I call them my Nightmare Nights.
I have nightmares quite often. One or multiple. Sometimes I can shake them off pretty easily, sometimes they give me a little anxiety, and sometimes they cause a full blown panic attack. Usually this happens with a series of different nightmares, or nightmares that even after I wake up from them, I will fall back asleep and it will start all over. Last night it was a series of nightmares, and I woke up already in a panic attack. One of the worst I’ve ever had. These are what I call my “Nightmare Nights”.
I’ve become so used to having the same type of nightmares over and over again, that I’d like to believe I know what they all mean. This blog post is going to be about the nightmares I have, and what meaning I believe is behind them.
- Teeth: These are the nightmares I have most often, and they started when I was 7. My first nightmare about teeth was when I lost a tooth, and that night, I dreamt of an evil tooth fairy chasing me down a colorful sidewalk. She had sharp teeth and stringy blonde hair. She was terrifying, and I hated her. Ever since then, I’ve had countless dreams about my teeth cracking, breaking, or falling out. I have severe anxiety about my teeth, and tend to grind/clench my jaw when I sleep. The anxiety has even caused daydreams about my teeth. If I bite something too hard, or hit my tooth on my glass, I start to panic thinking about what could have happened to my tooth. I know…it sounds crazy, and I don’t know where the fear of something bad happening to my teeth came from, but at least it makes me take good care of them!
- Father: I won’t go into too much detail about these dreams. I want to save a whole blog post about my father when I’m brave enough to do so. I have nightmares about him weekly. Small ones of him stalking me, chasing me, or just running into him. The bigger nightmares are the ones where I live with him again, and I can’t escape my house. I’m stuck with him forever. Another one I have is that my mom decides to give him another chance, and he’s a part of my family again. All of these dreams I believe mean that I fear having him in my life again, even for a minute. Also, that he still controls my life in some sort of way, even though I haven’t talked to him in nearly 8 years. The worst one though, is when Joe (Alpha) and him become friends, and Joe doesn’t believe anything I’ve told him about my father. This I interpret as my father taking away what I love most. He took so much from me for 16 years of my life, that I fear he will take away the most important thing.
- School/Bullies: This is also a nightmare I have almost weekly. I’m back in High School, depressed again, bullied again. My “friends” stepping all over me and using me. If you don’t know, I dropped out of school after the first quarter of junior year, and graduated at 17 by doing packets. I was depressed. I was being bullied and emotionally abused at home, bullied and emotionally abused at school, self harming, not sleeping, and ditching every class I possibly could just so I didn’t have to be around anyone. I cried in the bathroom a lot, or ate my lunch by myself in a quiet place no one would bother me. I have nightmares of reliving my teenage years, and the only interpretation I have for that is I still have anxiety about school. Specifically running into people I haven’t seen since I left. The people who made me feel worthless, and the people who I thought were my friends. Often times I think about running into my biggest bully, the one I had from 4th grade until even after I left High School, and calling her out. I want her to know what she did to me and feel guilty about it. But let’s be real, I’m not bold enough for that.
- Husband Stealers: These nightmares go along with the nightmares of my father stealing Joe from me, except in these nightmares, it’s the girls who bullied me or wronged me. The girls who turned my best friends against me, the girls I was jealous of, or the girls I didn’t even know that snickered at me in the halls at school. These nightmares vary from Joe becoming best friends with one of these girls, cuddling/flirting with them, or full on cheating. And it’s always done right in front of me like he doesn’t even care, while the girls stare at me like they were successful at ruining my life yet again. *I just want to add that these nightmares have nothing to do with me not trusting Joe. I trust him more than anyone, and know he would never hurt me like that.*
What I’ve realized from these nightmares, is that even if you don’t think about these things on a regular basis, they will always be in the back of your mind. Emotional scars never fade. The demons are always there waiting for the perfect moment to creep back up, and those moments are usually when you’re sleeping. Some people are lucky enough to experience a bad situation and just get over it. Others are damaged forever. I am one of those others. I am super grateful to have a husband who knows about all of these demons and is there to hold me when I need it (like this morning when I needed him after my panic attack), and friends/family who have all been through similar situations and can relate when I’m having a hard time. I’m also grateful for my dogs, that let me squish them when I need to calm down. I’m surrounded by a bunch of emotionally fucked up people, who are truly beautiful and amazing, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Photo by Trevor Wilson