“Suffer the Children”

Tonight I went to bed at 10 and woke up to my own strained voice, shouting, “Mama!  Mama!”  Every dream I am crying out to her for help.  And she’s not hearing me.  I’m walking in the dark downstairs trying to find a blanket.  Something was scary, and wrong in the house, in my room.  So Carrie and I were moving into her room in the middle of the night.  It was huge.  We spread blankets out on the floor.  But they didn’t have enough for me.  And I didn’t have a nightgown.  I didn’t have something to wear to protect me, or blankets to keep me warm.  So I went downstairs.  It was creepy, lit by just a tiny light I was carrying, with shadows and messes everywhere, piles of things in the dining room and hallway coming out of the dark.  I still couldn’t find something to wear.  I got scared.  It felt like someone was there.  I ran up the stairs.  I leaned over the bannister because I heard someone.  And I saw him, in a grey hoodie.  He was tall and large, moving quickly to the door of the kitchen, I started screaming for my mom but she didn’t hear me, or believe that we were in danger, even though I was right in front of her bedroom door.  And I woke up.  Trying and failing to scream.

My heart racing and eyes wide, there was no way I could lull myself to sleep so the next few hours I spent reading about recurring nightmares and how to stop them.  Exercise.  Don’t eat before bed.  Don’t drink alcohol.  Don’t eat sugar.  Cut down on caffeine. Play more.  All of the things I have tried to do again and again but sometimes relapse into an average life of eating sugar and having a glass of wine before bed.  I feel though, like I have given up everything.  Dancing.  Singing.  Studies.  I’m suffocating.  I am robbing myself of life and freedom by living with my mother.  I didn’t had these dreams while living alone, or with roommates.  It has only been since moving home that these have inflicted my every week.  However, I know this is a transition, a period in my life of what feels like confinement, while I address my future.  It does not make sense to sign a lease on an apartment for a few months if I am about to move out of the country.  So at this time, I must keep my heart open, take care of my needs, and listen to the nightmares that return.

It is always a burglar.  Sometimes his purpose is not to steal, but to murder me.  Dreams about burglary can mean “feeling that something has been taken from you without being able to control it.”  Feeling dishonest and sneaky.  It can mean feelings of insecurity about losing power or stability.  Feeling violated on a personal,  emotional level or material level. All of these apply to me.  It’s like a mound of feelings with thousands of layers of earth, each different, deeper and deeper, and my vines are struggling to grow until I give them the nutrients they need.  My therapist told me I have all of these emotions that I am not letting out, and that I must express myself creatively.  I feel like I may explode.  So through reading other’s poetry, lyrics, novels… I find inspiration.  These lyrics are very close to how I feel… a feeling of neglect, sadness, and nightmares.

 “It’s a sad affair
When there’s no one there
He calls out in the night
And it’s so unfair
At least it seems that way
When you gave him his life

And all this time he’s been getting you down
You ought to pick him up when there’s no one around
And convince him
Just talk to him
’cause he knows in his heart you won’t be home soon
He’s an only child in an only room
And he’s dependent on you
Oh he’s dependent on you

And it seems so strange
That at the end of the day
Making love can be so good
But the Pain of birth
What is it worth
When it don’t turn out the way it should

And all this time he’s been getting you down
You ought to pick him up when there’s no one around
And convince him
Just talk to him
’cause he knows in his heart you won’t be home soon
He’s an only child in an only room
And he’s dependent on you
Oh, he’s dependent on you

…Suffer, suffer the children”

-Tears for Fears, 1981

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