That Recurring Nightmare

What’s your worst nightmare?

Mine would most assuredly involve evil clowns in some fashion. Although, I believe those two words (evil and clown) to be interchangeable, so I sorta just said evil twice.

However, I believe we all have that one recurring nightmare. Maybe it’s not quite your worst nightmare, or even the worst thing you can think of. Maybe it’s something more like falling, or missing the alarm clock or being naked in front of a large audience, or being surrounded by sharks. Whatever your poison, it’s a dream that visits you over and over, perhaps monthly or infrequently stretching over the years, and each time it pulls you back to that younger you. I believe this kind of “logical” recurring nightmare may shed light on something that happens to us on a psychological level during our daily lives. Since it is far more likely for this “logical” nightmare to occur in real life than the “supernatural” ones, perhaps these dreams unveil what we subconsciously stress about during our waking hours.

If it’s falling, maybe you’re afraid that you’re not really in control of your life. (Or maybe you’re just a few levels deep into an Inception).

If it’s the alarm clock, maybe you’re afraid that you’re always behind or dread making mistakes or hold yourself to perfect standards.

If it’s pulling a Daniel Radcliffe in front of people, maybe you are concerned with your image and how others perceive you or are scared of vulnerability or being wrong in front of others. (Or maybe you simply just don’t want to be naked in front of other people and would identify as a “never nude“).

If it’s the sharks, maybe you’re a bit paranoid or feel that there are always enemies amongst your friends.

For me, however, my recurring nightmare is one where I am being chased and cannot get away. This wouldn’t be all so terrible at first thought; I would simply run as long as I had to, since I wouldn’t be getting fatigued in a dream, and would seek to create some space between me and my pursuer, hopefully, eventually, losing them. Yet, my body always insists on functioning at half its normal speed, sometimes even slower. The gap between myself and my tormentor only seems to close the harder I strain. As if this was not stresseful enough, every now and then, whatever surface I am on becomes impossibly slippery and I am left spinning my wheels at very catchable speeds.

Maybe I am afraid of being alone or hopeless, or am unsettled by ideas like time runs out or that all good things come to an end. Maybe I don’t like running out of options or feeling trapped.

I’m curious to hear what recurring dreams you’ve had and what you think it means. The mind is a fascinating place. If you’ve ever experienced this phenomenon, leave your story in the comments below and I’ll give it a read!

Dream on.

2 thoughts on “That Recurring Nightmare

  1. I don’t have a recurring nightmare, but I do have recurring dreams. One revolves around returning to my old job and the other is me back in college. I have them on a regular basis. My only guess is that I yearn for those times – they were fun, easy and fulfilling.

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