Ithaca Blog

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Whence Or Wherefore, Recurring Nightmares?

We had a splendid New Year's Eve, except we drank nothing to interfere with a good night's sleep, which turned into a bad one, as it often does for us, with recurring nightmares.

We don't know if Jung endeavors to explain them. We have one that we can, and one we can't.

The easy one is the dream where you are in school, but forgot you were carrying a particular class, until the day of the exam. We know a lot of people have this dream, and it is obviously related to (old) academic anxiety: not much mystery. Not much anxiety, either: technically, it's probably not even a nightmare.

But we have another one which is a mystery, and troubling. It has variations, but basically features our immediate family, and sometimes friends, and we have been relocated from our homes to stay together in a domicile that, generally in the dream, is large, but always is forbidding, with holes in the floors, water leaking and sometimes running through the house, and not much furniture, and everyone lying on mattresses on the floor.

Creepy enough, but the troubling part is that, in the dream, I'm the only one who realizes the situation is bad. The dream's action usually involves me saying we don't belong here, and everyone saying yes, you don't, and I realize everyone has a space staked out, as if satisfied to stay, and there is no ordained space for me in the house, and I am being encouraged to leave, sometimes with shouts and threats. I wake up before being attacked.

Bad enough having these once in a while, but last night I had it twice. I have the feeling understanding the dream might help me shed it. Is that worth reading Jung for?

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