Life in Mascara: What's In a Dream?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's In a Dream?

the other night i woke up suddenly from a dream and the first thing that popped in my head was 'wow! i am getting brave'. you see for a very long time after leaving my ex, i would have these very vivid dreams with him in it of what i had gone through and of what i feared the most: him finding me again. night after night after night they came. i slept very little and dreaded having them. they wore me out. i would wake up drenched in sweat sometimes crying out. i hated it. i saw it as a weakness. how could i be so tough at work, a manager leading my team, cold hearted at that, and then come home and be broken by a dream? something that wasn't even real. these dreams are still around. they are less frequent and have less of an impact on me. but this recent dream did leave a mark, but in a positive way. 

that night i shared the dream with boyfriend as we were cleaning the kitchen after dinner. in the dream my ex and i were in the car. we were talking and as it often happened i replied in a way that he didn't like and changed the radio station. realizing what i had done, i shrugged in my shoulders and braced. he began his tirade. just going on and on about how dare i talk to him that way. who did i think i was? he wasn't one of my employees. why did i change the station? just stupid things really but as he said that to me, i changed. i unshrugged my shoulders and lifted my head and talked back to him. i can't even remember what i said but it wasn't in a fighting tone. he turned and looked at me and stayed quiet. i would have never in a million years have done that because i would have paid for it for days. i would have just stayed quiet or apologized not because i knew i had done anything wrong, but because it was easier on me that way. the dream version of me recognized how out of character that was and i had an aha moment. that's when i woke up. boyfriend didn't miss a beat and said 'well you don't have to worry about that anymore' and kept on. and he is right. i don't. but more than anything it showed me my personal growth. i was not only beating him in real life, i was beating my dreams too. 

i know i didn't deal properly with my feelings after the great escape. i didn't go to therapy though i know i probably should. it would have at least helped me talk about it and accept that what he had been doing to me all those years was not o.k. when i finally looked into going to therapy, i could no longer afford it due to my insurance and job change. i chose to deal with it on my own and when i was ready to talk about it, i did. i talked to boyfriend and told him things that probably put my reaction to situations into light. i talked to my closest girlfriends and explained why at times my behavior was odd. i talked to friends i had lost contact with and came clean as to why i had pulled away from them (because he didn't like them and that was that). it worked for me. i felt so relieved to do this and everyone's reactions were so positive and embracing. i felt lighter because i was no longer carrying this load on my own. 

if you are in this situation, my urging you to go out and get help may not reach you and trust me, i understand this. it is not until you can accept it in your heart that you can move on. whether you have the financial means to do so or not there are people that can help you. my work network has led me to form a relationship with United Way. i had no idea so much help was out there. but if you need guidance on what to do or where to go you can reach them at 2-1-1. i hope that you do. i hope that you learn to love yourself. i hope that you know that you are not alone. 

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