Seriously, what in the actual fresh hell is up with the sober nightmares? Have I fallen straight through a pink cloud into the bowels of my psyche? Do I even have to claim my dreams as a product of my psyche? Because the chick dreaming this shit might be disturbed.

A recurring dream through my life dating back to my late teens is discovering a whole part of my house I didn’t know was there. Usually it was full of beautiful things, art, lovely floors and open spaces. A wonderful surprise and a bit of amusement that I’d never opened that door before.

Then there is the version where I discover the house has a whole third floor previously unknown to me but the access is too narrow or too steep. It’s frustrating getting in and out of there but still nice to have noticed it. This version started at around 30. There is also a more recent version the last couple of years where I discover a basement I never knew was there but it’s pretty dank and contains old furniture and is really just one more chore.

The newest version is like the original, a beautiful newly discovered space and I’m so pleased that my house is even better than I knew. But then strange people arrive and I am embarrassed to discover that these rooms do not belong to me. It is a whole other apartment in a large house in which I live and I am trespassing.

Last night added a new twist. The people who returned and found me sitting by their fire chased me all the way back to my part of the house, down a long corridor and other people opened their doors to see what all the yelling was about. Alone in my apartment in the house everything was a mess, I couldn’t find anything, it started to snow and I realized my car was buried in a huge snowdrift.

Then a man began breaking into my house through the front door, banging against it until it began to break loose from the frame. I saw an old boyfriend in my driveway and tried to scream for help but no sound would come from my throat. I tried to knock on the window to signal for help but my hands wouldn’t work. Then I woke up. At 4 in the morning and I ate a chocolate bar.

For real…What. The. Fuck. Is. Happening. IN MY HEAD??? I have watched so many episodes of Downton Abbey the last 24 hours (PBS is supplying all your binge watching needs this weekend) that my inner monologue is currently happening with a British accent but do I dream that I am Lady Mary or even poor Edith? No! I dream that I am about to be murdered and can’t scream. And also that I’m a creepy trespasser. They are equally horrifying in the dream.

My only complaints regarding giving up the devil water is that I now love, love, love to eat candy in the middle of the night (shout out to fruit gems!) and I am awake to eat the candy because I had some awful dream. I have always been prone to vivid dreams. I remember some dreams I had when I was barely 4 years old. I had a nightmare about Lady Elaine from Mr Rogers. That bitch was taller than her museum house AND the house spun, it made no sense, OF COURSE I had nightmares. Also I think she was a drunk. The bulbous red nose, the flushed cheeks. I’ve gotten away from my point here. Anyway, some dreams were spectacularly great, some bad so this isn’t a brand new experience. But I can’t say I missed the nightmares when I was too drunk to dream.

I suppose I don’t really have a bedtime ritual anymore. For four-ish years it was drink and let the fuzzy heaviness on a good night or the spinning nausea on a bad night plunk me down into sleep. Before the drinking years I had an elaborate unwinding ritual of baths and books and yoga. I guess I should start on that because this last week of shitty dreams is really harshing my sober buzz. God…I’m going to dream about Lady Elaine.

Epilogue: I did not dream about Lady Elaine. I dreamed I was taking a test on a book I hadn’t read. And then that I was spending a week with an old boyfriend but my luggage was lost and it was obvious he didn’t want me there. Annnnnd finally that Eddie Vedder stopped by a house party (yay!) but I was trapped in a bathroom with a malfunctioning toilet which eventually fell apart and I tried to put it back together so Eddie Vedder wouldn’t see the water ETC (noooo!) pouring out under the bathroom door. This. Is. Exhausting. My kingdom for a dreamless slumber.




2 thoughts on “While visions of sugarplums and, um, house fires and dark corridors and home invasions danced in her head

  1. You are changing your life right now and you can create it to be any way you’d like. Try the hot bath, books and yoga for a time- see how that feels and works. The dreams are a way of your psyche working through things. I suspect they will calm down as you become more grounded in a new way of living your life.


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