“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” *
These are some of my favorite words to read as it means that I have once again cracked the well-read pages of my ragged copy of Daphne du Maurier’s classic, Rebecca
. This book will always remain in my Top Five, even if I do have to search for new copies from time to time, to replace the ones I have used so much.
For those of you who have read it, you might agree that this is an amazing telling of one woman’s haunted existance. For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure, it is the story of an unnamed, naive girl who escapes one nightmare (…the obnoxious Mrs. Van Hopper
) only to enter another (…the fated footsteps of the much loved Rebecca and the evils of Mrs. Danvers
) as she fights to be loved and to find out who she really is. The Manderley that she speaks of is a house…a grand mansion that is haunted by memories…both real and imagined, but all hers
to wrestle with and sort out.
I have learned to love this girl as I can see so much of myself in her. She is simple and she only wants love…to be cared for and noticed. My heart understands her nightmare and it sobs a little at the opening words of this novel as I know that even though she did get away from the inflicted pain, it still rears its ugly head in her dreamworld.
I, myself, have a recurring nightmare. One that I know so well that, when I am dreaming, I can actually hear the real me trying to advise the dreamworld me on my course of action. It is a dream that leaves me bound, trembling and unnerved. One that shakes me to my core…one that is only a dream and yet fully real in how it affects my waking world.
The events vary when I dream of this place, although the location is always the same. Much like the simple girl listed above, it is a house…one I have never actually been to, but one that my mind knows well. It is a mansion…and it is haunted. In this dreamworld, my family and I live in this strange house but we live there knowing
that there are rooms that we just don’t enter. I only know this
information because anytime I find myself back
in this house, I remember every other
time I have been there before…each time I start living in this world again, I am able to recall events from past visits. BUT each time I dream of this house, I find myself torn as there is always a reason why I must
enter the forbidden rooms…a purpose that has to be
accomplished, even as I know that consequences will have to be paid for my trespasses.
As I slept this afternoon, I was ushered back to this home away from home. I still remember remembering…saying to myself “Not here again” as I began to live the life that I am forced to within the walls of this house.
Today, as it began again, friends were over at our “home” and I decided to share with them about these forbidden rooms…about how there were sections we don’t show to people. I took them with me, although they never actually made it into the room once I passed thru the doorway. Once again, I was alone, face to face with a tangible spiritual battle…and once again, I lost.
As always, I know “they” are coming…I can feel their dark whispers…I can see their shadows dance around me…and I always begin to sing a sweet, soft, pathetic version of some well known hymn in the effort to hold them off…in a whole-hearted, yet seemingly lacking attempt to cover myself in my Father’s protective hand.
I tried, as I always do…but I still ended up as before: frozen with fear, unable to speak and hardly able to think…literally paralyzed on my bed as my mind struggles with the knowledge that I am half lucid enough to know truth, but still half lost to the waged battle in my mind. Even now, hours later, I can still feel the feeling of helplessness as the demons of this “house” invaded my mind and left me defenseless and cold.
“I belive there is a theory that men and women emerge finer and stronger after suffering, and that to advance in this or any world we must endure ordeal by fire. This we have done in full measure, ironic though it seems. We have both known fear, and loneliness, and very great distress. I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end. We have conquered ours, or so we believe.” *
My nightmare house doesn’t have a name so I can’t poetically state my dream wanderings like the eloquent Mrs. DeWinter as she begins her story in Rebecca…but I sometimes wonder the purpose of the battle that wages as I sleep.
Believe me when I say that I know it is only a dream…but I also know that it is more. I know that our life is lived in a world where a battle is waged between God’s love and satan’s anger. I know that this house is not a reality…but I also know that those that I can’t see with my awakened mind are there all the same…waiting to try and scare my heart from God’s. And I know that even though they may seem to win in my dreamworld…my Father is bigger and He does win in the end!
Do you ever have these kinds of dreams??
*Quotes made by Mrs. DeWinter as written by Daphne DuMaurier.
Looking up as always…