Welcome to the first post of the LameyDreams series. I wanted to start this segment to bring light to an often overlooked aspect of trauma, the nightmares. These nightmares are something I have suffered from to varying dreams for the entire 4 years since the attack, and the content of these nightmares is often as traumatising as the original event. I have dreams about destructive fires, I have dreams about myself dying, about loved ones dying and recently about me causing the death of other people. Often I can’t tell why I get specific dreams, but this is the start of a journey to better understand them.
While I collect some data on new dreams, I’m going to write about dreams I’ve had in the past that I still remember with alarming detail. The first is the classic stress dream.
A dream that I have had time and time again, one I have actually talked about before, in my post about Pete. In Pete I touch on it very slightly, but here I want to detail the experience. As you read this, I want you to imagine that it’s happening to you. I mean it, really put yourself into the story. That’s the only way to truly connect and imagine the associated distress.
The dream starts out with me in a blindingly white room. I’m the only thing in the room, I’m dressed in all white, and within a few moments I realise there is no exit to the room; no windows, and no doors, just white. This leads to a state of shock and panic, and it feels SO real.
How did I get here?
How am I going to get out?
Is someone doing this to me?
What have I done to deserve this?
How long will I be stuck here?
Then, amidst the panic, I feel a little tickle in the back of my mouth. Somehow I manage to get almost my whole hand in there to investigate the itch. I find the tooth responsible for the sensation and to my surprise it wiggles. Naturally, when a tooth wiggles, I wiggle it a little more to see just how loose it is. In doing this, I dislodge the tooth entirely, and pull it out.
I’m sitting there in this white, exit-less room, looking at this adult tooth I have just pulled out from the back of my mouth. I can’t remember what I was thinking because before long there is another tickle. The second tooth comes out even easier than that last and then I’m sitting there with two teeth in my hand, running my tongue over the holes they left in my mouth.
The next time I don’t even need to grab the tooth. I just knock it out with my tongue. Three teeth. I’m looking at three teeth in my hand. Then before I know it there’s four, then five. The others just seem to appear there, as if they are literally falling out of my head.
Things start to speed up at this point and teeth are falling into my hands like rain. I didn’t even know I had so many teeth, like there’s just teeth being fabricated in my mouth and then falling out in quick succession. The teeth are piling in my hands and then the pile is spilling over, like when you pick up a handful of sand and it runs through your fingers.
Then, without warning, my jaw collapses entirely, and dislodges from my face. Rather than a pile of teeth, I’m now looking at a toothless bottom jaw sitting in my hands. I drop it immediately and frantically grab my face to try and make sense of what was happening.
As I touched my face I realised my skin was dropping away, like it was melting. I look at my hands again and my skin IS literally melting away from the bones. Panic sets in, but within seconds I’m just a sack of bones sitting in an all white, windowless, door-less room. All by myself.
And then I wake up, panting and grabbing my face.