For a lot of people, this phrase means absolutely nothing. For me, it’s been a plague to my well-being and health for several years.
For the first time in a long time, I had the unfortunate experience of waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling of intense dread – sweating, crying, fearing that I was in peril and thinking that I was in danger of dying.
This routine is so familiar to me. Checking every door and window, ensuring that my domicile is secure. Making sure that I am safe.
My last horrible dream prompted me to go to the gun range to learn how to defend myself. I considered buying a rifle. These nightmares are no joke, I promise you.
I sat up last night, listening for the attacker that wasn’t there, trying, in vain, to coddle myself, reminding myself that he doesn’t know where I live. Telling myself that he can’t find me.
Thank the Universe.
Safety is an often forgotten luxury. In these moments of intense anxiety, trying desperately to remember that I now have a family of loved ones who will work to protect me, I have to tell myself that these nightmares are fleeting. Strength comes from overcoming this darkness and fighting the fear that sometimes plagues my mind.
One day, I hope these nightmares will go away. I didn’t ask to be on the receiving end of an abusive relationship, but I know that every time I share my story, I weaken his hold over my life. I strengthen a woman who is experiencing something similar. I know that my words have power and meaning, and that I can bring positive change, even in my darkest moments.
This morning, I am thankful for this night terror. I am thankful for this opportunity to share my darkest secret with you all. If I can rise from the most horrible and haunting experience of my life, I know you can too.
Your eternal friend,