I am in the midst of a cycle so awful I am in bed for the second day in significant pain. I stumbled out to the kitchen to grab food and saw dirty dishes stacked everywhere. I had two conflicting thoughts nearly simultaneously: I wish I had someone here to take care of me and I am so glad no one is here to see this.

That is a theme I experienced last night in my dream.

Last night, I had a vivid dream that I was meeting BFD at the concert hall for a performance of something. I was out with friends, I think, and I was meeting him some three short blocks away because he was bringing the architect and the architect’s wife. I began walking, but decided to take a bus. I boarded the bus, but it was the wrong one. I meant to take 29, but I boarded 24.

I did not notice until too late that we passed the concert hall. I ended up in increasingly depressed areas of the city. The bleakness became oppressive. I continued on the bus, since I know they drive circuits and eventually I would get back where I started. Except when we hit the last stop, the bus was ending its day and there were no other buses coming, though it was only 5 pm.

I walked with the people who had still been on the bus, the bus driver and a young girl. We went to the young girl’s house and spoke to her for a bit. She was having issues with an abusive father, so we protected her in her room when we heard yelling. She was grateful we helped, but eventually we had to leave.

At some point, I wandered back outside and thought how do I get out of here? Who do I call? I considered calling BFD, but decided not to, though I cannot remember specifically why (aside from the usual — he’s busy, i don’t want to bother him). Instead, I turned to JF, knowing he would rescue me.

Of course, the whole thing felt like it went on for a lifetime, with my subconscious sorting out themes about abuse and healthcare, too. But mostly, I recall the feeling of protection and the feeling of anxiety over needing rescue and worrying about where to turn.

I routinely, stubbornly refuse help until the situation is dire. I prefer to think I am independent, that I can handle whatever happens, and I will somehow survive. Because I will and I do.

Even in my dream, I could have reached out long before I ended up stranded far from home. I remember looking around and thinking — I don’t belong here. I am not like these people. I tried to cover the separation between me and them. I tried to listen carefully to what was being said, but I kept thinking this is not my world. I have to get out of here.

That was part of why I did not want to bring in BFD in my dream. He did not belong there any more than I did. If anything, he would have been equally in danger. I visualized in my dream that bringing him in might subject him to peril because of who he is.

Thanks to BFD and the car and the current crime sprees, I am much more aware of the possibility of crime now. When I am in a parking lot at night, I think about whether I am a target, whether I am drawing too much attention. The car is expensive, and because it is not a serious car, it does signify money. For jewelry, I wear a family heirloom, which is a bit flashy. It holds a tremendous sentimental value and I also wear it to signify my unavailability. My friends have begun to notice I am wearing it often on my left hand again as I did when I was with my ex A.

While waiting in the checkout line at central market last night, I was hyper-aware of the ring on my hand as I opened my wallet. If I noticed and the checkout girl noticed it and the man behind me in line noticed it . . .

When I dream of rescue, when I think of getting help like now when I am in bed, in pain, I do not turn to BFD. We don’t have that relationship yet. Do I think if I needed him he would save me? Of course. I know he would defend me. I know he thinks about protecting me and taking care of me. Hell, it’s rather obvious that he does take care of me to the extent I allow him.

But I don’t want to be the woman he has to rescue. I want to fix my own problems, get my own medicine, clean up my own stacks of dirty dishes.