Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Over the edge

When I hit the floor, I woke up.

“Jesus! Babe! Are you okay?”

I heard my husband’s voice and knew I was.

I was okay.

Though I haven’t had that dream for quite a while -- maybe as much as a year – it haunted me again last night.

It’s the “no exit” nightmare where I’m forever frozen in place.

Unable to move, I am paralyzed while inexorable doom rolls towards me and over me.

Hundreds of times, I’ve endured this dream. When I’m in it, the fear and darkness go on forever.

Desperately I struggle to scream. But I can’t.

Desperately I try to move. But I can’t.

So the malevolence rolls forward. My endless efforts are futile. And my terror is of no consequence.

The crushing inevitability of my doom is assured.

The suffocating weight overtakes me.

My endless scream never sounds.

But guess what?

This time was different.

I moved.

And it was more than just a twitch.

I propelled my whole body over the edge. I launched myself into the unknowable abyss.

My husband said that, in his not-quite-awake state, he saw me sort of half-sitting for half a second. And then I flung myself over the side.

I’m so happy.

The unknowable is far better than the inevitable. And the knot on my head is nothing.

So why am I bothering to share this inconsequential personal story?

Two reasons: Because I want you to know that I too still struggle, and because I hope you’ll rejoice with me.

Other survivors sometimes write to me and say how “together” they think I am. The heartfelt expressions always mean so much -- more than I can say -- but I also worry a bit that I may be giving out a false impression.

So let me be transparent. People who fling themselves over the edge are not people who are totally “together.”

But however “un-together” I may be, I am grateful for this continuing journey.

I take small victories as they arrive. This time, the victory arrived with a knot on the head.

For the first time ever, in my nightmare, I took control.

I escaped.

I went over the edge.


Wondering about the photo? It’s part of the Peace Fountain that sits in the garden of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. It’s a phantasmagoric sort of piece that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. I happened to be there last weekend. The cathedral was mostly empty, except for an organist who was practicing. And though the air was biting cold, the sunlight rendered the windows’ blues into pure brilliance and transformed the stained glass into kaleidoscopic images on the stone pillars. With nothing but the organ’s whole round notes filling the nave, it was . . . divine.


Jim said...

Wow! Christa, I thank God for that victory. Taking back control, if just bit by bit, is victory. It is as if one moves from a kind of "soul death" back toward "renewed life." May you find joy and purpose in that
renewed life for as long as you live.
Never thought hearing about someone falling out of bed would make me feel so hopeful.

John said...

Sharing this is a further testimony of your resolve to help and to put an end to the madness. Thank you for the insight.

Jeri said...

Great news, Christa. So glad for this step!

Anonymous said...

I have the same exact dream. How bizarre is that?

gmommy said...

escape...healing...very cool:)
I hope you dream it again tonight!!