“We dream—it is good we are dreaming— It would hurt us—were we awake— ” Emily Dickinson
What did Ms. Dickinson dream about? Were they pleasant dreams filled with memories of laughter and family? Did she write poems in her dreams? If she did I wonder if the words drifted into her sleep already prepackaged in the meter of “The Yellow Rose of Texas”? What did she dream that might “hurt her “if she were awake?
I dream almost nightly. Sometimes my dreams are silly and slightly left of reality. Most of the time they are dark and dangerous. They are shadowy, without form, like an underdeveloped polaroid, but terrifying just the same. Sometimes they leave a residue on my brain that is just enough to tease my brain into thinking something bad has happened to me while I slept. I wake up almost every night drenched in sweat from battling whatever enemies my mind has me running away from. Even if my body is “resting”, my mind and nervous system are churning away which obviously means I’m not getting good sleep.
My dreams aren’t as desperate as the tortured Fantine, who laments “I had a dream my life would be, so different from this hell I’m living.” Sadly though, my nightmares often feel as ugly as her reality! These nightmares and terrors are among my most loathsome symptoms of C-PTSD. It would be lovely to lay down and rest without worrying about what ghosties may shake me awake in the night.
So, I pray. I pray for rest, for sleep, for efficacy of sleep meds. I pray for loss of horrible memories and the ability to deal with their reality. And when I wake up I pray for the ability to make new memories this day, that will become the pleasant dreams of my future. In the meantime, I need some rest from my sleeping.