Let the Pieces Fall
Water is splashing everywhere, my face is drenched. I can hear each breath coming in and out of me, a low growling sound emanating from somewhere deep inside. I look through the thrashing water, see the reason for my struggle. A face I hate, eyes open in terror. My hands show no mercy.
I wake from the dream startled, uneasy…as usual. The dream which has visited me at least once a year for over a decade, though unsettling, no longer scares me. No longer pleases me either.
How does one come to terms with an act of violence? Where does one begin to pick up the pieces which were never really allowed to fall?
I first had this dream when I was 14 years old. The thought of bringing slow death to the one who had hurt me was a blissful thought, it was no surprise my subconscious would concoct such an event. All I knew was rage.
When the dream continued year after year, I began to feel unsettled. I was not willing to let go of my anger, but it also frightened me to think of the depths of my own darkness. My anger was no longer just directed towards that one person, but my family and anyone else who dared to get close to me. More than anyone though, I was angry at myself.
I never let the pieces fall though, I just kept holding them together. I would tape them up with fantasies of what life should have been like. I used the superglue of self-protection to seal any holes. When a crack of light would break through into my darkness, I would spackle it up with fake happiness—a poor mimicry of the light.
One day, I couldn’t hold it together anymore. Simple as that. I broke.
I learned I should have let the pieces fall a long time ago. I learned there is no hope in hatred. And there’s definitely none in wishing life had dealt you a different hand.
The only hope I found was in letting every little crumbly piece hit the ground.
I purged the darkness from my own heart. I forgave.
I gave up my dreams of vengeance against the perpetrators. I forgave.
The dream still visits occasionally, but I have learned how to deal with it: when I wake up, I imagine myself releasing my tightly gripped hands and letting the one I’m drowning go free. It is only then that I come to the realization…the one I am drowning is me.