Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dream Weaver, I Hate Your Guts

It was a dream night again last night. Why can I never have nice or even normal dreams?

This one featured another of my weird French-Canadian aunts  -- the one who left me in her house with a concoction burning in the oven that smoked the whole place beyond belief.  At the time I had very limited mobility due to  miscellaneous broken bones and overall weakness due to kidney and intestinal infections.  I found my way out and eventually got help, but the entire ordeal is one I don't care to think abut during my conscious moments, much less in my dreams.

Anyway, the dream was triggered, I would assume, by a bonfire of some sort -- probably illegal and probably the work of some frat --  though I really don't know that. All I do know is that the wind carried the smoke in the direction of my house, and our upstairs windows were open. The smell of smoke was enough to trigger another fire dream for me.

This one started with the wicked aunt in my doorway, sounding almost like a witch.  '"ALAYsis," she cackled (my dad and his siblings were all raised in the U.S., and none have  actual accents, but for some reason the Utah/Nevada aunts all pronounce my name incorrectly), "You can try, but  you'll never make it out alive!" Then she disappeared and I knew it was my chance to get away. I thought I was in the unfinished attic of her house, so I pulled the comforter off my bed to scoot atop it along the splintery floors.  This was bizarre, but I could feel the pain in my arm and collarbone, and especially in my leg, as though the bones were broken all over again. I scooted along the bedroom floor to the door, opened it with my "good" arm,, and scooted across the landing/sitting area. I somehow ended up under the grand piano that my mother put there, and my comforter got caught on one of the legs of the piano. I tugged as hard as I could with my "good" arm, forgetting that both of my arms are actually good now, but it wouldn't budge, so I had to scoot along without it. I finally made my way under the piano after getting caught up in the bench. Then I made it to the staircase when my recent  bout with colitis decided to manifest itself, and I knew I had to get to a bathroom sooner than soon.

Along came my brother, walking up the stairs, in a rare attempt not to awaken everyone in the house, as I was scooting down one step at a time on my bottom. He tripped over me but caught the bannister. "Alexis, what in the hell are you doing?" he demanded.

"I don't know," I answered,  "but I have to go to the bathroom. Now!"

Recognizing a crisis of sorts, Matthew helped me to my feet with one hand, took one giant step up three stairs,  flicked a light switch with his other hand, and practically threw me in the direction of the bathroom. I made it.

The commotion presumably woke my parents, who [according to Matthew] stumbled in various states of undress (you don't want to know) from their bedroom to see what was going on in the rest of the house. Matthew must have figured out it was another nightmare, because by the time I was out of the bathroom, my dad had his guitar tuned and my mom had 7-Up for me to drink, and both were dressed respectably at least for their kids to see in the middle of the night (scrubs for my dad and a nightshirt for my mom).  I eventually got maybe another twenty minutes of sleep, but the night was over for all intents and purposes as far as I was concerned.

I know the aunt in question doesn't even know where we live, has no key to our house,  has no alarm code, and probably doesn't even have enough discretionary income to pay for the gas it would take to get her here from northern Nevada, but still she haunts me in my dreams.  I wish she would move to Siberia or Antarctica.


  1. Sorry you had a bad night.

    I've had my fair share of "weird" dreams lately, too. I'm trying to teach myself how to lucid dream (I think we've talked about this before, unless I'm just having major déjà vu). My therapist and I talked briefly about it as I typically have many dreams in one night that I am able to remember. Your dream could have been triggered by a number of different issues. Obviously the smoke, as you pointed out, is a huge trigger, especially since it was a scent that you were not anticipating. Your current GI issues could also be a trigger, or the combination of this and the former, since you had that same sort of issue, same internal feeling while you were locked in the attic. Additionally, this makes me think of some articles I've read about the brain-gut axis and I know some people who have strange dreams in correlation with their GI issues. Whether it's the actual malady or the lack of quality sleep caused by the malady that makes people dream has not been discussed. Obviously, there is ample evidence to blame your nightmare on psychological stimuli. I have yet to be a successful lucid dreamer, though I tend to be able to rationalize in my dreams, which is something that you're supposedly not able to do. Like, the dream I had about Dr. B being Woody Allen instead of himself... I knew that he wasn't Dr. B, and that Woody Allen should, in no way shape or form be allowed to practice medicine. The people in my dream were not listening to my logic. I'm not sure if this indicates that I am a partially successful lucid dreamer, or if I'm just weird. Anyway... all of this was to suggest that maybe you would find some success in attempting to awaken your consciousness, or whatever, while dreaming. As hard (and possibly impossible) as that is? seems? I'm skeptical, but not willing to write it off yet. I'll let you know if I'm able to change my dreams at will.

  2. What an awful nightmare! I had a couple of dreams that were very intense when I was a kid that caused me to get out of bed, get dressed, and go out in the hall while still sleeping. That hasn't happened in many years, thankfully… and they were never as bad as the dream you described.

  3. Don't forget that Freud says that dreams are a safe way to release anxieties. Take the positive and say that your issues re aunt and neglect etc are one further step to being irrelevant.

    We dream (nightmare)about the things which had the most emotional impact on us.For perhaps 25 years I would have an annual dream of walking into the examination hall past all the little single desks with papers and sitting down to a paper on paleobotany or Sanskrit translation or astronomy. Always during the month before exams ,always a subject Ihad not studied.

    These have finally resolved.