I had a nightmare last night. Its intensity was shocking and caused bleak images to haunt me for days afterward.
I was no longer safe in my bed. Instead,
I’m running down a long, narrow hallway with no exits or entrances. It is a hospital hallway with patients’ rooms on either side. All the doors are closed. The lights are dimmed. It is late at night and I am alone.
Ignoring the closed-off rooms and who might be inside, I focus only on an empty colorless chair placed at the very end of the hall. With my eyes wide and straining, I search for a little girl. She has no name, is faceless, and is nowhere in sight, yet I know that if I could reach that chair, I’d sit down and she would be standing next to me. Without pause, I’d pull her onto my lap, hold on tight, and never let go. So, groaning with effort, wheezing with each breath, I continue running. Yet the chair remains elusive. As fast as I run, I can not close in on it.
My eyes popped open. Something had awakened me. I lay there in bed trying to quiet my breathing, the images in my head slowly fading. No — not fading.
“A nightmare is a dream occurring during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that brings out feelings of strong fear, terror, distress, or extreme anxiety. Nightmares are usually in the latter part of the night and wake up the sleeper, who is able to remember the content of the dream”. (See Nightmares: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Also see: http://www.asdreams.org/ , click on ASD International logo, then, About Nightmares for more information).
Editor: Edwin C. Goldstein