Never Doubt The Truth

I love logic and mathematics.  I am also an artist. The spiritual and psychic truths I seek must also resonate with an internal logic for me to feel comfortable.

I dream a lot.  I always have.  I have many genres of dreams that I recognize.  I have had very few nightmares, such that I remember each one.  I have only one recurring dream, and once I broke the code, it rarely reappears.

©2005 Marion Pennell

©2005 Marion Pennell

But I have had a couple of dreams that “came true”. The first seems banal, but that just makes it the more plausible. Sometime around 1990, I had a dream about area code 417, which was silly, because in my job, in Canada, area code 416 is Toronto, and 418 is Quebec City.  

It was so nagging that I mentioned it at work, and nobody knew the city for area code 417. Later that morning, I got a call at work (customs brokerage at the time) from the office manager in Hamilton, Ontario.  She had seen my name on an interoffice list, and decided to call.  It seems she had followed me in my old job.

I was a traffic clerk for Bailey Meter, a subsidiary of Babcock Wilcox, before it relocated to Burlington, Ontario.  The woman calling knew my name from Mrs. K, God bless her, my old boss, who continued to sing my praises.  

After the call, confirming we were indeed the same Mrs. K’s former protegés, I checked the interoffice list and of course Hamilton is not area code 417, but it is Canada Customs Port 417.  Codes I worked with every day.  

Even if I had seen this woman’s name on the list, it would have been unrecognizable until she made that call.  I was glad I had mentioned my 417/phone code dream to my colleagues, because frankly, it’s never believable after the fact.

I have two other much more emotional true dreams that deserve their own entries, but are so private I don’t know when that may be.   I have learned to differentiate the metaphorical from the literal (thankfully!).  I still dream a lot, often lucid dreams, often simple run-throughs of the to-do lists of the day.

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

About a year or so ago I had a dream that pissed me off.  It directly brought up the abuse I suffered in 1977, when I was 18 years old.  (The worst of it was then, after he stalked me once I finally broke up with him, but it began before.)  

Since I thought I had long buried the specifics of the trauma, it turns out this dream – in which I saw the only mutual friend possible that would be anywhere, and I asked this man if Abuser was dead (he doesn’t get a name anymore), and I was told yes – this dream pissed me off just because I had Abuser’s face/name emphatically in my head for the first time in a long time, and that resurfacing seemed to trigger all my old insecurities, fears, and anger.

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

Still dealing with my long slow fallout of mom’s sudden unexpected death, I assumed every struggle, every fatigue, every toe-dip into depression was normal.  After all my life has had its fair share of such travails, so a pile-up in middle-age, while unwelcome, didn’t seem out of the ordinary.  

On June 7th of 2014, I went to a reunion concert of a favourite local band, and on the way out the door to catch the bus home, I heard my name called by – yes – that mutual friend.  I looked him up and down and said “I had a dream.  Is Asshole (I used the real name) dead?” and he said “yes”.  But that seemed too improbable, so I asked again “You’re not shitting me, are you? Is he really dead?” and he said that he was, about 2 years now, diabetes.

Longest slowest infinitesimal moment and then it was actually true.  

I kind of threw myself/fell on his neck/chest and let out the deepest heaving sobs I didn’t even know I had in me.  I cried and cried for maybe five minutes, took a breather, and the last rack of sobs.

©2005 Marion Pennell

©2005 Marion Pennell

Since that day of liberation, it has been confirmed I was suffering from PTSD from the trauma 37 years ago. Which means events and triggers today could bring on the intensity of the emotions from the original event.  It wasn’t over-reacting, it was reacting over again – largely because the original event did not have a satisfying conclusion.

For me, the knowledge that Asshole no longer walks this earth gives me a freedom I didn’t know I was missing.  A couple of days after my Liberation I heard a news report about a man killing his wife/children and I realized I was listening to the news differently.  I had not understood that previously, under my breath, I was always hoping and praying that it wasn’t him.  

I never went to the police, for a myriad of reasons.  But I always felt guilty knowing he must have gone on to abuse again.

The best part, and it kicked in right away, was realizing I should NEVER doubt myself again. Not my dreams, not my instincts, not my truths.  I have no fear anymore of the truth, of my truth.  I can speak it any time.  

People that expect me to be a certain way because I am a woman: perhaps maternal, deferential, self-sacrificing, motherly or housewifey – can just forget about it.  I have no reason or desire to put everyone else ahead of myself.  

I am putting that oxygen mask on myself first, or I am no good to anyone else.

©2007 Marion Pennell

©2007 Marion Pennell



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