A Scapegoat’s Nightmare


I would have a nightmare off and on in my teenage years and in my yearly twenties.  The background scenes were a little different but the central character was always the same.  I remember three of them, all of them very short.

One was when I was around seventeen or eighteen. In the dream I was walking at night along the street we lived on coming back home from a corner store about a quarter of mile down the way.  The road we lived on was the last street of the south side of the municipality we lived in with only fields behind it, so it was a lonely long road.

To continue, in the dream I’m walking in the dark with the street lights offering pockets of light.  I hear a scuffle or skiff of a shoe-like sound behind me and I turn and look.  About 30 feet away, far enough that I could take in the whole view and behaviour of the creature and close enough to know it was there just for me, I saw a shadow figure.  It was a tall thin shadow man with limbs too long.  It was just standing there looking right at me.  It was evil in human form and I was too terrified to speak.  All of a sudden it started moving in an erratic, inhuman way, creepy off-the-charts.  I knew it was doing this to traumatize me with its otherworldy weirdness as these weren’t human movements.  I woke up frozen with fear.

When I was eighteen I had another one.  It started similarly in that I was walking home at night and approaching the driveway that would lead to the front door.  Just before I approached the driveway I saw the same long shadow man figure emerge from among the shadows of the two vehicles parked there side-by-side.  He started his creepy jerky dance of large exaggerated and inhuman movements and then suddenly slipped in front of one of the cars to hide.  I stood there paralyzed knowing that he knew I couldn’t go forward with him crouching there out of sight.

With this one I woke up and tried to figure out what it meant.  I knew the figure represented something but I didn’t know what.  Whatever it was, the sense was it had singled me out and was narrowed down on me.  There had to be something like that in my life that matched that characteristic.  I knew that if only I could figure that out the nightmares would stop.

The last one when I was twenty.  I was sharing an apartment with a friend in Vancouver at the time and that apartment was featured in the dream.  In the dream I had woken up in the middle of the night because of a sound in the apartment’s living room.  I got up and stepped quietly through the hallway to look into that room.  I was obviously braver in my dream than I would have been in real life!  In a sense of evil that permeated the darkness I knew the shadow man was in there hiding behind the end of the couch at the far end of the room.  I mustered all I had to barely squeak out from a throat tight with terror, “Who are you?”  Perhaps the straining to speak was due to my being asleep but finally getting the words out had woken me up.

The next day I was determined that I was going to figure out what the nightmares represented.  I may have been getting them only around once a year but they so terrified me that I couldn’t bear one more.  I thought hard but knew it was going to be more of an instinctual thing and that there would be an “fit” when I got the right answer.

I came up with an answer almost right away, but that answer seemed odd for a subject for a nightmare, so I continued to think of what’s dark, what lurks, what follows me, what targets me?  The same answer came again and I accepted it in surprise.  It was my mother,  THAT was the shadow man in my dreams.  My mother!  But to be precise, it wasn’t my mother as much as it was what was inside my mother when she was bearing down on me in rage with her eyes full of hate and almost like her crazed insides needed to come out in a direct assault toward me.

It fit.  It was the right answer and I never had a nightmare like that ever again.  I was then old enough and living away from her so the answer could now come and not when I was still living with her.  I’m certain God reveals these things to us when it’s safe to do so.  And what was being revealed to me was that I was not just dealing with a rejecting hateful mother but with a dark force.

I shelved that information for decades.  I lived away from her ever since except for a short time in my early thirties, and was then always hoping things could get a little better.  They did, but only marginally, when she entered her seventies and mellowed out a little.  But now that I’m nearing fifty I want to start looking back and make more sense of what had gone on in my life up to now, and that includes revisiting nightmares.

It’s still strange to me to write out that one’s mother was a source of nightmares.  I’d be too ashamed to tell anyone that except here on this blog.  She still plagues my mind in a dark way that isn’t normal and is outside most people’s experience when it comes to mothers.  She never represented comfort to me but always a darkness and feelings of anxiety and apprehension.

Writing and telling others about these nightmares are the final death to them.  I imagine there is something that can be a little stronger in my now for my telling them.

As a side (and lighter) note, the title “A Nightmare on Mom Street” occurred to me.  It’d be funny only because it’d be so cheesy.  You can thank me for quickly rejecting it.


7 thoughts on “A Scapegoat’s Nightmare

  1. No, no I don’t reject the Nightmare On Mom Street because as I was reading about the lurky creature I said to myself, sounds like Freddie Krueger. I’m afraid of my mother but most know her as this Saint so it only gets me in trouble to talk about it. And I do believe you’re right, it’s what’s inside of these mothers. And mothers are used because they wouldn’t be suspected by the very nature of their title.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol I still think it’d be a cheesy title that wouldn’t match the darker nature of the dreams, but the Freddie Krueger thing had me chuckle.

      The ability of narc mothers to fit in with the world but save their wrath for that ONE person, a child, is an insidious thing. It’s chillingly crafty. It silences the victim, just as with you and your mother.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for sharing your nightmare there are many that can relate including me. There were times in later years I wondered if my mother had multiple personalities because she’d switch from bible thumping devout Christian to this sneering, jaded, cynical harsh person with a lower voice that was distinctly more aggressive than the passive sweet one. The problem was with the MPD theory is that she’d only do that switch when she wasn’t in front of the church ladies. She only turned into the wicked witch in situations where plausible deniability could be maintained. This meant that she carefully discredited her victims so that no one would believe them or she choose vulnerable people in the first place. Wolf like they site their prey as the one already limping. The scary thing is when no one knows that there is a wolf in their midst because they come across like a lamb.
    The scripture came to mind as Jesus describes satan’s activities on this earth John 10:10

    10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

    You are right the mother of nightmares is hard for what I can “civilians” to believe. Those that had semi-functioning parents cannot comprehend that momie occupies nightmares in her targeted scapegoat. Most of those not raised by narcissists can’t wrap their brain around the idea that a mother could possibly be an emissary of darkness and seek do destroy the life of her offspring. However, the similarities between narcs and their targeted activities at destroying the lives of their scapegoat gives me reason to believe that they have turned themselves over to darkness and are doing the bidding of their actual master.

    This goes beyond self-centered or non-empathetic to what Scott Peck referred to as “the people of the lie”. A formerly Buddhist psychiatrist he came to believe in the possibility of demon possession sometimes in the people that thought they were the “normal” ones in the family. I remember my mother commenting while she was still lucid “you are always so nervous around me, why are you so nervous”. She used that to imply I should take psychiatric drugs for my nervous condition. When she made that comment I’d had nearly 55 years of narcissistic games from her to the point that I felt very agitated in her presence, I had a hard time sitting still and was on hyper vigilance mode. IN other words full fledged PTSD. I just didn’t know that was what it was called and I for sure couldn’t tell her the truth

    What I like about that verse in John was Jesus final words “but I’ve come that you might have abundant life” So, those narc mommies, can steal self esteem, destroy reputations, slaughter innocence but in the end, when Jesus comes in, He can replace all the enemy did through those tools of darkness with an abundant life.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Plausible deniability – the ruse of calculating cowards. Narcs do it as easy as breathing, it seems.

    And it’s exactly like wolves going after the limping – I love that analogy. And we know that narc mothers cause the limp in their own child so they can have a permanent victim. It’s a wholesale exploitation of a child.

    I read Peck’s “People of the Lie”. It nice to see it being a well-received book with the general public.

    I have to look up PTSD as it sounds like what I’ve always had but didn’t have the words for it. I used to only equate it to war veterans but if it means ONLY always being on guard, hyper-vigilant for the slightest sign of rejection or dislike by family or strangers alike, crippling anxiety to even leave the house sometimes because there’s people out there, going stone cold and panicky when I hear someone starting to raise their voice (even if it’s directed at someone else), and constantly feeling tired and “not well” even before I was laid out with CFS – if that’s just some of the symptoms I have that could be PTSD, then that would be it. Wow, reading that makes me realize what a social mess I am. lol

    It is such a relief to not only speak to others who were also scapegoats but that they are fellow Christians as well. To me, narcissists and psychopaths are described well in the Bible through a smattering of descriptions of “the wicked”. So, I know of their existence intellectually as a Christian but I’ve also have it through experience.with my mother, oldest sister, and an ex-boyfriend. All three’s eyes would go black and the lack of empathy for anyone or anything was shocking. Thank you for the words of encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shortly before my 50th birthday, I was diagnosed with PTSD by a Christian psychiatrist, Paul Meier, MD. Dr. Meier is the best-selling author or co-author of over 100 books.

      Although my diagnosis came late in life, my PTSD symptoms go all the way back to when I was a young girl. Dr. Meier told me that having PTSD after going through extreme trauma is normal — just as it is normal to bleed when you are stabbed.

      I have survived a lot of trauma in my life, especially as a child. The majority of my worst trauma was caused by my momster.

      My husband is a war veteran, Vietnam era. He is on disability for combat related PTSD. In my husband’s opinion, my trauma is worse than his, because in combat you have foreign strangers trying to destroy you, not your own mother.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your comment, Linda. I’m glad to have you here.

        I’m glad you had a good psychiatrist – when they’re good they help frame what happened to us in a manner that we can begin to help ourselves with better understanding.

        God gave us bodies and minds that are super-geared to protect us and to always be for our survival. I think of PTSD as God-given emergency protection. Then, if we give Him the chance, He begins teaching us to not fear and know Him as our protector.

        Liked by 1 person

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