Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nightmares

I have to say, I am the happiest mother in the world. However, being a mother has given me pause to wonder if I am going to keep my sanity...

Since adopting Kenzie, all I could think of at first was how lucky we were, how happy we were, what a wonderful child we had. Now, as our daughter grows up and begins to take her first tentative steps away from me as her main relationship and she starts forming other bonds and relationships... I am haunted by nightmares of what could happen if my attention is even for a moment occupied with anything other than her presence.

One recurring dream I have had lately is particularly disturbing, and I need to get it off my chest. I don't think it will lessen the panic I feel whenever I have the dream - but at least I am acknowledging my concerns.

The dream starts out in a place that is like the Ivy League halls of a large university. A long building with many classrooms and lecture rooms on both sides of a long, dark hallway, with heavily paneled walls of dark wood, large tall windows, and the golden color of aged plaster above the paneling. There are a huge number of Asian children with their parents (both adoptive and bio) at this event that is specifically for Asian children. I am standing with Kenzie in a line and she is all happy and jumping up and down because she is excited to be there. She is getting ready to play a game, and we are only 2 or 3 places away from when she will get her turn. I am then approached by someone in charge of the event because my help is needed in the next room... evidently I am helping to be a host to part of this event. I walk over to my husband who is chatting with another man, and tell him to watch Kenzie while I am gone for a few minutes. He says his usual "Yes, dear" and I walk away.

I go to another room and am only gone for a few minutes (it felt like it was supposed to be around 5-10 minutes from the dream) and when I return to the room where Kenzie is supposed to be, I can't find her. I go up to my husband and ask him where she is. He looks at me like I'm crazy, and says that he thought I was watching her and why wasn't I taking care of her. I start screaming her name, looking frantically for her and all the time cursing my husband for not listening to me or taking part in watching his daughter for a few minutes but instead trying to drum up business for himself at the expense of his daughter. I am just furious with him and in a panic that I can't find Kenzie. Worse, people begin to look at me like I'm an idiot.

I scream for all activities to stop and ask all the parents to help me find my daughter. We start going up and down the hall, going into rooms and yelling her name. Someone called the campus police and they go watch security video of the hallways - and they see her walking with a man into one of the rooms. We run down to the room and it is locked - and I am petrified of what I will find behind the door - I begin kicking the door to try and knock it down, and just as I open it and rush in, I wake in a panic with tears streaming down my face, because I just know she is either molested, tortured, or dead... and I blame myself - for not being her mother, for not keeping her with me, for allowing her to do something on her own because she wanted to stand in line and have her turn rather than start all over, for trusting my husband to take care of her when he was clearly pre-occupied, for not holding her close to me, for not loving her enough...

I feel lousy, horrified, and I can't go back to sleep. I just cry - sobbing as my tears soak my clothes and pillow, while I look at her sleeping next to me. And pray that I never have to feel that kind of panic for real. I pray to God that her innocence won't be shattered by any one harming her in ways children should never have to know. I want to protect her from so much, but I am afraid I will not be able to keep her safe from harm.

Perhaps these feelings are all perfectly natural. But this feeling of being inadequate as her mother keeps persisting. Please God, make me hyper-vigilant.

3 comments:

Jacqueline said...

oh julie, i wish i could hug you right now! but remember, that dream was not real. when i have bad dreams what i try to do when i wake up is think up a new ending...like you could imagine that kenzie was playing a joke and was right there all along. i do hope nothing bad ever happens to kenzie. i think that you are a great mommy and deep down inside you're just worried because you know kenzie is growing up and you want so much to protect her because you love her. you'll teach her your ethical and moral values. remember you've got a great kid and you and ray are her whole world! *hugs* jackie

Julie said...

Jackie, I hate to say this, but I've actually had dreams that have either come true or been fairly close to reality. I tend to sometimes have a psychic ability to just "know" things about people. (I can meet someone and "know" things about them - and that person is someone I've never met or known, but I just know... or there's someone I know and all of a sudden some thought pops into my head about where they are and what they are doing - and it's always turned out 100% accurate.) It has more than once helped me out - but it also scares the beJesus out of me, because there ARE times when what I dream is a forebearance of what is to come, and I hate to ignore those feelings. It's one reason I HATE leaving her in daycare, and I pray that I soon will have her at home with me instead.

cabbagemintor said...

That was one heck of a dream. It revealed very strong emotions of you towards Kenzie. She is an outstanding child and you are rightly very proud of her. I don't discard psychic abilities at all. I have seen amazing "readings" that just could not be faked. And things do happen. However, it does depend on your locality, lifestyle, sense of responsilibity, and your own knowledge and wisdom of the world. So, you can perhaps relax on the whole but be vigilant as well. Now Jia is here, you can allow the two form their own little circle with yourself taking a more detached and observational role. I am a Buddhist; and my teachings tell me not to be overly attached to anything or anybody; that suffering is ever present; and whatever I do have repercussions on self and others. And the NOW is the most important. You might find some of those principles helpful in your daily life. In ten, fifteen years' time, they will be out on their own a lot and how they handle themselves will depend on what you have taught them. And you won't be faulted on those fronts for sure.