I realized something the other day. I’m always referencing my nightmares, but I don’t think I’ve ever gone into the specifics. It’s always the same, one horrible recurring dream that shows up at seemingly random intervals. It’s quite different from a flashback, or other PTSD related event because the event that occurrs never happened. Or hasn’t happened yet, if you believe in premonition type things. It’s like my absolute worst fear, and every time it happens it shakes me to the core, which sets me off in all sorts of ways.
I’m always home alone one afternoon. The kids are always sleeping (yes there’s always been kidS even before I had the Twins), and I’m sitting down at my computer to write. It’s never clear what I’m writing, but I don’t get very far before there is an angry knock at my door. I get up, but not to answer it, I know exactly who it is as the intensity of the knock grows until the intruder is eventually throwing themselves at the door in an attempt to break it down.
At that point I’ve grabbed my phone, dialed 911, and pulled one of our guns out of the safe. Some how the kids are all still sleeping through this, when the door finally gives way and in comes this person brandishing their own weapon screaming and yelling about how they’re going to kill me because they simply can’t take it anymore. I have to die, it’s the only way, and they’re going to make it happen.
I scream back at then trying to reason, as they’re too crazed to aim their gun at me even though they apparently want to kill me, as I draw on them and hold it after dropping my phone. Then they start screaming about how I’d never be able to hurt them because I’m not that kind of person and dare me to shoot. Which of course I don’t, since that’s what they want me to do, and their real motives become clear the longer they try to goad me on into shooting. They, in fact don’t want to hurt me at all, but simply want their own suffering to end.
So there we are standing in this weird standoff thing in the middle of my living room they’re still ranting like a lunatic, and I’m bawling trying to get them to put the weapon down and stop saying all of these crazy things, but they don’t and the police are taking forever to get to the house for some reason and then it happens.
Ranting Lunatic finally gets enough wits about them to draw their weapon on me, and at that point I fire my own. I hit them but it doesn’t stop then. They just look at the wound in shock and still on whatever crazed high they were on that sent them into my house in the first place so, he lunges after me raising his gun like a club, and I fire again, hitting him three more times before he finally drops to his knees and a look of realization flashes across his face.
It’s like at that moment he comes back to reality and he knows what he’s done, so he raises his weapon once again but not to me, he puts it to his own head. I throw my weapon down and jump towards him, trying to tackle the gun away from him but just as I reach out and grasp his hand he closes his eyes, says he’s sorry, and pulls the trigger.
Which then wakes up the kids. Not all the other gunfire, or screaming mind you, just that final shot. And I’m screaming, the kids are screaming, the police finally show up in full riot gear and they’re yelling trying to get control of the situation, all the while I’m sitting there holding the lifeless body of Lunitic Ranting Man, as he bleeds out all over the living room.
That’s usually when I wake up, but there have been nights where the dream concludes with me locking the door and looking back at the blood stained floor before leaving the house and hopping in a moving truck.
There has also been a version of the dream I’ve had twice where the same man tried to get his point across to me by attempting to hang himself in the tree in our front yard, but failed because he was too tall and had to resort to slitting his wrists instead. So I walk out the door heading to the gym, and see him hanging there in a puddle of blood with “you did this” scrawled in blood on my sidewalk.
The standoff shooting one is much more prevelent, but both are equally disturbing. Quite literally my worst nightmare, and I’ve been baffled by it for years. Even my therapist has been stumped by it going over every possible scenario to resolve it, and yet there it is. Still popping up, something buried in my subconscious trying to come out to the forefront of my mind, yet getting lost in translation.
At least it was until yesterday. I don’t know what it was that made things finally click, or why it took so damn long, but I realized what this haunting dream has been trying to tell me and I felt like the worst person in the entire universe. People assume it upsets me because some one is attacking me, violating my safety by breaking down the door and threatening me. Quite the opposite is true. I’m never concerned with my own death, but the thing that petrifies me and shakes me to my emotional core is watching the intruder’s suicide.
It’s part of my broken psyche. Enduring years of abuse at the hands of a narcissist, I’ve been conditioned to care about how what I do affects others and taught to neglect myself since birth. Which is why I absolutely hate being told what to do with out a reasonable explanation, and threats generally have the opposite affect on me. When threatened I hunker down, bury my heels and strengthen my resolve. I fight viciously against anyone who tries to confuse me, manipulate me, and unfortunately I’ve ended up fighting against people who were simply unable to articulate their feelings in a way that I could understand.
It’s a defense mechanism that is ingrained so deeply, even though I know better, it’s hard to get past it sometimes. That’s what my subconscious has been trying to tell me. The person in my dream and what they represent in my life are fairly simple now that I’ve finally been able to lower my defenses. I’ve made a glorious, horrendous mess of things, inflicting a grievous amount of damage on a person who is very close to my heart and I had no idea until now. Years after they first tried to tell me.
I have no idea why, for whatever reason, it took so long for me to accept it. Clearly I heard them, because it got stuck in my subconscious manifested only in this weird, cryptic dream. Which baffles me, more so because I’ve been able to admit my mistakes and inappropriate behaviors before, so I don’t know why this one thing has been hanging out hiding from me. What I’ve done isn’t so important to anyone but myself, and it’s not exactly blog worthy so I’m not going to get into details of whom I’ve hurt or how I inflicted the damage. It’s nothing criminal, but it is deeply personal. There are some things I keep to myself. I know it’s a little hard to believe with the blog and some of the things I’ve written, but yeah. I do actually keep some things to myself. The details of my offense are going to be one of them.