I couldn’t fall asleep. The anxiety was back and careening out of control. I thought I would feel proud of what I’d said to Shaun earlier, via text message, establishing important boundaries, but I didn’t.
Instead, I was just reminded of all the times I’d accepted less for myself, put up with being treated this way – and feeling awful about myself because of it.
Now, I worried because I didn’t trust him. He’d text me again – and I’d be faced with that dreaded decision to reply sweetly or risk being forever painted as a “bitch.” My fragile ego couldn’t handle this! I had to avoid this situation at all costs. I grabbed my phone from the night stand. I brought up Shaun’s contact info and I blocked him. I set it down again and tried to sleep. Two minutes later, I rolled over again and blocked Terry too.
My doctor told me if I wanted to get a handle on my anxiety, I would need to start closing the book on some of these undesirable situations. All I wanted to do now was sleep – and there were way too many books to close before I do that.
But all the times I didn’t stand up for myself were attacking me in my sleep: two nights ago, I dreamt I was back with an ex. We made love. But then I told him I missed him and he snubbed me – similar to what he’d done in real life. I was insulted and in my head, I told myself to leave, but I couldn’t. I just sat there, quiet and motionless.
“What are you doing? Walk away!” I screamed at myself, but I couldn’t move. It was infuriating. I sat there until he told me he couldn’t see this working after all and then I watched him walk away, still unable to move.
In another dream, Deacon from the TV drama, Nashville offered to help me with an important interview at a large shopping centre. At first I was grateful, but then I became furious when he and a photographer took off, leaving me behind, unsure of where I was going. When I finally caught up with them, Deacon had the mic and was ready to do the interview without me. I screamed at him in front of the interviewee. He snapped back.
I backed down and apologized.
“Sorry,” I mumbled. “It must just be my anxiety causing me to overreact.”
And then I left to cry by myself while he took over my interview. I was so mad at myself when I woke up, it ruined my whole morning.
I looked up at the dream catcher Sam made me for Christmas, afraid the dreams would still get me. All those open books – I’d close them later. Tonight, I needed Adivan.