Trigger Warning: domestic violence and other pre-existing conditions
I had a nightmare about my ex last night. My teeth still hurt. After twenty-plus years, he can still make me clench my jaw and grind my teeth in my sleep, just like old times.
It’s been about fifteen years since my last dream of him. I’m sure you’re asking the same question I’m asking. Why now?
Some old feelings resurfaced after our trip to our alma mater. Across the street and parking lot from Lemur’s favorite stop, the music building, stands the reminder of my near-death experience. I remembered all the times I used to sit in the window in that fourth floor stairwell, looking out over campus, wishing the guy in the corner room wasn’t such a dick. My subconscious decided to take it one step further, reminding me of the night I wish I could forget.
In the dream, Lemur can’t protect me. Dumbass finds me in a crowd, and my Lemur is too far away to help. The crowd parts for Dumbass, and Lemur is trapped in a sea of bodies.
Dumbass finds a way to say every humiliating, horrible thing he ever said, and the crowd, including all of my current friends, laughs along with him. No one speaks up. No one reaches out. He wraps his hands around my throat again, and the world fades to black.
And I wake up, sweaty, angry, and still clenching my jaw.
Yeah, I get it. I need therapy. I’m not paying someone to tell me only drugs can fix me. I don’t need drugs. After twenty-plus years, I have some excellent coping strategies, one of which is sharing with all of you.
This is my therapy. Fuck you if you think I should keep my mouth shut. People have been telling me to shut up all my life. Maybe they’re the ones who need therapy.