Nightmares – Whether I Watch or Not

by Sherry Riter in Health,Memory

When I was a little girl (refer to my profile picture for a funny visual image), I was plagued by nightmares EVERY night. It was the same couple of nightmares over and over throughout the night and they would reoccur as faithfully as the changing of the seasons. I remember slowly coming out of the nightmare into a more conscious state, terrified and unable to scream because although I tried, I had no voice. My scream just didn’t come out which made me panic even more upon full wakefulness. Tiny (“bouffanted” because it was impossible to mess those curls up), alone, in a dark room and terrified to even move, I would sometimes hide under the covers with my eyes squeezed tightly shut. Other times I would take a chance and just sprint to my parent’s bedroom to nestle between them where it was safe. It wasn’t until I was in my middle twenties that I quit having these childhood nightmares on a daily basis, and yet every now and then they pop back into my peaceful zzz’s.

As an adult, I still do not dream. I guess I dream, but I do not recall my dreams. The only time I remember anything is if I have a nightmare and although they do not occur as often as when I was younger, they still persistently reappear in detail and color. The color makes it even worse.

I tried to stop watching all the crime shows (my favorites being NCIS, Law & Order SUV, Law & Order Criminal Intent, CSI Miami, CSI NY, Bones, Burn Notice, Without A Trace, Bones, Criminal Minds, Forensic Files, Numb3rs, The Mentalist, Psychic Detectives, Snapped and Medium), to see if it would help with eliminating such awful gore from my sleep, but it doesn’t matter if I watch them or not, I still have nightmares. I never even watch a scary movie (that started back when I was frightened listening to the music on Perry Mason) or go to a haunted house. Last night I fell asleep at 8:00 p.m. on the couch. Yeah, go ahead and laugh! It is now 3:00 a.m. and I have been awakened from my warm slumber because I had yet another nightmare. This time it is about being in a parking garage and seeing a murder. IT WAS AWFUL! The murderer, who by now was covered in blood, saw me and started chasing me. I am always being chased by bad guys! While still somehow trapped between sleep and full wakefulness, I am in a cold panic as I try to look around the darkened room. Without my glasses I can’t really make out the dark shapes which is even more unnerving. What’s a girl to do? I simply shove my husband which pulls him out of his snoring symphony and he stumbles out of bed for a drink passing all the shadows that have me so frightened. Officially the nightmare ends.

These terrifying glimpses into a dark world also are not limited to thoughts in my sleep. When I’m awake I have horrible thoughts that flash through my mind and scare me so much! For instance, right before I put my key in the lock of the car the other day (I forgot I had that little remote thingy because I was in my head again!) a thought flashed through my mind that went like this…I might put my key in this hole and it could be rigged with explosives and blow me up. Then I saw myself being blown up. THAT is a terrible thought and a horrible visual image! Where in the world did that come from anyway?! I’m not a member of the mafia or into organized crime!

I have always had those types of thoughts and nightmares, but I don’t know if it is all the political unrest, the constant wars with wounded people being shown all the time on the news or just my own fears, that have caused it to ramp up in the occurrences lately, but I’m not enjoying it!

I just wish they would all go away!

So what does the Redhead Riter do? I Googled to see what my nightmares might mean and this is what I discovered…hmmmmmm

  • being chased is a common dream
  • often stems from anxiety that is felt in the waking life
  • running is an instinctive action when you feel threatened physically which may parallel with how you cope with stress and fears
  • the chaser could represent your own feelings of fear, anger and jealousy
  • the distance between you and the pursuer is a measurement of the closeness of the issue
  • until you confront the issue, it will not go away

I’m not so sure how I feel about that analysis since I have had these nightmares since the beginning of my existence. If the analysis is true, then my fear and anxiety would be that I am terrified of life. I always joke with my mother that she labored so long giving birth to me because I was scared and didn’t want to come out. In a way, I do fear life…I fear failing.

I fear failing at anything.


It has always been an issue.

Obviously, if this is the reason for my nightmares and the analysis is correct, I haven’t faced the issue properly and it isn’t going away.


Me and the dream boogieman are going to eventually meet I guess.

Then I’ll have a heart attack and die.

And on a positive note…if that happens, my nightmares will end!

Oh, come on! You have to laugh!!! That was funny! It’s a fact though…if I’m dead I can’t have nightmares!

Silly me!

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This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nettagyrl October 16, 2009 at 4:33 am

Hi! I won't lie, I did laugh a bit. lol Because when I was little I would always have the falling dream, where I would wake in a panic after I splatted on the damn ground. =D Now as an adult I dream, but like you, I don't remember.


2 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Only you would see death as a welcome solution to your nightmares! LOL! I feel your pain though. I have vivid dreams every time I am asleep (at night and during naps). They are like little movies with characters, plots and sets! Most of the time they are not bad, but they do interrupt my sleep. They only scare me when they are prophetic and depicting something bad happening to my family or friends, which has happened on more than one occasion. More often they represent a subconscious anxiety, fear or conflict I am not dealing with. This week I had dreamed of the same person dying three nights in a row. It terrified me. I finally talked to Damon and a good friend about it. When I confronted the underlying issue the dreams stopped.


3 MommaYoung October 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Wow! My dreams have always been intense like that. The worst are when I am being chased. Why do they have to repeat. Didn't I get enough from the one the night before.

Thanks for the insight into my dreams. It explains a lot!


4 Bluesy-Nista October 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I should research the meaning of my dreams mean too.

Thanks for the follow!
I am now happily following you as well.


5 Melissa B. October 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm

My entire childhood was like a Nightmare on Elm Street. I dreamed vividly, and quite a few of them were pretty scary! My nightmares, however, have morphed as I've grown older. Now I'm prone to talking in my sleep…


6 KK October 17, 2009 at 4:16 am

I had night terrors as a child and they reoccurred when I was married. Horrible wake up screaming so loud I woke up my hearing impaired mother down the hall! Amazingly (or maybe not) getting divorced and out of a miserable situation and I haven't had one since 🙂 Stress was definitely a factor there!


7 2 Toddlers and Me October 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm

This sounds so familiar. I am the same way, except I dream all the time and I always remember them, nightmare or not. I am prone to nightmares though, I can walk through the video store and see a picture of a horror movie on a DVD box and have a nightmare that night or the next about it. It's so aggravating.

Also, I have those "visions" during the day as well. I wonder what that means? I like it to attribute it to an overactive imagination. I think it means we would make good writers, but who knows!


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