She was telling me it was time to get up out of bed, and get ready for work.
In addition to the oddity of not waking up to my alarm, was the fact that I knew I had not fallen asleep in bed, and had no idea how I had gotten there. The last think I could specifically remember, was clicking pause on Netflix, and letting my sleep mask slip into place as I dozed off in my comfy chair.
I also learned that this was not the first, or even second time that she had woken me up for the night.
Karen informed me that when she and the kids were getting up and ready for them to go to school this morning, I was laying on the love seat; talking in my sleep and having a nightmare.
I have no specific recollection of the dream at this moment, but Karen said that I was crying out, and saying things like: "You're hurting me. That hurts. Please stop. I'm going to tell my Mommy." Apparently, I was crying too.
My words must have been clear enough for the kids to make them out, and she came into the living room to wake me up out of the nightmare.
She said that when I sat up, it was dark in the room. My eyes were glazed over, and I was pulling back from everyone. My hands balled up in fists. She asked jack to turn on the small light near the TV, and she slowly talked me into letting her help me get up off of the love seat; and then into bed.
While I don't remember this specific dream, I know all too well the story line that must have been playing out. memories that have been playing themselves out in my head for the past several weeks now. Memories, in VIVID DETAIL, of the abuse and rape that I experienced at the hand or direction of Neal Crase.
For the first time in many years, I am having detailed flashbacks of not only the things that Neal did to me, but the things that he let other men do to me. Sick, twisted, individuals who were allowed to live out their perverted fantasies and homosexual/child molesting desires out on a 10 to 12 year old boy.
Memories, that until now, I had never shared or revealed to another living soul. Not even in my darkest journal entries. I'm remembering details that I have long buried into the far forgotten corners of my mind. And, as they surface, they are excruciatingly painful. Some, to the point of making me feel physically ill or incapacitated at moments.
I'm remembering things I said, things I did, things I endured, and even things that were done to me in a fog like state of mind. I've known for years that Neal would, on occasions, give me alcohol mixed in soft drinks. He even admitted s much. There was never any secret from me there. But recent in previous flashbacks, and again in the most recent ones, I remember some of the Strawberry soda's having a bitter or salty taste to them. Like maybe some kind of sedative or medication was mixed in.
Many of these memories have been buried and forgotten for 25 to 30 plus years now. I remembered many of them when going through the process of having to prosecute Neal in the early 90's. I remember some of them surfacing again when I went through counseling with Kim Burns. Many of them I was even too ashamed to verbalize even then, and buried them back into the deapths of my mind.
But the mind is a strange and curious thing. The memories of what he did, some of the men that were allowed to come "pay rent" and molest me, are floating to the surface in ways that I've never experienced before.
A part of me wants to document the memories, put them in chronological order, and make some sort of sense out of them. I want to put the missing puzzle pieces into the bigger picture. But, at the same time, a part of me just wishes that they would go away again. Go back to the dark recesses of nothingness and hide there once again.
I feel so guilty, knowing that my children had to hear those words coming from my mouth. That they had to see me having a nightmare where their Dad was so scared and vulnerable. I'm not ready to share these thoughts and horrors with them now. I've only just recently shared a bit more of them with Karen, and that really wasn't intentional.
I recently woke in the middle of the night, with memories so vivid, I could sit and jot them down on a pad of paper. I needed to get them out of my head. to make some sort of sense out of what was so terrifying that it could shake me from my sleep and curl up in a ball like a baby while I shook and shivered.
When I fell asleep again. I didn't think to hide the papers away. Karen found them. Read them. we talked a bit about them, and I cried like a helpless child.
I feel so guilty.
I feel like there had to be, somehow, something more I could have done to stop it.
I feel so ashamed.
Now, my shame is being exposed again. to my wife. to my children.