Monday, 13 June 2011

I hate nightmares.

I just woke up sweating from a nightmare, and since I can't get back to sleep decided I'd blog it. It'll probably sound pretty banal to the untrained eye.

Just to give you a bit of background; I grew up with my father and step-mother. My full sister and I lived with them from when I was about 3 years old and she was about 18 months old. My step-mother had three sons of her own, the youngest of whom is eleven years older than myself. By the time I was a teenager, only the youngest of her sons was still living with us. He had had a few problems in life and turned to alcohol. He had also turned to bullying me, and very occasionally being violent towards me. It was enough to give me a fear for my life, however occasional it may have been. I did not speak to my parents about it, but that in itself somehow lead to massive conflict with them (or so my counselor told me at the time). 

In this dream, some friends of my step mothers were staying at the house. They used to do this frequently; the man of the couple very much took my step mothers side in any argument, probably without thinking logically about it, and as such also had a nasty attitude towards me. Something for which I've never been able to forgive him.

I had been in the kitchen earlier with my step mother shouting at me about something. My step mother and her friend were still in the kitchen, presumably happily going about adult gossip having forgotten that I existed after shouting at me. I had gone from the kitchen to the living room, where I had sat and stared out of the window at the pond. I didn't use to cry; I just stared into space. I saved crying for night when no one could hear me or shout at me for doing so. So I stared at the pond for a while. I left the living room, and started to mount the stairs hearing my dad in the dining room say the word 'printer'. My step mums friends husband came out of the dining room. I don't remember how he approached me, but he addressed me. I slumped down on the stairs, looking down at him through the bannister's, and asked 'What threat now?'. He said 'That attitude; either you get rid of it and you can have the printer, or you don't and you can't!'. My parents were always making promises like this, but no matter how I behaved, how much I bit my tongue and took the bullying or shouting, I never got whatever it was that had been promised.

I was then in my bedroom. Oh hang on, no I wasn't. There was something to do with my nephew; the son of my oldest brother, and trying to take a photo of him. It was a family event, and everyone was taking photos of him with his father. I kept trying to get to the front of everyone so I could take my photo too. The youngest step brother kept getting in the way though. I gave up, and went and sat at a table alone feeling sad.

Then the dream skipped to my bedroom. I was half sitting, half lying on my bed, doing something or other when my brother (the youngest one who lived at home) came barging into my room. The door flung open against my bed, and looming over me, he started shouting at me. I don't remember what he was shouting now, but I could when I woke up earlier; it was something to do with when I'd been trying to take a photo. The weird thing with him was that while I can give him the excuse that alcohol caused his behaviour, he actually behaved in this way without drinking too .. sorry, I just remembered that.

He shouted at me, which in my memory of the dream is just a very loud threatening roar, but did actually have words that made sense in the dream, then he slammed the door. I grabbed my mobile phone, started to type a text to Gareth, but then decided I didn't want to bother him. It had said 'room for one more?'. My brother slammed the door open again, and roared some more. I now cried in my dream, which I would not have in real life, though probably would in real life now I guess. I took my mobile phone and stood by my bedroom window looking at the gravel of the drive below. I had a vague escape plan as a teenager; to jump out my bedroom window if I ever needed to. I didn't seem to realise that it would break my legs. I texted Nomi telling her that I couldn't cope. For some reason she had thought I was in a hospital and texted back saying that she knew the hospital was green. Typical dream; has to have something completely nonsensical in it!

It's a kind of confusion of memory and dream really. I would have had no use for a printer for example, and obviously did not have a mobile phone until years later. I did not know Gareth or Nomi back then either. The feelings of the dream were very real, and I will probably have a good cry when I close my computer down. One of my friends suggested the other day that I may have PTSD because of the things my brother did to me as a teenager. I don't really remember very many of them, and I'm not familiar with PTSD so I couldn't guess. I suspect that conversation is what triggered this dream though.

Sometimes I wish I had done things differently. But I don't think it would have helped. Had I told my parents what my brother was doing, it would not have helped me have a better relationship with them, which even now is very strained over 15 years on in my life. Instead it would have meant that both he and I had a strained relationship with them, or I had no relationship at all with any of my family, since they have a tendency to disbelieve anything and everything I tell them, up to and including that I am ill with CFS. It makes me sad and angry that he does have such a good relationship with them, and I never will. I have come to terms with it in a way, but will always mourn losing my father, even though he's still alive.

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