Nightmare’s Promise

“Are you mad at me?”

I look up to find my husband staring at me, a look of concern on his face.

“No, I’m not mad.  Why do you ask?” I reply.

My husband, still groggy from sleep, rubs his hand through his hair and shakes his head.

“I dreamed you were. …seemed so real…still does,” he whispers through tears.

I assure him it was only a nightmare and all is well between us.  Encouraged to relax and allow slumber to overtake him, Hubby turns onto his side and with a sigh surrenders to the promise of waking refreshed and renewed.

The day dawns bright and clear without a hint of cloudiness.

Hubby wakes partly cloudy with a chance of storms.

The dream had faded from his memory but the emotions stirred by it linger. Several hours later, still touched by them he asks, “Are you sure everything’s okay between us?”

The nightmare changed his perception of so much – of himself and his worth, of our relationship and my feelings for him, of reality and where we are in it.

Hubby went to bed the night before expecting sweet sleep to refresh and restore him. But, what he found was betrayal.

Sweet Sleep left him vulnerable to Nightmare’s empty promise.

This is not unique to my husband – we all experience it. We’ve all been betrayed by Sweet Sleep and experienced the confusion of Nightmare’s promise.

“Don’t worry. Enjoy the thrill. It’s just a dream. When you wake, the nightmare will be over.”

But, it doesn’t end. It’s effects linger long beyond our waking as it stretches thin fingers into every aspect of our day – its touch real and disquieting.

Like my husband, we wake and find that we can’t shake some aspect of it and throughout the day it haunts us – our emotions on edge, our senses heightened, our reality altered.

Others see the sun shine bright in a sky of blue – we see the day as mostly cloudy with storms on the horizon.

Nightmare’s promise leaves us scratching our heads and wondering how to undo in daylight what was undone in the night.

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