I have been having some weird ass dreams lately.
Some dreams involve awful people in my family realizing the enormity of what they’ve done and admitting fault (AHAHAHAHA) and then offing themselves. It’s weird because in my dreams I never see the bodies despite being near the scene but I know what they’ve done in order to kill themselves without being told.
I think my mind is trying to protect me. I kind of wish it wouldn’t though. I get so angry sometimes and it might be therapeutic. I dunno.
Other dreams involve some members of my extended family randomly showing up to throw a party for me, which makes no sense especially with some of them who show up. The people I remember most at the party are the people I do NOT want to see because of how shitty they treated me when I was a child. (If you’re in my extended family and we haven’t talked in like three or four years even on social media? It may include you. #sorrynotsorry.) I was able to stand up (literally) and say I don’t want you here, pushing these people away. I also called people on their shit when they tried to act holier than thou.
Everyone has stinky, stinky shit. Enough.
I don’t like super unplanned interactions especially on that level (my extended family is HUGE) or involving the crappy people. Now that I’m an adult and am learning I have a say in things, I know I don’t have to be around them. It’s so nice.
At the same time, I feel bad. Most of those who treated me poorly likely didn’t realize or notice that there was abuse… and yet, shaming a child for being sick around a holiday or some of these other things aren’t necessarily things you’d need to know about the abuse to not do.
There are well-meaning people who want me to heal the wounds and start speaking to everyone again. I do so very much understand that notion. To me, though, that’s living a lie and I can’t do it. I can’t pretend all of this hurt isn’t here.
Some others in the family are so on board with what I’m saying. There are even people I knew in middle and high school – friends, acquaintances, etc – who have messaged me saying that they knew my immediate family was some kind of weird but not that there was abuse and that they’re sorry they never helped out. A lot of people have stopped talking to certain people in my family completely or at least scaled back the communication.
I never started telling my story to get others on board with what I’m doing. I simply needed to get it out and down on some sort of record so that when I doubt myself I can read the belt story and remember why I’m doing this.
I can accurately say that anyone who has altered relationships based on my story is doing so because they have the truth and not because I’m berating anyone.
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t an awesome feeling to know that others saw or see it now too. Validation does amazing things for those in recovery.
On top of those amazing people in my family, I am blessed to have friends who are crazy supportive. It’s so interesting to me how many other chronically ill people have been in similar relationships with their parents as I have had with my mother and grandmother. That is another validation for me.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t need validation. For the last year, I didn’t have very much because I was more quiet about all of this. It doesn’t mean it’s unhelpful or that affirmation is wrong. Sometimes, honestly, it brings with it something that I need to hear, whether that means knowing I’m not alone or that other people care or that I’m not the insane one.
I think the fact that I’m dreaming about these kinds of things instead of flashbacks means that I’m making progress.
This taking risks thing is actually pretty cool. Maybe my brain is rewarding me for it with these dreams, showing me that I can handle these things.