I had the most amazing God sighting or answered prayer about something that has affected me my whole life! I have hesitated to share but
+++ Please be warned that this post contains some graphic violent scenes that may be upsetting to some readers.
Over the last 50 years, well, it is probably over the past 46 years, since I remember my dreams from the age of 3-4 years old, I have nightmares about my dad. They are horrible and horrifying. These dreams have been part of my reality as long as I can remember.
My earliest ones were at the young age of 3-4 years of age. There was someone in my closet. The boogie man for lack of a better description. Someone was out to get me, to hurt me. I hate sleeping without some light somewhere in my line of vision and to this day that is true. I need a light on that is brighter than a nightlight. I have a true fear of sleeping with the door shut. (I realize that many kids have bad dreams but you will see as you read that this was the beginning of an ugly fear, based on something very real in my world).
It amazes me that my kids have no trouble sleeping with their door shut in the darkness. I still leave their bathroom light on for them but realize to this day, that it’s for me.
I need to have my blankets tucked under my feet, protecting them from what? I am not sure. I never (if I can help it) hang my feet over my bed. I hate what may be hiding under there, that could grab my feet. To this day, I have to make a conscious decision whether to give in to that fear or fight it. I never could sleep (nor still choose not) on the side of the bed that is closest to the door, or have my back towards the door and if I do, I am conscious of that till I just turn over.
Early on in my childhood, cats became a creature to fear. I don’t understand to this day, why and yet the reality is they still scare me to death. And ironically, I have a pretty severe allergy to them now. We had a cat when I was approximately 8 or 9 years old. I have no idea why or where it came from but I know it was my dad that brought it home. My brothers and I were so fearful of this poor cat. I can clearly remember this cat leaping on our bed and ducking under the blankets petrified that it was going to attack me. This poor cat! And I know there are many cat lovers that are feeling sorry for this poor creature. (It was at this age that I knew that my father was abusive and it became a part of my daily world).
Cats become at part of my world that was fearfully. I had reoccurring dreams that my dad had beaten my mom. She was laying on the ground (in retrospect, dead) and a cat was eating her face. The cat eating her was my dad.
Tidal waves were also a recurring nightmare. We were always in a high rise at the beach and a tidal wave was about to hit the balcony of our apartment and I was
Nightmares have been a part of my life. I dream vividly. I can tell you about my dreams every morning. Sometimes they are crazy and random. Other times they are full of things that occupy my mind, especially if I have a big project I working on. It is so strange and incredible how our minds work. (Or maybe it is just my mind). People from yesteryear that I have had no contact or thought of will pop into my dreams and I will wake up thinking, “Hummm.”
I will share two more dreams/nightmares I had so you can understand the place that I was at. Usually the worst was my dad attacking my mom and I was always trying to protect us. The cat always had my dad’s face as it was causing me grief in my dreams.
After my dad’s death, during my breakdown the dreams became my reality in that the “boogie man” became a living nightmare. I was fearfully constantly. No need for me to go there as you know my journey, if you have followed me.
As I found myself again through that period of time, as I found healing and learned to embrace my new reality, I began to exhale. Did the dreams continue? Yes. Yet it was all I knew and had accepted.
My mom died. I was home after being away for 6 weeks. My mom was gone and I was learning to deal with this new reality. During my mom’s illness, she refused morphine. She was 100% adamant that she would not take it. She asked for morphine via IV during her last hours, when she knew the end had come. Day 3 of being home I dreamed that my mom was in the hospital. The nurse had put in the IV and was about to give her the morphine. She was petrified. She asked, no, begged her roommate to help her. She begged her to remove the IV before the nurse returned. In my dream I was at the doorway, entering her room and saw the roommate approaching her to help her take out the IV. But at the last second, I saw that the “roommate” was not a random person, but rather my dad, taking the IV needle ready to stab my mom in the face! I screamed and woke up! My scream was a petrified scream that scared Sanj laying beside me. One of the boys came to our bedroom to see if I was ok. Sanj held me as I continued to shake and cry as every time I closed my eyes, I knew the dream would continue. Sanj began to sing Sound of Music’s My Favourite Things to try and calm my mind and body down.
The dreams (nightmares) continued. Not always with that intensity but the darkness and ugliness were always present. Occasionally my rapist would show his ugly head in some of my dreams just to add some variety.
I asked one of my brothers if he had dreams of foolishness such as mine and he
I was beyond tired. I was exhausted of being scared and unrested. I was tired of the dreams being so disruptive in my life.
I talked to one of my dear cousins, and began to share some of my dreams and talking through what they may mean or represent as this was a field of study she is interested in. Some of it is obvious. And yet there is the cat factor that was a mystery, simply because cats are loving creatures. She is a lover of felines and they are part of her family. Yet in my world they were scarier than a grizzly. I knew that I had to get a handle on this part of my life.
Sanj had been rebuilding our porch this summer past. I would often go with him to buy the lumber and gadgets needed, or hold a piece of wood into place. One day Sanj was using the staple gun and suggested I try it, knowing that I would love it. And I did! There is power in that gun as it makes contact with the wood and I love that feeling.
One night shortly after I had a dream. We were visiting India. It was my mom, dad and myself. My brothers were there too, but not at this particular moment. We were staying in a hostel of sorts and the surrounding in my dream was very messy and scattered. My dad lost it with my mom for some random reason and told her he was going to teach her a lesson that she would not forget. (In real life, this was a line he used before a beating). He was coming at her and I stopped with a fury I never had and pushed him on the bed. I screamed at him that he would never hurt any of us again, especially my mom. He laid on the bed as I began stapling his face with staples with the staple gun. I can remember so clearly feeling the power of the staple as it pressed on his face. And the satisfaction of knowing he would never hurt us again.
I woke up. I realized how messed up I am. What in the world? Who dreamed
I found myself back to begging God for peace. I needed to find the rest that only God could grant. I found myself that next week, as I headed home from my inlaws, randomly going to the cemetery where my dad was buried. I had only been back with Sanj once, on a whim, a couple of years before. I found myself petrified (like he was going to grab me from the grave) and ran back to the car begging Sanj to get us out of there. (My poor husband really does know the meaning of our vows, “For better or worse!!!”
I drove tentatively towards my dad’s grave. I asked God to grant me peace and to be with me as I walked to his grave. I had total peace. I found myself sitting at his grave. I thought I should say something to my dad but what? I said, “Daddy, I forgive you. I’m letting it all go.” Then to my Heavenly Father, I found myself begging God to free me of this heaviness that had hold of me since I was a little one. I asked for freedom in my dreams. I couldn’t believe I was sitting, well if I think about it, on top of my dad, feeling safe.
I went home. I feel asleep. No daddy dream or nightmare. Night 2- no daddy dream. Night 3- no daddy dream. Night 4- no daddy dream. Night 5- no daddy dream. Night 6- no daddy dream. ONE WEEK and no daddy dream of any kind. My dad was absent in my dreams period. I was so excited that God HEARD me! Of course He does but this was HUGE for me.
I had one dream a month later and will admit I was so disheartened. But I prayed and asked God to please continue to give me peace. It is that kind of peace that really does pass all understanding. I am happy to say that since the end of October I have been dreamless as far as my dad goes. I have had a lot of peace actually in regards to him. I sometimes find it weird that days go by and I haven’t really thought of him. It makes me sad that this is the memory he left of himself and yet I am so grateful that I can gently let him go. My dad is so much a part of me in many ways, the biggest reminder being my feet! lol I have my dad’s feet. Guess it could be a lot worse! lol
As my cousin and my therapist reminded me, I now have the tools to deal with a dream should one occur. How awesome is it that God can do what seems like the impossible. I sit here with a silly smile on my face because of how incredible it is to know that God cares about my dreams!
I was editing this post and found that I needed to change a lot of my quirks from past to the present, such as feet hanging, the light left on, worried about leaving my closet open etc., but… being a survivor of trauma, it’s is a part of me. But I write this to say that there is hope and where there is hope, there can be healing.
I love being (one of )His Favourite.