Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Recurring dreams

I believe that dreams can reflect our deepest fears and greatest hopes, especially when they happen over and over. I have two dreams that recur constantly, although one of them has changed in the past few years.

The first one centers around my maternal grandfather. Before he passed away, I had nightmares at least twice a week of him dying. These went on for probably ten years before he died, and they were awful. After his death, though, they changed. I now have at least one dream per week that he is alive. I argue with myself, saying that I know what happened, I saw him, and my subconscious mind replies that I was just dreaming that, or that it was a hoax. I feel very uneasy about it, but am happy that things are okay now. Waking up from that one is disconcerting, and brings back the grief again. I'm happy to say that they're occurring less frequently now, but I still get them from time to time.

The second one is more awful to me. I am constantly dreaming that my parents are coming here, kidnapping me, and dragging me back to their house, away from Brian. I try to contact Brian, but my phone doesn't have his number programmed, and I can't for the life of me remember the number. I try to email, but can't find his email address or remember it. I am told that I should know better than to think I deserve him, and that I need to realize that my place is with them, not with some guy.

This dream happens at least once a week. One of my greatest fears is to be torn away from Brian and deprived of my adult freedoms. I love him very dearly, and I feel very fortunate to have him in my life. I know that he is loyal to me, and that he needs me just as much as I need him, so it would take an outside force to divide us.

I also have a fear of losing my independence. I hated being a child and teenager, not being able to do what I wanted when I wanted, being under someone else's control. When my life became my own, I was happier than ever before. I like being able to use the telephone when I like, being able to visit friends anytime they ask, and the freedom to have company in my own home. When I was younger, and didn't have this freedom, my friends would frequently become pissed off at me, and I'd lose their friendship. The dreams are reflecting a deep, subconscious fear of going back to that state, even though it could not reasonably happen.

These things don't really crop up in my waking life, fortunately, but the nightmares sometimes stay with me all day, a miasma of anxiety and dread that I can't shake. I wonder sometimes if the sleep disordered nature of fibromyalgia keeps my mind too close to the surface of consciousness, where what should have been forgotten within five minutes of waking is still running in a loop through my head. I wake from these with cramped, tight muscles, my lower back in a hard spasm that doesn't go away for hours unless I treat it* and have Brian massage it out.

I wonder, is a huge part of my muscle pain from clenching up during nightmares? If so, I need to find something that will make them stop, or make me sleep deeply enough that the shut-off between brain and muscles actually works. It goes both ways, too; sometimes I wake up with the sleep paralysis still switched on, and I go into a panic attack, other times I'm thrashing and twitching like a dreaming puppy.

* This is the ONLY thing that Flexeril has ever been able to do for me--release spasms. It doesn't make me sleep like it does other people.


Michelle said...

Recurring dreams are so disturbing, I often wonder why these keep happening. Why can't they be happy dreams, like always being at the beach, walking with our loved one with that warm happy feeling? Mine revolve around being in filthy bathrooms and unable to find a clean one, doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that one, I just need to wake up and use the bathroom, hehehehe!!!!! Have a great day!!

Sarah said...

I think dreams are a gift, but often it's a gift we don't want.

I recently had a dream where I was moving out of college but it was hard because I'd been in three dorm rooms. Then I was just lugging bag after bag after box after box of stuff, endlessly.

So in my dream I (a) was taking up too much space (b) dragging lots of baggage behind me.

Usually my dreams aren't that obvious!