Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Perfectionist Nightmare

All of my life I have had recurring nightmares.

Some have been with me for years. When I was a child and up into my teens, I was haunted a dark dream of a garden with a black scarecrow.

Another dream was of a bathtub full of blood. It followed me around for years.

Lately, the dream has been one of passages. Dark and narrow passages, like those in a cave, perhaps, and in order to move forward you have to push the rights or turn the right lever. A false move means certain doom.

The dream returned last night. I was in the throes of it when my husband shook me awake. "There's no button," he was saying. "There's no passageway, either."

I struggled from sleep, trying to make sense of what was happening. My body was rigid and tears dripped from my eyes. I was shaking, and I had to get up and walk around. It took me over an hour to relax enough to even think about sleep.

"You shouldn't eat those mushrooms," my husband murmured as I tossed and turned. I had put mushrooms in the meatloaf we'd had for dinner and he was blaming my dreams on them.

The dream for me, without looking up any dream interpretations, means that I am always trying so desperately hard "to get it right" that I can't find my way through. There are always buttons to push, hoops to jumps, tests to pass, before the end is in sight.

I like to do things correctly; I am a perfectionist in many ways and I battle this constantly. If I'm going to blog, dammit, then I'd better blog pretty much every day or what is the point? If I'm going to be a housewife, then by George I shall be the bestest housewife this side of the Mississippi! If I'm going to make fudge, it shall be the greatest fudge in the land! If I'm going to be a writer, then I'd better be the best ... well, we know where that is headed and astute readers will lay a finger aside their nose and go ah! This is why she struggles with that book.

Easier not to do it when one thinks anything less than the best is failure, I fear.

But back to my dreams.

One of my dream books says that dreaming of a "good path predicts success in love, trade and farming. If the path appears crooked in your dream, and filled occasionally with thorns, it shows disappointment and treacherous friends." This was a rocky and dangerous path in my dream, so I go with the latter.

Of the darkness in my dreams, this book says, "Dreaming you are lost in darkness and stumble denotes a change for the worst - by imprudence you will dreadfully commit yourself. If you emerge and see the sun, you will ultimately be happy."

I suspect my own interpretation is more apt in this case. Otherwise it looks like I am in for some really rough roads - murky and dangerous passageways - in the new year.

4 comments:

  1. I totally disagree with you. With your past successes, there can be no failures. Every rut in a dirt road ends when you hit the pavement. You just gotta keep walking till you get there.

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  2. Oh my, I'm so sorry you're having bad dreams. Luckily, I've never had nightmares or disturbing dreams, but I can relate to being a pefectionist. I've had to work on relaxing my standards and expectations. Hope your dreams tonight will be of happy strolls through flowers and sunshine.

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  3. I tend to get nightmares when I have good days. when I have horrible days, my unconscious gives me a break at night.

    I think my equivalent of your narrow passageway was some sort hamster tubing as a way to get around in a building. sense of isolation and futility.

    the mind has things it wants to get out so daily life can proceed without it. it balances sometimes rather than directs.

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  4. I think we sometimes work out fears from our days at night. I have had many dreams of everything being thwarted, funny I think it often means I need some rest!

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