In my dreams, every night, I am back at school (it’s been nearly 10 years.) There, all my defences crumble, and I am confronted with my deepest fears. My peers can finally treat me with the contempt I deserve. No need to hide how pathetic, repulsive, or worthless I am. None of the kindness or tact that you find in real life. Everyone is completely callous, if not actively malevolent. I am an other, an outsider, to be sneered at, laughed at, and rejected. Everyone is against me, and I am powerless to escape or change the situation. Even the teachers despise me – I am constantly having arguments with them. I am utterly alone, in a world that sees me as vermin. And then I wake up, drenched in sweat. A great way to start each day.
Over the course of the morning, my mental defences gradually reassert themselves. I remember that people can be compassionate and caring as well as hostile and cruel. I recall that I have some power over what I do with my life, and where I spend my time. That there are things in this world that I love, and not everything is an opportunity to expose and humiliate myself. And that none of it really matters anyway, since this world and everyone in it will soon be gone.
The feeling of dread gets pushed back under the surface. But I think it probably plays a large role in why I find it so hard to get to sleep to begin with. A subconscious part of me knows what’s coming, and desperately clings to the waking world. It doesn’t want to return to a place where I’m so utterly powerless, alone, and surrounded by hatred. Without wanting to sound dramatic, I think being trapped there indefinitely would be a certain kind of hell.
Anyway, here’s a song with a vaguely topical title. I’m off to get some breakfast. Enjoy.