Today is Friday the 13th.
So it’s time for …..
Random Thoughts about Worst Nightmares
When I woke up this morning, I felt cold.
Here’s the data on the recent weather in these parts: the temperature was in the 70’s on Monday, the 80’s on Tuesday, the 90’s on Wednesday, the 80’s yesterday, and (let me check) it’s going to be in the 70’s today.
When I’m in a therapy session — individual or group — people often hesitate to name their worst nightmares. They express a fear that if they share those, they will upset or alienate other people in the room. Often, when people describe an old nightmare, it’s part of the process of letting go of that.
When somebody is feeling bad, often a helpful question is: “What’s your worst nightmare right now?” (Also known as, “What’s the worst that could happen?”) When people allow themselves to express their worst fear, they often realize that dreaded future occurrence is unlikely. And, even if the worst fear is a distinct possibility, people usually realize they have survived worse.
In a previous blog post, I described a worst nightmare I used to have. In that recurring dream, I’d be trying to call somebody on the phone. Because of problems with my vision (and other obstacles), I could not reach the person by phone, no matter how I tried.
Here’s a nightmare I’ve only had once.
When I was a little girl, I had to have several surgeries, to implant cardiac pacemakers .
Before this particular surgery, my father, the nurses, and I had prepared a joke for the surgeons. It must have been the fall or early winter, because this was the joke: The nurses and I had put a sign on my body that said, “Do Not Open Until Christmas.”
The surgeon, in a very surgeon-like way, said, “Very funny,” when he saw the sign, and took it off my body.
Then, as usual, the anesthesiologist put a mask on my face
Somebody said, “Count backwards from 100.”
And I started to count.
I looked up at the doctors, wearing their own masks, looking down at me.
As I was looking up at them, that image started to change.
It reminded me of getting closer and closer to a photo in a newspaper, or an image on a television set.
Sort of like this:
It was more like a black-and-white image, though. And as I kept staring at it, the dots that made up that image got bigger and bigger.
Finally, I fell into one big, black dot.
And everything was black.
And I heard a voice. It wasn’t a nice voice. It was a cold, unfriendly voice.
It did not wish me well.
It said this:
That person you were before — the one that was joking with the doctors — is not real. This is the only thing that is real. And you will always come back to this.
Then, thank goodness, I woke up.
It was only a dream.
Sometimes, that’s the way a story ends.
And like here, today.
Thanks for being there, dear readers.