Last night I woke at 1:37 am after having possibly the most significant “stress dream”/nightmare that I can remember ever having. After my experiences as a cancer patient, the death of my mother and other challenging encounters in my life, I live with fluctuating intensities of post-traumatic stress. This manifests itself most intensely during sleep; through dreams like the one I had last night.
In last nights dream, I was brought back to the school that I went to between the ages of 10-14, where, when I was 13, the school IT teacher and caretaker showed me extreme BDSM pornography, of a man with a bleeding anus and the blood dripping over his testicles. At this point in my life I was going through a personal identity crisis and was open about questioning my sexual identity, with the school, Stowford College, being aware of this. There was an investigation into the incident, after I’d told my dad what had happened, where the police accepted Arthur Miller’s account that he’d “accidentally” stumbled across the image while showing me something in class – one of my earliest points of losing faith in the system. I knew that his “accident” claim was a lie, with the smile he had on his face, when I looked at him in horror, being firmly planted in my mind, and it was agreed between my dad and the school that I would no longer have any classes with Mr Miller. He was attempting to groom me and the attempt to confront the situation through systemic processes had failed, putting all the other children at that school at risk, as well as children at the church where he was said to volunteer at. In last night’s dream, I was returning to Stowford to start a job there as an adult, but found myself walking into a scene of cock and ball torture, and as I attempted to leave found that I’d become a young child again. I attempted to leave through the front door of the school I became aware that it was a dream, but that a ghostly presence had followed me to the door, who was preventing me from walking through the door and waking up and would so until I had confronted them. As I tried to punch this spook, I became aware that the only way I was going to be able to confront the spectre was to say “I am not afraid. I am not scared” and know that that was true.
In the space between waking and sleep, I felt myself saying those words out loud and woke up with a jolt. I could feel that I needed to do something cathartic/expressive, so I picked up the book I keep by the bed for drawings and took it to my living room, did an automatic drawing, wrote a few lines of poetry and wrote some of the words from the dream. In my waking, I realised something about myself from the dream. What I had taught myself is that I have an experience of a primal desire to confront directly and authentically what I encounter as revolting, fuelled, in part, by experiences such as this one, where indirect, mediated, systemic confrontations have failed. The most significant other fuel for this desire is from having lived in a very non-confrontational family, who has through my life repressed so much desire-to-confront, mostly out of avoidance or Buddhistic-type non-violent morality, that to this day has such petty bitterness within it that as I write this I am filled with bitter feelings for the patheticness.
Life has taught me the importance of confrontation, most brutally through cancer treatment, because the tumour was an intolerable presence in my brain. It has become so much of who I am, with a certain confrontational-quality having become a huge part of my personality. I can affirm this, as I am very comfortable with who I am.
To be clear, by confrontational, I do not mean violent. Violence, particularly in political-systemic machinery, as in to-violate, generally disgusts me – where it does not is in the cases of hunting for food (in hunter-gather contexts), where the hunter breaks the body of the prey, in self defence, where an attacker is broken to prevent the individual being-attack being-broken, and, if honest, in sport-fighting, which I enjoy as a spectacle of bodily-power. Arthur Miller’s attempt to groom me was (psychically) violent (in the pursuit of bodily violation) and I have no tolerance for any part of what he or other violators/abusers do in their search for domination.
Confrontation is to me a destructive/creative) process, rather than violent. This is most obvious to me in situations where individuals seek to confront abusive machinery, so as to create their destruction. To be clear, I affirm destruction as a positive-process, differentiated from annihilation – annihilation perhaps being best located in oceanic-dead zones and death camps, both manifesting from constructed Realities – with the positivity of destruction being located in its spatial-affirmation of the structure being detotalised and its creative qualities perhaps being best identified in the sight of great valleys created through the destructivity of rivers upon landscapes, with all the life potentiality they bring. Confrontation’s positivity is also obviously manifested in my eyes through the aggression of a mother fox or mother sparrow, doing all in her power to protect her young – which is not an act of violence – and I am continually inspired by confrontation as an act of loving-care.
I am grateful for this opportunity to reflect on my primal-confrontationality.