I'm sure I've enumerated here before my repertoire of stress dreams. The travel ones are the most ubiquitous--forgetting to pack, forgetting what day the flight is and missing it, losing my luggage, forgetting my luggage, etc. There's even the one about forgetting to leave the hotel room once I get there. I'll dream that I'm on vacation at the beach, but totally forget to go to the beach until it's time to leave! That's the weirdest one, I think, and one that I imagine means something, if only I could figure out what . . .
Then there are the dreams about being lost, either walking or driving. Walking in a strange part of town, or a strange city, and not being able to find where I want to be. Or getting lost while driving, or wandering through a large apartment complex or hotel, totally unable to find my apartment or hotel room (this one has happened in real life, in those huge, rambling, every-building-looks-the-same resorts at Disney World).
There are two other major themes. One is stairs--huge, winding staircases like the ones at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books, or the bridge over the chasm where Galdalf fought the Balrog in Lord of the Rings. Tipsy, wobbling stairs, or bridges, ones with open spaces that I have to jump over. The other is water or ice. Driving through water, or driving over a bridge over water, or driving near the ocean, or driving on ice, always with the fear that I will drive off the bridge, or drive into the water, or the water will pour over me, or I'll slide off the ice into the water or off the bridge.
Oh, and the bathroom ones, although those aren't stress-related, I don't think. I dream a lot about not being able to find a bathroom, or finding one and the door is broken, or there is someone in it who won't come out, or the plumbing is stopped up or broken. Those are always resolved when I wake up and go to the bathroom.
I had three of the above one night last week. Oh, wait, I guess it was four. No, five. Travel, broken bathroom, stairs, being lost, water. I was on vacation, staying in a beautiful white stucco house at the beach. I needed to go to the bathroom, but couldn't find it. I finally found the bathroom, but the door was broken. It (the door) was leaning up against the wall outside the bathroom with a sign that said to just prop it up in front of the doorway, but there were people standing around, and I didn't feel comfortable doing that.
Then I was at a Mexican restaurant, and my friends were at a table on the second floor, and to get there I had to climb this set of spindly, rickety stairs, and then get in some kind of little cable car thing that would deliver me to their table. Then I was at a hospital. My mother was having some kind of test, and I had taken her there, then instead of waiting I had left. But as I was leaving I was thinking, oh, I shouldn't leave, I should have just waited, but I hadn't made note of the room she was in, or even what part of the hospital, and I had no idea how to find her again. I ended up wandering all over the hospital, frantically trying to find her.
Then I was back in the house at the beach, sitting in front of a big plate glass window, watching the tide come in. It came right up to the windows, and I wondered what would happen--would the water crash through the windows? Surely not, surely it must do this every night, surely the windows were strong enough, but what if they weren't?
Last night added a new dimension.
I have gotten in the habit of taking my cell phone upstairs to the bedroom at night when Bob is out of town. I started out doing it just so that when he called, I'd have it, but usually now he calls earlier and I'm usually still up. But I decided it made me feel more secure to have it there, so I'll take it upstairs when I go to bed and leave it on the bedside table.
Then that turned into taking my purse upstairs, but only when he was gone. That also made me feel more secure, although it also felt like kind of an obsessive-compulsive thing, and I wasn't sure it was good. But still, certainly not a bad idea not to leave my purse sitting downstairs for someone to grab if they broke in -- might as well not make it so easy. But I didn't want to be paranoid or obsessive (or any more than I already am). I mentioned it to Bob, though, and he said he thought it was a good idea--he'd been talking to someone about it, too, coincidentally--and he asked me to get a key hook to hang upstairs in the bedroom, like the one we have downstairs.
So I did. I found a little rack with four hooks, and he put it up in the bedroom, and when we come home at night we hang our keys on the hooks, and he brings his wallet and things upstairs and keeps them on the dresser rather than on the little table downstairs, and I put my purse under Doña's stool that sits next to the bed on my side.
We've only been doing it a week or so, and pretty much every morning I get ready for work, start to leave, and have to come back upstairs to get my purse. Sometimes I go downstairs with it, and have to come back up again for my keys.
Last night I dreamt that I was in New York visiting someone (the only person I know in New York is Misty, but I seemed to be visiting my brother). I had put my purse under the stool next to my bed, then left to drive home, and on the way I was going to go to a job interview. I was driving in a strange place, I had no idea where I was, and the streets were covered in ice. I made a turn and realized that I was driving through a bank drive-through the wrong way, and there were piles and piles of ice, as if they'd moved slush into piles and it had frozen that way.
So I'm driving -- bumping -- over these piles of slush, the wrong way, and I glance over at the passenger seat of the car and realize that I don't have my purse, that I left it in New York under the stool next to the bed. I call my dad (somehow I had my cell phone even though I didn't have my purse), hoping that they haven't left yet (at this point it seemed like we were visiting my grandmother), and asked him to bring my purse home with me. He said he would, and asked me if I was having any trouble finding where I was going.
I said no, no, everything was fine, I was sure I would be able to find it, thinking all the while that there was no WAY I was going to be able to find it. And I was late, too, of course. And then I thought, what am I going on a job interview for anyway? I like my job. I can always go on a job interview later, when (or if) I actually need a new one. That was kind of a revelation. I still didn't know where I was, though.