(warning: discussion of sad things underneath.)
I use very specific language for how I talk about dreams. A dream that is awful, scary or upsetting in some way is a bad dream.
I had one of these the other night: my boyfriend and flatmates and I were defending our flat from…something. We were all holding guns. In the way of bad dreams, the scary aspect was not the actually encroaching horror, it was the terror of being useless, unable to help.
I also have bad dreams about my rapist on a fairly regular basis, and last night I had a rather unpleasant dream about my now ex-boyfriend teaming up with a person I detest to be entirely awful to me, which is just plain gut-churning given I’m rather fond of said ex-boyfriend.
But those aren’t nightmares. I always specify: those are bad dreams. Not nightmares. Those make me wake up, feel afraid, or unhappy, or sad, but they can be banished simply through reality.
Nightmares are things I can’t banish, and they always focus on one specific topic.
In my nightmares, it’s always my mother.
My mother is talking to me, asking why I left, or trying to tell me something important, and I get distracted just as she gets to the point; or she’s waiting somewhere for me, and something stops me getting to her; or we’re walking together, laughing, and then I turn around and she’s not there.
As you can tell, my subconscious has a field day with this subject.
But the problem is, and the reason I specify these as nightmares…they’re right. I’m never going to hear my mother speak again, and tell me important life lessons. She isn’t there, waiting for me someplace. She is, functionally, gone. And it is very hard to deal with some days.
Sorry for bringing you all down, but I’ve had a week of both bad dreams and nightmares, and needed to muse on them.