So, I have a thing called writer’s block. And as a result I found myself researching “things to write about” (very original, I know) and as I was browsing I stumbled upon “81 Topics for Starting a Blog That Matters” and I shit you not, number 26 was hamburgers. It was in bold letters among things like “How to Have a Strong Marriage” and “Behavioral Disorders in Children”… One thing that caught my attention while I was scouring Google, other than the fact that hamburgers is such a hot topic, was writing about dreams.
When I was a little girl, I used to have horrifying nightmares. There was a green doll who sat in my closet, one of her eyes spun and she had that classic horror-movie grin. My sister used those dreams to “persuade” me to get things for her. Let’s see, there was one about my younger sister crossing the street, getting hit by a car, and her decapitated head rolling to my feet. I stuck her neck in a vending machine to try and reattach it. My family got blown up in our kitchen by terrorists, my brother locked me in our porch with a pack of ravenous wolves, and when I tried to scream no sound came out. And that’s just dipping your toes into the nightmare pool that I call my subconscious.
But it wasn’t all bad dreams. I had extraordinary good dreams too. Dreams where my kitchen filled with chocolate milk and I just swam around in it as happy as a clam. In one, I got my Hogwarts acceptance letter and set off to learn magic. That was one of my favorites, as you probably could’ve guessed. I remember a reoccurring dream that I had, where I could fly. It wasn’t that the dream just started and I was soaring above the trees, I started on the ground. And I ran and jumped, and then I fell. So I tried again, and I ran faster and farther. I got higher but I ended up hitting the dirt again. It went like this for what seemed was quite some time, until I finally flew. I could feel myself lifting up in the pit of my stomach, I tilted into the wind and felt it pull me in the direction I wanted to go. I spread my arms and coasted above the rooftops. I had such a hard time differentiating between whether it was real or not. I truly felt as if I was flying and so I went as far as I could. When I woke up I was above a lake, looking down at my reflection. When my eyes opened I was so devastated. I tried so hard to fall back to sleep in the hopes that it would pick up where it left off. But that only ever happens when the dreams are terrible, right?
Nowadays, I don’t find myself having very many happy dreams. I definitely don’t fly anymore. Now, I have mostly nightmares. I dream of being taken away from my kids, watching them get hurt, losing them in a crowd. I recently had one where that really disturbed me. I don’t remember the details, it was before B deployed, but I remember I was having such a severe anxiety attack from it that I woke him up. I couldn’t move, so I just kept whispering, “Babe? Please wake up.” I was frozen in place, sweating bullets and I was shaking uncontrollably. I could feel actual pain from where I was being hurt in my dream. I explained what happened and I started to cry. I was so afraid to fall back to sleep after that.
I can’t help but wonder, where do things like this come from? What part of our brain is responsible for torturing us while we sleep? Where does that stem from, the reality that an organ in my own body betrays my irrational fear of anything even remotely scary, and paralyzes me with it while I try to rest?
I’ll touch back on this subject if I ever figure it out, and I’ll let you all know!