Tuesday, March 08, 2005

When the night comes

Have you ever woken up from a nightmare, fear gripping your heart like a vice? I had this experience last night, as I do on many nights. And though as ridiculous as the topic might seem [because the probability of it happening is next to nothing], it still makes me quake.

I hate how in my dream world I am so very vulnerable. I am not sure if this is because it is how I view myself in real life, or if it is because I am transported back to a time in which I actually was vulnerable. Either way I am stripped of defense in my dreaming state.

At any rate my nightmare last night was about my ex stepfather as many of my nightmares are. How is he my ex stepfather? My mom divorced him eventually…but not before the damage was done to our family.

However…this time around it wasn’t me he was after, it was my daughter Abi. Trying to rationalize why I am afraid for my daughter Abi rather than Kimi, all I can say is that she is just at that age. An age that I can identify being myself…and in the situations I experienced. I expect that when Kimi reaches age 7 I will have more episodes of nightmares.

I awoke from this dream unable to breathe, because in my dream I watched on helpless to what was happening…as though I was restrained by my own vulnerability and uselessness that I could only call out to her to run. Though logically, she wouldn’t be able to get away from him, as he was much larger and stronger than she. I still called out to her as she tried in vain to climb a chain link fence to escape...as I stood unable to move, struggling against invisible bindings.

I woke Caleb up because I had a hold of his arm and was shaking it in my sleep. Poor Caleb…he gets woken up this way often enough…by my thrashing about, calling out, or crying in my sleep from some nightmare or another…usually about my ex stepfather. He has learned to accept my nocturnal turmoil in stride. He asks me what I was dreaming about and he consoles me afterwards. Though, honestly sometimes I just don’t want to say what I was dreaming about as though speaking it makes it valid.

I know that my experience was real for me, as I am sure it is for thousands of others who go through rough childhoods and teenage years. My family, meaning my mother, brothers and sister, do not know that I have nightmares about these times; it is not something that we ever talk about. In fact, I am sure that they have all but forgotten about it—or pushed it so far back as though pretending it didn’t exist.

For the most part I am over the hurt feelings of anger and betrayal…at least during the day. My nightmares won’t let me forget…not completely. The events that haunt me occurred between the ages of 7 and 16. These many years later I still feel the same as when I did at those ages, but only when the night comes.


At 12:33, Anonymous Scott C. said...

Have you thought of training yourself to go into a lucid dreaming state where you can take control of your dreams? There are books and CDs and everything else on the topic. With sufficient training, you can take full control of the dream reality.

Your dreams may not allow you to forget the horrors, but maybe at least dreaming lucidly you can fight back and make your peace with the night...

At 14:50, Blogger Kassi said...

Sounds like hocus pocus to me, no I haven't thought of training myself to take control of my dreams. What I should do is pray before going to sleep.

At 15:04, Anonymous Scott C. said...

Not hocus pocus, just training yourself to be more aware when you dream which then allows you to use your mind as you're more used to in your waking hours.

Look it up.

Pray if you must.

At 15:13, Anonymous richd said...

this really works, Kassi. I have some nightmares too, but I can take control of my dreams. And my dreams are vivid. Sometimes my actions are muffled, such as the 'slow motion run' or if i try to fly, i can but at a slow rate. It does take some training, but it is possible.

At 15:16, Blogger Kassi said...

Are you then still somewhat conscious? Do you still get restful sleep?


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