Monday, December 14, 2009

The Horrible Dream

It was a truly awful dream.

I was in the kitchen of my parent’s house, the house of my youth. My in-laws were there and had just delivered some horrible news—WonderWife™ had just passed away in her sleep. I felt anguish. There were screams and cries. Pain and confusion. I thought of the kids, who were asleep upstairs. A random thought entered my mind—what of work the next day? Of course I wouldn’t be expected to go. But what of work the day after that?

“What am I going to do?” I asked my mother in law. “I’m all alone.” I realized that she was going through anguish of her own, but she was putting on a brave face for me.

“We’re here,” she said calmly.

“You’re here now,” I screamed through tears. “But you’ll leave soon.”

I called an old co-worker of mine, somebody with whom I used to be very close. I broke the news and cried. There was silence on the other end.

“I’m sorry to have dumped all of this on you,” I said to her.

I woke up with a poke in the shoulder from WonderWife™. “It’s five after 7,” she said. “The kids are awake. Time to get up.”

I pulled myself out of bed, thankful to be home with my wife by my side. I gave her a hug and told her she was never allowed to leave me.


Normally my dreams fade quickly, but this one stayed with me through my morning routine. It didn't take me long to realize that this was not a dream about WonderWife™, it was a stress dream. Sadly, I am no stranger to stress dreams. In them, something bad always happens—ranging from benign things such as missing a flight to tragedies like a loved one dying. WonderWife™ keeps asking me why I'm always killing her off in my dreams.

It's easy to spot this one as a stress dream because work crept into it—twice. I thought of work immediately after hearing the bad news and later, I called an old colleague for support.

The mind works in mysterious ways and why my stress manifests itself in my dreams is beyond me. Funny thing is that I don't currently feel a great deal of stress in my life. At least no more than usual. But I know that this won't be the last stress dream I have. They will appear sporadically in the middle of the night, haunt my mornings and linger throughout the day until I am through whatever stressful patch I am in.


Juggling Eric said...

Those dreams are horrible. When stuff like that happens in mine, I've been able to tell myself this isn't real and wake myself up.

But i try to sleep as long as I can when it's a dream where I have super powers and the government is trying to hunt me.

Hope the stress subsides soon. have a great week.

WannabeVirginia W. said...

Wow, the power of the subconcious mind is amazing. (Though I am not a Freud fan nor a huge dream interpreter) That must have been horrible for you.

SciFi Dad said...

When my wife was pregnant, she had a dream that I was mean to her. Then she was mad at me (in real world) for being mean and not apologizing. Seriously, I got in shit for stuff she dreamed I did.

I don't often remember my dreams, and I've never heard of stress dreams before. My stress manifests itself physically, like with muscle pains in the sternum area or headaches.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Eric...They're not fun, these dreams. But I guess it's better than feeling stressed out in my waking life.

Virginia...I don't necessarily subscribe to the theory of universal dreams (like being naked in a dream means the same for everyone). However, I do believe in individual interpretations of dreams.

SciFi...WW™ went through a string of dreams where I was horrible to her. Thankfully she was able to not be mad at me in real life.

My stress used to manifest itself in my neck (and still does here and there). But these days, it's the dreams.

Last night I had my classic, running to get to a college class that I am never able to find.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I hate dreams like that. I used to have ones where I died. And of course I always remember the urban legend that if you die in a dream you actually die.

I hope you have much better dreams tonight. About something really silly, like cats or something.

ZenMom said...

I know from stress dreams. Hate them. Hate. Them.

But, the good news is that you can tell WW that the fact that you keep killing her off in your dreams is a round-about compliment.

It means that even your sleeping mind knows that she's one of the best things in your life and that losing her is one of the most horrible things your Id can conjure up to torture you with.

Wishing you Sweet Dreams.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Andrea...I'd settle for a night where I can't remember my dreams. Or maybe a really good "naughty" one.

Zen...See my reply to SciFi. If that's the case, then why do I do such crappy things to WW™ in her dreams? Huh? Huh???

ZenMom said...

*Adjusting the armchair psychology degree hanging on my virtual office wall*

Duh. You are crappy to her in your dreams for the same reason your own kids lash out at you when they are stressed and tired - she is "safe".

We take out our internal stresses on the people we love the most because we know, subconsciously, that they will forgive us and still love us, even when we are at our worst.

WW is your "safe place" - the one person you know will always love and forgive you even when you are an ass - even in your dreams.

Tell her that. Preferably in a note attached to a bouquet of her favorite flowers.

Because Hallmark doesn't make a "Sorry I was an ass to you in a dream" card. Though, apparently, they really should.

Vancetastic said...

Mine's not the "can't find the class" dream. It's the "I've been taking this class all semester but have barely shown up, and now have to convince the professor there is a logical reason not to fail me" dream.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Vance...I have a similar recurring dream. Though I never actually make it to class. Each time I have the dream, it's the same class in the same building. I can picture the classroom, I just can't get there.