I’ve had the same recurring nightmare since I was a little kid, maybe around 8-10 years old.
The nightmare has several variations, but in general, my dad and a gang of his friends or allies or however you want to put it, sneak into my grandparents’ house and my house, and proceed to kill off my family and hunt us in our homes. I witness it and am often put in a position of risking my life to save a member of my family. Most commonly, my stepdad and brother are killed.
This nightmare has haunted me for so many years, and comes in waves. Sometimes I won’t have the nightmare for a few months. When I was in college, there would be periods where I had the nightmare maybe 3-4 times a week.
What I remember the most is that when I realize I’m having a nightmare, I try hard to wake myself up, but often cannot. Sometimes I feel myself sleep through it forcibly because I’m afraid of what I might miss at the end. I know that these feelings are fragments of my subconscious, but in the moment it feels so real. I wake up frightened and sweaty, afraid and sad.
Today, I took a nap and had a different sort of a nightmare. Same theme of home invasion and family being in danger. I dreamt that I was going out with my grandma and mom. My grandma forgot something, so she wanted to go back in the house. My grandpa’s favorite chair was at the top of the stairs, a few feet in front of the door to my grandparents’ room. My grandma and mom stayed downstairs looking for something and in the corner of my eye I saw a hooded man run from behing the chair into my grandparents’ room. I didn’t have my glasses on so I was unsure as to what exactly happened. Then, 2 other men ran into the bedroom from behind the chair. I waved frantically at the front door for my grandma and mom to get out. I didn’t want to make noise and let the intruders know I saw them. Then I woke up. I’m getting anxious just reliving it now.
I wonder what these themes mean. Home invasion. Family. Always the same patterns. This time my dad wasn’t in it, thank goodness.