I’m lying there, ready to sleep, or so I thought anyways. The sun is starting to come up already, maybe 5am? I digress, that’s probably not important to the story.
So I close my eyes, for some reason feeling a little different about my ability to sleep than usual. I fully believe it possible, even though it is rarely so. My head starts drifting. I probably think I am drifting into sleep, into a dream. But I am not. This is not a dream. I am fully awake. Were I not drifting off somewhere I could quite easily have opened my eyes and carried on with my night of frustrated awakeness, distracting myself with words and music and poetry, and mindless romantic comedies where she always finds her happily ever after.
No, this is no dream. I know where this place is, how it feels to go there, I can picture it now as clear as the clearest picture perfect blue ocean. But this is not perfect, it is not beautiful. This is a horror vision. You there and me. And oh, oh I cannot speak it and I do not want to think of it any longer, not long enough to give it words.
My body becomes frozen at the viewing. I literally cannot move parts of my body though my mind is trying to make it move – it’s the only way I think I might be able to get out of this terrorising scene, to physically move the parts of my body that I see being used so destructively. But I cannot. I am stuck, like sleep paralysis, only I am not asleep, nor have I been asleep.
Before long, well who knows how long, I come back into awareness. Battered, bruised, but nothing to show for it, not on the outside anyway. I’m tired. Oh so tired. I see a childhood teddy, a beloved childhood teddy poking out of the cupboard and I go to get her. I hold her tightly as I tuck myself back under the covers.
The sun is up now. Fully. But I cannot bear to face the day. And I am tired, still as tired as I was. No, more so now. There’s no chance of sleep. Not right away. But I shut my eyes. There’s nothing else I can face but the dark surface of my inner eyelids. And I spend the next twelve hours, longer, just starring at them.
Finally I’m ready to move, to get up and face the life I need to be active in. The life where I have to be a fully grown adult and make steps to keep myself functioning and seeming like I have my shit together.
So I forget your image, I push it as far to the corners of my mind as I possibly can because I have no time for it now. I have no time, or energy, to spend on you. And in all honesty it feels too painful to recall now.
I continue on. Maybe 50 hours pass, maybe a little longer. But there you are again. Here. Now. Reminding me that I saw these images, I had that moment, I can push and push and push it all down as much as I like but until I deal with it, even just a little bit, it is going to keep returning, each time with that bit more bite and that bit more vengeance than the time before.
But I can’t. Not now. I cannot picture you again. Not for a second longer. So off your image goes, off your memory goes, back down to the recesses of my mind so I can continue on as the fully functioning adult I am pretending to be until the next time you decide to remind me that we have unfinished business. It won’t be long. You’re hammering on the door as we speak. But for right now I am resolved to keeping you out, to forcing you to break it down if you are so insistent on getting in as I am sure as I am that night follows day and day follows night that I will not be opening it for you now, I will not be welcoming you into my vision. Not today. Not right now.
Yes I am avoiding. Yes it is a pretence of the greatest proportions because what I saw is earth-shattering. And yes I know it helps nothing in the long run. But it is my choice. And right now I choose push you and your dark images away, even if only for a short while until you take my choice away and flood me with all of the emotion this memory carries.