Extract I

Written by Melissa Booey

Photograph by  Krista Mangulsone

Photograph by Krista Mangulsone

I have recurring nightmares that haunt my daily life. After experiencing trauma, often times one tries to cope with said trauma through their dreams during sleep. I went from a few familiar sequences to an entire outer cerebral hemisphere when I closed my eyes. It became so real - seemingly more relevant than that which occurred in my reality: dark waters; free falling from high-rise overpasses in an uncontrollable car… accepting horrific fates seconds before submitting to gravity - a plunge I’ve somehow always landed. I had a nightmare that he’d stopped loving me - suddenly, unforgivingly. It was our last blissful moment, that summer night. When I awoke the next morning, I was somehow fully aware of the stakes of my situation - I knew what a precious thing I had and it became too terrifying to accept. My fear made me despise him, persecute him, ridicule and abuse him. I blamed him for the sins of others, of all men and all nightmares. He became my scapegoat. I became his trauma. More is contagious than we think.