Monday, June 25, 2007

Nightmare

Even though I'm pushing my window, and I will be tired (and probably late) tomorrow I really have to write this. I've told two people, and I'm still processing it.
I had a nightmare last night. I have nightmares a lot and so does my husband. We both flail and yell and he's smacked me more than a few times. We also both remember our dreams in general more than many people I know.

You know how in dreams you can be in a completely wild house and yet you know it's your house, or likewise a shopping mall or a school even though they are nothing like reality? This wasn't like that. I was in my apartment and it really was this apartment. The only difference was that there was a dark blue curtain hanging in the doorway of the kitchen at the end of the hall which my husband and I have discussed doing, but have not done. In the dream I was getting ready for work as I usually do after my husband has already left. I was in the bathroom and the light was the same, the layout was the same. I stepped out into the hall to go put my dog in the bedroom where we keep him during the day. The family room and library (dining room) were dark as they often are when the curtains are drawn, esp. with no light coming from the kitchen but I could sense their space and the furniture just as in reality. Suddenly a man in a mask put his face through the curtain. He was wearing a cheap, silver Ultraman mask that I had bought my husband years ago as a ha ha. We've thrown it away since but here this man was, wearing it and moving like Doug Jones as Abe Sapien in Hellboy--that is like a man in a mask. One moment he was looking through the curtain and the next he was next to me grabbing my wrist. And I was FROZEN. I couldn't move; I couldn't scream. With a huge effort of will I screamed and pulled...
and woke up still yelling and spasming. It was one of the most frightening dreams I can remember in ages because the house was so real--like a vision. As I often do when I have nightmares (something I learned long ago--I recommend you tell your children if they are troubled by nightmares) is to drift back down and try to change the outcome of the dream, even if you are semi-conscious. I tried to think if I got free, what would I do. The door has two locks and would take too long. I would run to the bedroom, slam and lock the door and pull my nightstand in front of it. Then what? Climb out the front window and try to land on the roof over the entrance? or fall into the dirt and shrubbery (we're on the second floor)? Open the side window and scream for my landlord's employees (his business is in the lot next door)? Would they hear me if it were winter and they were inside? Basically I was trying to convince myself that I wouldn't be so powerless if I really were attacked, but we can never know that in advance, can we?

My other dilemma is that I don't know where this comes from. When I accepted this job I had nightmares for a week about being in class unprepared, missing class. Performance anxiety--very understandable. I can usually figure out the triggers for dreams but I can't think why I would have dreamt this. Last King of Scotland was terrifying, but not at all like this. The only thing I can think of is the Stephen King story which was, like most of his stories, about an ordinary person thrust into a terrifying situation but I read that a week ago. I know I sometimes have dreams from gory movies, but mainly my screaming thrashing nightmares are about bugs. Hoards of bugs that must be brushed off, bugs the size of Shetland Sheep Dogs, humanoid bugs taking over the earth. There are reasons for that, but I won't go into them here. I also used to dream of losing my teeth. One would be loose and I'd wiggle it and the others would just topple like domino's. I read that that indicates unstable finances. I'm happy to say I haven't had that dream in a while.

Why in my home? Why the mask? I still don't know. If anyone has heard of symbolism connected with this, I'd love to hear it.

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