‘My life has crept so long on a broken wing/ Thro’ cells of madness, haunts of horror and fear. That I come to be grateful at last for a little thing’.
Tennyson ‘The May Queen’ (1833).
I was five years old when I first saw her. She was standing at the top of a flight of stairs, and as I looked up into her angry, wild dark eyes, fear flooded through my small frame, and I thought ‘trouble’ has arrived.
I saw her for the last time lying dead in a hospital bed ,when I was sixty. And I feared then that she would wake up suddenly , for I couldn’t believe that she had finally gone from my life. The relief was so profound. This time my heart raced with joy and delight.
I was free at last!
But I never expected that from then on I would have nightmares about her for the rest of my life, Recurring dreams that still wake me up in the early hours , if you will forgive the cliche, in a cold, icy sweat. It feels like I am trapped in a life-long prison sentence that I can never be released from. This is my story.