Last night I dreamt I punched you in the face

I yanked you out of bed and began to slam my fist into your face over and over again. There was a lot of red and orange in the dream which seemed to represent the blood pouring from your nose, eyes and mouth. I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and grateful it wasn’t true.

I have learned that these are anxiety dreams. I’ve had them my whole life and in the last 18 years you have been the star.

Anxiety… hmmm… what do I have to be anxious about?

• I was worried you would leave me.
• I was worried that you would be cruel to me.
• I feared you would dismiss and ignore me.

Wait! All of those things have happened so the dream last night shouldn’t reside under the anxiety column at all. It most certainly belongs in the “it definitely happened to me” column.

I have what you call “body memory”. Which means when I am approaching an anniversary date that represents some sort of trauma my body starts reacting in different ways such as nightmares, PTSD flashbacks, startle responses, etc. Let’s see… after today there are only 25 days left until the anniversary of the BIG EVENT and I am definitely experiencing some symptoms.

• Feeling weepy, sad.
• Feeling anxious and short tempered
• Questioning my existence on this planet.
• Having nightmares where I punch you in the face.

So, last night I was minding my own business, dreaming a little dream and before I knew it there you were. Not just you but a lot of people. We were building a house and it wasn’t going the way we planned. You became angry with me. I became angry with you. We became disappointed in each other.

Surprisingly enough I was able to “yell” at you in this dream. Normally, no matter how angry I get I have a hard time showing it regardless of form. But we were yelling… the words don’t matter at this point because it’s all about the scenery. Our daughters were there as were our friends. That in itself is strange as we NEVER argued in front of other people… wait, we rarely argued at all. Which is why all of our friends and family, me included, were so surprised when we split up.

Anyway, here we are yelling at one another and there is scaffolding all around along with workmen… it was all very public (and metaphoric). This again, is so different from how we lived our lives. I got an email from your cousin the other day apologizing because she just found out we got a divorce. Don’t you think it’s weird that hardly anyone knows we are divorced and it’s approaching a year?

Not even your co-workers or boss… Why is that?

Oh, maybe it has something to do with the fact that you decided to leave me while I was in the middle of my treatment for CANCER. For some reason you don’t want people to know that you totally, without excuse, blindsided me with this divorce while I was experiencing Cancer.

Who does that?
You do.

Only 25 days to go until the Big Event and my emotions and subconscious are sending off warning bells left and right. I had better take heed or it could be a disaster.

Hence, the dream; where I punched you in the face… over and over again.

God it felt good.
Until I woke up.

Then I was horrified and grateful it was a dream because who does that? Who dreams of pummeling their ex-husband for leaving them (without notice and planning a vacation) while they are living with Cancer?

I do.

I have spent the last 11 months trying to convince myself and others I am not angry at you for leaving me the way you did; the no discussion, no option but divorce blindside after 17 years of marriage. Nope, not me. No anger here.

What? My reaction? Oh, yes… there is that. Just not relevant at the moment.

To the dream.

I am punching you in the face because you have just dismissed me as being nothing but a bother while at the same time reaching for the underwear clad ex-wife who was cleaning our bath tub… okay, I was watching a TV show with a similar reference but somehow appropriate.

I grab you by the hair, yanking you to the floor. I punch and punch and punch until I am exhausted and you can’t move; the landscape is covered in oranges and reds (my favorite colors).

Then I wake up.

I marvel for a moment that this is the first time I have ever hit anyone in my dreams (or real life) with such force and wonder what it means. I am horrified at my behavior even though it was just a dream.

I instinctively reach out for you but my hand lands on the cell phone instead. I text you, “I just had a horrible, horrible dream. Why does this still happen when the worst has already been done?”

Not surprisingly; you respond with silence.

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