Goodbye, Monsters

misty water with a few small islands

Many years ago, a friend mentioned “nightmares, like a child has.” I asked if they didn’t still have nightmares, as an adult, and they said no. I asked more friends, and they said the same. I was both surprised and reassured: Why did I still have regular nightmares? Could answering that question make them stop?

Answers: Because trauma, and yes, recognizing and healing from that trauma mostly eliminated the night monsters. (There’s a good decade of emotional work covered in that sentence – therapy, books, exercises that seemed woowoo but my god they worked wonders, and support from incredible friends, family, and neighbours. I love you all. ❤️)

I started taking it for granted that I could sleep without fear. I used the old terrors as scenes in the stories I write, and I laughed at my occasional bad dreams that somehow revolved around not being able to get my phone to work? I’d traded scary for irritating, jolts of a racing heart for mild annoyance.

Through the cracks of recent disruptions in my life, a few monsters slipped back in. They’d always been there, I guess, just shaken loose by transitions. I knew myself and them better though, so they couldn’t hide in my dreams. Monsters have less power in the light, less strength in smaller numbers. They became feeble, weak whispers heard only in those moments I forgot the light glowing inside me. 

Wisps of these forlorn shadows followed me to my new home, but the exhilarating love and safety here renders them helpless. I held a ritual to send the wraiths into the cold, beautiful water, specks of the past carried by the mighty St. Lawrence out to the sea. 

That’s all there is to this post. I just wanted to let you know that the time of night monsters has come to an end. xo

large river with islands and some trees changing to fall colours
Goodbye, Monsters.
Photo 260002237 © Les Palenik |

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