Night Terrors by @sianfergs

Cross-posted from: Just a South African Woman
Originally published: 09.03.15

There is no fear in the daylight. The sunshine is a distraction.

But when the moon drains the day of colour, I’ll have to close my eyes,

Withdraw from the warmth of the day,

And retreat into the scariest place I know.

I’ve been told to follow my dreams, so I do,

And they lead me to the backs of my eyelids

A place permeable to the demons of my present

Who use my mind as storage space for their grief.

I fear being frozen.

My body, knowing it can’t fight, gives up.

I lie entrapped in my own bed, in my own body.

Screams fill the veins in my throat until they’re ready to burst like lightening without thunder.

My muscles ready, but impotent.

And then, there’s the fear that I am able to open my lips to let the terror escape.

Who will the terror hang over?

A lover unable to hold me,

Who will move closer and closer to their edge of the bed with each passing night?

It can’t be easy loving someone whose soul crumbles every evening.

It can’t be easy reminding someone to breathe every time their nose fills with saltwater.

There is another fear, too.

I will choose not to fight sleep.

I will choose not to fight demons.

The man in my nightmares will be just as unable to stop me as I am to stop him.

He’ll disappear into the shadows of my memories,

And those shadows will be weaved into new dreams.

My biggest fear is that I will no longer be afraid,

And will have to be myself instead.


Just a South African Woman An intersectional feminist blog tackling issues from a unique South African perspective. The posts attempt to explain and discuss some academic feminist theories in a simple manner, so as to make feminism accessible to more people. Follow me on Twitter @sianfergs