I never have nightmares, like ever. Normally, if I’m dreaming something that can be a nightmare, my brain turns the dream around and saves the day (night).
What do I mean by that? Imagine I’m dreaming that I’m being chased, and the situation is starting to look a bit tricky. You know, there’s that point in a dream when you realise you can’t escape, when it clicks and you realise you’re in a nightmare, and that’s when the stress comes. Just at that point, every time without fail, my brain realises that there’s a solution right there, next to me.
If I’m being chased by a bunch of military style armed bad guys, I just manage to duck behind some crates and realise that I was holding a weapon all along and I can shoot back, and win. If dinosaurs are chasing me, trying to eat me, I see that there’s a sturdy door right next to me through which I can escape and lock them out. I know the layout of the place, so I can then quickly get to the armoury and get everything I need to survive.
If there’s a natural disaster, my survival instincts kicks in. I know, after all, first aid, and I am healthy and fit overall, so I suddenly remember that I can climb, run, hunt, set traps…
My subconscious has tried pretty much anything to get me terrified at night, Mafia, terrorists, dinosaurs, earthquakes, zombies, vampires, ghosts, viruses… Everything you can think of, I’ve dreamt a version of it already, it has tried to kill me or grab me, and failed. I am always victorious, my heartbeat stable and my sweat under control. Not a fuss.
When I was a kid, I used to have nightmares, and maybe even night terrors. I remember my favourite Looney Tunes character came at night to terrorise me. Actually, I don’t know if that’s what he wanted, as he never said anything, he would just stare at me from the corner of my bed, looking at me with his yellow, coyote-y eyes, and I would scream for my dad.
I knew I was going to get sick and have a high fever because of the nightmarish dreams I would have. There would be no chasing or running, they were unsettling dreams. Years after, I can’t help but be reminded of Hellraiser when I think about those dreams, the stuff that plays with your mind and looks a bit like a puzzle, or a test of your sanity.
Since I grew up, my nights have been pretty chilled. Until last week.
After many years trying, my subconscious has found something that my brain hasn’t been able to counteract yet, and oh boy, did it have a party on the first night…
I don’t know how it started, but I was suddenly on a boat. A big boat. We were looking at sea life, and somehow we needed to dive, so we could see what was going on underwater. I started feeling nervous. I didn’t want to be underwater in that boat. We dived and went under something, to come out on the other side, and I was sweating and stressed. I hadn’t enjoyed that at all. My subconscious caught a glimpse of my distress, and then moved the dream towards a dock. There was a submarine, but a small one, sort of like for just a handful of people. The hatch was open, and I was told I needed to go in, so we could go deep down the ocean to keep looking at the sea life. I said no and I felt the cold sweat down my back, and I was shaking and I was having a really bad time. I was being forced inside the submarine, and I was kicking and resisting, and then I woke up. Terrified. I have a bad feeling about this… I thought. I got up, went to the toilet, then to the kitchen to drink some water and to forget what had happened, and went back to bed. The rest of the night went great.
A couple of nights later, I was sleeping comfortably and unaware, when suddenly, I found myself inside some sort of capsule transportation and when I looked out the small window, I was underwater once again. I didn’t have enough space to move around and started feeling uneasy. There was no place to go, no door I could run through, no weapons to draw, no way of fighting back. I felt constricted and trapped, knowing that if anything were to happen, I still had the whole ocean to swim back up to the surface, to space, to air.
I think I’ve mentioned before that the space and spaceships give me a feeling of claustrophobia, knowing that you’re trapped. I had the worst time watching Gravity and I haven’t watched any space movies ever since (Star Wars doesn’t count, being in space is secondary to the actual story). Well, it seems my subconscious never thought of that before, of placing me in a tin-like container, either in space, or it seems, deep underwater. Until now. Years with no nightmares all gone down the drain, twice in a week.
I need to find a way out of these dreams, because my bed is sacrosanct. My bed is my happy place and I can’t have nightmares messing up with it. I already suffer from insomnia and can’t fall asleep at night, no matter how tired I am so when I finally fall asleep, my dreams are mine, to help me rest and to give me the exciting (read, cool and always victorious anyway) life I otherwise don’t have, not to terrorise me.
I know it’s a matter of time before I find a solution, but in the meantime, I’ll drink camomile tea and watch Disney movies, so there’s nothing to exciting happening on my mind before I go to bed!
Do you have nightmares? What sort? Can you remember them when you wake up? What about your dreams?