God has a clever habit of showing me how people who hurt me in the past have changed by revealing their remorse and new selves in my dreams. I had one of those dreams the other night, and I only realized last night why the timing of this particular dream is so important.

Ugly Memories

The dream I had reunited me with a guy my age who had a major hand in the trust issues I’ve been working through. He was a fellow student at my university who turned out in hindsight to be a repressed non-straight young man who made unkind choices against me out of fear of being found out. While he and I were barely more than acquaintances, the interactions I had with him tied into the trauma I’ve mentioned in a few other blog posts, regarding the group of girls who made one of my dorms a toxic place due to their malice and pettiness. It is likely that he was friends, or the boyfriend, of one of these girls, as I saw him chatting with her on my floor one night.

To summarize things, he initially seemed to be a nice Christian guy who smiled at me whenever we saw each other across campus. However, around the time things got really bad for me in that dorm, his attitude towards me changed completely, and he was openly disdainful towards me at the same time the situation hit its peak. After recalling all the details, I’ve come to the conclusion that his friend/girlfriend on my floor encouraged him to look down on me like they had done that entire time. He thusly encouraged his own friends to join in on it, eliciting nasty verbal taunting whenever they saw me walk by.

Five years ago almost to this exact date, the semester after I had transferred out of that awful dorm, I was dealing with the lowest point of my life. I was still trying to heal from the trauma I’d experienced there, and September 2015 was filled with things that prevented me from recovering. It was the Autumn after the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case, which legalized gay marriage here in America. I found out the hard way that contrary to what we all believe, people my age aren’t always supportive of the cause. There were several times in just September 2015 alone that I was on the receiving end of different groups of students hurling homophobic taunts and cat-calling remarks at me. One girl maliciously whispered to me in a crowd one night that “All gay guys have AIDS”.

He was a major player in that. I still remember walking past him and his friends one afternoon that month, and hearing him urge his fellows to shout horribly demeaning things at me. I even heard one of them mockingly ask if I was crying, because I had kept my head down, trying to avoid looking at them. At that point, it was clear that his contempt towards me hadn’t changed one bit.

At that time, I’d also been dealing with existential despair over my fear that I’d never find love. I was facing a crippling loneliness that was aggravated by my paranoia of not knowing when I’d encounter another cluster of malicious students across campus. It didn’t help that I wasn’t sleeping well due to the sheer stress I was under at that time. All of this resulted in me having an anxiety attack for the first time ever while at my on-campus job, confirmed by a kind co-worker who had anxiety himself. I will never forget breaking down in tears at work after feeling like I was about to collapse from everything I’d been dealing with.

Over later years, God revealed through extremely vivid dreams that he was struggling to be honest about his own sexuality. While it didn’t excuse anything, it explained everything. Had this guy showed me any sympathy during my rough spots back then, he would have been found out in a heartbeat.

Dream On

Fast forward to the dream I had of him the other night. He started to approach me amicably, outside of a wedding venue I was at for a family friend’s wedding. He was wearing a cobalt blue hoodie, and his entire demeanor was gentle towards me. Everything about him felt completely different from the guy I’d encountered five years ago. He tried to say something softly to me, but turned around and collapsed to the ground into tears. His attempt to look me in the eye and speak with me led to him sobbing his heart out. I realize now, based on other dream evidence I’ve analyzed before, that God was showing me an echo of his immense remorse regarding how he’d treated me back then.

Having that realization last night led to me crying a little bit, because it completely cleared the fog that had loomed over me all day. Understanding that I’d seen a glimpse of him weeping tears of remorse over what happened back then was vital for me achieving catharsis over that trauma. This dream helped me confront my repressed memories of that awful time at my university five years ago, and let go of all the negative feelings that came with them. Experiencing all of this will definitely help me end my trust issues that stemmed from this era of my life.

God has done this for me a few times before, urging me to pray for guys who were unkind towards me and then revealing their remorse in a follow-up dream. I still recall my shock when I saw another guy from our university run up to me in a dream like this one, beg me to tell him that I was ok, and then angrily shout that “they” (the homophobic students I’d dealt with) shouldn’t have mistreated me. In both cases, I remember initially failing to recognize them because their real-world selves hadn’t been kind towards me, hence why these dreams have such a profound effect on me.

Go in Peace

I hope he knows, wherever he is, that I want him to forgive himself and move on with his life. The truth is, I’ve already forgiven him, because I didn’t want my forgiveness to be conditional based on whether or not I’d hear him own up. I hope he understands that him feeling remorse on such a powerful level like this is a clear indicator that he isn’t at all the person he was five years ago. No matter what, I hope he finds his peace, and that he accepts that God has long forgiven him.