I’ve had a lot of dreams the past week or so, dreams that I am able to remember when I wake up and that leave me feeling unsettled.
This is a bit unusual for me. For the past few months, I’ve had trouble sleeping in general. When I did manage to get a few hours, it was usually dreamless because I was so exhausted I conked out hard. During the past week, while focusing on my health, nutrition, and fitness, I’ve also forced myself to a set ‘bedtime’ and have been getting at least 7 hours per night. But along with these ‘proper’ evenings of sleep have come multiple wakeups and vivid dreams.
One night I dreamt of a scenario with my mother. We were in my childhood home, which had magically enlarged to have a million rooms, and I was trying to find her amongst them. When I finally did, I walked in on her feeling and looking sick, and saw a chemo port that wasn’t normally visible. I confronted her and she revealed she had cancer and had been keeping it from me to not upset me further after The Hubs death. She said she didn’t have much more than days to live. It felt so real when I bolted awake around 3AM that I had to repeat to myself that it was just a dream and force myself not to call her to make sure she was okay. It still left me so unsettled that I had to call her the next evening just to hear her voice.
Another night, I dreamt about The Hubs. Finally. But it wasn’t the dream I wanted. I couldn’t remember the details of this dream like I can the others, except for a moment with his favorite hoodie, but I had such an overwhelming feeling of him that I awoke breathless. But not in a good way. I could remember that it was his presence in the dream, and that the two of us had interacted, but mostly I was just left with a feeling of disappointment and a leaden weight in my chest. I wish I could remember what happened in the dream that made me feel that way, all I know is that something wasn’t right about him and our usual dynamic wasn’t there. It left me with a feeling of unease that I couldn’t shake. Still can’t.
Two nights ago, I had a very vivid dream. I was in what I think was a hotel room, but all of our stuff was there. Mountains and mountains of things that I understood to be our things. I was under a time crunch and had to get things sorted and either packed or discarded. As I went through things, they were all toys. Old toys, new toys, scary toys, sweet toys. They were covering two ‘shelves’ of what looked like bunk beds, and the floor. I was trying to sort them and things kept happening to stall me and eventually I just started sweeping them all off of the top bunk into a box. When I was almost done, I realized that some of those things were actually not ours and were there when I got there, so I started trying to replace the toys back onto the top bunk and couldn’t get them how they were. I had some sort of fear about doing that, like they had to be positioned just like they were or someone would know I was there. I woke up feeling so weird, so off, and it’s stayed with me since.
And then last night, I had another crazy detailed one. I was in a barn that vaguely resembled my dad’s barn from my childhood home. I don’t know what I was doing there or why, and don’t remember all of the details except for one portion. Little Man was there, a half-toddler half-man version of himself, and we were in a loft. For whatever reason, we were trying to get out of there and every time I tried to find a way down the ground was covered in snakes. They would sneak up from odd places, blending into the ground, and were trying to jump and climb up to where we were. I kept telling Little Man not to get down, but he wasn’t listening. He climbed down a ladder and I saw this huge snake coming right for him and was yelling at him to move, watch out, but he didn’t hear me. Then I woke.
Alongside these dreams, I’ve had a recurring dream all week. Some nights it was the main dream of the evening, other nights it was just a ‘quickie’ that happened when I fell back asleep after waking from another one. In this dream, I walk up to a mobile home/trailer, climb the steps, open the door, go inside, and as soon as I start walking across the floor, the whole thing tips over, unbalanced on it’s foundation, and starts falling sideways. I can feel, right now even as I’m typing, the terror in the pit of my stomach as I realize it is falling and it is going to land on it’s side, busting the windows and hurting whoever is inside with me. One night it was my sister and her kids, another it was The Hubs. Others I am alone.
I don’t know why I am suddenly having such vivid, detailed, lingering dreams. But I know I have to stop allowing them to affect me the way they have been, thus this post. I have to get them out of my head and perhaps try to decipher what they mean. Maybe it’s because I’ve turned a new leaf, so to speak, and am finally focusing on healing, growing, and taking charge of myself? Maybe it’s just my overactive mind rebelling against so much sleep? Who knows.
If you are skilled at dream interpretation, please let me know your thoughts. Otherwise, at least I’ve talked them out a bit. Here’s hoping for a solid night’s sleep soon, without any dreams or at least with a pleasant one that doesn’t leave me feeling unsettled all day. Because otherwise, I’m starting to think insomnia wasn’t so bad afterall.