Saturday, May 10, 2008

Processing in my sleep

Let me share the nightmare I woke from at 3:30 in the morning. For what it’s worth, I had NOT taken any sort of sleep aid:

I was leaving an abusive relationship. I had five kids, all under 12-ish; the youngest two were babies. I was trying to get them, and enough of our stuff, packed into the car—alone—before my husband got home. (He had been calling on his cell phone, threatening me, and I knew roughly when to expect him.) The older kids knew what was going on, but were off doing their own thing. I started out packing slowly, carefully; ended up just throwing things together in a breathless panic, and wondering how on earth I'd grab the toddlers in time.

High undercurrent of fear. The background music, if you will, was the funeral hymn that my Magic Hands professor (and advisor) had taught us: Hymnal 1982, #355. It’s Eastern Orthodox, and has an eerie, haunting ring to it.

[She says hi, Jane.]

I woke up right at the point where I was closing the last suitcase; the older kids knew I needed help, and we either would have made it, or not.


"Even at the grave we make our song" has become a bit of a mantra. Perhaps I need a new earworm.

And I definitely have more work to do.

Let me say, again, though, that while I am afraid, and I do often feel alone—my community has been fantastic. It’s just that deeply, I know that my body, God, and I need to figure this out. I need your hugs, your touch, your prayer, your e-mails. I need your love. You can, and do, comfort me. I forget the fear when I’m with friends. Alone, it’s stronger than I’d like.

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