Up until I was about seven years old, I used to experience “night terrors.” You know those bad dreams that make you wake up screaming, screaming, unable to see the waking world even though your mother was at that point holding you and assuring you that it all, everything, was only a dream. I had enough of them that it affected my performance in first grade classes, and my personality became withdrawn and somber. I was probably put on a social worker’s watch list, but the only bad touch I was receiving was from my own brain.
Luckily, my mom has a limit to the nonsense she takes and she stops coddling and starts doling out strong advice. She told me, Little Amandoll, that I had to stay asleep long enough to get to the end of the dream. That was it. I guess it wasn’t as severe as I remember it, but it did have an impact on me. I managed to make it to the end of the racing claymation earth dream, and the dream with the beams of light from space that caused repetitious disintegration, and then I never had them again. How did she know it would work?
Dollissa talks about how she has the same set of nightmares every night, basically, and I feel sad for her. My dreams are so seldom bad, I believed. I believed it so much that I even have a section about it in another article about dreaming! But recently, I have been mentioning my dreams to newer friends, and they all have said that I have a lot of nightmares. But I don’t! Nightmare must be a state of mind where you are terrified, and mine don’t do that to me. However, I guess I do have some recurring themes as well as a need to write something for today.
“Stress Dreams” arise when I must be feeling anxious in my waking life. In the dream, I am a little overwhelmed, a little annoyed and exasperated. But the dreams happen so often, that I also have the feeling of “this again?”
The Unwanted Guest — I am sure my stress dreams are all very common. In this one, someone I have cut out of my life is around me. I endure their presence or try to figure out how to get them to leave. This is not nightmare material except that sometimes the guest is truly horrible, a source of trauma in my real life. Still, it feels exasperating.
Herding Pets — I know for sure that this is common. Pets in my life are in my dream, be they cats, rats, or ferrets, and suddenly there are a lot more of the same. I need to keep mine apart from them as well as get these newcomers confined somewhere. As you all surely know, this is impossible.
Skin Peeling Off — It always starts by looking at myself in the mirror in my dream. I am really scrutinizing myself. I notice a mark and smooth my skin only to find that it tears away easily. Usually, it is revealed that underneath, I am just made of mushrooms, thousands of wet slimy mushrooms. I grimace and wonder how I will get my skin back together.
Recently I had a variation of this where the roof of my mouth was coming off in dark gooey bloody strips. It was so disgusting that even the other characters in my dream were asking if I was okay, visibly disgusted. I assured them that I was fine, that this happens every so often. Eventually, 3D printed plastic gears started coming out, too, all bloody. It was annoying.
Okay, These Are Bad Dreams
I do occasionally have dreams that cause me to momentarily panic in the dream until I change it, wake up, or face the fears.
Someone Watching Me — In this dream I am in a vacant house or trespassing with what I believe to be great stealth. I either enter a room, or happen to look at a window, and there is a person staring at me. At this moment, they usually immediately attack me, or in the case of one, their German Shepherd dog leaps through the window and bites me and I have to fight it. It gets the ol’ heart racing!
Werewolves — There’s something about werewolves that has terrified me since I was very small. Maybe that’s why I always feared bearded men? In these dreams, I am making my way through a foggy forest at night time and realize that I am being hunted. I have killed a lot of werewolves, everyone. Don’t worry.
Ghosts or Aliens — I am lumping these together because no thank you. I even pointedly ignore these segments when watching paranormal shows! If there is a ghost or alien encounter in a dream, I am most definitely afraid and also Dream Amandoll has no idea what to do! The last time a UFO tried to abduct me in a dream, I just loudly and sternly told it to STOP and it did. Maybe I won’t ever have one of these again, please.
Haha What Is Wrong with Me?
I do have a loose collection of dreams where, when I awaken, I definitely wonder if I should seek psychological help. But hey, they’re only dreams, right?
Murdering — Usually, my murder dreams are the result of self defense. There’s a murderer trying to murder me, for instance. Sometimes, it is just the end result of a fight. Other times, I have to kill someone for the Greater Good. My weapon of choice is a knife, but I have also dream-killed dream-villains with the claw end of a hammer and a sharpened screwdriver. I am remorseless. Confessions!
I Am a Demon — At least I think that’s what’s happening? This is a late arrival to the dream scene and often is in combination with any of the other bad dreams mentioned here. If a scenario is too scary, or getting too out of hand, I just surge with some sort of power and make a really disturbing growl like a crocodile that I am worried that my sleeping body made in real life. I intend to tear whatever is menacing me into shreds, every layer of it from physical to spiritual. It definitely worked in my favor in the last ghost dream I had!
Please don’t send any priests to me, I kind of like this dream.