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Monday, 30 April 2012

In the dream

... it's always a man. Usually I know it's my uncle who sexually abused for years when I was a child. Last night though it was a Caucasian man I felt I had seen many times and ought to know, though I could not identify him.

In the dream he taunts me and I am impotent with rage. I want to fight, to strike back, to break his teeth all over the floor, to smash his eyeballs into their sockets, to choke him until I can feel his windpipe collapse beneath the weight of my hands, to beat his skull in as hard and as many times as my strength would allow.

In my waking hours I devote a substantial amount of time and energy to being fit, to being strong emotionally and physically. I don't think I am strikingly muscular but I am stronger than your average girl, and I react very combatively toward many situations, though I am learning to reign myself in, to stand down. I feel that I need to pick my battles. Though real life situations too, also often leave me with so much anger. The casual misogyny, or unkindness, fills me with rage - and also a sense of impotence because I often don't feel as though what I do or say would ever have an impact on the world around me.

In the dream I lash out. I throw punches as hard as I can but my arms are weak and when they land he laughs as my fists miss the mark or sink down harmlessly. I throw obscenities and abuse and warning but even I can hear the irresolute fear in my voice because I know that I've lost this battle before, and that though I know it is a dream I don't have the wherewithal to control its outcome. He leers at me and laughs condescendingly.

Last night I screamed at the top of my voice. A piercing blood-curdling scream. I screamed many times as loudly as I was able and I could feel the air escaping me but no sound came. I knew I was lying in bed, eyes firmly shut, mouth open, screaming silently. He grins without any trace of concern, there is nothing you can do, you can't even defend yourself, you are no threat to me, I can do as I like.

...

I've had this dream for years and I believe that all this impotent rage will only get better when I write honestly about my experiences in the hopes that it can at least make a difference to one person. I need just some small good to come out of this one big bad and I will feel as though I've tipped the balance. I must be the change I wish the see in this world and I refuse to pass on bitterness or fear. To me true empowerment is the moment when I can turn this profound bad and sad into something better.

Until then I hope I never have this dream while dozing on the bus. 

2 comments:

Angela H said...

as edifying as this dream undoubtedly is (in that it spurs me to do things I really think I ought to do), I would really prefer something more mundane tonight. Flying or falling would do quite well. If all else fails, I'll take the zombie apocalypse.

Angela H said...

The other day I was walking my dog early in the morning when there were hardly any people around on the street. There was a middle aged man walking along behind me with a shuffling gait. Somehow the way he walked really reminded me of the way my uncle (the one who abused me) used to shuffle around the house. I could feel my hands bunch up into tight fists. I imagined him catching up with me, and I told myself that this isn't a dream, it's reality, and that I could floor him if I wanted to, if I had to, if I felt threatened.

Then I thought about how he's probably just one of my neighbours, out for morning exercise.

The thing is, sometimes I can't help thinking these crazy things. Just like how sometimes when I see beautiful, vivacious, happy children, I probe myself for feelings of sexual arousal, wondering if I would (as some who talk about childhood sexual abuse predict) turn into a pedophile. Another part of me simply wonders why anyone would be interested in children, because I frankly don't see the attraction.