Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Crazy, But That's How It Goes
When I am stressed (a.k.a. always,) I have a tendency to downplay whatever is bothering me. I like to call this "pathological optimism." One of the downsides to this is stress dreams. Once upon a time ago, when my life was relatively carefree, my stress dreams almost always involved waiting tables at a certain restaurant. We will call it the Crimson Crustacean. Years after I stopped working for this establishment, I would still have dreams that the hostess was seating me back to back to back. In the dream, every time I would go into the kitchen, I would have three new tables when I came back out. Pretty tame, right?
After I got back from Iraq, and started dealing with my son's autism and the adjustment back to civilian life, my stress dreams got a little more awesome. They were about zombies. (I told you they were awesome.) Now, these were not nightmares, they were stress dreams. I was not running through some desolate, burned out cityscape, avoiding a messy death at the hands of the zombie hordes. No, no. My zombie stress dreams always took place at my grandma's house in the country. And I was not scared. Rather, I was irritated at all the logistical demands being placed on me during the zombie apocalypse. Why aren't those windows blocked? Who has been dipping into the rations? Where's my lobotmizer? Has anyone seen Skeletor? Maybe he defected? These are the things that I worry about when it's stress dream time. Until recently, anyway.
It seems that my subconscious no longer finds the thought of the dead rising to be upsetting enough to be the stage upon which I act out my anxieties. What can I say? I adjust quickly. No, it seems the old canoodle had to bump it up a notch. A few days ago, I had a stress dream about finger amputation. Again, this was not a nightmare. In the dream, obviously, three and a half of the fingers on my right hand were amputated. Surprisingly, I don't remember how they got cut off. I find this mildly disconcerting. I'm not running around like a crazy person, bleeding all over the carpet. Instead, I've got a dishcloth wrapped around my hand, and I'm looking all around for the fingers. I have a cup filled with ice, and it's my intention to gather all my errant digits, and get to the hospital. One by one, I find the little suckers. Only, because this is a stress dream, I somehow keep losing one every time I find another one. This doesn't end. I don't ever get to the hospital. I just wake up. That's right. I've thrown down the stress dreams gauntlet. I'm such an over-achiever. Tell me about your stress dreams in the comments. Please? So I know I'm not completely insane?