Yesterday morning I popped awake suddenly in the middle of one of my recurring nightmares, but as soon as I woke up everything vanished and I couldn't remember which nightmare I'd just escaped. I started mentally scrolling: Was it the snakes one? the dogs one? The fish one? The tornado one? The tsunami one? The unprepared piano performance one? One of the many variations of the high school or college ones?
Then it hit me: I have a heck of a repertory of recurring nightmares.
Could this be normal?
In the interest (or non-interest) that it may (or may not) be, here's an index of my recurring nightmares, not in any particular order of frequency. They all manifest pretty randomly.
1. The Snakes Dream
I'm at my childhood home on Byberry Road with my children and outside there are snakes trying to get in. Some of the snakes get in and I'm running from them through the house, carrying one of more of my children, trying to protect them.
Possible explanation: I'm afraid of snakes
2. The Dogs Dream
Same as the snakes dream, except there are vicious dogs instead of snakes.
Possible explanation: I don't like big aggressive dogs or dogs that have a reputation for viciousness.
3. The Fish Dream
We have a big fish tank crowded with fish in the living room. It's so full that the fish keep jumping out onto the floor and I'm struggling to save them and toss them back into the tank but Ican't keep up.
Possible explanation: We always had a fish tank when my kids were growing up.
4. The Tornado Dream
I can see from the family room window a tornado coming right towards us and I'm struggling to get the children into the basement before it hits us.
Possible explanation: When Tom and I were first married we lived in Louisville, Kentucky, which the locals referred to as part of "Tornado Alley." During tornado season Tom and I used to discuss how we might get Mrs. Coombs, the candy-loving obese elderly lady who lived in the apartment above us, down to the first floor for safety. We really liked Mrs. Coombs and used to run to the supermarket for her. Our favorite Mrs. Coombs quote was: "I love my sweets like a man loves his bottle." I knew exactly what she meant.
5. The Tsunami Dream
I 'm at the shore with my children where we have a house along the beach but our house is far back from the shore at the high crest of a hill of sand. The sky is overcast and the waves are getting bigger so I gather up the children and we run home and make it inside our house just before a huge wave hits the house. The water comes up over the window so that it looks like we're under water.
Possible explanation: I don't know how to swim and don't feel very comfortable in water. I never go into the ocean because I'm afraid of drowning or being hurt in the waves.
6. The Unprepared Piano Performance Dream
I'm in an auditorium or concert hall where there's going to be a piano performance. But the pianist doesn't show up so I have to give the performance. Someone hands me some wickedly hard and complicated sheet music that I've never seen before and that there's no way I'll be able to play. Everybody is waiting for me to go up to the piano and start playing.
Possible explanation: This did once almost happen to me back when I used to accompany strings workshops at Capital University in Columbus. The accompanist for one of the advanced violists cancelled the day before a concert and the workshop director called and begged me to sit in for the accompanist. I didn't want to do it but I also didn't want to leave the director in a lurch so I agreed, even though I wouldn't have the opportunity to even look over the music before the performance. The next day right before the concert the accompanist showed up so I was saved, and so was the poor violist whose I piece I would surely have savaged.
7. The High School Ones
- I'm back in high school though I don't know why but I don't have the right books
- I don't which class room I'm supposed to go to
- There's no seat for me in my class
- I'm in the wrong class
-I don't have any friends
- There's a math test that I haven't studied for in 48 years
Possible explanation: High school angst has an unbelievably long half-life
8. The College Ones
-I'm back in college but I don't want to be because my children and husband need me at home
- I don't have my class list so I don't know where to go
- I have no friends and I'm terribly lonely
- I wander the halls trying to find my class room but I can't find it
- The semester's almost over but I haven't been to class yet
- I'm majoring in French again but I can't remember anything, I'm struggling, I'm doing terrible, my classmates don't like me and neither does the teacher.
Possible explanation: More left-over school anxiety, though I don't know why the French motif pops up. I loved French. I was good at it. I was elected president of the French club. I received the Language Department award for top student when I graduated. I was good friends with the teacher who doesn't like me in my dream.
Dreams. Go figure. Anybody want to share theirs?
by Patti Liszkay
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by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon:
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
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The Book Loft
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Or check it out at the Columbus Metropolitan Library
I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.