Monday, February 15, 2010

What a dream I had

I had another of the anxiety dreams about alcohol last night.  It was about my father.  He has now been dead for over 25 years.  And yet, there are times that he comes back to visit me.  Seldom are these dreams happy.  That makes me sad because I know that he was such a good person.  It seems unfair that he only comes to me through these dreams that are unsettling. 

The dream last night was one in which he had stayed away for days.  My mother and I presumed that he was drinking.  He never did this in reality.  He would simply sip his bourbon on his days off, starting about 10 AM and be fairly drunk by dinner.  Then he would go to bed.  He was not a binge black out drunk.  Yet, in this dream, he is gone, and we are dreading his return. 

I tell my mother that it is time that she left him.  I suggest that she sell the house and move someplace else.  These dreams are so unsettling because my parents were married for over 50 years at the time of his death.  I don't think my mother ever thought about leaving my father who eventually quit drinking altogether as he got into his 60's.  But in this dream, she thinks that it is the best idea. She will sell everything and move away.

I know that these dreams are my anxieties surfacing.  They leave me feeling unsettled and disoriented when I awake.  But then I can reach over and hug my love who is lying next to me.  She drowsily asks me how I slept.  I tell her about the dream, and she says that it was just a dream.  I look at the slumbering dogs lying on the floor.  One is chasing something imaginary in her sleep.  Just like me.

I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams. Jonas Salk


  1. I hate dreams like that, Syd. They make the whole day a little strange.

    Sweet dreams to you tonight.

  2. Oh, what a great quote by Salk! I'd rather be disturbed in my dreams than in real life.

  3. From one who never dreams (or just doesn't remember) I don't know what it means. But I get a little envious of these rich dreams I read about..makes me wonder where I store all my memories.

  4. It also seems as though you are integrating your newly formed self with the image held in your psyche of your father...they have to somehow integrate and dreams most certainly help us in doing this.

    I agree with SB when I have dreams like that it can be unsettling for the day...

  5. As a former (failed) Jungian practitioner, we could have a field day on some of the symbolism in your dreams.

    ...or, we could think about them a bit, maybe learn something, and enjoy the day...

    Blessings and aloha...

  6. Today a 50 year marriage is almost unheard of...but in my day it was just the opposite and probably was for your Mom & Dad too. I'm sure they must have hit snags along the way but staying together was just the thing that was done ... and many people with long marriages are happy that they outlasted the rough times.
    I wonder if you are not subconsciously remembering some events from when you were very young ??

  7. This is what I mean when I say that we get a form of PTSD from dealing with the substance abusers.

  8. Interesting the different types of drinkers there are. My father did leave for weeks at a time and sometimes only days. My mother always acted like he was never gone. He drank a pint of vodka most days and sometimes got sloppy and sometimes mean. He knocked me around a little and my brother a lot and also our mother. He died in 1986 and I did not go with my brother to the funeral which was in another state. Maybe you were more aware of things when you were young.

  9. Chasing imaginary things in my sleep...or imaginary things chasing me...sometimes I find it hard to tell the difference. Or maybe I'm just chasing myself...

  10. I have recurring dreams like that and they leave me shaken for hours. I like the Salk quote!

    Wishing you a peaceful night's sleep that leaves you well rested, Syd.

  11. It is amazing the power that dreams can have... but then again why not? They are our deepest thoughts and feelings.

  12. Salk: Good! Thanks.

    I dream a lot, but forget soon after awakening.

    Just like everything else which happens. I used to have a good forgetter--it forgot only the bad crap in my life.

    Now this forgetter of mine forgets the bad AND the good. (sigh!)

  13. subconsciously our fears rise in the nightly hours... give yourself a mental shake. all is okay.

  14. My mom always believed that when loved ones that had passed were in her dreams (good or bad dreams), they were visiting. I beleive our anxieties manifest in our dreams, but also maybe your Dad is just bringing things to your attention. I have had a couple of very scary dreams with my Mom in them, but they made sense some time later with events in my life. I will post one soon. I hope you have wonderful dreams of your Dad soon Syd. Love the quote:)

  15. I love dreams and have often found they are best understood as metaphors with no literal reading. It might be about new beginnings for you in your retirement, moving on from the memory [the house] of alcoholism.

    Just saying...

  16. Dreams are a world into themselves. Sometimes waking up is a really good thing. Well, I guess every day we wake is good, but you know what I mean.

  17. I have had those type of dreams, usually about my son using or my ex and they are always extremely emotionally intense. The feelings linger when I wake up. It is disconcerting to me. They don't happen often which I am grateful. I use to have them frequently before Alanon.


  18. Wow - - - what a powerful story of dreaming - - - even if it is negative. It's almost as though your father is trying to return and make something right for YOU - - - and your mother of course - being the non-drinker - is supportive of you somewhat; however, you are en medias res - - - and as a child trapped in the middle of this circle. The two people you loved the most during your youth were not satisfying the need of a child to be secure, I think.

    Perhaps trying to envision yourself as a child, crying for someone to help you to feel safe, wanted, and held closely, the dream will change.

    In my dreams, I always seem to get the selfish part of the intrusion from my loved one, who has been gone for 9 years. As much as I hated sex during the drinking years, the sexuality of my dreams with my husband are now quite satisfying and heavenly. I simply let go - and accepted with joy the passion that was offered, awaking quite exuberant and happy. This has happened to me twice in the past years; I addressed the experience to my therapist before Al-Anon, and her advice was to relax and see what happened!

    Anonymous #1


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.