A shout-out to Chris, who found a home for my beloved cat. 


Thank you to all of you who have asked how I am doing, and I am truly sorry I am not doing a better job responding to all the intelligent comments on last week’s posts.  To be honest, I am having a really rough time holding my brain together with Scotch tape right now.  Last week, I could not identify an Edith Wharton quote.  This weekend, I could not remember a single David Mamet play I had seen, except for Betrayal, which is a wonderful play by Harold P-nter, a fact I remembered at 2:45 in the morning when Zachary began waking us up.  This may seem like nothing to most folks, but remember that my life was literature (specifically turn-of-the-century American literature and dramatic literature) for a long time, and now I can’t make my brain work properly.  I am sure it will come back, but in the mean time, a real post below.


            A group of us were in the woods somewhere.  I do not frequently set my dreams in the woods, but such dreams are not unheard of.  We were working at some sort of forced labor, with a rather nasty woman overseeing our efforts.  Although the work was unpleasant, there was the assurance of a hearty meal at the end.

            However, the woman in charge capriciously decided that the more favored group of woods-dwellers would be fed, while we would get a scrap of bread and a bit of water.  Perhaps it was a throwback to my Nazi dreams, perhaps it was a remembrance of the woods outside my childhood home, or perhaps I have seen too many episodes of Lost.

            Someone spoke up.  She spoke loudly and firmly and confidently, voicing our refusal to be treated so badly anymore, as well as our refusal to remain silent in the face of such abuse.

            Then the dream shifted.  Our hungry band of workers had figured out how to quietly take the eggs of wild birds without even disturbing them, and we were creeping across a field in the woods, united as we gathered large, speckled eggs.

            And then we were assembled again.  A woman at the front of our group (oddly dressed in a penguin suit as sometimes happens in dreams) declared our strength, our courage, and proudly proclaimed it scrambled egg day.  (Only a pregnant woman would dream about eggs being empowering.) We would not be kept silent under someone else’s thumb; we would join together and find our own nourishment. 

            I awoke thinking of all the people who have supported me as I found my voice to face my childhood.  The old friends who read this blog who never comment and I do not even know are there until they send me an email out of the blue.  My MIL, who reads every day, which must get her an in-law gold star.  My husband, whose support for this journey has been unwavering and unparalleled.  People I have never met, who have my back and listen to the truths I need to tell.  And, then you, those who have lived through it, too.  Until I started speaking, I had no idea how many of us there are with something like this to tell.  It makes me feel stronger to know we are all in it together, but sad because I would hope there were many fewer.  Really, what is it about hurting a child that makes it such a popular sport among adults?

            Please visit Jennifer at Thursday Drive.  Start with this post, then go to this one.  One by one, we will tell our stories, and no one can stand up to the silence without others there.

16 responses to “Dream

  1. I hoped there were fewer too….and I only told because you had my back. Thank you, Emily.

  2. Capricious–a perfect word in this context.

    I’d like to volunteer to be the woman in the penguin suit …. if that one’s not taken yet.

    (I know, I’m always ruining the serious stuff by attempting to be funny. Shame on me.)

  3. In my job, I am still disheartened by the number of children facing similar situations. It is also frustrating to know that “something” isn’t right, but what to do and how to fix it is as nebulous as the “something.”

  4. Those posts blew me away, too. Completely shattered my illusions of compassion to all living creatures, let alone vulnerable human beings. As have yours, as have yours.

  5. Your strength and bravery has once again brought a tear to my eye Emily – bravo.

  6. “Really, what is it about hurting a child that makes it such a popular sport among adults?”

    That is the key question, isn’t …

  7. Child abuse is incomprehensible to me. I cannot understand it – cannot understand how anyone can not only do something like that but can, day after day, know that about themselves.

  8. I visited Jennifer.

    I don’t know why people hurt children. I wish I did, and I wish I knew how to make them stop.

    If only there was a superpower that enabled someone to give the abusers the burden of the pain they caused, to make them experience it somehow, from the viewpoint of those they hurt. To really know. I wonder if it would change anything.

  9. To openly and honestly discuss things that most would not even do in private – you are making a difference.

    And I totally get when you said “It makes me feel stronger to know we are all in it together, but sad because I would hope there were many fewer”. There is so much truth to that.

  10. You dropped the first stone into this pool of water, and the ripples keep spreading. (Thank you. I know I keep saying that.)

    That dream says everything.

  11. You’re an amazing person, Miss Em, and I hope that you know how highly I think of you.

  12. You are such a strong and amazing woman. I love reading your blog. And thank you for speaking for so many who haven’t yet found their voice.

  13. You are such an amazingly strong woman. I love reading your blog. And thank you for speaking for all those that haven’t found their voice yet.

  14. 1. Duct tape, not scotch tape (and this is something one should never bargain over…get the good brand, for either type of tape) will hold everything together better.

    2. Eggs are incredible, period. Yes, I have it on good authority they are incredible AND edible. One need not be gravid for such thoughts.

    3. Falling asleep to Survivor (or watching any TV while susceptibly pregnant) never bodes well.

    All jokes aside…I think it is great to get your voice, all voices, out there. Yes, it stinks it happened and is such popular sport for some contingent of adult.

    But that means people will know it is that common.

    And maybe that can make it less so.


  15. Thank you all, for being so brave

  16. Hi Emily.

    It is only because of your eloquence and bravery here that I ever considered saying anything over at my place.

    You have given the hurting child/woman of redemption such a lovely voice. You reminded me that while there are some very ugly parcels of childhood behind me, I was in that landscape, but not necessarily a part of it…and therefore able to be separate from it while still honoring the reality of it.

    I’m not sure any of this makes sense. Perhaps I should just say thank you. Thank you for your voice.