*Warning to abuse survivors, there may be emotional triggers in this post*
Sometimes at night, if I eat chocolate before bed, I have really weird dreams.
But I didn’t have any chocolate last night, so I’m not sure about this one.
I was a woman living at home with her parents. An adult, but I still had school, because in the dream I was getting ready for school. I’m not sure if that was college or not. Anyway, in the dream I still had my dog and she still had arthritis so I was getting ready to give her pain meds with her food when I realized someone had already fed her and the bottle of meds was missing. I asked my stepdad who had fed the dog and where was her medicine. He said he didn’t know. I don’t know why, but I got irrationally angry. I tore about the kitchen looking for these meds and I found the bottle, which was open. Great! Now I didn’t know whether or not she had her meds. I continued to freak out and yell at my stepdad who then walked over and told me to stop freaking out about the medicine. I yelled something at him and he replied, calmly, by saying something about the way I feel about marriage.
This was totally out of the blue and I don’t remember what he said, but I remember thinking he was wrong. I remember feeling helpless, like I could keep telling him he was wrong but it didn’t matter because he would never believe me. So I was arguing with him now, not about the dog’s meds, but about how wrong he was, even while I was thinking “What does that have to do with my dog not getting pain medication?” So… then he tries to give me a hug. A very awkward hug. And that’s when it happened. I started to cry and push him away, not wanting him to hug me. I didn’t want him to touch me at all. The feeling of helplessness continued to get stronger and I began sobbing, still trying to push and push and push, but he kept hugging me.
Why would I be so afraid of a hug? Well, I am an abuse survivor. And said abuse was received by my stepdad. So while he’s trying to hug me, the thoughts that race through my head are along the lines of: Don’t touch me. Don’t hug me. You don’t love me. You’re just looking for an excuse to touch me. You’re manipulating me. And no, I’m not damaged for life.
But what was even more strange was the tears. They weren’t normal tears. Blood was pouring from my eyes, soaking my clothes and no matter how much I wiped from my face, I could feel it all over me. Even in the dream, I didn’t know why I was crying blood tears. When he finally let me go, he went upstairs to tell my mom that I needed to take a shower. While he did this, I looked in the mirror and tried my best to wipe the blood from my face. It was impossible. I was able to clear away my face and eyes, but it was all over my hair and my t-shirt was drenched. I looked like a murder victim. I felt like a disaster. I didn’t want to take a shower. I wanted to leave.
Then I woke up.
This is an extremely dark blog post and very personal. I didn’t really want to write it, but I thought maybe if I did someone else could relate and perhaps it could help.
My stepdad died about two years ago. When he did, I had another dream about him in which he was begging me to forgive him. I woke up and I, being a born again Christian, prayed about it… and I forgave him. Finally. I thought I could never do it. And I sort of felt like a cop out because I had forgiven him only after he died… but I found it hard to forgive someone who I thought had ruined my life (I say “thought” because at this point in time I don’t feel like my life is ruined). I find it hard to forgive anyone who preys upon children. But God makes it very clear how he feels about forgiveness…
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
We have to remember that Jesus paid the price for everyone. We are all sinners and in His eyes all of our sins weigh the same.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (23) If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”
John 20:22-23 ESV
If you withhold forgiveness. Who are we to withhold forgiveness if we’re not to judge or condemn? Now I understand. God forgives everyone who repents. If God forgives my stepdad and I don’t… it’s like I’m saying I think God is wrong. I don’t. He knows much more than I do. It’s quite a humbling thought.
So I have forgiven him… but the blood tears in my dream make me wonder if there’s something else going on in my head that I haven’t quite figured out yet. I’m reminded of Lady MacBeth washing her hands in her sleep thinking she’s washing the blood off her hands. Except in my dream I was looking at myself in the mirror, confused as to why I was soaked in blood and only feeling like I needed to get out of the situation and fast.
Well… I have run out of time once again. I leave you with this eerie, awkward, and somber post, but I assure you that I am not depressed! In fact, I’m actually looking forward to a beautiful day. Church with my son and a super fun show at the Queen this afternoon!
If you have any thoughts to share, please do! Dream interpretations and survivor stories welcome 🙂