Sleep is not an escape


I’m not the most normal guy you’ll meet. Just ask my wife. My son who has Autism gladly blames me for giving it to him. It is a running joke. They claim I am “inappropriate” at times because I occasionally don’t have a filter when it comes to polite conversation. I have no idea what they are talking about.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about dreams. I believe I have an abnormal amount of dreams. Normal people might call them nightmares, but I prefer action/adventure. I’ve come to this conclusion from the amount of times I wake up sharing the crazy shit that happened in my mind while I slept. Most times I am greeted with an uncomfortable laugh, or a head shake, or a “you’re nuts” at the end of my recollections to the nearest person who will listen….  Usually Mary.

I guess I’m finally realizing that you may think you are successful at hiding pain. You may think there is a bottomless well where all of your anxiety and anger and distrust can be shoved into. Your body knows better. It will rebel. It will manifest itself in many ways you can’t control. Many times physically, but more frequently emotionally. I think much of the steam from my kettle is released when my brain should be resting. Instead, the battle wages in my mind while my body tries to rest.

My dreamworld is filled with terror, disappointment, natural disasters, demonic possessions and if I’m lucky on a rare occasion, some naked women. (those are very rare and like the other dreams usually end in disappointment)

Just last night in my jumble of dreams,my dad made an appearance. Lately he has been a recurring character in my dreams. After he died, I had a few dreams here and there. I used to try to will them so I could speak to him again. However, as in life, he was frequently absent. Now, when he does appear, I can’t make any sense of any meaning it has. The only thing I recall from last night is we ended up arguing about something which led to us shirtless and bare knuckle fighting. I remember landing some rights to his chin and was amazed at how he looked exactly like Manny Pacquio. He was still my dad, but his physical form was Pacquio. Please don’t ever try to get me to make sense of these. Just last week, while dreaming of cours) I had killed four people in two days. I told my wife I was excited about the two day killing streak. She didn’t find it funny. However, that ended in disapointment as it has been over a week without a kill. (the people deserved it in the dream, I am not a monster) lol

This got me to thinking about my dreams. Many are recurring. I’ll try to list the categories they fall in. Think of it as a Netflix profile for goofy bastards like me.

Natural disasters:  Tornadoes lead this list. Planes falling out of the sky and earthquakes that threaten to swallow you up are also frequent. I almost forgot fire. That is a big one. Many fire dreams. Also, Tornadoes comprised of fire.

Terrorism/War: I am frequently fighting terrorist attacks or waging some type of war. Most times I am trying to protect my family from an unidentified enemy.

Demonic possession: Haven’t had these recently, but were very common in my younger days. I’d be casting out demons in the name of Jesus. Literally shouting in my dreams. These were especially frightening.

Sports: This is probably the most frequent of the recent dreams. It is a common scene, but with many variables. I am always on the verge of starting and excelling for the Packers, or my old high school football or baseball team. Sometimes I actually get onto the field and make a few plays, but mostly the dream puts me on the verge of where I want to be. I’m ready to enter the huddle, but my helmet is missing. I’m supposed to be on the field but I get lost on the way from the locker room and frantically try to find my way. These dreams always result in my awakening to feelings of depression and deep regret. I had so much wasted potential in athletics and music that I just allowed to fall by the wayside. My sub conscience has never forgiven me.

Forgetting locker combinations or unable to find classrooms: I probably shouldn’t mention these since most people have them. It is the most common dream that I’ve heard repeated.

Losing children: These dreams I only share infrequently with Mary. I don’t want to upset her. But sometimes the dream is so vivid and feels so real that you have to say something. Sometimes you have to convince yourself it wasn’t real and that everybody is safe.

I know I am forgetting many here, but that’s probably good. If you are reading this you probably already think I’m a nut.


I saved the worst for last. This is my earliest recollection of a dream that I have. I would classify this as a true nightmare because just thinking of it to this day gives me the worst feelings. I’m not sure at what age these began, but it was probably somewhere between 2nd and third grade. The dream is not complex. It doesn’t have a complicated setting. There aren’t many characters. I’ve tried forever to try to explain the setting. If you could try to picture an old two lane road in the middle of nowhere. In my dream I only see one side of the road. I am alone in the middle of a vast area of dead brush and trees probably a quarter mile off the road. This picture is the closest I could find to describe it. In my dream there was no color.

I am a small child standing in this vast space comprised of dead branches and brush. I make small circles walking aimlessly and alone. I recall kicking brush out of the way and just feeling nothing. Trying to describe this is very difficult. After a period of time a figure appeared out of nowhere, and I can not recall if he had a body. He just had a head. Next to his head, not supported by a pole, was an old stoplight hovering in the air. The kind that used to hang in the intersection by wires. Again, I didn’t see color, but I knew that red was on top and green on the bottom. This figure terrified me. It had a silent malice about it. It smiled in a way that made my blood run cold. I don’t the recall sound of his voice. He would watch me without his head moving. His eyes following my every move. I would slowly try to act confident, but couldn’t conceal my fear. At some point he finally spoke. I don’t recall how his voice sounded or how he phrased his words, but the message to me was clear. If the light turned red before my parents arrived I would be killed. Every time I had this dream I’d see a car pull up and what I think were my parents getting out of the car. They never arrived on time. The mans head would be turned to see their arrival and the light would turn red. His reaction was the same every time. His head would snap back at me and he’d have the most awful smile I’ve ever seen. No laughter, just a smile that to this day terrifies me when I think about it. The dream always ended there. I knew they arrive too late. I knew my fate. My fear forcing me awake before the inevitable horror could come to fruition. To this day I’ll catch glimpses while driving in Wisconsin of roadside settings that remind me of this dream and the fear comes flashing back. It is awful, and I’ve never been able to forget it. I don’t think I ever will. Shortly after my dad died, I was watching a movie called Big Fish. There was a scene where a man was sitting at a table and he turned his head and smiled. The exact same smile I saw in my dream. It gave me chills. If i could find a still from the movie, I’d post it. But, I really don’t want to see it again.

Well, this is my third post on this blog. If you didn’t think I was nuts before you probably do now. My hope is that if I actually continue writing this stuff, some of it will be released and never return. I guess it is worth the potential embarrassment.

2 thoughts on “Sleep is not an escape

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