Night Terrors

I’ve never been a good sleeper. It’s not that I have trouble falling asleep. I just can’t stay asleep. Sometimes reciting a mantra or stanza 27 from Keats’ epic poem “Eve of St. Agnes” helps. But, even from the time I was small, I often wake in the night to:

Go to the bathroom

Check that my son is still breathing

Eat a snack

Read or play (well ok, I don’t play now, but did when I was a child)


I have a busy mind and don’t want to miss anything I think.

As a child I often had bad dreams that would wake me and leave me calling out to my mom. I don’t know what was so scary in them that would cause the waking and not being able to go back to sleep. Now I feel lucky to even dream and remember them. Except for last night.

I had the most vivid night terror I’ve ever experienced. My dream seemed familiar at first. It was dark, at night. I’d gone to my car in the garage to retrieve my wallet from the glove box. No big thing. Sitting in the driver’s seat, wallet in hand, suddenly there were hands reaching from behind me. A mess of hair and cloth and hands on which I could feel the skin. I started batting away that which was trying to envelope me but then I was in my bed still with hands, hair and cloth…I screamed loud and was screaming when I realized I was in my room. In a flash I turned on the bedside lamp. I jumped out of bed and went down the hall to check on my son (who had slept through my screams).

I made a pit stop in the bathroom and then climbed back into bed with the light still on. I was utterly shaken; disturbed. Eventually I fell back to sleep, but my mind was filled with the fright of the realness of my nightmare.

Driving my son to school this morning, I related my hellish dream and surprise that he hadn’t heard me. We talked about where dreams come from. He suggested dreams are just thoughts and events knitted together randomly from the day. I asked how that would account for dreams of unknown people and places. The man-child said that’s the brain wanting to travel. And what of nightmares? He wasn’t sure about that one and related a night terror of his own that he still remembers from when he was small. That’s where we ended our discussion, we had arrived at school.

Do dreams represent just a random puzzle of our day? Are our dreams a separate time continuum; a past life coming into the present? Are our dreams a foreshadowing of a future instant in time? Are they the same as nightmares only with a dark twist?

Where do you think dreams or nightmares come from? I’d love to hear from you.


6 thoughts on “Night Terrors

  1. I think one kind of dreams are realities we try to hide during day, we press some people or events we don´t want to remember to the back of our minds, therefore they come always in some form – sometimes in freaky dream!
    Best way is to solve your issues, clear it all up and then you won´t remember any kind of horrible dream 🙂


    • Thanks Adriana for that helpful perspective.

    • nancyola says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Adriana. I agree that we should try to resolve all our issues. I invite you to read the About Me of my blog I was terrified as a child by a babysitter and became a multiple personality. The babysitter is probably dead by now, so there’s no simple resolution to my fears. I have been in therapy for years, trying to straighten things out in my head. If you go to my site, I’d love to know what you think of it. Am I too much of a crybaby? Nancy

  2. nancyola says:

    I’ve also had some really scary dreams that seem very real. I am a Christian and I believe if you pray before you go to sleep for both yourself and your son, your bad dreams will calm down. Since I believe in Jesus I also believe in the Devil, and he tries to mess with me however he can. I like the calmness of your blogsite. Nancy

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