unscathed

I recently dreamed of croissants.

Then the next night I watched as my son pencil dove off of a high precipice, barely missing a giant boulder, landing 1,000 feet below feet first. We were on a jungle gym in the forest. But I didn’t know how high up we were. There was a square opening he pounced into, grabbing a suddenly appearing rope swing. He let go. He fell straight down as I peered over and watched. As dreams go, I should have woken up at this point. But I didn’t. I watched frozen, and my stomach went into my ankle. He landed like Spiderman and shouted up to me all smiles, waving. I later met up with other mothers once on solid ground and we all peered up to see that square space.

I used to have night terrors growing up, probably from the age of 11. Layers and layers of sleep stages in which I knew I was dreaming and would try slapping myself to wake my dream self up. I remember how heavy my hands always were, but my mind was racing, begging me to just make it stop, to wake myself up. I call them The Blobs. The Blobs were always lingering, loitering, waiting for me. Two I will never forget, like a short story I’ve memorized. The massive, fat Blob was smothering me, as I lay on my back pinned to the bed. I knew, as dream knowledge goes, that his intent was entirely to harm me in horrific ways. I started screaming, trying like hell to slap myself awake. My screaming woke me up, and when I opened my eyes, there was the Blob, still on top of me fighting me with more force. Realizing this was no dream, I screamed even louder. This final scream woke me up, again. Doubting reality, I stared at my feet, no, no Blob here, just me sweating and scared shitless. The other Blob was hiding out under my desk. The coolest desk in the universe, a white architect’s slant board that I would write or draw on for endless hours in the quiet of my room. Not that anyone could make out an actual face, but I knew underneath the blackness it resembled my dead cousin who had OD’d on heroine. He just crouched there, underneath the white desk, so sad. To the opposite effect, I knew he meant no harm, there was just loneliness. Upon seeing him, my screams again woke me up and I leapt from my bed across the room to the door and scrambled into bed with my sister in the next room over. If she already didn’t think her kid sister was a freak, this solidified it.

I’m not sure when exactly the terrors stopped, around the time I went away to college, and I didn’t have them every night or even every month. There’s plenty of Freudian-Jung-Tea Leaf theory babble as grounds for the nightmares, all well-founded and most likely true. The mind has a way of making you face your demons I suppose. I’m just glad that nowadays I’m dreaming of croissants and that jumping from high places has a happy ending.

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