I have had nightmares ever since I was a little girl. I still have them regularly. It sounds silly to say it, but it is the truth. The thing is that I love to sleep though. Sleeping always makes me feel better. I have used sleep to avoid situations in my life, or even to take a break and remove myself from a situation. The thing about my dreams though, is that they are extremely vivid. When I am dreaming I often get lost in the reality of them. I dream every night having at least 2 unique dreams each night. I also have recurring dreams all the time. These recurring dreams happen at different points in my life and may have months or even years in between. The extremely crazy thing is that I can actually recall most of the dreams I have had.
Let’s take last night for example, I was having a bad dream. In my dream, there was a house full of ghost like girls. You know the type, little girls with pony tails and lace pleated dresses with patent leather shoes. Their faces were distortions of evil incarnate. When you looked at them face on they were sweet and endearing but from the corner of your eye you could see the crazed look of mal-intent as they went about their demonic business.
The house was a typical horror setting as well, old wooden walls, worn by time and negligence, floors that creaked at the thought of any weight being put upon them, a dilapidated roof that sagged in on top of your head, giving you the overall desire of escape. Each room within the house only led me to more doors and more rooms filled with these devilish dolls. The rooms were full of torturous scenes that kept my feet fumbling with fear. Blood and viscera was strewn about me and it was licking at my feet as though it wanted a taste of my own blood as well. I was running in a panic and all the while I could see the girls reaching after me. Their hands were ice upon my flesh. As their skin would near my own I would pull away just in time. Some part of me knew that if they were ever able to actually grasp onto me that I would never be seen again.
So I ran from room to room, crazed and confused. I ran and shrieked away from these ghostly ghoulish girls. I could feel my heart beating and my ears pounding from the blood that was rushing into my head. I could taste the metallic air deep within my lungs. Each breath I took was like gagging on knives. Blood was tinged with dust and air, and I was gasping it all in. Fear and fury pattered behind me. All the while, I hadn’t realize that I was carrying my baby in my arms. As I looked down and saw his eyes staring back up at me this rush of knowledge filled my soul.
I had to save him. I had to protect him more than anything. I could not let these ethereal figures take him. I would die first before they ever touched his sweet face. My skin was trembling as I saw the questioning within him. He did not fully understand and yet fear had a warm hold of him as well. My own fear had seeped into his eyes and laid its eggs within him. I was wild with emotion and energy. I had been a woman with purpose and now I was a protective mother.
Finally at one point in the middle of my dream I stopped. I had come across a woman. She was the oldest of all the girls I had seen. She was probably in her mid 40s. She had ivory skin and long jet black hair that whipped at the air around her. She too wore a lace fringed dress that had rips and age worn stains all over it. She had a calming effect about her though. When I saw her I stopped. She held my gaze for a moment and my first reaction to her was that maybe somehow she could save me from my current meandering. I reached out to her with the very essence of my soul and wept aloud for the salvation of my child. She looked back at me without emotion. Her face was callous and cruel. Her eyes did not see the emotion within me and if they did then they simply did not care. She never once acknowledged my baby or myself. I soon realized that she was the counterpart to me as a mother. If I was the protector of my angel then she was the protector of her own soul devouring spawn.
My hope left me in this room. It fled into the walls like rain seeping into the roots of a tree. My hope was lapped up in the laughter of these soulless shells. The mother stood in the middle of this room and it was as vast as the ocean. It had no place within any house or building. It was as boundless as it was empty and I knew instantly. I knew that there was nowhere to go. I had come to the end. My hope was dissipating but my desire to do something, anything, wouldn’t die. At this very moment for some reason I yelled out to her, “This doesn’t frighten me. I have had DREAMS worse than this. This is nothing and I know what I have to do.” As soon as I yelled this out to her I realized, I was dreaming. Then I woke.
It took me a few seconds to realize that I was awake now. I was not screaming, running, or even holding my child. The fear had no reason to exist but it still tinged my heart nonetheless. I let out a sigh of relief as I found myself in my bed within my house. I realized the irony and the humor of my dream, my reaction within my dream, and then my waking reaction. I laid there for a few minutes and pondered my dream.
In my thoughts I ran over the dream. I had never had this dream before. I have been chased many times. I have been chased through old buildings many times. I have tried to protect my children many times, but this exact dream had never happened to me before. So, I went over it for a couple of minutes. Accounting for the things I had seen. I took a mental note and kept the notes within my head. The reason I did this is that if I ever have this dream again I will realize it while I am dreaming. I have and still do this very often. In my recurring dreams, if I have taken the time to think on them before while awake, I can alter the dreams if they ever occur again.
By doing this simple thing I have learned to have more control of my dreams. I know the ability to control your dreams is called Lucid Dreaming. It has helped me to cope with situations that may never occur in my reality. I have been able to tell people things I would never be able to say to their face, I have been able to defeat imagined enemies, I have travelled to places unseen, and had abilities that I could never have in the real world. My making a mental note has given me a strength over something that use to cripple me in some ways. I would wake up terrified. I would scream out in the middle of the night and startle others near me. I would even fear going back to sleep. There are many ways that people practice lucid dreaming, and this is just my own take on something that has helped me in a small but significant way. I have learned to cope with something that caused me stress before. I have learned to retain a power that should have always belonged to me. Perhaps you too can find a power like I have.