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Friday, November 20, 2015

Rewriting a Nightmare

Well I guess I've failed at #NaNoWriMo.  I haven't blogged every day like I intended.  I've had a lot of really hard days lately, and I pretty much come home and cry for a while and then go to bed.  But Thursdays are almost always good days, so I am writing tonight.

I go through spells sometimes where I have nightmares about Kevin for several nights in a row.  Then I won't have any for a few weeks, and then the cycle repeats.  It must be a pretty common thing, because GriefShare devoted an entire session to dealing with nightmares, flashbacks, and trauma.

The suggestion for handling nightmares was to write down your nightmare in as much detail as you can remember.  Then rewrite it, only this time change it and give it a happier better ending.  Since I had a nightmare last night for the first time since receiving this advice, I'm going to try it out here.  Some elements of this dream seem pretty funny now, especially to my family who knows all about my recurring dreams, but none of it was funny while I was dreaming it.

The Nightmare

Kevin was still alive but he had left because he was angry at me.  I didn't know where he was, and I kept sending him long text messages begging him to come home.  My parents and sisters came to town to visit and help me find him.  Then Kevin started texting me back, but they seemed to be angry messages asking me why I went to this restaurant or that place, and who I went with.  Only he was using weird abbreviations so I was not completely sure what he was asking and I didn't know how to answer.

I kept getting more and more upset and texting asking him to tell me what he wanted to know so I could answer, and his messages kept getting shorter, just a few letters instead of words, and yet I somehow felt he was very angry.  My family decided to go for a drive, only when we got downtown the huge bridge over the Ohio River was under construction.  (Yes I know it's really in Louisville, but that bridge figures large in many of my dreams).

Parts of the bridge were down to just girders, while other parts had six-foot high weeds growing up through the roadway.  My dad told us to buckle up and hold on, because he was sure he could get us across.  He actually stood up with his head out the sunroof to get a better look at the bridge and the river below while he was driving, and he kept drifting out of the lane.  Oh, and did I mention there were no guardrails or sides to the bridge at all?  We were screaming at him to stay in the lane or just to stop, but he kept right on driving.  We did make it across, and I rolled out of the car into the mud on the river bank crying and still trying to text Kevin and tell him I love him.

Side note:  I have all my life had recurring dreams about my dad driving us across bridges that are under construction, or jumping across bridges that are completely out.  In them, he always tells us to buckle up and hold on, because he's sure we can make it.  Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don't.  I have no idea why I dream this so frequently.  In real life, my dad is the safest, calmest driver possible.  The roads would be a much nicer place if there were more drivers like my dad.

The Rewriting

I'm really not sure at all how to rewrite this.  Is it even healthy to write a dream where Kevin is still alive and texting me?  But if I don't, then it's not a revision of the same dream.  It's something completely new.

Ok, so Kevin is still alive so this is a dream about the past.  He's gone out, and I've misunderstood something he said so I think he's mad at me.  I'm texting asking him to come home, but his replies are just letters and abbreviations because his phone is messing up.  Kind of like how Laura's phone keeps adding extra commas to her texts, Kevin's is deleting random letters so his messages don't make sense.  

My family is still here visiting, so we go out for a drive.  When we get downtown, we see the big scary bridge is under construction.  My dad asks if he should follow the posted detour signs or if I know another way with less traffic.  I direct him to some quiet side streets on the surface - no bridges or overpasses on our route.  I'm still trying to text Kevin, and he realizes that his texts aren't coming through clearly so he calls me and tells me to calm down, he's not mad at me at all, and he loves me too.


  1. I love this tool. I may borrow it for 'real world' situations where I make up details or project my fears onto someone else's comments/actions/inactions.

    So, what is it about Thursdays that tend to make them good days?

    1. Well Thursdays are always run days, so I think that's part of it. In the summer it was with the Indy Women's group, and now it's with the Flat12 run club. And sine the run is in the evening, I get to look forward to it all day. When I run I still feel like myself. And then after, just hanging out with the others in the group for a while, I always feel normal. Even though I sometimes still cry and feel sad on the way home, it's not overwhelming. Tuesdays with running & boot camp are usually good days too.

  2. Perfect rewrite! <3 Don't be hard on yourself for nothing being consistent on your blog. You're doing great!!