I have been having a reoccurring dream these days. A nightmare, really.
It is about my wedding.
It is one of those dreams that you know is a dream, but you cannot wake up.
I am all dressed up as a bride wearing exactly the kind of dress I want. My hair is perfect, I am at a lovely weight, my lipstick is that perfect shade of pink I am always buying at Sephora that looks terrible on me in real life, but absolutely perfect on me in this dream.
Everyone is there. My family, my best friends, Crush, his family....
The ceremony begins and I walk down the aisle and AWFUL is standing there as my groom in all of his toadstool glory. I panic. I start hyperventilating. I try to turn around and run, but he holds me tightly by the arm, and tells me not to embarrass him through his closed brown baby teeth (he had teeny tiny teeth). He tells me that everyone thinks I am crazy. He tells me that everyone hates me. He tells me that I am nothing without him. He tells me that I am fat. He tells me all of the things that he said to upset me when we were together in real life.
I cannot wake up. I try, I scream "WAKE UP!" in my dream. And I marry him hysterically crying while he holds my arm so tightly that it cramps in real life (like when I wake up, my left arm is half asleep). Mascara running down my cheeks while everyone just disappears, but Crush. Crush is pounding on the windows outside, trying desperately to get in, all dressed up in a tux and tails. The other weird detail....When we start our vows, we are no longer at a hotel, but in a church......but I am Jewish. Awful was the one who promised to convert and didn't want to, but wasn't man enough to come clean and strung me along. Yet in the dream, I am marrying him in the most gorgeous church.
I wake up crying every time. Three times I have had this dream. The last time being 2 nights ago, in bed with Crush. I woke up sobbing and screaming, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" and woke Crush up in the process. I told him all about the dream and he simply said....."I believe Awful knows we are in love, even if he doesn't have it confirmed, he can feel it and you can feel it and your mind is processing how serious we are. I would break down the church window to marry you and punch Awful in the face, so if you have this dream again, maybe the ending will be different now that I said that." He is smart, my Crush.
As soon as I dumped Awful, I ran home, to live with my parents. It wasn't only because of needing comfort or financial support, it was because I needed some distance between Awful and his manipulations. I knew he was badmouthing me, trying to steal my friends.....going out and getting drunk and sharing embarrassing and personal stories about me. People hate me because of him. They cross streets when they see me, they ignore me in coffee shops, they don't return my emails....Yet, these people were only acquaintances and even if it stings for one moment, they can have Awful. I would spend my life friendless if I had the choice between having to be friends with Awful to have other friends or to spend my life completely alone. That is how much I dislike him. But, yet, I see why people are drawn to him as a friend. Because he is so insecure and such an approval seeker, he is a great person to use. He will pay for everything and go so overboard. Hell, he seduced me initially this way, too.
I know he is speaking unkindly about me because he did this about his ex-wife. Made her into a monster. Called her "the bitch ex-wife." Poor girl also ran home to her parents years ago after divorcing Awful and from what I heard, she is still there, home, cocooned, maybe she didn't want to ever see him again either. She also dumped him. I would love to know her take on their marriage, but of course, it is none of my business.
This city isn't big enough for the two of us, Awful and me. I know I am leaving and yet I still have anxiety about seeing him. Why? Hmmmmm, this is a bit complicated. It is not because of who he is, BUT, because of who I was when I was with him. When I dream about him, it makes me sick because I know that his hateful comments soaked into my subconscious. He penetrated all of me with his toxicity.
I was planning to move to Boston before meeting Awful and somewhere south after I dumped him and way before I met Crush. The south has always intrigued me, mostly because you can't do hospitality better than the south does. So, my tie to this city was never that deep, but moving away has many positives, one major one being that Awful still lives here and I don't imagine he will go away anytime soon, especially since he has a pretty easy job that I helped get for him through my connections and own job at the time.
Awful told me that I would never find the man I wanted and I DID. I remember him telling me that what I wanted didn't exist. He said specifically, "you will never find a smart, nice, Jewish man who will treat you the way you want. It doesn't exist. But, if it did, you wouldn't be the one he would chose. Trust me, I am a guy and I know that for a fact." Joke is on you, Awful.
Yet, I don't feel the need to sock it to him. I don't feel like I will rejoin Facebook the minute I get engaged. To post wedding photos, to show him how in love I am, how handsome Crush is, how Crush is exactly the kind of man he wished he could be. I know that deep inside seeing me with the kind of guy he told me would never want me would hurt him. At the end of the day, I don't want to hurt anyone.
I don't need to prove that I won.
Because I already did.
And I think inside, he knows it, too.