To understand you must experience.
What can be experienced can be conquered.
You are my nightmare –
I will not dream you anymore.
6 November 1982
For most of my life—certainly in 1982—I have rarely been able to remember my dreams and when I did they certainly weren’t nightmares. In recent years—since my last breakdown (very tempting to try to see a connection)—I constantly wake up fully aware that I’ve been dreaming and often reluctant to leave the dream behind. Mostly I dream about work and by that I mean my dreams are set in offices or businesses although not necessarily office and business I’ve worked in or for. I clearly miss work or at least I miss the workplace. I still work, seven days a week, but it doesn’t feel the same working at home; bringing work home was somehow different. Work defined me as it does so many of us. What’s one of the first questions we ask of a new acquaintance? “And what do you do?”
I don’t think I’ve ever had a bone fide nightmare and definitely nothing you could describe as night terrors. I’ve never woken up screaming or thinking I was falling or being chased or naked (except when it was appropriate to be naked and let’s not go there). It doesn’t matter what I watch or read before going to bed or what I eat. I don’t have bad dreams. I suppose I should be grateful but I do feel a little cheated. Here am I writing about a nightmare and I’ve never had (or at least remember having) a proper one. I don’t meditate. I don’t medicate. I simply go to bed and close my eyes.