• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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I Want You to Show Me the Way



I don’t dream. I have the same recurring nightmare 3-4 times a year. Someone is either chasing me or trying to break into the house. In the dream, I can’t call out for help, but I keep trying. It’s at that point when my husband wakes me up and tells me that I’ve been screaming. I feel this explains a lot about my world view.

Do you have a recurring dream?

21 Responses

  1. I often dream of things which are both frozen and hidden. Once I had a long nightmare that ended with me finding my dog in the freezer; another time it was a person trapped inside an icy tree. I also remember a dream in which I tried to dig a grave, but the ground was frozen hard as stone.

  2. I remember seeing a show about nightmares and bad dreams decades ago. The dream pundits suggested that in the dream you stop and make an X over whatever is scaring you. Easier said than done. I always dream of the neighborhood I grew up in. It always looks the same in the dream but nothing like it did in reality. There’s always an enormous graveyard where the high school should be. And I’m always trying to make my way through. But I always go in voluntarily. Sometimes it’s an indoor cemetery, sometimes outdoor….but it’s always night. The indoor graves always ooze green neon liquid and candles burn near pictures of saints. I still don’t know what it is I’m searching for. But I’ve become so used to the dream that it no longer frightens me.

    I think when you are trying to scream and can’t you must tell yourself to calm down that it’s a dream. I honestly believe that you can begin to control what you do in the dream. Try to empower yourself in the dream…turn into a a superhero or a powerful warrior. It can’t hurt to try. I’ve always had the ability to jump and leap incredibly high in my dreams. Maybe you can harness some supernatural talent during slumber. Maybe it’s late and maybe I’m ranting.

    • Lucid dreaming. I enjoy being able to do that. The first time I did it, there were two great storm clouds approaching overhead and I just knew that when they collided, there would be a terrifying catastrophe. Then I realized, Hey, this is a dream. All I gotta do is wake up. So I did.

      Another time, the car I was driving ran off the road and into a ditch. I thought, Well, I don’t want that to have happened, so I ‘re-wound’ the dream and put the car back on the road.

      Down below, in an earlier comment, I denied having recurring dreams, but I do have recurring themes, one of which is the auto accident that I can fix through realizing I’m in a dream and I can control it.

      Another recurring theme is sex, which I haven’t been able to fix.

  3. I have those kind of dreams where you know “something” is coming, and it’s not normal or nice. Like an entity. My thing is, (and I’m not a religious person by any stretch) I always begin repeating the Lord’s Prayer – over and over. Sometimes I’m shouting it – but it’s the sort of “shout” like trying to run in a dream – you can’t. I’ve had another one where I enter a building or house, some kind of structure and I keep finding rooms, more and more rooms.

    I also dream of fish in the water, scary looking fish – which is actually reality. Ever seen one of those large groupers up close? Yikes. I do not like the idea of what’s in the water. It’s all too prehistoric for me.

  4. I’ve been retired from teaching second grade for twenty-one years. In my recurring dream I’m trying to call (on a dial phone) the school office to tell them that I’ll be a bit late, but I’m on my way, can someone watch my classroom? Every time I dial the numbers, I get to the last one and the phone cuts off so I can’t finish. I keep dialing and get more and more frantic because I picture my classroom filled with kids and no teacher. Finally, I wake up and remember that I have no classroom.

    My other dream is trying to go back to 1963 and the apartment I lived in when I graduated from college. It was small and seedy, but in my dream I so want to have that apartment back, but there’s always somebody else living there and they won’t leave.

  5. It’s been some time now, but I used to have wake up breathless, scared shitless dreams, maybe three, four times a year. A couple were war related, and easy to understand. After I retired as a cop, I had a couple of evil-guy dreams, also easy to understand. All involved helplessness in the face of the inevitable, but the bad stuff never happened. All were tough on Lola, who always calmed me.

    There have been a couple of crazy ones about giant bugs right there in the room, but they always follow late night boozing and spicy foods.

    I’ve never had a bad one about sailing, though.

  6. I’m always trying to walk uphill and I can’t.

  7. My. recurring dreams always involve the annoying parts of high school & college: I can’t remember my locker combination, where’s the science building, that I missed an entire semester of a math course and have to take the final to graduate, etc etc. These frustrating dreams take all effing night to pass.
    I gotta get out of my head…

    • I’ve had those in the past. It’s like having a panic attack in your dream. Sometimes worse than a real panic attack. Thanks for reminder.

  8. I used to bowl competitively. And for fifteen or so years after I left it, I had dreams of discovering that a tournament was about to start, and that I was in it… but that something was vastly different about the game, so that everything I’d ever learned over decades was now useless. I remember one dream tournament where I had to bowl with half a cantaloupe. Another where the lane beyond the foul line was at waist height, so that I had to figure out some way to sidearm the ball. Everybody else, of course, found things perfectly normal and knew exactly what to do.

    One dream landscape that shows up a lot is that I’m walking through an abandoned city, not unlike Silva’s island in the Bond movie Skyfall. (I should get some money for that, because my dream preceded that movie by ten or twelve years.) Everything’s eight or ten stories tall, grey concrete, all the windows and signs are gone. No one there.

    Also, all my dreams are in color. That didn’t used to be true, but for twenty years, they’ve all been fully colored. (Maybe because I grew up with black and white TV…)

  9. I frequently dream about spiders. Sometimes the dream is unpleasant, occasionally even menacing, but more often than not, the spiders are a side note, a passing observation, background noise. I don’t know why they show up or what that says about me or my worldview.

  10. Dreams of swimming in air. Not like I’m above everything, but just passing through, down a street, through the forest; you name it, I’ll swim through it.

    And here’s something that’s bothered me for years: I’ve always thought of the Roman numeral for 4 as IV, yet on clocks it’s always IIII.

  11. I rarely dream. And if I do, I strain to remember them. And if I do elicit them, from some elusive depth, I forget them shortly after. But I want to remember them, and I want to understand them. Aren’t we supposed to be trying to resolve things in our dreams? Maybe I’m unresolved.

    (Interestingly, I dislike reading characters’ dreams in fiction. They always seem contrived.)

  12. “Do you have a recurring dream?”

    Not while I’m sleeping.

  13. My wife has those sorts of dreams where someone is in the house. She’ll often wake me up screaming. She’ll go in spurts of every day and then stop for months and then have a couple a week. It’s always someone is in the house or coming into the room in the dark. I try to joke with her and say I’m getting PTSD from having the Manson family wake me up every other night. Full blast helter skelter in my ear in a dead sleep. I try to make her laugh so she won’t feel guilty but sometimes my waking nightmare is my wife’s nightmares. She refuses to take sleeping pills and I don’t push it. And at this point it’s just part of life. Love is strange like that. Hopefully it’s not me that is her nightmare. I’ve had girls tell me that when I was younger. Oh well, the world goes on, half sleepy half scared.

  14. These two dreams, night after night: 1) I am flying and then yanked down from the sky by someone with an incredibly long arm, 2) I am desperately trying to save dozens and dozens of puppies and kittens.

    I dream constantly, and they’re usually vivid and filled with dialogue. When they’re not terrifying, they’re really entertaining.

  15. I used to dream a lot, really crazy crap and I’d remember everything. Lately though I don’t remember a thing. I miss my dreams, some were fantastic, some weird and some were just plain crazy.

  16. I often dream that I’m a child and can’t find my house. I go to our old houses and down the wrong streets. I also can’t open my locker at school.

  17. Two: in one, I’m being chased–either through an old elementary school I once attended or a wooded area thick with a wide variety of trees–and always wake up just as The Chaser finds me; in the other, I’m trying to get into an old warehouse to look for something or I’m in the warehouse with what I’m looking for and trying to get out. The Chaser has plagued me since high school; the warehouse has been recurring in the last couple years or so.

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