Stay Out of My Sleep

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October 30, 2018 by lucieromarin

People can say what they like about putting things behind you and moving on, but I’ve yet to find a way to control what I dream, and one thing I’ve learned is that people who hurt you can appear at will in your dreams when you least expect it. Yesterday, I retired well-fed, well-exercised, journaled-and-prayed, and full of thoughts about a friend whose anniversary it was, but, when I slept, it was my old director and the girl in question who appeared in the dream – with nine children, incidentally, (including a bratty teenager with disturbing eyes and a toddler who clung to me and said, “Mama doesn’t love me; she only cares about her study”), and an incipient brain tumour in the girl. I don’t know what that means.

After I woke, I wondered if my subconscious mind was trying to tell me something. We can reason all we like when we’re awake, but the atmosphere of a dream feels like prophecy, or, at least, the voice of something suppressed by day. Is there some part of me actively conspiring against peace? I had noted earlier that day that, for the first time in years, I felt like I wasn’t a total waste of space. Was something trying to remind me that, in fact, I was, or simply reminding me that, as closure is impossible, all I can do is try to get out of the gale that gets through the doors they hold open?

Is it a taunt? Is it a reminder/temptation to think that that God loved them and not me? That my culture’s preference for the betrayer over the betrayed is not an outrage to God, but, is, in fact, His mandate? That, no matter how much self-respect I try to cultivate, the truth of my subculture is that the only respect-worthy woman is the one with children (no matter what vocations are destroyed in their making)? None of these thoughts seem reasonable or feel true once I’m well into the day, woken and working, but in the first aftermath of a dream, they feel like a floating reality.

Is it a kind of failure to dream unexpectedly of people whom everyone else thinks you should have forgotten? Or does it in fact mean nothing more than that you have a long memory and a deep hurt? Is it the just the equivalent of a twinge in the knee in cold weather after an injury is officially ‘healed’? I don’t know.

It’s very strange. These dreams are unpredictable, inexplicable, and haunting. How do the bereaved parents, the betrayed spouses, or the families of the slain deal with this? People without an active dream life certainly have an advantage in terms of forgetting, I think. At the very least, they’re safe when they are at their most vulnerable, for no one has found a way by which we might protect ourselves from our dreams.

I said to her “How did you have nine children in five years? Oh, wait, you had two first, before we found out. Why am I talking to you?”

Maths has never been my strong point. And I can’t answer my own question.


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