Dreams; a Portal or a Mirror
Dreams; a Portal or a Mirror

Dreams; a Portal or a Mirror

There are many different ways people can deal with having had a traumatic childhood. A childhood in witch emotional development was stunted, and where ones guardians didn’t always have their best interest in mind. A childhood of uncertainty, and nervousness. One where the child is placed in positions where they are forced to deal with emotions well beyond their years. These individuals grow up too fast, yet parts of them are still children.

To list a few potential outcomes of having been through the aforementioned childhood off the top of my head; being afraid of closeness, substance dependence, being self critical, being clingy, being obsessive compulsive, having an eating disorder, being explosive, being submissive, becoming isolated, being a martyr, finding an obsessive passion, becoming an avid user of toxic positivism, feeling fractured or dissociative, being hysterical or extremely sensitive, being depressed, feeling ashamed or worthless, feeling reckless or not in control, becoming introspective and self loathing.

What someone looks like later in life is dependent on both the nature of their traumatic childhood experiences, and their inherent personality. How introverted they naturally are, how practical they are by nature, how prone to addiction they are, and whether they tend to internalize or reflect.

I’ve noticed these things through scouring information online and mostly, observing family members. I’ve always been an intuitive observer, and sensitive to everything around me. Each or my family members has a very different nature and the contrast is extremely noticeable. Giving me a limited, but fair range of information.

But really at the end of the day, the only person I can gather a big enough body of knowledge on, enough to draw conclusions about, is myself. I’ve always felt that I can’t trust anyone, and the only person I could depend on to always be their is myself. I was never the type to reach out for help, no matter what the circumstance. It never occurred to me. Besides, I didn’t think anyone could help. I lived in a reality where I was seeing and feeling things, but never being heard. Overpowered by the emotions and subsequent will and need of those around me. Overtime developing many ways to compensate and get by. Because of this, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had a rich fantasy world. Needing so badly to believe in something that isn’t, to be somewhere I wasn’t. At times when reality felt dull and hopeless, and being present painful, there was nothing that could bring me more relief than disappearing to somewhere else, that felt effortless and easy, where I belonged. Which was defiantly aided by feeling fractured and having a small sense of self. As if at any second I could slip away, never to be seen again, never to be noticed. As if the more time I spent away from reality, the more I was denied being able to feel, the more likely I was to slip into oblivion at any time.

Each night, and at different times during the day, I’d crawl into bed, or on a couch, or maybe just a comfortable corner, and things would begin to happen to me and my perceptions. I’d be someone else, aided by familiar characters that I’d invented, in situations that all had a comforting quality. It was exactly what my life lacked. A time and place where there was always something new, always excitement, but such that I could process it on my own, and I was never overwhelmed the way I was in my regular daily life. If daydreaming is powdery and soft, flexible, and smooth, this sort of daydreaming had a syrupy sort of nature, mixed in with the powder. It was thick and sweet, and all consuming.

I didn’t mean to be quiet and lethargic. To turn down play dates all through elementary school, to let my mind wander in class, and to sit quietly at recess. I thought that’s how I was, but I was just so tiered of living day after day, with no outlet for my emotions and thoughts. So I needed to withdraw and take a break.

It didn’t feel like a choice, these complex, sad, joyous, deep, profound magical, infinite worlds I’d disappear to for hours at a time. It felt like they took me, like I was their missing piece rather than the other way around. They felt more real than reality, and no one knew about them but me. They were abstract at best, and on the other end of the stick nonsensical.

I actually still engage in intense daydreams till this day. Not to the extent that I have in the past, mainly at night before falling asleep. Yet I’ve come to gain a different perception of the nature of these daydreams. Maybe they are not so much a portal as they are a mirror. This realization came from a dream I have from time to time. There are always other details of this dream, but the following aspects of it remain the same, and the dream is never pleasant: I’m in a house. Some parts of it are familiar, like in houses that I’ve been in, or even my own house. Other parts of it I’ve never seen before, and may even be contortions, or repetitions of familiar parts of houses. The contrast is unnerving. The house always feels big and unwelcoming, like you could walk forever into it and never be found. The rooms are big with too much furniture or too little, and their are always more crevices and closets to be found that weren’t there before. I lose sight of my objective when wandering their and I feel stifled and swallowed. Is their a word for the opposite of claustrophobic? Yet at the same time I am claustrophobic, and not, which is worse than if I just felt plain claustrophobic. I feel anxious yet dull. Overwhelmed yet bored.

After having a dream that takes place in this setting again a few weeks ago, I realized something. The setting for the dream was uncannily the exact opposite of a place in one of my fantasies/daydreams, in every respect. They say that bad dreams are manifestations of your fears, or things you keep locked up. So if my daydreams are the opposite, that would make them manifestations of the things I desperately want, and the things I am deprived of so I compensate for. In my daydreams the spaces I occupy are very welcoming and straightforward. Everything has a purpose. In one building their could be a number of rooms, some small and cozy, tucked away in the corner of the house, filled with pillows and the walls are carpeted, and yet another is big a vast, for communal gatherings, and for practicing magic. In my daydreams, I express myself through my talents an initiatives, and I add allot to the world. Some of my bad dreams will consist of having to get tutored, and being talent less and misunderstood.

I feel this is a very straightforward and literal way of showing how means of coping are very literally to fill the void of what you don’t have. You can apply this to anything. At different times in my life my daydreams have grown with me and embodied what I needed, and what I wished I had. This holds an important message: Unraveling and becoming an impartial observer of the things you do, and the behaviors you exhibit, with fresh, nonjudgmental eyes, can help bring you one step closer to healing. Why you are the way you are is not random, and different realizations I’ve had throughout my life have showed me that time and time again. With understanding and compassion, you can overcome the behaviors which stunt you, and keep you from moving forward.

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