I’m digging out of the avalanche of emotions that buried me when I escaped my abuser. Daily, I work hard to marshal and make sense of my feelings and fears. But then, BAM! My dreamscape sucker-punches me in the gut.
I have swallowed my fear of his stalking in favour of getting on with life. I’ve dealt with the emotional fallout of a trial which he didn’t even bother to attend. I coach myself out of the rut of negative thinking, and stick with my domestic violence programme. I feel I’m making progress in the journey back to me.
The boogeyman under my bed was the man of my dreams
But I’ve no control over my dreams. And last night, I dreamed of him. Not as the dark monster hovering outside my bedroom window, or even the 12 foot man who chased me into the bathroom and, weeping, ripped out my heart. He came to me last night as the kind, gentle soul I once believed him to be. He was the father that he promised he’d be, a protective arm around my waist as he held tightly to the little fingers of our toddling child.
As I woke in the dreamy-haze, for those few moments – it was real. It was a wormhole into that alternate universe where life turned out exactly as I had once believed it would. I was Dorothy, waking up to real life, far away from the distorted, crazy land of Oz. Then my reality dawned, as I heard my little one stirring close by. It shattered me, briefly.
Sweet dreams aren’t made of this. I’d rather have the nightmares.
Recovering from domestic abuse is a process that we have to work at every day. With all that conscious thought swirling around, I know the dream was just my psyche finding an ‘in’ to point out my weakest spots. I don’t need a dream therapist to tell me that it is just trauma-fuelled wish fulfillment wrapped in a pretty scene.
The thing is, painful as the tough reality is – I prefer it to rose-tinted dreams. I can’t afford to buy-in – however fleetingly – to the lemon that somehow, the abuse was just an unpleasant blip in an otherwise perfect relationship.
“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.” ― Michelle Hodkin
Have you been sucker-punched by your own psyche? Have you learned something from your dreams?
ALSO SEE: Missing the illusion, not the man in Dear Diary: I miss my abusive Prince Charming.
© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14