That Dreamers Often Lie

My dreams last night were not particularly weird (which is the norm for me… to be paradoxical), but they were disturbing.

The first one I can’t remember well enough to put it into words, due in part to its brevity and in part to the morphing, ethereal nature of dream plots.

The second one, however, I remember fairly clearly, in that it was a little bit traumatizing:

Mike and I were visiting a big, beautiful country house with lots of friends and family in it.  I remember particularly the gaggle of children belonging to my step-family, who were happily playing and occasionally terrorizing the gathered company.  It was apparently some sort of *occasion*, such as a holiday.

When Mike and I were ready to leave, we got into my car and started backing out the driveway.  But I cut the corner a little too sharply or backed up too long or in some (physically unfathomable) way wound up backing over the edge of a little drainage ditch.

Now, with the magic of dream physics, this 2-foot deep, gently sloping drainage ditch became some sort of canyon, because here’s how this went down:

  • We start feeling the pull of gravity as my front tires begin to lift off the ground and we start sliding backwards.  This was a very slow, inexorable descent, allowing me time for plenty of panic as I stomped on the gas, trying for traction.
  • We were lifted up in the air as the headlights attempted to visit the brakelights and we tipped backward, the car landing on its roof and us hanging from our seatbelts.
  • There was a pause.  I mean, a definite, we-look-at-each-other-and-sigh, serious, lengthy pause.  We even started trying to get out the windows.
  • Then the car keeps going.  (Again, dream physics.)  It starts into a barrel roll, trundling sideways across the grass, then flipping longways a time or two for good measure.
  • Finally, it comes to a rest in an upright position, and we’re able to unbuckle ourselves and step out the door.

This movement was all pretty real to me.  I mean, I didn’t feel jerked around like a bad rollercoaster, which is what I imagine this type of wreck would feel like, were it possible.  It was more of a long, lyrical dance of a crash, but I did feel the movement… a little disoriented upside-down, being pressed against the door, clinging to the steering wheel for balance.  It was a pretty real experience, physically, and not detached as are many dreams.

So, once we’re outside the car, we assess the damage.  In my more-logical, waking mind, I recognize that we got off SUPER light:  no windows broken at all, mirrors intact, no serious damage to the frame of the undercarriage.  But in my dream mind, I saw the little bump where the hood had buckled up by the windshield, a few scrapes and scratches in the paint, maybe another bent bit along the side paneling… and I freaked. right. out.

I started crying hysterically… and wailing… and pointing and saying something about “body damage” and “new car” and “ruined”… and I wondered how much it would cost to fix, and I felt totally betrayed by the drainage ditch, which shouldn’t have been so inexplicably treacherous.  Mike tried to calm me down, but I was throwing myself on the sandy gravel in front of the car and moaning and generally throwing a tantrum.

It becomes apparent at this point, that this is one of those dreams.  I have these occasionally, these dreams in which I’m crying so hard I can’t catch my breath.  It’s similar to the feeling of trying to cry quietly and having that lump in your throat get bigger and bigger until it feels like you can’t breathe.  And there’s this moaning/wailing component that consists of… well, it’s like someone’s tamped down on a scream.  I’m trying, desperately, to scream, loud and long and with an open throat… but it’s as if there’s a blockage, and so all that comes out is this soft, high-pitched whine that HURTS the more it goes on.  And then I can’t breathe; there’s so much going out in sobs and moans that nothing can get in, like air.

I have this theory that these dreams arise from my not being able to breathe in real life.  Like, maybe I’ve got my nose buried in a pillow, or I’m really stuffy, or Spriggan’s got her paws on my mouth and nose and is trying to suffocate me in her sleep.  I envision my subconscious trying to come up with a reason I’d not be able to breathe and inventing some sad scenario that makes me cry like this.  When my alarm woke me up, I was, in fact, very stuffy, so maybe that was it.  In some of these dreams, I recognize that it’s a dream, and the attempts to scream are not just out of anguish but are self-conscious in the hopes that if I can scream loudly enough in my dream, I will make a noise in real life and Mike will wake me up.  So far, I’m 0 for about 50 on this.

Anyway, somewhere in the midst of my tantrum, a couple of the kids come out of the house and ask if I’m all right, to which I blubber some more.  Then I say something along the lines of, “Why is this happening?  It’s not my fault!  I didn’t even do anything… OH WHO AM I KIDDING?!  It’s ALL my fault!!  What am I gonna doooooooo??!!” before collapsing into sobs again.

It was a very dramatic response to some cosmetic damage.


Apparently, I’m stressed out, ’cause I keep having stress dreams.  The other night I dreamt I was in a musical and didn’t know the words to the song.  (First of all, I would never be in a musical, so the premise is ridiculous enough.)  I sang the first verse fine, but then I totally made up the chorus and subsequent verses, repeating myself a lot and generally doing a terrible job.  The dream even went through my getting offstage, looking up my lines, committing to learning it properly this time ’round, removing my makeup, hanging up my costume, packing my bag, and exiting the theatre.  It was quite realistic, except for the fact that I could sing.


2 thoughts on “That Dreamers Often Lie

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