I hate my detailed nightmares. I also occasionally have detailed dreams that aren’t nightmares, which a few of my friends have expressed that they’re a little jealous of, but of course none of them would trade for nightmares.
I stayed up rather late tonight talking to an old friend, which was extremely helpful. I had been afraid to go to bed because of the nightmares that I had last night. I have heard this common sentiment expressed by lots of other people with PTSD. My other big blessing today was that I got to go for a walk with a friend and tell her some of the irrational fears and thoughts (or at least the biggest and most important one) that I’ve been dealing with during my depression of the past couple weeks. No amount of DBT and “mapping” was making this one go away. I was also feeling that “fierce independence” one gets when they have to keep asking for help from others and I was determined to solve it on my own. Finally, I called and said, “Can we go somewhere? Or just talk?” Within an hour of telling her (and feeling stupid about my stupid thoughts) I had that feeling of a huge weight coming off. I also realized that these stupid thoughts I was having about someone I was frustrated with were gone. (Of importance: the listening friend had nothing to do with this frustration.) We then went to Target and enjoyed the freedom of looking at our favorite Star Wars toy (a mini/baby Chewbacca that makes noise and is extremely cute) and office supplies (I like them, I do not know why) without having to buy anything, and the disappointment with the lack of a lack of Valentine’s Day tees. Target, you’re slacking in the area of holiday tees when you used to be good at it. Just so ‘ya know.
Well back to the nightmares. I also got to tell this friend some of what’s been in them the past two days. They involved a lot of symbols of betrayal. That realization gives me more things to write on and work out emotionally. One thing in particular that I’ve never shared, or maybe fleetingly shared maybe once (previous to this blog)…. Is that in my dreams when I’ve been feeling my worst in my waking life, I often have difficulties seeing. More often than that, I can’t get up and move around and everyone is expecting me to. In fact, one person in particular (when they’re in my dream) wants me to hurry up and get moving and things are impossible for me to complete. Last night I was in the line to get on an airplane and show my I.D. I was travelling with a choir that wanted me there to help translate French and drive people around. (Dreams don’t make sense, right? Yup.) The only part I’ll get into was that I had gotten so tired out running around doing things for this choir, and before that at another event, that I was hungry and exhausted and finally couldn’t stand or sit. I was crawling forward in the line, prostrate on the ground. The helpful person who had been pushing me in a wheelchair had to leave and was assuming that my friend behind me in line would keep pushing me to the front. I kept crawling forward. Finally, this person stopped talking to someone else and said (pretty innocently), “Did you want me to help you?” I yelled back something like “Um, that would be nice!” as loud as I could. This person seemed taken aback that I was upset.
Of course, it didn’t stop at that, or it wouldn’t have been part of a “marathon nightmare.” The seats on the plane were like stadium seats, and most of them weren’t bolted in. A few of us found some that were. I left my purse at my seat and then went to the restroom and to get some snacks. I came back and the seats where we had been were all folded up with a sign “out of commission” but I couldn’t find anyone who could tell me where my purse had gone. That whole part of that dream was chock full, almost every detail, of things that had gone wrong. We were supposed to land at LAX (Los Angeles) where I had a ride home and a ride back to Utah, instead we landed in Las Vegas.Nothing wrong with Las Vegas, there were just other details in the dream that made the good aspects of these things not work out.
I suppose I should add some more humor here. My parents met me at the airport and we all took turns pushing each other around in the wheelchair, depending on who was tired. We went to McDonald’s to eat because the buffets were closed. But, this was a special McDonald’s. Nothing was gluten free. There were all kinds of yummy ice creams, ice cream in crepes, pretzel hot dogs, pretzel hamburger buns, but no way to eat a hamburger without a bun like I need. I glimpsed some celery in a drawer and got excited until the worker showed me that the celery was coated in a baked on pretzel bun. So I bought a hot dog, but the hot dog was tiny and the bun was huge, so I was still starving.
Having the ability to actually tell some of the things I dream about has helped. It’s as if it no longer has as much power over me. I have no desire to ever have to talk about it much more, but if it helps people understand me and especially what others go through who have constant nightmares, then bring it on. For now. I still don’t want to do it often.
That was only a very small part of my nightmares last night. Because they were so vivid last night (and long) I had a feeling that there were things I wasn’t dealing with, so I tried to write it all out in my journal this morning. It was pages long. But getting to talk with two close friends today, and having the ability to work on these things in better ways than I used to be able to (with more tools available) has made them more useful rather than just always troubling. And it helps me see where I can be less trouble, as I face the fears in front of me rather than just deep down in my psyche. (If I’m using that word correctly.)
And maybe tonight I can dream about cute, small, fluffy caterpillars, and baby Chewbaccas that were so ingeniously made with just the perfect cute noises. I am an adult who appreciates creativity in toys, what can I say. Plus, who doesn’t turn into a little kid sometimes after bad dreams? (Ironic warning: this Chewbacca toy is missing its eyes and nose.)