There are times when I wish I could just turn off the brain. Especially when I’m sleeping. Dreams. Why do we even have them? Why must I continually be plagued by nightmares and hidden terrors? Why? I wake up, typically will sit straight up in bed, in fear. No, fear isn’t quite right. Terror is probably a bit closer. It takes me a minute to realize that my dreams were in fact, just dreams. That I’m awake and life has returned, somewhat, to normal. I try and shut out what I’ve just seen or visualized. Sometimes I wake up and cry. Sometimes I wake up and am just angry that once again I’ve been robbed of precious sleep. The very LAST thing that I’ll want to do after I’ve had a nightmare is go back to sleep. Sometimes I’ll be so tired, that I’ll fall back to sleep. Sometimes I’ll get lucky and not dream again. Other times, I’ll find myself in a perpetual loop of falling in and out of the same dream.
Last night was one of those nights. I think it was probably 6am that I decided I’d had enough. Got up. Wandered to find coffee and do a little people watching. I want to go back to bed. I want to get a few more hours of sleep, since I’m not on kid duty right now. I checked into a hotel yesterday. Decided I needed a day away from everything and everyone. Its been lovely. Ordered room service, watched bad TV, snuck downstairs last night at around midnight and watched all the silly drunk people hooting and hollering as they hopped between bars near the hotel. It was definitely a much needed break. But here I sit, early in the morning, unable to take advantage of the amazingly comfortable bed they have in this suite, typing to you all.
When will it stop? How do you make your brain realize that it’s not doing anything but torturing you with memories? What I find interesting, I wake up with one of two words on the brain. “Stop!” or “Ben!”. Not hard to figure out what I’ve been dreaming about. The same thing echoes in my head all morning after a dream, until I’m actually capable of either distracting myself thoroughly or just drowing it out with something else. It’s either the words my father told me after he died, or worse, the words the ex said to me after he passed.
“Why didn’t you save him?”
“Why didn’t you catch the doctor’s mistakes? I thought you were smart!?”
“You murdered our son by NOT catching their mistakes”
“It’s all your fault”
“It’s YOUR genes that caused this”
“How could you do this to our family?”
“You’re a disgrace”
It’s not of course. I know this. The rational side of me recognizes that those words were designed to cut me. Designed to cause tremendous pain because the people who flung them at me were in so much pain and couldn’t take it. They did what they know to do – lash out and spread that pain to others. Perhaps in the hopes that the pain would dissipate or lesson for themselves. I’m betting it didn’t work. I’m betting that the pain they felt didn’t lesson at all. Mine certainly didn’t, it magnified.
I find myself lost in thought today. Memories. I try very hard to focus on the good ones. Live in the moment. Not in the past. But it’s early mornings like these, that I get a little lost in remembering. And it’s not all about Ben either. My dreams last night, while many of them centered around my little angel of a little man, also gave me flashbacks of the last year or so. My trips to San Francisco, Australia, Hawaii. The things I’ve accomplished in the last 12 months. The things I have yet to accomplish that I’ve put off. The things that have yet to come. I hope that over the course of time, the pain of some of my memories lessons even more. Hell – I hope that overtime, I can stop having nightmares, and start having more happy dreams. Or just no dreams! Do they have a treatment for that? Is there some kind of magic pill a doctor can give you that will ensure that you will have no dreams? Although I think maybe that’d be cheating. I think you dream these things because internally you’re working through something. And it surfaces in your dreams where you can’t hide, but you also really can’t be hurt by it. So maybe, in the long run, it’s better for me to have them. To remember. To feel. It’s better than numbing yourself, or sticking your head in the sand.
Perhaps in another life, I’ll be an ostrich.