As I worked through the TMS Recovery activities of today, I saw there was an item on PTSD. Well, at least I don't have that one. Or do I? I certainly don't have flashbacks or recurrent nightmares of traumatic events. In fact, I have quite different dreams. Just like for many of us, my childhood wasn't always easy. My father was a deeply angry man. He was either angry, or he had just been angry, and we were suffering through stony cold silence, or we were walking on eggshells, because he could explode anytime. And I have to admit, as an adult I wonder: why did we put up with that nonsense? We were kids, of course, but why did my mother allow this to happen? Anyway, I can still feel the fear. Sometimes I wondered if he would kill us all, but I can't actually remember him physically hurting us, not even once. It was more like a threat really, of what he could possibly do. And then he died, and the threat went away. I'm not going to lie about it, my first emotion was relief. That was 29 years ago. So, it wouldn't be weird if I had nightmares about this, right? But I don't. I sometimes dream about him, and it's never scary. There's the dream where I'm driving my van, and he's sitting with my kids and my husband, and just behaving well, really. He doesn't say anything, he's just there, and there's no threat at all. In another dream, everybody's seated at the table, again, husband, kids and father. My father is just an innocent old man, not threatening at all, sweet as can be, but silent. In this dream, I'm filling everybody's plate, including his. And I find myself thinking, why do you dislike him so much?! He's perfectly nice! Look at that sweet old man! Wait, what is he doing there? Didn't he die? But no, he's sitting there! He's harmless. As I write this, I realise my mother isn't in these dreams. Huh. Another weird thing. But I am. And I'm in control. I drive the van, I'm at the wheel. How's that for subtle (not)? I dish out the food. I'm the boss, I'm in charge. And yet, I can still feel the fear. If I allow it. I try not to, it makes me deeply uncomfortable, but I have to, or I will never get rid of it. I'm working on it. How utterly strange that in my dreams I'm fearless, and during the day, I'm not.