i’ve had nightmares the last two nights. Both of them were about my mother. In the first, i stupidly put my hands up to protect my face and she put a lit cigarette out in my palm. She said i’d been away too long, that i had forgotten that my hands should have been behind my back.
She was right, of course. i know that.
In the other, from last night, that evidently prompted a whole lot of talking in my sleep. It was similar, if less vivid.
i can remember in real life being five and thinking that i wanted to hurt her back, wanted to turn her into a worm, but by the time i was 30, there was no trace of that willfulness left. What i thought about as an adult was to not make any movement, not give any possible indication whatsoever that i might hurt her. i apologized for making a mess with my blood.
The Marine pointed out that i will hold my arms stiffly behind my back, still, and asked what that was about.
And i just looked at her, confused and frightened. i was remembering Barbara’s eyes, turned deep ocean blue with rage, telling me that she didn’t need to hear the stories, that it was obvious what had been done to me all along and she had seen enough for herself. Then she took pictures of finger marks, my mothers, while my eyes carefully avoided the camera.
We had our first argument because i defended my mother, saying she had been abused as a child, that she didn’t know what she was doing. It wasn’t a big deal, i had said. And that was the comment that put her over the edge. Eventually, she held me tight in her lap, as i told her she was mean, and a poop head, and didn’t understand anything in between sobs. That was perhaps not the best greeting from my inner child, but there it was.
i didn’t want a witness. The whole of my life, i had wanted someone to grasp what went on there in that house but when i had one, i was horrified by what i saw in her eyes.
Most people, by virtue of growing up and getting the fuck out, have years between child abuse and present.
Night terrors happen here.
And Sir Raven is my silent witness.
i can neither crawl up in her lap and say mean words, nor cry, nor talk.
i admit i had nightmares, but i don’t say more. From what she heard me saying in my sleep, it was fairly obvious i was having nightmares.
The child and the adult stood in the house and were hurt, together.
Today, i feel foolish, like i should not have silly nightmares. i make the bacon and eggs to serve her breakfast in bed, like every Sunday. i make Sir Raven laugh and suck her dick. i blast music in my ears and write up a response to a classmate. i function.
i’m running a fever again. i’m exhausted. i don’t even know why i’m writing this, other than it needs out and the least i could do for myself is to not be a liar anymore. The shame isn’t mine. Stockholmn syndrome is what this is. Every sign, every symptom is there. i still feel badly for my mother even as i never want to see her again. Especially not in my dreams.