Saturday, January 24, 2009

Anxiety Dreaming

Creepy Sheepy for the Sleepy

What a horror, I can hardly breathe. I am lying flat on my back struggling to awake from a dream. The air is thick and warm. My body is like lead. I can’t move. I know I am awake. I can see the room around me perfectly in shades of black and gray. Another anxiety dream, I should have realized that. My children are at the end of the bed safely asleep.

Exhausted from stress filled dreams, I still can’t move. The house is extremely dark and quiet. There is neither moon nor wind. There is only heat and humidity and the empty place where my husband ought to be. I am alone again with the boys and with a strange sense of vulnerability that haunts women who are unaccustomed to being alone. Perhaps it is really just a dread of going back to sleep.

Knock! Knock! Knock!

There is a loud sharp rapping at my bedroom door! Someone is in my house at my bedroom door. I want to scream, but I can’t make a sound.

So close that I can feel the breath on my neck, a whispering man's voice says, “You are here, this is now.”

Shocked fully awake, I am sitting bolt upright in my bed, eyes wide open and looking for ghosts.

O. K. There isn’t going to be anymore of this, I tell myself, I have got to get some help.

The boys are safely off to day care and school and I am alone in the car driving on narrow winding roads up and down through thickly wooded Maryland countryside looking for the place my sister recommended. I arrive at such an average looking dwelling that I am concerned I have come to the wrong place. From the outside it appears to be a typical colonial style home with a pristine lawn and a general purpose decorative wreath on the door.

“Hi, I’m Julia.” I introduce myself to this very ordinary woman with Eastern European features.

My first impressions dissolve as the exterior world gives way to the interior. Her living room is a chaotic assemblage of crystals, herbs, candles and feathers. There are several cages around the room. A few of them hold hamsters and squirrels though many of the cages are empty. I think that I occasionally see something scurry past on the floor.

“Excuse me dear, but smoking is the one vice that I find necessary to indulge.” She admits this while she lights a long pipe. “It’s organic, not to worry.” A pleasant scented tobacco fills the air. “Smells cross over easily from one realm to another. I find them very useful.” She inhales deeply and looks at me sternly. “Your sister told me about what was bothering you, but I would like you to tell me in your own words.”

Until this moment, I had not realized how much I needed this invitation. Where else could I have found someone who would listen and not dismiss my inner haunting? A flood of worried dreams spews forth from my mouth. "...And then the gnarled hands of three old women reached out of the singing bowl and tried to pull me off of the bed and into the bowl with them." I end.

“You are ignoring your spiritual self.” She tells me flatly when I have finished. “You had an invitation to learn from the cackling crones which you have ignored entirely.” She pauses, closes her eyes and takes another long draw from the pipe. “Also, you are allowing the responsibility of caring for your children to consume you. There should be time for your dreams as well.”

Sleep is what all mothers need most, I think to myself.

She looks behind me as if someone had interrupted her.

“What just happened?” I ask.

“Your spirit guide is here.” She replies. “He’s ranting. Apparently he has been trying to get your attention for some time but you tend to ignore him.”

“Oh.” I say sheepishly. Somehow, I recognize truth in this remarkable revelation, even though I can not remember ever being aware of a spirit guide.

“It was your spirit guide knocking on your door last night. You are a ‘dream-worker.’ Your work here is very important.” Her words are confident.

She stands up and crosses the room, “I have a book for you. It will explain everything that you should know.”

Surprised and extremely curious, I cannot wait to read the book that will answer all of my questions. The Shaman returns with the book in her outstretched hand. I see the book in her hand. The title is as clear as day. I read it but for some reason I can’t understand it. When I reach for the book its grainy cover dissolves in my hand.

Mommeee, I’m a wakey boy. Come get me.” John’s sing-songy voice is calling from somewhere…the's morning.

Short Story by Butternut Squash

(Have you read Nathaniel Hawthorne's, "Young Goodman Brown?" It is one of my favorite short stories. It is rich with subtle symbolism--go read it again when you have a chance.


  1. So glad to have found you through The Gold Puppy. You're a beautiful writer and I look forward to having time to reading more! This story was fantastic.

  2. Well hello there. Welcome. I'm so glad that you are here. I was wondering if anyone would react to this one. Perhaps, it needs a little more time.

  3. Anxiety dreams are actually very helpful. Extreme emotions are an effective way for the mind to draw your conscious attention to something you are ignoring. Your spiritual side is connected to related to feelings of increasing open-mindedness, love and self-acceptance. You may appreciate this post about a recent dream analysis of the week: