Sunday, July 31, 2011


Last night I had a nightmare after a long time, perhaps after 5 years. My nightmares are nothing like those one sees in movies or read about in books. I guess each person's nightmare is so personal that its hard to empathize with anyone else's.

My nightmares are always about heights in one form or another. Sometimes I am  going up in rickety lifts, sometimes crossing abysses on shaky bridges, and sometimes just being at a height doing dangerous things. None of these ever end in my falling down. They end at the height of my terror (pun unintended at least by my conscious mind), just before I realize I am about to fall down. I guess that's the purpose of these nightmares, to take me to the peak of my terror. What happens next is not important.

Sometimes, I am smarter than the nightmare. I see myself in one of those lifts and knowing what's coming, I wake myself up and stop the dream from proceeding. But that's rare. Most often, like last night, I play along without being aware of the danger right till the end, waking up only after the worst has happened. Once I wake up, I can't bear to close my eyes- the memory is so vivid and intense that only keeping my eyes open dilutes it.

Last night, I found myself on this strange rickety contraption hanging in the air somehow. One of my kids was with me. And mom and dad. My kid was playing with a swing on that contraption when mom asked me to be careful because a hinge had come undone and the metal swing might fall down. I had this vision of the metal swing falling down from such a height and killing someone on the ground. So I grabbed the swing quite casually. The next vision I had was of the swing going overboard and taking me along with it because I was holding on to it, and then the whole platform (or whatever) coming down too. All this was a vision within the nightmare. I was still on the platform, crouching and shaking in fear of what might happen. That was when I woke myself up.

Someone once told me that I dread heights and falling because height represents success and falling my fear of failure. I don't know about that. It could be true if it weren't for the fact that my first nightmare involving heights started when I was six or seven years old. What did I know about success and failure then?

But certainly, at this stage in life, this nightmare surely highlights my insecurity about future, my deepest fears about how my actions and decisions will affect my kids and my mother. I can't deny that, and even if I don't appreciate the methods employed by it, I thank my mind for making me aware of these hidden fears that I harbor deep inside me. I can do something about them only if I am aware of them, innit?

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