Thank you for being part of my journey. You will never know how much you have healed me. Bless you.
As always, this is my journey and I am not trying to push my experience or belief system onto any person. Click here to see my thoughts on spirituality.
I Had a Dream
The Spring of 2006
Except for the light from the slivered moon the road was black. My foot hit the pedal and I sped up faster and faster towards the tracks. Mangled is what I wanted. But I wouldn’t have the nerve to stop, to wait for a train. There would have to be another way. Perhaps a motel off the interstate, perhaps some pills and a forever sleep. I shook away the thought and breathed a prayer. “Please, help me.”
The ache of the past had become my own Siamese twin. So much so, I didn’t know where my pain stopped and my true self began. I was pain. I was the past. We shared the same blood. Everything and anyone could conjure up bitter memories, especially certain sounds and smells. Everyday was yet another rerun of all the misery I’d viewed before. The scenery and characters might change, but the plot and outcome never altered. I knew all the psychological jargon, the self-talk, the imaging, meditation, and so on; and they served as my air so to speak, the invisible space which kept me temporarily afloat as I waved back and forth in a stormy sea clinging to an inflatable raft filled with holes.
My mini-van rattled across the wooden railroad tracks, whipping around a corner, a lone vehicle in a mostly sleeping town. I crossed half the city without much notice, flew by the clay-pottery yard and the Thompson’s ranch like they’d never existed, like all around me was just a blank-faced tunnel. I frowned in the mirror, scowled my brows so low I quadrupled my age, let the wrinkles merrily line my forehead; let my eyes squint in disdain. “I hate you,” I whispered. “I hate you,” I cried.
Fear grew inside me, thundering like the approaching storm. I nodded at my next thought, even smiled some. I would drive until there was nowhere else. And then, in the way of my old gray cat, I would creep into a shadowed hovel, and cease to exist. Moving as a leaf in a crashing river, I went where the current took me, down the streets I’d barely touched before. The community pool, a pallet of wavering violet-hues, reflected the last glimpse of the lonely moon. The stars hid beneath a milky-gray blanket. It was the end, the last cookie-cutter cluster of suburbia.
I mouthed, “I’m so scared,” and then found myself laughing, mocking my own mediocrity and false bravado. I shouted, lifting one hand off the steering wheel and forging through a fast growing puddle. “Why me? Where is my shelter? Where is my reprieve?” The wind answered me, a mocking slap to the side window. “Who am I supposed to be?” I begged. “Please? I can’t do this anymore.” A burst of tears followed. “Please, please, help me,” I wept with every part of me.
From somewhere, perhaps inside, perhaps beyond, I was answered. In a whisper, a familiar voice directed: “Stop the car.” There was a hush to the voice, like a mother hushing her babe to sleep. And then more words: Pull over, right here and rest, rest here My Precious Child.
“You’re not real,” I thought. “You’ve never been real.” I cried, shaking in fear. I felt a failure, for holding on for so many years, when I’d wanted to give up, wanted to collapse in someone’s arms, let them take over, let them take the wheel. I’d longed to slip behind the curtain and rest: to just rest.
Then I felt a smile, sensed a smile. Not in the way of man, but a smile just the same. I could see myself, a little girl with large brown eyes with a face creased in a generous grin—a trusting grin. All pains and misery erased. An enveloping trust surrounding an innocent.
Still, the older me, the one I considered rational and wise, was angry and doubtful. Tired of the games, the messages, all the confusion and mystery. I wanted to push the voice away like the debris on a driveway, let the garbage drift down the gutters into the brook, let the witnessing of my night prove shelter for the speechless—the fish, the birds, the frogs.
And then I remembered our greeting. The way through the years I’d make sure. The way I’d awake from my dreams, the ones that trapped me in another existence, another realm. “If this is not from the light, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ!” I shouted.
The peace remained, more than steadfast, more than true. Remained and made a part of me in completion, repairing the fissured crack down my soul.
Sitting still at the side of the road there was a deafening silence. Even with the rain tumbling down and the wind whisking the trees, all around and inside of me was an insulating silence. A thousand twigs upon a thousand twigs combined into an unbreakable peace. Hush, Child. Hush, I heard. Just trust and believe. We are with you. We are always with you. Look out your window and see what is true.
I smudged my face with my sweatshirt and stopped my nose from draining. I turned, hesitating at first to even focus. I didn’t know where I was. This side of town was unfamiliar. I expected to see nothing. At least nothing of meaning.
But I looked, and looked again. Beside the van, outside the right passenger window was the town’s Catholic Church, a structure battered in peeling white stucco and a forlorn tar rooftop. For a glimpse I was back inside the tranquil walls of the church of my childhood padding through the echoing corridors beneath the intricate archways and the steep slanting balconies.
Looking further out my window through the pattering rain, my eyes beheld a new sight: a wooden cross, which stretched taller than a man, draped in a cloak of shimmering lights. And on this particular night, as the rain bled all around, the lit white bulbs, too numerous to count, illuminated the dark sky.
We are with you. We are always with you, I heard.
This wasn’t a vision. The cross was there in reality. It was rooted into the ground. What I beheld was plain as day to any other. Nothing I had imagined or invented in my mind.
Go home. Just believe. Just trust and believe, and go home.
I shook my head. I couldn’t go home. I was still broken, and more than terrified to return. I looked up at the lit up cross and cried louder. “I can’t. I can’t.” I felt guilty for not being thankful, for not trusting.
I remembered to breathe, and without knowing what else to do, pulled out slowly onto the rain-slathered road. I drove for a few blocks and then heard: Turn Here. I felt crazy and disillusioned, but would try, if only once more. I turned into the narrow alleyway, an unfamiliar dark road. Only a line of rain-sprinkled garbage cans and old garage doors greeted me.
The van idled for a moment, before I stopped the engine. The rain came louder.
“I don’t want to go home. There is no reason. I’m useless,” I cried. I shrunk down into myself, wishing to be taken away. “Why should I go home? Why? Tell me why!”
Look out your window and you will see why.
I turned to my left and raised my eyes. Beside where I’d parked was a tall, lit street lamp. The lamp was shining down on a white rectangular street sign. I was afraid. Afraid to know this was all my twisted imaginings, a voice I had invented my entire life to stay afloat. I took in a sequence of breaths, each consecutively faster and harder. I reassured myself. Then, after a labored intake followed by one long even release of air, I was ready. Here would be the truth of who I was or at the very least a reckoning of the end, proof I should be done with it.
And there the truth stood clear, nailed to a wooden board, clear and bright beneath a flickering bulb. And effervescent light outlined the message, speaking to me louder than the rain pellets drumming against the tin roofs. Aglow in the black, beside my window, within my reach, a white street sign depicted two dark shadowed outlines of children playing in the street. Below the children were the words: Think of the Children.
I knew then, knew beyond a doubt, that the children were why I should remain strong. Even as I bleed from the tattered past that shrouded me in misery, I knew I had to remain, if only for them. I had to keep fighting. I would have to find a way to pull myself out of the weight of physical and mental anguish. I had to win for my own children. I had to win for all children. All of this, these thoughts, fluttered inside like a rabble of monarchs bursting free from a net.
I thought again. Logically analyzed what had happened. I realized I had seen street signs before, usually yellow ones, and often around parks and school yards, but those signs typically displayed the words Children at Play. Through all the years I had worked with children, first as a daycare employee, and later as an elementary school teacher, I had never once seen a sign that read Think of the Children.
I whispered, “Think of the Children.” And the tears came again.
In the late hours of the night, I returned home, and crept inside my boys’ bedroom.
Standing alone in the darkness, I looked down at my three small children—how sweet their faces, how tender their skin. I kissed them each, softly and purposefully, watched as their eyes fluttered.
They hadn’t known. None of them had known. To them I’d merely stepped out of the house. To them nothing had changed.
My husband, Bob, had no indication of my true intentions either. Beyond what I had showed him, beyond my angry words and the act of leaving the house abruptly, all was well. To him, I’d appeared as an angry child, fed up. To him, I’d simply return when I’d cooled down. There was no reason for concern. In his mind, I was probably at some friend’s house complaining. I’d return. I’d return and then all would remain.
Inside my bedroom, Bob didn’t stir. I found my nightclothes and slipped into bed. Bob’s snoring came in variants of alto and baritone, and sometimes in little rhythmic puffs. I rested on my back, staring up at the ceiling. “I’m home,” I whispered. I closed my eyes. “Now what?” I asked.
You will write. And your words will heal you and others.
My stomach turned nervously. My eyes opened. “What?” I questioned. “Not me.”
We are with you.
I protested with a deep sigh.
You will. We’ll be with you.
So very tired, I retreated under the covers and fell asleep.
In the early hours of morning, before the rooster crowed from the field beyond our property but long after the crickets and toads had stopped their serenading, I dreamed. The dream was filled with symbolism and meaning.
In my vision a lone oak tree stood stalwartly on a high hill in the shadows of the rising morning sun. The old tree’s thick branches reached out in all directions, as high and as wide as the eyes could see. Purple and orange hues filled the sky. There was a sense of peace and serenity in the air, a feeling that all would turn out as planned. I was filled with peace and a knowing. I was filled with trust and understanding. I saw people gather around the tree, their faces in tears of recognition, their faces smiling in joy. I was no longer alone, and neither were they.
I began writing that day.
Based on True Events
Written by Samantha Craft
© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. http://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com