Last night I dreamt that I bumped into a very sad little girl. She was small with blonde hair that fell over her eyes. She had a pale face and very sad eyes. She looked like she had never felt happiness before. She looked desperate for a very big cuddle and some love.
The little girl in the dream was me.
I saw my child self when I was around 5 or 6 years old and seeing her had a real impact on the adult me. I felt a deep grief and a need to protect and look after her. I wanted so much to make her feel happier. In the dream I knelt down and told her that she was very pretty, she didn’t smile. She was pretty despondent. her eyes had no sparkle or light in them at all. I have never seen such a lot of sadness in a child.
I wanted to pick her up and cuddle her but she didn’t know who I was and I didn’t want to scare her. I gently moved the hair from her eyes and I gently stroked her cheek. My heart hurt for her.
I have not been able to get that image out of my head all day long. That younger me, that little girl, the younger version of me… I feel like I really felt her sadness and the power of that has stayed with me all day. I feel such sorrow for her and such a lot of compassion.
Yesterday I woke up feeling very groggy and a bit crap. My alarm was going off and it was only 7am on a Saturday. I had to get up as I had an early gym class to get to and I debated missing it and going back to sleep but I needed to go and I knew I needed that time to myself before the kids and my husband all woke up and the day begun, so I did get up. I was dressing in the bathroom and one of my socks flew into the toilet. I felt the heat rise from my toes to my head – a quick flush. I exhaled out heavily. FFS. I think I said “give me a break for fuck’s sake” out loud. LOL.
I realised the grogginess I had woken up with was from one of two things (or maybe both). 1) My mother’s messages about Christmas presents Friday afternoon, Christmas in general and how it would be different this year and possibly forever now and other things that Christmas brings such as therapy breaks and a lot of time being with people (LOL again) and 2) I had woken up from a dream where I had been at some sort of family event, possibly a bbq as it was outside and I was there with my mum and she had been nice all day and the day had been good until something happened. I can’t remember what, but the day was ruined in a second by her doing or saying something. I got angry and was telling her that she had no right to know things about me ( I think in the dream it was how much I earnt and other things). We argued and everyone was watching and I said something nasty to my nan along the lines of how she thinks my mother is great but she’s a bitch and then me and my husband left and I woke up feeling the feelings I would have done in the dream. Disappointment and sadness and anger and I guess as I write this those feelings are relevant in real life too huh. Anyway basically I had been triggered overnight by dreams and I really hate that.
Because of this I felt sad and stressed all day. I started doing the housework furiously and getting angry that the kids were lying around on their tablets whilst I hoovered around them, made their breakfasts, loaded the dishwasher, opened the curtains etc etc… I felt my mood change to anger really fast. Before long I felt very angry, stressed and overwhelmed and I felt the heat taking over, I was literally HOT with rage.
I continued to smash and bang around tidying and cleaning and getting angrier with every bit of mess I saw, every wet towel and every unmade bed fuelled the anger more. Then something really small happened and the hoover turned off where I had yanked the plug out of the wall and that was it – I was too angry now and I stomped into the bathroom, slammed the door, went to sit on the toilet and my phone fell out of my back pocket missing the toilet by half a millimetre and fell to the floor. I picked it up and slammed it twice on the bathroom side (why?). Boy was I angry!!!!!
I thought that I was the only one doing any housework. That I was ALWAYS the only one. I thought that I was taken for granted, the mess felt out of control, I felt out of control. I wanted to scream and shout and swear and smash things but I couldn’t and that added to the anger. AGGHH. I sat and cried on the toilet for about twenty minutes. I cried silently because of the kids being around but I cried hard. I was crying out hot, angry tears. I was crying because if I didn’t cry, I think I might have scared everyone by smashing and banging things and shouting. I was struggling to keep it all inside me, it felt too big. It needed a release.
I felt my mood infect the entire house. Everyone clearly knew I was angry and was very quiet around me. I didn’t speak to anyone either. The general noise and mess was adding to my overwhelm. It was all too much. I couldn’t even pretend.
Soon my in-laws arrived which I was DREADING. More people, more noise and that meant I would have to paint on a smile and act happy and that felt impossible. As it turns out, I didn’t do that. I wasn’t able to. I just sat on the sofa the entire time, I let someone else make the drinks, I let my husband prepare the dinner. I didn’t even join in the board games, I couldn’t.
The noise and merriment and happiness annoyed me. EVERYTHING annoyed me. EVERYONE annoyed me. I flicked through my new feminists book and read stupid quotes about people’s mum’s being so wondering and their favourite person blah blah blah and I nearly threw the book. I screen shot some of it to my friend who I knew would feel like me and wrote the words “FUCK OFF” over the picture. We laughed together about how everyone that had a decent mother was a bastard (obviously they are not) and I told her my jealousy was obvious and said something bitter like “well whoopy fucking do for you “Sharon””. LOL.
Everything was a trigger. Nobody and nothing was safe.
At one point during the loudness and the games I needed to escape so badly that I ran outside the back door and into the garage. I felt like I was going to implode. I visualised leaving and just driving somewhere so I could be alone. So I could cry or something, I wanted that SO much but I couldn’t and I didn’t want everyone to see me like that and talk about me or think badly of me. I had to stick it out despite how awful I felt.
When my in-laws left, my husband made dinner and we sat at the table with the kids to eat. My husband, trying to be funny, pulled a face and said “who’s this?” and the kids all started to laugh but I didn’t. I decided to point out that the kids NEVER have to see me down or upset and asked them all individually if they were all happy every second of every day? Two of them answered seriously and said no, one was being stupid and said yes. I told them they never see me like this but that today I wasn’t feeling myself and that it was okay.
My stepdaughter asked me what was wrong and I told her it was just adult stuff and nothing for her to worry about. She said “is it family?” and I said, “erm yes partly”. She said “don’t you like us anymore?” and I laughed and said of course I did, that I loved them, why?” she said because THEY are my family. I told her that it wasn’t any of them. She seemed relieved.
A while later I saw her looking at me with sadness and I so nearly cried. She walked round the table and hugged me and it took EVERYTHING I had not to break down in tears. I wanted to cry so much but I didn’t want to scare the children.
They left ten minutes after that and the second I saw the car drive off, I broke down crying. FINALLY. Finally I was alone. Finally the noise had gone. Finally my safe space didn’t feel invaded. Finally I could cry – and boy I cried.
I felt exhausted once I had stopped crying but I felt better. Holding all that pain in all day was awful. The release was so needed.
And then I had to get ready as I was going out for drinks with my brother and his girlfriend and I had just an hour to get ready. I got a bit stressed trying to cover up my red, blotchy face. It wouldn’t cover up and my eyes were very bloodshot. It was so clear I had been crying. it I thought to myself how much I “needed” a drink and I also acknowledged that I was going to drink to numb the painful feelings and that it was a stupid idea.. but that I did.
I had 4 glasses of wine and I got drunk. I felt really awful when I got into bed and couldn’t sleep. I sat over the toilet for a long time hoping I could just be sick and get it all out of my body and then sleep. I couldn’t be sick and in the end, I made myself sick which I know is awful but I had to sleep. I felt drained.
I woke up feeling hideous today, hungover and embarrassed. My husband told me I was “smashed” but apparently good fun and in good spirits (thank Christ) but I felt ashamed. I know better than to drink away the feelings but I did it anyway.
Thankfully, hangover and shame aside, I felt okay today – emotionally. I’ve thought about this little me that I dreamt of and what that means, why I had that dream but to be honest, although it was/she was sad, it feels a little comforting.
I feel like I am feeling such a lot at the moment and seeing the image of “little me” has helped to feel compassion for the child I was, rather than anger at how often I am crying or how over-the-top my anger is.
I feel like the image of that poor, sad, little girl was conjured up by my brain for a reason – to remind me to be kinder to myself whilst I feel these things.
And so I drew some pictures of her using my crayons. I attach a pic.
Now I just need some sleep.