Thursday, August 07, 2008

High anxiety

I awakened this morning from a succession of dreams that went something like this:
I was four months pregnant. This was not a planned or desired state of affairs, but apparently one I had accepted--until somehow, over the course of a doctor's visit, I started to suspect that maybe I wasn't! I mean, I hadn't gained any weight. And there were other physical signs to the contrary. My doctor, however, had no time for my objections; she lectured me on vitamins and disappeared. I sat there for a while, trying to piece together the evidence, when suddenly it occurred to me that hey: even if I was pregnant? I didn't have to keep it! I could give it up for adoption! But how to figure things out or make a decision if no one would listen to me?

Then I was walking down the street, minding my own business, when a dude I'd dated for about a week in January--with spectacularly negative results--suddenly appeared and wanted to know why I'd never called. He was with two women whom I apparently knew professionally, so I couldn't tell him off but had to make nice for blocks and blocks and blocks.

After I succeeded in shaking them, I had some urgent reason to call my mom--but I had a new cell phone in which my contacts weren't arranged alphabetically or even searchable by name. I kept randomly hitting buttons, trying to find her number, and instead getting those of people I barely knew and thought I'd long since deleted.

And finally? It was possible that I was going blind. But there was no way to be sure, so I'd just have to wait and see.
I hate my subconscious.

11 comments:

Doctor Cleveland said...

Bad times! My sympathies.

You're a braver soul than I. I would not have gone back to sleep after the first dream (and certainly not after having two anxiety dreams ... I'd prefer to deal with the fear and loathing of infomercials after that).

If it's any help ... you are not turning into John Milton. Nor are you turning into Mary I. And although I may be projecting here, the phantom pregnancy dream feels *in part* like a somewhere-in-the-first-book anxiety dream. There are those moments when you don't believe you're really doing anything at all, and that the project you're brooding over may never come anywhere close to becoming real. But I'm not even a pschyoanalytic critc, let alone an analyst.

Sisyphus said...

Wow, I'm wondering what sort of things you're up to to have those anxiety dreams.

If you have the one about frantically taking a math test and filling in the scantron bubbles but everything is in the wrong language, please, please don't tell me about it.

Flavia said...

Yes, these were weird and excessive even for me (although as I've mentioned before, the only dreams I have or remember are anxiety dreams). I suspect some of it is about the beginning of the school year--although usually those are more obvious, and involve not having completed my syllabi or being able to get to campus on time--and I also suspect that some of it is about the book, as Dr. C suggests. But there's other stuff going on there too, some of which I think I can identify and some of which is surely obscure even to me.

In sum, though? It's probably fair to say that my subconscious self feels ambivalent about and generally Not in Control of Stuff--whatever the immediate stuff might be. (Yeah, so--what else is new?)

Bardiac said...

/comfort It's the time of year for anxiety dreams for me, too, alas. Did you get back to sleep okay?

irina said...

I sympathize. Two days ago I dreamt that I was in a classroom with one of my undergrad professors. There was only one other student there. He wanted us to sight-read Latin. I was horrified, because I could tell that it was baby Latin, but I still couldn't make anything of it.

Maude Lebowski said...

wow! that's crazy girl!

Renaissance Girl said...

i've never had the blind dream, which seems odd to me, what with the whole milton thing. the other dreams sound pretty familiar to me. and i often dream that one or more of my teeth suddenly falls out.

medieval woman said...

Oh my lord, woman - your dreams rival mine! I think we should all have a "Paging Dr. Freud" category on our blogs...

Doctor Cleveland said...

RG: Ummmm ... Freud has a very specific interpretation of dreams where teeth fall out. But because it's Freud, his interpretation involves anatomical anxieties that are really moot if you're a woman.

Pamphilia said...

I agree with bardiac- it's that time of year thou mayst in me behold scary anxiety dreams. Mine involve all sorts of maladies- pregnancy-gone-wrong, blindness, teeth falling out, being stuck back in high school having to take an exam in some sort of science or math course that I'd forgotten to attend for the past 4 months, or similarly having to teach a course I'd forgotten to attend for months. You name it, I've had it.

I'm not sure if they are first book dreams or first job dreams, but it's odd that so many of them are about the body or school (in my case). Irina, I'll take a Latin translation class dream over a math test any day!

Flavia said...

You know, I don't believe I've ever before had a dream that involves a disease--or anything suggesting even a minor physical malady/pain/discomfort. I don't think this means I HAVE no health-related or physical anxieties. . . but as imagery I guess such things don't really sing to my subconscious.

(FWIW, the blindness situation--although not the dream's real subject, I don't suppose--was almost certainly suggested by the fact that I'd just been to the eye doctor and was scheduled to go back again.)