“Shh,”he whispered. Married people do this but it is okay because we love each other. Don’t tell anyone. She looked at the light bulb dangling from the ceiling. The light hurt her eyes. So she turned to the green wall. That was how she started a day she would never forget.
She woke up gasping for breath. Then the tears started. She tried to stop crying. When that would not work, she tried to muffle the sound. However, they were like a fountain that would not stop.
There was a knock at the door. She heard Pamela calling out, “Essie are you okay?” She could not answer. The door opened and Pammie came in. She sat on the bed and put her arms around her Ester. She said, “Essie what is wrong? Talk to me.” Ester could not speak. The tears would not allow it and even if they had she could never tell her sister about the dream she had woken from.
How could she ever tell her sister that her mind had just played a cruel trick on her? In the hours of sleep when she was resting from all the final exams and graduation activities, she had had a nightmare about what she thought was her favorite brother doing things to her as a small child. Surely it could not be a memory. If it was than the fuzzy face in that dream was not him. It was NOT Paul. It had to be a trick of some kind.
She finally got the tears to stop and they went about their day. Pammie would ask her a few times about what had caused the crying spell but she would never tell her anything more than a nightmare.
She blocked out the dream and went about her life. A few times the memory of that nightmare came up and she would stuff it down. Once when she was in a parent child group, there was a time set aside for adult group work. Others in the group were telling about their traumatic childhoods and she mentioned the dream. The councilors told her it was most likely a repressed memory. However, if she wanted to know for certain she should be hypnotized. She opted not to do that since she had enough painful memories without stirring more up.
She did not think about it any more for years. It was too painful and she had a child to raise. She went to college after her son, Jesse was in school. It was tough being a single parent and a college student but she had her parents’ help. They watched him while she was in class and her mother would help him with his school work as she was doing hers. She took Summer classes to get her education quicker since she was having such a late start. She was studying to be a Social Worker. She took classes that would go towards her Bachelors degree as electives as well as ones that would qualify for various certifications.
Her life got thrown off course with her mother’s illness but her dad was still there to watch her son if he got off the bus before her. She she plugged on. She did her associate’s work in a year and a half. She was set to graduate with that degree but decided not to march since she was going on to do the Bachelor’s level and she did not want to march without her mother there to watch. Then right after Mothers day her mother died. Eventually, she would have to put her schooling on hold again. Since she was not caring for her son, watching over her dad’s medicines and doctor’s appointments as well as her brother’s, who had recently been diagnosed with adult onset Muscular Dystrophy. Her plate was full.
She became a personal care attendant through her brother’s care taking agency. She got married. Then the nightmare came back. She placed a call a to the person that she thought was in the dream. She told him about the dream without telling him she suspected him. His first statement was, “I know it was not John.” She thought it was strange that was his reaction. Then he said, “I guess you will never know unless you get hypnotized. Of course he knew she would not do that. Then he said, “I wonder how I am going to explain to Shelly why I have been on the phone so long.” Ester told him it was okay to tell Shelly.
After the call she prayed a prayer that saved her sanity. She asked the Lord to give her a peace that even if Paul was the one in the dream that he had not molested anyone else. Ester asked God to put the dream behind her. She did not bury again. Instead she asked for help in forgiving whoever it was in that memory. God gave her peace that passes all understanding. When that nightmare comes back to her now, she has no fear that he molested someone else. You see forgiveness is truly the gift we give ourselves. We have to forgive to be forgiven. Sometimes you have to give grace to those who refuse to ask for it.