I haven’t been able to remember a lot of my dreams when I wake up, or if I did, details would fade the more my body woke up. I opened my eyes and was greeted by this tightness in my head; the kind you get when you’ve been screaming at the top of your lungs for help. It was safe to say that this was a legit nightmare and it rocked me to my core.
(This is a long post)
Brief history: I’ve been in a relationship for nearly two and a half years with a man named David. David and I get along ridiculously well because we laugh at the same stupid stuff, watch similar things, and expose ourselves (lol ew)to each other in ways that promote growth and learning. I care about him a lot and know the feeling is mutual, but as our love deepens and we grow closer, my concerns for our future start manifesting in all kinds of ways. Dave is white. I am not. This isn’t a problem for me or our families but I can’t speak for the rest of the world.
In this dream I had a boyfriend that wasn’t David but was white. We were visiting his old college and friends, a core group of like 8 people, mostly male, and not very diverse in their racial makeup, if you know what I mean. Upon meeting these people, they were somewhat friendly but didn’t really acknowledge my presence much. I would literally be like the annoying brown shadow following my boyfriend and I hated that feeling. As the only person of color in the group, I couldn’t help but feel that maybe I was being shunned because they didn’t take too well that which was “different.”
The dream progressed with us going to this off campus bar that my boyfriend used to work at. It was a mostly wooden shack-looking building that sat at the bottom of a snow-covered hill. There was a long set of wooden steps off to the right side of the bar flanked by bushes that led to the top of the hill and a parking lot for customers. I was experiencing a lot of trepidation coming to this place with these people who clearly didn’t care for me because once you get alcohol in someone’s system, all kinds of honesty can start spewing out. I was mentally preparing for slurs, stereotypes being spoken as fact, and having to defend myself because as the dream experience began. my boyfriend wasn’t being very attentive. If there’s one thing I despise about being taken to new places by friends, it’s being abandoned so they can go off and have fun. Like, wtf was the point of even bringing me along if you’re not going to show me what you enjoy about it? Boo, you whore.
So dream boyfriend got caught behind the bar serving drinks and socializing for old times sake, which left me at a faraway corner on a couch nursing a drink. A couple of his friends were around me but not talking to me, and every time I’d try to join the conversation, I’d get looks for me to STFU and stay in my lonely place. I’d keep looking to the bar to make sure my boyfriend was still there, occasionally meeting his gaze. He was having so much fun with his friends that I didn’t want to crowd him, but I also hated the fact that he didn’t invite me over. As I went back to my drink, I realized I was left alone at the couches with one of dream boyfriend’s male friends. He moved over to sit by me and put his arm around my shoulder. Without having said more than two words to me before arriving at the bar, he begins to proposition me. Starts suggesting we go somewhere private and hang out, how my boyfriend wouldn’t even notice and how it looked like I could give him a good time. Whatever in all of the fucks that even meant, I got up, told him to swerve, and went to the bar.
Dream boyfriend had disappeared in the back, and as I waited for him to return, yet another friend of his sat on the stool next to mine and asked me if I wanted to hook up. I remember looking at him like a crazy person. LIKE SERIOUSLY? WHAT IS IT ABOUT ME THAT MAKES YOU ASSHOLES THINK I’LL JUST GO TO SOME CORNER AND HAVE SEX WITH YOU? I turn him down, and focus my attentions somewhere else waiting for my boyfriend to return. He doesn’t show. I’m then told after 20 minutes that he left the bar to take a friend back to the campus about 2 miles away who got too drunk and sick. Why didn’t he tell me he was leaving? I checked my phone for any kind of text, email, digital smoke signal but there was nothing. Another friend of his approached me and offered to drive me back to the campus to find him, and since those were the most words any of his people said to me that night, I agreed and we went outside.
I start up the steps to get to the parking lot, and he tells me to wait. He sort of corners me, and he’s huge, like horizontally and vertically. He breathes into my face and starts whispering in my ear that we didn’t need to rush back to campus but could stay there and have fun. I about lost it. He referred to me as chocolate. I screamed in frustration. I look up the stairs and see two friends of mine from college who I haven’t even thought of in ages, but there they were at the top of the steps looking like they were leaving. I had to escape. I screamed their names at the top of my lungs, one and then the other. They didn’t turn around. I shoved passed the last obstacle in my way and began running up the stairs, screaming and pleading with them. “Please turn around, please don’t leave me!” I was terrified. I knew that if they didn’t hear or see me and decided to leave, I would start walking back those two miles in the snowy dark back to that campus because anything at that moment to get away from those lecherous men would be a form of comfort to me, more than my boyfriend had been that entire night. I screamed for help. I screamed for deliverance. I screamed and screamed and screamed…
And I woke up. My head hurt so badly and I was shaken so deeply. It was crazy because I knew David would never abandon me in such a situation. I’m pretty sure he understands that I would tear him a new one if he ever pulled something like that without telling me. I’m pretty direct in my interactions with people, but dream me was afraid and so reserved and perceived to be so easily taken advantage of. I think my mind was manifesting some fear I have being in an interracial relationship where even in this 2014 so-called but not at all “post-racial” society that we live in, our love would be deemed unacceptable. It was only 60-65 years ago that interracial marriages were made to be legal. Can you believe that? I know there are places that Dave and I would dare not live or visit, let alone drive through on the off-chance that we experience something terrible for the crime of living our lives. Here in the states, in Europe and countries around the world, we would be susceptible to stares. Hell, even the first time we went to Baltimore and held hands in public, I was subjected to glares from black men and women. I try not to care let alone allow it to dictate my relationship, but this is my reality. It’s sad and it’s unfortunate and I’ll do everything in my power possible to change it, but why should I and other people in interracial relationships have to continue fighting to love who we love?
(I’ll definitely be writing more on this during the week)