How to overcome nightmares


Laurel Hill Cemetary

There is something troubling me.  I’m just not sure what it is.  My subconscious has a funny way to telling me when something is wrong with the gift of horrifying dreams.  I’ve been having nightmares for a few weeks now.  I go through phases in my life where I have nightmares for a few weeks to a month and eventually it passes.  They normally involve the faceless man trying to kill you, my teeth crumbling out of my mouth, someone trying to kill my cats, ghostly demons chasing me through unfamiliar houses that have an endless amount of doors leading to yet another room. These bad boys are child’s play compared to what’s been happening in my sleep the last few weeks.

The other morning I woke up yelling help.  Poor John was lying next to me and didn’t realize I was dreaming & Buttercup (good girl) started barking downstairs.  So much drama in the morning!

Edgar Allen Poes House in Philly

The dream that prompted the yelling was really strange and equally scary.  I’m walking in a city alone at night extremely pregnant.  It’s raining and I’m wearing a black trench coat while ducking in and out of entry ways in old buildings to avoid the men that are following me.

Did I mention it was the turn of the century?  Very Sherlock Holmes / Jack the Ripper.

Anyways, I finally get to a playhouse where I am attending a play.  I’m there to see someone though I’m not sure who it was.  After sitting down, the men come into the house and I begin running away while going into labor.  I’m  running up a long spiral staircase and the men begin literally flying towards me.  They’ve morphed into these scary demon / ghosty things and to make it scarier; they’re holding giant bloody knives.  I stumble and fall on my stomach, that is no longer pregnant…  Needless to say one of the ghosties grabs my leg and begins pulling me down the stairs.  I’m grabbing onto the stairs and my hands begin bleeding and my fingers are getting ripped off piece by piece.

That’s when I try to yell help!! but I’m incapable of speaking.  Nothing is coming out even though my lips are moving.  I eventually woke myself up yelling.

Fun.

But this is nothing compared to the dream I had two nights ago.  It was perhaps the worse nightmare I’ve had in my life.  It’s a lot more abstract and less Sherlock Holmes than the staircase one.

There’s something terrible killing everyone. This dream was like a bad horror movie from the 80s but without the topless girls.  There was endless amounts of blood and lots of water.  I was doing two things in this dream; trying to save everyone I love and trying to get away.  Whatever I was fighting, I was also running from.  At one point I’m swimming / running through a huge body of water.  The thing keeps pushing me under so I’m drowning (this is a reoccurring theme in my dreams) but the creepy part is that I have things to grab onto and pull myself above the water.

Bodies.

Yup, that’s right.  Dead bodies covered in blood and badness are my saving grace.  I’m keeping myself afloat on dead people.  Eventually I get out of the water and am standing in the middle of some sort of broken down castle but I have to get higher to fight the monster.  I eventually accomplish this and am standing on top of dead, skinned, bloody bodies of people I knew, some of who I loved.  I am literally standing on a gigantic pile of bloody people with a giant sword that I can barely hold, fighting some monster.    I don’t know who won because I woke up from that one in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

Clearly my subconscious is upset.

There’s a cognitive behavioral technique that is used to figure out what’s going on deep down.  I forget what it’s called – it’s like streaming consciousness or something.  You basically write.  Whether it be with a computer or handwritten (I use a computer because my hands hurt).  You begin writing something like: I am upset because, I am worried because, I am afraid because, I am having god awful nightmares because…  I’m joking about the last one – I don’t think that one would work.  The nightmares are a result of something, not the cause.  I need to find the cause.  Does that make sense?

I used this technique years ago when I was working on overcoming my panic disorder.  I’ve been thinking about doing it again but frankly I’m a little afraid.  Whatever is going on with me seems pretty damn heavy and my plate is pretty full already trying to get better that I’m not sure I can add something else too it. Of course,  a shrink would probably say that by dealing with whatever is going on will greatly help me deal with what’s on my plate.  And they’re probably right.

One of my first memories is at a park called Cedar Beach.   I’m standing in the middle of the park holding a piece of bread and I’m so young that the geese are taller than me.  I remember holding the bread and the geese began walking towards me in a circle coming for the bread. Since the birds were taller than me, it was a pretty terrifying experience.  I still have the image burned in my brain.  That is exactly how I feel now…  A little child alone in a park about to be eaten by birds, scared shitless.

I should probably do something about this.

And the bird comment was supposed to make you laugh.  It was scary then, but it’s pretty funny if you think about it now….

Yours in health

m

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