What's your nightmare?
Last night, my daughter woke up screaming about a bug. "aahhheeeee! there's a bug, a bug!" we live in Hawaii, so my first instinct was to check for a centipede, which tends to be the culprit when one is sleeping in one's bed. I popped up, grabbed her up and started tearing the bed apart to find what had terrorized her so much.
I didn't find anything, and as the search died down, my questions to her regarding the nature of her attacker began to make her embarrassed. It seemed more and more like she had experienced a nightmare, and the midnite creeper wasn't real.
It immediately caused me to reflect on nightmares in general. Kana'loa's blood curdling scream led me to puzzle at the extremity of her experience. What kind of beasty could have caused such a terrible response? What had she seen or experienced in waking life that could have caused such a manifestation in her dream world?
I can only wonder and try to relate. As a 3 year old going on 4, she is starting to develop fears about her safety in the world. I asked myself, "what causes me to have a similar reaction?"
I'm no dream-journalist, but I have, over the years, noted certain patterns. I think what most of us fear is death, or more specifically, dying alone. How lucky my daughter is for worrying about "worms" as she suggested right after waking up into panic.
Nightmare generally describes dreams that cause such a reaction; terrifying events, beings, or ideas attack our consciousness. The full spectrum of emotion is available though. Dreams can make us feel sad, happy, disgusted, nervous, sensual... anything.
Typical "nightmare content" (at least what I would perceive as such) within my dreams doesn't in fact have that effect on me. I've dreamt I was being chased by murderous monstrosities, attacked by nasty beasties (such as my daughter), and even buried alive.. but awaking from all those dreams, usually finds me in a state of: discomfort, confusion, wonder (at my demented imagination)... many things, but not paralyzed with fear.
in fact, the last time I remember having a "nightmare" that caused that kind of reaction, I was probably close to my daughters age, and I was running around angel haunted house with scooby doo and shaggy... no joke.
I have, however, found a similar torment from a different kind of dream content. You wanna know what makes me wake up in a cold sweat, reaffirming my surroundings, wondering if I'll ever be the same?
Mononotony... The mundane, the adventureless life, the slave-worthy repetition.
It happens very clearly whenever I start a new job (which has been perhaps a higher than average number of times for me). I begin work, and after a few days of experiencing what delightful laboring I've gotten myself into, it happens.
I'm awoken in the middle of the night agonized by the smell of rotting greens (my job as a produce stocker), the hot, dark, greasy, deafening confines of an engine room, or the tedious rambling of a mower or weedwhacker in the hot sun.
It's the idea of those repetitive negative sensory devices that make me fear the next day the most.
I don't know if I'm alone on this or if I'm part of the crowd, but can anyone relate?
were we ever meant to have such simple, unidimensional lives?
What haunts your dreams?