Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bad Dreams

Thank you everyone for you comments on my last post. The funny thing is that I agreed with every comment. If I think in terms of "it won't happen" then it makes sense to transfer earlier. If I think in terms of "it might happen" then I want to wait until May or so. I think we will just table it for the time being.

In other matters, I have had some of the most vivid bad dreams lately. The best I seem to get are neutral. Is it hormones? Not sleeping as deeply? Repression?

Anyone else notice that the less you think about something BIG during the day, the more you dream about it? It also seems that emotions felt during a dream hit extra hard and linger longer. My thought is that your conscious mind is disengaged so it can't stop the flood of chemicals like it would during the day. There is no gatekeeper saying, "Whoa there, this isn't really THAT scary."

Maybe these are just 'new mom' dreams, but I can't help but think they are, at least in part, due to my experience with our first child. Perhaps now that I am at a different place, I am processing things anew. Interestingly, I don't think I ever dreamed about Ernest until after LB was born.

Dream 1 (a couple of months ago): It is late morning and I am playing with LB. Someone reminds me that I have another child. I am sick - I left him in the car overnight. He must be freezing. I am terrified that I have killed him, but instead of rushing right out, I get sidetracked. I don't remember him again until the next morning. Again feeling sick to my stomach that I may have killed him, I go out to the car, take him out of his car seat and lay him between Brad and I to warm him up. Before I wake up, the boy - about 3 to 4 years old - says, "I'm cooold moooomy."

Dream 2 (a few weeks ago): A group of us our preparing to battle an alien with supernatural powers (yes, I may read a bit too much science fiction). I have been tasked with leading the charge and have been told to collect a few needed items for our defense. A small group heads up into the hills to a tomb where we are to collect: some soil, the dead baby boy buried there, and some special powder that is supposed to "make the baby kick." In the dream, this is to make the baby seem alive, but it is interesting choice of words because I never felt Ernest kick. On the way up, I confide in one of my travelers that I am scared because I think I am going to die soon and I think it will be painful.

Dream 3 (the night before last): I am arguing with my sister because she is doing something (undefined in the dream) to LB that will keep her from sleeping through the night. I get very angry and it is decided that she will sleep with one of my other sisters. We each have a room off of a main hallway like a dorm or a hospital. Everything is very bright as if there is bright sunlight lighting up a room with reflective surfaces. I join Brad in our room and go to bed.

In my dream, I begin to dream. In my dream dream, I am irrationally terrified when I am startled awake by our dog licking my face. If you have ever felt that primal terror as you are waking up to a surprising noise, you know what I mean. I realize it was just the dog and go back to sleep (this is still the dream within a dream). Suddenly, I am sucked out of the bed and am being pulled into another universe. I know if I get pulled through that I will die. I scream out to Brad still sleeping in the bed, "Mom! Dad! HELP!!" In my dream dream, I know it is Brad and not my parents. Dream Brad wakes up and asks what he can do to help. He is now holding me and keeping me from being pulled away. I plead with him, "Help me wake up! Help me wake up!"

And then I am awake in real life. It immediately seems to me that when I was crying out for mom and dad to help, I was calling as our child to us. I don't know if the child is Ernest or LB, but I feet helpless to help him or her. I wake Brad up to tell him about the dream (I always do this when I have a particularly bad nightmare - it makes it seem less real), but I am crying so hard that he can't understand me. As he is repeating, "It's ok, it's just a dream," I start to move LB from between us to the outside of the bed so I can cuddle up next to Brad. I can't do it. I want her next to Brad. She seems safer there. I don't trust that I can keep her safe on my side of the bed.

I finished telling Brad about the dream and felt a bit better, but continued to cry for several more minutes. It occurred to me as I was trying to go back to sleep that perhaps I was imaging how it might have been for Ernest as he was being born. He was sucked out of his comfortable womb into a world where he could not survive. We could do nothing to save him.

I hope we will never be so helpless with LB. I know there are so many bad things that could happen where we would be powerless to save her. I know this is terribly selfish, but I hope if she doesn't live to a ripe, old age; she at least outlives us.


Me said...

While all of those are horrifying that last one is particularly disturbing. I wish I had something comforting to say... I wake up The Man to tell him about it when I have bad dreams too... (Sorry, that's all I got.) Endless hugs and luv.

Mrs. Spit said...

Generally, I don't remember my dreams. I had some bad ones after Gabe - and they were really upsetting. My MIL the phsychologist suggested that I get a book and write them down. Not analyze or anything, just write them down.

It did help.

Sara said...

Hugs Kami. I don't have any words of wisdom to offer, but I want you to know that I'm here reading.

Anonymous said...

Its not horribly selfish, its maternal.

I think since your first two are about boy babies and death that you may be thinking more of your little guy, especially w/the description of the second one.

Of course I am only playing arm chair psychologist.


Kay said...

I have had those kind of dreams with my little guy. I don't know if it is the hormones or just the desperate desire of a mom to keep her child safe and knowing there is only so much you can do. I had a dream a few months back where my brother was putting Little Guy into a plastic tub putting the lid on and swimming him to the bottom of a pool. I was furious at him and he kept telling me there was enough air in the tub and that Little Guy liked it. The tub was clear and I could tell there was water in it but couldn't swim down far enough to reach him. DH woke me up because I was crying and "swimming" frantically in bed. I think you are right... when we sleep...we have dump dreams where all the fears we don't notice during the day come out in our dreams so the negative energy has somewhere to go. Kinda of like dumping a hard drive on a computer or defragging... Does that make sense?? Sorry you are having to deal with the bad dreams right now...I hope they stop soon...

Summer said...

Well, the running theme in all these dreams does seem to be fear as you said. Have you been particularly fearful about something that you've been avoiding to think about?

battynurse said...

Sorry about the bad dreams. I hope they stop soon.

Anonymous said...

I remember having a lot of bad dreams when my daughter was very young. They usually involved catastrophic events, and I would have to save her. Fortunately, I was always able to do it. But it was really disturbing. Fortunately, the dreams do go away after awhile.