Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wolf in People's Clothing

I have been having vividly realistic and frightening dreams over the past few weeks. In a few of them I have been violently violated and I swear I can feel the pain and the sensations and smells from the dream sequence seem to linger when I wake up. When I do wake I am absolutely terrified. Last night I again had a nightmare. It wasn't about being raped, but it was nonetheless terrifying.

I dreamt I was in my house. The house had an open design with windows everywhere. I went outside and out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a huge black and grey wolf. I was scared and went back in the house, but I thought I might have imagined it.

It was after dinner and my dog Bert had to taken for a walk. I started to take him. He peed, but as I was about to take him farther a wolf stepped out of the woods. I put the lead on Bert, and, even though I knew the walk was important, I backed up and quickly went into the house.

It was dark, the house was now an office of the huge corporation I worked for before I became too ill to work. The windows and sliding glass doors were wide open. I glimpsed a gigantic (3X normal size) wolf. It's hackles were up and it was snarling and vicious. I ran and locked the door, closed and locked the windows and sliding glass door, but I was terrified it was going to break through the glass. I started to close the blinds, hoping the blinds would create the illusion of a more solid wall, rather than a window.

Two more wolves came snarling out of the trees. At the same time I heard someone say Lila had gone outside. I was terrified and yelled, "get her back in here". I ran to the back door and started letting people in - but I knew the wolves were coming.

I started counting down from 10 and was going to permanently lock the doors when I reached 1. I reached 1. People were pouring in, but I knew the wolves could shape shift and was afraid some of the last people would be wolves.

As I reached the #1 I went to slam and lock the door and simultaneously I looked down and saw a set of clothes crumpled on the floor. I knew there was at least one wolf inside the building. I woke from the dream absolutely terrified. Heart racing, sweating and afraid to get out of bed for at least 2-3 minutes.

I have had these wolf dreams before and they are always so frightening. Usually the wolf has me pinned to the ground and is growling ferociously in my face, about to tear me to shreds, when I finally wake.

What was the dream about?
  1. Before I fell asleep I had been thinking of returning to work part time...the wolf could represent the job that terrified me, filled me with anxiety and depression and threatened to kill me (via suicide).
  2. The wolf could be my LTD insurance company as I am so at odds with being paid for being ill from a job that I know I cannot return to , even if I become well...because I will become ill again.
  3. I had been thinking of how I could survive on my government disability...about the hidden costs of giving up my employer's disability...the cost of my medications for example (the wolves were hidden in the woods, kept appearing magically and disappearing in the same way)
  4. I was thinking about how I haven't been depressed (but instead extremely anxious, irritable and not sleeping) for 3 weeks, no depression = a return to work...but would I survive that?
  5. I was thinking about my depression disappearing, reappearing, the unpredictable nature of the course of this illness and how it makes it hard to make a decision to quit work, try something new, or return to work, or stay off work and on disability. The wolves in my dream are unpredictable like this...magically transforming, disappearing, reappearing etc.
  6. Lila...I once knew a girl named Lila who went on to become a camp counsellor and saved a six year old from being dragged out of camp by a cougar. Lila is also my g.p's name.
  7. I had been thinking about what Dr. X. thinks about what I am able to do, or should be doing now that my mood is better. Of course, my first thought is he thinks I need to work...and that scares me because I am afraid I won't stay feeling better.
  8. I think all the glass in the house and the corporate office represent people watching me, tracking me, judging old fear of being spied on and seen to be more competent than I feel...and in the end forced to go back to work before I am well.
  9. Shape shifting wolves: fear of those around me (Dr. X., husband, insurance company, company etc.) transforming into the enemy and forcing my hand when it comes to working.


jcat said...

Have you looked at the s/e profiles of your current meds? Psych meds are notorious for causing really vivid dreams as well as making them pretty nightmarish.

I always dream a lot, and always in full technicolour detail, but I have noticed that on some meds the dreams have been a lot worse. Like Seroquel - that had me throwing myself right out of bed onto the floor at least once a week!

Aqua said...

I did just start a new maybe you are right. I will look it up. I too dream in full colour and my dreams often vivid and detailed...though most often not so frightening.

My pdoc says I have the most interesting, metaphorical and symbolistic dreams he has ever heard. He told me he has kept a collection of them. I feel that way too. All my vivid dreams seem to carry important messages to me.

Seroquel really messed me up. I don't remember about the dreams...but I could barely move on even minute doses of it.

Polar Bear said...

Wow, sounds pretty scary alright, esp when such dreams are so vivid. I think you've done a great job translating the dream.

jcat said...'re you doing? Saw you deleted last post, hope everything is at least kind of ok....