Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Nightmares have troubled me since I was very young. Of course, at a young age, most were about getting left behind or losing my mom in a crowd. But occasionally, they were very disconcerting…

I had recurring nightmares that still haunt me today, though none should be described here. Two themes occurred frequently in my nightmares, however, and one was… arachnids. That’s correct; I am terrified of spiders. I believe the term is “Arachnophobia”.

The second theme that often appeared in my nightmares was a ‘chase’; I continuously had to run from villains, whether they be torch-and-pitchfork-wielding townsfolk, or an evil doer with a dagger.

What made me think of creating this blog today is that last night my oldest son (aged 3 1/2) woke me out of a deep sleep with fearful cries. He claimed that Daddy had put someone else in his car seat and drove home without him, leaving him at the beach. Now, I haven’t the faintest idea what happened to inspire this fear of being left behind, but it reminded me of some old nightmares that I had had as a child and it made me wonder about what is frightening from a child’s perspective.

Upon reflection, I can clearly see the similarities between my son’s nightmares and my own as a young child. And, of course, after having experienced the terror of constant nightmares, I am confident that I know how to comfort him.

As an adult, I tend to calm myself after a nightmare by reading a book. As a child I simply lay there in the darkness or called for my mom. And as a mom with a child who has nightmares, I am happy to go and spend some time with him in the middle of the night. I think that having experienced nightmares, myself, that I have empathy for what he is going through.

What about you? Did you have any recurring nightmares as a child? Do you still? What did you do to calm yourself down after?


  1. Too bad your son is having nightmares, too. Mine had night terrors where he'd wake up screaming. He did grow out of it eventually. I'm not saying he may not still get them, they just don't affect them as severely.

    I don't remember having too many nightmares as a child, except for one where I dreamt I was in my parents' closet when they were abducted by aliens. I do get nightmares about being chased, now. It is usually in response to stresses in my life. I usually wake up and try to go back to sleep thinking of ways I could have avoided the trouble in the first place. Sometimes, I jot down some of the ideas and see if it works itself out in a story. :)

  2. Yes, I think he takes after me in that respect. Though I hope he grows out of them. I haven't, but when I wake up frightened I know how to calm myself down.

    Oh no! DId you really? Might I assume that you watched an alien-themed movie before you had that nightmare?

    That's a good tactic. I hadn't even thought of doing that! I sometimes think of how I could have continued the nightmare by catching the bad guy by surprise or some such thing. But I like the idea of changing it from the beginning! Thanks! I'll have to use that next time :)

    That's funny, that I, too, have written down ideas after having a nightmare! I got an entire novel plot written out that was created from one of mine! It's interesting how the mind works, isn't it?

  3. I do get nightmares, but I think I've pushed them out of my mind. When I was younger I would crawl into my parent's room, and later I mastered the art of crying noisily. My mum would hear (she's a light sleeper) and sit with me until I fell back to sleep.

    I do that too! The nightmare ends in a horrible place, so I go back and fix it, so it all ends better! (And I've just remembered one now: we were all trapped in school and couldn't leave because we were in a sort of dystopia lock down, and I snuck out and ran home, leaving everyone behind... That doesn't paint me in a good light!)

    1. That's nice of your mom! I haven't had any nightmares since I posted this, but when I have another one, I'm definitely going to try to do that! It would be nice or a nightmare to end how I want it to.

      I've had similar nightmares to yours. Whenever I wake up from one of those, I wonder why I did that. I know that in real life I would never behave that way, but for some reason my dreams paint me a coward. The other night I had a nightmare that I lost my teeth. Then I dreamt that I was going to the beach but I only shaved one leg. Oh the strange things that go through my head!