Actually, it IS Rocket Science

Screaming, crying, ‘rithmetic

Would you like to talk about recurring nightmares?


Mind if I do?

Before beginning college, I never had them.  At all.  Which is surprising, because I was an inherently anxious kid.  I mean, really anxious kid.  My mom used to tell me my breath smelled like bad milk in the mornings because I had so much stomach acid built up (that’s really gross, I know, sorry).  I mean, I’d have bad dreams and all, but none that made more than a one night performance, and I didn’t have them that often.  I know this because as a little kid I was obsessed with dreams and I had researched how to retain them after waking up.  Which ended up backfiring because I just wound up remembering the bad dreams all day.

For the past several days I’ve been on a lot of antihistamines, and they’ve been doing a number on me, both physically and mentally.  I take one and within 30 minutes I’m both jittery as well as extremely exhausted, and for the first two nights I’d start to drift off to sleep when something, god-if-I-know-what, would jolt me awake, as if you just heard someone trying to break into your house, and I’d spend the next hour trying to coax myself back to sleep.

Now, when I finally do manage to sleep for several hours, I ultimately have these uberweird dreams.  I mean, yeah, I know, dreams are already weird, but I mean hyper realistic dreams that I’m awake and I’m getting ready for company, and I have to make sure they don’t try to beat me up like they did last time because I really want to get along with them.  But I’m also getting this one recurring nightmare that has plagued me since I was in college, which I usually only get when I’m super stressed out.  Now it’s like this dream is on permanent repeat and man, I wake up literally sweating and my heart beating out of my chest.  But here’s the thing. My nightmares aren’t like something’s chasing you or that you’re falling to your death or your teeth are falling out or drowning or something that would indeed be very tragic to actually have happen.  No.

My recurring nightmare is that I am enrolled in a class, and it’s ALWAYS a math class (because I am the world’s worst mathematician), and I have completely forgotten that I was enrolled and now it’s too late to drop it, and I have to shove an entire semester’s worth of work into one week and pray that I get out of there with a D, and the teacher is the scariest woman I’ve ever encountered as a teacher; this used to be Mrs. Hearn, my senior high school physics teacher, but after a horrible encounter with a third level French instructor in college, she has since made Mrs. Hearn look like a kitten falling asleep on a fluffy cloud of baby ducks while a handsome stranger makes you brownies in the background.  And this woman would like nothing more than to watch me flounder and crumble at her feet while watching my GPA plummet.  So I then spend a great deal of the dream trying to remember algorithms- and I literally do.  In my head, I spin out of control attempting to legitimately remember the correct method of how to do partial sums functions or F=Subs equations from my Psyc Stats class.  I ultimately cannot recollect them and the dream always ends with me slumping into the final with defeat and my teacher looking at me with judgment and complete disdain for my lack of intelligence and effort.

That’s right.  I have nerdTASTIC nightmares.  I mentioned this dream to my dad recently (whom I love and who is a brilliant man and whose teaching rhetoric and expectations of his students has probably offered at least some cannon fodder to these dreams) and was received with a simple, “…One of those things, I guess.  Well, do you want to say ‘hey’ to Mom?”

Even my academically inclined dad noticed that my nightmare was… ehh… KINDA LAME.


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  1. * kimbelly says:

    Don’t know if this will make you feel more normal or not, but I also react with a racing heart to antihistamines – Benadryl is the worst. And yes, I’ve recently discovered that when I take something like Allegra for my allergies, I get crazy, realistic nightmares… Runs in the family I gues?

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 4 months ago
    • It’s so surreal to even admit- I’ve never had to take this stuff before and was virtually knocked off my feet when I realized its effects. I feel like such a wimp admitting that; but you mess with my sleep, you mess with my sanity.

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 4 months ago

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