When I first started visiting places that are rumored to be haunted, I used to have nightmares. But, then I used to have regular nightmares regardless. I just added to the repertoire.
Therapy dissected those old nightmares. Hallelujah. Every once in a while, I visit a place that’s so atmospheric that I am prickled a little bit that night. But now-a-days, it’s usually just me. I have a very active imagination. Occupational hazard.
(Nightmare dissection hint: Everything in the nightmare might be you. Deal with it.)
I believe that nightmares are a warning. The sources are infinite. Let’s take a look at my best buddy’s situation. Her father, who is an abusive alcoholic, is at that point in life when he needs to transition to assisted care living. Guess who’s dealing with that? She and her sister are. At the same time, she’s going to be loosing her home and job by next March at the latest. She’s the type of person who always tries to be positive about these sorts of things, too. Think that’s the stuff that will give you nightmares?
She’s my best buddy, but rarely ever sees my blog, so this isn’t a passive-aggressive (or assive-oppressive as one of her kids says) way of telling her what I think. I’ve already communicated this. But, I’m going to go even further here. I firmly believe that nightmares are the kind of warning that says you need to fight. You need to be on the offensive. There’s a reason they’re frightening. They are meant to scare you into action.
Listen to your subconscious. Go on the offensive. Dig, dig, dig. Gather your forces (friends, family, pets, stuffed animals, favorite movies, therapists, hikes in the woods, etc.) and push back until it breaks through. Nightmares are a message. Unless you want to live scared – which, oddly, many people prefer to do – you need to push for clarity.
I wasn’t able to do anything more than suffer with my nightmares until I started talking to someone about them. I’m so relieved that she immediately wrote to me instead of pondering it for days first. I’m still a little stupid that way myself. I still wait a few days to say anything when I have a nightmare. I think I’ll take my own advice and change that habit.
There are other steps you can take to combat nightmares, but embracing the message is a stellar first step.
Nightmares. God bless them.
Susan Scot Fry
Update… Wow, I had another full night’s sleep last night. And, vivid dreams. It was a variation on my own nemesis nightmare, but wasn’t a nightmare. It was a message.