I had such horrible dreams last night. Since my mid-30’s I’ve had nightmares every night. Illustrating to me the reality of my psyche, my self esteem and entitlement. As if I didn’t know. Sometimes I want to scream I already know about it, you don’t have to torture me like this. Who would I be screaming at?
Being trapped in a room with a door or a window open. Savage men coming at me with knives or guns. The closer they got, the more paralysed I became, my limbs wouldn’t move fast enough, I couldn’t close the window or the door. Closer, closer, the knives and the guns. Because I knew something I shouldn’t. I would try to scream, the inner pressure of my terror unbearable, but my voice wouldn’t work. I’d feel a hideous lethargy sweep through my body.
I’d wake up sweating, heart pounding, the sensation of being totally disempowered still alive in me, the world still terrifying.
Or I’d be in a strange land with no money for food or a place to stay. People would turn away from me. I’m going to die, I’m going to die. I don’t have words for how terrifying it was. Or else I’d be in a car which would go out of control and start speeding down hill, faster faster. The brakes wouldn’t work. Death coming to meet me. Nothing would work, not my limbs, not the car, and always the speeding out of control, the brakes not working.
Once I’d started my paint effects business, my nightmares included me starting a job and the walls distorting, slipping out of my control, my work hideous they’re going to kill me. The harder I tried, the worse it got, the more out of control. Or I’d be running from somebody trying to kill me and suddenly I couldn’t remember how to use my legs. I can’t remember how to do it. My body would become all distorted, and sometimes I wouldn’t have any legs any more, or any arms.
Or I’d be standing somewhere, water all around me, rising inexorably. I wouldn’t be able to move. It would become a tidal wave coming towards me, rising up above my head miles high, looming. Or lions would be on the loose. Or I’d be in a contained space with my two cats, and they’d get out – and be in terrible danger. I can’t protect them, I have to bring them back in. But I couldn’t.
In one terrible dream I was with my younger brother. I was about 10, he was about 3. I was his protector and needed to take him somewhere urgently. We were in the bush, on a dirt road. There was nobody about. Then a man drove up in a white Nissan. We got into the front seat. As he began driving, I realized he was taking us to the wrong place. I was afraid to tell him, so I didn’t at first, and by the time I was able to, we’d arrived somewhere I knew was dangerous.
I said please can you take us back, this is the wrong place. He turned to me with a vicious grin and said you can either do this or this. I can’t remember what his actions were, but he meant I could take it in the vagina or the anus. I had to do one or the other, or he’d hurt my brother. I was tormented. I couldn’t let him hurt my beloved brother. I couldn’t choose. He loomed, laughing. Trapped.