An epiphany post dream

So I thought why not write it out and make more sense of last nights dream and here I am.

Last night I dreamt that essentially I had to manage everyone else’s “big feelings” despite my own. I pretty much ran around in this dream trying to regulate everyone else’s emotions and make them feel better. The whole time I was unable to deal with my own stuff because I had to fix everyone else’s.

It wasn’t a very veiled dream. It’s essentially what I’ve done since childhood. So when I woke up I was more annoyed that even in sleep I was suppressing my stuff to make it better for everyone around me.

Some of my first thoughts waking up were well obviously I don’t need to do that.

  • Why did I feel the need to fix it for everyone else?
  • Why do I feel frustrated by this?
  • Why is this a sore point for me? Is there something going on where I feel like I’m suppressing how I feel again?
  • What do I want to do with this information?
  • What did I learn?

So let’s break this all down.

Why did I feel the need to fix it for everyone?

Since childhood I’m aware (thanks to therapy) I spent most of my time “fixing” parental emotional needs. This is a pattern that I’ve struggled with for years. Others having big feelings around me makes me uncomfortable. It means while I’m trying to make it all better for everyone else I become more and more dis-regulated. Everyone else is comfy and happy while I’ve set myself on fire.

Why do I feel frustrated by this?

Because it’s what I learned as a child and I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to be setting myself on fire for everyone else’s comfort. I made their big feelings better but I’m now spending my adulthood learning what these feelings are within myself and my own experience. It’s a struggle to experience them let alone voice these negative feelings at times.

I simply don’t want to do it for others anymore. It’s not my responsibility to bear the consequences for others for their comfort. It’s not my responsibility to bear the discomfort for them hurting my feelings and not take up the space to say “this is not ok. Stop!” I should be able to express that and give myself the space to deal with how I feel in my own time and space.

Why is this a sore point for me? Is there something going on where I feel like I’m suppressing how I feel again?

The dream feels symptomatic. I feel like I’m worried about regulating others around me whilst I’m still processing my own feelings.

I feel like that by certain others I am expected to smother how I feel and put it aside for their comfort and to do things to the beat of their drums. I’m still processing and that’s taking time.

Being able to vocalise having the feelings and what bothers me is hard enough to do due to a life time of conditioning. It take time for me to then process that I managed to get it out my mouth to begin with. It doesn’t help to then get the flying monkeys pop up and basically get themselves involved when it wasn’t addressed to them instead of the ones it was addressed to.

So I guess I am feeling like there is a pressure to minimise the space I’m taking up for others comfort. I haven’t done it and I don’t want to.

What do I want to do with this information?

I want to reassure myself and my inner child that the only emotions I am responsible for are my own, the only emotions I am responsible for the “fixing” of are mine, for the regulating of belong to me. I am not here to fix what is beyond my control.

What did I learn?

It’s ok for me to have feelings good or bad, big or small. It’s ok for me to take up space. Regulating other people’s emotions is no longer my job and I’m not doing it anymore. It’s ok. It is ok for me to say “this is not my responsibility. This stops now.”

I don’t want to keep doing it is the biggest take away I have. It’s not healthy. It doesn’t help anyone. How I feel is my job. It takes a long time to process how I feel, it’s still strange and foreign to me but even though it takes time I am beginning to really understand that it’s ok and healthy to express how I feel. How others respond to me speaking it out loud or taking the time to process things says a lot about them. It also gives me more to consider as to whether or not the relationship is healthy or sustainable.


I’m glad I had the dream. Even if when I woke up I was pissed off about it. Sure it was a dream but it was a reminder that I’m still unlearning unsustainable, unhealthy coping mechanisms. The fact I understand them for being that shows that I’ve moved forward and started making progress.

It’s given me a bit of clarity on stuff that’s going on around me that I’ve been undecided about. I’m not 100% decided yet but I’m getting there in my own time.

Darling Daughters

So… I’m going to be THAT guy…

There is another 14 Chapters of Darling Daughters…. This is the end of the year and so rather than continue posting from Darling Daughters in 2021 I am going to do something different. So please, if you have enjoyed the story so far please go ahead and buy the complete story from amazon. Thank you and Happy New Year!!!

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Thirty


Summer had quickly become a workaholic. It didn’t help that Elizabeth was still acting a bit strange since finding out that she had inherited the bakery. It was made worse by Cassandra and Jamie liked to over indulge in their steamy relationship.

Summer hadn’t slipped under the radar though; she was the Darling at Darling College. When she wasn’t hiding in her dorm with loud music in her ears and assignments all around her trying to shut out the noise from the next room she was in the library with her assignments.

Summer was constantly concerned for Elizabeth who still blamed herself for her ex returning. He still hadn’t been caught. It had been over a month. Kingston had helped Summer out by installing a security system, which was little used thanks to Elizabeth’s visitors. The only time it was used was the time when Elizabeth got infuriated and asked them all to leave, only to bury herself into Archie’s files.

Reluctantly Summer agreed to go to a “social” with Cassandra and Jamie just to shut them up. She went with them but got bored of their affectionate public displays. Summer had had a drink or two and sat at the table twiddling her thumbs. Cassandra told Jamie to keep an eye on Summer who wasn’t in the spirit of it before she had to leave for an emergency with her lab partner.

Summer was a little tipsy, and being the Darling had attracted a little too much attention leaving Jamie to act as a buffer to the boys trying to “bag the Darling”. With a few more drinks in her system Summer was sort of floating to her dorm. Or perhaps it was just the sensation of Jamie trying to make her walk.

Jamie shouted for Cassandra but she wasn’t there. He tried to steer a very drunk Summer into her dorm who was now obsessed with surfing on the sofa. Summer stumbled as she tried to drag her weight towards the sofa. Jamie caught her and held her up a little. She looked at him smiling before confusion contorted her features as he kissed her. She pulled away coming to her senses she told him to leave using the arm of the sofa to keep her standing more upright. She heard him slam the door before she fell on the sofa.


Summer woke to the sobbing noise coming from Cassandra’s room. Her head was throbbing, her throat was sandpaper and the noise was awful. She peeled herself from the sofa and stumbled towards Cassandra’s room she propped herself against the wall as she asked what was wrong.

“Why doesn’t he love me?” Summer’s brain felt foggy as she swayed towards Cassandra. Eventually Cassandra managed to explain that Jamie had broken up with her. Summer asked “why?”

“He decided it wasn’t working, apparently he likes someone else. How could he do this?” Summer held Cassandra as she cried trying to ignore the bother of all hang overs.

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty-Nine


The funeral was exactly that, a funeral. Simple, but beautiful. The birds had sung the whole service. Elizabeth had been reluctant to go, later she confessed to Simon why. At night he had been staying at the manner to help out, it was that night that Elizabeth had asked him to stay and talk to her. She told him that it was her fault. No matter how many ways he tried to change her mind, it was unchangeable.

There had been so much distance that Summer didn’t want to leave for college, but it seemed everyone in the town had stepped in her way to make sure she couldn’t find a way to stay behind to be with Elizabeth. There seemed to always be someone coming or going. They kept asking Summer to do the town proud. Simon had been the most helpful, helping her pack now that Cassandra had left. Simon even helped take all her things to the dorm suite.

The whole place felt strange. The dorm room was empty and shew as the first to arrive. The view from the window was pretty even for a ground floor. There seemed to be something faintly magical about the place again with the hustle and bustle. It distracted her for a moment.

With everything inside Simon said his goodbyes and rushed back to the Diner, or to see Elizabeth as Summer suspected, she smiled at the thought. It was time to start unpacking. Hooking up the speakers in her usual playlist she hit the shuffle and let it go.

Summer ignored the sound of the door closing, on a roll with her unpacking for the moment. A face appeared at her bedroom door.

“Cassandra?! What are you doing in here?”

“Isn’t it great? I’m your dorm mate,” she smiled widely, “I made a special request, and well here we are.”

“Oh, wow, yeah that is, sure, that is something. But why is Jamie in the living room?”

“Oh haven’t you heard? We are, well, we are together. I hope it’s not weird, it kind of just happened. But here we are the three musketeers.”

Summer nodded and said hello to Jamie before turning back to her own unpacking.

A while later she made her way into the living room where Cassandra had left a few boxes, Jamie had disappeared to sort his own dorm. Moving the sofa with Cassandra was a bit of hassle to get to a point of agreement but it got done.

Eventually Summer had some alone time to call Elizabeth. Elizabeth told her not to worry, Simon was going to keep her company and watch some bad rom-coms with her apparently he was determined to see her smile. Summer was genuinely glad.

After a bit of awkward conversation Elizabeth finally said the thing that had been on her mind. “I miss you, I wish you were here, tomorrow morning I have to go to a meeting, with Caroline’s attorney. Apparently she has left me something in her will.”

Summer offered to come back but Elizabeth insisted she stayed at the dorms tonight. She would be fine, she promised, repeatedly.

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty-Eight


Simon began to wake at the sound of Summer’s voice echoing in the hall demanding to see Elizabeth. He shook the sleep and fog from his brain and rushed into the hall. Seeing her soothed him a little, the relief in his eyes shone through as he guided her into Elizabeth’s room. “She looks so… small” Summer’s voice sounded as small too. Simon began to tell her what had happened.

That was until Elizabeth’s eyes fluttered open. It was an hour or two of doctors and nurses rushing around until Elizabeth was allowed visitors.

It was in that moment that Summer rushed to Elizabeth’s side once the doctor had left the room that Simon said something sweet without thinking, “you two could be sisters, the way you stick together being all stubborn like that.”

Elizabeth smiled for a half second before asking, “how is Caroline?” No one knew. Summer asked Elizabeth what happened. “It was my ex, Steve. He found me.” Summer saw the significance, Simon just stood confused when she asked, “you’re sure it was him?” Elizabeth nodded. The policemen stepped into the room to ask questions, privately.

Summer was reluctantly extracted from the room by Simon, Cassandra who had remained silent till now spoke in the hallway. “Who is Steve?”

“He is her ex, evil ex. She said he was a monster, but this? This is something else.” The words had escaped her with no air, the hall felt suffocating, like every word had begun to suffocate her. Her cheeks flushed she was angry. She wasn’t the only one Simon seemed to absorb Summer’s radiating anger. Cassandra told them both to go and get some air but neither wanted to leave.

It was torture, watching Elizabeth in the room, tears were falling from her eyes. Summer couldn’t take it anymore. She stormed in. Standing by her side she took Elizabeth’s hand and refused to leave. The police reluctantly agreed to Summer but refused to let Simon in.

Summer stood by Elizabeth and held her hand as they asked their questions. Finally, with most of them answered Summer asked one, “what about Steve?”

With reluctance they confirmed that he had disappeared but tried to reassure them there was a warrant on his head. That wasn’t the only news they had. They had little choice but to inform them, that due to her injuries and the smoke, Caroline hadn’t made it through the night.

Elizabeth broke down, knowing the news before the words had escaped the officer’s lips, that fraction of doubt of telling her. Summer held tighter to Elizabeth.

Simon had been listening through the crack of the open door. He strode in beside the girls ignoring the officers. Tears had been staining his face, but the fresh wave was unmistakeable as he moved closer to Elizabeth who was shuddering with her sobs.


It was a few days before Summer was able to take Elizabeth home, with her left arm and right leg in casts she had to be wheeled out. It was going to take a little while to mend her broken bones, but longer than her heart Summer had thought. Simon picked them up from the hospital. The hardest part was the drive past the bakery, Elizabeth had barely spoken since they knew about Caroline, she had barely said or done anything.

Cassandra helped them settle, Summer had asked her to stay and she had obliged. Summer disappeared to Lavenders florist and picked some flowers. Returning to the manner, with a little help she wheeled Elizabeth out and put the flowers on her lap.

It felt as though the town was staring, no one knew what to say or do. There was an abundance of sympathy. Everything seemed so isolating.

When they reached the charred remains of Oaks, the reality hit harder. There where stacks of flowers, teddy bears, cards and photos laid so gently by the police tape.

Summer put the brakes on Elizabeth’s chair and took the flowers from her lap. Elizabeth stayed wilfully silent, even with the tears threatening to engulf her.

Summer turned to see Simon emerge from the Diner. It all felt too distant, like a million miles separated her from everyone and half that between her and Elizabeth. She didn’t know how to reach her. Summer turned back to Oaks with the flowers in her hand and put them down on the pile that had been built over the days.

Elizabeth was shuddering. Summer crouched beside her, the flecks of broken glass left behind still glimmered in the sunlight.

The girl’s shirts were sodden with the waves of tears. Simon didn’t know what to do, he just stood beside them. The sun kept shining, the birds singing and it just felt wrong. Everything had changed and stopped and yet there was nature still determined to do as it pleased. It infuriated Summer, but consoled Elizabeth like Caroline in that moment was there.

Summer kept trying to pull herself together, to keep herself together for Elizabeth, as much as she could. But when Cassandra made her stand, it felt too hard. Summer broke into Cassandra’s shoulder while Jamie stood beside them both.

They were no longer alone outside Oaks. A crowd had gathered around them as the sun was setting. They had been there all afternoon, save for some trips to the Diner to use the bathroom. Simon had brought teas for everyone over to the crowd. Kingston had spilt most of the coffee’s he had brought over, but the thought was there.

Tissues were spread between them and candles as everyone stood waiting for it to get darker. Slowly the regular church goers stopped their prayers and began to sing. One by one the crowd picked up the song as the candles were lit.

Finally, late in the evening the girls were made to go home to sleep. Casandra and Simon stayed behind. Summer hadn’t been sleeping but sat in her room staring into the darkness. Simon insisted on being there in case Elizabeth needed something.

There was no arguing, no one had the energy.

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