Five A.M. Minus One

"..a normal reaction to abnormal events" – Beverly Donovan, on PTSD

I bolted up in bed and turned my head to the left to view the small clock. The amber glowing letters indicated it was 5 a.m. Mentally, I quickly deduct one hour from the displayed time to determine it is actually 4 a.m. My son never changed his alarm clock to adjust for daylight savings time. He likes it that way.  “It makes me feel I am sleeping later, Mom”.

Sleeping in my sons twin bed for the night (the boys had commandeered mine and I did not feel like squeezing in), caused me to sleep fitfully. Adding to the small bed discomfort, thunder roared overhead and rain began to fall much like the tears from my eyes as I gasped for breath.

I was awakened by the sound of someone crying. Concerned it was one of my children, I woke and listened for another cry. It was not heard. It took me a few moments to realize the moans that woke me were my own.

A bad dream. A recurrent dream. A reunion dream. Well, hello again, adoption nightmares. Its been a while. What? At least a few months, no?

A quick scan of my blog indicates that my last adoption related nightmare was on September 11, 2007. 

Last nights dream was indeed reunion based and appeared to take place at daughters  home. Granted, I have never been to her adoptive family home but I have seen pictures and even Google mapped it (satellite view included).  Of course, this “home” was just in my dreams. It was not their real home.

In the dream, I was there with her. I don’t recall how or why I was there or how I had gotten there. She was having a party and was not entirely pleased that I was there. She was trying to hide me from everyone but most importantly her adoptive mother. At some point in the dream, I am sitting on a futon on a screened in porch. It is dark. Adoptive mom comes into the room and daughter tries to push me away so adoptive mom doesn’t see me. (There is a strong resemblance between my daughter and I and one could likely see that.). 

(Adoptive mom in my dreams bears no physical resemblance to real adoptive mom. I have seen pictures of her.)

Daughter pushes me behind some people. I am conflicted and angry and confused. Her hiding me triggers all my old trauma of people being embarrassed and ashamed of me and having to lock me away. I want to lash out and stand up and resist her forcing me into hiding but I do not.  I worry if I object to her actions I may ruin any chance I have of getting to know her.

I am alone in a dark corner and adoptive mom appears in front of me, above me, looking down at me in the dark.  She grabs my head forcibly and pulls me up, making me stand.

She has an odd look on her face. She begins to scream – LOUD. All party goers turn their head towards us.

“I know who you are!”  she screams. “Why are you hiding your face?”

She is happy, anxious, wanting to show me off to the party goers.  Her demeanor is forceful. Too forceful, abrupt, even vengeful.

Daughter is NOT happy that I have been discovered and that adoptive mom is now parading me around. I have been bad. Daughter is mad at me. I did not behave as she wanted me to.

Adoptive mom forces us to stand together and she is taking pictures.  I am staring at daughter. She is distant, angry. Avoiding me.  I am screaming inside. I want to hold her. Pull her to me. Make her talk to me.

She doesn’t. I am crying inside. So much I want to say to her but she wont look at me.

At this point, the silent scream of my dream becomes audible to those in my real world, myself included.

I wipe the tears from my eyes, fluff my pillow, lay back and listen to the rain fall.

4 Thoughts.

  1. This makes me so incredibly sad for so many reasons. First and foremost that you have to live with the pain and nightmares. Second that your daughter hasn’t yet been able to open up to a deeper relationship.
    And third, it makes me sad because it shows how complicated adoption is, especially when adoptive parents are unable to provide the support their children need to develop strong and healthy relationships with their families.
    I’m just so sorry, Suz, that you go through this. Sorry and very sad.

  2. The only recurring nightmare I had was the one of giving birth to my son and his being taken away. It stopped after we were reunited. Now when he appears in my dreams, they aren’t nightmares so much as my brain working out whatever is currently going on between us. The subconscious is always hard at work. And without something concrete to focus on, an actual relationship with your daughter, it goes to some very strange and scary places.
    I’m so sorry for what you are going through, Suz. Holding onto hope that this will change, sooner than later.

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