Reunion Dreams and Nightmares

I woke up lightly whimpering, like an injured animal.  I could feel the look of pain on my face without even having a mirror to see the reflection. My facial muscles felt stressed as if they had been worked out while I slept.  I sat up, looked toward my partner and exhaled a sign of relief that I had not woken him. He was resting peacefully.

I visited the bathroom and sat on the toilet longer the needed. My heart was aching. I was uncertain if I could go back to sleep as I feared the nightmarish dream I was having would continue and/or I would fall back asleep start whimpering again and this time wake my fiance.

The reunion dream.


I hate this.

No matter how good I think I am doing, how well I am functioning in my waking hours, my sleep and my subconscious join forces and attack me when my guard is down.

The last dream like this I had involved me hiding in a party crowd at my daughters adoptive home. In that dream I was hiding, by her request, from her adoptive mother. In this dream, she came to me. More precisely, she came to my parents home.

I was sitting on the floor in my parents living room with my sister, mother and others that I could not identify.  The television was on. My younger sister (said sister that was instrumental in me finding my daughter and author of My Sisters Eyes) was sitting on the floor with me and we were doing some sort of craft project. 

Windows and doors were open. It was summer time.  We heard footsteps on the front porch. Someone approached the screen door and at that point my younger sister turned and said incredibly casually (too casually for the circumstances) “Oh, hi, [my daughters amended name]”.

My head whipped around and I found myself frozen and unable to speak. She looked demure, impish, and uncomfortable. It was odd. It was clearly summer yet she was bundled up as if it was mid-December. Hat, scarf, layers, lots of bags.  She looked like a homeless person trying to keep warm by wearing all the clothes they own.

Flash to another scene where she and I are walking together, in my hometown, the town she likely would have been raised it had I not gone away to Chicago.  We are walking towards the beach. She is taking pictures, not talking much. I am awkward and talking too much or not at all or in jumbled phrases with broken thoughts laced with massive anxiety.

There is a familiarity, a comfort yet there are barriers, strangeness, discomfort. Time has passed on this walk. The day is drawing to an end. She makes reference to having to catch a train back to Brooklyn. Panic runs through me. I don’t want her to leave. So much to say, so much unsaid, so much.

We continue walking. I suddenly want a picture. Of us. Finally. Together.  I don’t have a camera. She does. Yet I feel she wont take a picture and if she does, she wont send it to me. I ask if she has time for us to drive to my home so I can get something. I live an hour away and her train schedule is looming.

I am aware there is not rush for her to get home. She just wants to leave. No work the following day.  Just a desire to escape, get away from me, from us.

She agrees to go to my home.

We drive.

We arrive. I invite her in. She refuses and prefers to stay in the car.

I get my camera.

When I return to her in the car, she sees the camera. She is angry. Very angry. I am afraid. I don’t want to make her angry. All I want is a picture.


She agrees but her face is angry and barely visible beneath all the clothing she wears (to shield herself?). I snap a few pictures of me standing next to her. I want to put my arm around her. To pull her close yet I sense she wont allow that and it will make her angrier. So we stand there. Me, mother, confused, frightened, happy, anxious, sad.  Her. Daughter that is not a daughter. Emotionless.

I offer to drive her to the train. She refuses. She will walk.

She leaves. I crumple to the ground.

I cry. I have trouble breathing. My throat constricts. I moan and groan. I feel the Fessler effect coming on.

I turn my camera one and review the pictures.  I finally have a picture of me and my daughter. I can tell my blog friends.


As my mood begins to turn more positive, I hit the review button to get to the pictures of us.

Well, of me.

I am there. Alone on the right side of the photo frame.

She is not next to me. She is nowhere to be seen in the photo.

I wake up crying.

(ETA: Tommorrow, June 28th, will mark six years of my non-reunion).

3 Thoughts.

  1. How awful Suz. I’m sorry. I too had an adoption horror themed nightmare the other night. I hear you.

  2. A stress dream, Suz. I have them all the time when something is going on, or a significant date is approaching. Not dismissing the impact. They are horrible. And come without conscious warning. It sound like my May every year: Mother’s Day and then my son’s birthday. Even when it’s not in the forefront of my mind, it rears it’s ugly head.

    BIG HUGS to you at this time. It doesn’t dismiss the trauma, but do try to focus on the wonderful things in your life. It may help you get through. XO

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