Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When You Wake Up Crying From a Haunting Dream

Keeley in the early 1970s

Sometimes a dream will stir up so much emotion that when you awaken, the dream is still so fresh in your mind, and your reaction so strong, the dream extends into the day and occasionally lasts even longer. Such was the case with the following dream:

I was in the apartment of a friend when I noticed a praying mantis trying to get into the apartment. I slammed the door in an attempt to prevent the praying mantis from coming inside. I succeeded in closing the door, but the relief was only temporary, because the bottom corner of the door was missing and it was large enough for the praying mantis to slip through.

The praying mantis reached through the bottom of the door, and I was afraid that if I didn't act quickly, it would come inside. Without bug spray, the only way I knew to get rid of bugs without squishing them was by using any aerosol spray can I could find. I really didn't want to kill the praying mantis, because it wasn't a typical bug, like a spider or a wasp – I just wanted it out of my friend's apartment.

With the can of hairspray I found, I kept spraying and spraying and spraying, but instead of retreating, the bug kept coming. Finally, after I had used probably the whole can of spray, the bug stopped reaching inside the opening in the door.

With some trepidation, I cautiously opened the door, and there, standing outside the door, was my three-year-old daughter, completely drenched in spray.

Convulsive sobs erupted from me as I grabbed on to her. The sobbing was so convulsive, it woke me up. Hours later, the memory of that dream consumed me. I would never hurt my daughter and yet, in my dream, it appeared as if I was trying to get rid of her. I berated myself for days and often cried when I relieved the nightmare. I felt that I was the worst mother ever, and I couldn't believe that I was trying to shut her out, even if it was only a dream.

In reflection, I think that my daughter – as  a praying mantis – represented a pest. Keeley's sleep habits were completely different from mine. She stayed up until 2 a.m. and slept only four hours a night. I needed far more sleep than she did, but I couldn't sleep while she was awake in case something happened to her and her sleep patterns were – quite literally – making me crazy.

Keeley never napped during the day, though I begged her to lie down with me, and she was on hyperdrive all day long. She started talking at 6 a.m. and didn't stop until 2 a.m. My mind was incapable of listening to her every second of the day, and at one time I told her that she had to give me and her voice a break, because the human mind was incapable of listening to one voice talk incessantly for twenty hours a day.

In short, though she was funny and interesting, delightful and cute, she was sometimes a pest. I think my lack of sleep contributed to the horrendous dream that nudged me all day long and contributed to me crying about it for several days. I finally took her to the doctor and told him that he had to give me something to keep me awake or give her something to help her sleep.

He gave Keeley something to help her sleep and I was able finally to get six hours of sleep a night. In retrospect, I realize that I was not trying to shut her out. I was trying to shut her up (at least for a little while each day).

Still, all these years later, I remember how my body sank in despair when I realized I was trying to get rid of my daughter in that dream, even though I realize now that all I really wanted was some sleep.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

When the World Ends

In the days before cell phones, laptops, and even personal computers, before CDs, DVDs, and iPods, I dreamed I was visiting the neighborhood in which I had grown up. My vantage point was that of being above the town, but I don't remember being in a helicopter.

People in their homes were going about their business, acting as if nothing unusual was happening in their little town. I knew different, because I could see them – the roofs of their homes had been removed. They were oblivious to the fact that the government had full access to everything occurring in their homes.

In addition to their roofs being removed, fences surrounded each home, but the feel was more that the purpose of the fence was for confinement rather than for privacy.

I thought I should warn them that the government had full access to whatever was going on in their homes, and that they should fight for their rights, but they ignored me.

Their world, as they knew it, had ended, and they had acquiesced to "the powers that be."

In light of the strange occurrences in the sky right now, with birds dropping by the thousands (read Thousands of Birds Fall Out of the Sky – Is This The End?), we have to wonder if doomsayers could be partially right.

For some reason I've had numerous end-of-the-world dreams. I recount one of them in the article, December 21, 2012 – The End of the World As We Know It – Or Is It?

If you decide not to read it, you'll miss one of the best quotes I've ever read concerning the end of the world, so I will repeat it here. It was written by either Alli Shafer or Deborah Oakes:

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was about to end, it became a butterfly.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Celebrity Dreams

Ahhhh...Michael Weatherly of NCIS
So often I hear people talk about dreams they've had with celebrities. Somebody I know, who will not allow me to mention her name, dreamed of Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullin). Apparently it was a very steamy dream.

I tend to think that celebrities remind dreamers of somebody else in their lives, or, if the dreamer is particularly attracted to that particular celebrity, the celebrity might represent the dreamer's ideal partner.

Several years ago, I dreamed I was in bed with Clint Eastwood. Even today, as old as he is, I still find him very attractive.

The other night though, I dreamed that N.C.I.S. actor Mark Harmon gazed lovingly into my eyes and tenderly held my face in his hands. That was it. That was the whole dream. And when I awoke, I wondered why I hadn't dreamed about my favorite N.C.I.S. actor, Michael Weatherly.

Not that I don't find Mark Harmon amazingly attractive, but Michael Weatherly has always been the one I found more attractive.

So what does this say about my choice in love interests? Well, isn't it obvious? Michael Weatherly's characther, Tony DiNozzo, is immature and childish. Mark Harmon's character, Jethro Gibbs, is more stable and mature.

So maybe my dream was trying to tell me that instead of going after the immature types, I should start looking for more mature company. I'll have to keep watching N.C.I.S. to see if Tony matures.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nightmare of a Ten-Year-Old

This nightmare was related to me by my ten-year-old granddaughter, Taylor.

She dreamed that a teenage girl, probably around the age of 13, had crawled around the walls outside her room and along the floors and the walls inside her bedroom. The girl in the nightmare had a face that was shrouded in darkness. Taylor was very frightened by her.

As Taylor recounted the dream to me, I couldn't help but think about the freaky girl with her creepy way of crawling out of the television in the movie, "The Ring."

But I also couldn't help thinking about the television program, Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. Those kids are visited by spirits who frighten them too.

According to Taylor, the girl had scratches all over her face, and she kept telling Taylor, "I'm going to kill you."

As Taylor relates, "She seemed so real, like she was really there. Every time I closed my eyes, she would get closer and closer to me, and she would count down, '3, 2, 1,' but every time, just before she got to one, I would open my eyes again. Then it would start all over."

Taylor went on to tell me, "This happened over and over until my mom came in to sleep with me until I could fall asleep."

Taylor had never before seen the girl in her nightmare.


Adults have a hard time with nightmares. How much more do children? While my granddaughter was having this nightmare sometime after midnight in her bedroom last night, I was lying on the couch in the living room. My grandson, Kaden, came down to tell me that Taylor was upstairs in bed crying. By the time I reached the top of the stairs, her mom and dad, after hearing the commotion, came out of their bedroom to comfort Taylor.

In pre-teens, any number of contributing factors could have caused Taylor to have this nightmare. She loves to read scary books and she loves watching scary movies. Even though 10-year-olds like to think they're very grown up, they aren't, and the one thing Taylor wanted and needed at that moment, was her mom. 

My sisters and I weren't allowed into our parents' bed when we were young. If we had a nightmare, we had to deal with it. I would have loved to have known that I could have sought safety and comfort in my parents' bed whenever I had a nightmare. I'm glad Taylor was able finally to get a good night's rest and I hope the girl with the scratched face never visits her again.

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