Nightmares, My Normal

Wanna know a secret?

I get nightmares.

Yep. Lots of them.

I don’t remember when they started, but I know that it was a long time ago. For years I would wake up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat. The dreams were always vivid; often I woke up thinking they are in fact, reality. Car accidents. Running for my life. Raped. Falling off buildings. Falling into traffic. Falling off a bridge. Aliens. Bad guys. Murderers.

One might say I’ve been around the block when it comes to nightmares. :)

Over the years they’ve calmed down but never gone away. I rarely dream of good — I nightmare or I sleep.

I’ve never begun to think through exactly what causes the nightmares, but something must. For a long time I just thought everyone got nightmares… but the more I talk about how frequent I get them, the more I know I’m different. What’s frightening to me about my nightmares… is that I’m used to them. They rarely come as a surprise — they’re my normal.

That is until last week…. when I woke up being stabbed to death. Yep… stabbed. to. death.

I remember waking up, looking around my room and being like — whoa.

Who dreams this shit? Being stabbed to death took my nightmares to a whole new level.

Usually when I wake up I can remember the highlights of the nightmare — but very few details. As the morning goes on, I only remember the action and as the days go on, the nightmares all blur together. This time, I remembered the details. Almost a week later, I can still live the nightmare.

So what happened?

I arrived at my condo with another person {no idea who it was} and found my front door ajar. There were no lights on inside, just the daylight streaming through the windows. I opened the door and realized I had been robbed. I was talking a million miles an hour at the person I was with… just losing my mind that someone had robbed me. 

I walked through my condo realizing all that was taken from me. The place was a mess and everything was scattered. I walked into my bedroom, looked around and let out a sigh. As I continued through my place, I made my way to the bathroom. When I walked in and turned on the light, I spotted a gold wedding band on the floor by the door. I looked down at it and said that’s his — that’s his. I continued to mouth off frustration to the person I was with — I can’t believe this happened to me. 

I pulled opened the shower curtain and there he stood — the man who robbed me. He had a kitchen knife in his right hand — and he proceeded towards me. I fell back, landing on the floor and he stabbed me. And stabbed me. And stabbed me.

… and that’s when I woke up. Startled, obviously.

I was very taken back. Lots had already gone on last week — being stabbed to death in a bad dream was icing on the cake. I went to work, re-told the story to my coworkers and they all looked at me like I was a crazy person. In the afternoon, I posted the following on my Facebook:

“Still thinking about how I was stabbed to death in my dreams last night. Debating if I should pay a visit to a psychic — or psychologist. Normal people don’t dream of being murdered… at least I don’t think so.”

A number of friends responded… everything from “you’re a crazy person” to “watch happy movies” to “normal is overrated.” Tara led me to a dream dictionary that said being stabbed in a dream relates to betrayal, loss of trust and being stabbed in the back.

Relevant to my life. Relevant to my week.

Dreams aren’t usually literal, they’re symbolic.

Don’t run away from your dreams. Think them through.

Until the next one…


  1. msimoens August 23, 2012

    Have you ever looked into lucid dreaming? Gaining control of my dreams ended the nightmares I had as a kid. They are very rare now.


  2. Tod August 23, 2012

    Dreams are usually the product of unfinished thoughts that start during the course of the day, then your brain tries to resolve them on its own at night. What I found that helped enormously was a practice of mindfulness at bedtime — even just 3-4 mins.

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