I always know when something's not quite right in my head. I mean, there's a good chance of that on any given day, anyway, but still.
Dreams. Recurring dreams. Vivid dreams. Nightmares. Night terrors. Dreams are the key to my mental wellness. If I'm having them and remembering them, all is not well. If they are spooky, all is really not well. If I wake up screaming, it's time for a hard look at what's going on.
I've been raped by a large squirrel. I've been molested by strange, naked men. I've watched friends being burned alive, trapped by their killers in an abandoned car. I've been sitting in a clearing in the woods with the sun going down and I am alone, alone, alone and I can't find my shoes. I want to flee, to call for help on the red telephone that is miraculously by my side. But I keep dialling the wrong number. Over and over and over. The wrong number. I can't get it right. I can't even find my shoes. I am trapped, and it's getting dark. I've been shot in the head and have died, my spirit coming out to face - and forgive - my assailant. Recurringly, I've been doomed to complete another year of college because I haven't gone to this one class all semester or I haven't done the work or taken the tests and there's no way I can catch up now. Or I've roamed the halls of my high school over and over, forever searching for my locker. Panic, panic, panic. The bell is about to ring. I need a different book. My blue folder for the next class. I finally find my locker. It's always in C or D wing after all. But then another problem. I'm forever stymied by the combination to the lock. Turning the dial over and over and over and over and over and over and over - and never getting anywhere.
I am dreaming again. Vividly. But it's not so bad this time. Lately, I've been dreaming about moving to some other city. A bigger city. I like these dreams. Last night, there were several new cities, new people, new experiences. Not all of them good. But different, at least.
I must have dreamt all night or the dreams flashed in seconds but seemed like an eternity each one. In one of them, I had moved to some big city and rented an apartment that was large and run down, one I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pay for on a regular basis if I lived there alone. I had ordered some kind of mechanical device for the apartment at some kind of mall - a garage door opener? There was no garage - and I picked it up from the store and was excited about getting home to install it. I never made it home again, though. I flipped into a new dream.
Another dream: I am in a subway station (Grand Central?) and learning how to navigate the hallways to catch the trains I needed to catch to get to certain destinations. I made wrong turns. Went through the wrong doors. Was confused. But I always found my way in the end. This dream was interspersed throughout the others. Walking, searching, trying this door and that. Escalators, hallways, running. But it was fun. I like an adventure.
Another dream: I am with someone else, another girl - coworker? - in said new city. We have just come off the train and are on the street and on the way to the bus stop to catch the bus home. On the way, we stop off at this clothing boutique and look at all the fancy and beautiful dresses. I marvel at my new access to unusual things.
Another dream: I am wearing a beautiful and unusual dress and there is some kind of clothing contest. I win the top award for my category. Someone is there to tell me he doesn't think I should have won. He is very critical of my dress. I think it's beautiful anyway, but inside I don't feel as happy as I was before about the garment. The man is very critical. Very negative. I try to blow him off.
Another dream: We are watching a movie in class. In one part in the film, a dead body has been vivisected, and school children are removing the organs and naming them. The organs are hard and come out together cleanly as if frozen. One child is digging his hands in the body and scooping out what's inside and then grabs a sandwich with the same hands and takes a bite. My classmates recoil at the image. Either in my head or out loud I vocalize that the body is probably more sanitary than most other things. I am not grossed out by the scene.
Another dream: We are watching another movie in class. It is about these guys who go off on some adventure. The details are unclear to me now, but I know it involved a murder or death and some kind of journey to a motorcycle race. The men didn't have motorcycles, so they took apart cars and other mechanical objects and pieced them together to look like strange motorcycles. They were on the way to the race when I woke up.