Last night, I had a bad dream.
It was a lucid dream. It was a dream that was so real, I woke up in a daze. The lines between sleep and reality were blurred for a long while after the alarm went off, and even after I was up and walking around, the dream clung to me like sticky, wet fog. It clogged up my brain like cotton wool, and stuck behind my eyes like the brightness-burn you get after staring at your computer for too long, when every blink illuminates against the inside of your eyelids a perfect, colorless, reverse image of real life.
The dream I had was about real life, and it still burns.
The life and the dream.
When I was six or seven, I was the target of sexual assault. The abuse lasted almost three years. I don’t think of it often, and until I had a daughter that hit the age I was when it happened, I never thought of it at all. Those memories were dark and ugly, denied and decidedly irrelevant, tucked away in the back-most corners of my head. I didn’t drag them out, I didn’t talk about them, and the armed guard in front of the closet door where they lived knew to not let anyone inside.
There they sat.Read More