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basic anxiety dream with a twist


I have dreams every night and I remember most of them every morning. I seem to have two basic anxiety dreams. One is pretty garden variety and the other one I'm not sure about. I think most people have the one about sitting in class and taking a test you never prepared for -- that's the one I'm labeling garden variety.

The other one, the escargot of dreams (its on the menu but most people don't order it), goes thusly: I am up high somewhere (roughly 100 feet or more in the air) climbing steps or on scaffolding of some sort that has no railing. So I have to be extremely careful where I step as I could easily fall and plunge to my death.

In real life I am deathly afraid of heights. I haven't discovered any kind of repressed memory to explain this phenomenon but I don't like even standing close to a window when I'm more than three stories up.

Just a quick aside on repressed memories. I am also afraid of crossing a busy street. In college my friends laughed at me and my timidity. They would routinely stand in one lane waiting for the middle lane of traffic to clear so they could go walk through the third lane and on to the meridian. I, on the other hand, waited til all three lanes where void of traffic for at least as far as the eye could see and then I hauled ass, running, across the road.

I couldn't figure out why I was so freaked out about crossing the street until one day a couple of years into college I suddenly remembered the time I was almost hit by a car when I was a mere lass of five. I was at the twins' house around the corner from my own house. I was on my way home, so I stepped off the curb between two parked cars and walked into the middle of the street. Nope, I did not look to my left or my right. I simply walked across the street (I was about five, remember?)

Meanwhile, a fine motorist was cruising down the side street at the same time. She slammed on her brakes, as I stopped on cue like a deer in headlights and stared at the grill of her car. I never said a word, just stared at her and her car as she threw the gear shift in park, got out of the driver's seat and screamed at me. All I remember is something along the lines of, "Blah blah get killed doing that! Blah blah look both ways before you cross the street. Blah blah blah!"

Now I have a few adult thoughts about that memory, before we get back to my anxiety dream. Where the hell were my parents? The driver probably needed a stiff drink when she got home. And what were my parents thinking letting a five-year-old go around the corner and across the street to play as long as she was home before the street lights came on? I suppose 1973 was a different place and time.

Okay, so I have never been able to pull up a repressed memory regarding a fear of heights, but I am afraid nonetheless. So in this dream I have to be super careful so I do not plunge to my death. And, just to make things more interesting, there is always a person sitting in the middle of the steps or on the scaffolding and I have to gingerly balance on one leg so I can step over them without jostling them. Remember, there are no railings for me to hold onto. Needless to say, it's very stressful.

Paula (my therapist) says it's an anxiety dream where I have to literally watch my step and figuratively watch my step regarding what I say and do around another person.

That makes sense to me; I do watch what I say around my family particularly and around others in general. I just wish I could have the sitting in class ready to fail a test dream more than the waiting to plunge to my untimely death dream.

Do other people out there have this kind of dream? Just curious.


Another thanks: I'm sending an extra 1000 strides on the elliptical trainer to haloaskew who added me as a favorite recently. Thanks Halo!


2007-02-10 at 6:45 a.m.

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