I awoke this morning to overwhelming fear and panic; I had dreamed my ex was coming for me because I was being everything he loathed, independent, successful and most of all happy. Those dreams are rare and I understand the psychology behind having them yet it makes it any easier to be thrust back into a moment of intense, overwhelming terror although it is years later, years of being safe. This is the second one in three days, which exacerbates the panic and anxiety, nor does it help with the ability to this rationally to overcome.
I clearly understand the first dream is a direct result of watching a video, the one from Upworthy with Keira Knightley being beaten by her partner. I was shocked by what I saw which was the intent of the movie, to have one consider the impact of domestic violence. I wandered off to bed because I have to arise early and deliver a child to college. I dreamed my ex was coming for me. In the dream, he had called and explained what I had done wrong and I could tell he was extremely agitated, that state where I knew there was no de-escalation and I was in for a long rough ride. In a panicked start I got up and took inventory of my surroundings; the doors were all locked, the house and its occupants were peacefully asleep. I wish that antique softball bat at my bedside offered me a more secure feeling. As I continually worked through my distress, I came to realize one of my worst fears. I was sending my daughter off into the world, what if she found a man just as I had. What if I had not taught her to value herself, to love and care for herself so she could fully understand the gift of unconditional love? What is she found a someone who was far worse than what I had endured, what if I had not given her the strength to know when to walk away?
This morning I again woke up very distressed by a dream. I understand what would have triggered my subconscious to so vividly try to process. In my dream I was at some sort of event, a party of sorts I was responsible for in some way, as if I were throwing it. Many of the people were strangers to me but there were faces I recognized within the crowd, people who had been in our lives, friends, presumably old flings of his, former acquaintances. Everyone sitting in an outdoor area enjoying their evening and he walked in coming directly at me and I could feel his anger and hatred as soon as I made eye contact. I awoke.
“I have had dreams, and I’ve had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.”
― Jonas Salk
I chose to not include the link to the Upworthy video. While I grasp the importance to educate people on the pervasive and destructive nature of domestic violence I do not think this video will serve that purpose here. A victim know what it feels like to be demeaned, belittled or struck by the person with whom they share the greatest level of intimacy and the perpetrator will not see it and say wow, maybe I need to stop.