Sunday, May 04, 2008

Dreams that linger

The dream itself was disturbing enough.

It was one of those dreams where nothing was what it appeared to be, where things (including me) changed and morphed constantly throughout the dream. I had done something wrong, terrible even, but I wasn’t clear about exactly what it was. I found myself in a grotto-room-hotel with another man, someone I thought was an ally but who turned out to be my enemy. There were people coming in and out of the dream, room service staff who seemed to be bringing me something to eat or drink only to pull out a syringe and try to inject me with some sort of drug. I fought them unsuccessfully and then I too morphed, I could feel my body changing, hardening in spots, swelling and then I began to float above the room. It was at about that point in the dream that my wife and son appeared, and, because this was a dream, it didn’t seem odd that they would suddenly be there with me. As I recall the dream this morning, I remember thinking we must be on some sort of holiday together. But it didn’t feel like a holiday and I knew something was terribly wrong so I woke my wife (in the dream) and told her to go check on our son and she turned to me with a very scary look on her face and laughed an evil laugh and began to upbraid me for something. It was at that point that I started shouting: ”Get up, Get up and check on him!” And I thought I was awake, but I wasn’t, so I tried harder to wake and after what seemed to be a very long time, I was actually awake and I actually woke my wife and told her we needed to check on our son. She suggested that since I was the one who was wide-awake in the middle of the night that I should do it. I went into his room and saw that he had thrown off his covers and his pajama top was pulled up exposing his back, which was cold, but otherwise he was fine.

I got back into bed and here’s where things got odd – the dream wouldn’t go away. Every time I closed my eyes I was back in the dream. I was very tired and wanted to sleep, I was heavy with the need to sleep, but my mind wouldn’t allow me to escape this dreamspace. I don’t know how long it was before I fell back into nightmare free sleep, at one point I got out of bed again and later I tried a different sleeping position. In the end I conjured the image of my favorite place, a cabin deep in the Catskill Mountains, and I was finally able to go back to sleep. That said, here I am early, early on Sunday morning writing it all out. It was the first time in memory that a nightmare was so persistent and had such a strong physical component - I’ll be googling it later on this morning. Maybe you have had a similar experience?

Sweet dreams …



Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know how lingering dreams are. i've had nightmares (which i do not want to think that long about) that have scared me from closing my eyes because when i did, the weird/bad scenario keeps on continuing from when i woke-up which makes me think sometimes if i actually was awake.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Diane Mandy said...

No and I am thankful for it. I probably wouldn't sleep for days!

1:05 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Freaky dream - I always wish there was a way to capture the way dreams feel. Emotions definitely take over and it is very rare in the dream to realize it is a dream, no matter how absurd the events are.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

A bad dream. I wonder if it might have something to do with being a foreigner in Germany, with a sense of displacement that would lead you to feel that you are doing something wrong when in fact you are not. That you then thought of your "favorite place" in the Catskills as a way of getting over this nightmare might support this interpretation.

Then again, dreams are difficult to interpret, for dreamed events and symbols can have many different meanings. What you dreamt about could have been about something happening recently. It could just as well have been about something that happened long ago, a childhood experience in a hospital, for example, that would explain the "service staff".

I read once--something Ursula le Guin wrote--about an indigenous people of Malaysia, the Senoi, known for their cooperative, non-violent way of life, which derives from their conscious control of dreaming. When, for example, a Senoi dreams about a threatening demon, the dreamer is advised to persuade the demon to give him a present in his next dream, upon which the demon, and presumably the unconscious conflict the demon represents, vanishes.

I dreamt just a few days ago that two thuggish-looking men broke into my childhood home one early morning. I surprised them and one, I thought, was going to attack me when I woke up. I fell asleep again and, like you, returned to the dream. This time I offered to make the two intruders coffee and scrambled eggs. As soon as I did, I didn't feel threatened any longer.

"By vanquishing the monsters in our dreams, we do so in our waking worlds."

9:54 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Justice, Diane, Michelle & Ralph ...

Thank you for your thoughts, comments and suggestions. Sleep and dreams have been much on my mind lately - this is a subject I will likely revisit.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Snooker said...

No matter what the scary circumstance is, it is always reassuring to be able to go to some place that is like home... someplace comforting. I'm very happy that you have such a place to take you out of horrible places like this dream.

8:05 AM  

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