Politically, I've been a Democrat my entire life and an Obama supporter for as long as I can remember.
I volunteered for John Kerry's presidential campaign back in 2004 which is where Obama first registered on my map. I watched his speech at the DNC and was instantly enamored. And when he announced his candidacy for president in 2007, I immediately threw my weight behind him.
I knocked on doors, educated people about his policies and did the best I could to get people to vote for him.
When he was elected, I was ecstatic.
In the past, when I had supported candidates, it was out of cold reason; because I thought their policies and acumen would result in the best net result for this country. But this was a person I could get excited about, someone I could believe in.
When it came time for his campaign for a second term it was largely the same. But I had slightly soured on him. He was not the president I had hoped he would be, but that was not his fault. I had built him up to be so huge in my head it was impossible for him to live up to expectations. Republican gridlock in Congress also prevented him from getting through the policies he wanted.
Nevertheless, I still supported him, still volunteered and was still happy when he won his second term.
The problem started about three weeks ago.
I had a dream involving Barack, which is not uncommon for me. In the dream, I was working with him and Michelle on their upcoming Netflix show. We were looking over demographics and how they related to various geographical locations. Without even realizing it, I said "Yeah, n***er, we should do pretty well in (area near me)."
He just looked at me and stormed out with Michelle behind him.
I woke up and went into the bathroom to splash cold water in my face. I dismissed it. I don't have a racist bone in my body. This was just one of those dreams, right?
A week and a half ago, I had a similar experience.
This time I dreamt we were going wine-tasting together. I don't remember the lead-up, but I ended up saying something to the effect of "The sommelier said we should be detecting earthy tones in this wine, but it's just not registering with me, n***er."
This time, instead of storming out, he replied, very sternly, "Why did you feel that was an appropriate thing to say?"
I began to stutter and tried to explain it was an accident, but woke up before I could.
The most recent incident was last night.
I dreamt I was at a family barbecue with the Obamas, just his family and mine. He was manning the grill and i was speaking to Michelle while the children played with each other (I know Sasha and Malia are adults now but I still think of them as children).
I said to Michelle very politely, "excuse me for one moment," and marched right up to Barack and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around to look and me and I just said "n****r" – and nothing else.
I can write off this happening once or twice in my dreams, but three separate events is too much.
I don't know what to do. I don't want to do this. Every time it happens my work suffers the next day.
I've started lying to my wife saying I've been having nightmares but I'm not sure she fully believes it. Lately I've been worrying I might start saying out loud it in my sleep and she could hear.
I'm at my wits end and I want it to stop. I want to stop calling Obama the N-word in my dreams.