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MEHREEN HASHMI

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Dream a little dream of me

It's 4:30 am right now, I just had mid-night snack and started to write on my laptop. I was fast asleep around 2 am and then I woke up shivering, shaking and disoriented from the most horrific dream I have ever experienced so far. I will be using experience for my dreams because these dreams of me are a feeling or we can say a series of repeated emotions. In most of my dreams, I am crying and feeling the same pain inside which I have felt in reality while my mother was abusing me. Finally, I said it out loud. In my previous blogs, I have mentioned some of the details about my father (blog titles are 'when I met my Dutch father' and 'Grief') who I lost last year. But I have never mentioned my darkest demon which is my narcissistic mother who has done things which still give me shivers and which I cannot courage to bring it to words yet.

 Most of my work is based on the trauma of abuse and mostly audience only notices about sexual abuse which was one part of it along with a series of many other events in several categories of abuse. I am an unfortunate person with a fulfilled life, and there is no denial about it. Let me explain you with an example; When last year, my father died, I did not receive a single comforting hug and the one I did receive, I had to ask for it. I did not receive any decent condolence or some comforting words. The best ones are those who gave me advice, asked to be positive about it and compared it with their problems, what I didn’t get which I needed the most was a hug, all would have been easier, well that’s done and dusted now. Eventually, when I socially broke down, after agonizing seven months, there were some messages and calls from my social circle but one cannot share such details with 'social' friends, I am grateful for that support though. Those who were really there were the ones who live miles away hence they make sure that I am doing okay. I did make new friends later and learned to connect with right people. I pray that no one is left alone with grief, Amen to that. Why am I mentioning this here in a blog about dreams? Because there is a connection of dreams with trauma. What I have suffered tonight and during those seven months and earlier in life, have strongly affected my sleep and particularly dreams. Trauma is not self-proclaimed negative thinking, and it's not something to be forgotten easily. I wish it could work that way then I would be sleeping right now. It stays in your memory and your conscious which creates the visuals of your dreams. Healing from traumatic experiences is a very excruciating and slow process which doesn't happen in one day or as per misconception, it does not happen the second day you leave abusive figures in your life. For me, it has been 10 years including my self-care routine based on meditation, works out, yoga, reading about it, processing it, a couple of years of counselling and using my work as my catharsis. Still, it haunts me when I am helpless and that’s my sleep and dreams. So I was talking about dreams, about tonight's one, it involves a long history about my mother and I am still not ready to talk about her. Perhaps, few more years will give me that courage to process this part. One of my blog ' All about how and what happened' can give a glimpse of her mental state.

Getting back to dreams again, in my dreams which are very regular; I am feeling the same pain again and again which I did around 'her'. Calling and mentioning 'my mother' is also a huge trauma for me so I will refer to her as 'her'. In my recent one, I saw 'her' screaming and cursing me while I am trying to dry the flooded water in our drawing room. The more I am trying, more she is screaming and that water is not reducing instead it keeps coming back again and again. While I am experiencing these, I feel the same pain which I did in real life when I was a child, then a teenager and then an adult. Dreams before that, while I was living with them were mostly visuals of an apocalypse. That was the time when I was around 12 years old and that continued till my teenage. In those dreams, I was always lost and alone during apocalypse among broken houses and piles of rubbles. I once saw a gigantic tree shredding the earth and growing with lightning speed while reaching the sky. In those dreams, I was always searching for my parents who were nowhere to be found. I felt the same pain of being alone and not comforted in those dreams as it is in my real life. I have been terribly scared in those dreams which I do suppress during my daily life. I don't intend to blame anyone, but as if I have mentioned my unfortunate reality, writing is my only way of sharing. I deeply care about my sincere friends and don't want them to be in a position where they don't know a way of dealing with my bizarre experiences. There is another blog about such friends 'What are friends for?'.

When my father died, my dreams also upgraded itself. That was a whole new experience than previous ones. FYI; Due to living through my painful experiences, I have struggled immensely with my sleep. I want to say it loud and clear now that I have scared of sleeping because of my dreams. So when my father died and eventually when I was able to forgive him, He appeared in my dream as follows;

 He had a family of his own with small children which does not include me and my siblings not even my mother. He was playing with those kids with the kindness which I never received. I was standing there communicating with him in my dream. Then he said ' I am sorry, I never loved you this way, please forgive me.' It was heart-breaking and disappointing for me. Something I desperately wanted from my father and have never ever received was his love. Still, I had to be the one to deal with it even after his death. I woke up and felt very heavy also emotionally tired during those days. But his death opened a void inside me and I started having lucid dreams which made my nights more miserable. I started seeing a girl covered in bruises and filth screaming and being angry at me about forgiving him. I had no idea about comforting her as she was inconsolable. There is a certain pattern in my dreams which keep bringing the same emotions again and again. I do have a strict routine to practice mindfulness but when you are never hugged, comforted, understood or consoled, yourself get extremely tired and bruised.

Good night, sleep tight, I hope you are the lucky one who can sleep or the least; You are not left alone with your demons.