The shoebox underneath my bed.
And the ghost that haunts my dreams.
I woke up again in a cold sweat, from the same nightmare that felt all too real.
I could hear you laughing and you were standing almost close enough to touch. You were standing off to the side of my view, so I could not clearly see your face.
"I would know if it was not YOU" I was repeating under my breathe. Wouldn't I know?
Wouldn't I know after so many months, stacked up like rollover minutes that carried over this elaborate plan to give me the support I need - only to find out the minutes meant nothing at all. It was all a scheme to get me paying for my own losses.
I do know, now that I am awake, that it was all a dream.
Just a dream I concocted in order to fill up some kind of need.
That is what a therapist would say. That we all just love versions of someone that do not even exist, until we come to terms with all the ways we were neglected and pained in our youth.
I rub my frizzed hair out of my face and squint my eyes, swallowing a bad taste in my throat. I look around and don't even know what time it is.
It was one of those dreams that took me somewhere else, like a different dimension. And now that I have arrived back in my timeline I just feel lost.
The dream was so much easier to exist in. It made sense having you there once upon a time. It made sense hearing your voice and having purpose through what I provided for you.
I existed because you needed to be provided for.
I looked forward to the next time you would grace me with your presence so I could fill up your cup.
I looked forward to the feeling of being needed, to tip the scales in a favorable direction. To keep you balanced.
I had a reason back then to keep showing up too.
I was the person who took the time to know you and all your secrets. I was the one who sat silent and hung on every word like drops of gold were leaking from your mouth. Like I was receiving a gift by knowing more, more than anyone else ever did.
I had figured out early on that I was the lucky one.
The chosen one.
Unlike everyone else, I knew you.
I got to hear the stories about how your parents broke you down, rule by rule and consequence by consequence. How their harsh and abrasive ways made you feel unloved.
How I loved you in a way that actually made you feel seen.
I got to hear the stories about how your previous relationships were $hit because you were misunderstood. You were used. You were mistreated. You were not valued.
But that's not what they told me. Yes, actually many of them surfaced over time, to tell me different pieces of the puzzle. But instead of building it out to see the final picture, I buried these little jagged-edged pieces into a metaphorical shoebox. I kept the cover on tight, so I could know that each piece existed but not have to look at them and be reminded of the task at hand.
The thing I should have done so much sooner. To have looked at the big picture would have shattered the whole dream, wouldn't it?
It's funny how this dream comes to me.
I can hear you and sense you but I can never actually see your face. It's how I realize it is not real. No matter how much I want to turn to my left and smile at you, I just can't. I can't get myself to.
There are two ways to look at it.
One. My brain is piecing together the bits of you that I considered to be real and putting them together in this dream as a way for me to preserve you. Since so much time has passed and all I have left are these little snippets of you that remind me of moments we had.
Two. Worse. The only thing my brain will accept anymore are the pieces of you that were not fabricated. And that has left very little left for me to even remember.
My resentment won't allow me to turn to face you.
Because the truth is, I never really knew you at all.
In my wake, I process this and feel so much rage. But I know I have to swallow the words. Not because I cannot send you a message or call you. It's because my words would fall on deaf ears.
The person I wish to rationalize with does not exist.
Mental health blogger, content creator, and creative writer. I write about trauma, mental health, and holistic wellness to empower other trauma survivors. Follow my blogs @Jadedsaviorblog @Startthrivingnotsurviving linktr.ee/jeangrey888