I’m running – I keep finding places to hide out and catch my breath, but they eventually catch up with me. A group of zombies invades and sends us running for our lives; they may be slow moving, but they’re as crafty as any predator, like Fannie Mae. Just when I am backed into a corner, and I have nowhere else to run, I wake up.
It wasn’t the first time I had had this dream – not the second time either. Master horror-film director, Wes Craven, once said that he based his idea for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” on a series of newspaper articles following the story of a young, teenage boy who suffered a series of severe night terrors and was afraid to sleep – ever. Now, granted, I may have awoken frightened of the dream my brain conjured, but rather than self-induce insomnia, I’d rather sleep better, by getting down to understanding the scenarios that my brain is producing.
Science, for all of its centuries of examining and picking-apart, is still yet to understand what dreams are and where they come from. So, that’s pretty much a wash. Now, psychologists, because they often-times actually talk to real, live psychos, seem to have a better grasp on interpreting “the dream world”, and it’s fascinating. Their finds:
The most common is the “falling” dream – people who normally dream that they are falling are said to be those who feel there are many aspects of their lives that are out of control, whether it be their financial situations, their personal relationships or the status of their failing careers. “I dream that I’m falling every other fucking night,” said one local comedy open-micer.
The next most common dream is the “flying” dream – a dream that you are soaring through the sky like Superman, only you don’t have a Lex Luthor to battle on Earth. This dream almost seems like the least interesting case study because you basically have your shit in order if your dream is of flying without a care in the world – unless you experience turbulence during your flight, then that might indicate a fear of success, like you’re some god-damned troubled, drug-addled rockstar with money in the bank and all the blow and bitches money can buy.
The third most common dream, you guessed it, is the “sex” dream. Sex dreams, ironically, are the second-least interesting case study, because if you are dreaming about sex, that means that you’re not getting laid very often, and that you should go out and get some so that you can, instead, dream about flying. Anything beyond dreaming about standard love-making merely means that you are a sick, screwed up little pooch and you should be isolated from civilization ASAP.
Now, there is the portion of “the dream world” where things take a turn for the worse and that would be the territory of ‘nightmares’. Yeah, “Welcome to prime time, bitch”. I mentioned before about my own recurring night terror – being attacked by a pack of flesh-hungry, rotting and decaying zombies, like a scene out of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” television series. This isn’t a machination my brain conjured because I had fallen asleep watching the show – I don’t even know if the second season has started yet. Turns out, nightmares too are very much in tune with your mental state (it is a dream after-all), but the fear element may be bringing to light some aspects of your life that you have not yet, or are maybe afraid, to confront.
I’ve done some online research to understand why my subconscious mind is creating the scenario of zombie attacks. The answer really rang home – everything inherent in a zombie has to do with death and betrayal.
I began having these nightmares at the beginning of the year; around that time, I had also fallen out of a year-long relationship – death of love. In these dreams I am always running for safety; that is representative of, since the relationship ended, I have not felt completely comfortable in my present living situation – that I don’t have a real safe-haven to call my own, where I can rest with ease. And finally, the actual attack itself, is representative of feelings of betrayal. Just as in the movies, any loved one can become a zombie – anyone you loved can suddenly, and without explanation, “turn” and “bite” you, deep – and being “bitten” by the one we once loved is a very common fear – unless you’re into that sorta thing.
So apparently, my ‘state of love and trust’ (ooh, song title!) is not great. But, maybe these dreams aren’t all bad. They’ve opened my eyes to confronting the real issues in my real life, and have also made me see where I still have work that needs to be done, whether it be finding that new love, or opening my vault of trust again. I can sleep more soundly knowing that I’m not nocturnally predicting some ‘end of days’ scenario, at the least.
By the way, that boy that Wes Craven studied in the newspaper articles? Well, after having stayed awake for days on-end, he finally got to sleep too. However, it was reported by the boy’s parents that, in the middle of the night, they heard screaming and wrestling coming from his bedroom. By the time they were able to get to him, it was already too late – he was dead.
Was that all a dream?