LIFE | Once Upon A Midnight Dreary

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I have a love/hate relationship with sleeping. One one side, I like that it involves doing absolutely nothing. Having an excuse just to be comfy and warm and not having to think about anything of real importance for a few hours, all in the name of health, is wonderful. On the other side, I apparently have a really crazy subconscious, so I have weird dreams. Sometimes they’re fun, and I’m able to jump for really long distances or I find that Sean Bean is my dad (I couldn’t tell whether it was Eddard Stark or Boromir). But other times they get a bit stressful. These aren’t even situations that would cause me stress in real life, but for some reason Dream Me cannot handle these moments, and when I find a dream that scares me, they tend to keep coming back. These are my top three most memorable recurring dreams.

3) The Shopping Trip:
This is the most recent of the three dreams and I’ve had it numerous times over the last couple of years. I seem to be in some sort of shopping centre, one that I don’t recognise from real life. There are lots of people I know in the shop, although I’m never sure if we came together or if it’s just one of those dream things that never make sense. The shop is always busy as well, full of people I don’t recognise, and it makes me wonder whether that theory about dreaming of people you pass on the street is true or not. Are these shoppers just people I’ve subconsciously registered on my daily travels or do I have like an inbuilt Sim creator in my brain? Either way, it is a very busy shopping centre. I always seem to be looking for one particular item and I seem adamant that I know it exists, but cannot find it anywhere in the shop. I keep running into people that I know and asking them to help me, but they just talk about other things or ignore me completely. Dream Me gets very frustrated and upset that no one will listen to her/me, and pretty much spends the entire dream running around begging for someone to help. Usually when I wake up I feel very anxious and betrayed by everyone in the dream, and often stay mad at the real versions of them for what they did to Dream Me until I remember that it never actually happened.

What Does It Mean: I guess it could mean that I feel people don’t ever listen to me or value my beliefs and wants… or that I really like shopping and take it very seriously. Maybe both.

2) The Scooby-Doo Mystery:
This is the earliest of the dreams, as I first had it when I was probably about six, but it continued sporadically for the next few years. I seem to be exploring a haunted house with the Scooby-Doo gang, they are cartoons but I am not. It’s very Roger Rabbit-esque. Suddenly we are aware that the Bad Guy is close, so we all hide in a room behind various pieces of furniture. The Bad Guy appears and finds me, and– oh no! It’s the vicar from my local church! But wait, there are two of him! A clone? A twin? The Vicars grab me and then proceed to rub, wait for it, pink toilet paper on my throat. This makes me lose my voice so I can’t even scream, and the Scooby-Doo gang stay hidden instead of helping me. I attempt to scream in the dream and end up screaming in real life, waking both myself and my parents. At least that’s what happened the first time it occurred. I remember my mum rushing to see why I screamed and not really understanding as I cried and spluttered out phrases such as ‘the old vicar’, ‘has a clone’, and ‘Scooby-Doo’. It is possibly the least scary nightmare a person could have, but it is my most memorable one, and it still haunts me to this day.

What Does It Mean: I could either have major trust issues, thinking that even a group as morally sound as the Scooby Gang wouldn’t save me when I’m in trouble. Or that even as a six year old, I did not agree with organised religion.

1) The Spinning Disc:
The most recent and terrifying of my recurring nightmares. I’ve had this one more times than I can count, with it stemming from the age of thirteen to as recent as a year ago. It is a POV dream and when it starts there is only blackness. Then something starts to spin. It spins around in a circle but also like a pendulum, going back and forth. It starts off really slowly, but the faster it goes the more anxious I get, until it’s spinning really fast and really high and I can’t stop it. The first time I experienced The Spinning Disc, I awoke to a major panic attack and had to get my mum. I just kept pacing around the room and couldn’t sit down for more than ten seconds without crying. I’m pretty sure she thought that The Exorcist was coming to life, although I wasn’t crawling like a spider and reciting theological expletives. Whenever I have it now, I wake up with a racing heart, and usually end up lying on my side with my eyes wide open for hours on end, being too scared to sleep. There’s usually some tears too. I do not like The Spinning Disc.

What Does It Mean: I have no idea. I’m quite a fan of the Waltzers though, so I’m pretty sure the spinning is metaphorical.

You wouldn’t think that such a DARK and MYSTERIOUS soul who thinks her patronus is a crow could have such lame and uneventful nightmares about going shopping and children’s cartoons, but it is the curse I must carry. I wish I could wake up screaming from nightmares about unimaginable horrors that are out to get me, possibly reminiscent of a Korean horror film, but I think I’m just immune to stereotypically scary things. It’s all about pink toilet paper in my subconscious. BRB, gonna go read some Byron and sacrifice a goat.

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Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

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