They’re Just Dreams

Just over a year ago, I had a dream that T&R had put Nadira into an institution because she had been diagnosed with depression, at the ripe old age of 4. The dream took place in the institution – I was standing in a room with T, looking through a one-way mirror into a room where Nadira sat on a chair in a circle with several other children, who were presumably there for the treatment of similar ailments. There was a woman there too, on her own chair in the circle. She was talking to the kids, and Nadira was sitting there calmly listening, but I lost it. I began to cry, and begged T to bring her home. I told her that I knew it was hard, but that we’d all help her, and please please don’t keep Nadira in there, please bring her home.

I woke up from that dream crying, and called T immediately to make sure Nadira was okay, which of course, she was.

Almost exactly a year later, I have another dream. This time, I’m on the second floor of a school, looking through a window into the gymnasium on the first floor. Nadira is there, as she is now at 5 years old, in her gym class with several other girls. Nadira is content playing on her own, but I can her the other girls talking behind her back, saying “she’s so mean” and “she’s so selfish, she never shares” and “I hate her”. Then one of the girls walks up behind Nadira, grabs her by the hair, throws her on the floor and proceeds to beat on her. And nobody does anything. I begin crying and screaming for somebody to help, but for the few more moments that I lived this dream, nobody helped her, and I didn’t know how to stop it.

Again, I woke up crying hysterically. I couldn’t even talk for several minutes to explain why I was crying – probably not a nice situation for the company I kept that night to wake up to himself.

I relayed this dream to T, and we talked about the similarities to the dream I had the year before. Nadira being in a bad situation, being unable to help, always watching from the outside. Nadira of course is fine, and T asked the inevitable question: “Are you sure these dreams are about Nadira? Maybe in your dream she represents someone else…maybe you?”

Nadira is a crazy, kooky, amazing kid. She’s loud and outgoing, and in many of her loud and boisterous ways, she’s like neither of her parents. They are both so easy going and relaxed, and she’s always on 11. She does remind me a lot of me when I was little. Maybe it is me in the dreams after all.

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Black Cloud

There is a monster on the television show LOST. To call it a monster sounds a bit simple and childish, but that’s what they call it. They don’t know what it is or where it came from. It comes out of nowhere – though often it is probably triggered by something. Maybe if they knew the trigger they could stop it.

It is a huge, black, dense cloud of smoke. It comes from above or under the ground or out of the woods. It appears out of nowhere, and then wraps itself around you, enveloping you, suffocating you. Or it can grab your legs right out from underneath you and pull you down into a hole that’s impossible to get out of. While you’re in that hole, or enveloped, suffocating in the black cloud, you can hear the monster mimicking your own voice, telling everyone you’re okay. You don’t know how to stop it, or at least how to use your own voice to say you’re not okay, and you need help.

For me, depression is that black cloud. Usually triggered by something – any myriad of things. I know I spend my life standing on the brink, waiting for it again. It grabs me out of nowhere, enveloping me and suffocating me. Or it grabs my legs and pulls me down, further and further underground. I hear my own voice saying I’m okay. So often that’s not true, but I don’t know how to stop it. I don’t know how to get out of its grip, and get away.

So I run. I put my running shoes on, and sometimes a hat, and sometimes gloves, and sometimes when it’s so cold that my eyelashes freeze together and sometimes when it’s so hot that I’ve been on the verge of heatstroke. I run. I run because I often feel that it’s the only thing that keeps that black cloud at bay, but sometimes it’s like I just can’t run fast enough or far enough. It’s always nipping at my heels, waiting for me to stumble so it can grab me and feed on me once more.

I’ve gotten better at recognizing the signs when it’s coming. I can sense it before it grabs me full force. Sometimes I can stop it, but when I can’t, I know what I need to do. I run.