Nightmares On The Mind

Image credit: Emma Te Rina Smith

Image credit: Emma Te Rina Smith

Today, I’m feelin’ a little bit sensitive. I need some help to find the ground again.

Trying to write when you have so much to talk about is so difficult, especially when you take a whole week off from thinking about the trauma you went through. I did learn a little more about this word ‘trauma’ though and it took my cousin to explain my dream for me to understand.

From a distance (still in the room) I watched as two women sitting at a kitchen table had their cup of tea. Limbs flying everywhere, they seemed to be having a lively and intense conversation about who-knows-what. ‘Seems to be’ because I can’t hear or see them properly, its just muffled noise and blurs. Really, it’s like when I don’t wear my glasses and I can see the shapes, colors and separations but no detail. Suddenly it stops and everything is frozen, I look around and the women are gone, the atmosphere has plummeted into darkness. Then I see it. Behind a full-length frosted window sliding door is a figure of (yes) a zombified women. It felt like my whole body panned and zoomed up to this window just so my eyes could focus on her…and she had no lips (she was a zombie). I tried screaming for “Help!” but my lips had glued together, so I said it again “Help!” and I could make the noise but not move my mouth. So, I said it again, twice, three times until I could feel my lips slowly parting – but they re-sealed as soon as I stopped. So, I screamed, and I yelled, and I repeated HELP HELP HELP HELP until finally, finally…I woke up…and I was safe, snuggled up in my bed, in my room, in my mum and dads house, my Nan watching over me.

My cousin and I have this beautiful connection, she has this glorious ability to translate the vast knowledge of the universe into plain English for me, where I can offer a deeper understanding of the culture and land that we both share with cultures across oceans AND generations. She will always be one of my tethers as there are very few people in this world who I am linked to, that can feel when I need help and she is one of them. After crying to her on the phone about the incident I went through, the steps I had to take to ensure my safety and this dream (also the lack of sleep due to it). She calms me down by (reading my mind) and saying:

“That’s a scary nightmare my cousin you are such a strong woman. You’ve been through a lot lately and the last few days must have felt so invasive and helpless. Someone is trying to take away your power, but you have so many people around you to help, defend, protect and love you and make sure your voice is heard”

Right?! Perfect thing to say right? I have always understood that my dreams were just a mental manifestation of my inner thoughts and feelings – however, this dream had me boggled. I knew what I had gone through scared me to the point where I couldn’t move unless my flight or fight sense was triggered. However, I didn’t understand that the experience had stopped me from wanting to speak. “Uia ngā pou ō tō whare – Ask the pillars of your house” Imagine a whare that is withering and falling apart, who are the people that will fix it and maintain that house so that it stands strong enough to shelter others? Now, imagine that you are the whare, you are falling apart and ask yourself who are the people who will help to fix and maintain you? Now, these people don’t have to be alive they can even be physical representations of those past.

When I realised that I was too scared to speak, I was in Whanganui and I moved as quickly and cautiously as I could so as not to arouse any suspicion of the eye puddles about to call me a little bitch. I ran for the beach, to the oceans, to the vast domain of my tupuna Tangaroa – to scream and cry for my pillars to come and destroy that which I let clog my throat and block my voice from escaping to freedom and understanding. Tonight, that voice flows free and powerful and I thank my pillars for their love and support.