1. I have not yet been able to navigate my dreams solely on my own--aggravating, but true. I've tried to go solo with no success, but at some point I have to be able to change the outcomes by myself.
2. The memories are now firmly entrenched in my mind and insert themselves randomly, unbidden, in my daily thoughts. I don't know how I can expect to control those memories at night when I can't seem to keep them at bay when I'm conscious. Frustrating.
3. I suppose the biggest problem is that the dreams are my reality. I can't say much about this because it makes me feel like I might explode. I don't want the dreams. I don't want the reality. There is nothing I can do about it...but when I gain superpowers, one of those will be to remove this part of me. And please don't say anything about how it's made me a better, stronger person, it's a part of me, and everyone has a cross to bear. There are many crosses which, in my opinion, should never have to be borne. I suppose that's why I'll never be "super". God knows I'd remove my own cross, delete my own past, and actually live.
Last night Darrin suggested I go to bed at a reasonable hour (10:30 p.m.). So I did. I was asleep almost immediately. Right away, as if it had been lying in wait, the dream began. I used all my methods to direct and control it. I thought I was having some success because the dream was definetely changing. It became bigger, more frightening. My cousin, who until now has been mostly faceless and expressionless, became an interactive being. I have often been able to remove myself from the situation, and while I was still forced to watch, I was able to be separate from the actual experience. Last night I could not separate, and endured every second of what was forced on me once again--but it seemed so much more angry and brutal. I felt a pressing need to die, something I've not recognized in the dreams before.
Darrin woke me before the dream had run it's course. Not even 30 minutes had elapsed since I had fallen asleep. I heard him say, "Sam, wake up. It's okay. You're okay." But he's wrong. I'm not okay. I woke with a terrifying need to apologize to him for the simple fact that I exist. I'm sorry, Darrin, that I can't make this go away. I'm sorry that I asked you to go through all the stuff that exists because of messed-up me. I'm sorry that I can't shove everything under the rug anymore. I'm sorry that I can't sleep, that I keep having nightmares. I'm sorry, Darrin, that I live. I'm so sorry.
I didn't say it. And Darrin mumbled something about oranges as he went back to sleep.
The most horrible aspect of the nightmares is that in the aftermath I am overwhelmed with loneliness, sadness, and utter despair. I watched Darrin sleep for a long time, fighting the urge to wake him, to ask him to hold me. To tell me again that I'm okay in spite of the fact that I feel I will never be okay. I walked upstairs to my daughter's bedroom and looked carefully at the almost 12-year-old Tabitha, who is similar in size to young Samantha. I wanted to understand how someone could look at me and enact the things I had just seen in my sleep. She looked innocent and beautiful...did I not look the same?
Sometime after midnight I went back to bed. I did the careful visualizations I've worked on for the past three months. It seemed easier this time. When I went to sleep I wasn't alone. This time when the dream came I was successful at its direction, and once again I dreamed about being asleep, protected and loved. The only problem is, it's not real.