Living the Nightmare

I am almost always trying to achieve something in dreams, and other people are ‘getting in my way’, usually physically (physically blocking me), or bureaucratically (I’m sorry, madam, you can’t do that), or a combination of the two.

Dreamworld expectations are always realistic and reasonable – like I just need to get through a barrier to retrieve my rucksack (I never know how I come to be on the wrong side of the barrier), and my rucksack has all my stuff in it, including my car keys, and I have to get the kids from school, so I just need my bag… but the man won’t see that. The man will tell me I have to buy a ticket to get through the barrier, and the conversation will go like this:

Me: But I already have a ticket.
Him: I need to see it then.
Me: It’s in my rucksack, just over there.
Him: I don’t know that.
Me: Well if you’ll just let me get my bag, I’ll show you.
Him: You can’t come through without a ticket.
Me: But I have a ticket – how d’you think my bag got there in the first place?
Him: Your friend might have put it there.
Me: But I’m here on my own.
Him: I don’t know that. You’ll have to buy a ticket to come through the barrier.
Me: But my money’s in my rucksack too. I just need my rucksack.
Him: If you can’t buy a ticket, you can’t come through the barrier.
…and so on.

And then I’m trying to find someone to lend me the money to buy another ticket, and everyone’s looking at me like I’m deranged. And no one will help, because they think I’m a freak, but I’m just trying to get my rucksack, so I can get my car keys and pick up my kids, and I can’t even phone the school to let them know I’ll be late, because my mobile’s in my bag too, then suddenly I have a phone in my hand, but I don’t know the number, then I see it’s a smartphone, so I try looking it up on the internet, but there’s no data signal, and AAAAAARRRGGGHHH

That’s when I lose it. Big time. My worst nightmare: a meltdown in public. I scream and shout and cry and collapse on the floor, banging my fists and pulling my hair. Everyone looks at me saying, “there, we knew you were a freak…”

I get this dream, in various guises, maybe twice a week, and I always wake up with a sense of failure and loss and isolation that stays with me all day. Other people with Asperger’s syndrome might relate, and understand why this scenario haunts my dreams: in reality, it’s never that far away, and particularly when dealing with real-life jobsworths (such as our friend above), the nightmare sits on my shoulder daring me to lose control. The last time I got close to this, there really was a barrier – 2m high, and the guy wouldn’t let me though – so I climbed over it, literally*. And boy was he pissed. And boy was I smug.

One day I hope my dreams will catch up with my growing real-world confidence, and I can wake up feeling like a sucesssful freak instead.


*Being on my way home from the climbing wall, where far more technical climbs of 8m are the norm, his little 2m job was a synch. If only it always worked like that!

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2 Responses to Living the Nightmare

  1. Leigh Forbes says:

    Thanks Pete. I think it certainly has something to do with real-life communication issues, which do leave me feeling adrift sometimes. When I can’t seem to make myself understood, regardless of how I explain it. Very frustrating!

  2. Pete says:

    Really interesting that, do you think it might reflect a sense of being controlled by your environment in real life? and feeling powerless? I had similar feelings for a long time.

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