A couple nights ago I had a dream, one I can’t quite shake. I don’t often think about V; I dream about him even more rarely. I don’t remember the beginning of the dream, but I remember him in bed with H and I. We were all naked, but V was separate from H & I. H was touching me and kissing me, but I wasn’t into it. I kept looking at V and wanting him; I didn’t understand why he wasn’t involved, why he wasn’t touching me. I dissociated from what H was doing and was completely focused on V. After a few minutes H stopped and I went to V. He had gotten up from the bed, so I followed.
This is where the dream became so vivid it takes my breath away just thinking about it as I type. V looked at me, and I saw everything his eyes held back when I was sixteen and he was twenty four. I could see the affection he had for me, I could see his desire, and so much more in his eyes as he looked at me. I saw a future that I desperately want, filled with love, family, children. After an instant and an eternity of V looking down at me like that, he opened his arms and I wrapped myself in his embrace. I could feel his body against me, I felt the way we fit together. Its been over six years since last I touched him, and yet I had him in my arms once again in that damn dream.
As soon as I looked into V’s eyes, it was as if H didn’t exist. V kissed me, and his lips were air to my drowning soul. I felt so strong, beautiful, safe and loved. All of my self-doubt, self-hatred, all of my complicated feelings and worries were just gone. In V’s arms I felt worshiped. More than that even, I felt understood completely. It’s difficult to convey adequately what his touch inspired in me, but it was everything I’ve ever wanted to feel. There was no rush; we took our time, we connected. The entire time H was nowhere to be seen. I trusted V with all that I am. Much as I’m not a fan of the phrase, we made love. After, H reappeared in my dream, but he was the 3rd wheel rather than my partner and my husband. V held me and whispered, “I love you.”
Don’t get me wrong, I know it was only a dream. I understand this isn’t how it was in real life. I truly don’t believe V ever loved me. But I did love him, I wanted to marry him, I wanted to have his children. I’ve never felt that way about any other man. It’s funny, I didn’t actually realize that until just now, reflecting on this dream and my feelings. I love H, and I am so grateful to have him. I would never leave him. But, he isn’t someone I’d want to have children with. We are too different. Trying to raise children with H would be a never ending battle. That’s not what I want. So, when I tell H I don’t want children, it isn’t a lie. It’s true that I don’t want to raise children with him. But once upon a time, I desperately wanted children. For me, it comes down to trust. I trust H with my life, but I don’t trust him to be there forever, through thick and thin, no matter what. That’s what I’d need to be willing to have children. When V swore to me we’d be together, I believed him. He’s the only man that ever had my complete trust. I gave him all of me, and I’m not sure I ever got it all back.
If there’s one thing that’s become very clear to me since I’ve begun this blog, it’s that my submissiveness is not something I can hide or deny any longer. It’s ironic that I’d have such a dream about V now, when I’m so much more clear about what I want in a relationship, things that V could never have given me. H and I have been having a rough time. It’s nobody’s fault, we are just very different. We think differently, we communicate differently, we assume differently, we understand differently. It’s a constant battle for us to be on the same page. We are fighting, and we are fighting hard for our marriage. But, it’s a lot of work. It’s tiring. It leaves me feeling hollow, empty, lacking. Not all the time, but often enough. Things have been getting better, slowly but surely. H still makes me happy, we still love one another, we still want to be together. But I’m tired. I wouldn’t mind things being easy for a while.
I imagine that’s where this dream came from. Now that I’ve given it more thought, it does sound like just the break I want: being with the only man who ever had my trust without reservation, the man I wanted to raise children with. I get that the dream was just a fantasy, an idealized version of what was. It’s still hard to know what I felt in that dream is forever out of reach. V was the second man I ever went to bed with. I had a boyfriend before him, Z. We were both 16, and we only dated for one summer. I loved Z, still do in fact. Z is pretty messed up, his home life was a mess too. We both had anger issues and other emotional problems. The thing that gets me about Z is that I begged him not to promise he’d always love me. I begged him, because I knew we wouldn’t last. I knew I wouldn’t be the girl that gets the storybook happily ever after ending with her first love. I know that I have a hard time letting go. I also knew that if Z promised he’d always love me, I’d never be able to completely let him go. Because hearing him say it validated my always loving him. I don’t want to love him, but a part of me always will. He doesn’t feel the same.
After being betrayed by so many men, at some point it’s tough to not see myself as the only common factor, as the root of the problem. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be a saint. I’ve made a lifetime’s worth of mistakes, and I’m sure I’ll make many more. But I wasn’t wholly responsible either. I was a vulnerable, confused, hurting kid. I just wanted to feel loved. I wasn’t the adults who chose to use and abuse me. I can’t get the bitter taste out of my mouth because that damn dream forced me to relive so much of how I felt, of how innocent I was. Even when I’ve dreamed about being raped, or about E’s abuse, I rarely am this shaken up for this long. I had so much taken from me because nobody protected me, and I didn’t know how to protect myself. I want to let go of the past, I want to let go of the baggage. I just don’t know how. I want to be more connected with H, I want to help him understand me. I just don’t know how. I’m trying, I really am. I want to be happy, I want my marriage to be stronger. I want H to truly know who I am, I want us to trust one another with everything we are. I just have to find the right way; we have to find our path…