Wednesday, November 5, 2008


In a recent post, Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti stated that she dreams a lot and rarely experiences a nightmare. I, on the other hand, have nightmares regularly. For the most part, I stopped having really terrifying dreams a long time ago. Now, I call them nightmares because they are terribly oppressive, although all too often, I still wake with my heart pounding.

I used to have a recurring nightmare. I would dream that dream once or twice a year. It began when I was in grammar school and it finally stopped at age 18 after a traumatic experience. Don't ask me why. As a young mother, I would dream that I had fallen walking up steps in front of my childhood church and couldn't get up. I've dreamed that I needed to warn someone and couldn't make a sound. I've dropped numerous valuables down grates and have been unable to retrieve them, etc, etc, etc.....

Near the end of my marriage, my "bad" dreams intensified. In them something bad would always happened. Something so bad that I would spend the whole dream trying to fix it. I had so many bad dreams for so many years that I finally taught myself to wake up. At some hopeless point in the dream I would say to myself..."this is a dream, wake up" and I would. Learning to do this was freeing. No longer would I have to spend the whole night trying to do the impossible, trying to redo some deed gone horribly wrong, trying to undo some misdeed. But even though I might wake myself, sometimes I still would go back to sleep to start the frustrating cycle all over again. Once I woke up from a nightmare every night for about 2 weeks in a row at 2:00 in the morning.

The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli 1781

I don't have as many frustrating dreams anymore. Probably because my daytime circumstances aren't as frustrating now, but sometimes I still find myself trying desperately to work out problems in my sleep. Before you suggest it, let me assure you that I have no need of a psychoanalyst. I know why I have these kinds of dreams. I just don't like them. Why can't I have wonderful, happy, colorful, dreams of happy people who do great things?

I remember going to my parent's bedroom in the middle of the night often when I was 5 or 6 because of scary dreams. At first I was allowed to get in bed with them, but eventually my mother told me whenever I had a bad dream and couldn't go back to sleep to count my think of all the good things in my life. Counting blessings has stood the test of time and countless bad dreams. Thinking on the good things in life has soothed me back to sleep many a sleepless night.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8


  1. Oh, nightmares are horrible, especially those first waking moments where you gasping for breath and not able to separate real from dream.

  2. First, I've always been so mesmerized by that macabre Fuseli painting.

    It's been ages since I've had a true " raise you out of bed" nightmare...They're awful...I also find myself trying to sort through my problems when I go to bed and end up with horrible bouts of insomnia as a result...

    Perhaps a nice cup of Sleepy Time Tea would help....

  3. When I'm worried and I can't sleep
    I count my blessings instead of sheep...and I fall asleep counting my blessings!

    It's almost time for "White Christmas"! :D

  4. Well, bless your heart! That must be awful! I wish I could make them all go away and never bother you again. I'll pray for that, 'k? May Jesus have extra special mercy on you.

    I've been blessed with mostly good dreams for some reason. I really shouldn't, considering the physical abuse I suffered from my father as a child. I've had my share of unsettling dreams, though. They're not fun.

    Here's extra prayers for you my dear! May you never have another unsettling moment. ((Hugs)) ♥ ∞

  5. As a parent I am very thankful that we've had to deal with nightmares very little; they have been occasional but rare.

    Waking up from a scary dream in the dark, in the middle of the night is awful.

    Your mother (and God) gave you wise counsel. Something that we should all try to do all day, every day.

  6. Aren't dreams fascinating? They seem so real. I'm sorry you have scary dreams. I dreamed the other night that I was skinny and shopping. That was a fun dream. Before I knew I had two half brothers I dreamed for years that two little dark haired boys were taking me to see my biological father. We were always going down a huge set of stairs. When I was 22 I found out I am half Arabic and truly have two brothers. I have always thought that was freaky.

  7. I think I would of been afraid to fall asleep. I have one type of dream where I can not find my way home. I am always in different places, but I can never find my way home.
    Sweet dreams tonight...denise

  8. Steviewren, I can relate to this post. I think I have more nightmares than the average person, but many of them are just 'bad dreams'. The kind that make me sigh with relief when I wake up. I dreamed just last week that an envelope arrived in the mail with a survery of my home. I was pleased until I saw the $1,000 invoice attached to it. Then panic set in. Boy was I glad to wake up and find out none of that invoice was true!

    By the way, an award awaits you at the birdbath...

  9. You poor dear! It's no fun to have nightmares. I don't have them often, but when I do, I'm afraid to get out of bed to go to the bathroom (plays havoc on my kidneys!)

    I have recurring nightmares that I'm still at university and haven't done any of the work to finish the term and I'm trying to get to the registrar's office to get taken out of the course. (At least I'm not in my pajamas!)

    Lavender - that might help!

    Loved Willow's quote from "White Christmas".


  10. Hi Stevie

    Oh no -- I'm sorry that happens to you so much. My daughter suffers from nightmares quitea bit too, and we found out recently that she has restless leg syndrome and that might be the cause. Since she was a little girl she'd wake up at night crying that her legs hurt but the pediatrican could never find out why.
    I'm glad thinking of your blessings helps!
    Hugs, Pat

  11. I've had vivid, wild, often exhausting dreams all my life. Recently I dreamed I watched my son attacked and eaten by HIPPOS!!! I was shaky and upset and laughing when I woke up! It was really dreadful, I was screaming and could do nothing to help him. But it was so ridiculous!

  12. P.S. I always find the middle of the night perfect prayer time!

  13. I used to have reoccuring nightmares. When I talked about it and shared the actual dreams with others, the dreams started cropping up less and less until no more. I think it's when you talk about them during the waking hours that it isn't so scary at night any more. I used to have dreams constantly about missing classes in college. I graduated back in 1994. I thought about it during the day and when the dream came up again, I'd think, "This is stupid, I already graduated. What do I care if I miss a class now?" And then I could relax. I didn't wake up, I just didn't get nervous in the dream any more. Then.. my mind caught on to what I was thinking, darn it.... I started dreaming I was missing a class for a Master's Degree! Lol. Go figure..

  14. That's such a great idea, Stevie. Counting blessings when one has night fears.It might do the trick in getting oneself to fall asleep instead of counting sheep.

  15. Something that has worked great for me is to say to yourself after getting into bed, "I will not dream about _______." And you won't! I read that little trick in a magazine and I've tried it for a couple of years now and it hasn't failed me yet! Something about your brain having power over your subconscience.

    Fascinating painting, btw...never seen that before, but it is so powerful!


I'm glad you stopped by and I look forward to your comments. As Dr. Fraser Crane would say, "Hello, I'm listening."