Heather, The Sleepwalker: A Brief History

If you didn’t read HTS’s intro – check it out here.  Heather slept-walked quite a bit, when she was young.  She says that her family didn’t seem very concerned about it.  Her mom would see her walking around, but since Heather always walked back into her room, her mom knew she was safe, so didn’t see any reason to intervene.   

As a teenager, Heather doesn’t recall sleepwalking, I imagine she thought she had outgrown this behavior.  But, the episodes started again when she was in her mid-twenties.  This was a stressful time, as Heather was going through a divorce.  The sleepwalking didn’t stop though, after the stress of this event abated, and she has continued to sleepwalk ever since.

Heather explains that there are two types of sleepwalking: the kind you can remember and the kind you never remember. Heather’s sleep walking used to be of the latter variety. In her mid- twenties she would have no memory of getting up and walking around at night, but she would know she slept-walked because of the clues she found in the morning.  During this time, the obvious hint was generally the fact that she would go to sleep in her pajamas, but wake up with different clothes on.  Interestingly, the garb she arose in was typically a dress she hadn’t worn in years.  It was not always the same dress.  She never awoke in something convenient or comfortable to put on, but always a dress from the far corners of the closet.

From here, the sleep walking worsened, and it hasn’t gone away.  Sometimes, Heather remembers events from her nighttime amblings in the morning, sometimes her memory is sparked by a clue left behind, and sometimes she has no memory of the nocturnal escapades at all.  This makes it difficult for her to give a weekly average regarding how often she sleepwalks.  Her best guess is at least twice a week, sometimes much more.  She hasn’t found a connection between her sleepwalking and her times of either high or low stress.  The only trigger that she is sure of is when she sleeps somewhere other than her own house.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that she sleepwalks more when she’s sleeping at the new place, but more often than not, she will sleep walk upon returning home.

She’s slept in the same bedroom for 14 years, so Awake Heather knows every nook and cranny, while Sleepwalking Heather is quite often confused about where she is.  She’s found that cracking her curtains for a little light sometimes helps her orientation.  As mentioned above, this is exacerbated after overnight trips.  If she goes on a camping trip, when she returns she may sleep walk, thinking that she is still sleeping in a tent, or that she is fishing for crayfish.  If she sleeps at a friend’s cottage, she might sleep walk and picture herself in one of the cottage rooms.  This always means that the door is in a different place than the door in her actual bedroom.  This stresses her out to no end, and she struggles to find the door (where there is none) in the middle of the night.  Did you get a good mental picture of her banging on a dresser to get out of the room? Because that’s what she does. Sounds funny, but she says it is actually pretty scary. She doesn’t remember that her boyfriend is there, and that she could ask him for help, so she just panics, and sometimes cries, to herself.  

Sleepwalking Heather is often very confused about not only where she is, but also who she is with.  She says it feels like she has temporary amnesia.   One of the most disturbing things for her is waking up and not knowing who she is sleeping next to. She has been with her boyfriend for almost 7 years, but she often has to crawl over him and look at his face, because she is completely confused and disoriented. Once she sees his face she feels a huge amount of relief.  Often times after returning from a trip with her friends, she wakes up and thinks that he is just a good girlfriend of hers.  She says she will be laying there feeling incredibly embarrassed, because she thinks she went to bed with her friend, while naked, or, even worse, she thinks she is spooning with her friend. 

She does note, however, that she has never forgotten about her daughter, and says that she will often check up on her during her late night meanderings.  She admits that her daughter doesn’t always appreciate this, especially when she wakes up to Heather standing on the ladder of her loft, just staring at her. Poor girl.

A special thank you to Heather, for sharing her intriguing stories (and for writing most of this post, which I just tweaked, a bit).

This post is a part of Love Links – hosted by FreeFringes.com

http://lovelinks.freefringes.com/2011/11/15/lovelinks-31-open/?utm_source=feedburner

Dream # 10: Greek Dancing on the Moon and Mononucleosis

DREAM:

The Greek Dance group is practicing at my house.  Apparently they decided to use my house since I have enough space, and I have many rooms in the shape of circles.  This is convenient, since most Greek dances are circular in nature.  It is a particularly important dance practice because the group has been invited to travel and dance ON THE MOON.  Exciting.  There is one girl in the dance group that everyone hates and who is constantly doing things contrary to the Greek Dance Group Code of Conduct.  She has already been kicked out of the group once.  She is late and so the dance group is discussing whether they should kick her out again.  In order to travel into space, to dance on the moon, there is a lot of teamwork and trust involved, and they are worried that she poses a safety threat.  People in the group are afraid of confrontation and don’t know if they will follow through on kicking her out, even though they know they should.  They ultimately decide they will indeed kick her out, but say they need one more person for the Kalamatiano (something about needing enough bodies and gravitational pull, since you don’t really need a certain number for this dance on Earth).  I offer to fill in, but I am worried that I am a little bit sick.  The girl everyone hates comes very late, after it has been decided that I will dance.  She says no one is stopping her from going to the moon.  The dance group calls a scientist/doctor who is an expert in traveling through space.  He confirms the idea that a team-based approach is needed and this girl won’t work.  He is concerned about our safety.  She continues to practice with us anyway.  He then turns to me and asks if I am experiencing a lot of tension, because he notices my foot and leg are constantly moving.  I tell him they are always moving, this is nothing new.  We then start talking about my illness and he looks in my throat, asks me some questions.  He says he is worried I might have mono.  I gasp, and tell him I’ve had mono in the past.  He nods solemnly, as to confirm this diagnosis, since mono can reemerge after lying dormant.

ANALYSIS: 

Ok, this is a dream with some attachment to reality!  My husband and his family have participated in traditional Greek dancing since they were young, and his cousins and sisters still perform.  I do know how to dance the kalamatiano.  I constantly move my leg/bounce my knee.  I have had mono (and it can come back).  And, there must be a kernel of truth to the idea that dancing on the moon’s cratered surface without the correct configuration/velocity/whatnot would result in people flinging off into the abyss.  I don’t know if I have ever had another dream with so many ties to my waking life.

SPACE:  Dream Forth tells me that to see or dream that I am in space indicates that I am a very inquisitive person who enjoys seeking the truth and that I form my own opinions and beliefs rather than adopting those of others.  I would like to believe this is true, even if the only evidence I have is my disagreement with my husband about how often the bathroom needs to be cleaned (Truth:  Not as often as he thinks) or my own opinion about how often the lawn and bushes need to be manicured (Truth:  Never.  Lawns and shrubbery are not important).  I refuse to blindly adopt the believe of my husband snooty neighbors in this matter!  I’m such a obstinate wife truth-seeker.

DANCING:    Dream Moods informs me that dreaming about attending or going to a dance indicates a celebration and your attempts to achieve happiness.  Hooray!  Celebrations are good (unless they are fake celebrations, like the kind we have at the beginning of staff meetings).  Let’s celebrate scrapbooking! And samosas! And bacon!  And fuzzy kitties that snuggle!  And coffee – oh glorious coffee!  And yoga! And Girls Weekends! And wine!  Oh yes, lots and lots of cheers for wine!  All things I indulge in for the sake of sanity.  And all synonyms for happiness.

MONONUCLEOSIS:  Dream Forth says that to dream of an illness signifies despair, objectionable adjustment, and an emotional collapse. The illness may be a way out of my incompetence in coping with a situation.  In this case does that mean my incompetence in coping with the weak gravitational pull of the moon whilst kicking up my heels?  In reality does it mean constantly being crouched in the shadow of the black dog?  Wait, wait, wait. Celebrate happiness, remember?!  That merriment seemed incredibly short lived.  Hm.  Maybe my attempts are futile.  Ah, to hell with it.  Let’s still celebrate a crack at happiness with some wine, shall we?  Or, should we just drown our sorrows in it?  Either way, cheers.

 

This post is a part of Love Links – if you like what you read, vote for me on Thursday!

 

 

Dream #9: Little Boy and Burning Blimps

DREAM:

We are traveling and part of our caravan involves several blimps.  From where we are we can see out in front of us through a large domed window.  There is an accident – people are screaming and scared.  There is a little boy about 8 years old by himself, crying.  We can tell things are going from bad to worse.  The blimp in front of us explodes, fire and gases are hurl towards us, break the domed glass and sweep over us.  I grab the boy and cover him with myself, hoping we don’t get burned too badly.

ANALYSIS:

BLIMPS: Dream Moods informs me that riding in a blimp could indicate an inflated view of myself.  Alternatively, it could be a metaphor for my weight and issues about my physical appearance.  Hm.  Analysis Option A)  I have an over-inflated view of how much I am able to help my students.  Really, we can’t make that much of an impact, right?  Some days I think so, other days, not so much. 

Example: I teach my 4th hour some yoga breathing exercises to de-stress. One says he feels better, one writes a poem about breathing and de-stressing and one “macho” kid practices his breathing at home.

I made an impact! 

Counter Example:

Me:  You have 2 more class periods to finish this test.

X:  No I don’t.
Me:  You do.

X:  Why are you doing this to me?  You are so mean.  You’re dumb.

Puts test in random file cabinet

Me:  I’m not mean or dumb.  You know that.

X:  Your cat is ugly

Me:  Are you just saying that to be mean?

X:  Yes.  I don’t like you.
Me: That’s ok.  But that should also probably be an inside thought.

X:  PBBBBTTTT!  I can’t work 1st hour!

Me:  You have worked in here before in 1st hour?

X:  Well, I didn’t l…mumble mumble

X:   Opens my desk drawer, and pulls out 10 little laminated pictures of Norm from Cheers (long story).  X uses white out tape to cover Norm’s eyes (all 20 of them) and says “Look!  You can’t tell who he is now!  You can scrape that off, by the way”.

Me:  So, if you’re putting tape on those, you need to scrape it all off.

X:  I will.  YOU can do it too, you know.

Me:  I know.  But I don’t want to.  That’s why I didn’t put it on them.

X:  Scrapes all the white out tape off using a wooden popsicle stick, since it “didn’t feel right” on his fingers to scrape it off with his/her nail.

Me:  It’s 9.08

X:  You’re a 9:08!

X:  Dings bell with wooden popsicle stick.

Class ends.

Clearly, I make no impact.  

Analysis Option B) I’m going to my cousin’s wedding this weekend, where all of my family will be glammed up.  I’m not much for glamor, and anticipate looking somewhat like an awkward, hairy ungulate, clad in a black dress.  In a last ditch effort to not be both chubby AND utterly drab, I have purchased some new, sequined sling backs, and shiny baubles for my neck and ears.  Somehow we must convince my husband that these purchases were absolutely necessary

BURNING:  Dream moods suggest that burning means I need to take time off for myself, and relax, and maybe I am feeling “burned out”.  It adds that dreaming about being burned alive suggests that I am consumed by my own ambition. Ok, WHO doesn’t feel burned out?!  No, really.  I believe stress-free people are on par with unicorns and yetis and krakens.  Stop faking it, those of you who are pretending to be mythical beasts, you’re making the rest of us look bad.

LITTLE BOY: Dream Forth tells me that to dream that I see a boy, as a female dreamer, implies that I am in touch with the male traits of my personality.  Clearly.  This is why I am so good at growing a moustache and so bad at getting “glammed up” for family weddings.

Izzint Bloggeen Grate?

Oooh, hooray.  Kreative Blogger Award.  Thank you, screwed up creative kreativ brain for giving me all of these effed up dreams to blog about.

Laura, at Catharsis, gave me this award (she is just SHOWERING me with love these days, people.  I’m starting to get worried that she’s buttering me up, so she can ask me for a big favor one of these days soon…like disposing of random human pinky toes, or holding on to a sealed box that occasionally moves, and emits muffled sounds, and I’ll be obliged to say yes).

But, I wouldn’t just say yes solely because of the awards she bestows.  Her blog is witty, relevant and even though it is a “mom blog”, it isn’t one of those that makes you want to stab a fork through your epidermis, and all the way through the muscle, until it pierces you in the uterus, ensuring that it will never be possible for you to turn into that kind of person.  Nope.  She just seems like a regular person who also happens to have children.  I like that, because it gives me hope that someday that will be possible for me, as well.  Also, because when I talk to her, or read her posts, I don’t have to suppress the urge to punch her in the teeth.  Note:  If you are wondering whether or not you may be one of those parents that make others willing to knock out their own choppers, check out the blog, Shut The Fuck Up Parents. It’s hilarious, and it doesn’t knock parents or parenthood, only pokes fun at the overly obnoxious and self-absorbed parental behaviors.

The rules of the award are this: I must reveal seven things about myself and pass it along to ten other deserving bloggers.  Sidebar:  This blogging requires a lot more revealing than I anticipated.  I’m starting to question why I let most of my family members know that I have started one.

1.  I loathe when words aren’t spelled correctly.  Yes, I do it sometimes, but it drives me insane.  SPELL CORRECTLY.  USE SPELL CHECK.  I know that if I spelled something wrong, it’s because I didn’t edit well enough.  “Kreativ”  absolutely sort of makes me itch bugs me even though it is in the form of an award.  For shame.

2.  I once broke up with a guy, mostly because when we went on a 9 mile hike, he couldn’t keep up (don’t girls usually pack too heavy?) and couldn’t see the paint marks on the trees, and I refused to slow down.  I didn’t want to get eaten by a bear.   I need my man to be afraid of getting chewed on by bears as much as I am stronger than that.

3.  One of my ex-boyfriend’s got deported.  After he cheated on me.  More info goes here but family reads this (see above).  Imagine the worst things you can.  He later tried to friend me on Facebook.  Really?  What is wrong with people?  (In case you are worried, don’t be, my husband is not at all a douche, like 2 or 3.)

4.   I once went to my doctor thinking maybe I had ear wax build up (a coworker once told me she couldn’t hear out of one ear, went to the doctor and just had to get her earwax cleaned out, and could hear perfectly, so it made sense to me).  But, I had none, and then went in for a hearing test. Turns out I am just so allergic to my cat that it affects my hearing.  I also cough and itch at my eyeballs.  But, I just take asthma meds, inhalers, prescription eye drops, and tell people to SPEAK UP, because I love my cat too much to get rid of him (NEVER!).  Even though he pees on my carpet sometimes.

5.  When I was younger, there was a neighbor dog, that wandered all over the place, that I was terrified of.  I used to walk around with a baseball bat in my arms, in case it attacked me.  I still kind of hate dogs.

6.  Rocky and Bullwinkle is the best cartoon, ever. 

7.  I have a new job idea.  I’m going to pitch it soon.  Wish me luck.  Also, wish me luck in having a job I can stay in, for more than 3 years. I refuse to do something I don’t love.  I’m not sure if I’m being too picky, but…why stick around in one spot if you aren’t sure?   Would I change my tune if I made 6 figures?  Who knows?  I have a large resume.

Enough about me, here are some other fantastic bloggers (in no particular order) that you should absolutely check out!

Yea.  Good Times.

Handflapping

Mouthy Barber Mom:  My Encounters With Stupidity

The Bright Yellow Balloon

Bellace85

Awkward Engineer

I’m Not Really A Barista

When Did I Become A Knitter

Adamotomy

Cannibalistic Nerd

Happy reading!

An Un-Sexy Sleeper

In the 7th grade, I was skinny and slightly gangly.  I had large rimmed, tortoiseshell glasses, and shiny silver braces (always with gray rubber bands).  For some reason, I cut my hair cut to slightly above shoulder length, which was a poor choice, for me.  It curled under in an unattractive fashion.  My hairdo often involved putting half of my strands up into a ponytail at the crown of my head and then pushing the entire thing forward, creating an odd, offensive little bump of hair above my forehead.

Yep.

I hadn’t yet realized that waxing was so easy, so accessible…so important. Consequently, I had substantial, Groucho Marxish eyebrows. We’re talking thick, thick fuckers (or shall I say fuckER, since there was a bridge of hair above my nose, connecting the two furry beasts.  Look closely).

Image from www.happyplace.com

I was also quite mustached.  YIKES.  After having braces for a few months, my orthodontist gave me headgear.  It was an old school metal contraption in which long, curved metal pieces were pushed through tiny holes on the brackets attached to your teeth, and a cloth strap held the metal piece in place, as it pulled your upper jaw back, leaving your teeth achey in the morning.  Half of the time I would fall asleep with the headgear on, and then wake up in the middle of the night finding myself being stabbed in the neck by the metal pokey pieces; I would often rip out the headgear in my sleep.  Looking back, that seems rather dangerous.

Can you imagine those metal tines poking you in the neck? Ouchie. Image via Wikipedia

20 years later, I’m not too much less of a dork (I do, however, have a LOT less facial hair).  I’m starting to think I may be turning into an Un-Sexy Sleeper.  Much like in 7th grade, I am starting to accumulate horrible sleeping contraptions.

Un-Sexy Contraption # 1:  Bite Guard.  I clench my teeth, which likely accounts for the headaches I frequently wake up with.  As a result, sometimes I will wear a bite guard.  They really do help to lessen the headaches; I hate wearing them though, so avoid it unless absolutely necessary.  What tends to happen is my jaw will be normal/relaxed, and over the course of a few weeks it will tighten up a little bit every day, until it gets to the point where just touching the joint that connects my mandible to my skull results in excruciating pain.  (Today is one of those days, so I highly recommend that you don’t talk to me today.)  Then, I’ll wear the bite guard for a week or two, until it is relaxed again.  The cycle repeats.   Why not just wear it every night?  Issue #1 is that the thing is just effing annoying.  I try asking my husband a question and a series of mumbles comes out. I have to suck up the spit before pulling it out from my mouth, and then hold it in my hand while talking to him.   Not attractive.   Issue #2: is that when I sleep on my side, many of the bite guards tend to create a pool of saliva that builds up and then spills out of my mouth.  Wet.  Gross.  Issue #3 is that I eventually bite through the bite guard and have to buy a new one.  I haven’t gotten one from the actual dentist yet – maybe those would last longer.  Downside = they’re crazy expensive.

Un-Sexy Contraption # 2:  Wrist Guards. We moved into our house a little over a year ago.  The house had been a foreclosure, and the people who moved out left it completely begrimed.  The carpets were soiled.  There were tiny black handprints located 3 feet above the ground, around the perimeter of every room in the house.  There were pieces of cut up straws scattered around (I wonder why they lost the house…)  There were chocolate chips EVERYWHERE.  After the slobs family moved out, the house was vacant for over a year and a half, so a colony of spiders took over and created webs that had to be cut through with a machete every time you entered a room.  After buying the house, I scrubbed the walls for a week straight, until the rags no longer came away black.  We replaced all of the windows, the carpet, much of the plumbing, stripped off roomfuls of flowered wallpaper, removed mold, repaired holes in drywall, gutted and renovated bathrooms, and repainted every wall in the house.

Who the hell puts picket fence wallpaper in their kitchen?! Gah.

The prep for painting included sanding all of the trim.  I sanded trim for hours and hours.  And hours.  It killed me.

Sanding trim = worst job ever.

A result of this torturous act was that the muscles in my forearms turned into burning, feeble, mush.  Finally, I refused to sand anymore, since I was literally injuring myself.  (We ended up just painting over the unsanded trim and it turned out fine.  That really pissed me off.)  Ever since then, my forearms seem to become exhausted very easily.  Recently, it got to the point that they were constantly hurting, and I had trouble typing or doing anything that required repetitive motion.  I couldn’t even practice yoga as much as I wanted, and that totally freaked me out.  I NEED YOGA.  So I went to my OMM doctor and mentioned that I thought I might be getting carpal tunnel.  Dr. Golden (yes, that is his real name) asked me what my symptoms were and checked my arms out.  He said he didn’t think I had carpal tunnel, but he knew what the problem might be.  He thought that when I slept, I was keeping my wrists bent very tightly, so my palm was next to my forearm, and the strain on my tendons was causing the pain.  As soon as he said this I pictured myself settling in at night, (or when I woke up in the middle of the night), and I saw my wrists tucked tightly into my arms. Sometimes my wrist was tucked under my chin, sometimes under my shoulder.  But yes, I was definitely doing this.  I tried keeping my wrists straight, but found this to be incredibly difficult, so I started wearing wrist guards to bed.  I felt immediate relief when I woke up, and even got a satisfying pop when I cracked my carpals in the morning.

Un-Sexy Contraption (?) # 3:  Mismatched, Non-Pajama, Pajamas.  This week is Homecoming week – and thus, Spirit Week, at the high school I work at.  Each day students and staff can dress up in a ridiculous pointless enthusiastic way to show their school spirit. (I dress up solely so I can wear jeans and tennis shoes).  But, Tuesday of this week was Pajama Day.  I thought about dressing up, but…my pajamas?  To school?  No freaking way.  I wear scrubby blue sweatpants that have some mysterious stain on the right thigh (salsa? I do love my nachos…).  They are too big, so I have to cinch them really tightly around the waist.  If they come even a tad bit loose, they start to slide off and my bum crack may or may not emerge.  On the top I wear a mismatched t-shirt from 1999, or, on a good day, maybe a mismatched tank top.  Not school appropriate.  As I eyed the students and teachers in their pajama wear, I realized that maybe I should make at least a tiny bit of effort in terms of looking a little less like a schlump when I sleep.  I mean, I’m not striving to be a snoozing fashionista, but maybe I could…match.  Or, maybe I could wear pajamas that fit properly.  A new pair of pjs, combined with the occasional non-usage of Un-Sexy Contraptions 1 and 2, could go a long way in ensuring I don’t turn into the Un-Sexy Sleeper.  Even though my husband loves me as I am, he might appreciate this gesture.

Heather, The Sleepwalker: An Introduction

My friend Heather is a pretty amazing gal.  She is one of those people you can always count on, always trust.  She gets excited about the accomplishments of her friends, and  cheers them on, and is never jealous or judgmental.  She raised her young daughter by herself, while managing a restaurant and putting herself through college (even the unpaid, year-long, teaching internship).  She is hilarious and witty and has an infectious laugh, and a toothpaste-commercial-worthy smile (ding!). She is incredibly crafty – she creates scrapbooks, homemade cards and wall art to decorate her country home. She sandwiches glass pieces around droll cards and print-outs, soldering the edges to create one of a kind ornaments and magnets.  She enjoys sarcasm.  And Miller Lite.  She runs a freezer meal exchange group.  She is an avid couponer, and could open up a general store from her stocked up wares in the basement.  She organizes party buses for dozens of friends and designs costumes and props to keep her high school students entertained (she once dressed up like the Grim Reaper and created a “wheel of death” that the students had to spin, as an introduction to a bacterial and viral diseases research project).  She is a member of a roller derby team.  She loves margaritas and used books.  She’s an all-around beautiful human being.

Grim Reaper, Wheel of Death and horribly-fake scared school visitor.

BUT, the characteristic that makes her especially relevant to this blog is that she is a sleepwalker.  I don’t mean that she slept-walked a couple of times in middle school.  No.  This is much more serious.  She sleepwalks at least a couple of nights each week.   And, she might not like me giving hints about her age, but she has been sleepwalking like this for over 25 years.

After a month of me harassing her, to let me use her as blog material, she finally relented. My hypothesis is that she knows she is supposed to log her sleepwalking and sleep-related antics, in the hope of actually receiving some HELP one day, and maybe being fodder for my blog will make her do it.

She did participate in a sleep study once, but since she was attached to numerous wires she said that she knew before going to sleep that there wouldn’t be a way for her to get up and walk around.  Her sleepwalking self can spy on her awake self, and understands these things, so Sleepwalking Heather didn’t even try to roam the facility, and the doctors weren’t able to witness it.  Since they didn’t witness her sleepwalking, the doctors said they couldn’t do anything.  It sure seems like they were just setting her up for failure, doesn’t it?  Maybe they just had no idea what to do to help, since they deal with mostly young children, and said they’d never had an adult report such extensive sleepwalking.

Her sleepwalking adventures are always interesting. One time, she put on an old dress from the back of her closet, stood in front of her bedroom window, holding the curtain back and staring blankly outside for hours and hours.  I’d imagine that may have been a smidge creepy to her neighbor across the street.  Another time, when she was on a diet, she kept waking up to find that she’d eaten bowls of cereal in her sleep.  She was really mad about this one. Heather The Sleepwalker will often hide things from Awake Heather, like her car keys (which go missing for weeks at a time) or her purse.  The other day she awoke to find herself standing, alone, in her dark basement, holding in her arms all of the light bulbs she had unscrewed.  Weird.  I can’t wait to report further about Heather The Sleepwalker’s antics.

Heather wrote down her most recent dream.  See, she is starting to keep better track of her night time occurrences – I can now say that my blog is helping people who have sleeping disorders.

HTS’s Zombie Dream:

S (boyfriend), T (friend) and I were at my parents house. We were very aware that the Zombie Apocalypse had begun.  I remember telling S that if he came back to the house to be careful when he knocked, because my Dad may have “turned” by then. I was very anxious about not being able to find my purse. Finally, I gave up and told the guys that since I didn’t have my I.D. we would have to go to a local bar instead of out of town like we still planned (?). There were two cars waiting outside and T chuckled and told me to take the jeep. I quickly found out he might have been laughing because it had no brakes. I was speeding down Jefferson street and kept going from drive to reverse because I couldn’t get it to slow down and didn’t have much room on the road. Finally, I have a genius idea. I will get on the highway and slow to a stop there. But  when I merge off the entrance ramp I realize that the highway  is covered with zombies in varying states of decay. They are everywhere and they are fast! I speed up to 80 mph+ and still they are keeping up with me. This is also when I realize that on top of being alone in the apocalypse and having no breaks, my Jeep also has no top on it. I’m trying to sideswipe the zombies on either side of me but this only ends in them somehow getting suction cupped to my vehicle, which then promptly turns into a cruise ship (this made sense in the dream). So, now I am on a large cruise ship with a bunch of zombies. However, the zombies somehow realize that this is MY cruise ship so they are doing their best not to eat me. The big difference between the cruise ship zombies and the highway zombies is that these new ones are very well mannered an all seemed to be dressed for formal night on the cruise. They can’t seem to stop smelling me though and telling me how delicious I would be. I am shaking and calling S repeatedly to see if he is still among the living. Meanwhile, I see that the cruise ship zombies have lined up for dinner and a chef is taking their orders. One says, “One male please”, another says, “2 females please”, and I realize that they are ordering humans for dinner.

My Thoughts On The Zombie Dream:

a)  What I initially find humorous about this is that when I imagine Heather sleepwalking, I sort of picture a zombie-like stumble.  Don’t you?

b) You should know that Heather is slightly obsessed with zombies.  She read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  She uses the zombie virus as a way to grab the interest of her students when teaching about infectious disease (she does have to point out to some students that it isn’t actually a real virus).  She was excited about a locally hosted zombie walk – a curiously morbid fundraiser to raise food for the needy.  She makes homemade cards valentines cards about loving someone like a zombie loves brains.  I’ll bet she has a zombie disaster action plan. I suggest she “like” the Facebook group “Stop Zombietis“, which is a group that marries the topics of zombies and sleep issues.  She’s. A. Zombie. Freak. Just one of the many reasons why I love her.

c) Heather’s coworker provided a solid interpretation of her dream. The zombies chasing Heather on the highway represents her 2nd hour class of freshmen, that she has indicated is one of the most difficult hours she has ever had, as a teacher, and the cruise ship zombies represent her 6th hour class of juniors and seniors, who are wonderful. Sounds pretty good to me. Heather told her 6th hour about the dream and now lovingly refers to the students in that class as her Cruise Ship Zombies.  High school students love stuff like this, in case you didn’t know.

Image credit: puppyapocalypse.com

We Wants It, We Needs It. Must Have The Precious.

I recently received a box from my cousin Maggie (aka my dealer).  I had been anticipating the arrival of this box, which contained My Precious, for many days, and every time she asked me, “Is it there yet?  It should be!”, I’d re-check the mailbox, then have to walk back to my house, in a depressed state, since it was never there.  Humph.  (That’s a lie, I NEVER check my mailbox.  Thankfully, my husband does.  However, did you picture me walking across the street, with slumped shoulders, so disheartened that I didn’t care if I got hit by a car?  Cuz that’s how I felt). The package took ages to reach me.

When I finally saw the box (on the kitchen counter, brought in by my husband), I felt the rush of serotonin, creating a chemical surge of happiness, while simultaneously imagining the sound of a trumpet (do do dah DOOO!), and envisioning an angel in front of me, the box cradled in her porcelain hands. Yes, I was that excited.

This picture illustrates how I felt, opening the package. Image via Pinterest.

I tore that sucker open and tossed the box in the trash.  I let Maggie know that I had finally received the package and she asked me how I liked the stickers.  Stickers??? Hm.  I didn’t notice any stickers?  She laughed, and said, “Atta girl.  You and I will be besties at The Betty“.  But she thought I was kidding.

Curious about what she meant by “the stickers”, I went to the trash and plucked out the discarded vesicle.  Sure enough, in my haste to get to the goods, I missed out on the embellishments decorating the package.  When we go to France, to restock, I”ll have to pick some of these up as well, they’re pretty cute.

Tunnel vision – didn’t even see the Eiffel Tower.

Dream #8: Earthquakes, Dangerous Jewelry, Lots of Evil Villains

3 PART DREAM:

1)  There is a major earthquake and Earth’s tectonic places are moving.  But not millimeters at a time, they are starting to move hundreds of feet within seconds, and are moving from a horizontal position to vertical, so people are plunging to their deaths.  It is very theatrical looking and not at all scientifically accurate.  We might die.

2)  I am swimming in a hotel swimming pool.  There are evil people after something, but I don’t know what they are after.  In order for them to find what they are looking for, they are searching for the person with a particular necklace – a thick, shiny, diamond encrusted cross – which I happen to have around my neck.  To wear this cross is dangerous.    My diamond wedding rings are also dangerous, though not AS dangerous as the necklace.  I can’t let on that I know these people are evil, and that they are looking for me, so I pretend make small talk with them and try to conceal my jewelry.  My mom is chatting with us and doesn’t realize what is going on.  Once the evil people walk away and are out of sight, I cut her off mid-sentence, take off the necklace and rings, give it to her and tell her to RUN!  I emphasize that she needs to leave that very moment, so we have a chance of escaping alive.

3)  Evil villains are holding us hostage – they might kill us unless we can give them what they want – and there is a time limit.  They are looking for one particular song on a CD.  We have to search a room that is holding millions of CDs.  The CDs are not arranged by artist or alphabetically, instead, 2-3 lines of lyrics from each song are hand-written, in blue ink, into journals.   The shelves are lined with journals and each one is at least 4 feet by 3 feet in size, a foot thick – lined with notebook paper.    The song gives the bad guys information about what they have to do next, so they are evil instructions, I guess.   I think to myself, there is no way on Earth we will ever be able to figure out what all of these songs are, and find the song they are looking for, in time.  If we can’t figure it out, we might die.

ANALYSIS (Other than, I think I might die?  WTF?):

EARTHQUAKE:  Dream Forth tells me that this dream signifies my uncertainty, anxieties, and feelings of being out of control. My nacho eating and wine drinking is definitely out of control.  Typically August is my month of sloth and gluttony, but then the school year starts, and I get back on track.  By now, I’m usually back in the routine of jogging a few days per week, doing yoga one or two times per week, and even the using the occasional workout video in my basement (can I get a whoot whoot for Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred?!)  This year, however, sloth and gluttony have consumed August, September and October, so far.  Is  my subconscious me trying to shake some sense into awake me?  Possibly.  But, if that is the case, apparently I don’t listen to myself all that well.  And, as a result, I have some anxiety about the toll this will take on my thighs.  Way of Tao tells me that the earthquake represents my tendency to block change – or a tendency to hold my ground.  I am certainly holding my ground in terms of the gluttony/slothness.  Way of Tao reinforces the fact that I am a prisoner of Newton’s First Law.  Damn you, inertia!

DIAMONDS: Dream Force gives me a multitude of explanations behind the diamonds.  Diamonds could suggest a completeness of my being. It could also signify my solid nature and dependability. Or, the dream could signify my narcissism and egotism. Another option is that I could be trying to pull away from others.  Dream Moods sheds some light,  indicating that dreaming of diamonds indicates financial hardships.  Too much thinking to try to decipher that one, so here is a random plug:  Onassis Jewelery, in California.  This is where my husband had my engagement ring made, and it turned out great.  Tip for all you single ladies – know what your actual ring size is, before you tell your boyfriend/fiance what you think it is.  Double check your facts.  That way, you won’t be like me and end up getting a ring almost 2 sizes too large.  But, also know, you can always just hold your fingers together with a death grip for weeks on end, because God knows you don’t want to take that sucker off to get it sized, once you’ve got it on.  Maybe my love for my engagement ring makes me a narcissist?  If so, mystery solved.

CUTTING OFF MOTHER IN MID-SENTENCE:  My grandmother is an incessent talker.  She could talk for hours without taking a breath, and does not require a response in return, to keep her going.  Yes, she will still ask you questions, but she will not listen to your response.  She definitely has ADHD, and probably could use some meds.  She says she doesn’t want to take one more medication, since she already has that “Days of the Week” pill box, stuffed to the brim, but really, once you are taking 32 pills a day, why not make it 33?  As a result of her nonstop verbage, sometimes she just needs to be cut off, and whoever does this runs the risk of appearing rude.  Luckily, my mother loves her so much that she isn’t afraid to be rude.  For the greater good.  I find it slightly amusing that in my dream I cut off my mom.  Question:  Do all family cycles repeat?

How Could I Not Dream About The Accident?

I enjoy hearing other people’s dreams.  When someone tells me they had a strange dream, I pester  them until they describe it.  Some of my friends know this, and they email me their dreams, whenever they remember them.  This is quite considerate, since it saves me the energy from pestering.  Very often, their dreams have something to do with the activities or T.V. shows they indulge in, something related to their job, or something they are afraid of.  I hear a lot of dreams involving teeth falling out, being chased, falling, and being naked in public, which are all among the top 10 most common dreams people have.   In movies, people who suffer traumatic events have recurring  deams about that one catastrophe.  While I sometimes have a few dreams that fall into those categories (see teeth), more often than not, the dreams I remember do not seem to be connected, in any way, to what I’ve done, or what I’m currently interested in.  Instead, I have dreams about robot conspiracies.  This seems odd to me.  Why am I not dreaming about American Idol, or Vince Vaughn, or dark tornadoes smashing my house to smithereens?  If nothing else, you’d think I’d dream about something scary that happened when I was little.  Something I think about a lot, but have never dreamt about, is an incident that people in my family refer to as “The Accident”.

In 1983, my parents and I were in the car, driving home from Bath Middle School, where my mom was doing her student teaching internship.  My dad was driving our light blue Plymouth Volare, that they had purchased from my grandparents, and owned for 2 months.  My mom was in the passenger seat, and I was in the back seat, sitting behind my dad.  I remember being promised some McDonald’s fries from the drive-through.  This was a pretty big treat, since my parents were somewhat strict about what I ate (They only let me eat sugar cereal once per year, near Halloween.  How excited I used to get about Count Chocula! Note: They gave this strict nutrition policy up by the time my sisters were born).  It was dark out, as we were leaving a night-time event (School carnival? Curriculum night?).  As we were driving, I heard my mom draw a sharp intake of breath and then say my dad’s name “….CHUCK!”  From the way she sounded, I knew something was wrong.  But, I had no idea what it could be.  I was sitting in the back seat, so couldn’t see what was going on up front. My 3 year old brain imagined someone throwing a brick at the windshield.  A few moments later, a huge crash occurred, and our car stopped moving.  I didn’t realize it then, but we had been hit by a drunk driver, who swerved into our lane and hit us head on.  I also didn’t know that my mom wasn’t wearing her seat belt, but I did know that she wasn’t okay.  I couldn’t see her anymore, but I could hear her.  She was moaning.  “Ohhhhhhhh…………oohhhhhhhh”, a horrible sounding noise, over and over.  Her head had smashed into the dashboard upon impact.  I could still see the back of my dad’s head, and from that vantage point he looked okay (I couldn’t see the abrasions across his chest from the shoulder strap seat belt.  With his shirt off, you could see right where the seat belt was, even though he was wearing a thick suede coat when the accident occurred).

He asked me, “Christine, do you have your seat belt on?”.  I answered yes.  I was the only one in that car who was perfectly fine.  Then he asked me again, “Christine, do you have your seat belt on?”  I answered yes, again.  He kept asking…and asking…over and over.  I guess that’s one of the side effects of being in shock.   Scary, but a whole lot better than moaning.  I’m not sure how many times he asked, and I answered, until I yelled at him, “DAD!  I HAVE MY SEAT BELT ON!”  I don’t remember if he ever stopped asking or not.

Smashed car.

After the car had been sitting still for awhile, suddenly the back passenger side window shattered.  3 year old me thought it spontaneously fractured, but adult me knows that the emergency crew used a tool to break the window, since they couldn’t open my door.  A man reached in and grabbed me, pulling me gently through the window. The crew had already used the jaws of life to pry my mom from the vehicle.  I find it amazing that I don’t remember seeing them do this, since it must have taken some time.  I do remember seeing a guy in a blue coat, once we got out.  When I was little I imagined it was the drunk driver, but it is more likely that the man I saw was an emergency responder.  We went to the hospital, but I don’t remember too much about what happened there.  I only had a tiny bruise on my hip bone, and it didn’t hurt at all.

Emergency response team getting my mom out of the car.

My dad did a pretty good job of sheltering me from what was happening, or maybe I was just too young to understand what was going on.  My mom was in a coma, with a contused brain that caused one side of her body to be paralyzed for many days.  My dad met with the neurologist the day after the accident, who said the paralysis and coma could exist for a few days, a few weeks or a few months, but he expected it to go away.  Luckily, the coma only lasted for a few days.  Once she came out of the coma, her short term memory was gone for almost 2 weeks.  My dad remembers visiting with her in the hospital room, then walking out for a few minutes, and upon returning, her acting like she was seeing him for the first time that day.   She remembered what happened up to the day of the accident, but nothing after that, including what was going on around her every day while in the hospital.  My grandma told me she accidentally spilled hot coffee on my mom’s leg and, I imagine, may have been a teensy bit glad that my mom didn’t remember that.

She received 58 stitches across the right side of her head, through her eyebrow; they had to do two rows of 29 stitches, one beneath the surface of the skin, and the other to close up the wound at the surface.  She also had a torn bladder, and a fractured pelvis.  I remember seeing the major bruising and swelling of her right arm. If you know her, you might notice that her right arm looks like she once had stitches there, but she didn’t, the marks are just an indication of how much damage the muscle obtained.  My dad describes her arm as looking like a black man’s thigh.  The driver who hit us, who was driving on a suspended license, got 20 days in jail, plus probation.

Mom was in the hospital for about 2 weeks.   She should have stayed longer, but she wanted to get out.  They had her in a ward with other people who had “head problems” and it was driving her crazy.

Scientists tell us that we don’t remember a majority of our dreams, even when we have them, so perhaps I just remember the bizzaro ones, and can’t recall the ones about the T.V. shows I watch, or The Accident.  As much as I don’t like my bizarre dreams, I guess I’m pretty lucky, not to have dreams about this day.