October 25, 2009

Manifestations of Fear

"I awoke only to find my lungs empty,
And through the night, so it seems I'm not breathing.
And now my dreams are nothing like they were meant to be,
And I'm breaking down, I think I'm breaking down.
And I'm afraid to sleep because of what haunts me..."
- Sleeping Sickness, City and Colour.

1) A month or so back, I had a doozy of a nightmare. Or so I kept describing it. I was screaming Jackie's name in my nightmare and woke up in tears. She was drowning. Went after a bandana. These guys were laughing and making fun of the situation and I was yelling at them and they realized it was serious because we couldn't see Jackie anymore. Beach-ish area. And then there were all these dead bodies floating to shore and people were pulling them to the sand. And then I was screaming in a major panic for Jackie. We see her float to the shoreline and I ran to her screaming her name...but some guy...either a firefighter or a lifeguard got to her first. She was still holding onto the bandana in her mouth and I was yelling her name hysterically and she opened her eyes feebly, and I woke up.

2) I had a similar nightmare with Charlie. But with him, I was out walking him and he broke free and took off down the street - right in the middle of it. I think he disappeared from sight and of course I was screaming for him. It's a bit hazy, but I think someone came to try and help me. I have a feeling of getting into a car with someone and zooming around trying to find him. Then I woke up.

3) This is a recurring theme/situation and I don't know why it keeps haunting me. Okay, that's not true. I know why it's haunting me but I don't know why it's surfacing now after all these years have passed. It's most likely because I have repressed memories and they need to be dealt with. It's what warranted the post titled Tortured Mind. Images have resurfaced clearly, a little too clearly, and part of me is still afraid. Sometimes I feel like it's on the tip of my tongue but I can't say it. I can't speak about it. I think I tried once, but it fell through rather miserably. I just hope I don't scream it out loud some day.

Dream #1 I have no explanation to offer. It makes no sense to me. Dream #2 is obvious. It is one of my fears - Charlie is so unruly - that scenario may very well turn to fact if I don't train him better. Dream #3 I want to run from. The way I wake up from it is - well, screaming. And I'd rather run from it than deal with it or face it, even though given my current state of mind I know that I'm working on things. However, I wish this had stayed repressed (I don't know if I mean that or not).

Fear can be debilitating. It can be difficult to overcome. It depends on the degree of fear, the will of the person, as well as inner and mental strength. Fear can numb you, still you, make you hide things, pull you into depression, make you an angry person, make you distrustful. When you find it in yourself to try and overcome your fears, sometimes you find that the thing you thought was scary... wasn't really as bad as you initially felt. Else, you find unbelievable relief and inner strength and confidence. I don't present myself as a person who is afraid. And for the most part, these days I am not. However, I still remember the times when I spent most of my time reading as opposed to playing. I still remember how I chose to smile and stay silent instead of actually expressing an opinion. As I was growing up, family would say I was such a quiet child. No one would say that about me now. Believe it or not, I had to push myself to start expressing myself verbally. A memory that came to mind was a good friend of mine yelling at me over the phone saying, "will you please show some emotion and sound excited at least?". And I do mean yelling at me. Expression has become even more necessary following my divorce. Which is all good and fine because I chose to make these changes. And I'm the better for it. The point to all this is, there are so many people out there who do things or don't do things based on fear. Wise people have said that the only thing to fear is fear itself. I think it's true. I was going to say I've overcome a number of fears, but then I realize that it's a work in progress. Constant sometimes.

However, the last time I felt safe was when I was 8 or 12. The time line is blurry. It was during one of our summer vacations back in India. During that visit, my grandfather's home had been turned into flats (apartments) and there were a lot of new kids to play with. The game for that day was hide and seek. I was the seeker at one round and when I finished counting I guess I found a few people. But I couldn't go any further. The recollection is hazy because it's come about thanks to dream #3 and it was quite a while back. Anyway, I don't know how this older person happened along. But, he was the building owner's son and he came over and looked at me with such concern and said to the other kids, "evo rombha bhaipadara" (she is very scared). Then he held my hand and helped me
seek out the other kids. I adored him in that moment. It was the last time someone held my hand and made me feel safe. That feeling of being safe is not easy to find in this world. But, I realize I cannot go around hiding because I just don't want fear to be the reason that I don't live my life the way I wish to since I can't predict the future nor can I alter my past.

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." - Dorothy Thompson

1 comment:

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Vee
I hope and trust you have some sweeter dreams. On Monday night I singed a post card with Gary to send on to you!! It’s good you’re able to express your fears and feelings on your blog since creative writing can be therapeutic.