I woke up earlier from a very odd dream. Unfortunately, I didn’t post about it right away, so the details are a little fuzzy, but I do remember the gist of it. At first it made no sense to me (most dreams don’t right away), but when I realized it wasn’t to be taken literally, it began to make perfect sense.
I dreamt I was on vacation with my MN ex. I don’t know where we were, but it was on a beach somewhere. We were renting a beach house. We were getting along very well (!), and at some point I felt this outpouring of love for him. In real life, I feel nothing but a strong dislike and disgust.
Inspired by my loving feelings toward him, I told him I’d like to make things work with him again. I apologized for my part in the destruction of our marriage and the ways I’d hurt him. I prompted him to do the same. He was hesitant, but he agreed, and made amends for all the terrible things he did to me and to our family.
“Let’s just let the past stay in the past now and start over, as if we just met,” I said, and he agreed to let bygones be bygones.
When I woke up, I actually laughed, because I have no loving feelings toward my ex whatsoever. I have no desire to resume any kind of contact with him, ever. He’s still as evil and hateful as he ever was and has grown worse over time (I know not all narcissists are evil, but THIS one definitely is!) and has zero conscience or empathy. I also know that in real life, there’s no way he would ever be so agreeable and cooperative, even if I were to suggest such a crazy thing.
I scratched my head trying to decipher what this meant. Obviously it wasn’t really about him. Slowly it dawned on me that in the dream, my ex represented either my inner child (who I’ve spent years rejecting and denying) or my past. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because both bleed into each other. My inner child is my past, and my past is my inner child.
Slowly I’ve been learning to develop empathy for my inner child and stop pretending she isn’t there. I’m actually learning to love her and appreciate her because her heart is so huge and she is so genuine and has so much love to give. I’m learning to incorporate her gifts into my everyday life. It’s not easy and sometimes I still pretend I can’t hear her because I’m still programmed to feel ashamed of her. But I’m hearing her more, and realizing she’s not some pathetic, weak, immature little brat, but she is the real me–the one who never got to grow up because her spirit was squashed when she was so young. I’m mature enough now–and also armed with the truth about what really happened to me–to know how to use her gifts, or at least start trying. When I was a child, her gifts only brought me shame and I had no idea how to use them (and wasn’t allowed to use them anyway), so I rejected them.
In the process of learning to love the real me, I’m also learning to accept my past, and finally move on from it.
For as long as we can’t make peace with our past, we remain trapped in it.