He gave me nightmares. Not at first but as the relationship dragged on and on and started going to shit, so did my mental and emotional health. Things got so bad for me that one critical comment from him could shut me down for hours and that is how he earned the nickname, Satan.
I used to believe that Satan was the man of my dreams. He was attentive and spent so many days with me, watching TV, having sex, wining and dining me, and listening to me talk about my hopes and dreams…well, at that point, more like, talk about my hopes and delusions as I had no real plan for my life or how to accomplish what I wanted to do. I’d already published my first poetry collection when I met him, but the book sales weren’t doing so hot, so neither was I. Let’s not pretend that in America, financial stability isn’t equated with happiness. As I had no financial stability, I’d also had very little to be happy about, until he came along and saved me from the darkness that was the confused and lonely torture of being a fresh college graduate with no job, no real employment prospects in sight, who was also weighed down with hopes of becoming a full-time writer, even though, thus far, none of her plans had been going the way she’d planned them.
He was an artist, too. A singer and musician with a voice like an angel welcoming the newly dead into heaven. And so I felt that he understood what I was going through, had probably gone through it himself. He was so understanding and support for the first few months, but as my life slowly dissolved from nothingness and insecurity into total shit and panic, he stopped being so understanding and sweet.
I used to believe he was the man of my dreams… until the nightmares began.
He never loved me in the nightmares. He cheated on me and treated me poorly but… my sweetheart, the man I thought I knew, would never do those things to me in real life, would he?
Indeed, I began to notice that I only had dreams at all when he slept over. Sleep had become my new solitude, becoming a place where I could hide and just feel and do nothing. Sleep, the new activity I craved more than sex, for craving sex from someone who very suddenly claimed to have a low sex drive only lead to a lot of rejection. After spending 8 months in Brooklyn struggling to get by financially, attending job interview after job interview with nothing panning out, I’d had enough rejection to last several lifetimes. So it was that being told no over and over again killed my desire for sex and I stopped asking. Now, sleep was my new escape. Sleep become the only place where I could be everything I’d always wanted to be: peaceful, secure, warm, and taken care of.