I guess we all have recurring nightmares.
I wonder, though, if anyone ever has recurring good dreams? I don’t. Mind you, my nightmares are probably a bit bland – not so much nightmares as night-my-little-ponies, I suppose. They aren’t even terribly original either, I bet loads of other people have had these same ones.
#1 – Being naked/inappropriately dressed in public.
This is a classic I think. I usually start off properly dressed then relise only later that I’m missing something essential in the tailoring department. I try to cover up the naughtiest bits with whatever’s to hand. Oddly enough though, no-one else in the dream ever seems too bothered. Maybe there’s a message there.
#2 – Being unprepared for a performance
I’m on a stage, about to give a performance (usually singing and/or playing guitar or piano). I realise, as the curtain goes up, that I haven’t learnt the words or music - and the audience is waiting….
#3 – Heights
I’m afraid of heights in the waking world and this features quite often in my dreams, usually combined with a staircase that goes up, up, up and then there’s no way to get off the top to the landing – just a huge gap and a long drop. This is probably the commonest of my recurring dreams. I once tried a charity abseil down the side of an 11-storey building to see it that would cure it, but it didn’t.
#4 – Being unable to make an emergency call.
This is a relative newcomer to the collection and shows that my dreams are keeping pace with technology at least. There’s some kind of emergency going on and I need to call for help on my mobile. I try to dial, get it wrong and start again – only to mess it up a second time. Then I forget the actual number I’m supposed to be dialling and so on.
#5 – Not being able to do my job.
I’m in the office. Although I know all the people in the place and have obviously worked here some time, I’m completely at a loss as to how to actually do my job. I hope people won’t notice… I have been blagging my way in IT for over 20 years now. One day, someone IS going to notice.
#6 – Moving house to a place I hate
I’ve just moved into my new home with hubby etc and I discover I really want to be back at the old house and realise I’ve made a terrible mistake moving. A variant of this one is having some work done on the current house that totally ruins it.
#7 – The waking paralysis demon
I’ve had this a couple of times in my life. The first time was the scariest. Hubs was working away from home so I was alone in the house. I was in bed and I woke up because I thought I’d heard him come in. I looked over towards the door but couldn’t see anyone, but got the feeling of a real and very evil presence in the room. I felt the bed move as if something had climbed onto it but there was no-one there and still this feeling of an evil presence remained. Suddenly, there was a weight on my chest and a goblin-like creature was kneeling on me, trying to strangle me. I couldn’t move to throw it off and I was suffocating. I woke up and was afraid to go to sleep again in case it came back. I did and it did. It’s not a common phenomenon for me, thank goodness. This dream is so much more realistic than the usual, though – more sensory modalities are present: sight, hearing, touch etc. I’ve since heard that this particular dream occurs as a result of a kind of bodily malfunction where you wake up but your brain does not release the natural protective paralysis it imposes during sleep. The creature-sitting-on-your-chest (or a variant thereof) is a theme that appears in many cultures and has given rise to much mythology and folklore. Now, I understand the physiology here, but why do our brains construct the same type of thing the world over - of a palpably evil creature trying to do us in? That’s the real mystery for me.
#8 – PJ is alive
My close friend PJ died 10 years ago, but I still have the odd dream that he’s actually alive and it’s all been a huge mistake. This isn’t a nightmare as such, but this dream is always tinged with great sadness because, even as I’m talking to PJ and feeling overjoyed that he’s alive, I can feel in the back of my mind that really he’s not and that he’ll be gone again all too soon.
And here’s the clincher. This is what my brain really thinks of me. The other night I dreamed I was Superman (not Superwoman, you’ll note, there’s a whole back-story there, believe me) and I needed to rescue someone falling from a tall building. But get this: I knew I had superpowers, I knew I was indestructible but I was afraid of heights so couldn’t fly! How poor is that? I’m not even allowed to be a proper Superman in my dreams!
I suppose the common thread here is insecurity of one sort or another and this is not unique to me, I know. I just wish my brain could find less hackneyed old cliches to express it with, though. A decent being-chased-by-monsters one would be a change.
Don’t have nightmares.