I blushed, ashamed for expecting a different sort of ending.

Shame at our own deepest desires. That’s the trick our abusers play on us. It’s the same type of game whether the abuse stems from sexism, racism, classism or homophobia. Our desires conflict with the status quo. We want, we hope for, a different ending to the story in which we find ourselves. And we’re shamed for hoping, told that it’s nonsense compared to The Actual.

But The Actual, like the concept of race, is a weapon dreamed up by our abusers to reinforce the position of power their story affords. The voices of abuse whisper to us: Things have always been this way. They will always be this way. Your hope for an alternative course is less real than the reality before you. Fool! This is the way things are. This is the way things should be. Don’t toy with the imagination, these flights of fancy. Don’t waste your time. Childish dreamer.

Dreamer. Emblazon it on my forehead. Write this word to my hands. Carve it on the door frames of my house. Let the my shame be known in the public square.

The voice of the abuser is old, but don’t let that trick you into thinking it’s got a seal of authority. It speaks its own names, and its names are Hunger and Fear.

Look, here comes this dreamer. Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams.

Yes and amen: we’ll see. We’ll see what comes of the dreamer’s dreams.