I remember rarely when I dream, and even less frequently have nightmares.
The last nightmare, before this encounter was almost a month ago now, and I could barely call it a nightmare, more of a very random, strange and messed up dream- where my estranged father was hammering nails in my head, in a bizzarre, harrowing and macabre DIY attempt at hair extensions. My mother was shrieking and saying 'you can't do that. WHY are you doing that, it's going to kill her.' In which he then protested he would remove them. I recoiled, holding my head, scared that if the nails would be removed, that I might bleed to death or that my brain might escape me through the holes in my head. Wierd? Very. A snap shot in the mind of colourful crazy! ;)
However, recalling it the next day I could put pieces in that these were real fears that my estranged father had delivered fatal emotional blows to me that in order to cope with the trauma, I had learned survival skills that may have been less healthy, and that were voicing discomfort, fear at being evolved into something else.
Last night was another encounter entirely. I would describe this as a nightmare, because it woke me from sleep with a start and an inability to rest for my flailing heart beating and for the images stuck in mind. I felt awake, which seems almost like a double reality- being awakened from slumber in a dream- and I guess this signifies my waking up... Rather a startling, rude awakening to myself.
What I saw when I awakened in my dream was an image of a boy- sandy haired, around ten years old. The boy looked dead. He had fully black eyes that seemed to be bleeding smoke, his mouth was pouring out darkness, shadow. And he was just there, across from me as I lay here, in this bed, sobbing, crying 'no... Oh no... Please no.' I don't know if it was exactly because the image in itself was so hellish that I really did not want to see it but also the horror that this child was dead above me... Like a loss of innocence. But the whole time there was something else... Something I couldn't see while I was quaking and terrified of the boy- a voice in the shadow. One in the dream that I was sure had caused his demise. It was screaming at me, hissing. 'You're a liar! You're a liar!'
It was then that I awoke with a start, my guts twisting in expectancy to see this same sight on opening my eyes, but there was nothing. Just the dim shapes of the furniture in my room, the moonlight casting a pale, mute glow in the window. And there was silence, no sound apart from the slumbering pup and my breathing.
I tried to turn over and catch the dream again. I wanted to enquire the screaming voice. I wanted to admit. Yes... I am a liar... I lied to myself a long time ago that the shadow doesn't exist. I lied and tried to escape the fear of facing it and last night it showed me, finally, an image I cannot ignore, erase or deny.
I may look upon it as the death of my innocence... Or rather that my shadow was showing me that my very young self had been living in the shadow for a very long time. In becoming more aware of my voice, it opened up something again that said to me that it will not be ignored. And so, I need to do more work. I need to find her... Me. I need to make her safe and give her the safety in the light she deserves and I need to acknowledge, respect and honour the wisdom of my shadow.
Because last night I met my shadow self. And it told me I need to wake up.