It’s been awhile since I had a nightmare. I read a post recently from a fellow WordPress blogger whose nightmare is ending up like the cat lady, with hundreds of cats. I had to laugh. That’s it? That’s the worst you’ve got?
I should tell you I don’t remember a lot of details from any of my dreams. This works well in the nightmare realm. I only remember the bullet points. I do know I’ve never dreamt of zombies, vampires or werewolves. It helps that I don’t watch scary movies, knowing how easily I absorb them. I got nightmares from Creepshow as a freshman in high school. Pathetic.
I’ve had the recurring nightmare of going to class and looking down and realizing I’m naked. It seemed that it always happened in high school 7th period French class. Why not band or history? “Oui, madame. Je n’ai pas les vestments. Pourquoi? Uh…je ne sais pas.” Humiliating!
When I was in 5th grade, I had a nightmare that Kermit the frog had a green tail and fleas. He had holes in his tail from the fleas. He sang a sad, creepy rock song about it. Yeah. I had that dream after an inner tube valve got jammed up my nose.
When I first worked in Special Projects at IDC, I had a co-worker who didn’t like me. He was a big shot at the company with a low company number, meaning he was one of the original employees there. Our employee numbers were how the company identified us and were also our extension numbers. His was in the 1000s, mine in the 2000s. Anyway, he thought I should pick up more of his job. He resented picking up specifications to edit from the word processing department. He resented sending his own faxes. He would page me from wherever I was in the company, usually one of the 7 copy rooms, and cuss me out on the phone. He was intimidating and mean, though not much taller than I was.
I did not like this. I dreaded seeing him around the office. I had a recurring dream that he was chasing me with a machete, rabidly angry.
Finally, I went to Dan, the kindest of my 7 project managers. I told him what was going on. I was only following what I’d been told to do regarding my new position. He listened and told me a secret. He had a big desk-sized month-to-month calendar. He pointed to a date in September, later on in the month.
“Greg is going to get fired on this day. Just hang in there”, he told me. He’d managed to upset “the big 3” – HP, Intel and Wacker Siltronic, our main clients and the backbone of our monthly income. When they don’t want to work with you, you don’t work. He’d been abrupt and offensive in meetings and consults, lashing out and generally creating strife.
Eek! I didn’t want that to happen to him. I felt sorry for him. He seemed to have a large, invisible chip on his shoulder.
Mercifully, another project manager and architect who was an old friend of this engineer, decided to talk to him. He laid it all out and asked him what was wrong. He told the architect about his family troubles, his wife was sick and all his troubles from growing up and having to become the man of the house at age 12 came back to haunt him. He felt a ton of pressure and didn’t know how to deal with it. He apologized to me later and gave the explanation. The nightmares stopped. I appreciated it, but still walked on eggshells around him ever after that.
Most recently, my nightmares have focused around saving people. I had to save a friend and her family from an impending tsunami. Another time I travelled across the U.S. to stop an impending super virus from infecting the world. I succeeded in neither case, or woke up before I could beat the odds. These seemed to reflect the frustration I was feeling about circumstances in my life that were beyond my control.
I hate that having a bad dream makes me feel like a little kid again, yet I’m so glad we don’t live in our nightmares. We wake up and live in a rational world with regular tailless frogs. What are some of your nightmares and do you know what causes them? Do you ever try to change the outcome of recurring dreams, like in the movie Dreamscape? I’d love to hear.