April 5, 2007
Nightmare
I wake up in a sweat because I’ve had an awful dream, a function of my ridiculously cruel and indulgent brain. A nightmare in which some function or other brings us together again. He for all intents and purposes ignores me, a speck on the windshield of his newly-washed world. He, the center of the room and the man I always wanted, and always knew, god damnit, he was inside.

In my REM he flirts effortlessly with the women around him, commands the room, and treats me when I approach as if I hold no substance in his world. I ache and stifle an urge to grab him by the shoulders and shake until there’s recognition that I’m the woman he once thought was his One. I want to hide here, there, anywhere that has sufficient cover, so my humiliation doesn’t show. Again.

We always talked of being the same person. The same nap times, the chicken parmesan, the white wines, the ocean, the Dutch oils. How he wouldn’t hurt upon every instance of seeing me, in my dreams be caught dead in his tracks and almost unable to form words for a flocking harem, and in my days think a car-to-car exchange sufficient to come back into my world - even for a second - after treating me so coldly and so disrespectfully the months that we last knew each other, is unacceptable to me. Ironically, I’m the one ashamed of the absence of an apology or a farewell. It all doesn’t even register. I can’t allow it.

Because if I did, it would mean that years of this young life were wasted. That the pre-dawn talks and the plans and the laughter were all for naught and that he wasn’t really who he said he was. I refuse. I know myself. I trust myself. He was the man in core and intent closest to my father, the nearly-infallible one. I can’t comprehend that he’s gone, that he isn’t that person anymore, even if he’s not with me. He simply must be.

I wonder too when my mind will stop this search for answers, the diversion it allows itself each month since. When the finally intermittent disbelief and uncertainty will cease. Could you really not have me in your world and be your best self at the same time? It snowballs like this until I’m running downhill beside it, and I know if I don’t stop it soon the focus of this day will shift for good, the old friend of self doubt creeping in only somewhat uninvited. The swimmer, the truest friend, the man with the jokes. The You I knew was there. The man I encouraged. That’s all I ever wanted. All I really want in these moments upon waking is peace.


35 Comments:

Blogger JordanBaker said...

Oy. I had a week last month where I dreamed about a different ex every night, but none of them were this intense. Hope you got back to sleep at some point.

Blogger Kelly said...

Why doesn't the haunting ever stop!? It has to, right, eventually?

If only the closure came soober.

It'll get better, Mama. Promise. The dreams might last, but the reaction won't be as severe...

Blogger Kathryn Is So Over said...

Feeling you. SO feeling you.

Blogger brookem said...

oh wow. this is such brilliant writing. and it hits so very close to home. i loved it.
and i hope that with the coming days ahead, things will consistently begin to feel more peaceful.

Blogger HKW said...

I'm sorry, sorry you had to go through this all over again. May peaceful nights lie ahead for you

Anonymous Jurgen Nation said...

Oh, puppy. I can't say anything witty or Hallmarky. I know this isn't about sleep. I'm so proud of you for writing this. I like what someone said up there about being "haunted." Such a perfect way of describing it. I hope, through writing through this, you feel better. Sending hugs and wine.

Love ya, pea.

Blogger playfulinnc said...

Sometimes, when looking at the possibility of really trying at the dating game again (re:your last post), mental/emotional cobwebs get kicked up and land in your dreams.

Maybe this is the last of the mental spring cleaning geared to get you ready for the next phase.

Hang in there, mama.

Anonymous girl and dog said...

What a difficult situation, and how brave of you to express it in words. I hope writing it was cathartic.

Blogger mysterygirl! said...

This is a beautiful post. I don't have the answers to these questions. Once I figure out exactly how the heart works, I will pass the answer along to you. :) Until then, know that your friends love you, and that your dreams will likely be sweeter tonight.

Anonymous Mrs. J said...

Baby McFiggy (still in belly - don't get too excited) and I send you lots of hugs. I hope with all my heart that you find your peace one day soon.

Blogger Keith said...

Now I have to go and google Dutch oils. I am so out of touch.

Blogger StupendousWoman said...

All this tends to feel a little “twilightzony”, doesn't it? Why does someone else's change of heart put in question our own perception of events?

Hold on to your truth, Kris! There is no better one.

I've always thought that the worse part is not the late-relationship bout of bad treatment: the hardest part is surviving how good it used to be.

Blogger Mamalujo said...

That was good writing, sister.

I know it must not help to hear this, but beautifully written post. I do hope restful sleep finds you soon.

Anonymous Jorge said...

The simple truth is that he couldn't be his best self when he was in your world, Mama.

But it's not your fault.

No one can make you come to terms with it, either, which really sucks. Because all of us here believe in you. We're talking deep-south believe in Gawd kinda believe, too.

Yeah.

He wasn't strong enough.
It takes a strong man to love such an incredible woman.

So, really, if you were less awesome than you are, you wouldn't have this problem.

The grand irony is that for all of what we love about you, you may never see it. At least, not all of it.

But the closer you come to understand how amazing you are, and how much we all love you, the closer you will move to becoming a whole you again, without missing pieces.

That's the other grand irony.

No one is ever really missing anything.

I cannot aptly explain how much that hit home. I am going through the same thing. SO SO SO similar.

In fact, I was wallowing in my misery the other day, wondering when I will get over these feelings of unrequited loss... and you popped into my mind. I thought, "of course it gets better. I remember reading Kris' blog a few months ago when she was in so much pain. And look at her now... she's still a whole person, enjoying life... I can't wait to reach that stage."

So, even though you may have shattered my hope a little, thanks for your honesty. It's reassuring to know that I'm not a complete freak for still wondering what the hell happened and even though I'm angry beyond all belief, secretly wishing that things could just go back to the way they were.

Blogger Gwen said...

Kris, you make me sad for you. In a good way, I suppose, if that's possible.

When my dad died, I spent the first few months after his death dreaming about him. Every night he would show up disconcertingly in my dreams. When I talked to my shrink about it, she said something about how my subconscious was trying to figure out where to put him now that he was gone. It's weird, but as soon as we talked about it, I never had the icky dreams again. So maybe, like someone said above, this is your brain's way of making a final peace.

Or: here's a true story. I dated this guy for a few months. I knew, really knew, he was the one, even though he was a mess sometimes. Then he dumped me. On New Year's Eve. I was a wreck. Forever, I was wrecked. But for some reason, months later we ended up being friends, I mean, real, true, tell each other about your new boyfriend friends. We were friends for a couple years. Then when my dad got sick, he was the very first person I called. Three months later, we moved in together. Our 11 year anniversary is in 15 days.

So. You never know.

Blogger Itinerant Agonist said...

Jorge beat me to the Good Will Hunting-like speech; But it really is not your fault. It is very brave and bold of you to share this and I hope it provides you a therapeutic release. But enough platitudes from me... Maybe tonight you can dream of being a Valkyrie, honoring those who have taken a chance on love?

Blogger Christine said...

I have been there, that place where you wonder how your reality could possibly *be* real, because if it was he never would have left. He couldn't have.

Ultimately I chose believe what I saw/felt/lived. In the wise words of Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins,

"What seems to be
Is always better than nothing."

Blogger bandick said...

You remember the posts I wrote in 2004 when I started blogging. I was going through the same thing. And, I think I'm almost there again. If you ever find yourself here again...just make sure it's not with the same guy!

Kisses, Krisser!

Blogger lisa q. said...

i'm so sorry you are feeling this pain...i went the same lack of sleep issues myself...my awake hours were filled with denial...he can't be his best self without me...he has to come back to me...and yet now, 7 months later, i'm not only getting my full night's rest, i am MY best self...the self i could never have been with him...

jorge said it best..."He wasn't strong enough.
It takes a strong man to love such an incredible woman." absolutely the truth...though it sounds hollow and probably cliche, find you...be happy with you...be YOUR best self...that is what will make you happy...that's what will make you whole again...

Blogger Jessica said...

That was lovely. I had an awakening as of late that the man I loved, who had lied and cheated on me contantly, loved me too.

He was just a cheater and a liar.

We as women often think that men are who they appear to be. The interesting ones almost never are.

Blogger kris said...

God, you guys are wonderful. :)

I should clarify that this guy was probably the best boyfriend on the planet -- and when he was, *I* was the shitty one. We tried to work things out and planned to reunite . . . it was only then that he turned into this other person. I definitely played my role before he did. But he really, really surprised me. Like an entirely different guy. Ugh.

Anonymous Maya said...

OH.....Kris. As a veteran of the haunting, so to speak, I sincerely hope that it gets better for you. Someday the dreams will be more like a visiting than a haunting.

Blogger Christine said...

Well, then, it sounds like he was still bitter..probably on some level wanted to hurt you like you hurt him. Simplistic, yes, but oddly I've been there also (in his position, that is), and I found myself wanting to be loving towards this person who had hurt me and YET whom I still loved...I was thrilled to be reunited. But the resentment would just bubble up unexpectedly and express itself in ways that weren't really *me*. The anger was still there; we hadn't had enough time to work through our stuff in our first incarnation, and he thought I had "changed," so the second one was short lived as well.

So you are lucky...he is the guy that you knew. It's that second guy who isn't real.

I don't know what that means for your future, but I really think your past is real.

I have lived every single word you wrote here. Wow!

Blogger Paperback Writer said...

I despise dreams like this...I want to find that little part of my brain that controls these evil dreams and shake it for all it's worth.

Blogger kim said...

It's so worth the crap you have to go through to find the right one. I promise.

Joe Jackson said it best when he said to be kind to yourself 'till you become one of two of a kind...

Hang in there. I've been where you are and it's just plain hard.

Blogger Shawn said...

Late to the party again...but I have three-step process to cure all old relationship woes of the sort you describe.

First, my advice is to not eat that last slice of leftover pizza right before bed. Eating the last slice is known to cause dreams of exes, parties, and exes at parties. And, under no circumstances should you ever eye the leftover Chinese after eating that last slice before going to bed. I don't even want to tell you what kind of dreams that will cause.

Then, you should take your current regret over that relationship gone awry and replace it with an even bigger regret. I offer my services here as many women seem to regret having dated me. Let me - I say gallantly - be your biggest regret.

Finally, you need to become fabulously famous. I'm going to leave this one to you. It would be easier if you were already fabulously famous because you could leverage your fabulousity to gain more fabulousity and achieve even more fame. But, I have faith that you'll come up with something. Reality shows seem to work for a lot of people.

There it is...you'll be cured in no time. Am I a genius? Some say I am, but I prefer to call it a gift.

*** Of course, I could be completely wrong about all this - I am a guy after all and what do we really know about relationships.***

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still had the occasional dream about my ex a couple of years after we split up...it kinda annoyed me that he turned up even in my sleep!

Fwiw, I'm now in love with someone else...and I don't dream about Mr Ex anymore. :)

Blogger Lisa said...

Oh, Kris, I'm sorry. Reading this makes me so sad. The disbelief that some could really not have you in their world and still be OK resonates so deeply. It will go away. I have no idea if it ever goes away completely. But I really effing hope so.

Blogger Bridget Jones said...

OH Kris this hit home. And how beautifully written. I'm an old old lady compared to you, and the only comfort I can offer is that it does go away, but not all at once and never quickly enough.

You deserve better. You are better.

There will be closure, and peace at the end/eventually. But there is a better man for you out there.

No human who ever cared about you would let you suffer like this.

(((((((((hugs))))))))))), prayers and good thoughts.

Blogger GD|BT said...

This is beautifully written.
You've captured each emotion(i think) that each and of us experienced.

It brought tears in my eyes.

Hugs! and Happy Easter!!!

Blogger Mia said...

Amen sister. Pass the wine.

Anonymous Christie said...

Your writing is so beautiful and heartfelt. I'm constantly amazed at how you seem to be able to so tidy-ly (is that a word?) and accurately sum up my feelings.

Onward! It will get better. I have to believe that!

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