I had a very unusual dream experience last night. It was one of those dreams that continued even after I would awaken. I woke multiple times and when I returned to sleep the dream would continue.
I was awakened at 2am by my baby and tended to him for about a half hour or so. When I returned to bed I was irritated but managed to fall asleep after about a half hour of tossing and turning.
I fell into a dream of being on a school trip. I felt myself to be young, probably mid-teens and the trip appeared to be at a zoo or some similar outdoor themed park. I don’t recall much of the trip itself. It is the end that is the most vivid.
It had rained while we were preparing to leave and had stopped as we entered the parking lot where the bus and individual chaperone’s cars were parked. I had ridden with a couple of older ladies rather than take the bus so was heading toward their car being careful to avoid puddles of water when I suddenly realized I was not wearing shoes. I thought, “I forgot my shoes!” I turned and began to head back to the park but only got half way because I saw that the parking lots was clearing out really fast. Suddenly concerned I may miss my ride, I ran back where I had been calling out to the women as I did. When I got to the place I had been previous the parking lot was almost completely empty. There was a few cars scattered here and there but there were none from my group.
I looked around suddenly aware that I was very much alone. I felt a myriad of emotions – fear, upset, nervousness, anxiety, abandonment, hurt. I scanned the parking lot for familiar faces and saw none. Then I looked for my phone in my purse, hoping to call and get them to turn around and get me. But it wasn’t there. I had left it in the car. My heart sunk. I knew they would probably assume I got in the bus or went with the other chaperones, so not miss me and just continue on home. I felt completely helpless and began to pace the parking lot.
I got the idea to ask one of the few remaining people if I could borrow their phone. A man let me borrow his. It looked identical to mine. When I began to try and use it, though, I could not figure out how. I tried typing in the number of my own cell and found the keys were in hand written form and when I punched in the numbers they came out all wrong. The owner of the cell finally asked me if he could type them in for me and so he did as I told him my number.
The phone rang but no one picked up. I left a message and waited.
I was there so long that the parking lot became empty and no people remained. The only light was at the corner of the lot near a side street. The rest of the area was very dark and though I was not afraid of the dark, I lingered near the light because that was where I would most easily be seen.
After hours of waiting and enduring massive amounts of anxiety and “what if’s”, I finally saw the old beat up brown station wagon pull up. The two women were inside and said, “There you are. Get in”. I got in but yelled at them saying, “How could you leave me! Did you get all the way home before you realized I was left here?” The driver said, “Yes. We thought you were in the other bus”. I sat in the back and sulked, finally allowing myself to calm down and feel relief. I remember finally feeling like I was safe but worrying how long that safe feeling would last.
I awoke crying and upset over the dream. I had awakened a couple of times during it and it kept coming back. I finally asked to not have that happen again. Unfortunately, I ended up in another, similarly upsetting dream sequence.
I was walking from my old childhood school to another nearby school. I was an adult and had returned to the school as a teacher and was reliving memories as I walked from one familiar place to another.
I came to a school that was built into a mountainside. It was very cool looking and I was instantly interested. I went inside and ran into the principal there. She and I spoke and she asked me about myself. When I told her I was a teacher she began to try and sell the school to me and eventually told me the salary, how to apply and the days worked. I remember she showed me that I had no vacations. I had to work every day of the year and get paid the same amount as I already made. I was instantly not interested, thanked her and left.
I wandered near a bakery by the cafeteria. A couple of plump ladies were making breads and asked me if I wanted to help them with the last ten. I helped by rolling the rolls in powdered sugar and talked with the ladies and another woman helper.
Out of the blue, a man came in and locked all the doors. He then took me and the other lady prisoner. For some reason my husband was there and taken prisoner, too. He then decided he would rape me in front of my husband. I don’t recall the actual rape but I remember being embarrassed that my husband had to watch and feeling sorry for him. He then targeted another person, a small child of about 8 years old. I remember feeling I was 14 years old at the time and being very protective of her. I put my whole body over her to shield her and he left her alone.
We were trapped for a long time but I managed to escape when a maid unlocked the door and left it that way. My husband followed as did the other woman (who had been the child before). During this part of the dream I continued to awaken and return to sleep, each time having another portion of the escape play out in my dreams. We hijacked a school bus, crawled through snow and even had a flat tire at a truck stop all to avoid this man who was hunting us.
I awoke feeling a bit overwhelmed by my dreams. Not only does the first dream suggest I am struggling with feelings of aloneness and isolation but it seems I am also struggling with some other fears. The second dreams is symbolic of feeling forced into a corner, one that is unfair and unwanted. It also symbolizes how I have been trying to escape the uncontrollable situation: by running. Throughout the dream I feel pursued by a man who wants to do me harm and imprison me. He didn’t catch me in the dream but he did keep catching up to me and I never could get far enough ahead of him to feel at ease.
I keep hearing a song in my head. It’s Flaws by Bastille. The main part of the song that keeps repeating in my head is, “Let’s finish what we started”. It has been going over and over in my head and driving me a bit nutty. The message seems clear: Stop running from yourself and let’s finish what we started.