Today’s prompt is a great one!
Describe the last nightmare you remember having. What do you think it meant?
I haven’t been dreaming a lot lately, at least not that I can remember. I have been rather tired when I get up; we are in need of a new mattress for sure, so I don’t think I’m hitting REM sleep.
Anyway, one of the last ones I remember had to do with my first husband. As I have mentioned in other places, it was a difficult marriage that ended when I was 30 years old and the mother of an almost 4-year-old developmentally-delayed son who had been born prematurely. His dad/my first husband died suddenly of a heart attack one morning. While I admit to wanting an “easy way out” of the marriage, having feared what it would be like to be a mom on the run (and, let me be clear, a selfish mom on the run: I knew I couldn’t take all my albums, the computer, my books, and any number of other things that meant so much to me…), I didn’t think it would end like it did. But I was relieved that it was over.
Or so I thought before the dreams came. I used to dream fairly regularly that he in fact was not dead; many times in the dreams he would show up and tell me that he knew I had remarried, that I was doing well, and that he needed to be paid off to leave me alone. Sometimes he would threaten or physically/mentally intimidate me like he used to in real life. I would wake up, shaking.
The last dream I had about him was sometime last year. It was similar to the rest, but this time I fought back. Not just with my words, but with my fists. I’d had enough, finally. I was tired of this person controlling a sacred part of my life like he had controlled a public part of my life. Gone were the days of putting ice on swollen lips and repairing twisted eyeglasses before work, to have been replaced by dream-humiliation. I wanted no more of it and did my best to fight hard enough to send his spirit-self, or what my mind had conjured it to be, somewhere else. Wouldya go and deal with your eternity, for cryin’ out loud? Let. Me. Alone. Let. Me. Live.
I woke, having heard myself cry out in mid-swing; in the dream I had been throwing a final right roundhouse punch. My fist weakly hit the bed next to my pillow and I opened my eyes to see Christopher, peacefully sleeping next to me. I knew I was okay and had a feeling that I had chased the ghost away. I pray that this was not just another battle won in my favor, but finally the end of the war.