Help me! Please!
I am screaming, but the words evaporate as quickly as I can expel them from my mouth. I am thrashing and writhing, desperately grabbing at anyone who might be able to save me. There are so many people around me, all possible heroes, but none of them come to my aid. They all continue on with their lives – eating, sleeping, playing, working, doing whatever it was they were doing before I became imprisoned in these steel arms.
Help! I scream again, pleading desperately.
Listen to me! Dammit! Help me!
But no one sees me. No one hears me. No one listens to me.
Don’t they see me? Can’t they hear me? Why won’t they listen?
I am trapped, frozen, paralyzed inside a subconscious hell. My breath catches and I let out a guttural, primal groan.
After what feels like hours, but could only have been minutes or seconds, my husband shakes me awake and rescues me from my tortured slumber. He had recognized my labored breathing and knew that I was having one of my dreadful, recurring “panic dreams” during which I am unable to talk, move, or communicate in any way. Like a doll, with a frozen smile and arms akimbo, I am mute and lost in the sea of humanity.
No one can hear me. No one listens. No one saves me.
Perhaps my panic dreams are representative of a more pervasive fear, like most recurring dreams, I suppose. Perhaps – and here comes the big revelation you’ve been waiting for! – they are symbolic of a general fear of being unheard.
To my kids, I fear that I am a white noise of reminders, admonishments, and requests that they feel free to ignore. When I write, I fear that no one is reading and that my painstakingly scribed words simply vanish into the ether. And then there is the worst fear of all – that my words (whether spoken or written) are heard, but that they are quickly dismissed as unimportant, uninteresting, forgettable.
There is, I suppose, an innate need for human connection within all of us. Whether we speak verbosely or silently, whether our words are plentiful or sparse, whether we whisper or shout. We want to be seen and heard. We yearn to be recognized and acknowledged, to be saved from rejection and disregard.
Our human experience seems to demand that we be seen, heard, and listened to. We want someone – anyone – to hear our cries, sense our pain, and share our dreams.
So I will try to listen more closely. I will try to hear more. Because, after all, we can’t expect to get what we don’t give.
Do you have any recurring dreams? When do you feel unseen or unheard?
I am also linking up with the Yeah Write Speakeasy for us cool cats who aren’t feeling the competitive vibe this week. There are some really great writers who blog and bloggers who write on both the Challenge grid and the Speakeasy. Check it out.