|Nightmare by Fussli|
A nightmare is a dream that can cause a strong negative emotional response from the sleeper, typically fear and/or horror. The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror. Sufferers usually awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period of time.
Nightmares can have physical causes such as sleeping in an uncomfortable or awkward position, having a fever, or psychological causes such as stress and anxiety. Eating before bed, which triggers an increase in the body's metabolism and brain activity, is a potential stimulus for nightmares
In mythology the nightmare is a ghost or night demon that terrorizes people while they sleep by sitting on their chests and suffocating them. The victim is paralyzed, unable to cry out, and aware of a frightening presence in the room. A similar sensation is associated with alien abductions. Most nightmares are combined with that paralysis and to me that is one of the most terrifying parts. I am totally unable to wake up and escape the nightmare. And if I fall asleep after waking from one my brain seems to go back and continue where it left off rather like the Friday the 13th horror film series.
Last night's series of horror flicks of the subconscious did not have monsters as in Edward Scissor Hands by events I would not want like a beloved fur kid dashing into traffic over and over. Or holes that kept appearing in my walls opening it either to the outdoors or to an energizer bunny sort of neighbor just "making a few small changes."
There have been a lot of "small changes" in my life this year and I admit to being rather unbalanced by them. Things and people I thought of as solid in my life have vanished or seemed uncertain. The incidence of nightmares is up but I seldom have a whole night of them. The real scary part of nightmares for me is that upon waking I wonder if they are prophetic. Does the holes in the walls relate to the court case that has yet to be decided but has the power to take my house away from me? The fur kid rushing into traffic symbolized the ones close to me that have died? Are these dreams just about my uncertainty or warnings of the future that might be. I am afraid I took Dicken's A Christmas Carol rather too much to heart.
I was a strange child (and perhaps a stranger adult). It was not The Monster from the Black Lagoon that gave me nightmares but Tarzan. The musical Brigadoon disturbs me still.
Whatever the reason for my marathon of disturbing dreams last night I am exhausted this morning and very reluctant to go back to bed any time soon.