According to a study of dreams by Dr. Laurel Clark and Paul Blosser ...
"Nightmares occur when the subconscious mind tries repeatedly to relate a dream message but the message is ignored. This might occur when you don’t recall dreams often or when you give little attention to your dreams at all. A nightmare is when the subconscious mind “yells” at you to get your attention to shock you into remembering the dream. By learning to interpret your dream messages, you can understand what your subconscious mind wants to convey. When you apply the message to your life and make the necessary changes, you change, and as a result, your dreams change. You experience fewer nightmares. As you increase in Self awareness you find that you rarely, if ever, will have nightmares because your conscious awareness is aligned with the Truth contained within your subconscious mind."
Well, apparently I need to start paying closer attention.
Lately, I have been plagued with very realistic dreams that are not quite to my satisfaction. I would love to dream about becoming a billionaire and going mansion shopping. Or have a quick flash of my wonderful future with our beautiful children and a white picket fence. Or just walking a dirt road, alongside an endless farm, barefoot, in the sun- possibly eating an ice cream cone. Somehow I never seem to have these odd, pleasant dreams. Quite the opposite actually ...
So, about a week ago I dreamed that I was in a van with 3 of my best friends driving in Narragansett. There was a wicked storm on the coast and the waves were insane, there was pounding rain and wind - just crazy. Long story short - we end up driving off a cliff and plummeting into the sea. I kept taking deep breaths and holding them, knowing that any second the windows would shatter and we would be suffocating as the ocean poured in. We sunk to the bottom at first, all screaming and panicking, and then, as quickly as we sunk - we floated to the surface. We broke the windows and swam to shore - in the midst of the horrifying storm. Upon reaching the shore, we found a restaurant right on the beach with people dining literally feet away from monster waves. As I walked past the patrons, dripping with seaweed like a swamp monster, I said, "Hey, enjoy the rest of those stuffed mushrooms". Not a fitting ending, right??? I am an oddball though, so I wouldn't put that past me. Anyway, I have recurring dreams of plunging into the ocean or lake in a vehicle. Usually by driving off a cliff, but sometimes a bridge which is even scarier because the fall seems to be longer which heightens the anxiety dramatically. That second when you hit the water - well, I can't even explain the feeling of terror, so never mind.
Two nights ago I had some rather fierce nightmares starring Michael Myers, who was chasing me around the winding commissary of a restaurant. I was hiding in walk-in freezers, the basement, boxes, box trucks etc. I finally exited the building and ran through the local neighborhood - ducking behind fences and even did a little breaking and entering. I woke up at 3:15 on the dot (which is all very Amityville Horror) with my heart racing, hands shaking and the vivid dream just way too fresh in my mind. I forced myself to stay awake for a while... walking around the house with my flashlight. This is quite normal for me, I assure you. I have endured these dreams for a good ten years or so. Typically I am being chased through neighborhoods. I beg the homeowners to let me hide in their house and from an attic window I can see this madman rounding the corner and coming for me. Once, I managed to cut his arm off at the elbow - using his own knife - after I broke the arm in a heavy, parking garage door. I am pretty resourceful.
But last night, Mr. Sandman managed to cram several of my true fears into one little sleep session. Let's discuss...
It all started in a little, white trash bar - that hopefully doesn't exist - surrounded by thick woods. I was uncomfortably seated inside with my lager and some friends. I only knew three or four people in the establishment. Quickly a brawl broke out between some roughneck, flannel-clad hillbilly and a "motorcycle guy". I inched my way toward the door only to find that it was, of course, locked from the outside. For some reason we were all locked in this dive with a brutal beating as our entertainment. I HATE fights. I hate seeing them on television, hearing about them from friends and most of all, witnessing them in person. Just hearing a man furiously yell makes me feel like a frightened 4 yr old searching for a corner to rock back and forth in. So there we are, desperately fleeing the punches, flying objects, squirting blood and possible airborne teeth. I was scared to death.
The dream shifted and now took place, again, while driving with friends in Narragansett. The sky quickly became black as night. The wind picked up, intensely. The other cars on the road started to eerily disappear. We became frightened as we continued on the stretch of road by the ocean. I saw the first tornado. And the second and third. The other girls each found other tornadoes to focus on. In a matter of seconds, we were faced with roughly 15 tornadoes. Some, over the ocean, some coming straight for us and the others surrounding the car. We were whipped around in every direction. We flew through the air. I can remember the absolutely terrifying sound of the winds, the screams coming out of my own mouth and the mouths of my friends, and the realization that we were going to die. The last thing I remember about this portion of the dream was being outside of the car and knocked around the highways like a human pinball.
The next sequence picked up in a small, farm house in South County. I was sitting at a counter in a dining room/kitchen. This was a gathering of the most RANDOM of my friends. Some, I haven't seen in years, some are friends of friends, and most have never met each other. I sat on a wooden stool, sipping Miller High Life. Everyone was scattered around. One girl was even seated in the bathtub. A few of the boys walked in with a curious looking box. We all walked over to check it out. It was literally crawling with every imaginable creepy insect known to man. I flipped right out. I ran into the other room as I heard the box being dumped onto the floor. From the corner of my eye I could see the crawlies sprinting throughout the rooms. I was now sitting on the counter, legs bent, knees tucked under my chin and for some reason I was blocking my ears hahaha. I saw my friend, Higbee,'s buddy walking towards me clutching a handful of dangling horror. He placed several MILLIPEDES across my shins - which were bare, due to the bermuda shorts I was wearing. I screamed at the top of my lungs, jumped off of the counter and grabbed towels to wipe my legs over and over, even though the insects had moved on to the wall almost instantly. I was trembling and crying and absolutely hysterical. The bug-placer repeatedly apologized and rubbed my shins as if to erase all traces. I woke up gasping for air.
In other words, the "dream-maker" succeeded in combining my fear of dangerous beatings, inescapable tornadoes and unacceptable, multi-legged insects all into one appallingly macabre dream. What is WITH my subconscious mind??? What are you trying to tell me?? Or what am I trying to tell myself, I should say. I have several books on dreams and often do a bit of research on them. I don't really know what is believable or true but it all seems to be very interesting if nothing else.