Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why Can't I Kill Him?

He keeps coming to me in dreams. For twenty or more years, maybe thirty or forty, I have been meeting him at my dream-door and trying to kill him.

So far, no good.

My blows are ineffectual and I never have a knife when I need it.

I know that now if he is alive, he is so old and suffering from Alzheimers and doesn't remember shit but none of that matters because in my dreams, he is still very much alive and his intent is evil.

"Go away!" I tell him in my dreams! "You cannot hurt me any more."

And still, there he is.

All the years of therapy, all the years of safety, all the years of goodness, and he is still there.

And my mother keeps staying with him, even though in my dreams I tell her over and over again how evil he is, how much he threatens me and my brothers. I keep finding her in bed with him, in those dream rooms.

Fifty-seven years old and I am a grandmother and still.


I do not know where pedophilia comes from. I do not know why it occurs. Some deep junk-bond of a DNA strand.

I am part of the whatever-huge-percent of people who were molested as children. We do not march or protest (mostly) and we get no god damn "special" benefits.
We just are.
Our molesters were scout leaders and priests, coaches and band leaders. Teachers and young-adult education specialists.
Our pedophile rapists were uncles and stepfathers and brothers and mothers and next-door neighbors.

We may survive and we may stop the buck here but we never, as far as I can see, stop having nightmares and if we are fortunate (blessed/lucky/smart) enough to stop that buck we will go to our graves fearing we did not.

That our children might have suffered what we did and in loving us, never told us.
In loving us, did as we did.
Kept our mouths shut.

Mostly I am okay with it all. I know that all of us- every one- suffered something horrible in our childhoods.
But sometimes it just breaks through the membrane of it all and I am enraged once again.

If he would just stop showing up in my dreams.
If I could just admit that although I loved him with all of my heart and saw him as a savior, a father, he betrayed us all and it was not my fault.

If I just had a knife in my dreams. If I just had some power in my dreams. If I just had more than a voice and fists that did nothing at all to stop him. I pummel him with those fists and he just steps on through the doorway.

So that. That is where my dreams take me. No matter what form they take or what the present stories are, that is what they are bringing me.

And tomorrow? I may wake up at five-thirty and get up and be ready for Owen to come at six and be happy and content. I may well be.

But for right now, this second, I am afraid to go to sleep because he may show up again.

Well. Sundays.

They can be hard. No matter what.


  1. Oh god Mary. I hate that this asshole is still in your dreams. I hate that Sundays are hard for you this way...they are for me too, although not for this reason, but still. You and I are soulmates in this way. Love.

  2. Oh--

    I'm sending you a dream-knife, Ms. Moon. A friend once said to me, of my abusive ex, 'stop thinking about him, Sara, you're just letting him live rent-free inside your head." He's not living rent free, I said, he's a fucking squatter. I, and I'm sure many of us in the ether, are going to be wishing you all the dream knives and fists, and hoping you'll remember in that dream that you've got a whole truckload of knives. Or perhaps just for your dream-self to shut the door, shut him out. Leave him in the cold night air,a nd go back to that beautiful life you've made for yourself, which is, of course, what is real now. It IS real now.

  3. Damn. Sister Moon, I am crying and my fists are balled up, too. I love you for so many reasons but this reminded me of how much. I want to kick in the door on your dream (?) and drop-kick that person who robbed you of your innocence. You are brave and amazing and I am so thankful for those bootstraps you pulled on like hell to get to a place where you could give this testimony to strangers. I'm so happy to be on your porch and will stay here in case I need to drop-kick somebody.

  4. If only there were something I could give you. I keep deleting everything I write here because it all sounds so empty. I can only say, I hear you Ms. Moon. I hope you can sleep well tonight. With love and caring, Linda

  5. SJ- Well, I hate it too but what are you going to do? Thanks for being here. Sometimes I am the needy one.

    Sara- God damn. Don't people understand that we have no desire for these assholes to keep a room in our psyches? Jesus. You're right- they squat. Thank you for the virtual weapons, for the very real words. I mean it.

    Sister Gradydoctor- Shit, girl. You see so much real suffering and this, this is nothing. And yet, hell, it is something. Look- you have no idea how you unlocked my heart's freezing tonight and let me cry. Thanks. I needed to very badly and you gave me permission to and I did. I am. It's good.
    I really don't have words to tell you how grateful I am.

  6. Rubye- Too many of us know this story and nothing you could say to me would sound empty to my heart. Thank-you, sweet friend. Thank-you. So much.

  7. I wish you could dream us all there. Each of us with a knife to hand to you. All of us standing behind you and against him.

  8. It is so important to testify. May your dreams tonight nurture, protect and guide you.

  9. Are you a child in your dreams, living in a child's bedroom where your mom and he have a room as the parents? You weren't protected as a child. But you can bet that you would protect those of whom you are in charge as an adult.
    So wish for you that he'd drop dead out of your dreams. I had to set up boundaries and not talk to my mom much, all these years later, which works for me.
    --Michele R.

  10. I've been having a hard time with my dreams too lately regarding a similar thing and I thank you for writing this. Today I was leaking tears all through the library stacks as I pulled interlibrary loan books and as I gather up my things to go home for the night afraid to dream tonight I want you to know I appreciate you writing and I wish you good sleep.

  11. And there is the connection. You and I (and so many others) sharing a fate that draws us together.

    I love what Steph said about each of us standing with you against him. You can bet I'd be there, fighting and screaming and kicking and then laughing and hugging because we'd get him!!! And you'd be safe Mary - you are safe, here with all of us who love and want to protect you.

    You are not alone , xoxo

  12. I don't know why those that have hurt us come back in dreams. I made my peace with my father through an amends after he died. I wrote him a letter telling me what my part was. Yet, I still have dreams in which he and my mother are alive. He is doing something like drinking or ignoring us. I am looking for him but can't find him. The house is falling down around me, rotting and I am trying to find my father and get him to put things back together. It is a terrible dream, but I awake and realize that it is not real. It is just the post traumatic stress of having had so much anxiety about him. I don't know if we can totally rid our mind of what comes when we are asleep. But I know that he is just a dream now. And I too still love him as my father. Maybe one day he will leave my dreams and let me just sleep.

  13. Ms Moon I wish I could come have a cup of hot tea with you and laugh and talk and share and cry, and hug. And then again. I'd kick ass for you, if you I could. Maybe a dreamcatcher over your bed. xo

  14. Everyone has heard of the Fight of Flight Response. It was an accepted part of therapies for many years. I recently heard of the Freeze response. It appears you are stuck in the Freeze response. I can only guess at this but speak from experience. There is a book called Waking the Tiger about the Freeze response which I recommend you do NOT read. I do however recommend you find a professional who knows about he Freeze response and can take you back to your childhood in a safe place where you can confront this evil. A proper professional will not take you too deep or quickly. It is an amazing technique and it works for many people. Anyway, just thought I would tell you about this.

  15. Dear Ms Moon, I don't know the right words tonight. All I know to say is that you called the bad man out, put him right out there in the open and that is so powerful. I hope he leaves you alone tonight. We are all here ready to meet you in your dreams, knives in hand beside you. You are safe. Your children are safe. Here we are, an army, loving you.

  16. I wish I had an answer. I think that maybe this is one that just can't be fixed. Or at least, we haven't found it yet.

  17. I'm back tracking here Ms Moon, and relieved that your dream should end in the morning with Owen at your side.

    But as you say these dreams are recurrent. I have them too. They reflect the past returning but the past is also over and the best we can do is look to a different future bearing in mind the way things once were, and not letting it happen again.

  18. The One True God, Jesus Christ, offers healing.

  19. I hate him. I don't know him (and I am thankful), but I sure do hate him.

    You, I love. Very much.

  20. Holding my breath through all this. I can't even fathom. I have such a hard time existing without such a rip in my basic safety and sense of self. Such betrayal, such horror. Ugh. So glad you write. Thanks goodness. Thinking of you today.

  21. Holding my breath through all this. I can't even fathom. I have such a hard time existing without such a rip in my basic safety and sense of self. Such betrayal, such horror. Ugh. So glad you write. Thanks goodness. Thinking of you today.

  22. Wow. I never dreamed of my attackers. I did and still have dreams of being chased and I run but then remember I can fly and they can't. I love flying.

  23. I'm so sorry you have had to live with this. But I am also grateful that you speak up for all of us who do live with this stuff.

  24. Thanking you for giving voice to this Mary. I love you.

  25. Stephanie- I love the idea of everyone with knives. And me a pacifist!

    A- They were not so bad last night. Funnier, less hurtful. Thank-you.

    Michele R- Nope. I'm an adult in the dreams. That's part of the sadness.

    X-Ray Iris- I know I am not alone. I know that so many of us are haunted by the things that happened as children to us. It makes me so sad.

    liv- You are part of the army too! Together- oh, couldn't we get something done?

    Syd- I can't even begin to feel any love for my stepfather. I am glad that you can still feel some for your father. I wish there was a sure-cure, don't you? Ah. Well.

    Maggie May- I would welcome you with open arms.

    Birdie- Something to think about. I am not frozen in my dreams. I promise you. I do hit him, scream at him. He just ignores me.

    Angella- I adore you. Thank-you.

    Jo- I'll check out the link. I have done some reading on lucid dreaming. I've never been any damn good at it.

    Elisabeth- True. But impossible to control in my own weak psyche.

    Anonymous- Since I believe you probably do care and are trying to be helpful, I'll just say that I think it would have been far more preferable if dear sweet Jesus had just prevented the whole damn mess in the first place- which I frequently begged him to do.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- And I love YOU so very much.

    Bethany- You are a darling light in my life. Thank-you.

    Jeannie- I never learned to fly very well in my dreams either. I obviously suck at dreaming!

    Mary LA- It's really phenomenal how many people were molested as children. I will never understand it.

    Madame King- I love you too, woman.

  26. Human beings can be so wonderful and so awful. so sorry. have you tried lucid dreaming? when you have the dream, do you know it, do you know you are dreaming while you are dreaming? if you have that bit of awareness, you can direct the dream, make that knife appear in your hand or on the table next to you.

  27. Love love love to you, sweet mary moon.

  28. Ellen- What usually happens is that I think, "I dream about this all the time. Now it's really happening." So, not really lucid. But sort of.

    Lora- Thank-you, my dear sweet Lora.

  29. no words of sympathy i can offer seem
    but i bear witness and send you love.
    Dear Ms Moon.

  30. Denise- And I receive it.

    Beth Coyote- No one could say words that meant more to me than those.

    Ms. Magpie- Thank-you, baby. Thank-you.

  31. It's unfair that he has Alzheimer's. He should be tormented by his horrific deeds to the death.

  32. oh,
    belated forever hug.
    and I inhaled reading Angie's comment.
    because while I find it okay in my situation,
    I do find it also a little convenient.


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