Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Pathetic Dreams of a Chronically Stressed Out Woman

We were talking about flying dreams today, friends who'd had them or never have. It got me to thinking about dreams, especially those repeating ones you have for years or throughout your life, and how I learned to stop the worst of them.

My flying dreams had been wasted as I'd purposely never flown higher than the treetops. It's cold up there. After developing chronic vertigo, I begged my subconscious to stop them altogether because more often than not my spinning started while I slept. My flying dreams began to take a turn for the worse and I'd wake up spinning. They stopped one day, after dreaming I ran across a field and took to the air only to wake up to the dreaded swooping and swirling of one wicked case of vertigo. 

Long ago out of sheer desperation I found a way to stop dreams. A  friend lost her little girl in a drowning accident, and I'd dream that I found my own daughter floating face down in the pond in the back yard. I'd wake shaking and I still remember sitting up and saying, "No, no I will never do this to myself again. I won't have this dream ever again." Somehow it worked. When that dream would start, and I'd be walking toward the pond with cattails waving and skirting fire ant mounds, I'd say to myself in my dream, "I'm dreaming. I'm not having this dream again." And I wouldn't. I'd go on to another dream. 

Since then I can almost always choose not to have a dream. Though I have recurring ones that I apparently don't mind enough to fight. You know, the one where you're getting ready for work? You wake up and make your bed. Take a shower. Dry your hair. Get dressed. Drive to work, wake up and have to do that all over again in the real world? I hate that dream. There's a grocery shopping version too. 

After I had kids I'd be at work with them. One in a cradle by my desk. Another getting into things as I tried to juggle amusing the child and getting my work done. I had that dream for decades. The most ironic thing about it was that when my kids were that little I'd taken those years off of working. I didn't have to juggle both. Go figure.

Those variations of work dreams plagued me long after I changed careers and no longer had to race the clock with daily drudgery while I banged away on a computer and in my dream job the office slowly filled with water. I had to finish before I drowned. I never finished but happily woke up before the water got completely over my head.

Yet the most pathetic dream was my telekinesis dream. I've had this one since I was a kid and I still have it sometimes. In it I know exactly how to move things with my mind. It takes a concerted effort to do it, requiring a near painful focus. What do I do with this amazing talent in my dreams? Why, I flip light switches on and off as I walk through the house or office. After a night of that I always have a headache.  

The best part of these kinds of dreams is bringing them up in a group when you're struggling for conversation. Suddenly we all have something in common and something to say. One of my favorite early morning texts is from someone saying, "You will not believe what I dreamed last night!" At least I know it's not just me!


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