They go away, they come back. They go away, they come back. Those who tell me to “let them go” know nothing of my nightmares, flashbacks or PTSD.
Those who tell me to “let the past go” are an insult to the very existence of what I am living with day in and night out!
Three nights in a row I have had similar dreams. “You’re just purging the past.” “Maybe it is just something you need to face.” “Maybe it is trying to make you remember so you can work through it.” I DON’T CARE!!!! I have faced it. I have had therapy for it. I have hit it head on. It JUST WON’T GO AWAY!
In this dream I am back on the lake I grew up on. I am flying. Soaring through the sky doing these beautiful acrobatic aerial dives with ballet arms of a graceful bird. Then one hand grabs my foot and brings me underwater. I emerge to fly again only to be drug down again. Each ski club member just keeps trying to drown me. They take away my joy. They take away the peace I am feeling in that moment of freedom.
The next dream we are all, the ski team, at a restaurant having a ski club meeting or banquet. I can see each person as if I am living in that moment. I see them all chattering and then I see myself. I am in the corner all alone. No one notices me. I go from watching myself to being myself. Both angles I know that I am just a fly on the wall to these people who have no interest in what is happening in my life. I feel small and useless. Non-existent.
The next dream we are at my house and the entire ski club is there. We are all eating, and again, I watch them. I listen to them. I see the childmolester. I have forgotten he was ever in my house. I’m 45 years old. How am I just remembering this. He was there. So was his wife. She smiles at me and I feel as if my skin is just a thin layer and she can see straight through me. Does she know her husband is molesting me? I think she does. I think they all do.
I wake up from 3 nights of restlessness and little sleep, filled with nightmares of the past. But they aren’t really nightmares. They are real. Other than being pulled underwater which is just a metaphor, the other dreams happened. In each dream I am awakened by the sound of my twin brother calling my name. I wake up covered in sweat, looking around for a twin brother that nolonger exists…and I remember. Everything. More than everything. These are new memories that have been tucked away to protect me. But now I not only have to have PTSD triggers but also memories that emerge from nightmares.
So yeah…telling me to leave the past in the past? It is laughable. It is infuriating. It is minimizing. It is a complete disregard to ME as a whole.
No one gets to take on the role of telling an abuse victim when it is TIME to DO anything. We will heal when we can, recover when we can, face the demons when we can, try to cope with the nightmares as best we can. We don’t need advice. We don’t need words of wisdom plucked from the google search “encouraging statements” that are nothing more than statements that invalidate my very existence.
Instead, listen, be present, give empathy. I would much rather hear, “ That SUCKS!” Instead of, “ You’ll get through this…just have faith…let them go…” etc. I don’t need to be TOLD anything. I’ve always just wanted to be heard. That’s it. Allow me to be heard. That is the way I can heal.
Last week I dreamed of an Native American tribe that lived on the lake that I lived on. It was a beautiful dream. They showed me the sacred water and made me feel like this is why I was always so drawn to it. The water was my refuge from the abuse. They showed me what the water once was before the boats and the evil people inhabited the land. They pulled me through the water and as I was taken through the water it first felt like thick syrup. As I was cleansed it got thinner and I could swim like a fish. It reminded me of the dream I repeatedly had as a child. I was swimming in the lake under the moon, which I frequently did, and a dolphin came up to me and we both sat under the moon and watched the golden butterflies lead from the lake to the sky.
A number of years ago the lake actually went down a lot. Several Native American canoes washed up to shore. Everyone on the lake was insistent no one was contacted because they didn’t want their skiing interrupted. I contacted and still am contacting tribes from the area to let them know there may be artifact there. I have no messages back so far.
That lake gave me the strength to carry on every time I entered it and felt safe once again. Unfortunately, it was surrounded by a lot of very bad people.
So they aren’t all nightmares. Sometimes I am blessed with a message that gives my love understanding. I am grateful for that. I always felt the lake heard me. No one else did.