Dreams

I think I might really enjoy not remembering my dreams. Often they can be quite disturbing. But, like that mean ole school teacher of yesteryear, sometimes you are grateful for their lessons.

Sometimes I wake up and I feel like I have been battered and beaten up by my nighttime journeys. I spent a little bit of my life as a CPS social worker and the dreams of that period of my life continued well past my employment in that profession.

After that I went through a time, a very serious time emotionally and spiritually, where my dreams were far more vivid than usual. I remember all those dreams twenty years later and some of them felt more like visions than dreams. It also coincided with a commitment to begin living a more consistent, authentic, loving life – although that sure didn’t happen overnight.

I also clearly remember frightening dreams, like nightmarish, perhaps hallucinations, from serious painkiller drugs – morphine types- when the surgeon sent me home far too early from a painful knee surgery (He broke his drill bit as he was drilling through my leg and I ended up being under anesthesia for much longer than planned.) Whenever I tried to fall asleep, my first night home, thousands of dead faces, all coming out of the darkness into my own face, kept telling me as soon as I fell asleep I would belong to them. It went on for hours. Before that, I also had an episode after a prior knee surgery, on a similar medication, where I was thrown into a deep pit of snakes and I couldn’t stop them from crawling over me. Hello Stephen King. Today, I walk with a serious limp, and people ask me why don’t I get my knee replaced? Well, because, even though those dreams were 20 years ago, they feel like just yesterday in my mind. Honestly, I thought I was losing my mind. Maybe I did.

After the Paradise fire, I had about 45 consecutive days of “death” dreams with many different ones during the same night. Often I was killing some one or some thing. This was a new dream role for me. I woke up exhausted, but I tried to power through them. They diminished over time. It was a fresh reminder how weary a constant barrage of nightmares can be though.

Last night I had an odd dream. It was the kind where I thought I woke up from it, but I actually was still dreaming. I hate those kind, a dream within a dream. You feel trapped. You think you are awake from your dream, but it faked you out and you’re only dreaming that you now are thinking logically about the disturbing portions of the dream – but you are actually still using dream logic. It really makes you question reality in general.

In the dream last night, I was put on the spot by some invisible god-like entity and I was made to define what the concept ‘glory’ really meant. It was clear that the god-like thing thought I was a fake. The pressure was on as unseen others were judging my response, off stage. It was made clear that my soul’s existence depended upon my answer. I stayed cool under pressure (a trait I am quite proud of but then leads to endless nights of nightmares!) I remember being quite taken with myself as I explained that there was two definitions, one was an internal view and the other was an external view. The external view was me looking down upon glory, an observer. That was the classical definition. The internal view was me looking through glory. Ultimately glory meant I no longer was aware of myself as an individual, an ego. I was simply a part of the collectiveness of life. This scared the shit out of my psyche, but I preached that this was the ultimate glory. Yet, I was losing myself. The unseen god was happy because I had trapped myself. To save my soul, I was losing my soul. Checkmate, well played unseen god-like thingy.

Trying to wake up from this feeling, I then only kept dreaming – thinking I was fully awake. I came up with an “awake” analysis of my response that only led me back into the fear of losing myself. I was trapped and I could feel myself coming apart, disintegrating. I finally woke up, not fully certain that I was actually awake, thinking “But, you thought you were awake before? How do you know you are now awake?” So, I reached over and kind of gave my sleeping wife a nudge on the shoulder. In her half awakeness, she said, “Huh, what?” I replied, “Nothing, go back to sleep,” like it was her fault for waking me up.

Here is $125 dollars for the 50 minute therapy session. I’ll see ya next week!