‘I hate going to sleep for fear of the dreams that haunt me’

Apr 30, 2019
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Fran is haunted by her dreams. Source: Pixabay

I never dreamed much that I could remember, but lately it seems I wake up nearly every morning remembering at least part of a dream. How do I know it was just part of a dream? Because it is never complete. Some are little insignificant things, but others are dreams that have had me crying or shaking or frightened. One such dream had me so upset, I couldn’t settle for the next couple of days. The dream itself was nothing special, but as the morning unfolded, it slotted in to actual events, not of my control. It was so disturbing I related it to a friend and to my sister, but to no one else for fear they would think I was making it up.

I have started dreaming of my life with an abusive husband. I have not dreamed about that part of my existence for a long time. Still they are not even upsetting me as much as the dreams I have about my children.

I don’t know why you dream. I only know that it seems sometimes insignificant and at other times, relevant to your life, past or present. I’m starting to wish though that I didn’t dream. You see, apart from that very disturbing dream recently, most of the ‘sleeping experiences’ that upset me more than anything, involve things that have upset me because of my children. Some I remember and some I have either forgotten completely over the years or I have deliberately buried deep into my subconscious because they are too painful. Most have revolved around my eldest son and most have been about what I would describe as disturbing occurrences or my shortcomings in good parenting.

My sons are the reason I get out of bed very morning. I come from a dysfunctional family and my life as a parent was to make my children’s lives better. For a long time we were poor, dirt poor. Try as I might, I couldn’t make life better. I did make sure that my children always had everything they needed. Sometimes though it was heartbreaking that they had to settle for, shall we say ‘knock offs’ instead of the real thing. They didn’t complain much, but once I remember when a particular shoe was all the rage and I couldn’t afford it for my boy. He was so upset. It didn’t help we had some very cruel neighbours. I’m telling you this because these are the things I am dreaming about. The dreams are often about events that caused pain to my sons.

I have not thought about these things for years, but now these memories are manifesting themselves into dreams. These dreams are frequent and increasingly upsetting. They are disturbing my sleep and becoming so bad that I am having trouble shaking the thought I could have done something more to make life better for my kids.

Why, now when my kids are grown, when I am over 60, are these things coming back to haunt me in the form of dreams? Someone told me recently that your mind does strange things. Why though?Why now? I hate going to sleep most nights now. I don’t want to dream. I don’t want to be reminded when times were tough for my kids. I don’t want to look at them in a life full of struggle as well as hope, full of love and sometimes sorrow and wonder could I have done something better, sonething more? I don’t want to dream about the bad parts of my life. I just don’t want to dream.

Have you had a dream that has caused you upset? How have you returned to a restful night’s sleep?

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