My brother, Roger, had just left after a weeklong visit of misery. I didn’t know it at the time, but Roger was a trigger to my past. As I mentioned in a previous chapter, our relationship was stuck in 1970. At least, in the way we treated each other. I really hit an emotional bottom. I was a co-dependent to my wife's food addiction. I didn’t understand much about that at the time. I had always been co-dependent on someone throughout my life. My emotions had become unmanageable. As this misery intensified, my wife became my whipping boy. She continued to insist that my misery was an outgrowth of my traumatic childhood. My mind wasn’t capable of accepting that, at that time. But, that was about to change. One night, I had a dream. I dreamt that my wife began yet another diet. In my dream, after four days, she broke the diet. Immediately, I began that helpless falling that so many experience in the dream state. It was dark. I continued to fall. I expected to hit rocks or trees or something hard and die instantly. Instead, I landed softly.
As I sat up, I could see that I was in a closet. I had landed softly on a pile of clothes. I felt safe for a time. This closet had no door. The walls were at least twenty feet high. There was no way out of the closet on my own. I knew that in order for me to ever get out, someone was going to have to help me, or I would die there.
Author’s note: The closet as you will recall, was where I so often hid to escape the torment of a violent dad. When I woke up, I told my wife the dream. My next words were these, “I guess my childhood does have something to do with my inability to function in happiness today.” I would also mention that the pain of discovery and the pain of change were more extreme than the pain of the abuse. I do not understand that part of the equation. So many people give up the recovery process because they do not want to face the pain.