Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Tsunami dreams

I'd be standing on a mountaintop, chatting to someone, when out of the corner of my eye I'd see the distant wall of water rising up, coming closer, and I'd know I had seconds to live.
One dream had tsumani after tsunami, one massive green wall would approach me, I'd be awe-struck and terrified, it would come so close, I'd know it was all over, then FLASH into another situation where I'd see a distant sea turn into a 200 foot wall of moving water, approaching without mercy to drown me. This happened 5 or 6 times until I woke up. Sometimes I was in a wooden box, and would hope I could somehow float or ride on the wave and escape drowning. Sometimes I had a friend with me, who'd be rushed away in the water, out of my sight. Sometimes I'd hide in a building, or and onto a pole to hopefully escape the tidal force. Sometimes I'd just wait, calmly, knowing there was nothing I could do. Sometimes I'd babble to my companion all the things I needed to say in my last seconds alive. Sometimes the dream would stop as the huge green wall approached, I'd look up at it, and it'd all be over. Once or twice it hit me, and I felt the rush of cold water as it sucked me in.

The worst was the one where Barry, Charlie and I were in a shopping centre, in a stairwell chatting as we walked upstairs, Charlie one level below, Barry on the ground floor. The tsunami came out of nowhere, I called to Charlie as I saw it approach, there was no answer. The water rose to my level in seconds, I moved to a corner, trying to get a breath of air before I went under, feeling the vacuum in the stairwell as the air was pushed out by the rushing water. I was underwater, I held my breath and floated, wondering had Charlie done the same. The water receded, I was on ground level, I ran over the wet tiles searching for my baby. I found Barry and we searched together, but I knew he was gone.

I don't swim. I don't like the sea. The huge unknown expanse of water terrifies me. I panic in a plane going to America that we will go down at night and I'll be treading water until I drown. I panic overnight on a ferry to France that we will be drowned in the cold sea.
The tsunami dream has recurred for the last ten years or so. Once or twice a year a normal dream would turn into the tsunami nightmare. Recently it upped it's game, drowning me more regularly, threatening my loved one's lives as well as mine. Consciously I knew I had to take control of it, subconsciously I was nervous going to sleep that It would "get me" again.

One night a few weeks ago, after being drowned a few nights in a row, I told myself "the next time I see that wave I'll tell myself "It's only a dream"". Sure enough, an innocuous dream turned ugly, caught me by surprise. I watched as the wave swelled up from the flat sea, the grey-green mass rising and getting higher and higher, it was half it's normal height... until... it collapsed in a spray of foam, just fell back to earth, as if gravity said "She's had enough, leave her alone", and it was gone. I woke up feeling I'd conquered the tsunami and haven't met it in my dreams since.

1 comment:

  1. A lovely post.. well done on your little victory!

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