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October 20th, 2004 - Dreaming Dark Dreams

 

Dear Journal,


Here we are again. It seems like yesterday when I wrote my last entry. How ironically time flies by yet each day is a long torture. In my case, days and nights are torture. There is never a single moment's rest in that head of mine.  Nothing but this constant swirling which seems bound on swallowing me alive whether I'm awake or not.

Oh, I do have some moment's respite from time to time. When I concentrate on a potion, when reading an interesting book, when discussing with some colleagues when by miracle an interesting subject is brought up, when I listen to music... but when I cannot do any of those or when I lose concentration, it comes back. And the longer I let it go unanswered, the stronger it gets... like my dark mark.

(deep sigh) What am I to do? Will I ever go back to the days when I could simply lie down in bed and sleep like any normal being?  Where two or three horrible dreams a year and montly nightmares were all there was to fear from sleep.  I long for those lost days of pure blistful sleep and deep slumber.  I have next to one per year now.  (smirk) Ah! Lucky years they would be.

I said sleeping potions had no effect, but that was a little overrated. They have a slight effect, leaving me more time, an hour or two of additional sleep, but it does nothing to recede any mind swirling. Nothing. The dreams or should I say, the nightmares are the same always around me whenever I fall victim to sleep at night. I say victim because that is how I have come to call it for it makes me feel nothing less of an innocent for innocents can do nothing to make a situation get better. Nothing but trying to fight off a bit. Not that I do not fight sleep, I do. Maybe that is not the best solution, I concede but I have long ago come to a point where my waking hours are much more enjoyable than my bedtime.  So why should I now simply slip into bed as if nothing was the matter. Normal reflexes, animal reflexes, trigger a strong "don't go there again if you were hurt last time" survival signal in your head. So naturally, I have come to fear going to bed or worst, falling asleep though when I do lie in my comfortable bed, I feel a moment's serenity... until the vultures of my mind swirl in a defying dance upon my head, waiting for the perfect moment, the moment I finally let go of my defenses and fall asleep. Then they attack me with all their viciousness, each night picking more at my poor soul and mind, feeding of my fears from the past, present and future.

Oh! How I try to fight them beforehand, trying to calm down, to relax, to use whatever relaxing technique I know or was taught. I try to summon whatever happy thoughts I have left from my past or from my fantasies... but that will not do. It works for a time but then even in my perfect world, problems show up. My imagination is far from immune to them. Therefore, the way I fall into slumber is with a stiff boby, cramped muscles and a dead grip on my pillows.

That reminds me, my pillows. I have lots because that is the only I feel a modicum of safeness, as if they were someone's arms and body protecting me.  If I have none, the second I turn on the side, my back is exposed and therefore, I feel exposed to the whole world and to all the hexes of the world. I know that I have nothing to fear here, not in Hogwarts nor anywhere else since my wards are so powerful, but I cannot bring myself to get rid of those pillows. I need some in the back for protection, and some in front of me in my arms to grip. And Merlin, I grip them just as thought I was waiting unknowingly for a bomb to drop on me. But there are no bombs, not threats, the enemy is within.  The vultures are within, biding their time until I abandon as I do each night that lost battle with sleep.  

When I sleep... all the images come back to me, all fears and situations, real or not, past or future, hypothetical or not.  All of them come back to me night after night, visions of my own failures, of my own fears, of myself.  The parts of myself I loath, they come back to haunt me at night. Those parts I made sure no one saw throughout the day, those fears of mine, that insecurity of mine I made sure was well kept inside... indeed I do a marvelous job at keeping it inside. But by doing that, it sounds as though what does not come out will eat me alive from inside just like the worms in a tree.  That's what dreams are for me.  Fears and flaws I hide for I am ashamed eat me from the inside.

Ah! It's ironic how I thought no later than yesterday that I was one to easily express my feelings, yet, I guess it all depends on which feelings!  I can easily defend my opinions and values, I can shout it out, I can get angry at things, yet that pathetic hidden side of me is incapable of seeking outside help. And I have kept it so for so long now.  One compensation though, I do not believe this is unresolvable. There is also an antidote, no matter what. Even the Dark Lord could not go against that universal truth. But what is this antidote?

Albus has more than once suggested me to get outside help. I did. But the results were never good enough.  (smirk) Maybe that is why Albus gave me this book after all. Wants me to write it down, to get it out.  (sigh) Might as well try, I have tried pretty much everyelse. And I am not quite ready to go public with this. Ah! What an image!  Severus Snape going public!  No, that would cause me more nightmares and even more to those listening (smirk). But then, how to get it out? Writing is nice up to now.  Cathartic as can be. Maybe I should have written more earlier in life, maybe I wouldn't be at this point.  But what's the good of "what if" now!  Nothing.  Just to make a consensus, but nothing more.

And so, should I analyse some of my dreams more closely?  They are recurrent yet always different, rarely do I have the same nightmare. éThe situations are usually all the same, the same flaws and situations which brings them out or where people accuse me. Like last night, I was still regretting that job I quitted before coming back to Hogwarts.  What if things had been different? What if they were ready to have me back now?  All of those horrible suppositions which poison my mind.  I regret it, is that what I should say out loud?!  But the situation was impossible, I couldn't carry on though I wanted to. Why can't I seem to accept that?  Because nothing else came up?  Maybe, I would say that if my mind was otherwise preoccupied, I would not find time to dwell on past events.  But I have more than enough free time now.  My curriculum and course plan have been perfected for so long that I barely need to worry about that anymore, which always left me plenty of free time.  But now that my mind is regretful that things could not be as I wanted them to be, all of that free time is poisoning me.  My dreams about my last job in that research lab are the same, they've been so for a month (though not every night, but often): what if they called back and asked me again because they truly need me.  

This "they need me" feeling is sickening.  I need to feel useful, more than I am here, and to develop my potential if possible. I don't feel so useful here anymore, not since the Dark Lord was irradicated once and for all.  Maybe that means I have to find another way or place to apply my talents to.  That is what I was seeking, but then it didn't work out. Now what?! I feel sorry for myself?  Not very healthy though a little dose is good and tempting. But I should explore those dreams more, the need to feel useful.  Why did I feel so useful there? Because I was successful, I was liked instead of hated, people recognized my value and talents unlike my students here. I cannot go back that is for sure. They found another bloke to replace me by now. This feels just like when the only thing you wish for is a whole lot of money to solve all of your problems. "If I had..." This is the same for me and that job I had. "If they had..." I hate this.  What's more, in my dreams, when I do return, I still feel the same problems for which I left!  I am so stupid as to think things would be so very different if I went back?!  I guess I am.  The extent of human stupidity is after all infinite.  (sigh)

Also, when I do go back in my dreams, there is something else that is completely different from the first time: guilt.  Guilt of leaving, guilt of my flaws which may have been uncovered after I left, hard and stern guilt towards myself. And though I keep telling myself that I have no reason to feel so, I do. That must be the masochist part of my mind talking. Again, what should I do with all this guilt?  Hell, I feel guilty for being alive and troubling people, my self-esteem is so low in that respect, compared to others because I am such an asocial being.  I can already see loads of people, jaws dropped in astonishment were I to publically acknowledge that fact. Yes, I am uncertain and highly insecure.  There! Happy!? I am insecure when confronted with others, people whom my dear little swirling brain thinks nothing more of than their continual wish to judge and condemn me!  Indeed, that's all I ever think about: what people think of me, how they don't like me, how they judge me all the time.  Albus keeps telling that it's not true, that I make it up all by myself... If I follow the logic of my dreams, then yes, I am making it up.  All of these situations I fear in life because I fear people are looking at me and judging me all the time, all of those are repeated in different settings similar to real life except that I see them judge me. And yet, in all of those situations, I can see I'm acting with the best intentions and that I have nothing to fear, nothing that I do incorrectly that is overly dramatic. Nothing. Yet, people in my dream put the fault on me, they accuse me, they laugh at me... but then why is it not the same in real life?  I guess the answer came up a couple of lines above: I am the one making it up, not them, I am.  

(deep sigh) Great! Now I have touched one of the essential points of my dreams.  I really did. Well, what now?! (smirk) I always seem to come up with that question, don't I! Let me get this straight: I am making situations up in my mind, in my dreams, situations I fear will happen in real life but never do or only with truly stupid people or evil ones.  So what do I fear so much? Why do I have those nightmares? My lack of confidence?  Maybe it is. What if I tried to be more confident, would they go away with time? Maybe. That word seems the only answer for me now: maybe. Maybe this, maybe that. These things take time, but I am not a patient man when it comes to my flaws. I want everything to be perfect, to be better, but it's impossible. Why was I born with this horrible heritage from my father?  The quest for perfection, men's stupidiest quest!  It's bound to fail no matter what, yet I try all I can to be perfect.  

I will leave this revelation (sort of) sink in for a while.  Right now, it has be be assimilated by me. After all, I always approached those dreams as being a reflection of my life while right now, what I'm seeing is that they are rather my own misconceptions of the world, of people. They do not reflect anything, they are just fears bodiless without my dreams... Yes, I have to put a stop to this here. Unless, I may mix up the ingredients to a better antidote to my problem.  

Thank you for "listening" anyway!  If I cannot thank anybody else, migth as well thank the book!!

Severus