Some people think it is odd that I can remember my dreams with such clarity. I guess a lot of people can’t remember their dreams, and if they can, they can’t remember much detail. About once a week I have a really vivid dream that stays with me for at least a few hours, if not more time. I dream a lot.
Both Blue Eyes and I have had nightmares since discovery day. You know, prior to d-day I only ever remember having had two nightmares, my whole life. One was a dream where my mother fell off a mountain and plunged to her, well, it would have been her death if I hadn’t woken up right before she hit the ground. I was an adult at the time, with kids of my own, but the dream scared the crap out of me. My Mom is fine. She never fell off a mountain. She is a healthy 72 year old. The other nightmare I remember vividly was the one I had the night before my older son started kindergarten. Our kids attended a language magnet program across town, K-8. There was bus service that picked them up at the local elementary school about 1/2 mile from our house and drove them to the magnet school across the river. The dream was just awful and I can still remember it in great detail, which I won’t repeat all of here, but suffice it to say, the bus crashed and it was not pretty, and I never did find my son, in that dream. By the time he actually boarded that bus the next morning (and I have such a cute picture of him going up those stairs nearly 20 years ago), I was in a cold sweat and kept asking myself why I hadn’t just driven him to school. He wanted so desperately to ride that bus the first day of school with the rest of the kids, that there was no way I was going to let my nightmare get in the way of his little boy dreams. He arrived safely to school, and safely back home that day, and every single other day of those nine years.
Since that fateful day in January two years ago, nightmares haunt my sleep more than I would have thought humanly possible without a person going crazy. I cannot count the number of nights I have woken moaning, crying, or screaming, sometimes in a pool of sweat, after having been stabbed by the other woman, in the stomach, or stabbed by Blue Eyes, in the heart. I have dreamt that the other woman stole my kids from school, I have dreamt that the other woman broke into our house and held us at gunpoint. The worst of the nightmares happened the first year after discovery. Nightmares are few and far between these days but they still happen.
Last Friday morning I woke with the following dream vivid in my mind. In the dream I was suffering numerous symptoms (similar to symptoms I have actually been suffering from over the past few weeks) including stomach cramps, headaches, and upper back pain (like pinched nerves at my shoulder blades). I was anxious and stressed and feeling trapped by the pain. I drove myself to the hospital emergency room. They put me in a long rectangular chamber with hospital beds lining both sides of the walls, kind of how I might picture a military hospital after a war, but the beds were filled with adult women of all ages. While I was in a bed having vitals taken, I drifted away to a place in my mind where I was lying on a blanket on a large expanse of green lawn, like in a park. It was a sunny warm day and next to me was a young girl, maybe 8 or 9 years old. We each had a paper bag and inside our bags was a piece of cake. We were playing with the cake and molding it into fun shapes, like animals and flowers. I warned the little girl that we were not allowed to eat the cake (I feel like this part of the dream has to do with our restrictive diet and the fact that I had been craving cake for like, a week). I am brought out of my cake trance when I hear the nurse talking on the phone next to my hospital bed. She is clearly talking with Blue Eyes and she says, “we are going to send her home with antibiotics. Yes, she is perfectly capable of driving home on her own.” I look at the nurse and with tears running down my face I say, “but I cannot go home now. If I go home now, I will surely die as there is no one there to take care of me.”
And then I woke up.
The very same night, Blue Eyes dreamt that he and I were in my car on a cold, wet, dreary evening and we were heading to the other woman’s neighborhood. I was driving. I pulled the car up in front of her house. I went around and opened the passenger door and pulled Blue Eyes out of the car into the mud, and then pulled his suitcase out of the car and threw it at him, and drove away leaving him there. He stood there in the wet, cold sludge and thought he would rather die than go in her house and face the demon again.
And then he woke up.
Fears are a funny thing. They have a way of permeating even our subconscious minds. I dare say from just these two dreams alone, it might be obvious what we are both most afraid of. We have a lot of work to do to fix what is broken, and we’re doing it. Not fixed yet though. Nope. Not by a long shot.